The best way to get your business going in the midst of the pandemic
Start a business in the pandemic. Sounds crazy, but it is possible.
Whilst the South African government has indeed recognised the need to intervene and assist small business owners to survive through the global pandemic, many people are forgetting about a small portion of entrepreneurs that exist and are unaccounted for — the “aspiring entrepreneurs”; the “I have a business I just have not quite started” entrepreneurs and the “I had big plans but now they’re just at a stand still entrepreneurs”.
Worry not. We have a few simple tips and tricks to help you establish your business and actually begin operating your business in the midst of the global pandemic.
Find an audience
An essential part of starting any business venture is intricate knowledge of existing consumer dynamics, and whilst it is inevitable that these dynamics will change given the impact of the global pandemic on your consumers, find out what these changes mean for your business and find a way to make it work for you.
Most people believe that entrepreneurs offering only goods and services deemed as essential are the most likely to succeed during this time — however this is definitely not true. While most individuals are stuck at home, consumers crave nothing more than to return to their normal lives, ladies want to get their hair and nails done, men are exhausted from doing garden chores, children miss their friends and want to play outside in the autumn sun.
So, with this in mind, your task as an entrepreneur should be to ask yourself “How will my product assist in this regard?” Once you have answered this question, find out who would be interested in your product. In other words, who is your target market?
Social media sites such as, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter may actually help you communicate with your market and help you gather valuable information.
Communicate with your market
Communication really boils down to marketing. Let your target audience know firstly, that your business exists, but secondly let them know what you are offering and why they cannot live without your product.
With marketing, the biggest challenge is that you cannot distribute flyers, or have people in the mall announcing your goods or services. Most consumers are stuck at home and therefore stuck on their phones, so use this to your advantage. Digital marketing is really such an amazing platform because it allows you to communicate with a large amount of people but at a fraction of the cost. So make sure that your friends, followers and subscribers know about your product. You will be amazed at just how much business that this can generate.
Find organisations or institutions to assist you
The global pandemic has really brought forward various organisations that can actually assist you with generating sales for your business. #SaySiyabonga is one such example. #SaySiyabonga is an online platform that assists local businesses generate sales, by allowing consumers to purchase vouchers that they can use at a later date. What is phenomenal about this organisation is that they actually have a “pay it forward” system where the entrepreneurs can get paid and deliver the goods or services at a later date. So find out about these initiatives and enlist their help to help you launch your business.
Find out how government provisions affect your business
The South African government has made extensive provisions for small business owners to survive and make ends meet amidst the global pandemic. Therefore, make sure you do your research and find out how these provisions affect you and how they can help propel your business forward. Make sure you know and understand your rights and responsibilities in this regard.
Have a post-lockdown plan
The South African presidency has announced a five-tier lockdown system. So, make sure that you first of all are familiar with each stage of the process and further know what it means for your business. In the meantime make arrangements for necessary permits, courier services or any other arrangements that need to be made to ensure the timeous delivery of your goods or services.
With all this in mind, remain optimistic in your goals and ambitions as an entrepreneur; however, and most importantly, also remain realistic. Set goals that are attainable and also amicable for your own survival.
This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.
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