The entrepreneurial landscape is inundated with challenges from the most advanced economies to the least developed economies.
From Silicon Valley in the US to Mallam Atta and Nkrumah Circle in Ghana, entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges which threaten business growth. The year 2020 has brought on Coronavirus, which is biting all manner of businesses. But one common trait among entrepreneurs who succeed in the midst of these uncertainties is the ability to make do with the meagre resources. In this article, two business leaders advice on how to stay in business when times are tough.
Resources are finite but ideas are infinite. The budding entrepreneur with prudent managerial skills at his disposal will sail in the midst of challenges when the frivolous gives up before success is achieved. With cost of doing business on the ascendancy, erratic power supply, high interest rate, unfriendly business climate for SMEs and competition form cheap imports from China, how can a start-up stay in business?
Menson Torkunoo financial and management consultant believes there’s a way out of this conundrum. “One of the key things I think the SMEs should be considering is that they should not be thinking of profit at this time but be thinking of keeping themselves in business. Because right now profits are thinning off and I think the most important thing is, if you can manage your cost of doing business and break even its enough at the moment.”
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Prioritise Customer care
Fred Amissah, former country manager for Herbalife Ghana Ltd, believes times like these call for smart business solutions. He adds, “In times like these you need to stay smart to stay on top. And it comes in various forms.” For him Customer management is very key, “it’s very important that you take care of your customers. To the pitch of even romancing them; letting them know that you’re there for them because they are there for you, and take of care of their needs.”
Customers from the corporate, and the personal level are very important, according to the former Herbalife country manager adds. He believes once you do that you build trust and they also build trust with your company and your products.
Mr. Torkunoo observed the problem with most SMEs is that they are in the hurry to make money. “The fact is every entrepreneur who wants to make profits within the first ten years of operations, you are a big joker.” The financial consultant advised entrepreneurs to make sacrifices to keep themselves in business to build capacity, build the foundations of their SMEs then after that they can reap the benefits.
Avoid Reckless spending
“The first thing is that, try and keep yourself in business.” Some reckless spending by the SMEs and the entrepreneurs should be curtailed. There are some excesses which must be curtailed to enable you stay in good business. This point is supported by Fred Amissah’s point that, “Be a smart spender; know where your money goes and what comes in.” keeping track and mastering your finances is an indispensible trait every entrepreneur should develop.
Innovate or die is a popular mantra. Innovation is something you can’t live without in times like these. You need to innovate, people want new things, they want better things, and great companies innovate and spend much in research and development. Fred Amissah admonishes fellow business managers to consider looking at their peer companies when they can strategically look as an industry to get what you want at competitive prices to either manufacture or sell.
The former Herbalife country manager takes pride in people engagement and wants managers to do same. “People are the most important from the customer and your internal people. You take care of people and people will take care of you.”
Times are hard and have always been but entrepreneurs and managers who take this challenge head-on go on to build lasting legacies in great enterprises.