What to expect?

Experts say that the storm is yet to come.

Even as the global economy is slowly crumbling down, the micro, small, and medium enterprises MSMEs will be the hardest it. Even so, try you must to ensure that your business survives the pandemics.

Greater opportunities lay on the other side of the bridge after the Coronavirus pandemic has come to an end.

Still, all is not gloom and doom for your MSME. Read on to find possible measures to keep your business afloat. 

Authorities

Ensure that you continuously have access to updated information by the government and financial institutions on supportive measures that have been issued out for MSMEs.

Many governments have already established response strategies on how they will support small business to cushion them from the adverse effects of Coronavirus.

For instance, the government of Kenya rolled out tax relief measures for both small businesses and low-income earners. These measures include the reduction of VAT from the current 16% to 14% as well as the decline of the turnover rate for MSMEs from 3% to 1%.

Liquidity assessment

Cash flow is essential for the survival of your enterprise. Perform an assessment of your current cash flow status and liquidity requirement.

This could be the difference between the survival or collapse of your business.

Afterwards, you need to have a financial plan in place, preferably one that will factor in the next three months. 

Determine how much will be spent on employee remuneration.

Minimize capital investment instead of focus on short term obligations to support current operations.

Lastly, negotiate terms of payment with supplies.

While on this, the source for other suppliers incase your current suppliers are forced to close shop due to the economic impact of the crisis.

Opportunities

It might appear unethical to some to capitalize on tragic times. But business is not only for profit but a source of income for you and your employees. If you need to rethink your product and services to meet the current market demand, then you probably should.

You need to be able to answer these questions:

  • What do your customers need most at the moment?
  • How can you accommodate or secure new consumers?
  • Can you digitize your products and services?

When everyone is trying to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, you can offer problem-solving products and services.

In this way, you will ensure that your business remains afloat even as you fill a business niche in the market.

Debtors and Creditors

Most if not all, businesses are affected by the pandemic. It is, therefore, prudent to discuss with debtors to determine payment terms for the debts they owe you.

Expect some negative feedback since some of your debtors might have already closed shop or are experiencing tougher times given the nature of their business.

If you owe credit, consult with your creditors and decide on flexible repayment terms. Most financial institutions might be willing to waiver interest fees or extend repayment periods.

Such measures will enable you to effectively develop a workable financial plan for your business.

Digital Marketing

Now that most people are working from home, social media is becoming an increasingly important tool of communication. You might be tempted to stop all your marketing efforts thinking, what is the point?

However, what you need to consider is how to refocus your efforts to include digital marketing. 

To improve on your digital marketing strategies, consider the following measures:

  • Revamp your company website to make it more engaging and easy to navigate
  • Post articles that portray you as an authority in your field
  • Conduct online adverts and sales to encourage digital transactions
  • Interact and engage your customers through a timely response on questions and concerns posted on your website and all your social media platforms

FAQS

Consumers in different industries are questioning what businesses are doing to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how operations are being conducted. 

To show concern and awareness of the current times, creating a FAQ section on your business website is a smart move.

Ensure that you have prepared a list of frequently asked questions and provide suitable responses.

Make this information available to existing and potential consumers to inspire consumer confidence in you as a service provider.

Upskill Staff

At a time such as this, you want to minimize expenses. Avoid new hires and instead train your current personnel on skills that your business could need in the near future.

Additional skills will ensure that they remain productive and effective and spare you the hustle of laying them off when their previous skills become redundant.

In this era of social distancing, it is best to source for companies and platforms that offer online training. 

Keep Calm

A leader is tested most through trying and difficult times. How you lead your people now will matter more in the times to come.

You need to remember to remain calm since you are more likely to suffer from Coronavirus-related anxiety, fear, and uncertainty, given the challenges that will arise. When engaging with your employees, remain composed, show empathy, and be adaptive to the times.

When you begin to feel overwhelmed by the business demands, step back, exercise, relax and eat healthily.

Personal care is essential in helping you to be calm.

Your business does not need to go under until you’ve tried every last trick in the book. Try and implement some of the strategies mentioned above and see how it works for your business. 

 

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