99FM – Your Inspiration Station

Opportunities for your business in tough times

“There are two types of businesses – those that have experienced tough times and those that are going to experience tough times”. But can we look at the way our businesses are operating & adjust to even bigger or better opportunities?

We revisited the 99FM Struggle is Real Panel discussion held in April this year to get some practical tips for your business.

Johannes Gawaxab, Executive Chairman of EOS Capital says we need to realise we are not alone, there seems to be global and “tectonic” shifts going on. If you are manufacturing quality products, now is the time to explore export markets, because domestic demand is dropping, so it’s very difficult to grow. The second thing we need to look at is trying to educate people on selling online. We need to start thinking about selling without having physical presence. So online trading is a great opportunity that we could explore in this country.

There are some businesses that are actually so suited for times like this. You know if you used to be in new car sales, second hand cars are going to do better now. If you are in construction, I know the industry has been affected, now it’s time for renovations rather than new homes that you going to be selling.

Last but not least Johannes Gawaxab says if you are really under pressure and you can’t get money from the banks to survive this eighteen or twenty four months that we are in or however long it takes – don’t close and lose your business consider letting go of a percentage or equity in your business to get through the hurdles.

Philippus Tromp, Executive Director of Nictus Limited and Margareth Gustavo, owner manager of Cornerstone Joe Public both emphasized the importance of the customer & how now more than ever we should be focused on delivering on their needs.

Philippus Tromp says you need to realign your business, because the rules are changing day by day. Start listening to your customer; we always say the customer stays king, because he is the one paying our salaries. Give your people the opportunity to come out with new ideas and be creative.

Margareth Gustavo, owner manager of Cornerstone Joe Public points out that this is the time to sit back and watch how people actually live their lives, understand what their dreams and aspirations are.

“It’s really just understanding how consumer patterns are going, what they want to purchase, when they want to purchase it, why they are not purchasing something. How are they buying our furniture, how are they buying pasta – think of offering them a little bit more value. Ask yourself how much value are you adding to your products, to your services.”

David Benade, founder and managing member of dB Audio Namibia highlights that if you have less work, you should have more time. “I think the way we should look at it is this – time is obviously a resource, so take this resource and maximise it. So we have less work and we maximise that and we measure and we analyse and we define and we redefine and that for me is extremely important and that’s what we are trying to do, during this business period. I’m very excited about how that is going to translate once things pick up again. “

Stefan Hugo, Partner (Operations & Tax Leader) of PwC Namibia says, “How do we build that kind of long term relationships with customers, that they keep coming back, they give us honest feedback and they are blindly loyal to us. Try to understand what the one key thing is that you stand for and how to take all the complexities and all the these little things and simplify it to one focus area, that you can easily explain to your customers and staff so that you can all keep focused on the way your want to drive your business forward.”

On a practical note “I want to comment on cash flow, so many businesses have folded because of cash flow and not being able to manage cash flow. So simple things like invoice early, make sure that you invoice before the last day of the month, so you get into someone’s payment cycle a bit earlier. If you invoice on the first you go into a payment cycle that is probably thirty days later. So invoice early when your work is done. When you issue invoices, make sure that they are correct to prevent any delays in payment. “

Watch the full panel discussion here: