Continuous learning helps SMEs adapt and survive

Now, more than ever, continuous learning is becoming a vital tool for individuals and businesses to remain resilient.

The pandemic has forced small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adapt by offering new services and hiring the right talent. Now, more than ever, continuous learning is becoming a vital tool for individuals and businesses to remain resilient.

“We’re living through unprecedented and challenging times. As the coronavirus pandemic has forced a rethink of how we live, play, and work, companies large and small have had to pivot, adapt, and change in order to survive and thrive,” said LinkedIn News Senior Editor for Asia Chris C. Anderson in a press statement.

Learning to pivot

Ticket2Me, an online system that manages ticketing services for events, has started offering their services for telemedicine support for doctors and fundraising events.

“Our main business halted when all of our clients stopped organizing live events due to lockdowns. The future looked bleak, but it also made us realize that we could use our infrastructure for fundraising campaigns for frontliners. Since then, we have partnered with many organizations for this purpose, with a lifetime fund raised of almost Php20M.

“We have also launched another recovery project called Dok2Me, a patient scheduling system that facilitates online consultations with doctors of all specializations. It uses Ticket2Me technology to confirm appointments and collect payments from patients,” said Ticket2Me Founder and CEO Darwin Mariano.

Artificial intelligence, human compassion

Ralph Vincent Regalado, CEO and founder of Senti AI, a company that helps humans and organizations work efficiently with artificial intelligence, shared the importance of adapting to changes quickly and being ready to hire talent that can support your business growth.

“When the crisis happened, we decided to immediately freeze hiring because we were entering uncharted lands. However, our survival strategy proved successful and, instead, we’ve started hiring more during the pandemic because of the sudden increase in our sales pipeline,” Regalado said.

As their team expanded, Senti AI also laid out their plans to take care of the health and welfare of their growing team. Moving forward, over the course of quarantine, he shared they are hiring roles that focus on tech and digital skills for their growing business: project manager, technical sales engineer, software engineering manager, solutions architect, data scientist, copywriter, product manager, software engineer, business development officer, and human resources officer.

Solving frustrations

Continuous learning has helped Ginger Arboleda, co-founder of Taxumo, an online tax filing system that allows professionals to file and pay taxes in minutes, remain resilient in spite of challenges brought by the pandemic.

Over the duration of the community quarantine, Arboleda noted it was interesting to see the high demand for filing and paying taxes online. To accommodate the demand, Taxumo is looking for tech roles such as junior developers who can work in their engineering team to continuously develop the product.

“We have this mission of keeping talent here in the Philippines. We want to see Filipinos with great skill deployed in our own country. And the jobs that we all have in Taxumo are very fulfilling as we know that we are helping make systemic changes in the government. It’s a true testament to the fact that the private sector and the government can work together,” she said.

Streamlining customer experiences

JJ Yulo, a food consultant who has been supporting local restaurants through his food tours, has shared that the restaurant industry should start adapting to new technology and make the process for customers more efficient.

“They’ve pretty much been blindsided, just like everyone else. And everyone has to figure out what moves to do on their own. Streamline the experience, yet make it true to the brand. Innovate, or revisit things that people will always like. Be thoughtful and most importantly, be true. If you really think about it, truthfulness is what people are seeking now,“ Yulo said.

He believes that similar to other industries, F&B enterprises will need to harness technology to thrive moving forward.

For his part, LinkedIn Vice President for Talent and Learning Solutions in Asia Pacific Feon Ang emphasized the importance of continuous learning.

“For leaders, understanding how to manage teams virtually, keeping team members engaged, and the organizational culture alive is important. In addition, soft skills remain relevant across a wide range of jobs. Creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are key soft skills that businesses are encouraged to adopt to thrive in the new normal,” he said.

To help SMES embrace continuous learning, LinkedIn has various resources available for them, and has also beefed up its resources for businesses of all sizes.

How about you? Are you embracing continuous learning?