Coronavirus is beginning to shake up businesses and consumer behaviour on a massive scale. Both the public and private sectors are scrambling to slow the spread of the illness and contain COVID-19 infection, as it is spreading rapidly, with updates flying in every minute.
Depending on the industry you are in, some losses are unavoidable, but for many entrepreneurs, it is about minimizing your losses and finding ways to capitalize on opportunities. No longer is it business as usual. People’s routines and lives have been greatly impacted.
What does this mean for you and your business? It means that unless you re-examine your marketing strategy, your ability to grow and expand your business is under siege.
As the situation evolves, many small business owners are unsure of what steps to take to mitigate risk, protect employees and support customers. Here are the recommended tips that small business owners can take to accomplish all of those, and still make sales during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Establish a remote work option
Implement a remote work policy that covers when you expect your team to be online or available, how to communicate (via email, Slack, or video call, for instance), and what deliverables each team member is responsible for completing.
Reduce meetings and travel
Try to keep opportunities for exposure to the virus to a minimum. Postpone team meetings or hold them virtually. Skip conferences or other planned business trips.
Communicate transparently with your customers
Everyone is facing this crisis together, so be transparent about what your business is going through. Customers can empathize with brands facing a crisis, as long as you communicate with them properly.
As Harvard Business Review reports, “When customers are separated from the work that’s being done behind the scenes to serve them, they appreciate the service less and then they value the service less.”
Describe the steps you’re taking to mitigate risk and give them insight into the steps you are taking to help the community. Keep your employees and your customers safe by being as proactive as possible about cleanliness.
Shift your sales strategy to online
As storefronts are shutting their doors and workers stay in place, savvy business owners should shift their sales strategies to avoid heavy losses. If you are closing your store, find ways to keep your employees earning a paycheck by selling on social media, putting your email list to good use or using a video tool to reach new leads.
If your sales previously relied on brick and mortar stores, face-to-face meetings, tradeshows or events, it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy. As cities lockdown and people are forced into isolation, one of their best friends becomes the internet.
This is your chance to move your digital communication to the next level! People will be seeking updates, answers, and ways to improve their personal and professional lives. If your business has a solid digital marketing strategy, you are in a better position to weather this storm.
Important questions to ask when it comes to reaching your buyers online
- Does your business have a reputable online presence and an intuitive and easy-to-use online interface?
- Have you implemented a Pay per Click (PPC) online advertising campaign to pull in buyers searching for your services?
- Do you have a social media campaign that engages with your potential customers?
- Are your website and content optimized for search engines when clients are browsing and researching online?
- Is your website delivering a superior user experience – making it easy to navigate, explaining your value proposition and how to buy your products and services?
If you have not invested in an Omnichannel digital marketing strategy, with consistently aligned messaging and customer experiences across channels and platforms, it’s not too late to start. If you are already invested in an online presence, consider devoting even more resources to this critically important area.
How to identify, implement and optimize new sales channels
With social distancing being the preventative measure to contain the crisis, investing or reallocating resources to different sales channels may be the opportunity you have overlooked, until now.
Six ideas to help you sell more effectively in the digital world
- Build e-commerce functionality on your site so customers can order your goods and services directly.
- Make sure you offer quick, inexpensive delivery to online shoppers’ homes or businesses.
- Add functionality to your website so users can easily book virtual appointments.
- Offer webinars in place of face-to-face presentations.
- Implement an online chat tool so online buyers and browsers have a way to get their questions quickly answered.
- Post a comprehensive online FAQ on your site, with strong search functionality
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 24th of November 2020, 168 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 66,607 confirmed cases.
On the 24th of November 2020, 168 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 5,838 samples across the country.
