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How Small Businesses Have Adapted Since COVID


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In 2020 the Coronavirus pandemic changed almost everything about the way we live and work, and small businesses were at the frontline in the battle to survive. Entire industries have had to adapt faster than ever before to keep up with consumer needs, all while working from home offices under continually changing and uncertain circumstances. Now, as the debris of the crisis slowly settles around us and we survey a landscape that looks very different from the one we knew in 2019, we consider some of the ways we’ve seen small businesses reinvent themselves to survive these extraordinary times - and what this means for hiring and for candidates seeking new jobs.

Everybody is a digital marketer.


Businesses are more reliant now on digital marketing than ever before. In the absence of being able to conduct face-to-face business, events or networking, a digital marketing strategy - including social media, SEO and content marketing - is vital.


Digital marketing has enabled businesses to reach significantly larger audiences - who could become customers - in a cost-effective and measurable way. As consumer behaviour has changed, an effective digital marketing strategy has enabled businesses to keep up, keep in touch, and stay in the game. As a result, businesses are always looking for experienced, qualified digital marketers to join their teams and execute these strategies. If your business is looking for a digital marketer, Instapeople can help


Businesses learned to pivot.


When the severity of the pandemic became clear in March of 2020, businesses had to learn to adapt or die. We’ve always heard the words “agile” and “lean” when it comes to SMEs, but in 2020 businesses were truly put to the test. A simple browse of the internet reveals the creativity with which savvy business owners adapted their services to stay afloat.


Restaurant owners started home food delivery services, events companies started building and selling furniture, dress-makers began designing homeware… Some more successful now than they ever were before. Small businesses are looking for flexible and creative people to join them, who will be able to react fast to change and uncertainty.


Girl receiving a package from the courier, at her home.

E-commerce capabilities are vital.


If a business wasn’t selling online before 2020, it certainly is now. E-commerce has grown beyond recognition since the beginning of the pandemic - and with changes in customer behaviour and buying habits, a robust e-commerce platform is more vital now than ever before. Businesses need people with the digital skills to support these, and to capitalise on customer trends and buying habits.


Remote working and flexibility are becoming the norm.

In 2020, we all worked from home, and with smart tools in place to stay connected and on track, employees ensured their companies survived and even thrived. Pandora’s box has been opened, and the working world may not ever be the same again. All businesses now need to offer remote work and flexibility if they want to attract the best talent, and business owners are investing in tools to improve the remote working experience all the time.


Adult woman working from home and enjoying remote work with a video call.

Brand stories are more important than ever.


Branding has always been essential for businesses of all sizes - for attracting customers and building relationships with them. In a post-COVID world, an intentional and engaging brand story adds an extra level of depth that elevates those customer relationships.


Being socially aware, personal, and authentic is the best way for small brands and businesses to win customer loyalty. To achieve this, we go back to the importance of digital marketing and storytelling - not just the strategy and tactics, but the “why” behind it all. Businesses who are hiring are looking for candidates who understand their brand story, and who are able to not just tell it, but embody it in their work.


It’s safe to say the working world changed almost beyond recognition in 2020, and in the aftermath, a theme has emerged: businesses who have the right people and the right tools in place are better able to adapt, survive and thrive in the face of whatever might come their way.



If you’re looking for great people for your business, without hassle and stress, InstaPeople is here to discover them for you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss how we can help you.

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