Many companies have closed down in Zimbabwe over the past years. According to the Zimbabwe Independent, 81 companies closed down in the first quarter of 2016 and nearly 150 companies closed down in the second quarter of the same year. 229 companies had closed down by the first half of last year. Closure of companies have a greater effect on the economy as it reduces the country’s production, lowers the Gross Domestic Product and also amounts to job losses in the country. It is therefore important for companies to develop skills which they can make use off to make sure that they can withstand tough times in their businesses.
Macdonald Mufandizvo, a marketing professional, gives the following six ways a small businesses can survive in Zimbabwe.
1. Reduce expenses
When you are hit by a recession in business, you should cut your expenses. This helps business stay in operation whilst you find a solution. This includes cutting your advertising spending on traditional media like radio and television, which are expensive and improving on social media, which cheaper. One can also downsize by finding cheaper locations and reducing the number of employees.
2. Don’t cut your prices
Cutting costs will make it harder for customers to adjust to the regular price when the crisis in over therefore don’t cut prices. In addition, this also cut the most needed profits. One thing you can do is to offer a payment extension r discount to customers who are on hard times.
3. Spend on Marketing
Take advantage of the crisis by negotiating better deals in areas such as advertising where demand for advertising space has dropped. In an increasingly competitive arena, customers need to hear about your product so maintaining marketing spend is a must.
4. Hold onto Existing Customers
Focus all your efforts on retaining regular customers and maintaining your relationships with them. Make sure that they know that their business is appreciated. Keep your quality just as high as before, even if you have had to make other cuts around the business.
5. Diversify Your Product and Customer Base
Looking at ways to adapt or broaden the appeal of a product may be a way of maintaining and growing your business. This may be through opportunities arising as a direct result of the economic climate or it could be re-looking at your business and adapting it for a different market. Small businesses should be alert and on the lookout for new ways to market their product in order to grow their customer base.
6. Deliver Excellent Customer Services
With existing customers recognized as the lifeblood for small businesses during a period of downturn, delivering excellent customer service is equally essential as breathing. Being flexible and reliable to meet their requirements is a common and simple method to help keep your current customers loyal.