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SMBs and COVID-19

How small and mid-size business owners can thrive during the global pandemic and beyond.

  If there is one thing upon which we can all agree it is that, thus far, 2020 has been a challenging year.  Seemingly overnight we went from in-person meetings, client lunches and busy airports to virtual interactions, Zoom calls and remote learning.  Business of all types and sizes were forced to quickly pivot and find new ways to engage their teams, connect with customers and keep forward momentum.  Small and mid-size businesses have been particularly challenged by the pandemic as they do not have the same infrastructure and resources available to a large enterprise.  With every challenge, however, there comes opportunity.  A silver lining of the pandemic is that businesses now have the chance to revisit when, where and how they work.  Mindful of a few key considerations, business can make modifications and upgrades that will enhance their employee’s working experience and allow for greater efficiencies to strengthen customer engagement and satisfaction. Don’t Be Afraid of Change: There is no doubt that the sudden shift to remote working put pressure on small business to adapt to the rapidly evolving environment.  According to a recent survey found on SmallBizTrends.com, 92% of U.S. small businesses have had to reinvent themselves during the pandemic.  In many cases, business owners have had to entirely up-end how they service their customers and find alternative ways of engagement.  While this has certainly required creativity and agility, small and mid-size business owners are rising to the occasion.  It is as if the pandemic has given business owners freedom and permission to reinvent their operations model and make enhancements that they might have previously thought too difficult. Consider the Botetourt Golf & Swim Club*.  Located in Troutville, VA, the Club, like many outdoor recreational facilities, has been inundated with guests looking for a COVID-friendly escape.  Swamped with visitors, the staff was having a difficult time processing payments, managing the online tee sheets and providing seamless television service, among other customer amenities.  Not only did this slow down daily operations but it led to anxious employees and frustrated patrons.  The Club made the decision to work with our company to switch from copper to fiber and transfer the facility’s phones (cloud voice) internet (1G) symmetrical now, WIFI, and streaming TV products. The outcome was a smoother and faster operational experience for Club staff resulting in happier customers.  Club General Manager and Head Pro, Jeff Sprinkel, noted “the upgrade to fiber has been so impactful for our business that we were pleased to sign a multi-year agreement ensuring that we can seamlessly deliver on our commitment to customer satisfaction for years to come.” Invest Today for Tomorrow’s Benefit: In addition to the immediate benefit realized by their infrastructure upgrade, the Botetourt Golf & Swim Club has also laid the foundation for future success.  The investment the Club has made will pay off in the future.  Long-term, employees and guests will benefit from the more reliable speed and connectivity provided by the fiber upgrade.  This is something every small and mid-size business should consider.  What are the IT investments you can make now that will immediately improve your ability to better serve your employees and customers but that will also pay dividends down the road?  Implementing solutions that will give your business agility, flexibility and reliability will ensure you are prepared for however our workplace environment evolves. The pandemic has fostered an environment of uncertainty.  But, with careful evaluation and proper planning, small and mid-size business owners can take the reins and make prudent decisions that will give them confidence for the future.  By embracing the change, adopting a nimble mindset and investing in solutions that will afford maximum flexibility and reliability, business owners can be certain they are employing solutions that will allow them to be successful today, tomorrow and beyond. To learn more about how Lumos Networks’ fiber-based solutions can help transform your business visit www.lumosnetworks.com. * Botetourt Golf & Swim Club is a customer of Lumos Networks, a premier fiber internet provider based in Virginia.  Lumos Networks is owned by Charlotte-based Segra. 

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