Almost all aspects of life have had to be modified as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses, education, and lifestyle are at the receiving end of COVID-19. Some businesses have halted their activities, while others are struggling to stay afloat.
As early as March 30, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that 92% of small businesses claimed to have suffered negative effects as a result of the pandemic and about 5% of small businesses claimed they had no negative experience. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has wreaked financial havoc on many business owners.
Opeyemi Sanusi, a retailer explained how the pandemic negatively affected her business.
“With the lockdown presently, it has been difficult to sell goods. I also import goods too which have been affected by the lockdown because it is not an essential commodity and price of dollar is higher driving up cost.”
Agnes Iwaye, in her own case, said ”As an hairstylist, work has been greatly hindered by the outbreak. Salons have been prohibited from opening and this implies zero income. Also, clients who would want you to come to their home have refrained from doing that due to the fear of getting infected.”
Adegbulu Florence, an event decorator explained that the outbreak was beneficial because it gave her the time to gain new skills and knowledge. However, she admitted, “Our business is more of ceremonies, parties and fashion generally, due to this pandemic the income flow has reduced, orders too have reduced.”
Another individual, Aishat Abdulwaheed, noted, “Business has been slow due to increase in shipping cost and exchange rate.”
The short term outlook for many businesses will vary depending on the level of disruptions caused by the pandemic. Against this backdrop, it is important to look out for how businesses can recover. Business owners must put in place measures that will provide solutions to potential business interruptions.
One of the first steps towards business recovery is evaluating the extent of financial damage. Knowing how significantly a situation has affected your business is quite important. Comparisons could be made between figures and numbers of previous years to ascertain the depth of damage. After the evaluation of financial damage comes reviewing the business plan. Strategies that worked for the business before an outbreak may require modification, hence, a need to modify existing plan.
There is a need to evaluate the range of funding needed to boost the business and tailor your budget to cater for all essentials the business will require.
Creating a workable and realistic contingency plan in case of another crisis is also a viable move as this would help to mitigate the effect of such anticipated crisis on business continuity. However, different strategies may work for different businesses.
Aishat believes that “aggressive marketing” and financial discipline would be beneficial for her retail business.
For Agnes, adding sales of hair products to her job will be a buffer.
Florence wants to learn more about how she can boost sales during an economic crisis. She said, “Reviewing and modifying existing business strategies would also go a long way to help her business recover. Weighing priorities in business is also important to reduce unnecessary spending.”
Opeyemi’s ambition is “to sell off the rest of her goods to increase turnover on capital.” She also intends to buy more items, especially those in demand to boost sales. She disclosed that her business plan was modified to meeting the COVID-19 challenges.