Image via Kee Nguyen/ Kimo-Ge
Running a business has always been tough, no matter the size of the company. As much as you’d like to earn profit from the get go, you’ll need to invest money, time and energy into building the business first.
However, when unforeseen circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic and MCO happen, many companies are affected, small, medium or established business.
So many SMEs were forced to let go of staffs to sustain and some even had to shut down for good! However, quite a number of companies managed to pull through this ordeal and here’s how they did it:
#1 No restaurant? Just do everything at home
Many restaurants were badly affected during the pandemic and some hawker centres even chose to remain closed until after the MCO. For Dylan Chong and his wife, En Ci, who run Kimo-Ge, a vegetarian Taiwanese pancake stall, they were one of the many hawkers affected. They knew that they had to move online immediately to keep the income flowing.
Image via Kimo-Ge/Facebook
“The kopitiam closed due to MCO. We had no business and our income was cut off. The ingredients were hard to obtain and even if we could find what we need, they’re too expensive.”
“I moved my business online, started accepting food orders, and cooked from my own home kitchen. I also posted ads on Facebook and Instagram hoping to gain traction. Though the results weren’t booming, we still had our loyal customers, friends and relatives who showed support and allowed us to sustain those tough months.”
#2 Trusting in third party companies and working closely with them
As much as you’d like to personally groom your business, you can’t keep pushing third parties away. In the end you’ll need to trust others to help your business grow. Balqies of Poppety Pot knew she could no longer hand-pick the plants she sells.
Image via PoppetyPot/Instagram
“I used to choose each and every one of the plants I sell. During MCO, I had to trust in my supplier that they will pick the right plants for me. Pots were very hard to come by as well as I used to buy pots from all over the world during my travels. I had no choice but to sell the plants in bubble wrap, boxes, paper bags or just the black plastic bags from the nurseries. Thankfully, my customers don’t mind it.”
“Previously, customers would come over to my house to buy the plants, but the lockdown forced me to go through delivery companies instead. Turns out, that really helped my business grow!”
#3 Going viral on social media
Social media can make or break someone but thankfully for Henry Tan and Radius Khor and their coffee stall, Kee Nguyen, it was the former. Throughout MCO, their coffee stall had to rely on delivery partners like most F&B establishments.
Image via Kee Nguyen/Facebook
However, they caught a huge break when a tweet promoting their coffee went viral! Radius said,
“Our biggest break was actually when we went viral. After sharing our struggles to our loyal customer, he decided to help spread the word about our stand. We didn’t know he had more than 16,000 followers on his Twitter!”
“He kept our stall a secret because it was his special place but worried that we might run out of business, he promoted it without us knowing. He posted the tweet quite late and we didn’t know about it until the next morning. By then, it had already gone viral. We were overwhelmed by the crowd as well. Many of them are now our loyal customers. It’s a huge blessing and we are truly thankful.”
If you’re running a business too or planning to open up a new businesses, it helps to see how others are successfully adapting to the situation. More than that, if you need a little push to get over this hurdle, Tesco wants to support you!
Image via Tesco
In lieu of Merdeka, Tesco is launching their ‘Hero Bangkit’ campaign, which supports local community businesses those wanting to start a new business plus the small and medium businesses in Malaysia.
They are also collaborating with Astro to run a special contest. From 6 August to 30 August 2020, business owners can submit their stories and stand a chance to promote their business on Astro Radio's ERA or MY! Besides that, they can also walk away with RM5,000 in Tesco Cash Vouchers to help their business sustain better. So, that’s free publicity and money!
Image via Tesco
There are three stages to the contest. Firstly, you’ll need to submit your entry here. Share your story and explain why you think you deserve to be interviewed on national radio and TV.
Next, 20 companies will be shortlisted by a team of selected people the organisers. Then, there’ll be a voting system to find the top 10 companies, which are the winners!
The public can vote for one business per day from 31 August to 4 September. The winners will be announced on Astro RIA's lifestyle entertainment show, hlive at 8.30pm on 7 September.
For more information, visit the Hero Bangkit website or Tesco’s website and Facebook.