It is true that the world is in rags of confusion and available data from the IMF, WHO, Rating Agencies etc. suggests that an economic rebound will be if available, harder for most countries. The coming economic crisis will be felt, if harshly by the very developed countries that administer financial assistance to other countries, what then is to become of developing countries?
While state economies are expected to plunge in pure demise, what about the vigor of entrepreneurship that countries, including South Africa were trying to promote for the sake of job creation, economic empowerment and equality? What are chances of survival in this global pandemic? These are questions in the minds of citizens, economists, governments and all those who thought they have it all figured out.
Surely by now you would have heard of COVID-19, that’s why you are sitting at home. Countries are under lockdown., business operations have ceased except for those providing essential services. Academic activities have been halted and now e-learning is being considered by all education institutions. Movements have been restricted and the defense force has been imposed in countries across the world in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve by encouraging people to stay at home.
A few month ago, your business was focused on engaging prospects, setting up meetings, closing deals and making sales. Even if things weren’t easy – you were making ‘ends meet’. Then suddenly and abruptly, the lifeline and schedule of your daily operations ceased without notice or an extra cheque. You can no longer meet with clients, projects have altogether stopped (if you not working online), you can no longer make your expected sales and productivity has been reduced if not at a slump zero.
Imagine if businesses digitalized their operations before the pandemic, would they still be operating?.
Remember that COVID-19 is not the beginning of challenges for small businesses in South Africa. In fact, South Africa doesn’t have a noble history in relation to small businesses scaling and getting access to markets. Yet some incidents are too evident; remember last year’s dramatic economic downturn, which saw business confidence drop to its lowest level since April 1985. The effects started settling in ever since. Corporate budgets were slashed to avoid retrenchments, and there was little extra money to spend on enterprise & supplier development initiatives. The money that was then left was pumped into keeping businesses afloat which ultimately meant, reducing staff.
Most businesses will close down if not already, especially those in the informal sector. Thousands of businesses have already closed in the formal space due to the pandemic; retail shops, travelling agencies, tourism companies and transport companies amongst others have all been directly affected.
The companies that have been affected are a huge wave that will create ripple effects and thus indirectly affecting others, consulting companies, repair companies, financial companies amongst others. With global giants like Edcon receiving a final blow from COVID-19, where does this leave the little guys? Where does this leave you as an entrepreneurs, employee, student or church leader?
Imagine if businesses digitalized their operations before the pandemic, would they still be operating? If institutions enforced e-learning a but sooner, students would be at home but the programme wouldn’t be affected at all. This is what we should be talking about, DIGITALIZATION! Why businesses and institutions must GO ONLINE!
On our next blog posts, we’ll be giving tips about things you can start doing to prepare yourself for the transition. We’ll also give reference to a few tools meant to help you and your business digitalize your operation