3 Ways Your Business Can Adapt to Dynamic Market Shifts Even during a Crisis

Mukonki Mukonkela

Mukonki Mukonkela

Host of the Ndalama Insights Business Show.

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3 Ways Your Business Can Adapt to Dynamic Market Shifts Even during a Crisis

I discuss 3 Ways Your Business Can Adapt to Dynamic Market Shifts Even during a Crisis. At the beginning of the year 2020, no business owner or company could have predicted the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business environment. With the health measures and restrictions put in place, businesses have ended up experiencing dynamic market shifts that no one really anticipated for, how then can a business adapt to these dynamic market shifts?
3 Ways Your Business Can Adapt to Dynamic Market Shifts Even during a Crisis
Monica .K. Musonda

Whose Today’s Guest?

 

Monica .K. Musonda is a Zambian lawyer who turned into an entrepreneur. She has a number of positions and awards but is best known for founding and then leading a Zambian-based food-processing company called Java Foods Limited.

3 Ways Your Business Can Adapt to Dynamic Market Shifts Even during a Crisis

 

Effects of the pandemic on The Manufacturing Industry

No business or company could have predicted what was installed for business in Zambia and on a global scale on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite hearing about the virus quiet early, most business owners thought that the virus would be contained in China and that business would go on as usual.

But this wasn’t the case as the virus begun to spread and by March countries around Zambia had begun to impose lock downs and close boarders. This turned out to be a huge blow for businesses in the processing and manufacturing sector as it affected key areas of businesses such as bringing in much needed machinery and packaging from outside the country. This lead to three effects:

  • Huge Panic

Most manufactures relay on importing some raw materials from outside the country to help produce a finished product and put it on the market, with most countries placing travel restrictions and lock downs, many where left to wonder what would happen next  but luckily most governments allowed the transfer of essential commodities and most where able to befit from this.

  • Depreciation of The Kwacha

With the pandemic spreading, the depreciation of the kwacha happened over night  and in a few days  the kwacha had already lost 25% of its value on the market, this lead to  prices sky rocketing affecting the cost of acquiring materials both at an international and local level.

Manufactures were forced to increase prices of their products meanwhile the salaries of the target consumer remained the same and some reduced as a measure to ensure that businesses survive this crisis.

  • Tricky Situation

The Covid-19 pandemic presented all business even the manufacturing industry with a tricky situation around sales, imputes and safety concerns for staff and their families. Particularly in the manufacturing the aspect of working from home is a practical impossibility as production needs people to be on site. 

Adapting to the New Business Environment

The crisis we are facing at the moment is a challenging one as most business owners do not know what exactly to do and how best to motivate employees especially when the pandemic is a health based one and there is need for the employees to keep working. As a business leader, one will need to find the leadership to govern through a crisis. This can be achieved by:

  • Staying Informed

One will need to stay well informed on the events of the pandemic and how its evolving, this will allow business owners to assess the situation and determine how the evolution of the pandemic affects the business and what opportunities can be gotten from the new development.

  • Seek Professional Training

Accept that you don’t have all the answer or the know-how on how to lead in a crisis, mind you Covid-19 is not the only crisis that a business will face, there several other crises that a business will experience. Seek professional training on that will help your business survive this period e.g. cash flow management.

  • Get Your Team Involved

Work closely with your business management team, determine what can be done during this crisis and what cannot be done. Ask yourselves questions like is there need for you to communicate with your consumers? Should your product prices go up or ultimately should you dissolve a product as its not conducive for the current environment? Or is there need to talk to your employees and explain the situation at hand and how it affects the business?

These are all choice you will need to make but as you do so ensure that your team is involved in the process.

Key essential Measure

  • Assessment

Assessing the evolving situation will help you as a business owner to understand what is going on and how it is affecting your business even in the long run, it will help you determine whether there is need for you to pivot your business in light of the impact the pandemic might have if your business continued down the same path. Conduct your assessments on a weekly or monthly basis and discuss with your team, set strategies and evaluate possible impacts. 

Identifying Opportunities during a Crisis

  • Pivoting

Once you have carried out your assessments it is possible to that you may find that the crisis will affect your business in a way that your product or service may no longer be that valuable at the moment, despite this your assessments can show you what opportunities my lay on the horizon and that a change in your business model or a complete shift from that product or service may be ideal in order for your business to survive.

  • Digital Shift

Everyone is going digital now, with the health restrictions and safety measures in place it may be time for your business to invest in this and make that shift.

  • New Ways of Reaching your Customers

You will need to constantly Identify the gaps being caused by the pandemic and seek to capitalize on these ad monetize them. One clear example of this the delivery service, with most being advised to stay home how you can ensure that you reach them. It’s time to put on your thinking hat as an entrepreneur and think in a more creative and innovative way.

  • Understand your market

Identification of opportunities will  can only be done if you understand the market you’re in and understand it well, this means constantly assessing market trends, what they are shifting to and moving with these shifts as a business.

  • Always be on the look out

Real entrepreneurs don’t wait to see the outcome of a crisis but rather are always on the move staying informed and looking for the opportunities that come up with the evolution of a crisis.

  • Interrogate the Market

Speak to people, find out their thoughts on a particular product or service that you might have in mind, find out if they would pay for such a product or service.

  • Mindset

It’s important to have a strong mindset of positivity despite facing a crisis. One needs to use this time to interrogate their own mindsets and set their priorities straight if your business stands a chance of survival.

Key Focus Areas

  • Health

This pandemic is a health pandemic, ensure that your business is ready to ensure the safety and health of your staff and their families as it your obligation as an employer during this period.

  • Cash Flow Management

Cash flow is very essential to the survival of your business, you need to keep the lights on and pay your employees. It is cardinal that you look at the paying time for your products and if you discover that the payments are delayed communicate with your customers or suppliers let them know what’s going on and if there is need to arrange for a new pay plan.

There is need to develop a habit of understanding on a daily basis how much you have in your account and management of your payables.

  • Continuous Communication with Customers

Constantly stay in touch with your clients on any developments and to assure them that your still there. Get feedback from them to as this could help with planning purposes.

Key Insights:

  • Adapt to an ever changing environment by constantly carrying out assessments on the evolution of the crisis at hand.
  • A crisis will help you shift your focus to things that matter, going through a crisis is not the end of your business but an eye opener to the possible opportunities.
  • Businesses may have to change their business models or completely change a business depending on the impact of the crisis that’s being faced.
  • The covid-19 pandemic has allowed business owners to see various opportunities and made them have the courage to venture into them.

“Never waste a good Crisis they say, because a Crisis will actually force you  to think of different ways that you can conduct your business.”                      

We would love to hear from you. You can participate in this conversation on social media and in our comments section below. Your input is valuable to other.  

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Mukonki MUkonkela

Mukonki MUkonkela

Mukonki was inspired to start the Ndalama Insights business show in 2016 to share knowledge with business owners who are just starting or growing their business and are struggling to get answers to challenges they may be facing in their business.She believes with the right insights and skills you can overcame any obstacle on your way. And so the Ndalama insights business show was inspired from this belief.

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