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COVID-19 (English version)


“Entrepreneurs: 7 questions to self-orientation when facing crisis”

In these times of crisis, entrepreneurs are asking themselves a lot of questions. Entrepreneurs have different realities, therefore a variety of compasses is needed to address every situation individually. If we were to define our own compass, these are the following seven questions we would ask ourselves to achieve 3 essential objectives to emerge stronger from a crisis:

1. Ensuring the survival of your business

The COVID-19 crisis has a major impact on the smooth running of all businesses: orders are cancelled, payments delayed, production stopped, our costs increased tenfold!

In short, we are faced with a long list of unrequited income bonds. Staying in control means answering successfully the three following questions can help us increase the resilience of our businesses:

a. How many months, weeks or days can we hold without any entry?

b. What decisions do we need to make today to extend this deadline?

c. What opportunities can we seize immediately?

2. Planning for a prosperous future

This crisis reminds us of all of the weight of responsibilities that we accepted when we decided to take up a specific challenge. Our employees, suppliers and our community are all people we are responsible for. To imagine a prosperous future, one must first remember the essence of entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur means deciding to offer a solution to a group of clients who’s capable of remunerating adequately. Two questions can help us plan for this better future:

d. How should we change our business model if confinement becomes the norm?

e. What skills or abilities available might be useful for new clients?

3. Reinventing yourself

The main asset of an entrepreneur is his creative force, his energy and his motivation to overcome hardships. The stakes are enormous, and it is more than ever incumbent on us not to lose our focus on the North. For all of us, confinement or at least the slowdown in activity is an opportunity to rejuvenate and get off to a better start.

The last two following questions can help us make this crisis a real opportunity for personal reinvention:

f. How do I maintain my mental and personal balance in times of crisis to stay on course and keep moving forward?

g. How are my goals and priorities changing and what does this mean for my business and that of my future?

While these questions are obvious for most of us, the value of a compass lies in its use. One of my favorite Rwandese proverbs says that with the right mind frame, a  rabbit skin can suffice as a ‘blanket’ to accommodate a multitude.

The imagination, optimism and generosity contained in this quote will be the keys to our compasses. Everyone has their own compass and let’s not lose the North: our survival and our prosperity in the COVID-19 era depend on it!

By Eric Kacou

CEO & Co-Founder, ESP

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