Jupiter Business Mentors gathered renowned entrepreneurs and consulting experts, all of whom are platform mentors from the hospitality, fitness, and e-commerce industries.

Here are some of the key takeaways.

Investing in teams

Daniel Ludwig, an international business growth consultant and an agile coach, with experience in the UAE, US, UK, and Germany, emphasised the importance of staff members in building an organisation.

“You cannot build a business without a team, and a team cannot operate without a plan,” he said. Stressing team leadership processes, Daniel encouraged investing in and empowering staff to help companies transition from idea implementation to success.

Akhilesh Bahl, F&B, and Hospitality expert, agreed with Daniel on the importance of retaining and investing in the right people. He advised that businesses should not only focus on financials, and instead suggested empathy.

In-house vs outsourced business consultants

Yves Preissler, health and fitness expert and Renuka Gunjahalli, a Dubai-based business mentor and moderator for the session, both agreed with their fellow panelists on the role team building can play right now. They did, however, caution business owners to weigh the strengths of in-house teams against consultants.

Daniel reinforced the same view by adding, “Depending on your stage in the business cycle, incubation, building, MEP, scaling or expanding, you have to review finances against deliverables.” He stated that for a sustainable business model, business owners need to view their hiring options carefully.

Akhilesh, conversely, stressed the importance of in-house staff above short-term contract hires. “The F&B sector is built on the strengths of its people. You are only as good as your chefs in the kitchen, and your dine-in experience is only as memorable as the staff serving,” he said. Whilst he advised against downscaling, he noted that some businesses will shut down because they can’t generate enough footfall. He suggested focusing energies on surviving the year to the best of a business’s ability.

Rethinking business strategies

When it came to jump-starting businesses in a post-coronavirus world, Renuka posed a viewer question about business strategies. Akhilesh mused that the COVID-19 pandemic had come as a timely reset button for businesses to pause and reconsider options. Both Daniel and Yves agreed, recommending that entrepreneurs review what had been working for them as a business, and discard the failed strategies that did not add value.

Yves reiterated the same point for the fitness industry. “The gyms that are not drawing people in should stay closed. It sounds harsh, but maybe they never had business to begin with and the pandemic just highlighted the fact. Either they need to evolve, or they need to close shutters,” he said.
He was, however, positive on the larger prospects of the fitness industry. “People speak about the negative things, but there are lots of good things happening. Gyms are open, and things are getting better,” he added. He recommended a shift in strategy where gyms need to stop selling a physical image to clients through brick and mortar, and instead focus on wider lifestyle options with long-term mental and physical health benefits.

New clients and customer retention

Yves also noted that customers are looking to get out and back to routine. He recommended that fitness outlets focus on creating a safe and secure environment. “People are social beings,” he said. “They need to get out, feel active, and meet people. So, when they feel safe, they will surely come back to your business.”
For new clients, he recommended an increased digital presence to reach the people who are not stepping out.
Akhilesh weighed in with a slightly different perspective. “With the lockdown, most businesses had to reinvent menus to make food available for takeaway and delivery options. Even though the city is open for business now, restaurants need to ensure safety measures to draw customers back in, as well as continue working with delivery aggregators to get good food out to clients,” he added. “It’s a tough balancing act, but you need to do it to survive.”

Digital development

All panelists agreed that the biggest change in how businesses operate in a post-coronavirus world will be determined by how customers access and interact with them through digital media.
As an e-commerce and technology consultant, Daniel stated that technology will be the biggest disruptor in how businesses will operate going forward.
He advised adapting to the market, “The faster you do, the faster you will bounce back,” he said. “You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to improve on it. You need to find the pain points and find out how you can add value. For all of this you need to be visible. If your customer can’t come to you, you need to go to them,” he added.

He recommended businesses implement smart continuity plans that incorporate digital elements for wider access.
The panel also fielded questions relating to customers within B2B and B2C business models, as well as innovative pricing strategies and revenue streams.
Whether you are an individual or a corporate enterprise, you can benefit from business mentoring, financial advice, and risk management consulting to help you reboot and take you through a post-pandemic revival.

Author's Bio: 

Jupiter Business Mentors (JBM) is a platform dedicated to fostering the start-up community and small & medium business enterprises with an access to experienced executives and industry experts from various areas of business, in the UAE and across the Middle East region, with plans in pipeline to have global mentors listed on the platform. You can reach us on jupiterbusinessmentors.com