Cisco and the National Small Business Association released their 2021 US Small Business Recovery and Technology report. Top concerns? Supply chain and cybersecurity issues.
- 51% of SMBs are navigating delays or closures in their supply chains.
- 41% face reduced customer demand for products and services (though that’s far better than the 56% reported in October 2020).
- 29% are facing increased employee absences.
Fully 21% of SMBs said the pandemic had actually boosted demand for their products and services.
On the risk mitigation front, 42% of business owners are very concerned about cybersecurity — though that’s down from 62% the previous year.
Intuit has released its QuickBooks New Business Insights report and predicts that up to 17 million new small businesses will be formed in 2022. Most could be single-person organizations. Of those 17 million new businesses, an estimated 5.6 million will hire employees.
Meanwhile, 88% of small businesses say online sales will be an essential source of revenue in 2022, and 97% say digital technology will be necessary to their business, according to the Small Business Insights report — a separate QuickBooks survey of 2,000 existing U.S. small business owners.
Entrepreneurs cite talent, digital optimization, and preparing for macroeconomic issues as their top challenges for 2022; the Small Business Insights survey results also found.
In research from JumpCloud, security priorities are focused around remote-hybrid work, and managing remote workers remains the top challenge, now at 57%, up from 53% in May. And 87% of respondents said they already have or plan to engage an MSP (up from 84% in May).
Why do we care?
Let’s work backward. Not a massive surprise that customers want to work with a provider. That’s the core value. The headline for me is that investment in online sales and digital technology, much more than what one hears about cybersecurity… which is dropping in importance despite the noise of attacks.
The real focus for providers should be on digital sales enablement and that ugly “digital transformation” space much more than pure cybersecurity.
I’ll note that those who figure out offerings for those single-person companies – which could be just consulting – will have a lot of potential targets. It’s a volume game, to be sure… but there’s opportunity there.