"Covid killed my business - What Next?" Reflection questions for entrepreneurs

The Covid 19 pandemic is a Black Swan event- no one saw it coming, it was impossibly difficult to predict and has left us with long term consequences. The world over is experiencing a downturn of epic proportions with no one left unaffected. Our most urgent and important need as humanity has become the need to survive.

While the virus has introduced major economic disruptions, the business world has been split in half- ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’. Though we’d like to say we are all swimming in the same boat-We are not all in the same quarantine humdrum. If anything, there are businesses like Zoom- a video conferencing app that as of recent reports has a market capitalization of 19billion dollars owing 72% of its leap to the pandemic. In case you fall in the non-essential service divide I’m sure you are asking - What next?

When we are no longer able to change a situation, - We are challenged to change ourselves.

-Viktor E. Frankl –

For the first time we can’t shake hands freely, can’t go watch a concert, heck, we can’t even breathe without a mask on! But despite the doom and gloom. For the first time the hustle and bustle has come to a standstill and a hush has settled in. We have been provided a golden opportunity to restructure and re-strategize every sphere of our lives . The guide below will help you in asking the right questions.

1. What is working well in your life right now?

The old adage stands- “You cannot pour from an empty cup”. A key skill for an entrepreneur is self-management. As an entrepreneur it’s easy to draw your self-worth from sales targets and landing new clients. Now that those reservoirs are running dry, this is a great time to ask yourself-How are you really doing? If you are completely honest about this, you might come to the realization that you prioritized everyone’s needs before yours and prior to the pandemic were burned out, lethargic and drained-All symptoms pointing to a neglect of self-care. At the end of the day businesses are run by people and healthy people equals healthy businesses.

2. Why did I fail?

Interrogating this will lead you to see some internal faults in your business that the pandemic only accelerated. Blaming everything on Covid-19 is escapist and detrimental to success both personally and to your business. Apply a bird’s eye view to your business and ask so why did I fail? Poor marketing? Wrong customer segmentation? Perhaps you lost your sense of purpose a long time ago and were going through the motions to keep face. Mapping out the weaknesses that caused the failure will prevent you from making the same mistakes. This is why mentorship for any entrepreneur is so crucial. Going through your failures with a seasoned entrepreneur can offer the fresh perspective needed for your business to bounce back. More details on our business mentorship here. Ultimately, failure is simply an opportunity to begin again with a new set of intelligence.

3. What one change, if implemented today, would make the greatest difference in my life/business?

Technology giant -Apple- is in the “reinvention” business. Legendary CEO Steve jobs didn’t invent any of the machines that made Apple a household name, but he and his design team made them infinitely better. Apple didn’t invent the personal computer, all-in-one PCs or lightweight laptops but it did introduce its own models with such style and user-centred design that placed most of its products into every household in America.

Apple's greatest reinventions came when it turned its attention away from computers and toward hand-held devices. Again, the iPod and iPhone were not the first MP3 player or smartphone, but their Zen-like design and advanced touchscreen technology revolutionized the gadget industry.

Change is practical. Mapping the reasons for your failure may lead you up to a crossroad of whether you wish to continue with the business or re-package yourself entirely drawing from skills gained in the running of the enterprise. Perhaps you gained digital marketing skills that you can now offer as an exclusive service. This question will open your eyes to the shifting customer/market needs that you can align yourself to and reinvent your business

4. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the greatest, what is your level of commitment to changing this situation?

The good book makes an interesting proposition- ‘For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”. Mapping out the strategies to transformation is just the first step. The next natural progression is to act- make the call, submit the proposal, go to the class. What resources are needed to effect the change? The business modules at Jijali helps you set strategic goals that make your business operational and sustainable both in the long-and short term. You need to take a hard look into the time, people and the actions necessary to make the change that much more tangible. After all, Well done is better than well said

5. What advice about this matter, would you give yourself 5 years from now?

Take yourself to the future for a moment. What does giving up now mean for your future? After all, the pandemic is not a lifetime event. It is not here to stay. Won’t you want to come out a more resilient you? This question eliminates the hold of the often-exaggerated fear and anxiety that will paralyse you from making the necessary shifts that will put your best days ahead of you.

Facing a future that we cannot foresee, the ability to adapt and learn is key. Jijali’s program for entrepreneurs offers the precious gift of transformation through knowledge and mentorship. Feeling stuck? Reach out to us here and remember, that not all storms come to disrupt our lives but to clear our paths.

Written by Ivy Kiairie