The World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, declared the outbreak of the viral disease COVID-19 as a pandemic. The virus has since plagued the globe with over 5.1 million cases in circa 200 countries as at today. World economies and businesses have taken a great hit with about 65% of the global economy imposed with lockdowns. The adverse effect of this is seen in the collapse of stock markets, shortage of supply and consequent price hikes, a decrease in oil prices amongst others. The Ghanaian economy is no exception as government estimates a plummet in GDP growth to 2.6%, significantly lower than the projected 6.8 % growth for the year 2020, decline in international trade and reserves, to cite a few.
Indeed, we are in trying times, and no one is certain when the Covid-19 pandemic will be over. However, we at Absa are confident of one thing, that if we look out for each other and work together we will surely overcome this pandemic together. At Absa bank, our goal is to connect the dreams of Ghanaians to financial resources, services and opportunities to help bring their possibilities to life.
Asba bank we are convinced that the private sector is the soul of the Ghanaian economy and therefore our continued commitment to helping businesses find a way to get things done and grow. This piece is to share a few ideas on how your business can thrive in this time of crisis.
Leadership in the time of COVID-19
What should you do if you’re responsible for a team, organization, or company?
First and foremost, educate yourself on what is happening around you. On the virus, in your community, by your government and globally. Get information on the change that is happening. Observe and Orient, Decide and take Action. The OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) is a four-step approach to decision-making that focuses on filtering available information, putting it in context and quickly making the most appropriate decision while also understanding that changes (and difficult decisions) can be made as more data becomes available.
Leverage your team by bringing your team together to create and execute survival plans. Involve your employees, (whether a large workforce or a one-man business) they are key stakeholders.
Pivoting your business in response to COVID-19
All good pivots start with great questions. There are three aspects you should explore when deciding on potential pivots.
Managing cash flows in the period of crisis
Revenue is vanity, Profit is sanity, Cash is king and I’ve heard it said recently that MoMo is sovereign. So it is cash in-flows and out-flow management is very important to any business especially during a crisis.
Ensure your own financing remains viable
Whatever your source of financing you need to talk to them to ensure that your existing lines are available to support you. Tough decisions on spending need to be made. You might have to put some projects on hold until the situation is clearer.
Consider alternate or non-traditional revenue streams.
If your scenario planning is showing pressure on your continued revenue streams, consider ways you could temporarily or maybe even permanently replace that revenue.
Using technology to enhance service delivery and operational efficiency can help keep your business alive.Find new ways to communicate and promote your business by leveraging on social media and online platforms.
Absa bank businesses support initiatives
Lastly, to survive during crisis, take advantage of business initiatives and offers from your partners to keep your business alive. As part of Absa bank’s support to customers, we are continuously engaging with our customers to understand their specific circumstances and to tailor our solutions to help them find a way to get things done. This includes offering:
In conclusion, I would like you to note that opportunity and crisis are linked, therefore issues arising thereof must be viewed in that light as you find the right solutions to get your business on track.
The writer is the Business Banking Director, Absa Bank Ghana. This article is an extract from Absa Business Connect series