To date, 66,607 cases have been confirmed, 62,311 cases have been discharged and 1,169 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 749,136 tests have been carried out as of November 24th, 2020 compared to 743,298 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th November 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 66,607
- Total Number Discharged – 62,311
- Total Deaths – 1,169
- Total Tests Carried out – 749,136
According to the NCDC, the 168 new cases were reported from 10 states- FCT (61), Lagos (50), Kaduna (27), Oyo (12), Rivers (6), Katsina (5), Ogun (3), Kwara (2), Edo (1), Kano (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,018, followed by Abuja (6,576), Plateau (3,805), Oyo (3,715), Rivers (2,963), Kaduna (2,940), Edo (2,695), Ogun (2,156), Delta (1,823), Kano (1,777), Ondo (1,727), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,095), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,012), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (753), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 662 cases, Benue (493), Nasarawa (485), Bayelsa (445), Ekiti (354), Jigawa (328), Akwa Ibom (319), Niger (296), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (157), Yobe (94), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
COVID-19: FG to inaugurate 18-man vaccine task team
FG has announced plans to set up an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team with the responsibility to acquire and deploy vaccines in the country.
The Federal Government has announced through the Ministry of Health, that it will inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.
He revealed that the need for a task force comes as vaccines would be made available globally. The responsibilities of the task force include the acquisition and deployment of vaccines in the country.
“Now that vaccines are known to be close at hand, the Federal Ministry of Health is taking measures toward vaccine security, for which an 18-man National COVID-19 Vaccine Task Team with seven Terms of Reference (ToR) will be inaugurated.
“The ToR will include generating strategies for acquisition, deployment, and options for licensed production by Biovaccine Nigeria Ltd.
“Our options with WHO/GAVI led Covax facility remains our first line of engagement,” he added.
What you should know
After news of the Pfizer vaccine went viral, Nairametrics reported that the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said Nigerians will benefit early from COVID-19 vaccines when the product is made available for commercial use. He revealed that any vaccine that is deemed fit for commercial use in treating coronavirus will be made available early to Nigerians.
Nairametrics also reported plans by the Nigerian government to set up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production.
The G-20 nations announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that can’t afford it. The leaders also announced a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.
ECOWAS COVID-19: Nigeria drops to 7th position in recovery rate
According to data from ECOWAS Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control, Nigeria has dropped to 7th position in recovery rate.
The ECOWAS COVID-19 daily update report, as of November 22nd, 2020, shows that Nigeria is ranked 7th on recovery rate (93.5%), 10th on death rate (CFR – case fatality ratio) at 1.76%, and 9th on active cases (4.7%) amongst the 15 member countries of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).
This data can be seen on the Twitter handle of the ECOWAS Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control.
— ECOWAS Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (@Ecowas_cdc) November 23, 2020
A week ago, as of 15th November 2020, Nigeria occupied the 6th position in recovery rate (93.7%), 9th position in CFR (1.79%) and 11th position in active cases (4.5%).
According to the report, there are 209,614 confirmed cases, 2,842 deaths, 189,917 recoveries, and 8,849 active cases in ECOWAS countries. This data represents in Africa, 9.8% of the confirmed cases, 5.7% deaths, 10.9% recovery rate and 3.3% active cases.
As regards the death rate (CFR), Liberia tops the list with 5.29%, followed by Niger 5.12% and Mali 3.41% while Guinea is the least with 0.58%.
On recovery rate, Cote D”Ivoire tops the list with 98.3%, followed by Senegal 97.5% and Ghana 97.1%, with the least coming from Mali with 71.1%.
Mali has more active COVID 19 cases with 25.5%, followed by Sierra Leone 20.9% and Togo 18.7% and with Senegal contributing the least with 0.4%.
What you should know
- As at November 22 2020, worldwide, there are 58,649,324 confirmed cases, 1,388,068 deaths and CFR of 2.3%
- In Africa, there are 2,057,029 confirmed cases, 49,412 deaths and CFR of 2.4%
- In West Africa, there are 201,614 confirmed cases, 2,842 deaths and CFR of 1.41%, with a recovery rate of 94.2%.