All over the world, these are challenging moments, as the Coronavirus(COVID19) outbreak, have adversely affected almost all spheres of human existence. Globally, Thousands of restaurants, retail outlets, schools, transportation companies, and firms in almost all sectors of the economy, are being shutdown. Supplies chains have been disrupted and many firms are considering downsizing.
According to the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Angel Gurría, the world will take years to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Angel Gurría also stated the economic shock caused by the pandemic, was already bigger than any financial crisis the world has faced in recent times. Gurría further predicted that the outbreak could halve global economic growth to 1.5%.
As a business owner, the Coronavirus outbreak is enough reason to be worried. But essentially, strategizing and not panicking, is the best approach. You can position your business to wade through this period, and subsequent economic events that may follow the pandemic. The following tips for Business owners;
- Reorganize your Cash Flow
Basically, cash flow is the amount of money coming into a business and the amount of money going out. It is the blood that keeps your business in existence. It includes the cash made from sales, loans and profits from investments. As long as your business exists, you will have expenses and at a point like this, organizing your cash flow is extremely important. To get started, analyze your monthly expenses. These might be your rent, insurance, advertising, marketing, utilities and payroll. Next is determining your expected income sources. Once the two steps above have been taken, balance them. Decide what needs to be paid for and when, and what needs to be downsized or suspended.
For small Business owners who probably operate their business transactions from their personal accounts, try to keep tabs on your personal spending. Finally, set aside funds for emergencies.
- Make the Most of your Current Customers and Clients
For some businesses this is not the best time scout for new customers; as such you need your current customers and clients. You need to build good relationships with them at this point and endeavour to increase value in the good and services delivered to them.
This could be a good time to call and check on your customers. Advising them on precautionary measures and informing them of how they could keep patronizing you without having to risk their health.
- Take Advantage of CBN reliefs and loans
The central bank of Nigeria had earlier announced an intervention fund of 1.1 trillion Naira ($138million), to cushion the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, the relief fund includes a 50 billion Naira credit facility for small and medium enterprises. You can take advantage of this kind of funding, as it does not leave a huge burden of repayment.
- Be innovative, creative and optimize your team
Employing new staff during this period may not be advisable, and downsizing your team may not also be the solution. With your current team, your business can still be profitable, with creative and innovative implementation of strategies. This is one of the periods where digital marketing is extremely important. For your team, you could do the following;
- Develop an effective online communication medium
- Set achievable targets and aim for results
- Cut down on allowances where necessary
For manufacturers, discuss with your suppliers and arrive on the most cost effective ways to get your raw materials.
- Stay Safe
As much as you want to keep your business alive, you need to be ALIVE and HEALTHY. Wash hands frequently, practice self distancing, Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, and if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.