Gaborone Lockdown: Survival Tips for Small Businesses



Keeping a small business afloat in Gaborone takes careful planning and incisive budgeting at the best of times.

Throw the COVID-19 lockdown into the equation and implementing creative ways to generate income is key to survival.

Here’s a roundup of ideas to help your business through the tough times.

Re-evaluate business finances

Identify the business expenses that have to be paid each month – such as rent, utilities and staff payroll – and try to negotiate a temporary reprieve.

By securing payment holidays, pay cuts and partial payments, you can stem the flow of money going out while you come up with innovative ways to attract regular sources of income.

Apply for small business relief

Small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs) in Gaborone have access to P40 million in COVID-19 relief funding.

Additionally, the Botswana government has deferred tax payments until March 2021 and is committed to covering 50% of all salaries in businesses affected by the pandemic.

If your company is registered for tax, you can apply for business relief.

Operate remotely

By adopting smart technologies and rolling them out to your employees, you can create a remote work space.

There are dozens of apps and tools that you can use to operate your business, manage a distributed team and communicate with your customers from any location, anywhere.

Find out how other businesses are dealing with the pandemic

You can learn a lot from people going through the same experience.

Tap into smart survival tips conceived by other small business owners.

The Small Business COVID-19 Survival Guide is a free resource that covers tips and tricks submitted by a community of business owners trapped in the lockdown.

Communicate with your customers

Make contact with your customers on a consistent basis. Send out regular updates on email, Facebook and Twitter.

It’s vital to maximise business exposure, whether you’re operating through the lockdown or not.

Frequent communication ensures your business is foremost in people’s minds when life in Gaborone returns to normal.

Get creative with marketing and sales

Find new and innovative ways to market and sell your products or services.

Offer discounts to clients who pre-pay for goods and services honoured post-lockdown.

Adapt to the current situation by manufacturing face masks, hand sanitisers, cash-point visors or disposable gloves.

Upload quirky videos to YouTube and TikTok. They may go viral and reach thousands of prospective clients.

If your main client base is overseas, focus on the local market by offering reduced rates to Batswana.

Use the downtime to upskill

The lockdown may mean a reduction in revenue but it’s the ideal time to train your employees.

It’s also the perfect time to develop your own skills by tackling areas of the business you’ve avoided.

Here are several reputable online learning centres offering a range of business courses, some of which are free.

Negotiate with staff to find a workable solution

In all businesses, large and small, the employees are the most valuable asset.

They’re also the most vulnerable when it comes to retrenchments and layoffs.

Rather than cutting your staff contingent, have a frank and open discussion about how they can help you save their jobs.

You may be surprised at how many are willing to work reduced hours or take a salary cut.

Get an asset-based loan

The lockdown may seem interminable but it will end.

If you need funds to tide you over, a short-term loan could be the answer.

Rather than selling business or private assets to cover expenses, use them to secure a quick cash loan.

Because the loan is secured by the asset, there’s no need to submit business financials or meet strict qualifying criteria. The money is virtually available on-demand.

At lamna Botswana, we offer fast, discreet loans against the value of a wide range of assets, from luxury watches and jewellery to vehicles or valuable works of art.

For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan – for example, to help your small business weather the Gaborone lockdown and its effects – contact us on 71 388 088 or simply complete and submit our online application form.

Complete our Online Application Form