“Every misfortune, is a blessing”African Proverb
The challenge however, is in knowing how to churn out the blessing from an unfortunate situation. The coronavirus pandemic unleashed an unprecedented crisis across all corners of the globe. It has threatened businesses, and national growth and development.
The pandemic also exposed us to several unknown vulnerabilities, particularly in the healthcare sector.
It has been a testing phase for startups, small and medium scale businesses as well as large firms as they had to rethink and restructure their entire business model to survive.
Despite the negative impacts of the virus, the pandemic also unearthed several opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to exploit, adapt and amend business models, as well as lessons that will be applicable and beneficial in the longer run.
The CEO of a budding fashion business, Medoba Enterprise, Nana Yaa Boateng shares with Ghana Talks Business some of the lessons she acquired, as she built her business through the COVID-19 pandemic. Other budding entrepreneurs can identify with these business lessons and adapt the points that are relevant to their businesses.
Business Lesson #1: Agility
Agility is one key attribute that businesses and entrepreneurs had to deploy to keep business operations going despite the pandemic.
The Cambridge dictionary, agility is the “ability to think quickly and clearly.” During the height of the pandemic, businesses had to quickly and clearly think of the strategies to put in place in order to survive and thrive. While some succeeded, others folded up.
Nana Yaa, before the pandemic, had schools in the country as her biggest client, as she sewed school uniforms for them. However, when COVID-19 hit and schools had to close down for health and safety reasons, Nana Yaa had to quickly think on her feet to survive. She partnered with her mother’s fashion brand after she heard of the government’s initiative to bring together members of the apparel industry to produce nose masks. The partnership yielded fruits as they produced 1,000 nose masks per week.
Business Lesson #2: Learn something new and be creative
Despite having no knowledge in making nose masks, Nana Yaa learnt how to make nose masks by partnering with her mother’s fashion brand. She utilized her creative skills in making colourful and appealing nose masks for the Ghanaian populace.
Nana Yaa Boateng
“During the height of COVID,… there was practically no job to do because schools had shut down and there were no uniforms to produce. People weren’t attending ceremonies, so they weren’t sewing, so, to keep my head above water, that was when the creative part in me began to come alive…”
Business Lesson #3: The NOW determines the FUTURE
Nana Yaa left a promising career in the banking sector, to pursue her dream of managing her own business. In her interview with Ghana Talks Business, she disclosed that at the height of the covid-19 pandemic she considered tending in applications to financial institutions for a job. Since her clientele base was virtually non-existent.
Thank goodness she didn’t. The decision to partner with another fashion brand and be part of the government’s initiative in producing nose masks, taught her to how to mass-produce with a limited timeframe, which will later prove useful.
She further revealed, after the president announced the reopening of schools she took the time to visit some selected schools and informed the owners of her company’s ability to mass-produce school uniform’s within the shortest possible time. During her visits to some schools, she was informed that the businesses that handled the sewing of their school uniforms had folded up, thus being awarded the contract. Nana Yaa’s decision to learn to mass-produce and seize the time to visit schools post-COVID had led to a continuous successful business venture.
Whereas some businesses collapsed during the pandemic, Medoba survived through it, and has rather scaled up operations.