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The survival of small businesses post soe

AMBROSE BATSWALELANG

The State of Emergency (SoE) in Botswana came to an end on the first of October 2021. COVID-19 taught us the importance of factoring in the internet and digitization into business processes. It has highlighted the importance of a contingency and survival planning. The pandemic impacted the global economy dismally and small and medium businesses took the hardest knock. The majority of these companies did not have measures in place to weather financial storms let alone one of this magnitude.

Small and medium sized enterprises play a vital role in the society’s social inclusivity, local employment, and development in rural areas. Their survival is mandatory for building an empowered and self-sufficient nation. Some of the major challenges small businesses faced and part of the reasons why they failed to stay afloat are: disruptions in supply chains, cash flow challenges, less demand for certain goods and services, failure to meet delivery dates, and lessened risk enthusiasm by financial market. Experts cited that most small businesses identified the following as their biggest sources of struggle currently: loan repayments, salary payments, and rent.

First and foremost, successful and stable businesses should have a solid business plan with a comprehensive marketing plan and accurate financial plan which will allow you to better understand the intricacies of your business and be in a better position to make it a success. Furthermore, it will make it simpler to access financial aid from potential investors and government schemes.

Earlier this year, the president of Botswana, His Excellency, Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi announced that small businesses would soon be able to operate from home without licenses. This eliminates a barrier to entry and presents an opportunity for small businesses to be started with ease and those existing to increase profits. Capitalizing on initiatives presented by the government is a sure way of ensuring your business grows. Albert Einstein once stated that “in the middle of difficulty comes opportunity.” Even in difficult times, opportunities for growth, development and increase among SMMEs can still be found and taken advantage of.

Additionally, there are a few things that small businesses may consider in order to survive. This can involve spending less on rental by occupying smaller office spaces, sharing office spaces, adopting lean and mean structure, and for some, opting for solar energy as opposed to generators. SMMEs can also encourage their staff to work on alternating days, strictly work from home, execute temporary pay cuts, or have staff rotations. SMMEs highlighted the following as desired solutions for their business challenges: lower interest loans, and the relaxation of loan payments. If small businesses are going to survive, they require the collective efforts of all sectors.

Moreover, developing a solid financial plan is important for the sustenance and longevity of a business. At this time, businesses may have to revisit their financial plans and begin identifying alternate streams of revenue. Getting more funds into the business through diversification will be paramount for the survival of small businesses at this time. A small online boutique that has been specializing in selling clothing may now diversify and begin selling wigs and weaves, and a tuck-shop lady who has strictly been selling sweets and salty snacks may begin cooking lunch for her customers.

At this point-in-time, businesses will have to reconsider their expenditures. Going back to the financial plans and identifying costs that are not imperative for the day-to-day operations of the business will be vital in helping owners spend less and retain more profit. This profit can then either be reinvested into the business or placed in the company’s reserve.

A good credit score is very important for small businesses. Acquiring funding is a key way for businesses to expand, therefore, diligently paying back creditors and using funds received to grow the business will make it more attractive to both funders and investors. A credit score is a numeric representation ranging from 300 to 850 signifying how likely you are to pay back the amount of debt you incur.

Ambrose Batswalelang is FirstCred COO

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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