It took South Africa six years to add 1.4 million jobs to its pre-pandemic economy; and it took just one year to lose these in the aftermath of COVID-19, according to the World Bank. The country saw its biggest economic contraction in a century in 2020. This has had serious implications for the small business sector, with businesses buckling under successive lockdowns, limited tourism and the economic fallout of the virus.
This unprecedented period is a good time to work on strategies to safeguard your business. This should focus on every aspect of operations, including adequate, up-to-date insurance cover to protect what you’ve built.
Here are some top tips for safeguarding your business during this tumultuous time:
- Cut what you can: It may be time to shed any costs you can. Examine the routines and overheads within the business to see if anything is superfluous to critical operations.
- Safeguard your people: They’re your greatest asset. Play open cards so everyone is reassured and on the same page. It helps to give regular business and financial updates. Do individual check-ins with every team member as well. A human-centric culture is key to bolstering a business’ resilience.
- Chat to your customers: Get to grips with their needs. Have these changed post the pandemic? Do you need to pivot or adapt your offering to provide what they’re asking for? How can you ensure you stay top-of-mind? Can you reach people via newsletter or social media? Can you offer specials or slightly change your service to comply with COVID-19 protocols while still doing what you do best? For example, innovative South African restaurants have taken to providing the eat-in your -car dining experiences. How can you become indispensable to the community you serve?
- Concentrate on cash flow: This is imperative. Consider where to get financing to retain cash flow and consistent working capital. See if you can find ways to save and rebuild your emergency fund. It’s critical to have a financial safety net to act as a cushion for life’s curveballs.
- Protect what you’ve built: Consider what kinds of cover you need to be able to protect the business you’ve built. Business interruption, building and office contents insurance can make a massive difference. Ensure your cover is adequate and up-to-date.
Santam understands that running a successful business takes years of hard work and the right partnerships. And when you work hard to succeed, you need good and proper insurance that helps you thrive. No matter the type and size of your business, or your vision for it, you can rely on our in-depth expertise of over 103 years to protect it. Santam. Insurance good and proper.
To find out more about our insurance solutions best suited for your business, speak to your intermediary or visit www.santam.co.za.
Santam is an authorised financial services provider (licence number 3416)