The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the coronavirus crisis a global pandemic three months after it first emerged in China. Since it was first detected, Covid-19 has spread to every continent on earth except Antarctica, impacting over 100 countries and infecting over 100,000 people worldwide.
Africa is not spared as it has been reported that 34 out of 54 countries in Africa already have reported cases with Nigeria having about 31 cases so far.
This is indeed a trying time for the world. The economies are feeling it as assets are losing value and markets crashing. Businesses are shutting down due to poor sales and panic seems to be in the very air.
Crisis decimates many but it also happens to be a precursor to great intentions and opportunity to create new value. In this article, I will share with you some helpful tips that will help you and your business to pull through this time.
Pay attention to cash now more than ever before
Cash, they say, is king in business. And in a time like this, it becomes both the King and Queen.
For your business to pull through, you have to pay attention to your cash burning rate this time by reducing your expenses drastically. Also, all efforts and activities now should be focused on things that bring in more money into your business.
You should also renegotiate your debts with both debtors and creditors with the intention to collect all your outside cash quickly while paying out as little as possible to those who will be willing to give you that opportunity. As a business owner, you need all the cash favour that you can get right now.
In all you do in this period of crisis, conserve cash as much as you can because any business that can’t do this and doesn’t have enough liquidity access might drown before the storm clears.
You can’t play with customer loyalty at a time such as this. Get closer to the major spenders in your business to understand their new needs because crisis changes needs and the worst mistake you can make as a business owner is not to know what the new needs are.
Visit them, put a call through and arrange an informal meeting (without forgetting to keep necessary precautionary measures such as distancing). This would help you to gauge their pulse and also feel their fears and desires so that you can better position as the ever-ready solution.
Don’t assume that your solution should be served in the same way. Get to know the new realities and be the one to meet them.
In times of crisis, money changes location. The money-wise thing to do then is to find its new flow and position yourself to get some into your business.
Prioritize projects that generate revenue for now
Don’t be afraid to push some non-immediate revenue contracts into the future. People’s major concern now is safety so a lot of customers won’t care about the projects anyway.
So reach out and ask for some future time so that you can free your hands to do the things that will bring in quick cash immediately to help you pick the bills
Avoid panic and make every effort to keep calm
Every business takes the fears and courage of its owner. Now is the time to show leadership by making sure that you become the pillar of strength to your staff, colleagues and everyone else around.
Your company should do anything it leanly can to reach out to its community with notices that will help calm people instead of creating panic.
It’s good to hear and share news, but make them more solution-driven than problem-driven. Keep some of the gory details to yourself and don’t even take them in!
Fear and panic are usually more dangerous in crisis because the virus will first get to the mind before destroying the body. Those who have survived any form of crisis like this are those who maintained a realistic positive mental attitude.
This should be you right now.
Activate and take precautionary measures seriously.
There are a lot of precautionary measures suggested such as washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing safely and having alcohol-based sanitizers handy. These should be enforced strictly for you and those visiting.
Keep yourself safe and protect your environment. Up the hygiene and cleanness routines of your home and offices.
Also, consider remote working options. A lot of companies now are allowing their staff to work from home so as to reduce contact and exposure.
This is already 21st century where people don’t have to come to the office anymore to get their jobs done. Take advantage of it.
Communicate clearly and often to everyone.
Do briefings and press releases if your business can afford it. Let your customers and workers know the things that you are putting in place to help the situation and protect them.
It also positions you as a market leader because it shows that you truly care.
Now isn’t the time for business owners to assume that people should know what they are thinking. Nobody has the time and mental space to read your mind, so Communicate! Communicate!! And communicate!!!
Renew your faith and relationships.
Now is the time to reconnect to your source. Times like this one reminds us that there is still a sovereign force that is bigger than us and those who align with it win.
If you are one of those business owners who have relegated family and love to the background thinking that money is all that you need to be sane, moments like this calls you to retrace your steps and get wiser.
Get more experiences into your life and spend more time with those that you love. Because if tomorrow never comes, it’s those moments and people that will matter the most.
Look at your business and financial life again, this could be an opportunity to tell yourself the truth about what you are building.
Is your business crisis proof?
Can this period introduce you to a new market?
Is your business financially stable?
What are the things that need change with the way you run your business and serve your market?
This could be the time to stress test things and see those that come apart quite easily and strengthen them.
If you live in a country that has a responsive and responsible government, take advantage of the relief packages made available to help yourself and your business. You need all the help you can get right now, so grab whatever you find.
The world is going through tough times right now, but the end hasn’t come.
We all just need some extra measure to survive the extra pressure the virus has put us into. And with time, we shall sail again.
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