By Alex Ogundadegbe
How many of you reading this believe your business will survive the CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC? Businesses are slowly coming back to the market place after lockdowns have stopped many commercial activities from taking place at their normal pace. Many businesses have floundered others have been resilient and have found ways to endure. Every person in business is evolving strategies to keep afloat and live with the virus while the world waits on health authorities to find a permanent cure for COVID 19.The modus operandi today is business at a distance! For all of us to survive these times, it’s important that we approach with caution. There are different ideas that come to mind. Some people run a business that requires a location for customer and service provider to meet, others can be done with minimal or no contact whatsoever.
The first thing to do in times like these is a mind hack! Change the way you think to suit the times. One thing we must all bear in mind is that we cannot be caught lying low. We are going to fight for our business. It is easy to be caught up in despair and think the dooms day thoughts “the World is coming to and end!” We will never get anything done unless we are in the right frame of mind. Once we have our mind tuned in, the next thing to do is assess is our cycle of dependence. Attempt a total situation awarenessWho are those that are critical to our business survival: suppliers, staff, and manufacturers? What are their current states like? Are they willing to continue under the current circumstances? What new arrangements can we make with them that will be mutually beneficial?
Cost effectiveness is vital at times like these. We need to concentrate on ventures or products that are profitable. We are talking about aggregating our income and focusing on what works .You may have to do a product range audit to find out what is selling and what is not. For instance a telecommunications gadget shop might discover that modems and wi fi equipment are selling more than computers since more people are working from home and fewer can afford new laptops or desktop computers. In a case like that it makes more sense to up our stock of modems and wi fi.
For those of us who have to provide business services at a location, for instance, say a gymnasium, you might find fewer people coming out to workout. Location and product dependent organizations need to find alternative sources of income. One gymnasium owner put up a “Keep Fit At Home Channel on Youtube and got a massive number of hits over a short period of time. Since Youtube pays for such activity he was able to tide himself over with the income from the channel and he is probably sure to create anew income stream from it once business normalizes.
For people who head teams, it is important to note that too many zoom webinars might be harmful rather than useful at this time. Managers have to find out what will suit their teams and run with it. Meeting once a week might be too few. Everyday might be too many.During these online meetings, it is crucial that shared missions should be gulvanized. Build a cause arround the tasks to be done. Bosses have to engender their subordinates to work smart and stay on task. We need to focus on results based activity. There is a tendency for people drift when direct supervision is lax. So deadlines and tasks must be stripped down to the barest so that employees can focus on the critical path of meeting outcomes in the process of work.
One essential aspect of this all, is that we have to keep the cycle running. If you are being paid, make sure you are paying people. Business is like a current, It has to keep flowing. Every major business has a quantum of dependant smaller businesses. If one of them folds it might affect the others. For instance, when the English Premiership went on break, it affected pay per view television, football betting, emblems, kits and sports reveiws in the various media. There is always a chain effect. Support who you can. Keep the windmills moving. Buy from friends and associates. You might be putting a meal on somebody’s table. Don’t get stuck or depressed. Movement is life. Create, produce, don’t sit still. That takes us to the debate that came up at the heart of the pandemic about choosing between economy and life. In the real sense of being, they go together. Man and commerce are merged. Stopping commerce on the excuse of survival is only causing more trouble because man needs commercial activity to survive. Author and business strategist Stephen pincker said trade is improtant to man’s very existence and he is right apart from the money, man also needs the interaction.
Hardship can be gratifying if we manage it. We are often most creative in our most challenging moments. If we belong to groups we ought to create and promote forums where ideas can be discussed and shared. In the multitude of counseling, there is usually success and progress. There are many approaches to making your business virus proof. These are just a few.
By Alex Ogundadegbe