The most important learnings for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic are building up liquid cash savings, reducing debt and trimming non-essential spending.
This is according to 93% of respondents who participated in the National Small Business Survey, just released by the NSBC (National Small Business Chamber).
Independent beauty and nail salons form part of the 75% of small South African businesses that are still waiting for government to allow them to trade again.
As the NSBC points out, the pandemic may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime event, but the reality is that an emergency can come along to disrupt any small businesses at any time. Using what’s been learned during the pandemic to prepare for the next crisis can help business owners insulate their businesses from future shocks.
“The short-term outlook for small businesses varies greatly by industry. It’s important to consider what recovery mode will look like once the economy begins to return to state of normalcy, or has established a new normal. Having an exit strategy in place for post COVID-19 can help small businesses prepare well to hit the ground running and begin with the rebuilding process,” says Mike Anderson, NSBC Founder & CEO.
Anderson continues, “The pandemic has also taught us how important it is to be able to adapt and keep businesses fluid to weather storms in the future. The more outside-the-box thinking to prepare for a worst-case scenario, the better. Having a Plan B ca help improve every business’s odds of surviving and eventually thriving again during tough financial times.
“Small businesses are vital economic engines. It is imperative that we bridge businesses through these tough times so small businesses stay alive and that we keep workers employed.”
The COVID-19 Small Business Relief and Recovery Centre is a national initiative designed to help small businesses by taking their pain away during the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative is powered by the NSBC, in partnership with Health Squared, Telkom, Liberty, Cisco, Absa, Mastercard, Discovery, Vodacom, Google, MTN, Netstar, Xero, Nashua, Incredible Connection, Tarsus and Visa. Some of the key focus areas include: low-interest disaster recovery loan; moratoriums on vehicle and equipment leases; bond repayments; supplier negotiation and communication; landlord negotiation with regards to property leases; increased cleaning; disinfecting and hygiene protocols; digital marketing strategies; and assistance with business continuity plans etc.