I would like to bring a challenge to Kasibiz readers. The task is to first imagine running a business without internet in the 20th century and then doing it for 7-14 working days. The preemptive strike of load-shedding.
This is not my attempt to negatively move your business 40 years back in time but to strike the will to absorb risk that alters your level of self-confidence (hopefully upwards). Remember business aggregates with inflation hence it is more expensive in recent days to do business as opposed to 40 years ago. In a complex, more sophisticated and competitive environment, doing business should be cheaper than in a less sophisticated and less mature economy. The other evidence is, in 1994 inflation was 12% and interest rates 25% prime. Today inflation is 5% and interest rate 9% prime.
The other major difference in our economic climate today, which I argue, seeks to suggest high service delivery expectation on small businesses. Small businesses often internalise standards and benchmarks from peer groups that are above their line of turnover, instead of creating a process and standard of operation from their own proximities. In my opinion one of the probable statements that makes enterprising so expensive is, preferential procurement, labour, mark-up, modernity in supply chain and price. What you call a vibrant private sector, is actually a system of recursive economic models and what you deem government systems of reform you might find an autoregressive heterodox likelihood. But not to via off the point too much, here is the outline of my challenge.
- Identify your clients and potential clients and organize them in a group.
- Develop a road map that will be most efficient to deliver your messages.
- Run your business without internet for the coming 7 working days.
In the first instance of client, I mean identify all your business relationships in all levels without missing on your place of rest for lunch. To diligently undertake the proposed task will mean to announce to your clients that your business is experiencing a pre-empted future power cut or some sort. Hypothetical.
One way to survive this challenge is by getting prominent service providers to do some of your work for you under a revenue sharing agreement. By sharing incremental revenue, the service provider gets paid when your sale converts. Or you show your incremental expenditure to your service provider and negotiate for a fixed price.
Once you have experienced the manual of running the business without internet, it is important to invest in a small analytical package to understand conversion rate and protracted cost. Leverage from the perch of PR that will come with your small businesses personal engagement and exposure to clients.
The attitude and pro-activeness of your business will be a sure good selling point. The model-experiment does not only come with a negative front matter and quantitative economics, it also predicts fair value and financial performance of your business, public relations and communication capabilities. If you are not willing to test yourself with the loss of internet, choose something. By that I mean, lose comfort in your zone of being by moderating operational requirements to liken the olden days. See how this changes your perception of business and priorities. When do you start?
ABOUT COLIN MASHIKINYA
Colin is a highly experienced Project Manager in research, communication and strategic planning processes for business development. He is the founder of Eden Infrastructure and Management Consulting. He is has a keen interest on small business development, education and training.