By Kigenyi Saadi
The year 2020 left some business proprietors smiling, earning more than they had ever done after reinventing themselves. However, for others, following the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a struggle to keep business afloat. In spite of that, the new year offers a fresh start and opportunities to grow one’s business and make it profitable. If one takes certain steps, including the following among others;
- Adhere to covid-19 guidelines; to make profits in 2021 will require business owners to focus on what they can do within the new regulations that even includes curfews, and limitations on gatherings.
- Planning outside the box; one of the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic is that to stay afloat, one needs to do things differently. One needs to seek avenues to make one’s business profitable. Even within your sector, you need to diversify into different sub-sectors to make a profit. E.g. if one has a school with a van, during a crisis, one could use the school van to ferry food, a bar or a club could transition into a restaurant
- Embrace digitization; another avenue one can take to make the business more profitable is by moving from a physical location to online platforms. By going, digital/ online, one saves on rent and transport expenses. Besides that, one can use that same platform to advertise ones business to attract more clients.
- Be flexible; after the outbreak of the pandemic, no business remained the same, with every entity going through changes therefore calling for doing things differently. People in the hotel industry for instance, may not get as many visitors as they used. However, can they give superior conferences perhaps by investing in modern technology? Are they going to motivate in country visitors instead of waiting for tourists who can give them a lot of money? Flexibility comes with cutting costs. If one was focusing on foreigners, one might have to shift the focus to local business people. You can lower your price a little so as to increase the number of clients and instead end up making more money.
- Diversify your investment; Covid-19 has showed that having one source of income is not good. It’s advisable that someone has two to three channels where you cannot only make ends meet but also reap a profit.
- Analyse risks; people need to study the risk framework of their businesses. I.e. what are the risks affecting the business? Which risks are manageable and which ones are not? If you cannot manage them, sell them to an insurance company to manage them for you. If you cannot manage either of them and they’re heavy risks, then try to avoid them. You should therefore do the less risky activities. However, it should be noted that in business, the higher the risk the higher the returns and vice versa.
- Networking; did you know that businesses mostly survive because of networks? Do you have a network of people whom you can turn into new customers? Businesses which have repeat customers can survive better than those that depend on new clients every time. How well do you sustain your new customers? If your business is relying on new customers, it will eventually close or make less money. New customers are not reliable. That means that the customers are not satisfied. They try once and they do not come back. You need old customers to bring in others.
- Service excellence; imagine a situation where someone goes to a shop and the shop keeper first gauges him from head to toe and then decides whether to attend to you or not. The best approach is to satisfy one’s customers beyond their expectations. If you do that, those customers will come back and also bring others. You will therefore have more revenue and therefore will be able to pay your employees well, while will in turn better their performance. You can create exceptional experiences for your customers as a way of appreciating them. Ones existing customers can remain loyal if one creates lasting memories for them. Take an example of personalized notes with deliveries and other such small touches.
- Training; it could be that your business is not making more profits because you lack the skills. Business people are urged to attend training, especially to attain transferable skills such as leadership, marketing, customer care, public speaking and interpersonal skills. Besides that, the skills should be practical and tailored to take the business to another level.
- Feedback; whether your business has been doing well or not, you need feedback. Feedback will help you take your business to another level and if it has been declining, it will revamp it. One of the ways you can get feedback is to ask your clients about your goods or services. Where you are not doing well, then you can improve, where you are doing excellent, you can put in more effort.
- Capitalisation; do you have adequate resources to reap the profits you want from your business? If you do not have enough resources, you look for ways to capitalize your business. You can venture with others or combine your business with somebody else. If you have no capital, you can borrow money from the financial institutions. Remember that if you over borrow, you will have less profit due to the periodic interest repayments.
The writer is a Lead consultant at ANKS consulting and Advisory Services. Contact; [email protected] 0702402937/0773549953