The current national lockdown has left many South African businesses swimming in a sea of uncertainty, thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Despite efforts by banks and other financial institutions to offer relief for small businesses, some might still struggle to get back on their feet once the lockdown comes to an end in 10 days.
Social entrepreneur and business coach Ruth Mthabine says it is possible for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to bounce back once the fight against Covid-19 is over and lockdown is lifted. But, she says, the work has to start now.
“If your business is affected by Covid-19, like most businesses are all across the world, there are a few problems we should assess before we find the right solutions. Before we get into the dire drawbacks of the pandemic, first we must smoke out the real issues.”
“I have realised that a majority of SMEs
have pinned their business failures on the outbreak of the virus. But if we
really have to address the real issues, there were underlying problems before
the outbreak. The pandemic came in hard at trying business times and,
unfortunately, was the final nail in the coffin,” she says.
According to Mthabine, there are 10 important points to consider when bouncing back from the pandemic. Here they are:
1. Accept failure happened and learn from it.
2. Change your business model not your business industry.
3. Prioritise the tasks that lead to change. Manage priorities.
4. Have a mentor/coach to direct the makeover (you can book my services).
5. The real value is outside your comfort zone.
6. Grow with small incremental steps.
7. Remove negative forces.
8. Keep an eagle eye on the finances.
9. Align yourself with people who believe in your vision.
10. Follow up and reflect.
“At the end of the day it is not the outcome of Covid-19, but what you do with the outcome that will determine the quality of your business. Businesses don't fail because they lack the ability to make money, businesses fail because they are mismanaged,” she adds.