The pandemic has adversely impacted businesses of all kinds, startups and small businesses even more.
In a published news report, Eileen Rodriguez, University of South Florida’s Regional Director of the Florida Small Business Development Center, shares that COVID-19 has damaged nearly every enterprise. “We work with a lot of small businesses throughout Tampa Bay, and what we’re seeing is that virtually all of them have been affected negatively by COVID. A lot of them have seen a distinct decrease in their cash flow, their profitability, and their ability to connect with vendors.”
Still, she says many of Florida’s entrepreneurs are fighters. “They are looking for any which way possible to keep their businesses going. For people who own small enterprises, their businesses are like their children.” True enough, resilience is an inherent character trait for many of these founders, and a lot of them are upping their technology game to survive.
The need for digital transformation
It’s no secret that COVID is conclusively shaking up systems, societies, and perspectives. As we all continue to work, interact, and shop in the digital space, best believe that business leaders are trying to adapt, too. As a matter of fact, South Florida Business Journal shares that e-commerce businesses in Florida have seen dramatic boosts in consumer engagement, with some brands seeing an almost 45% jump in sales. Collectively, another report cites that over 20% of Americans said they used “e-commerce more frequently to purchase products they once would typically buy in-store.”
More than anything, present circumstances are a culmination of digital transformation for sectors everywhere. The guidelines for attaining business victory have altered and are ever more dependent on the power of virtual capacities.
Among all the directions the pandemic is forcing the world to take, two stand out: the demand for business leaders to bravely address neglected workforce rights and benefits, and the irreversible need for companies to adapt to strong and labor saving digital business models. And while virtual initiatives are far from foreign to a lot of businesses, there’s never been a crisis as strong as COVID to force founders and leaders to rise to the challenge.
If anything, the number one shared opportunity for entrepreneurs is to shape businesses into modernized organizations. To do so, enterprises will have to figure out where new business value thrives in the next normal, what strategies help define and sustain it, and what materials and practices will augment the versatility and endurance these strategies call for.
Disruption in technology is instantaneously repositioning conventional industry limitations and progressively forcing companies to partner with others, and build new collaborative approaches towards digital environments. Today, marketing studies predict that virtual ecosystems will be valued at more than $60 trillion in revenue in the next five years. On the other hand, digital business models should do entrepreneurs a lot of good, too. Because corporate virtual atmospheres are data-led, adaptive, and asset-light, companies have the advantage of building grittier, more agile, and smarter teams.
All in all, a business’s propensity to harness value from data will be the core of this adjustment. More degenerated, in-person, predictive data can allow decisions to be relayed to multiple machines and partners. It can empower in-person workforces to deliver improved customer experiences and build healthier collaborations. Simultaneously, as internet-based interactions with consumers grow, businesses should learn to move forward in protecting their data security.
Learning from previous experiences, enterprises have to make sure that their virtual adjustments are anchored on well though-of strategies backed up cross-functional and remote teams that perfectly understand the roles they play, and the performance metrics they’re measured on.
Tech startups can aid crises
In an earlier report by Engine, the publication talked about Florida-based Capice’s efforts in extending COVID aid to frontline researchers. According to the press release, the AI startup “announced that it would be offering coronavirus researchers free access to its platform in order to quickly analyze data that can be used to combat the virus.” And because Capice’s expertise revolves around automation and digitized efforts, it makes perfect sense why Gordon McDonald, the brand’s CEO, is responding to the government’s call to action for “the Nation’s artificial intelligence experts to develop new text and data mining techniques that can help the science community answer high-priority scientific questions related to COVID-19.”
In the report, McDonald is quoted saying, “I read the call and thought that this is a chance to help solve a bigger problem, and if they need it and I’ve got it — and it’s easy to use — then they can have it for free.”
The tech startup’s press release also has McDonald on file encouraging researchers to reach out to Capice to gain “immediate access to the platform’s neutral network.”
There is no denying the numbers: a news source accurately cites that Florida’s unemployment rate is rising quickly. With various parts of the state providing increasing unemployment rates of their own, SunSentinel hits the nail on the head when they say, “it could be years before Florida’s jobs recover from COVID-19.”
There are several takeaways from all of this, but from a business and employment standpoint, the conclusion is clear: unless enterprises embrace digital transformation, and until professionals learn to up-skill and adapt to technological proficiencies, we will not make it. If you have tech ideas you want to discuss or pandemic solutions you’d like to explore with us, give us a call! We’re all ears!