By Dina El Mofty, Founder of Injaz Egypt

If we as entrepreneurs and business owners manage to readjust our outlook and perception to the struggles we are currently facing in light of the global pandemic we will slowly start to realize this is not an the end but a new beginning, the start of a new journey one that may seem hard and difficult at first but there is light at the end of this tunnel. Life may not be the same after this and there may be no going back normal. The new normal will be different we just don’t know how different, we also know that this is not with out precedence. 

Dina El Mofty – Injaz Egypt

There have been countless times in history where a crises has shaken up the business world and put companies out of business, but that same crises would also create a new wave of businesses. Yes crises creates disruption to the norm and terminates a lot of jobs and puts an end to various industries but it also creates new ones. We’ve witnessed and seen these cycles and shifts happening throughout history. The ones that went out of business in the past are the ones that couldn’t adapt. You have to adapt to the changing times….. if you dont you dont make it its that simple.

What we are currently living in is a very sudden shift but its not new in business.. its yet another wave or cycle disrupting the norm and just like companies adapted in the past they will do so again. We’ll start to see more entrepreneurs adapting to new ways of doing business we’re already starting to see a wave of various online businesses on the rise. 

Here are a few things to consider while maneuvering your business through this global shakeup:

First sit down, do a deep situational analysis. An Analysis where you say here are multiple potential paths that we can pursue, since we don’t know anything for certain plan for the best, the normal and the worst case scenario. This is something any business should be doing and you need to understand what your cash flow will look like, what your demand and supply chains will look like in every scenario. Once you get to that place in your mind, you can really flush out a plan. Then from there you can share transparently with your stakeholders, your customers, your employees and potential investors.

Second Make a decision that you are going to move.…decide to be proactive, and not reactive. You have to look at your business and say, if for example people stop paying me or there is no business how long can I survive? Whatever that number is, you’ve got to double that. You definitely have to think how do I make it to the end of the year until you come up with another plan or a pivot or get an investor. You need to make sure you’re around, make sure you have a team, make sure you’re in some sort of shape to be in business again. And the mistake here that most people make is to assume that it’s a 3 or 6 month window that they’ve got.

Third Plan for the worst case scenario. If you are wrong and it gets better very quickly that will be great. Think what is the next step that we need to take as business owners? What can we do to shave costs? What is a luxury in our business right now? What is unnecessary? look at what the core of your businesses is. Be transparent with your team of the challenges that you have. You may potentially have to shave off head count. That’s a very tough thing to do for entrepreneurs.

Fourth getting through these challenging times is all about being as creative and innovative as you can be…this shift of patterns and movements is creating different kinds of opportunities the coming period is all about the different ways where you can add value. So, it’s really about leveraging your strength and your purpose and really knowing how you can add the most value to your core consumer base. There are a lot of opportunities for partnerships because nobody has full solutions here. So revisit that core strength in your business that somebody else is lacking. The new reality of business just might be in collaborations….seeing what value can you add to them and what value they can add to you. It might be time to look around and see , who you can collaborate and partner with. There will certainly be new behaviors, new habits, new ways of doing things. This might be calling for us to be more creative innovative and open to new strategic directions.

Fifth Survival of the quickest : Don’t panic! There is a way through. You just have to be tough at the beginning and move fast. You can look at the negative aspects of things or you can really take this as an opportunity to look at the positive side and determine what you are going to do with the cards you have been dealt.

In the context of startups and technology in MENA, there are several silver linings:
  1. More discipline in our ecosystem. Every one of us as investors, ecosystem enablers, entrepreneurs and founders are going to think twice about every decision ….making our businesses more resilient and adaptable.
  2. More experience, there’s definitely going to be a big shift in business and consumer behavior towards digital solutions. It will eventually be an exciting time for MENA, for MENA’s GDP, for MENA’s job creation…for accelerating Mena’s technological potential.
  3. More support so many people are looking to give help and support and mentor just look at the dozens of daily webinars happening, experts sharing their knowledge expertise and experience reach out to them! You might also want to create your own mastermind group to get advise and support on the challenges you’re facing from other likeminded entrepreneurs.

Surviving this crises has a lot to do with learning and growing, adjusting our mindsets and perceptions, being resilient, &innovative In the end we will come out of this stronger.