Facebook has released the latest iteration of its report on the state of small businesses, which measures the ongoing consequences of the pandemic on SMEs, and how the introduction of the vaccine is reflected in sales numbers, employment and more.
The report includes direct responses from over 35,189 small business leaders from around the world, including 10,262 U.S. business leaders, and the most recent survey period covers July 19 to August 7.
Given the impact of SMEs on the wider economy, this is a key pulse where business sense is set and what you can expect in the future. You can download the full 61-page report here, but we’ll take a look at some of the key points in this article.
First of all, Facebook notes that the closure rate of SMEs has fallen in the last period of the survey, suggesting it is an indicator of an ongoing recovery as vaccine introduction continues and we look to re-emerge after the pandemic.
According to Facebook:
“Approximately 18% of SMEs reported not working or engaging in any income-generating activities at the time of the survey. This represents a decrease of 12 percentage points from May 2020. “
But again, that makes sense. Businesses that were forcibly closed in previous periods are no longer closing forever, so at some stage, even if things don’t look much better, the closing rates themselves will improve, simply because fewer businesses are close.
This is also reflected in sales figures, with most SMEs reporting poorer overall sales results compared to July 2020 – and in general, even those who managed to stay open still do not record strong sales.
On the other hand, about 28% of operating companies reported higher sales compared to the same period last year, with European and North American companies, in particular, experiencing a revival.
This indicates a significant recovery in these regions, which is a consequence of wider vaccine acceptance and the reopening of more regions.
For most nations, the race will now reach an 80% + vaccination rate and reduce the impact of the virus, instead of completely curbing it. Overloading the health care system with patients with COVID has always been a key concern, and it seems that more and more nations are now facing the fact that the virus will exist and spread. It then comes down to limiting its effects, which, at a higher vaccination rate, can allow reopening on a gradually increasing scale.
The report also discusses the current impacts on women-owned and minority-owned businesses, which have been significantly affected by the pandemic.
There is also the perspective of digital marketing, and research has shown that more and more companies are now using digital tools, especially for advertising.
What you can expect will increase further as we enter the holiday season, and more and more companies are seeing an opportunity to increase their reach for enthusiastic and increasingly free customers. It could also increase competition for social media ad slots and increase auction prices – worth paying attention to in your planning.
It is also worth noting:
“Approximately 69% of SMEs reported that the use of digital tools had at least one positive impact on their business, such as an increase in sales or a customer base.”
Digital tools provide more benefits for more businesses, which are likely to cause an increase in digital tool downloads as we enter a recovery period, and see a recovery in broader economic activity.
There is a lot more insight into the full Facebook report that you can download here, which could provide you with valuable insight to help you maximize your marketing efforts.
Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.