There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is a human tragedy; we can see its devastating effects on the global economy. Most businesses in the world have completely shut down except essentials like – pharmacies, grocery stores and fuel/gas stations.
In a matter of weeks, Nigeria has been thrown into the mix of nations grappling with the effects of the pandemic. Major cities, territories, and states like Lagos, Abuja and Ogun have been on lockdown for over two weeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though people are locked down in their houses for safety reasons, the economy has received a massive hit as consumer and business spending has drastically reduced. These are indeed uncertain times with a lot of businesses wondering how they can stay resilient during this period and post-COVID-19.
Here are tips businesses can adopt to ensure relevance and resilience during these times:
1. Businesses can reach out to their insurance brokers to find out how their coverage protects them from losses that might be incurred at this time. However, if the insurance does not cover this emergence, the organisation needs to find out the insurance policy that can be taken to prevent against future occurrence.
2. Organisations should provide adequate work tools for their employees working from home. Good internet connectivity, optimal functioning laptops and mobile devices will help ensure work flows smoothly. Additionally, companies should open a line of communication to ensure all employees are aware of their expectation for the firm at this time. It is also very important to put measures in place to check up on staff welfare such as daily digital check-ins and keeping them informed with any new business process.
3. For communication, this is the time not to go silent. Businesses should make use of all channels (social media, websites, newsletter; etc.) to ensure they are constantly communicating with their clients, stakeholders, and financiers.
4. Be Conservative with Spending – since the spending rate of consumers and businesses have reduced, the revenue of most businesses will take a hit. Do not fret, go back to the drawing board, review/redo your budgets for the coming months, be conservative with your spending and revisit your marketing plans, especially for the period of economic upturns.
Everything has gone digital, so take as much of your business as you can to the virtual space. If your survival depends on you changing the course of your business plan, then do so to survive. As the saying goes, you either innovate or die.
Finally, tough times do not last, tough people, or in this case, tough businesses do. As history has shown, the times of economic downturns do not last, businesses that hope to remain competitive even after this crisis will have to be agile to change and be more predictive rather than reactive in their approach to sustenance.