NORTH DAKOTA BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ADAPTING TO CHANGE

Laventure surveyed business owners across North Dakota to gauge business confidence for the remainder of 2020.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

VERY LOW CONFIDENCE44%39%ADAPT
Less than 23% have confidence in the business climate for remainder of 2020Expect revenues to shrink 20% or more in 2020Feel it will take more than one year to return to normal business activitySmall businesses are adapting their business models to COVID conditions

LAVENTURE’S ANALYSIS

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many small businesses to modify their business model to meet the decreased demand while remaining safe for employees and customers. While many businesses were not subject to North Dakota executive orders, the dramatic drop of basic economic activity has many reevaluating products and services and investment projections for the remainder of 2020.

Recently, Laventure collected data through an online survey from May 4-7 of business owners in North Dakota. The respondents were a cross section of industry leaders from agriculture and energy, healthcare, retail or hospitality, construction and manufacturing, and professional services. Some key findings:

  • The areas of most concern for the remainder of 2020:
    • 38.5% – It will take more than one year to return to normal business
    • 35.5% – Will experience significant losses in business demand
    • 30.8% – There will be a new COVID breakout before the end of 2020;
  • Nearly 30% anticipate decreases in business investments in 2020;
  • Almost 76% of the respondents indicated they have changed their business model in response to the COVID pandemic economic downturn including reduced hours or personnel, added or changed products and services, modified their target customers or industries, increased work from home options;
  • While 63.1% of the respondents applied for some form of government program or assistance, 10.7% felt that their business may still close or reduce operations;
  • The level of business confidence by respondents (Strong or Very Strong) rises from 22.8% in 2020 to 35.2% for 2021.

These results underscore an understandable hesitance in the business community for the remainder of 2020. The majority of respondents gave a “fair” rating to their current business confidence, and regaining customer demand and confidence will be a longer process, likely taking up to 12 months.

Willingness and ability to be adaptable will be key going forward. Realigning target customers and services demonstrates a keen awareness of a changing economy, while effectively communicating this to your customers and your employees.

Regaining the trust of your employees and customers will not happen overnight. It’s time to set a course for recovery and communicate your vision to meet their expectations and shore up your business’ bottom line for 2020, and into 2021.

THE NEXT STEPS

Businesses can take tangible actions to set a course for recovery. In addition to staying informed of government actions impacting the economy, customers and employees need to hear how businesses plan to emerge from the downturn.

  • Determine realistic projections and actions required for the remainder of 2020
  • Follow the CDC and the ND Department of Health safe distancing and operating guidelines
  • Engage professionals to reach your current and future customers with a strategic digital marketing and communications plan to put your business back on track
  • Be assertive in communicating with audiences; include digital ads and direct mail pieces to set your business apart from competitors
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