Doing Business in the Post-Covid World
Chukwuemeka Ayogu is the founder and principal partner of Countsystem,…
More than ever, businesses in the post-Covid world require more grit, tenacity and flexibility, especially in Nigeria. Characterised by lots of challenges, doing business in Nigeria is tough. Besides, the havoc caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 on businesses has left many entrepreneurs asking questions about the way forward. This means that business operations require more improved and structured processes. Entrepreneurs must actively put decisive measures in place for effective and efficient businesses in a post-Covid world. These are the things to do:
1. Understand the Place of Technology
It is now more like a “sin” for any entrepreneur to say I’m not technology-inclined. Technology isn’t just utilised to deliver products or services; you must understand it to remain relevant in today’s marketplace. Technology is the number one instrument for business operations. For example, having an active online presence and a seamless payment page can significantly attract more customers and improve sales.
2. Get Insurance
Yes! Get insurance. An average Nigerian entrepreneur doesn’t see the need for business insurance. This is a new world, so you need life assurance and/or business insurance. You can go for both, if you can afford them. However, as a matter of urgency and necessity, start with the business insurance to minimise business risks.
3. Study the Post-Covid Business Environment
Now, there should be no assumptions about your business operations. You have to go out to get empirical evidence (information received by observation, documentation of patterns and behaviours or experimentation) in the line of the business you intend to start or expand. This helps you test the business’s viability before you invest in it.
4. Keep Proper Accounting Books
Accounting is the language of business, and there is no accounting without proper bookkeeping. This helps you to set credit limits for customers/clients, track the credit history of every customer/client and, most importantly, understand the financial position of your business. If you find traditional bookkeeping difficult, there is a variety of free accounting software that you can easily use on your smartphone/computer.
5. Prepare a Budget
A budget is a list of estimated income and expenses over a stated period, usually monthly or yearly. This helps to prevent business overspending in this post-covid world. You can use this template for preparing your monthly, quarterly or yearly budgets.
6. Set Cost-cutting Measures
There are various ways you can proactively reduce the cost of business operations. For example, you can arrange for a part-timer instead of hiring a full time accountant as a small business owner. You can also outsource jobs if it’s cheaper than you producing them. Other cost-cutting measures include; holding meetings online with your team to cut entertainment expenses and having a certain percentage of your workforce as part-timers.
In conclusion, every entrepreneur must be disciplined to do the right things yet flexible enough to conform to the new post-Covid world order.