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To better understand how companies are handling the COVID-19 pandemic, UPS launched a weekly survey to take the pulse of small and medium-sized businesses across the United States. The second installment of this survey went to more than 800 U.S.-based respondents between March 31 and April 6.
In keeping with the first week of survey data, challenges from the pandemic remain pervasive. When asked what steps they are taking to prepare their business for the post-coronavirus environment, many respondents indicated a “wait-and-see” approach.
Yet several small and medium-sized businesses are navigating the crisis in creative and productive ways, using this moment to prepare for whatever may come next.
With dramatic changes to “business as usual,” many respondents are now offering new pickup and delivery options previously unavailable to their customers.
Others have put new incentives in place to spur immediate purchasing and capture pent-up demand when the pandemic subsides.
Some businesses are exploring international opportunities to find customers outside the U.S. who might still be looking to purchase their products. And many businesses have moved their in-person interactions online.
As one respondent noted: “When you can't get in front of people, it’s easy to feel like business is slipping away, so we’re trying more social media outreach, as well as direct email.”
Many small and medium-sized businesses across the U.S. quickly retooled their operations to manufacture pandemic-related supplies. Such businesses are meeting an urgent need while also keeping their staffs employed.
“Several small and medium-sized businesses are navigating the crisis in creative and productive ways, using this moment to prepare for whatever may come next.”
We’ll take a closer look at some of those heroic entrepreneurs later this week on Longitudes.
Other respondents are using this time to develop or manufacture new products to better position their business when customer demand returns to normal.
Many respondents said they are using this slowdown to handle administrative tasks and business challenges they previously didn’t have sufficient time to address.
Others are enhancing their digital presence by sprucing up their website with new content or fixing online issues for a better customer experience. And many businesses are strategizing by mapping out potential scenarios for the future.
As one respondent stated, “We are not sure what the future holds, but we are ready to adapt to whatever is necessary to succeed.”
UPS will deploy this survey every week to monitor the continuously evolving influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on small and medium-sized businesses.
You can find the first entry in the series here.
Header image: Unsplash/Elodie Oudot
Longitudes explores and navigates the trends reshaping the global economy and the way we’ll live in the world of tomorrow: logistics, technology, e-commerce, trade and sustainability. Which path will you take?