On the 5th of January 2021, Zimbabwe started a 31 day lock down. Numbers of infected people are still on the rise and so is the death toll. The second wave of the pandemic is on us, this time a bit worse but we all had some entrepreneurial lessons we got from the first wave that can aid in adaptability and resilience.
Below are some new measures that affects business
- Only essential services are to remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, with only essential staff allowed to come to work. These services can only open at 8 am and must close at 3pm and will be subject to curfew that will start at 6pm and end at 6am.
- Of the other commercial services only Part 4 lockdown order services such as mining, manufacturing and agriculture will operate as before. Other commercial services specified on Part 5 of the lockdown order that is to say all formal businesses and registered informal traders are suspended from Tuesday 5 January 2021 for 30 days.
ENTREPRENEURIAL LESSONS FROM THE FIRST LOCKDOWN
The second wave requires one to adapt so as to survive. One of the covid-19 guidelines is to observe social distancing, and with this lock down some businesses have been completely shut down, but the internet is super active. There is no social distancing on the internet, in fact it brings us closer to those who are far away from us. Adapt to the new normal in business and have an online presence. Utilise this chance to promote your brand on internet. Push your services and or products through WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, the website or any platform you are most familiar with.
Entrepreneurship is all about flexibility and in case the lock down threatens your streams of revenue, introduce another revenue generating product or service that will sustain the business during these difficult times.
It is so unfortunate that even during the lockdown, the business has some expenses to carter for directly or indirectly. It is however wise to do a cost review, cut down costs where possible, whilst not compromising quality and efficiency of the business as well as possible streams of revenue. On a quarterly basis, an entrepreneur should be thinking of how to increase revenue, whilst cutting costs in the best way that doesn’t negatively affect revenue.
It’s so difficult for a start-up and or SME to maintain a strong balance sheet, but to some extent it has become a necessity. The pandemic has revealed that a crisis can happen anytime, regardless of our state of preparedness. It is therefore wise to have cash reserve that can allow the business to operate efficiently for at least 6 months even without revenue.
A business leader should be able to predict a crisis and start preparing for it immediately, statistics and or operations report should always guide an entrepreneur in decision making. In case you do not check business performances anyhow, please start doing so through any possible means such as profit and loss accounts or a simple cash flow statement.
When a leader detects a crisis, he communicates with all stakeholders before it even happens, have round table meetings, find a solution or embrace to adapt whilst the crisis passes.
After all has passed, there is need to get back to track This takes reorganising your team, being innovative and customer centred. Start from where you can and pursue the long term goal. Do a review and learn from the past mistakes. Research will always guide you and where money fails, relations can be a good alternative.