- April 27, 2020
- Posted by: VTBConsulting
- Category: Economics
The COVID 19 Pandemic coupled with the lock-down in various countries has changed the way business is done already; the earlier we adjust or adapt the better for us. While there are sectors that will thrive ad boom during this pandemic the sad reality is that some businesses in certain sectors would find it more difficult and may need to rethink/retool their business model to survive and thrive post COVID 19.
While some businesses that deal in sectors such as agro-allied products; household consumables, local logistics; healthcare; ICT, telecommunications and e-commerce may be smiling to the bank at this time other may not be so lucky. For example, Zoom daily users spiked to 200 million in March this year up from 10 million in December last year (CNBC); their stock price went from $36 (in April, 2019) a share to reach a record high of $165 in March 23, 2020 and their CEO has joined the Forbes billionaire list for the first time during this pandemic.
Sectors like those in the aviation, travels, tourism, hospitality, entertainment (especially shows and cinemas) and oil / gas are having a hard time coping with the realities of the present times from “social distancing” to the dwindling price of crude oil in the market. Only last week Arik Air announced that it was cutting salaries by 80% and placed 90% of their staff on leave without pay. Others like those in the manufacturing sector with business models that depend on imported raw materials especially from China are now forced to look out for local substitutes to be able to survive.
For SME’s that contribute 48% to Nigeria’s GDP and account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment, this pandemic is different strokes to different people. Some of the challenges include the how to maintain productivity and pay staff salaries even while working remotely. Others have issues with liquidity as funds are tied up with debtors with no hope of payment anytime soon as everybody now uses the pandemic rightfully or wrongfully as an excuse to default. For some shop retailers for essential household goods and food vendors the lockdown may have given them a “good problem” with the “panic buying” that may result in excess cash flow so management becomes a new challenge.
The fact remains that as a business owner or manager these are interesting times and the decisions we take now to large extent will determine the sustainability and direction of our business post COVID 19. While nobody has all the answers as very few people may have experienced a pandemic of this magnitude in their lifetime; the need for business owners/managers to lead at this time and maximize critical thinking skills cannot be overemphasized. In the words of Stephen Covey; “if there is one thing that is certain in business; it is uncertainty”; business owners and managers have to learn new skills to navigate through these uncertain times.
This Tuesday by 7pm; I will be bringing my experience as a business development, management and strategy consultant working across various sectors over the last 15 years to bear alongside three of my highly respected friends; Mr. Ikechi Nwogu, Mrs Edughom Hanson and Mr. Maple Dappa (see flyer below) to discuss on the way forward for businesses especially SMES during this pandemic. We will be looking at practical ways business managers and entrepreneurs can navigate through the challenges of leading an organization at this time and thrive in the midst of so much uncertainty. The zoom meet up is FREE but you will have to register via the link https://rebrand.ly/BusinessSurvivalStrategies to be admitted. Admission is on a first come, first serve basis as we have a limited number of people we can accommodate on the platform. If you have any areas you would want us to talk about during the discussions kindly state it in the comment section below and share this with friends and other business managers/owners…. you may just be saving business and by correlation many lives!