With out social media platforms, small companies lose one of the necessary instruments accessible to promote to and talk with prospects. 

A large data outage on October 5 that knocked offline Facebook and its umbrella of apps, together with Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger, served as an unlucky reminder of this level. For roughly six hours, 1000’s of small companies that use Fb to succeed in their prospects could not entry the platform. The outage value the corporate an estimated $5 billion, the BBC reported

In an interview with Inc.‘s editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk throughout the Inc. 5000 Imaginative and prescient Convention October 19, Fb’s chief working officer Sheryl Sandberg made a promise to small companies that the corporate was working onerous to make sure such crises would not occur once more. 

“It is our job to forestall these outages from occurring. They’re reminders to us, not that we’d like it, as a result of we see it each day, that your mother’s counting on us. And the small companies which are on this viewers in the present day are counting on us,” stated Sandberg. 

Sandberg stated that Fb’s engineers have already achieved a “deep dive” on what induced the outage, which the corporate has pinned on a network configuration change that occurred throughout routine upkeep of its servers.  

“The groups are doing all they will to forestall that from occurring once more,” she stated.

The platform just lately launched its eighth report on the state of small companies, which discovered that pandemic continues to take an financial toll in 2021. In keeping with the report, an estimated 18 p.c of firms (in comparison with 24 p.c in 2020) stay closed. Almost 20 p.c of women-owned small companies are shuttered (in comparison with 16 p.c of these owned by males), and companies owned by individuals of colour had been 50 p.c extra more likely to have closed. 

Sandberg expressed some optimism for the highway forward. A complete of 33 p.c of small companies reported that money movement issues had been prime of thoughts. “[Cash flow problems] is perhaps excellent news, as a result of as a enterprise is rising is usually while you begin to have these money movement issues,” she stated. 

Sandberg famous that for a lot of small companies, the pandemic accelerated a digital transformation that was already underway. Previous to the pandemic, a 3rd of small companies within the U.S. had no cell app or internet presence in any respect. She used the second to pitch Fb as the answer for companies to make that digital transition. 

“You are a small enterprise proprietor. You’re a baker. You’re a plumber… You are not a web-based tech professional. It is costly to arrange a cell web site, costly to arrange an online presence. So most likely crucial factor we do is present free instruments to get small companies on-line. In simply minutes you possibly can arrange a Fb presence or an Instagram presence, both as an individual or as a small enterprise and it is free,” stated Sandberg. 

Together with money movement issues, the report additionally indicated that 60 p.c of small companies struggled to pay business-related bills. In a bid to assist these companies, Fb just lately pledged to purchase $100 million of outstanding invoices in items and providers. 

“I feel Massive Tech firms, massive firms, anybody with the power to assist has to assist. So we’ll proceed constructing on these. We’ll proceed giving out coaching and we’ll proceed to attempt to be progressive and to seek out methods to assist,” she stated.

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