Post-COVID Is A Thing

May we? Yes we May!

Millions of people are currently on a government-imposed lockdown across the African continent and indeed the world. The question many need an answer to is – When May we go out?

Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa have eased the lockdown with the hope of jump-starting their various economies whilst checking the pulse for the overall effect of the virus post-lockdown.

The effects of the COVID-19 scourge is far from over and we project that the effects may linger on for at least 18 months. From all indications, drugs for treating those infected may pass the trial stages by Q3, however, the vaccine may not be approved till Q1 2021.

If you are running a business in Africa, our hope is that you and your business are already making the best of the current situation. One thing you must realize is that for many businesses this is a season when you need to (above all else) survive else you stand a chance of losing your business.

According to one of our platinum members, Dr. Tayo Oyedeji – Times are tough and they will get tougher in the short term. Here’s why: A supply-fueled recession is relatively easy to resolve. Just produce more stuff. A demand-fueled recession is tougher: people are just not buying stuff. We are in a demand-fueled recession. People are not buying stuff because there is so much uncertainty in the air. That means non-essential product manufacturers and service providers are not selling. They will have to lay off their staff (no sales) and the ripple effect will make things worse.

How then should you react?

  1. Embrace minimalism.
  2. Think liquidity
  3. Think necessities.

Abubakar Suleiman also proposes these tips for surviving these times and coming out on top at the other side:

  1. First you must conserve, be it energy, money, food, there’s less room for waste. Time to shrink your spending, the pie (GDP) is shrinking, the time to be expansive will come. Buy only what you really need. We can’t spend our way out of this, we will have to produce our way out.
  2. Buy local. The true cost of the oil gloom is less foreign currency to import things. Start by cancelling foreign vacations, non-essential dollar (or any foreign currency) subscriptions, those online purchases you can live without.
  3. Same as 2 but harder. If you have FX commitments such as kids schooling abroad and you only earn Naira, time to think rationally about it. Unless you have serious savings, your earnings could come under pressure. Be realistic.
  4. Rethink your business – if people are cutting luxuries, is that what you are selling? Move toward essentials, things people can’t live without. Beware of the risk of currency volatility, don’t be caught exposed. Source locally.
  5. If you are in employment, how can you do more remotely rather than less? Employers don’t want to shrink, if you can keep the business healthy, they will keep you. Think inside your isolation box, you may be surprised at what is possible.
  6. Hold the cash you need but no more. If you have anything to spare, buy earning assets (speak to your financial adviser). If and when inflation escalates, some assets still retain their value. And give what you can, it is good for our mental health to help others. Consider OverWood or Afrinvest .
  7. Stay healthy. Cut out excessive focus on Covid19 infection data and get fit. Leave what you can’t control for what you can. Change your diet if necessary – cut out processed sugar, and if you are ambitious, meat.
  8. Stay engaged. With family, friends, work. If you serve customers, engage them. Find out how their needs are changing and if you can, serve them remotely. It will earn you goodwill post Covid19.
  9. Plan for the long haul. This is not going away ‘just like that’ – it will take time. Even if the virus is defeated, our ways won’t return to what it used to be. Add digital blackout to your calendar, the risk of being over-wired is real.
  10. Stay ambitious and plan for life after Covid19 – like all plagues, this too is headed for the history books. Start educating yourself for the life after –

10.b – understand the application of technology (and yes, data) for operations, marketing, fulfillment, logistics & customer care. These are the new (required) skills for entrepreneurs & employees alike.

We trust you are taking all the necessary steps to ensure that you do not expose yourself to the virus by firstly staying at home and going out only in the case of emergencies; if out, you must practice social distancing; also be sure to wash your hands properly with soap and water every chance you get and endeavor to keep your hands away from your face, especially your nose, eyes and mouth.

Last month we commenced the release of 52 episodes of Under 40 CEOs on our Youtube page everyday for 52 days starting from the 6th of April, 2020. We are now on Day 30! Subscribe to our Youtube page to receive new episode notifications by clicking here. Learn how young Africans are building businesses from Ghana to Nigeria, from South Africa to Rwanda.

We held our first Instagram Live Seminar with over 400 people in attendance. The event featured Feyi Olubodun, a seasoned marketer and subject-matter expert on the African consumer. Please request key insights from this engagement by clicking here.

We are committed to supporting you to not only survive these times but to thrive. Reach out to us to know how we can offer value to you and your business by writing us at [email protected].

Stay safe. We will be in touch.