Its now a fact that we are in hyper inflationary season and this is a wave we have to ride and avoid sinking-its a sink or swim situation. So how do you protect your business?
1.Join groups where other entrepreneurs discuss latest events, the experiences they are facing and strategies they are using. Our forum provides various platforms for small businesses discussions
2.Some businesses have closed shop on a temporary basis. This allows them to take stock of their financial and operational affairs. They are waiting for the wave to subside and restrategise when the coast is clear. You can make huge sales but at a loss or increase prices and lose your loyal customers…its safer to close shop and then monitor developments.
3.Keep in contact with your suppliers,how much are they charging? What are their next plans?
4.Everyone is waiting for the next government policy measure to address the crisis, will there be price controls? Will there be dollarisation? The recent monetary policy is a reference document…keep informed of the next steps to be taken and assess their likely impact on your business operations and models
5.Your clients should also be informed of the steps you are taking, challenges you are facing….keep them informed of your business closure and opening…clients hate surprises!
6.Monitor your competition activities…are they closed too or open? Have they found an alternative supplier?
7. Foreign markets…take this period to look at opportunities in the region, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and RSA. Focusing your operations locally increases risks, are there gaps in the region you can exploit?
8. Keep a positive mindset…allow time to panic, to be angry, to predict doom….but after this phase its time to innovate, find out how you survived in 2008, look for references from South America for countries that have experienced the same situation like us. Your research skills will be crucial in finding out how others are doing it…Innovate, get your best brains on the table and come up with scenarios of operations. If dollarisation comes…how does it impact you? If keep prices keep rising…what is the end game? Crucially when is it going to stop?
9. Dont forget risk management…keep your operations safe-your inventory, premises, hard cash if you have any-risk is extremely high in inflationary periods.
10. Manage the stress…stress from clients, suppliers, employees. Everyone is experiencing stress and therefore be careful of stress related strategies. Stress stops you from clear thinking or thought processes, stress sometimes lead to unnecessary panic.
11. Are you surprised with the turn of events? If you were totally caught unaware this means there were gaps in your business strategy, you did not do enough scenario planning in your strategy because you should simply have activated Plan B or C. Do not be caught unawares next time, your business strategy should be water tight next time and closely follow macro-economic events in the region and in the country.
12. It will be well (hopefully)…This is a phase-perhaps necessary to normalise the economy in the long run. We have gone through this before and survived…Of course it will leave a lot of scars but if you go through the points we noted above you can find ways to lessen the stress.
All the best
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