Business 101: Small changes to take your business from survival to thriving mode – IOL


By Ben Bierman

IN THE future, we will all look back at 2020 as the year when a single virus had shook the global economy and threatened the survival of businesses.

While governments are working hard to implement vaccine programmes to safeguard citizens Covid-19, the virus is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that have survived thus far find themselves having to prepare for the third wave. They are slightly more proactive and prepared for the eventuality with lessons from the first and second waves of the virus.

Here with are a few steps to ride out the next wave.


Get a work-from-home model in place by investing in digital infrastructure. One of the lessons learnt from 2020 is that employees need to be empowered to do their work from home, if at all possible. This means having an internal communications plan, support structure and the right technology and digital infrastructure to accommodate a virtual workplace. Costs

Minimise your fixed costs by letting go of unused physical space. Remote working is here to stay as the national vaccination programme is being rolled out. It is, therefore, important to tighten your budget and get rid of any excess fixed expenditure. Assess whether any large office or factory space is completely necessary for your operations and where possible, downscale. If you own the property, one option might be to rent out part of it to create an additional income

stream for the business.


Make sure that your business plan fits in with the “new normal”. Reassess your business plan to establish whether client communication, the products on offer, the level of client service and the way service is delivered is all still relevant and effective. Learn from other successful businesses that have adapted to the “new normal”.


The digital economy has grown in leaps and bounds since the onset of Covid-19 and customers are now much more comfortable with shopping online. If you do not have a budget for an e-commerce site, make use of the tools such as email and social media to keep clients informed of your offering and how you can meet their needs. Also consider mobile payment as a solution. Run a lean and effective business. By learning from other businesses and embracing change, your business will have a better chance of success in 2021.

Ben Bierman is a managing director at Business Partners Limited

*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites



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