Impact of Covid-19 on Startups and Adopting the Lessons for Sustainability – Nairametrics

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The Covid-19 pandemic has far-reaching implications Companies in a way that has resulted in massive layoffs, bankruptcy, reduction in production of the units of goods or services offered, price increases from suppliers, and changes in the way people operate around the world.

However, with this pandemic comes the opportunity to become innovative and creative to meet market demands and the various invisible variables that have influenced today’s business world.

Huge layoffs

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, start-ups had no access to constant cash flow and were only able to keep employees who were directly involved in priority areas, the Customers. Layoffs then became an option because without this solution there would have been a backlog in salaries that would have negatively impacted the company. The layoffs would also have affected the productivity limited staff, as they had to work longer and perform more tasks than before for the same pay.

bankruptcy

Organizations that deal with initial investment or credit from Financial institutions however, was unable to meet repayment terms as working capital was exhausted and there was insufficient traction to apply for a second investment tranche.

Reduction of the production units

Consumers only focused on the essentials such as food, health and education due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the rise in the price of food and other items, consumers are reducing their spending because their income has not changed, which has an impact on the usual amount of purchases; Companies had to adapt, either accepting production only on demand to contain waste, or producing in limited quantities as general consumption declined due to the rise in prices.

Price increase by suppliers

The supply chain is an important cycle that affects everyone Stakeholders as they are sourced directly from manufacturers and then sold to retailers before they reach the end user. The conditions that lead to a change by the manufacturer affect the supplier’s offer and this lasts until everyone is affected. The suppliers resorted to procuring only what could also be sold in limited quantities to the wholesalers.

Successful in times of the Covid-19 pandemic

Change is inevitable and only organizations that can adapt to the changing times will stay in business sustainably. These are measures to ensure that businesses continue to run under adverse conditions.

1. Adopt a remote work system

Startups have realized that the 5-day week may no longer necessarily apply, as their teams can now work from home and still get their jobs done. Majority of Organizations now have a hybrid work system with some employees working from home and others working locally; This ensures productivity Teams can now manage themselves without top management having to resort to micromanagement. Tasks such as entering data, making phone calls, receiving and replying to emails, and online marketing can now be done by a remote team.

2. Implementation of a cloud-based storage system

Using a cloud-based storage system might not have been easily adopted by a large percentage Companies, however, when Covid-19 began to develop resistance and human-human interaction was restricted, a cloud-based storage system became necessary not only for storing files, but also for collaborative work and easy referencing of stored documents.

3. Focus on cash flow

Organizations get caught up in a web of numerous activities that lead them to ignore their core. The inability to focus on their core then leads to irregularities in their earnings, and this flaw was only revealed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Guaranteed cash flow is everyone’s lifeblood Companies; even if it doesn’t make a profit initially, there is a tremendous opportunity to break even at some point. The focus should be on any activity that can directly or indirectly generate income for a company.

4. Data-driven decisions

Companies try to contain the waste that can arise in the use of their resources and begin to work on that data is produced. Insights are embedded in the customer’s data, which can lead to the quantity of items to be produced weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on requirements predictive analytics. Various tools can be used to collect data for business purposes. The most commonly used are Google Forms, Google Analytics, and Hubspot. The collected data can now be analyzed using specific data science tools.

5. Adoption of the wage system

The era of weeks of pre-salary work is also being called into question, as the need for freelancers to complete certain tasks without having to provide medical care, workplaces, internet services and all the offers that come with full-service time staff is in question . Companies need to decide which roles require full-time workers and which freelancers, consultants or part-time workers require.


Emmanuel Otori, the author, has worked on the GEM project of the World Bank Bank, conducted training for entrepreneurs and professionals at the Abuja Enterprise Agency and has more than 8 years of experience working with over 50 SMEs in Nigeria.

Please visit my LinkedIn profile here – https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmanuelotori/


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