Business in the Covid era: Less sleep and more innovation

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Good afternoon,

Since late March, signs of coronavirus-related stress have been apparent in the business community.

Occasionally, those pressures show up in conversations and social media posts. Your heart goes out to these individuals as you witness their struggles.

The pressures were not lessened by today’s news that the President and First Lady tested positive for the virus – at a time when we are seeing a resurgence here and elsewhere.

Earlier this week, Comcast Business sent along with the findings of a study of nearly 600 small and mid-sized business owners on their management of the pandemic and their degree of optimism.

Comcast Business has more than a routine interest in how businesspeople deal with Covid-19. We are now in an era of Zoom and other video technologies that have become essential.

The good news– even though 86 percent of respondents are experiencing a decline in business revenue, 78 percent feel prepared for another spike after rethinking how they do business.

Among the findings:

  • 65 percent of owners identified themselves as stressed due to the impact of Covid-19 on their business
  • 68 percent admit to losing at least one hour of sleep per night.
  • Only one-in-five businesses resumed normal operations, while more than half predict six months to a year, with about a quarter believing it will take more than a year.

At the same time, nearly one-third of owners admitted they would have never implemented now-necessary technologies – with nearly one-quarter projecting it would have taken them one to three years to realize such changes in normal times.

One troubling finding – 43 percent of those surveyed turned to no one for advice. And whilemany technology companies introduced free solutions and offerings for small businesses more than eight in ten did not take advantage of such opportunities, the survey reported.

Many options are available for those who have not sought out advice, ranging from organizations like SCORE and the Small Business Development Centers to companies that specialize in information technology services.

On the plus side, the struggles have led to owners seeing themselves as more tech-savvy. That has led to more confidence in innovating and sustaining their businesses.

Enjoy your weekend and stay safe. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer

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