Ep1 Focus on Essentials in Risk Management: Recap & Highlights

“Every crisis provides opportunities...I am confident that we’ll see ourselves on the other side of the this storm!”  -  Hamidah Thanawala

The first episode of the Ye! webinar series for young entrepreneurs: Focusing on the Essentials in Risk Management, went live on 21 April 2020. It was inspiring and encouraging to see quite a turnout of young entrepreneurs and supporters of the Ye! Community, who are staying resilience and strong in these challenging times. The audience found the knowledge shared was relevant and helpful to their own business, and particularly liked the Q&A session during the webinar. In case you missed this episode, here are some highlights and key points shared by our latest expert, Hamidah Thanawala on risk management.

Soft skills are essential! Analytical thinking, communications, strategic planning and sales, are only a few of soft skills necessary for a successful entrepreneur. Learned from her experience in the economic recession of 2008, operating at the bare minimum, or putting your business in survival mode while also keeping your grit is particularly important in the face of the current situation. Don’t forget about the relationship and network around you, which is key to help you reach the next level.

Self-diagnose and customer assessment are essential! When it comes to crisis management, there is no one-size-fits-all solutions. The No. 1 thing to keep in mind is what is essential in the eyes of your customers. To do this, you must have a deep understanding of your own business, customer segment and distribution channels. So ask yourself the following: What product/service do I supply? Who are my customers? Which industry am I in? What’s my distribution model? If you cannot answer these questions about your enterprise, well it’s time to figure it out! Knowing how your customers interact with your product or service is crucial to understanding how to serve them throughout the crisis period and once it’s over. Each sector, geography and model will have its own solution- time for you to figure out yours! Watch the clip below for specific examples of this. 

Both survival and thrival mode are essential! Thrival is to thrive after survive. You should not only think about how you can survive this crisis, but also where do you see your enterprise going after it. This requires you to identify the source of your cash income and the ways to extend your survival runway. Meanwhile, it is good time to find your next adjacent space that you can go to, i.e. transfer your face-to-face coaching/teaching business onto social platform and channels such as Zoom and YouTube.

Here are Hamidah's Top 10 Lessons learned from the 2008 crisis. These are the essentials!

1. Reduce unnecessary marketing budget, considering free and virtual alternatives;

2. Cash is KING, and data is #2. Knowing your customer, employees and supply chain;

3. Take control of your distribution- can you sell directly to your customers, i.e. home and contactless delivery.

4. Evaluate your supply chain, and try to switch to local procurement;

5. Cut deeper, in drastic time requires drastic actions! This is painful but will help you reduce cost!

6. Be transparent with your employees. Identify who are non-essential, essential and strategic employees in your company, and make adjustment accordingly;

7. Renegotiate with your creditors/banks, suppliers and landlord. Be brave and strategic. For instance, bartering might be a good technique for you to negotiate with your supplier and community.

8. Search information and apply for government programs or simulation packages in your country. It will definitely make a difference for you!

9. Be forgiving for some loss and compromise in the current context, and think more about your image and reputation in the community and market;

10. Grit! Grit! Grit! Hold on to it and think outside the box!

Missed the episode? Don't worry we have you covered. See the recording of the Ep1_Focus on Essentials in Risk Management with Hamidah Thanawala:

Last but not the least, participation is essential! After all, it is impossible to capture all the essential knowledge and exchanges during the webinar in our blog, so why not REGISTER to our next webinar here now? Our coach and expert, Riccardo Cairo, Citibank Atlanta's Senior Credit Portfolio Manager (VP) , will be sharing his expertise in managing cash flows and liquidity. We look forward to seeing you all on 30 April!

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