70% of businesses in Dubai expect to close their doors within the next six months because of the coronavirus pandemic – this was a prediction based on a Dubai Chamber of Commerce survey. A staggering number no doubt and to manage the economic impact of this the Dubai government has promised an AED 1.5 billion economic stimulus package over a period of time. For SME business owners, as the private sector this may provide some relief but, there the question of what can be done to beat the odds and come out winners persists.

We interacted with Business and leadership mentoring consultants & entrepreneurs, to help businesses reboot their processes to make it through this difficult period successfully.

What are some short-term survival techniques SMEs can adopt at this time?

1. Lowering expenses, cutting down on costs, going lean, extending payment terms, and debt collections are standard advice

2. Focus on what strategies, products, and services that have worked previously and intensify them.

3. Look at areas of strength and redeploy them towards new applications, audiences, clients, and markets

4. In a moment of crisis, needs become far more important than wants, and being flexible means identifying customer problems and addressing them in the best way possible.

5. To facilitate solutions, support others, collaborate and find partners globally to get the work done.

What should SMEs be doing to ensure long-term gains?

1. Businesses need to be looking beyond a traditional one-size-fits-all-approach when coming out from the current crisis. Companies need to create product value whilst keeping pricing right.

2. Develop the digital side of the business and fast, so that their offerings, services, and products are more accessible.

3. Embrace technology and learn about the opportunities and the future of the market you are operating in.

4. Increase your presence online by creating useful and valuable digital marketing content to share with customers.

5. Redefine your mission, values and direction to create a new inspiring story.

6. Be self-aware, practice a nimble mindset and create an environment of continuous learning, change and innovation.

7. Measure what really matters through tools like OKRs and ensure re-skilling, resilience and collaboration between leaders and team members.

8. Engage the best talents and experts, full time or part-time, to foster partnerships based on strengths and complimenting skill sets.

Is there something that SMEs should avoid doing right now?

1. Do not blindly cut down employees as a knee jerk reaction

2. People are not a cost but a bridge between where your business is today and where you want it to be tomorrow.

3. Pay attention to the emotional needs of employees by addressing job insecurities and offering support.

4. Avoid procrastination and invest in the growth and development of businesses.

5. Now, more than ever, so many services, trainings, and software, are cheaper and more accessible thanks to the world going digital in a big way.

6. Revamp your systems, operations, and processes to make way for better productivity and lower cost implications

7. Rethinking strategies, reviewing targets and budgets to focus on deliverable services and products.

8. Don’t take undue risks or take on too many things together, focus on what works best for your survival and future growth.

9. Cutting costs where feasible and avoid overspending.

10. Avoid procrastination and instead invest in the growth and development of businesses.

11. Rethink strategies, review targets and budgets to focus on deliverable services and products.

12. Avoid waiting and reverting to what was your previous normal. There might not be much movement in the market, it doesn’t mean you stop. There is always something to do.

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