When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, it sent small businesses into a period of upheaval that they’re just beginning to recover from more than a year later in 2021. Last year was a tough year for most traders in Kisumu. There was so much disruption as the county government has been launching various projects and middle level and small-scale business owners lost their source of livelihood after their business premises were demolished.
First were the demolitions meant to pave way for the construction of the new passenger railway station. Then houses came down as the government sought to retrieve grabbed land for the development of the city and expansion of road within the reserve of the county especially along the Kisumu-Kakamega Road. Then came the relocation of Kibuye Market and businesses stalls across the CBD had to go.
How do you beat the struggling business sector in Kisumu and build a success story? To better prepare for the future, as a business owner, continually evaluate your business and make adjustments accordingly. Here are some quick suggestions.
1. Consider Your Digital Footprint
Setting Up a Business Website
If you want to compete, especially with the big names, you need a presence online and in social media. Begin by creating your own website. You need a recognizable domain name that customers can find easily. You should build in costs for website maintenance and marketing. And you need a marketing plan to ensure that, once you have your website, it will have visitors. After all, what good is an online home if nobody knows your address?
Maintaining a Social Media Presence
These days a social media presence for your business is essential. You should know what Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok are and which audiences they serve. If you’re unsure of how or where to start, there are services that can help set up your social media presence for a cost.
As a business owner, periodically review vendors and suppliers to make certain they are setting competitive prices and delivering quality service. The beginning of the year may be the best time to do it.
The following are questions that all business owners should ask themselves regarding equipment needs:
- Does the business have the equipment necessary to succeed and profit over the long haul?
- If not, can the equipment last another year, and can the business sustain itself using the existing equipment?
- What will new equipment cost and where can you obtain quotes for it?
Is it necessary to have all those guys on salary? Must you dismiss others? How do you let them know that their work is what will generate revenue enough to pay for their salaries? Staffing needs should also be considered. It’s good to recognize any deficiencies early on in the year, so that appropriate adjustments can be made. Also, keep in mind that finding, hiring, and training the right person can take a lot of time, so it’s a good idea to get moving as early as possible.
Finally, it’s important to realize that many employees tend to ponder their own futures at the end of the year. They start thinking about whether they intend to stay with your company or move on. If they choose the latter, you will have to deal with the consequences.
- If you own a business, do some financial housekeeping at the beginning of each year to make sure that the new year will run smoothly.
- To avoid unpleasant surprises, be careful that your insurance policies and employee benefits are on track and not set to lapse.
- Evaluate your staffing, how to source from vendors, and how to increase your marketing efforts to keep up to date with your competitors.