A summary of the online discussion on April 17th 2020 It is a rough time in many countries around the world, and I hope you’re doing your best to stay optimistic. Business will certainly resume after this crisis though nothing will remain the same- it will not be business as usual but business unusual. But what exactly is a crisis? A crisis is a serious and unexpected change in events that could cause significant loss – it could be financial loss, human loss, reputational damage, etc. In the case of corona, the most significant loss we all fear is the loss of human life. One of the most important traits of entrepreneurs is the ability to ‘think differently’ and independently. In fact, the ability to think differently from the crowd is most powerful during times of crisis. You know why? During a crisis, fear and panic take over. Fear is one of the most powerful human emotions because of how it can paralyze and hijack your body and your mind. Three examples of crises that bring out the worst of human fear are economic recessions, pandemics, and war. For example have you had a look at the drop at the Dow Jones? It’s the USA Stock market,the index that tracks the performance of the top 30 large companies listed on stock markets in the USA. Between Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) and today, the index has dropped over 10,000 points.
Do you know the last time this kind of drop happened? In the 2008/9 global financial crisis. Our own stock market is having it’s own share of turbulence. The big players are loosing in billions. But what is the opportunity here? i) When stock prices go low it is usually the best time to buy, that is if you have some extra cash to spare. ii) You can see where the big boys are investing, that is an indication of the best stocks you should select to buy and the sectors that make great profits in the stock market. https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/Kenyattas-Mwangi-gainbillions-at-NSE/539546-5402788-rlyljq/index.html https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/markets/capital/Sh125-billion-lost-at-NSE-in-aday-on-foreigners/4259442-5485454-kdvjvj/index.html Back to the crisis, so every single time there’s a crisis, humans behave the same way – we are afraid, and we panic. This behaviour happens every single time. It’s 100% predictable. Do you know who wins in times of fear and panic? It’s the thinkers. They’re the ones who see what everyone else is missing. While most people are focused on the problems in the crisis, thinkers look for the opportunities in the crisis. While most people see the crisis as the end of the world, thinkers are making strategic moves to dominate the future. While most people think the world is coming to an end, thinkers understand that a crisis is only a temporary setback that we will recover from One thing is clear: Every time the world goes through a crisis, we ALWAYS recover. It has happened that way for centuries and humans are still here. That is why: The best time to be bold is when most people are afraid. The best time to enter the market is when most people are afraid. The best time to start or grow a business is when most people are afraid. The cheapest time to buy property (real estate, stocks, equipment) is when most people are afraid. In essence, you can turn fear into a powerful force that works in your favour, and not against you. Remember, fear is a tool. It can work for, or against, you.That’s why competition is highest when people are normal. But when fear sets in, the ground opens up for bold people to enter and conquer. Don’t be like the crowd. Start thinking of how you can use all the fear in this crisis to your advantage. Every crisis is a distraction. Real entrepreneurs focus on the opportunities in the crisis. So do you see a problem or an opportunity? Every crisis creates two things — problems and opportunities. No need to tell you about the problems this Corona virus pandemic has caused to people’s personal lives and businesses. The problems are everywhere in the news and on social media. There’s fear, anxiety, and panic everywhere. Yes, the fear and panic is necessary. COVID-19 is actually a serious and deadly disease. But what most people haven’t noticed is the opportunities this crisis has created. In fact, nobody is talking about it. It’s not even in the news or on social media.Right now, almost everybody is so blinded by fear that they can’t see any bright side to this crisis.
A goal or dream can only be achieved if you can control the outcome: There are certain things in life and business that you just CANNOT control. But there are other things that only YOU can control. For example, you cannot control the economy. But you can exploit it: With the right knowledge and skills, you can exploit opportunities in both good and bad economic times. You cannot force customers to buy from you. But you can influence them: By improving your selling skills and after sales service, you can surely boost your sales and grow your business You cannot control when you will raise money from investors. But you can prepare for it: With the right strategy, a professional proposal, and a convincing pitch, you will be locked and ready for your opportunity when it comes. You cannot predict the best time to start a different business. But you can make the firm decision to start: With the right information and guidance, you can choose the right business idea that is different and start your business in a way that reduces the risk of failure. You cannot control when good employees will leave you. But you can reduce the impact: By building strong systems that support your business, no person will be strong enough to rock your business, including you. Aim to improve your Knowledge: The more you know, the more you can do. If your business is shut down, this is the time to read and gather more knowledge. About your industry, competitors, customers, suppliers, improvements, sustainability etc. Your Skills: The more you can do, the more you can achieve. Work on improving your skills during this period: book keeping,
sales, marketing, project management, human resource management, customer experience and management, automating a small business etc. Your attitude: The more positive you are, the more possibilities and opportunities you will find during this crisis. Your network: Relationships are powerful. Surround yourself with people who inspire, empower, and challenge you and those who support you during this time. If you do not have a network, it is time t build one Your Time: How you invest your time during this crisis will determine the results and returns you get. This Friday April 17th 2020 marked the 5 th online forum we are hosting where we help business owners to address the present challenges. We are working with clients whose businesses have been hit by the crisis, and we’ve been trying to convert their problems into opportunity. Many businesses have closed down completely- meaning that most of them will have to start planning on how to come back post crisis. The most amazing revelation is that we will all be starting afresh- no matter how many years you have been in business. A new start up and an existing one will start on the same footing post this crisis. What is the 4IR? (Fourth industrial revolution) The 4IR involves using computerisation to digitise more areas of life and disrupting the current economic and social structures. It is quickly taking shape with online shopping, deliveries and other services coming to the consumer and not vice versa.
