42% of self-employed workers and SMEs changed their business model during the containment measures, according to a survey by the Neutral Union for the Self-Employed (SNI).
“Where before the crisis only half of the entrepreneurs made their products or services known online in one way or another,” the SNI said. “Today, eight out of ten entrepreneurs are now online in one way or another.”
Other independents and SMEs have even started marketing other products or services.
“The coronavirus has forced entrepreneurs to adapt,” said SNI President Christine Mattheeuws. “It has made them realise that some things don’t bring in much and are in fact too expensive, or made them realise that other new products and services can also be developed,” she said. “This awareness may have been beneficial for some,” Mattheeuws added.
Before the crisis, one in four entrepreneurs did not have sufficient reserves, the SNI reminded, and the coronavirus pandemic may have forced many of them to face reality and question their way of doing business.
More than half (53%) of the entrepreneurs surveyed also indicated that they would take these new working methods into account in the future, the SNI said, concluding that “entrepreneurship will never be the same again”.
The SNI surveyed 863 self-employed workers and SMEs.