How To Be Resilient: lessons on surviving a crisis
Many businesses have come into 2021 with significant hurdles ahead of them, unsure how lockdown 3 will impact their business and themselves personally. 

As part of Small Business Britain's work over the last three years to uncover the real role of small businesses in communities and the economy, the Small Business Britain: How To Be Resilient report takes an in-depth look at how small businesses have managed, survived or even battled through the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report looks into how you and your business have got through 2020 and what steps have been taken to keep the business going, adaptions ("pivots") made, any support received and outlook for the coming months and years.

The report aims to help businesses find ways forward and grow in hope and ambition, and has been developed not just as an insight into small businesses, but as a guide in “How To” make the best of a bad situation, based on the expertise and experience of successful small businesses throughout the pandemic so far.

How To Be Resilient looks into various aspects of small business survival, including:

  • Digital Skills: The impact and importance of going digital
  • Customer Relations: Engaging with customers and investing in relationships
  • Financial Planning: Forecasting, flexing costs and taking advantage of financial support
  • Give a Little to Get a Little: Community involvement and supporting other small businesses
  • Mindset: How to respond to challenges and remain positive
  • What’s Next: How your small business can plan for the future during difficult times

You can find a few of the key findings below; to download the full report click HERE

During the pandemic, there has been a big shift in digital of a speed never seen before, with going digital giving small businesses hope for a possible return to business. According to the report:

  • 58% of businesses increased their or their staff’s digital skills
  • 52% added new technology to the business

Digital skills has demonstrably played a key role in confidence:

  • 74% of those who did not increase their digital skills feel they will survive the next 12 months
  • 89% of those that did increase their digital skills feel they will survive
  • Of those that did not increase their digital skills, only 41% expect to grow this year
  • 57% of those who increased their digital skills expect to grow this year

Although a number of businesses have thrived during the pandemic due to being in unimpacted sectors, taking advantage of opportunities or adapting quickly, the majority of businesses (56%) are feeling the challenges but pressing on.

  • 37% of businesses have seen their revenues decrease by over 50% due to the pandemic

Survival & growth expectation in the next 12 months:

  • 49% of businesses are somewhat confident that their businesses will survive
  • 30% of businesses are very confident that their businesses will survive
  • 31% somewhat confident that their business will grow
  • 14% are very confident that their business will grow

The biggest challenge for small businesses is keeping the momentum going with the huge stresses that have been thrown at them for the last year.

The most important lesson to take away is to not try and do it on your own. There is a huge amount of help and goodwill available for small businesses and that is only getting bigger.

Reach out to your local communities and trusted partners such as your bank or accountant. Look for peers and peer support in places like Small Business Britain and our Small Business Saturday UK community.