Virus-proof your small business

Douglas Kruger
South African business author and coach, Douglas Kruger, has written ‘Virus-proof Your Small Business: 50 Ways to Survive the Covid-19 Crisis’, giving tips for small business owners to survive the challenges they might face during the current crisis and in the future. Below is an extract.

Let us now turn our attention to thinking beyond the crisis. Do you believe for one second that business will not pick up on the far side of the crisis, and possibly even grow beyond pre-crisis levels? Personally, I’m predicting a tidal wave of work. And I firmly believe that that wave is coming your way, too.

What opportunities will logically present themselves for your industry on the far side of the crisis? They may be coming sooner than you anticipate, and the time you have to plan or prepare may be shorter than you think.

Begin, as always, with a document. This one should be a simple brainstorm list of things you might possibly do. What would a world recently released from quarantine most value? What would newfound freedom to move, travel and associate logically lead to?

Start your document, and organise your brainstorm, with these questions:

  • What will be different?
  • What will people want?
  • What will our customers value?
  • What infrastructure or capacity might we require for renewed workflows?
  • What infrastructure or capacity might we need for increased workflows?
  • Who might be out of the game, and what accounts might we pick up?
  • Should we be talking to key stakeholders now in order to begin mutual planning for the resumption of work?
  • Could we create something new or exciting on the far side?
  • What lessons did we learn and what do we intend to do better going forward?

Here are a few speculative possibilities:

  • ‘Made in China’ might become less common.
  • Manufacturers receiving Chinese supplies might determine that this is a dangerous uncertainty, and look for other global suppliers. Could that be you? Remote work will likely become much more common, and delivery will increase dramatically.
  • Entertainment needs will likely pick up too, as people celebrate renewed freedom and look for ways to find social stimulation.
  • I would recommend winnowing your ideas down to the two or three that combine a high likelihood of occurrence with high profit potential.

That done, it is time for the second document. This one will be populated with simple to-do items — actions that will bring you days closer to execution, should the world suddenly find its feet again. Remember, the idea in isolation may not be enough. Getting there first with the idea could mean the difference between an ongoing struggle after the crisis versus relatively swift prosperity.

  • ‘Virus-proof your small business’ by Douglas Kruger is available as an e-book from Google Play and Snapplify.

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