Covid-19 winds have blown through with massive changes to life and businesses, causing unprecedented changes. Let’s explore a bit and look at some of the things we can do to prepare ourselves to survive and prosper going forwards.
- The Govt. will introduce new rules, regulations and policies, maybe even new taxes. Be aware that some of these changes will affect your business. So work out how to position for these regulatory issues.
- Bailouts seem impossible in Nigeria. Explore loans, collaborations etc.
- The Naira will continue falling, (especially with the new IMF loan the Govt. just took). So, things will become more expensive and even finding them will be also be difficult. Plan for the materials your business will need carefully. Costs WILL rise.
- Change is here, rethink your business. Some things you sell won’t be needed anymore, but some things will. There are always opportunities opening up, the world won’t end. People will need to eat, drink, go to school etc. How can you position for them in the future? Can you deliver your goods?
- Pray, ask for wisdom and direction, engage life and keep your mind from catastrophizing.
- Engage in meaningful communication and marketing. Everyone is looking at their phones now, so take advantage of it and become visible by strategic advertising there, don’t advertise on newspapers, use social media instead, but ensure to be relevant too.
- Work from home. Reconfigure your business to fit more into this ethos. What necessary investments including IT infrastructure can be made to actualize this? Start small and learn
- Health and Safety is and will be key going forwards. Protect your team and business, apply social distancing rules and deploy appropriate clothing and techniques to allow your business function. Ensure everyone is protected, from your staff to customers.
- Look to practice flexible employee engagement to keep staff & equally save costs
- Can you sell your items and bundle in FREE facemasks and or hand sanitizers as free gifts? These are the topical things that customers are looking for.
- Read and look for ideas. Look at how businesses like yours are faring and how they’ve adapted to survive in other countries. Can you learn and copy and adapt their strategies?
- Remember that the best time to build a new business is just after a slump, so be busy looking for how to stay on and to expand when the recession is over.
Times will be tougher in the near future. Companies will shrink and will let go of staff. No bailouts for workers are expected in Nigeria, so here are some things you can do now, or begin to think about, to ensure a better post covid future
- Do a complete analysis on your job, position and company.
- Determine if the company you work in, is one of those in the badly hit sectors.
- Become a solutions person. People that will be sought after are those that will be able to offer value. Are you such a person?
- Some companies will downsize, Begin to build new skills. The major reason of many people losing jobs will be due to their skill inflexibility. I.e. their skills are not relevant for the current Covid-19 times or new age coming, e.g. cashiers in banks will have a tough time, as digital banking takes over.
- Can you work from home? Review your job to see if there are aspects of it that can be delivered remotely. Be flexible to accept a pay cut while you work from home, but ensure you are honest and do the work expected. Be seen to be a hard worker, even while at home.
- Sales are key to every company now, how can you join the sales team to help out, even if you are not in sales? Business leaders will be looking for people that can help with sales, are proactive and willing to go the extra mile now. Can you become this?
- Learn, Learn, and learn. Build your CV with worthwhile courses and skills now. Spend time to learn, there are many courses online now and most of them are free.
- Start a side hustle. YES, start now. List out all the skills that you have. How can you can adapt any of them to serve people? Can you teach people how to use some software, write business plans for people, start a food delivery service or buy a fumigation pack and train someone on how to fumigate offices and then sell your disinfecting services to businesses? The time to explore is now.
Covid-19 like a wild bush fire has ended many things and yet given opportunity to other things to arise. Focus on what will be needed in future and how can I be relevant in it. Continually ask “How can I serve this new world?”
I look forward to hearing your future stories of success and resilience.
As ever, to your success….
Culled from our KMAI Anniversary/Award 7.0 magazine. Click here to grab your e-copy now!
Mr. Max Menkiti is a serial entrepreneur in the hospitality industry with extensive experience in bootstrap startups and operations both in the UK and Nigeria.