Leading a Small Business in Chaotic Times – Part 1: The 4 Core Questions to Answer By Javnyuy Joybert
Startupers and owners of small businesses are actually going through a lot of stress and tension now to keep their vision alive. As a small business owner, key resources are always scarce in normal times. Financial resources are limited, the manpower is limited, equipment is limited…it get more challenging when leading a small business in chaotic times because with one wrong move and the business is dead. In short, what I mean is small businesses do not have the required resources to weather shocks like COVID-19
As an entrepreneur myself, keeping operations and the vision afloat has been the key focus in the last couple of months and since the COVID-19 chaos started I have been working with several small and medium sized businesses to build operating systems that can keep them afloat during this period
Among the things I have done with my clients, I have taken them through what I call The 4 Core Questions to Answer in times of chaos. The aim of these questions is to increase focus on the right activities that will positively serve the business. In chaotic times like this, there is no relevant survival, growth and improvement that bring lasting change that happens by chance. It needs commitment, action Strategy and deadlines.
Here are key 4 questions to carefully provide action oriented answers to
1. What is working in my business?
Carefully look at your business in the midst of this crisis you will notice there is one product or service that is able to work, it could be resilient and committed team members, it could be loyal customers. Identify what is still working in the midst of this crisis and capitalize on it. Focus on what is bring cash in. One of the key challenges for small businesses is access to cash. Prioritize tasks and products that generate revenue
2. What needs to start working?
In the midst of crisis, to stay afloat you need to pivot something. Carefully look at your entire system what do you need to pivot so it start working. Maybe you need to start doing social media sales and door to door delivery? What needs to start working for your business to stay afloat?
3. What needs to stop working for now?
Yes, absolutely you need to stop somethings for now and continue with them later. For example, my business can operate well effectively from home and digital so we stop pay rents, moved out of our office space and we are still function and serving our paying clients. When the marketplace comes back to “Normal”, we will get an office space. We are saving money; we are not under pressure so we are focusing on improving our operations and products.
4. What needs to stop working totally?
The COVID-19 chaos will reveal certain key things to you about your business operations, your products and even the industry you play in. This will open your mind to somethings you need to stop working on. You have to be the person who controls circumstances, not yields under pressure.
I agree with you, these are hard times for small business owners not only in Africa but globally but as entrepreneurs and business people, it is our lifestyle to solve problems. It is our responsibility to manage the COVID-19 chaos before it destroys our businesses.
Contact me: www.javnyuyjoybert.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +237 656140207 or +237 674949153