Small-and-medium local businesses have been greatly affected by the pandemic. Logistics and distribution were restricted due to lockdowns, affecting supplies and sales. Moreover, consumer behavior has evolved during the pandemic. Consumers began supporting more local businesses that are either close to them or are available online. As the business landscape and the consumers continue to adapt to the times, there are pandemic-ready shifts that small-and-medium business owners should take to grow despite the pandemic.
According to a study on the effect of the pandemic on Philippine micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the sectors greatly affected by the restrictions imposed during the pandemic were educational institutions, construction companies, tourism industries, and food services. On the other hand, the power and energy, information and communication technology, and real estate were able to cope better during the first months of the pandemic. To add, MSMEs also felt the effects of the imposed lockdowns on their budgets more than the large corporations.
MSME Growth opportunities with GreatDay HR
The pandemic has created a new landscape that MSMEs have to remodel the way they do business. This ‘new normal’ has created new opportunities for growth that you should be taking advantage of.
At GreatDay HR we are committed to the growth and future success of all businesses. That’s what drives us to continually develop a better product.
We want to break this down for you, so you can find those growth opportunities that are best for your business.
- First, identify the opportunities.
One of the best ways to do this is to document what’s not working. Share that documentation internally. Discuss it. Make sure you give all internal stakeholders the opportunity to share what they are seeing as opportunities for growth.
Pro Tip: Bringing a variety of stakeholders and departments into this process builds ‘buy-in’. Of course, you will need this buy-in from all stakeholders and departments if you want to bring significant changes within your organization. Don’t alienate anyone in the process – instead make them your ally.
- Second, outline a strategy by asking the right question.
What worked before? Why did you make that decision at that stage of the business’s development? Were there budget reasons? What is the new available budget now based on projected cash flows?
Of course, beyond this, there are many more business questions you can ask that will help you uncover the right strategy.
Example: Let’s look at food businesses. Due to the lockdown, they couldn’t have dine-in patrons. But what they lost in dine-in exploded through online delivery. They had to adapt to technologies and systems that gave them a growth opportunity. Possibly before the lockdown, they focused on providing an exceptional dine-in experience. Maybe they didn’t want to go the delivery route. But this gave them an unprecedented opportunity to grow by reaching more customers through delivery than they could previously in just their brick and mortar location(s).
Invest in your online presence
The internet has also become a digital directory for businesses to attract potential employees and customers. As such, it is important to build and invest time in building the business’ online presence. Having an established and credible website and online social media profiles enable people to know more about the company and to build trust and confidence in the business and what it can provide. Not to mention, these channels will also be the primary communication channels for customers.
Grow the community
Coming from establishing the business’ online presence, it is also best to grow one’s online community; whether it be a community with the customers or with the employees. For one, creating a community with customers allows businesses to understand better and address the customer’s needs and concerns. The same goes for establishing an online community with employees. Some different collaborative applications and practices allow employees to work as a team wherever they may be. Establishing an online community with employees ensures they have the support and assistance they need for their concerns.
The pandemic has resulted in employee displacements and reallocations. As the economy and businesses slowly recover, upskilling employees should be essential. Upskilling means providing skills training to employees that may be useful for their current position or the next one. In doing so, employees have additional skills that they can use in their roles or the future roles they will apply for.
Digitize systems using an HRIS and Payroll software
It has now become more challenging for employees to go to the workplace or government offices to submit or update their documents due to an increase in gas prices and a corresponding decrease in available public transportation options. Having a human resource information system (HRIS) and payroll software at hand enables employees to update their documents in just a few clicks. Not only that, but an HRIS platform also enables employees to time in, set up meetings, update their employee data, and more. Another plus is if the HRIS software comes with various features that are tailor-fit for the local workplace. Payroll specialists in the Philippines can even help companies with the setup and transition! Apart from these pandemic-ready shifts businesses should take, it is also important to constantly communicate and interact with remote employees. There are various employee engagement strategies to increase productivity, strengthen employee relationships, and receive performance reviews and feedback. Finding the right tool and activities are all it takes.
GreatDay HR is one of the platforms offered by SunFish DataOn Philippines Inc. (SDP), the leading provider of cutting-edge Human Resources technology solutions used by thousands of companies in the Asia Pacific region, including the Philippines. Together, with its sister companies, Humanica Thailand and DataOn Indonesia, SDP creates HRIS and Payroll Solutions for employee empowerment across the board. With its 50+ staff and growing in the Philippines, SDP offers a comprehensive and smooth support service to all its valued clients.