How To Keep Your Business Alive During COVID-19

April 14, 2020

Comments

As you are already aware, our societies are going through some incredible changes thanks to COVID-19.

With many countries in lockdown, a lot of businesses are having a hard time generating revenue. A lot of companies are already shutting down and many others are in distress.

The International Labour Organization is reporting that as many as 195 million jobs could be lost as a result of COVID-19.

At this time, one of the most important questions that most businesses have to answer is  “How do we stay alive in these times?”. If you, like me, are an entrepreneur, you’ve probably asked yourself the same question too.

Our Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation mentor, Cameron Burt, (who credits Vusi Thembekwayo) in an email to the 2020 shortlist shared these helpful tips on how to keep your business alive during COVID-19 that I believe are essential for entrepreneurs and businesses regardless of sector.

The 5 C’s

Cash

Aggressively reduce expenses as much as possible. Delay payments; cut unnecessary expenses; negotiate payment plans where possible. Split shifts and/or pay half salaries to employees to spread their payments for as long as possible.

If you have any non-essential online monthly subscriptions, maybe put them on hold for now.

Collect payments as early as possible. If invoices have been issued, request payment from customers. If necessary, offer a small discount for early payment. Try to gain as much runway as possible.

ALSO CHECK OUT:  Dear Young Entrepreneur, Here's Why You Need A Mentor

Try not to seek investors in your business currently. You will be negotiating from a position of weakness and investors are highly risk-averse now.

Most governments are going to provide some measure of relief for small business owners. Stay informed of the processes that you will have to take to unlock those funds and work through them methodically. They will be onerous to prevent fraud but still just do it!

Customers

Get close to your top customers, especially B2B customers. Use online and virtual tools to maintain a high presence in their lives. Invest some time to develop your digital marketing strategies to reach new customers. This virus will pass, and you should position yourself to capitalise when business returns to its #NewNormal.

Credit

Approach financial services institutions to arrange for lines of short-term credit. Even if you don’t use the credit available, it will provide a safety net.

Colleagues

You will need to take leadership with your teams. Manage their fears, which will be real. Calm the nerves, be transparent in all your discussions. Consider flexible working arrangements to reduce your employee costs.

Communication

Be available and communicate to your external and internal stakeholders. If you have other shareholders, make sure that they are aware of your financial position.

Like Cameron adds, these are unprecedented and rather surreal times. We can control only two things:

Our thoughts. Stay positive. Don’t fear. Don’t panic. What you think, you become.

ALSO CHECK OUT:  3 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting A Business

Our actions. Take carefully considered actions.

Above all THINK!

Use this time to think.

Think about how the world is going to be once this nightmare is over.

Think about what is going to be different in the #NewNormal and how you can deliver solutions.

Think about pivoting your current solution to capitalise on the #NewNormal.

Think about what part of your current solution can migrate to the virtual sphere and still generate revenue?

Many startups were founded during the last Great Recession: Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Square, Venmo.

Some of the most iconic companies in 2030 will undoubtedly be founded in these surreal times.

Are you going to be one of them?

Our attitude will either make us or break us. It’s as brutally simple as that.

We can either succumb to all being lost and fall into a depression, or to dig deep and see how we can pull together and innovate towards surviving.

Stay Alive! Stay Safe! This too shall pass!

Cameron Burt is a Business Consultant at Business Doctors South Africa. He helps SMEs build sustainable and measurable value using a wide array of world-class tools. Follow Cameron on Linkedin.

We can either succumb to all being lost and fall into a depression, or to dig deep and see how we can pull together and innovate towards surviving. Click To Tweet

Related Posts

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Mohamed Chana

    Educative and informative piece…Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  2. Bernard

    Insightful

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thak you Bernard

      Reply
  3. Mary Pounds

    Good read… timely and important
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thanks a lot!

      Reply
  4. Bene

    Very resourceful!

    Reply
  5. Bene

    Very insightful!

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thank you!

      Reply
      • Sampson Sayibu

        Very insightful and thought provoking. Time to save every penny is now. Thanks

        Reply
        • Isaac Sesi

          Thank you!

          Reply
  6. Margaret Boateng

    Impressive👍

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thank you!

      Reply
  7. Kofi Amankwah

    Impressive..thank you

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Glad you like it.

      Reply
  8. Akosua

    This is eye-opening.

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thank you!

      Reply
  9. Godfrey

    Interesting submissions points to hold on to dearly, great piece.

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thanks a lot. Glad you liked it!

      Reply
  10. Kukuaa

    Very insightful piece.

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thanks!

      Reply
  11. Anne-Marie Abeasi

    A very insightful read especially that WhatsApp, for example, was birthed during a recession.

    Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thanks, Anne-Marie

      Reply
  12. Deb William

    This is Fantastic. I find it very Helpful

    Reply
    • Isaac Sesi

      Thank you! Glad you found the post helpful. Stay safe!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *