How Kenyan Businesses Will Survive Covid-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has had Kenya at its knees. It has caused the death of many, a strain on the health care system, and an increased strain on Kenya’s economic situation. Everywhere you go Kenyans are complaining of the harsh economic times. Now more than ever, Kenyans are sleeping hungry and in despair. The government on the other hand is making it impossible for businesses to thrive despite the pandemic. Every waking moment taxes are being increased, fuel cost is going up and more measures are being put in place to aid in the crippling of business activities. This makes one wonder if the government is working overtime in eating its people?

Just the other day the government put out new directives intending to curb the spread of the coronavirus. To most Kenyans, these new directives have brought nothing but tears and pain. As you can see below;

We are all dealing with this killer pandemic, Mr. President, we need an environment that can enable Kenyans to feed themselves and their children. Please #unlockourcountry.

Even with certain economies slowly and cautiously reopening around the world, the combined effect of the pandemic and the necessary mitigation measures, such as prolonged lock down and physical distancing, have led to a global recession. This has lead to the need of having measures that will help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic. Especially businesses in the hospitality industry, supply chain industry, events industry, entertainment industry, sports industry, and the stock market.

Here in Nairobi Kenya, almost 90% of small businesses fear they may not survive the Covid-19 crisis- this is according to a recent survey of entrepreneurs by the African Management Institute (AMI). This means that business owners in Kenya need tips and tricks that will help them survive this pandemic. Here are some very practical tips and solutions for businesses;

Use Social Media More

Social media is where your business should be and it is where your customers are at. According to Smart Insights, more than half the world uses social media. Social media users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day multi-networking across an average of eight social networks and messaging apps.

With this high usage, social media has become a lifeline between businesses and their customers. When businesses use their social media to bring free value to their potential customers, that’s how they will continue to build and maintain their relationships. Remember our blogs on social media content ideas for various businesses? it’s time to dust them out and put the content into good use.

Many Kenyan companies are realizing the importance of being on social media and are taking that step to be closer to their customers and potential customers. During this pandemic, it’s just not about selling your products or services, it’s also about offering tips for your audience on how they can negotiate this difficult period. For example, NCBA bank is doing a great job in ensuring they are always in the minds of their customers. They are always posting on social media and giving out great tips and advice, this works in getting them more clients.

Change and Adapt to New Situations

If there is one thing that the coronavirus has taught many of us, is that nothing is permanent and your ability to adapt is what will set you above the rest. We are being advised to stay at home and practice social distancing, making it hard to meet clients physically. Meaning you should quickly learn how to set up online meetings and how to close deals online. If you don’t, you will be left behind thinking that there isn’t any business available.

Changing and adapting to new situations doesn’t not only apply to normal day-to-day business activities. It can also apply to something as complex as changing your whole business model if need be. If your business isn’t working out, you are allowed to change it for the better. Starbucks did a major change and adaptation to new situations when they went from selling coffee beans and espresso makers in their store in 1971 to a full-blown coffeehouse that brewed and sold their coffee in the mid-1980s. Look at the company now.

Flexibility in a company’s strategy and knowing when it should change and adapt to new situations can be crucial in both surviving and thriving in the marketplace especially during a pandemic.

Cut down Business Spending

There is no better time than now to reevaluate how money is being spent in your business. Reducing costs is the most impactful way to continue pursuing business goals during these uncertain times.

For example, you can now choose to switch from print ads to digital ones. Investing in digital marketing can allow businesses to cut costs while also providing more targeted and precise reach to their ideal buyers.

There are several ways in which a business owner can cut down on business spending. You can start by doing a close evaluation on all the monthly expenses and then see where and how the company can make cost-effective changes.

Take Care of You and Your Staffs’ Mental Health

The pandemic has not only put the physical health of people at risk but also their mental health. According to statistics, 53% percent of adults in Kenya reported that their mental health has been negatively Impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. Many adults are also reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well being, such as difficulty sleeping (36 percent) or eating (32 percent), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12 percent), and worsening chronic conditions (12 percent), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.”

As a business owner, you can not tackle the well-being of your business without tackling the well-being of yourself and your staff. Making sure you are giving social support to each other during hard and uncertain times will help build a closer community within the organization and prevent depression and suicide.

Create great deals and bargains if you can

Now is the time to slash down the prices of some of your products and services if you can. This initiative will encourage your clients to buy more, as all customers love a good bargain. Ultimately, creating great bargains will win back lost customers and bring you new ones. But make sure you do not sell your products and services at a loss.

For whatever reason, you originally decided to become an entrepreneur in the industry you are working in, it is a time to reflect on whether or not you still share the same purpose. If you still are passionate about your business, then you might want to use this time to re-strategize. Eventually, this crisis will pass and you will be even smarter in your industry than before. This pandemic has taught businesses better ways to serve their customers like none in history. Don’t you worry, it might take a while but business will eventually get back to normal.



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