Thriving vs. Surviving

Small Business Covid

Navigating the post-COVID landscape for small and medium-size businesses

The past two years have been difficult for US businesses, to say the least. Small and medium-size businesses have been no exception and, in many ways, have been hit hardest by the “pandemic economy”. However, for many, there is a silver lining fast approaching.

For those that had the cash flow to ultimately weather the storm and emerge triumphantly from some of the toughest times their business may have ever faced, they just might look in the mirror only to find that the business they see is not the same one they started with, and, that’s likely not a bad thing. In fact, many will find that they’ve become leaner, smarter, and just outright better-prepared. For those that recognize this as an opportunity for transformation, the opportunities in a post-COVID world are plentiful. But how do you transition from “survival mentality” into the next chapter of your business? And, what exactly makes this opportunity so special?

At a high level, the key to your business thriving today starts with the same core concept that likely propelled you through the uphill climb that started over two years ago. Simply put, teamwork. A Paya customer that we spoke with from the Midwest has gone as far as giving employees that stuck with them through the entirety of the pandemic an ownership stake in the business. They stated that the decision was a “no-brainer”, commenting: “We couldn’t think of anybody better-suited to get us past this and keep things running smoothly than the terrific folks that got us to this point.” Another customer in Texas said that their small management team had learned more about what it takes to run their business over the course of the last two years than he could have taught them in a lifetime, under normal circumstances.

Work with your business leaders and employees to reassess your competitive landscape and determine the best path forward for the business that each of you are now more invested in than ever. A collaborative approach will allow each team member to put a sharper edge on the skills that they’ve learned over the past two years, and ultimately adapt those skills to solve for today’s challenges in ways that you may not have thought possible just a short time ago. Furthermore, few things will shift the mindset of your employees from “surviving” to “thriving” more quickly than being part of the solution. Build the future of your business alongside those that got it this far, and you can’t go wrong.

As to the immediate opportunity and what it means for your business: consider that over the course of the last two years, nearly one-third of small and medium-size businesses in the US were forced to close their doors. At the same time, according to the Visa Spending Momentum Index, more than half of US consumers are now on pace to spend more than they did in 2019, 2020, and 2021. What this leaves us with is a classic “Economics 101” scenario where supply has decreased and demand is steadily rising, and that spells big opportunity for those who act now to position their business for success.

Think ahead, be prepared. What would it look like if business increased by 10%, 20%, or even 50% in a short time. Are your current processes built to support an increase of that magnitude? What about the systems and apps that you use to run your business? Most important of all, what about cash flow?

Put your business and your team in a position to succeed by optimizing cashflow, enabling you to meet increased demand and better capitalize on the current market opportunity. You can do this by reducing inventory and increasing liquidity, or by simply knowing your borrowing power should the need to borrow arise. An even simpler solution to meet cashflow demands is to more quickly convert customer balances into customer payments. Doing so may not be as difficult as you think and can often be achieved by simply expanding the payment methods that you accept, or improving and expanding the way(s) in which you accept them, quickly turning “net 60” into the cashflow boost that your business needs

As a leader in integrated payments for over three decades, Paya has established a reputation for innovative commerce technology and payments solutions that, at their very core, are designed to help businesses increase their financial health by improving process and ensuring exceptional commerce experiences. Be sure to check out our case studies, or learn more about how Paya can help your business thrive.