By: Awunli Eghosasere
Global statistics show that 115 million people are at risk of falling into poverty due to the pandemic. Also, the pandemic has widened the gender gap as women owned businesses were and continues to be the worst hit! And although most of the world thinks the pandemic is behind us, some countries are dealing with increased infection rates following the third wave. This has led to more restrictions and closure of businesses. If your business is in anyway affected by the pandemic or unrelated causes, these three tips can help you reset and bounce back.
Finding a Ray of Hope Can Keep You Keeping On
Femi Otedola a business man from Nigeria was topping the list of Forbes Richest men in Africa until life happened in 2008; he experienced a big business setback! His shipment of one million tons of diesel setting sail for Nigeria fell in price before it arrived at its destination. Otedola, owner of Forte oil and 500 filling stations in Nigeria, lost one billion Naira from an avalanche of misfortunes that hit at almost the same time: plunge in oil prices, devaluation of the Naira, and a stock price crash. Meanwhile, he was accruing interest on his business loan.
In Otedola's mind, he had two options: “to commit suicide or to weather the storm,” he told Forbes Africa. “I decided to weather the storm. I just knew it was a phase I had to go through. You see, God prepares you for greater things and of course, experience is the best teacher, so I had to learn my lessons. I took the bitter pill."
In 2014, Otedola bounced back from crisis and reclaimed his former position on Forbes richest list with a net worth of 1.8 billion dollars. He looked inwards to beat the odds, and encouraged himself to see things from a different perspective. Scriptures says David encouraged himself in the Lord. That strengthened him for the battle and journey ahead. Finding a ray of hope can give you the impetus you need to weather the storm.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Poju Oyemade, the founder of the Covenant Christian Center, said, “When change is imposed on you, it is an opportunity for you to discover what you have, not just to survive the circumstance but also to thrive.” In other words, re-invent. When he said “an imposed change,” he was referring to the many ways the pandemic disrupted our lives and by extension, our businesses.
As an example, he described an experiment carried out at John Hopkins hospital. The experiment was carried out to identify the death stages of a type of insect when put in a controlled environment. The type of plant they fed on was also grafted in. When the plant got exhausted and there was nothing else to feed on, instead of going through the death stages as anticipated by the scientists, the insects developed wings and flew away in search of food. They moved from just being insects to becoming flying creatures. They found an ability they didn’t know existed which enabled them to overcome their circumstances. Oyemade advised that just like the insects, when an imposed change occurs, rather than die (as in the case of a business, vision, or dreams), phase out, or become overwhelmed with the changes that the situation imposes on you, what you will need to do is re-invent.
You may own a brick-and-mortar store, an online business, or offer professional services. Whatever the case is, you have one goal: to make money. Every enterprise is in business to sell something. The inability to sell comes with lots of consequences. One of which is a loss of income or a dip in revenues. However, history has shown that it is at moments like this, that innovative businesses are born.
Vikram Khanna, associate editor at The StraitsTimes, points out four world crises that inspired innovative businesses:
The great depression of the 1930s prompted the birth of instant coffee by Nestle, and Nylon by DuPont.
The 2001 dot.com bubble birthed Google and eBay.
SARS 2003 boosted e-commerce in China.
And with the 2008 great depression came businesses like Uber and Airbnb.
This shows that for every problem, there can be a solution. Innovating your products or services in the face of crises could help your business rebound. How can you reposition or transform your business in such a time as this? Think, reflect, strategize, and execute.
Awunli Eghosasere is a Writing Consultant helping entrepreneurs, executives and young professionals birth their ideas and thoughts into books. She is also the founder of hapiwify.com.ng, a digital resource platform committed to elevating womanhood and helping young women unlock their potentials. She can be reached via email: email@example.com