The widespread COVID-19 virus has taken up the whole world by a storm. The pandemic came in with such a huge blow that even the most robust economies of the world are tiptoeing on the brink of collapse. Nepalese economy is also at a huge risk with a majority of its small and large businesses failing to stay afloat amidst the closed market segment and nation lockdown.
The abrupt halt on international travel during the ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ has been a huge blow to the tourism industry of Nepal and has successfully dragged down all the related businesses into the rock bottom along with it.
The whole nation went to a full lockdown from 24 March 2020 which was recently loosened up by the government in Shrawan, only to have its citizens scamper in the public places, ultimately skyrocketing the number of Corona infections nationwide.
The government has been going back and forth with regional lockdowns and shutdowns to stop the spread of the virus before it’s too late. Amidst this chaotic scenario, Nepalese businesses are suffering.
What can be done for all the small and large businesses of the country that are struggling?? Some of them are on the verge of closing down!
Sadly, no answers are floating in the air. However, we have a secret mantra for you: Move your business online!! Do it as soon as you can, as efficiently as you can.
Most of the business owners have already realized that there’s no point in waiting for the situation to get “normal”. We have been served with a “New Normal”, my friends!
A “New Normal” that is forcing the Nepalese company and customer behaviors to change radically. So, if you miss the train now, I’m afraid your business is going to have a hard time surviving this blow.
The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the digitalization of Nepalese organizations ten-fold. Mobile and Internet Banking is more popular than ever. Not only schools and universities, but even kindergarten has shifted to online classes! Not to mention, my 80-year old grandfather who was hardly coping with Messenger video calls with my aunts pre-pandemic is now well accustomed to my daily Zoom meetings and work-from-home concept.
The early adopters of the new normal like Sasto Deal, Daraz, BigMart, Foodmandu, etc. have become the trendsetters among the Nepalese businesses. If you haven’t already followed into their footsteps, it high time that you do.
But wait! Please don’t rush into it without analyzing and re-analyzing your own business. Remember, every business has its unique traits, strengths, and shortcomings.
I’ve listed down a few things you might want to consider before jumping onto the digitalization bandwagon. Read them and maybe, contribute some points on your own because you know your business the best.
- Can your business operate in a pandemic situation? Don’t worry if it can not function 100% at the headstart, you need to start somewhere.
- How can the internet aid you in your business? e.g. Do you have a sweet shop that can take online orders and drop the orders at their home? Will the internet help you get the customers via online platforms like social media or your website?
- Who are your customers? Are they tech-savvy enough to continue consuming your business via online medium? Your business is nothing without your customer. Understand them. Call a few of your regular customers, try to ask how they’re doing and if they’d be interested to adjust their old ways of consuming your business.
- Let’s say your business can function somehow with a few tweaks in the business model and a helping hand from the internet. Do you or your present employees have the skillset to digitalize your business? If not, identify the employees who are the most crucial to maintain business continuity. You should all learn to embrace digital aids. If essential, invest in a recruit.
- Do you and your employees have the infrastructures for remote work? For the headstart, at least a smartphone or better, laptop and internet access would be awesome!
Once you have all these points down, start your path to digitalization.
Digitalization sounds exciting, but it is easier said than done. The process can be extremely overwhelming for traditional businesses who’ve been running in their same old ways for years.
That is why I’ll be discussing this process in two parts: Part 1 will be discussing the things you can do to digitalize your internal operations and Part 2 will be discussing the things you can do to possibly shift your business online.
Till then, best of luck! Be prepared with the answers to my list of questions, will you?
Note: This article was originally published on my website: https://shresthashristi.com