As we start the descent of 2020, what has been an unprecedented, unpredictable, and unexpected year, small business owners and entrepreneurs continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, corporations like Salesforce are committed to supporting small businesses as they navigate the new way of life. To learn more about how COVID-19 is affecting small businesses and what qualities small businesses need to overcome immense roadblocks, such as the ones presented this year, SBJ correspondent Chloe Caldwell spoke with Enrique Ortegon, the Salesforce SVP of Sales. Check out what he had to say below.

Chloe Caldwell: What are a few ways that small businesses have had to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Enrique Ortegon: The pandemic has driven deep changes in the way we live our lives. Suddenly executives find themselves being teachers for their kids, living rooms have become offices, and many of our paradigms are shifting. This is no different for Small Businesses, who have had to adjust in more ways than we can imagine. One of those adjustments is the prioritization, or acceleration, of their digital transformation strategies. Our world has become even more digitized. SMBs rely on the close relationships they have with their customers in order to thrive. Those relationships are now mostly through digital channels. Those who were already on the digital transformation journey have been forced to accelerate (sometimes even by years) their plans, while some others have suddenly turned it into their number one priority. We, at Salesforce, have been able to help our customers with such acceleration and prioritization by providing them with a proven, safe, and scalable platform that allows them to face these challenges much better and respond much faster.

Secondly, we have seen a shift in business prioritization for these SMBs. Many had to adapt and use their existing infrastructure to develop new products and services to meet a different demand surge. For example, coffee shops that normally prioritized a sit-down breakfast experience shifted to operating as a general goods distributor and grocery store. The agility that these businesses showcased — to be able to build entirely new ways of work and driving revenue with only the existing resources they had on-hand at that moment — was truly astounding.

Going forward, having survived through this pandemic and being thrust into a digitally-native way of work, these small businesses will be better prepared for future challenges, but also future opportunities. They now will have the ability to act on new opportunities faster, providing them with longer-term success in addition to their short-term survival.

See the full interview HERE


  • Jay Block

    CEO Small Business Journal

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