The pandemic has had a huge impact on small businesses of almost every industry across the United States. Different businesses have been using varying ways to adjust to the disruption.
To gain insight into the ways small businesses have been adapting to new ways of conducting business, DHL Express carried out a survey.
The DHL 2021 Mid-Year SME Survey gathered more than 1,000 responses from its SME customers in the US. The responses were focused on how the businesses had adjusted so far in 2021 and their plans for the rest of the year.
DHL Small Business Shipping Survey
Among the key findings of the report is widespread discontent with shipping. Almost half (45%) of respondents said they would be willing to have their photos and texts publicly leaked – hypothetically of course – if it meant their businesses would never have to worry about shipping delays and other issues again.
One leading business trend the health crisis created was a greater reliance on selling online, with consumers being forced to shop online. With more merchants selling products over the internet, the demand for seamless, stress-free shipping is more prevalent than ever.
Small Businesses are Investing in Company Growth
DHL’s survey confirms the urgency for flawless shipping among the small business community. In order to risk losing customers through unreliable shipping, not to mention the additional stress and worry shipping issues creates, merchants may want to consider using reputable shipping companies to take care of this essential part of selling.
As the authors of the report note: “Overall, the survey findings suggest that while SMEs are still feeling the impacts (both negative and positive) of the pandemic, they are continuing to invest in the growth of their businesses. Working with an experienced logistics partner like DHL, can help these SMEs navigate the challenges outlined in the survey.”
Among the positive findings was 48% of small businesses experienced a Year-on-Year increase in revenue in Q1 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
Issues Around Trading Overseas
The study also looked at businesses’ concerns about trading in different countries. It found that an overwhelming majority (88%) of businesses had not experienced any changes when trading with Mexico and/or Canada since the US-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA), which came into force in July 2020.
However, more than half of the respondents said one of their biggest business challenges of 2021 so far has been supply chain delays.
Key Staffing Challenges
50% of the business owners surveyed said that talent shortages has not been an issue with their business in 2021. 30% said finding the right talent is their leading staffing challenge. 12% of respondents flagged compensation and/or benefits as their biggest recruitment challenge, and 8% said it was staff retention.
DHL’s 2021 Mid-Year SME Survey highlights some important issues impacting small businesses across the United States. While staffing seems to remain predominantly buoyant, reliable shipping continues to be a leading issue, confirming the importance for vendors to invest in their business by using a reputable shipping company.