COVID-19 has massively affected every economy around the world. Particularly, small and medium-sized businesses are struggling to understand how to operate during and post-COVID.
To capture these sentiments, the Small Business Optimism Index
is created by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) every month, and includes the thoughts and feelings of how over 800 business owners across the United States perceive the current state of affairs. Based on the information collected from May 2020, let's look at the top 5 concerns of small and medium-sized business owners, and how sustainability can answer many of these worries for the post-COVID economy.
It's understandable that the number one concern for small businesses at the moment are poor sales. Given the on-going attempts to re-open society in many parts of the world, it will be a slow process to increase trade to the levels they were pre-COVID.
However, this slow increase back to the new normal is an ideal time to inject new and innovative products and services into your system. Not only is sustainable development one of the most reliable sources for better products
, but people today are willing to pay more for these sustainable products
. So if you're looking to increase sales in any aspect of your business, promoting sustainable products is a proven way to do so.
Quality of Labour
As COVID-19 affects a business' sales, so too does it affect their work force. As unemployment reaches record highs
, companies that are trying to stay in business will want to hire the best people in their industry to carry them through society's re-opening and beyond.
What if I told you one of the best ways to attract talent was to openly discuss your company's commitment to sustainability
? Half of young employees would rather work for someone who promotes sustainability through their business, while only one third of employees actually feel that their company thinks about sustainability at all. In today's world, there's no better way to build an amazing team than becoming a more sustainable business.
Taxes are always an importance influence when running a business, but there are ways that sustainability can help you reduce them. The government is giving subsidies
for the research and application of green products, and there are tons of programs that exist
to help fund businesses that are dedicated to promoting sustainability. Not only will sustainable business practices increase your profits, but there are also ways that they can reduce your costs. It's a win-win!
While circumnavigating government regulations can often lead to hurdles for your business, the Canadian government has an entire regulatory division
that aims to promote sustainable development in Canada. So if you're looking to start a business or make any large legal changes to an existing business, it would actually be easier for you to do so by integrating sustainability into your business practices.
Competition from Large Businesses
Small and medium-sized businesses often worry about how they can compete
with large corporations, who often have more money and resources to make more products. Despite this, smaller businesses have many advantages over large corporations, including flexibility, personability and openness to innovation. Given its complex and experimental nature, these are the exact conditions necessary to foster real sustainability in the world. So if you're looking for that competitive advantage, using sustainability can help you get a leg up on large corporations while also taking care of your company's stakeholders.
Sustainability is not a silver bullet, and it's of critical importance that it's implemented in responsible ways. With that being said, there is no better time for businesses to become more sustainable and lead the charge out of the COVID-19 pandemic into a new normal, where people and planet are put before profits.
Wondering how to get there? That's Common Better