This article covers business lessons founders & small business owners learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The drastic imposition of lockdown regulations and the scrapping of most major economic policies caused more damage to small enterprises and MSMEs than most other businesses. Owing to these pandemic regulations, smaller and newer businesses could not get access to many of their prerequisite raw materials and capital aid.
This made it increasingly difficult for them to carry on with their productions and operations while simultaneously paying their employees on time. Many small businesses went under in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Entrepreneurs setting up new corporations and businesses also faced similar hurdles, seeing as it had become exponentially difficult to get one’s hand on the necessary leases, permission papers, or licenses during the initial period of strict lockdown.
A lot of these businesses were managed or run by people who did not have many resources of their own and were looking to rely on loans or Government grants to set up their businesses. A lot of these businesses struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic.
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What Small Business-Owners & Founders Could Learn from the Covid-19 Pandemic?
According to a survey on the business lessons from the pandemic conducted by Dun and Bradstreet in April of 2021, 82 percent of the total businesses in India reported that the pandemic had impacted their revenues adversely.
Seventy percent of the businesses included in the survey also went on to claim that the amount of time required for their sales and demands to grow back to the way they were before the beginning of the pandemic would be around a year. Now that the dust has settled and the businesses are finally taking steps to get back on track, it is very important for founders and business owners to treat this calamity as a period of a learning experience.
The business lessons from the pandemic can help a small business owner make sure that such a period of economic adversity does not arise again.
Some of these business lessons from the pandemic can broadly include:
1. Adopting an online mode of operation
While going online may pose a challenge to several small businesses, especially those run by poor, unskilled business-owners or dabbling in basic products of day-to-day use, business lessons from the pandemic have shown that most businesses that were forced to shut down operation during the Covid-19 pandemic did not have any presence on online platforms. On the other hand, the businesses which survived the pandemic and even ended up thriving have been observed to operate digitally.
2. Prioritizing business operations rather than building assets
According to Mr. Amit Kumar, the CEO and Founder of the renowned business education platform MSMEx, business lessons from the pandemic teach us that it is very important for owners of small businesses, MSMEs, and startups to make sure that their enterprises are asset-light. A company that does not operate with heavier assets is automatically more attractive to promoters since they are not subject to many market risks. Business lessons from the pandemic show us that a business can always depend on Government capital in the event of a catastrophe.
3. Not depending on loans
This is perhaps one of the most important business lessons from the pandemic. Earlier, when the first period of lockdown was imposed, many small businesses were unable to conduct their operations at all. What aggravated their position to an even worse place was the fact that they had mostly outsourced their capital from bank loans and had planned to pay off their debts using their profits. Since these businesses were unable to procure any profits in the wake of the pandemic, many of them went under.
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4. Adaptability and transformation
Business lessons from the pandemic also include using your business in a creative and imaginative manner so as to use the change of public demands during the pandemic situation to your advantage. Many of the businesses that thrived during the pandemic had brought a complete overhaul in their model. Many businesses that were quick to learn these business lessons from the pandemic started manufacturing and selling products such as hand sanitizers, face masks, PPE kits, etc.
The Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, colloquially referred to as MSMEs, are constituted by all of the medium-scale and small-scale businesses and firms in this country. These small and medium-scale businesses occupy a major role in the economy of India. Of the total annual marketing output of this country, MSMEs have been estimated to contribute a whopping 34 percent.
Estimates have calculated that these small and medium businesses also help form up to 45 percent of the total annual export figure in India and 24.69 percent of the services GDP of this country. Studies have shown that the total number of small and medium business units currently occupying the MSME status in India can be estimated to be around 6.35 crore. When it comes to the persistent issue of unemployment in India, these MSMEs have always been considered to play a very vital role.
Research has shown that the number of citizens of this country who have found employment in one of these small or medium businesses can be calculated to be in the range of around 120 million. Up until the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, these businesses used to show a healthy annual growth rate of around 10 percent every year. However, since the beginning of the pandemic last year, the profitability of these businesses has been on a downward spiral, and many businesses have been forced to shut down their operations.
If you are an up-and-coming entrepreneur or business owner, this article will introduce you to some of the most important business lessons from the pandemic to make sure that your business does not succumb to such extreme conditions.
For any further clarifications or support, feel free to get in touch with an expert at MSMEx.in, a unique platform to connect you with industry experts and business mentors.
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