It is predicted that almost every economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)region will shrink this year due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Forecasted declines range from 1.1% in Kuwait to 12% in Lebanon. Last year it was predicted that the ecommerce market in the MENA region was set to rise by 3.5 times by 2022. With eccomerce sales predicted to multiply, how will the decline in the economy following the pandemic affect these predictions? What is clear is that companies should not attempt to wait and see what the future holds. It is essential that company leaders take a proactive approach to not only to tread water during these difficult times but to grow their businesses. Here are five key actions that company leaders have to take to grow their business amidst the current situation.
1. Implement Work From Home Measures
To comply with social distancing and quarantine measures, it is essential that your business works out how to work during the COVID19 outbreak and adapts to new ways of working that will help you thrive. You can do this by establishing a designated workplace in your home and by having your team do the same. Having a specific space to work from will mean that you’ll be able to maximize productivity. Create a routine that will help you to start the day; for example, you may wish to run or have a coffee before moving into your workspace. Create an actionable schedule and utilize your calendar to create a rigid plan of action every day. Create channels of communication with your team that will allow you to collaborate and connect throughout the day. Use video conferencing software such as Zoom to host meetings and keep lines of communication open throughout the day using Slack.
2. Rethink Your Networking Events
Social distancing measures should not bring all of your business plans to a standstill. If you have networking events planned, you will obviously not be able to host physical events. Powerful online tools such as hopin.to change the way that you host events. Not only can you still engage with customers and prospects, but your event costs will also be considerably lower than usual. Of course, with any event, you should prepare your presentation and provide your attendees with some valuable takehomes to ensure that they engage with your brand and the message of the event.
3. Change Your Priorities to Match the Uncertainty of the Times
If there is one thing that the pandemic is teaching people all over the world is to focus on what is essential and cast aside anything that is holding you back. The same should be true in your business. Understand what your priorities are and refocus your business. Continually re-evaluate your position. Think about the ways that your business, products, and team can be of more value to the market. Adapting your business to the current situation means streamlining. Become leaner and more efficient. Review your products and see how they can be of more use to your customers during these uncertain times. Improve your support to enhance your product offer.
4. Focus on Digital Transformation
There has never been a better time to pivot your business towards digital transformation. If you’ve been holding off from moving your business further into digital territories, this pandemic should have taught you that it is one of the best places to operate right now. While you may lack the tools right now due to the unforeseen circumstance, it doesn’t mean that you are not able to make the shift. With digital marketing companies and managed service providers ready to help you raise your ability to sell online, it is not too late to make the changes to your operations right now. Be sure that you develop the functions that will simplify your workflow and work well within your current remote operations. For example, you’ll need a CRM system that connects to a telephony system that can be used from your employee’s homes while masking their personal numbers. Set up lead nurturing campaigns that will run automatically requiring no human input, and invest in your website’s SEO. Your brand needs to compete and win online. All of these things can be put in place immediately without the need to wait for the pandemic to be over.
5. Get Rid of Vanity Metrics
It can get very easy to get bogged down in numbers. Some businesses have reports and metrics for everything. There are tools, widgets, and dashboards that cover every aspect of your business. As with many operations in the MENA region, you will probably sit in one of two positions. Either you have no visibility of your performance, or you’ll be overwhelmed with metrics. But are you measuring metrics for the sake of it? The business of managing your metrics can become a massive task in itself. And, if you’re spending all of your time measuring and driving vanity metrics to validate the existence of aspects of your business, it may be hampering your productivity and your actual sales. Streamline your metrics. Go back to your objectives and key results and focus on the most important elements for each department in your business. Have a more refined set of key performance indicators that are easy to track.
Can Company Leaders Grow Their Business During COVID-19?
In these worrying times, many people may be asking whether it is possible for company leaders to grow their business during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the forecasted growth in the ecommerce sector in the MENA region, coupled with the fact that online businesses have been some of the areas least affected by the coronavirus, it is evident that if you follow the right course, you can grow during these times. Follow the key actions set out in this article, and retain as much flexibility in your operations, and you may find success amidst uncertainty. Finally, we believe we have put together the right formula of processes, tools and knowledge to bring all the sales and marketing digital aspects together and furnish a framework that is results oriented. Talk to a Hover if you’re interested to find out more about our solution.