While the categorisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) differs from country to country, it is fair to say that they make up the majority of the businesses operating around the world.
From cafes and florists, right through to law firms and other specialist services, SMEs are often described at the backbone of the economy.
In recent months though, these organisations have been hit hard.
Many had to close their doors overnight, unable to adapt as quickly to remote working as larger businesses, and have suffered as contracts and orders were cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
In fact, our recent research has found that 50% of SMEs across Europe expect lower profits this year compared to 36% of larger rivals.
As countries start to open back up post-lockdown, SMEs now face the new challenge of getting back to work safely and successfully.
Becoming more digital
Speaking to our SME customers, it became clear that those who have weathered the storm well had highly digital models, services and products.
We’ve also seen a mind-set shift amongst these business owners during Covid-19. Priorities now include finding the right tech, managing resources efficiently and digitalising operations. And it can be difficult to know where to begin.
With this in mind, we have created the V-Hub.
Offering expert support for our SME customers on the key aspects of operating in a more digitalised world, this resource service will cover topics such as website construction, security, remote working and digital marketing.
Customers will have access to online guides, videos and webinars, and a chat service puts businesses directly in touch with the experts to discuss specific issues and get more tailored information.
Content will also cater to different levels of understanding, from beginners to those with greater knowledge of digital services.
This will also build an environment for our own community within Vodafone Business to share the latest SME focused learnings and best practice from across Europe, creating a centre of excellence to support these crucial organisations.
Driving greater resilience
Small changes can have a big impact.
Something as simple as keeping websites up-to-date with the latest trading information and opening hours can make a real difference in the short term, while moving applications and services to the Cloud can drive bigger benefits in the long term and help future-proof the business.
Great resources and support will help put SMEs in a strong position to return to business but also safeguard their resilience in the future.