Nobody can deny (except for people who have spent the last decade under a rock and with no contact with the outside world) that the recent most used medical term is coronavirus or COVID-19 (for short).
You don’t even need to be a medical practitioner to know the word or have a clue of its implications, neither does the word reflect an impact on our health and wellbeing alone.
Its consequences have also gripped our economies.
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All over the world, several economies have shut down on nation scale; large corporation and businesses retrench their staff or downsize their labour force, and many start-ups or MSMEs have their funerals done already.
With the US unemployment claim hitting up to 33.3 million amid the pandemic, and India skyrocketing to 120 million, it is obvious but sad to say that the pandemic is not just medical, it’s socio-economic as well.
According to Nairametrics.com, the worst-hit sectors or industries have been Aviation and Tourism, Hospitality, Cinemas and Entertainment, Oil and Gas, Real Estate and Construction, Trade, Manufacturing, Small Businesses and Start-ups, and Consultant services.
With an undeniable recession and possible global depression, the IMF chief economist, Gita Gopinath, said economic activity, which has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic may not fully recover even by the end of 2021. In her words, “We have a recovery projected for 2021 of 5.8% growth, but that is a partial recovery. So even by the end of 2021, we’re expecting a level of economic activity to be below what we had projected before the virus.”
We don’t bring you this information to inspire fear, rather to arm you with adequate awareness and avail your knowledge on how you and your business can survive the times.
Initially, most people had no plan on how to approach the economic realities of the pandemic; most persons wanted to just out-wait the lockdowns, but with the lingering situations, waiting won’t work. We must learn how to survive, navigate through, and have our businesses win the economic draught.
Amidst different strategies and suggestions on how your business can strive in this challenging time, we share with you 3 ideas you can employ effectively.
Thank us later!
Redo your financials.
These are financially hard times, and it is no brainer for your first call of action to be towards reviewing financial engagements of your business. Starting from critically evaluating your business model against the obvious changes in the market and understanding what is obtainable, it is very vital to not lose track of current cash flow and financial metrics.
With a proper view of where your business’ financial strength lies through a good review of the budget, recurrent and fixed expenses, and revenues, you are better equipped to make good decisions or navigate through the challenging times.
Some practical steps will include reduction of operating cost to the barest minimum; cutting down on non-essential costs; reducing less-essential third-party contracts, cutting down on paychecks, and if necessary, lay-offs (We don’t really like this part, but this is business.)
Also, according to Ugodre Obi-Chukwu, CEO Nairametric, businesses should avoid the impact of currency devaluation by front-loading essential costs, and desist from purchasing fixed assets and illiquid investments in the meantime.
Ermm… this probably shouldn’t be news, right? Digital technology has been here for a long while and helping businesses grow exponentially, of which even the pandemic hasn’t affected this aspect. So if your business doesn’t have a good digital footprint and operation, then you are most likely headed towards a sad story.
Our world and engagements have been disrupted and taking most part of your business to the digital space is the new normal.
We’re approaching a close future ruled by technology and technologist. We all literally need to be techies, as digital tech is now the limitless language and platform across humanity.
Take your business to the cloud; explore e-commerce, employ remote work modes or virtual workspaces, and ensure that lockdowns or less physical human contacts do not spell bad business for you.
Prioritize Customer Satisfaction
This is actually the worst time to lose a client or customer because in a trying time and highly competitive market, they have a plethora of juicy offers from your competitors.
The sustenance of every form of business venture is the customer, and in a time as this whereby customer preference is evolving and options widening, your business must device means to retain customer loyalty and appear irresistible to prospects.
Be meticulous to understand the major customer preferences in your market, and as well build strategies around them to bring about their satisfaction.
By offering ease of transaction, little freebies, and consistently communicating with your customers, you retain loyalty.
Keep them in the know and get them involved in the business by employing transparency in communication which will give them a sense of belonging. In events of negative news or changes, communication should be done with empathy and adequate explanation.
We believe, as it is proven that applying these ideas will enable your business to stay up and strong to transact value efficiently. Because you glued through the article till this point, we have a gift for you which a bonus idea!
Strengthen your Team.
You absolutely need to be a team with your labour force as your business scales through these challenging times. As you make to limit non-essential support systems in the business, all hands must be on deck and high spirit maintained across the staff.
Whether your business adopts to work on virtual / remote mode or meet physically, you must provide good leadership and adequate communication to boost the team morale.
Your business needs your team to survive, ensure that inasmuch as you prioritize customer satisfaction, you also recognize the vital place of having motivated and committed staff.
Change is not always an easy reality for humans, so you can’t deny the pressure your team members might be facing in their personal fronts, so you need to effectively communicate and assure them of positivity through this period.
As much as possible, carry them along through the challenges, decision making, and setbacks or wins.
Understand that in such financially hard times like this, it is common for some personal factors to come up and undermine the optimal productivity of your employees.
They are humans, not robots; they have emotions which is a big factor in the effectiveness and efficiency at work, so you must take cognizance of this to lead with emotional intelligence and ensure a win for the business and a win for the employees.
Be a team, not just a group of people working for the same business.
Please utilize the comment section below to share your thoughts with us about this article, we will be glad to engage with you. Stay safe, stay strong, and win through!