10 tips for small business to survive during these difficult times #COVID19
As startup founders and small business owners, we all know what we are going through. It going to get ugly before it gets normal again. How should you prepare, what are the practical things you should do?
Tip 1| Don’t panic, You will receive a lot of unfortunate emails, partners and clients all pushing projects and potential leads forward. All the quick money you were expecting will disappear and possibly you are not prepared to run the business without them. Don’t panic stay focused and restrategized.
Tip 2 | Cash is the king, If there is a time to spend well is now. Spend cash when it’s extremely necessary. Make sure you capitalize on your goodwill. If you can get anything on credit that’s better. Liquidating assets will be very difficult and getting loans will be extremely hard. Take care of your burn rate in terms of cash spent per month. We are not sure how long this thing will be around.
Tip 3 | Make Decisions, Delaying to make decisions can be catastrophic. Any decision that needs to be made immediately that affects the business because of #COVID19, make it now before things get worse. Some decisions can be tough but make them. “Failure to make a decision is itself a decision” — Julius Nyerere.
Tip 4 | Leadership, Teams needs leadership now than ever. Your team can smell fear. Try to stay bold and focused, lay down your strategies and plans; short term, for the next 30 days, midterm for the next 3 months and long term for the next 6 months to 18 months if the situation worsens and post #COVID19.
Tip 5 | Don’t follow the bandwagon, there will be a lot of panic and copy-pasting decisions. Try to make sure the decision you are taking for your business is the right one. Don’t make it because everyone else is doing it. Be as realistic as possible. Remember you are working with limited resources you can’t afford misusing them.
Tip 6 | Inform the Authorities, Prepare a formal letter to tax agencies and social security funds tell them what you are going through and a promise to start paying when the dust settles downs. You don’t want to face penalties on the top of everything else that is already happening.
Tip 7 | Go-Digital, Rethink your strategy towards digital platforms. This is the best time to rapidly test how your clients and partners feel about your business going tech. Everyone is encouraged to limit their physical interactions. That is your excuse, try it now.
Tip 8 | Don’t diversify, You will be tempted to start new lines of businesses or to completely rethink your business model ignoring your core businesses please don’t. Like what my brother Vusi Thembekwayo says “You will be taking money from your wife and giving it to a side chick”. Be very careful with completely new business models.
Tip 9 | Take a break, Take a 2/3 days break to rethink your strategy. Everyone in the management team will be super stressed and most of the meetings will be counterproductive and strategies will be defensive-minded. Instead of thinking of how to move, you will focus on how to survive.
Tip 10 | Pray that everything goes well. Let’s pray that everything comes back to normal. Let’s protect ourselves and our loved ones from #COVID19 Let’s take all the necessary measures and behave professionally throughout these difficult times.
Be blessed and stay safe.