The coronavirus pandemic has brought about chaos for many UK SMEs, but raw entrepreneurism has risen through the uncertainty as businesses adapt and pivot to survive.
New research1 on the future of businesses from Cynergy Bank found that 70% of businesses have had to change their business model to survive during the pandemic.
9% have completely changed their business model, while 33% are now selling an additional range of goods or services and 28% are selling the same goods or services in a different way than they did before.
Unsurprisingly, office based and customer facing industries saw the biggest change to their business models, with 75% of office-based businesses and 74% of customer facing businesses, stating they have had to pivot their business to survive. The agricultural industry saw the least change to business models with only 30% of respondents noting a change, this was compared with 88% in the IT and computing industry.
Female business owners saw their businesses pivot the most with 76% having to change their business model as a result of the pandemic. This was compared with 67% of males. Business owners aged between 18-34 were more likely to have to adapt their business with 88% of respondents in this age group changing their business model compared with 52% of over 55’s.
Despite many SME’s having to completely alter their business model to survive the pandemic, 72% of SME’s think that their business is likely to survive. 22% have thrived during the pandemic and expect to continue to do so, rising to 25% among medium-sized businesses versus 20% of small-sized businesses. Just 4% of small and medium sized businesses think that they won’t make it.
Nick Fahy, CEO of Cynergy Bank commented, “The ability to adapt and change the business model at speed, has been vital to the survival of many SMEs during the pandemic. It is encouraging to see that SMEs are adapting their approach to navigate uncertain times, which will stand them in good stead for what may continue to be a challenging landscape for months to come. The optimism shown by UK SME’s is testament to their resilience in the face of challenging situations. At Cynergy Bank, we aim to support recovery and help SMEs thrive post pandemic.”