What’s the biggest challenge small businesses face coming out of the pandemic?
Dancing with fear – overcoming an all-pervading sense of fear and uncertainty. The cushioning against Covid-19’s full impact, with furloughed workers and bank loan payment holidays, could present a false reality, preventing firms from restarting trading in dynamic and different ways. Small firms need to look at regenerative business models to restore prosperity without resorting to defensive or protective strategies.
What are you most excited about in today’s small businesses?
The really exciting ones have a genuine passion and a vision to make their dream into a reality. A crisis requires courage and commitment to stick with a vision. There are many entrepreneurs with those qualities and I’m hopeful they will pull through.
What role can technology play?
Technology has to be viewed in terms of who it serves, rather than just what it does, with humans at the very top. It has to be in the service of what we want it to do. It’s in the service of science when it comes to finding cures for pandemics and in the service of efficiency as we create aqueducts to move money around more effectively.
What excites you most about what might be possible over the next five years?
I get excited about democratisation of technology. It makes my heart leap when a London Underground busker has payment technology enabling electronic tipping. What other problems can technology solve for the small guy?
To read more of Simon Jones’ insights, check out the full interview below.