The coronavirus pandemic has devastated many small and medium-sized businesses across America over the last two years, but many who have survived have come out stronger on the other side with new technologies and streamlined operations.
Carlyn Parker, the director of operations at Dependable Cleaners in Massachusetts, said that the coronavirus pandemic "decimated" the dry cleaning industry as her business's sales plummeted to 10% of prepandemic levels.
"It really made all of us look at every single thing that we do every day and say, ‘Is it necessary? Is it not necessary? Or could we do it a better way?’" Parker told FOX Business about her mindset at the time.
Dependable Cleaners incorporated Verizon's One Talk phone system so that one number can ring on multiple devices. The One Talk app allows calls to ring on both your cell phone and/or business phone so calls never get missed in or out of the office. The app also has a texting feature so Dependable can directly text with customers on the go.
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The upgrades were game-changers for the company, which has been in Parker's family since 1944 when her grandparents started it.
"All of these efficiencies really made a difference for us to be able to stay in business over the last two years," Parker said.
About 63% of small business owners said last September that they were digitizing their business to enhance the customer experience, according to a survey conducted last year by Verizon and Morning Consult.
In many ways, the pandemic simply accelerated trends that were already happening, according to Verizon Business Markets President Aparna Khurjekar.
"Digital transformation, irrespective of the size of the business, was already in vogue before, prepandemic," Khurjekar told FOX Business. "What the pandemic did is pull forward, in many cases by years, the speed and pace of that transformation and speed and pace of adoption."
Three-quarters of small business owners now say that the changes they've made over the past year will help their business long term, according to a Salesforce report last year.
"The companies that have come out strong are a lot more confident about not just their future, but being able to differentiate in that future," Khurjekar said.