Running a business smoothly during this season can’t be easy. Not only is there so much uncertainty, but people are more keen on saving than spending; we all want to take full precaution as we are not sure what the coming months will look like in terms of the economy. Many businesses have either been shut down or are only open for a few hours and of course, there is reduced human interaction to avoid risk of infections. Seasons come and go, so even though this may be a tough one, we take it a step at a time.
During this time, it’s important for us to think of innovative ways which will ensure we adapt to the current change in lifestyle, because we aren’t sure if things will ever go back to being the same again. The Covid-19 pandemic may be with us for a while. Also, in the past, every pandemic has been succeeded by a revolution; and nothing remains the same. As a business owner, you will need to do some research by analyzing new trends, opportunities and change in consumer behaviour. Discovering gaps which you can fill and carrying out a SWOT analysis will also help you kick things back into place.
Business owners and Employers have been forced to adopt a great deal of creativity to ensure their businesses stay relevant and we are excited to learn how several entrepreneurs are doing it.
We spoke to some owners of corner shops and minimarts and were impressed to learn that they have been making deliveries to their clients who live within their area. One further explained that he created a WhatsApp group for his loyal clients and informed them that he would do free deliveries for all WhatsApp orders.
This has enabled the shops to accommodate more customers and even gain their loyalty since they are offering them great convenience.
Cross-partnerships have never been more important: a young man who is in the textile industry, ventured into making masks and he actually got quite a number of orders from his customers. He had to make good rapport with several delivery guys who ensured the masks were delivered to the clients in good time and this helped bring more referrals.
Supermarkets have also partnered with delivery companies such as Glovo to make deliveries to their clients.
Changing Selling Models
Shoppers are looking for convenience. People want to spend the least time in crowded stores, so if you’re not selling online, you better be having a really good incentive to capture buyers. Supermarkets have taken this into consideration and some are offering goods in bulk and at wholesale prices so that the end consumer gets maximum value.
Even online, things are changing because platforms like Instagram have become shopping malls and we love that! This has enabled both small and big shops to have an equal opportunity to market and sell their products. Markets in Facebook groups too.
Build your Digital Footprint
Make sure you have a Social Media account for your business on at least two platforms. Business owners online are collaborating with influences and bloggers to reach as many audiences as they can. Bloggers such as Edgar Obare have come up with innovative ways of marketing SME’s; he has quite the engaging audience and he puts up ads in between his interesting stories on Instagram. Those looking for jobs, products and services meet here. An ad lasts about 10 seconds, he adds music it, tags the owner and people can visit the page and purchase their products or services, amazing!
Unfortunately, Covid-19 cases in Kenya are on the rise, even after all the measures taken; so we MUST put in double the effort to ensure we are not trapped by this pandemic.
Now that imported items are limited, it's the best time to support local brands. 'Like' those pages on social media, support delivery guys by rating them on the apps, donate food and clothes to the needy - you can support Kibera Vision Achievers on Instagram. Wear your mask in public areas, wash your hands frequently and just be kind, we all need a shoulder to lean on in these times!
Of course most importantly, let us pray - for ourselves, our families, friends and our world; and leave the rest to God.