Looking for ideas to help keep your business afloat during this lockdown? Here are 5 that you can use today.

Go digital

If you can offer your service or product online, now is the time to take the leap. Being online also means you can attract new customers by adding value to their lives- such as through webinars, industry articles or e-commerce. You can learn how to take your business online for free with Google’s Digital Skills for Africa programme.

Review your product/service

It’s important to focus your time, effort and money on the offerings that will be the most profitable during the crisis. Many non-essential items, even if you’re allowed to sell them, may not be a priority for your customers at the moment. Research the latest trends in your industry, or use free tools such as polls on your social pages or surveys on sites such as SurveyMonkey and think about whether you can adapt your product or service to accommodate the current climate.

Offer vouchers

If you’re unable to operate during lockdown, consider offering vouchers to your customers as a way for them to “pay in advance” or “reserve their spot”. Explain how these will work clearly, promising that they’ll receive their good or service once the lockdown measures are lifted for your industry. If you can, don’t forget to add something of value for them, whether it’s a discount or a free item.

Partner with other businesses

While tough times can make entrepreneurs more competitive, it’s collaboration that can actually end up benefiting you. Being able to cross-promote your product with that of a similar or appropriate SME can be potentially useful if you’re looking for more exposure in your community. For example, if you sell clothes, you could partner with a well-known local business which makes accessories. There are also many larger companies which would be interested in partnering with a smaller business. Reach out to potential partners via e-mail or LinkedIn message if they’re in your network, and remember to outline what the benefit to them would be as well.

Have a plan B

In this uncertain time, it’s important to have a plan B, just in case you’re unable to get your current plan up and running. Devise a plan to fall back on, even if that means finding more traditional employment or making a few changes to help you save on your monthly expenses. Don’t forget your options in the digital space as well- there are many skills which are in demand, and you can either shift your business to address that need, or work as an individual on a part-time or freelance basis.

Don’t let the stressful environment demotivate you. You can still keep your business going during the pandemic, even if you need to shift some things around. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to stay updated on our latest relevant articles, resources and advice.

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