Three Trends that Frighten Small Businesses

Topics: Small Business

Summary: Empty buildings, ever-changing business models, and a mass exodus from the workforce – oh my! This article takes a closer look at some of the “scary” small business trends 2021 has brought for companies across the country.

Halloween is synonymous with scary costumes, spooky decorations and terrifying tales of things that go “bump” in the night. As the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic that began in early 2020, many small businesses are still finding ways to adapt to a new normal a full year and a half later. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the scary small business trends 2021 has brought, mostly due to the pandemic.

1. Ever-Evolving Business Models

Companies that survived throughout the pandemic had one major characteristic in common: they could quickly adapt their business models. Restaurants that offered takeout and delivery kept their heads above the water, while retail operations that offered online shopping options also stayed afloat. Experts aren’t sure whether foot traffic will ever get back to their pre-pandemic levels, speculation that can seriously terrify many types of small businesses.

Ecommerce was already on the rise before COVID-19, but it spiked in March 2020 and after. Now, experts estimate that by 2024, online shopping will represent over 19% of global retail sales. Business owners must take note of how the market is shifting and will continue to change to stay innovative in the years to come.

2. Office Buildings Turned into Ghost Towns

The small business trend of remote work has turned many office buildings into shells of the bustling centers they used to be. Even before the coronavirus pandemic shut down businesses across the United States in March 2020, many employers in a variety of industries started to transition to remote workforces, with a 159% growth between 2005 and 2017. Now, 57% of small and medium-sized business owners report they will continue to offer work from home options even after the pandemic has ended. Employers should invest in technology that makes it easy for employees to stay connected, as well as ensure their systems are protected from cyber threats. It’s more important than ever that small businesses create robust work from home policies to ensure their employees are set up for success no matter their location.

3. A Mass Exodus of the Workforce to Start New Ventures

Are you picturing a group of zombies in business-casual attire stumbling out of a nondescript office building? Well, perhaps it’s not the undead seeking new opportunities, but globally, there has been a flood of new businesses rising up in the wake of the pandemic. McKinsey reports that in the third quarter of 2020, there were more than 1.5 million new-business applications in just the United States, which was about double the figure for the same period in 2019.

While these trends can certainly be bone-chilling, the good news is that the COVID-19 pandemic also led to a spike in support for local or small businesses. Consumers noted how these businesses struggled to stay open and often made more effort to shop small.

AmTrust Can Help Protect Your Small Business

AmTrust can help ease the fears small businesses face. Our small business insurance solutions include workers’ compensation, businessowners policies, cyber liability coverage and so much more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect your small business, now and in the future.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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