I recently looked at lockdown friendly businesses; you do well to check out that article. Though I was occasionally dropping some insights in that article I thought to do a separate article exclusively on lockdown business tips. These are tips that will help you redefine existing businesses, start new ones, and make generally informed entrepreneurship decisions.
I may be preaching to the choir on this one but I will always reiterate it. You cannot speak of business under a lockdown without any form of digital operation, absolutely not. The least you can do is use WhatsApp, or even SMSes – start from there. This is because scoring customers and even striking strategic alliances with other business players will be easier if you are visible online. Just being on a strategic WhatsApp or Facebook business forum can unlock business opportunities you never thought possible. Never forget this!
Keep Your Ears To The Ground
The times we are living in are extremely dynamic and fast-paced. Things can change within hours and before you know it something legal before is now illegal. You have got to always be attentive to what is happening around you. I can also mention here that these are desperate times and criminal activity is on the rise. If you are floppy you can lose your hard-earned money at the hands of thieves, conmen, and the like. You also know that it is the norm for statutory instruments or emergency laws to pop up in Zimbabwe. Especially under lockdown restrictions, you must be sure you are always privy to all that pertains to your business (directly or indirectly).
Be Abreast With The Latest And Evolving Trends
Lockdowns have brought in interesting trends all of which you must be abreast with at all times. The perfect example is right now herbal solutions to flu and the like have become highly sought after. That is a new trend that can actually inform the setting up of a new business. A common one is that people are spending more time online – no wonder your business must also be online. Another trend is that people are now voracious for content thus creating engaging content can drive traffic to your business platform. These are just a few examples I gave you to make you see what I am talking about. Know the latest and evolving trends and use them to inform your entrepreneurial journey nowadays. Know these at all levels possible e.g. local, national, regional, and global level.
‘Pivot’ Is The Keyword
The 3 preceding talking points bring me to an extremely important tip you must appreciate now more than ever before. My definition of pivoting is simply redefining your business’ value proposition to reflect the new-found insights. See now how what I was discussing before culminates to this. My emphasis here is two-tier namely it is for existing businesses and also those that are being or will be set up in times to come. You must make your business pivot-able so that you do not get booted out of business due to prevailing circumstances. Not only must the business be pivot-able now but it must have a long haul sustainable DNA for being able to be pivoted come what may.
Fortunately for most businesses pivoting will simply entail introducing online placement of orders and a delivery framework. Some of the areas you can tweak in the pursuit of pivoting are the revenue model, the target market, the value proposition, operating platform, product or service, and so on. For other businesses, it might be much more complicated than that. The general idea is that you must fully grasp the tenets of pivoting your business especially given these lockdowns.
Collaboration Now A Must
I am glad I have noticed that some entrepreneurs are already catching onto this, awesome! Now is no longer the time to be hung up on wanting to operate as an island, join hands. As an entrepreneur seek out strategic partnerships that you can enter into. You can even simply consult another entrepreneur to draw knowledge on certain aspects. You can let each other in on your market bases to broaden your reach. You can help each on influencer marketing. I am also aware that for many running a digital operation is a completely new thing. This is all why collaboration is now more important than ever before. Do not forget though you must protect the sovereign of any trade secrets or aspects of your business that you feel if known will make you lose your competitive advantage. Be open to collaboration but be vigilant at the same time.
These are 5 tips you must take to heart and let them drive your business journey under such lockdowns. Edward Snowden in his book “Permanent Record” said that the unexpected blessing of trauma is the opportunity for reinvention. Let that define and inform your mindset from now on.