During a recession, most companies aren’t spending to gain a profit, but rather, to capitalize on recovery. Now is not the time to think small, it’s time to think “scale.”
Scaling isn’t just a word for the good seasons. In fact, recessions may be the best time to look for integrated tools and technologies that will automate simple tasks and streamline your business. Simplifying your business with tools and technologies puts you in a great position to scale — even in down seasons like recessions.
There are many solutions specifically designed to help small to mid-sized businesses simplify their networking, security, collaboration, cloud, and internet connectivity needs.
In this guide, we’ve compiled checklists for a handful of business areas that you can start to look for ways to simplify, automate, or delegate.
Secure, Remote Workforce Tools
Today’s workforce spends 80% of its time in meetings, phone calls, and emails.
According to a National Small Business Association (NSBA) survey of more than 980 U.S. small businesses, between March and April the number of business owners and their employees working remotely doubled.
In today’s changing work environment, efficient collaboration is imperative to business success. Consider utilizing integrated technologies like smarter collaboration tools, improved conferencing platforms, and other reliable calling resources.
- Cloud-connected platform
- Wireless networking
- Virtual conferencing
- Reliable IP phone system
- Protected file sharing
- Collaborative virtual workspace
- workplace monitoring to ensure social distancing/employee safety
- VPN, Endpoint and DNS protection
The pandemic has transformed the way consumers shop and small businesses are responding by setting up shop online. E-commerce orders are up 54% in 2021 compared to the same period last year. According to Shopify, brick-and-mortar stores have been able to replace 94% of their in-store sales online. Your ability to deliver truly exceptional online customer experiences starts with choosing the right ecommerce platform for your business. Here are a few things to consider when looking to move your business online.
- Payment and information security
- Internet payment service provider
- Compliance visibility
- Robust analytics
- Scalable hardware
Cybersecurity Network Tools
A robust cybersecurity network is more essential than ever. In 2019, 78% of small businesses suffered a cyber-attack. A network that scales as your business grows enables you to add new features and functionality only as you need it. Designing your network with reliability and redundancy in mind will provide your business the continuity it needs to recover quickly from unplanned events, even major ones. It can also help protect your brand’s proprietary information and its reputation. Does your cybersecurity network check all of these boxes?
- DNS protection
- Endpoint protection
- VPN protection
- Password protection or user identity
- Cloud-based security
Business Continuity Plan Components
The COVID-19 pandemic forced small businesses around the world to ditch long-term plans for digital transformation. Many responded quickly by establishing a remote workforce and providing teams with new “essential” tools and technology. Although the majority of businesses are still in crisis management mode, some are exploring how these quick-fix transformations can become long-term solutions that help them grow on the other side of the recession.
- Disaster recovery plan
- Contingencies for processes, assets, human resources, and business partners
- Strategies for handling IT disruptions to networks, computers, servers, and mobile devices
You’re a visionary at heart and as a business owner, you are always thinking ahead about your best path forward. Use this checklist as a guide to build a strategy that sets your business up for short-term adaptation and long-term growth. You can find case studies showing how other businesses have pivoted during the pandemic in this eBook from our partners at Cisco.