How Businesses Can prepare themselves for 2021

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An Overview of 2020

2020 was a challenging year for most people and put many businesses to the test. The global economy experienced unprecedented shifts owing to the Covid-19 pandemic with a substantial drop in revenue for most businesses. In Kenya, many people were rendered jobless as companies closed shop unable to remain profitable during the harsh economic times. Curfews, social distancing and a steep decline in economic power demanded a restructure in the organisation and commerce. Consequently, this has affected the way of doing things and presented many lessons to both individuals and organisations across the country.

The Covid-19 pandemic proved the lack of preparedness within most organisations to adapt quickly to change. In turn, many businesses were unable to survive the sudden change in lifestyle owing to the pandemic and suffered the inevitable fate of shutting down. However, some businesses were quick to adjust and managed to make use of technology to improve their strategic positioning despite the harsh economic year. The events of 2020 present business owners with important lessons on commerce and human behaviour.

How Businesses Can prepare themselves for 2021

It is critical for organisations to consistently carry out an internal and external analysis to ensure they can navigate the economic landscape especially during times of uncertainty. Regular analysis can prevent the sudden closure of businesses by informing the owners of organisation's health and understanding the external landscape and the potential implications of the prevailing circumstances. A SWOT and PEST analysis during challenging times as in the case of the year 2020 would help organisations to rapidly adapt to change.

As the year comes to a close businesses must reconsider their strategic positioning in light of the events of 2020. Leaders must consider strategies to help them face 2021 and consider new trends in their respective industries. One of the dominant lessons of 2020, is the importance of early adaptation of technology. Issues such as curfews and social distancing to curb the spread of the virus emphasise the importance of technology in remote working. Similarly, reaching new clients and maintaining ties with existing clients has proven meaningful.

SMS billing through Lipa Solution

One of the most effective and affordable steps that organisations can take to improve their communication is the use of SMS for both communication and billing. Lipa Solutions is a billing solution that facilitates easy and actionable billing through M-pesa. The system accommodates SMS marketing and campaigns, updating QuickBooks for M-pesa payments, sending out invoices and payment notifications as well as SMS billing. The SMS billing feature is one of the most popular features as it enables businesses to send out SMS invoices and receive M-Pesa payments from clients by replying to the SMS.

Advantages of using SMS billing

  1. Can integrate it to your website. Customers today often consider those merchants more reliable that accept payment online through their site.
  2. Adds Convenience to Recurring Payments. Instead of sending them reminders every time and requesting to send cheques for the payment, you can automatically collect payments after the end of the subscription term.
  3. Influences impulse buyers since the transaction is quick and easy, and one can pay via credit cards, buyers are more likely to grab the deal, if there is an online payment system in place.
  4. Online payments facilitate instant payments for an organisation. It breaks the geographical restrictions and let customers purchase even without physical presence.
  5. Setting up an option to receive online payment is easy and quick to start selling minutes after implementing it.
  6. More secure and credible for merchants than receiving payments through cheques. A merchant instantly receives the money with no risk of bounced cheques and the fees associated with it.
  7. Easy reconciliation. Easy to keep track and balance your books

In conclusion, the year 2020 was challenging for both individuals and organisations and has raised questions on the overall preparedness and adaptability of organisations. Companies have had to find new ways of doing things to remain afloat in light of the Covid-19 virus and the measures surrounding the pandemic. Businesses must increase their strategic awareness in the year 2021 to avoid the challenges they faced in the year 2020. Through regular analysis of their internal and external landscape and the implications. Using SMS billing systems such as Lipa Solutions is a great way for organisations to prepare themselves for 2021. Also, the tool can help businesses increase their outreach success while making the most of their M-pesa transactions through timely payments and increased efficiency.

By Christine Njoki - Published 31st Dec 2020, 09:00am

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