SMEs in Nigeria (like in some countries) are now feeling firsthand the impact of COVID-19 paired with the deflation of the Naira an aftermath of the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, that has resulted in the drop in oil prices (less than $25 per barrel, a record low since 2002).With the probabilities really slanted against the country, Its hard not to wonder how many small businesses will survive these times. Surviving will be contingent on the REBOUND STRATEGY. Life for small businesses as we all know it, will change. Once the white flag is up, it is persistence of the fittest, you will need to think on your feet if you want to remain in the market.
Few tips small businesses may need to consider when planning their rebound strategy
Tap into resources provided by government and financial institutions
Governments around the world are already putting together initiatives to support small business owners, and this is something that is evolving on a daily basis. Be up to date with how your governments can help cut costs, as well as other important institutions, such as banks who also have a social responsibility. If you’re registered in more than one market, explore support options in both markets.
Upskill your staff
Wherever possible, try your best to keep your staff– they rely on you, and if you have managed a good team, they should be supporting you. You could train your existing staff on additional skills, which could make them more productive and efficient, rather than hiring more staff. There’s plenty of online courses that are very affordable, and these will allow them to focus on other areas of the business when their department is down for instance, your sales team could perhaps also help out the marketing team.
Refurbish Branding Materials
Nothing tells the story of a business as much as its brand materials. Beyond the promise and messaging, other elements that make up a brand including the materials. While speaking with some businesses, there were conversations about wanting to update some brading elements but due to busy schedules, these could not happen. Fortunately, or unfortunately, businesses now have some time to work on this so that it reflects the image you want the brand to have. These materials include brand logo, message fonts, colours, design layouts, tagline, color palette, and all the marketing and promotional materials, letterheads, signage, etc. These, as we know amongst other things, will aid in giving your company an appeal in a very attractive way. With adequate feedback through communication with customers and your team, you can birth something that will keep your target audience glued to your brand.
Build Social Presence
The use of digital platforms have been on the increase during this period and very rightly. Businesses are trying to gain market share and are competing for audience attention. Beyond ensuring that you have an active online presence, what is key is focusing on the platform that targets your audience. As a small business, you cannot be everywhere because you most likely do not have the resources (finance and manpower), so what is advisable is to go all out. Find out what platform(s) your audience congregate and create high engaging content and begin to build human interaction. The trends of events have shown that there is so much to be gained from active involvement on these platforms.