Online shopping is already redefining convenience and the retail experience. The ease of delivery can transform communities, even in remote places, and jumpstart the economies of small or rural areas. Any business not embracing technology will be easily left behind. This revolution is about much more than technology—it is an opportunity to unite global communities, to build sustainable economies, to adapt and modernize governance models, to reduce material and social inequalities, and to commit to values-based leadership of emerging technologies. It is changing how we live, work, and communicate. It’s reshaping government, education, healthcare, and commerce—almost every aspect of life. It will also change the things we value and the way we value them New technologies can be powerful agents for good. Education and access to information can improve the lives of billions of people. Through increasingly powerful computing devices and networks, digital services, and mobile devices, this can become a reality for people around the world, including those in underdeveloped countries. The social media revolution embodied by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp For Business and LinkedIn has given everyone a voice and a way to communicate instantly across the planet. Today, more than 30% of the people in the world use social media services to communicate and stay on top of world events. These innovations create a true global village, bringing billions more people into the global economy. They bring access to products and services to entirely new markets. One of the most exciting aspects post this crisis is that entrepreneurs will no longer limited by geography in terms of whom they can serve or whom they can employ. That means that people, not location, proximity, or access, can be the top priority.
Embracing Technology We have seen some businesses prepare to launch afresh and diversifying (new products/services). Some businesses are exploring how to get listed on e-commerce platforms such as Jumia https://vendorhub.jumia.co.ke/ and Skygarden https://sky.garden/home others are exploring being listed in mobile apps such as Lynk https://www.lynk.co.ke/ (Download from Google Playstore and AppsStore) We see services and products moving closer to the consumer through the use of technology. The future of work A lot of contract/ virtual workers will emerge post crisis where pay will be based on expected actual output/results/production. Studies show that, contrary to popular opinion, remote workers are often more productive, engaged, and loyal than in-house staff. This crisis is the best test for this. The option to work remotely can dramatically increase employee morale, even as it allows for the recruiting of the most engaged, productive and self-motivated personnel—precisely the kind of talent you want on your team anyway! In addition, building a remote workforce is not only the foundation for the globalization of your operations, but it also means you’re expanding and diversifying your candidate pool to include, for instance, personnel with disabilities. Giving potential and current employees more freedom to work how, when and where can be very beneficial for companies. It can allow them to recruit a global workforce, increase employee loyalty and commitment, scale at a quicker pace and reach new levels of productivity. Employees benefit too as not having to commute means they’ll have more free time, a better work-life balance and greater flexibility leading to overall employee satisfaction and commitment.
The most vulnerable jobs during this crisis are those that involve a high level of physical work and repetitive tasks. The industries hardest hit by the crisis will be the retail & trade, transportation, agriculture, admin, office & support, accommodation & food services, production & manufacturing industries. What becomes evident is that the education system as we know it will need to be changed. According to one estimate, almost twothirds of today’s kindergarten students will eventually have occupations that don’t currently exist. The economy will for a long time need a robust workforce, which means making sure that people are employable, for longer. Reskilling a workforce regularly during a person’s career will become the norm. Widespread disruption is imminent, and therefore, preparation is key. Jobs in cookery, writing, tourism, design and medical care where human qualities are essential, will be more resistant to change. Other areas that will see a stable demand for skills for years to come according to weforum.org include: Consumer Products (73% stable) Healthcare (71% stable) Energy (70% stable) Professional Services (67% stable) ICT (65% stable) Media & Entertainment (65% stable) Mobility (61% stable) Infrastructure (58%) Financial/Investor services (57% stable). Change is indeed the only thing that remains constant We noticed that this Corona virus crisis has created 3 kinds of businesses:
The first are businesses that have lost ALL sales. The business is not making any money and there’s no cash coming into the business at all. The second are businesses that have lost SOME sales. There’s still some money coming in, but it’s not like before the crisis. The third are businesses whose sales are either untouched by the crisis, or whose sales are actually GROWING in the middle of this crisis. How come? How could a business be unaffected and thriving in a crisis where most people are losing their businesses and losing their jobs? What is the third group doing differently? There are 2 interesting things noticed in the third group. The first is the industry they play in: In most countries, businesses in the healthcare, grocery, and utilities industries were spared by the economic shutdown. They’re the so-called ‘essential’ businesses. Still, there are situations where two identical businesses in the same industry were affected differently by the crisis. For example, one of the clients in the financial services industry was badly hit by the crisis while another client in the same business has seen a 60% increase in sales since the lockdown began. How come? Clearly, the industry you play in is not the only advantage. There has to be something else. Their business model is the secret. A business model is the design of a business: How a business creates value, delivers that value, and makes money from it.
Two businesses may be in the same industry and sell the same products or services. But their business models can be totally different. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs don’t appreciate the value of a business model until a crisis hits. That’s why you need to start thinking seriously about your business model. There are two ways people can change: They can change by choice. Or they can change by force. This Corona virus crisis has been a wake-up call to many businesses. It is a change by force. This crisis is a big opportunity that is designed to force you to rethink and change how you do business. As long as the world remains as globalised as it is, there will surely be another crisis after this one. There’s nothing we can do about it. However, while we cannot predict change, we have the power to change how change affects us. If you want to learn how to review and redesign your business model, talk to us about this workshop. We continue to share tips about any of business challenges facing many business owners. Some of these challenges are: raising funds, starting up, restarting afresh, financial management, knowing your target market, planning for growth of your business, making more sales to grow the business, digital marketing, building strong systems to run the business, adopting technology, hiring and keeping the right people. Be sure to stop by our website http://entrepreneurspot.co.ke/ We are your reliable partner in growing your business and remember to join us for the next online session on Friday at 2:00pm.