My Business and the Coronavirus: Week 1

It is a well known fact that in average only 80% of small businesses survive the first year, and only about half of small businesses survive passed the five-year mark. Nevertheless, for companies that are at least 3 years old the odds of making it become bigger.

This is due to the fact that by then, the company most probably already found a working business model and has revenue streams.

Kuenda Digital, had just turned 3 years on the 7th of February. The team was highly motivated, I have gotten various international recognition from the work we were doing and we were hitting all our productivity and profitability records.

The tremendous growth encouraged us to open a new office in Windhoek, Namibia. The main reason being that due to problems such as the oscillation of petrol prices, the Angolan economy has been in various recessions, depreciating a lot the local currency.

Additionally, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Namibia is currently the 4th country in the world with the highest entrepreneurial activity — the steps being pretty simple to open a business and find the optimum ecosystem to operate it.

“Stability doesn’t exist” — Flavio Augusto

Few weeks after initiating our operations in Windhoek, our world was changed upside down.

The first case of Coronavirus was found in Windhoek, and few days later, Angola registered its first two cases as well. I have read various articles before on how the economic crisis of 2008 caused various businesses to go bankrupt all over the world — specially in the United States of America, now there was I, having a similar experience.

I strongly believe that entrepreneurship is not limited to something that I do, it is who I am. It is the ability we have to create and implement solutions independently of the availability of resources.

As Andrew Grove once said, “Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, good companies survive them, great companies are improved by them.” I would add that the same happens with leaders.

The future of my marketing agency is totally uncertain right now. The only thing I am sure is that the current crisis will be a huge learning curve towards my journey, helping us to have a better company after the crisis or build a greater one after it.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” — Mike Tyson

  1. Implementation of a Contingente Plan against the virus
  2. Stopped all operations in Windhoek
  3. All the team in Angola started working from home
  4. Cut marginal costs by reducing the number of paid tools and accounts that we had
  5. Froze all the contracts for clients that will stop operations
  6. Provide 25% OFF for all the active clients for the next 2 months

Although our business model and structure enable us to work from anywhere since we have all the processes documented and use various online tools to carry out our activities, the effects of the virus in our business are being devastating because most of our clients are closing down.

During events as such, cash flow is king. Therefore, all our efforts now are focused on cutting costs, increase margins and ensure a smooth transition period for our staff and clients.

More than ever, it is time for manager and business owners to demonstrante empathy towards clients and ensure clean and consistent communication.

We assured our remaining active clients that we will still deliver all our services with the same quality as before.

The biggest cause of discomfort currently relies on not knowing when will this situation end.

As the weeks go by, I will do my best to continue sharing updates on changes or strategies that we implement to ensure that we overcome this crisis, and use all the lessons to strengthen the future our company.

I am curious, what measures are you currently taking to ensure the damages caused by COVID-19 are minimized in your company?

Electronic Engineer | Entrepreneur | Bookworm