Top survival strategies for businesses, organisations post COVID-19, by expert

*Key strategies include digitisation of business operations, right-sizing of staff and outsourcing of certain functions

*Urges company promoters to consider profitable new ventures including agricultural value chain, transportation, food stuffs, groceries, bakery and confectionary, and commodity brokerage

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the wide-ranging disruptions caused individuals, business and the entire economy by the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dr. Greg Ugochukwu Ezeilo, a public finance professional, has suggested survival strategies that organisations can apply to revive their business operations and return to profitability quickly in the post COVID-19 period.

Dr. Ezeilo gave the suggestion at a webinar organised by Team Bronze, a Think-Tank Group from Igbo-Ukwu, a historical town in Anambra State, Sunday, September 27, according to agency report.

Team Bronze is group driven by the central goal of championing the wholesome development of their community in particular and the Nigerian state in general.

The webinar, which had the topic: “Business Recovery and Survival Strategies in Post Pandemic,” was the second in series organised by the group.

Ezeilo, who is a consultant to the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN), said some of the survival strategies include digitisation of business operations, right-sizing of staff and outsourcing of certain functions.

Others include renegotiating wages of staff, adaptation to the dictates of the new normal and close collaboration with key stakeholders.

The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a devastating blow on the world economy, with the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracting by 7.7 percent, while Nigeria’s GDP shrank by 5.3 percent.

The expert, who stated that COVID-19 has pushed many Nigerians into abject poverty and misery, warned that the devastating effect on local and world economies might remain for a long while.

Ezeilo regretted that key industries in Nigeria had remained shut since March when the pandemic broke out and that resulted in the closure of several small businesses and loss of jobs for thousands of persons.

He urged promoters of organisations to consider profitable new ventures, mentioning some of them to include the agricultural value chain, transportation, food stuffs and groceries, bakery and confectionary as well as commodity brokerage.

He said: “Other tips include deciding if the company’s workforce should operate remotely or in physical offices, exploring new sources of finance and ensuring optimal customer service and care.”

The Federal Government had floated the Survival Fund, a funding scheme that will support micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to overcome the challenges of COVID-19, he added.

He also advised businesses to examine the criteria for accessing the fund and take advantage of the opportunity.

According to him, a few other sources of low cost funding for MSMEs include Renmoney, Green Stallion, NIRSAL MFB and Anchor Borrowers Programme (APB).

The public finance expert equally identified innovation and technology as a smart technique for reviving businesses, stressing the need to move from brick and mortar business to online business.

“Whatever business or trade you are engaged in, you need to embrace technology,” he stressed.

He stated that other benefits of transacting business online include increased sales, brand promotion, being in touch with customers across round the clock, world-wide delivery of goods and services, cost reduction and convenience.

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