There are 41,543,028 micro, small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the small business agency, SMEDAN. My educated guess is that nearly every Nigerian adult has at least one small business contributing in one way or another to the economy. Unfortunately, for a segment this huge, little is reported of its impact.
With the current outbreak of the corona virus and its crippling effects, there is no doubt that many businesses precisely the micro, small and medium scale enterprises will be gravely affected to the point of death since many of them have fewer cash reserves and a smaller margin of error for managing sudden downturns.
While many business owners are desperately looking towards the Nigerian government for some form of succour, there are few important things you should reconsider as an entrepreneur to save your business from dying with the corona virus scourge.
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1) Reconsider your finances: one key area in your business that will call for concern in this period is your finance but what exactly should you reconsider about your business finance? (i) burn rate and (ii) runway. In the simplest form, a burn rate is how much cash your company spends on a monthly basis while your company’s runway is the amount of time you have until your business runs out of money, assuming your current income and expenses stay constant.
These two indexes are great sustainability tests that will guide you in what financial decisions to make, what expenses to cut or what moves to make to keep your business from flaming out till the pandemic is over.
2) Reconsider Your Business Model: here is a truth, every business by default has a business model, the other sad truth is that many entrepreneurs are ignorant and/or unconscious of their business’ model of creating and delivering value, hence the difficulty to steer their venture away through the storm. Since many physical activities will be affected due to social isolation and lockdown, as a business owner, you should reconsider how you could create, deliver and harness value for your business most importantly using bit/virtual channels to do these.
Finally, be optimistic. This pandemic will pass, although for how long its effect will last one might not be able to tell but one thing is for sure, it will definitely pass and while you wait for it to be over and your business to return back to top speed, be well assured that success in the forthcoming business era won’t be achieved by the power of brawns, but on the speed of sense.