The pandemic COVID 19, has affected many industries, as well as a lot of hustlepreneurs, have been hit hard. One of the industries facing adverse effects for hustlepreneurs is the Catering and Events. When the lockdown commenced, many clients canceled their bookings since it was recommended to observe social distancing. This meant that this other stream of income had to be cut down.
I for one was hit hard because I had purchased a new machine just a few weeks before the pandemic hit us. Now the machine is just gathering dust at the restaurant l was supposed to rent it out. The lost income is what bothers me. This time had made me ponder deeply on how l am going to regain the income when all this is over.
I interviewed two entrepreneurs one in the Events, Kirynah Events owned by Christine and Kudzai of Wakanaka Cullinery Classics . Let me share how they responded to this situation and how they are improvising to stay alive in their business. I will share the question and answer below.
Q: What is the major constraint you facing during this pandemic and the effects it has on your business?
A: The major adverse effect that COVID-19 has had on our business is definitely cash flow constraints.
- Delayed payments from some clients. For example, we have a few clients (companies) we signed a 90-day payment plan with. As a result of this COVID-19, we still haven’t been paid for services that we offered 4 months ago.
- We have always been operating as a mobile catering business. Therefore with the travel & gathering restrictions, we haven’t been working during level 5. Completely no income was generated during this period!
- Cancellation of events as many clients had to resort to virtual weddings, there is no need for a planner due to social distancing and lockdown
Q: What lessons have you learnt in the storm of all this?
A: It is essential to have a business emergency fund for uncertain times like this. Also practicing of budget stress testing just to have a plan when cases like this happen
- To have multiple streams of income besides relying on one as it will work as a buffer in times like this
- To have a kind of all in one service provider especially in events to include photography, makeup, etc. This will leave you at a better place as some of this service is still required even on virtual events.
Q: How are you improvising for business continuity?
A: As we’re trying to map up our way forward based on the current regulations, we have made a few changes so far on our operations and more are yet to be implemented.
Online cooking classes eg zoom meetings
Drop off services on our meal packs.
Note this: Even though we have now adopted the culture of using disposable ware, hygiene and quality are still imperative in our service operations.
We are in the process of upgrading our website for marketing purposes. Word of mouth has been our most effective marketing tool, but with the current situation serious digital marketing back up is much needed. Also, the upgrade on the website is there to ensure that people can order and pay online for the services they require.
This is what our buoyant female entrepreneurs are doing to make it during these devastating times. To keep on being strong and revise the business plans and re-strategize. There is always another way we just have to think deeper and hunt for opportunities. Let’s shift our mindsets and think outside the box.
By Talent Tarie Manyonga