While we do recommend that businesses pan out their strategy to sustain during this tough time, they also need to bear in mind to come up with multiple plans to address the varying possible outcomes of the situation.
We’ve hosted a webinar with over a hundred business owners and community leaders to join a sharing session by Datuk Jake Abdullah (Managing Director of Fave Malaysia) where he shared his observations of how companies survive through Covid-19 and how we can come together to help those in need. We’ve also asked around in several groups of community and local business owners about their views.
If situation worsen, number of cases continue to increase
Governments may need to implement drastic measures that may require businesses to shut down their operations completely for an indefinite amount of time. According to epidemiologist Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, there was a likelihood of at least four more waves and we'll need at least 6 weeks to see a decline in the numbers of confirmed cases.
To mitigate the loss that this may cause, retailers should start focusing on initiatives that may help them cut costs and get quick up-front payments to cover as many expenses as possible. Business owners maintain an active role in continuously gathering data and exploring other products or services that could sell better in this situation.
The nation is very much concerned about the economy especially in Malaysia now. Datuk Jake Abdullah has gathered a bunch of local personalities and celebrities to rally for restaurants and retailers in Save Our Fave movement.
Famous local celebrities such as Ean from Hitz FM, Altimet, Sasi The Don and Malaysia’s favourite comedy man, Harith Iskander among others were seen sharing their messages to unite Malaysians to save the day and help their favourite merchants in this nationwide push.
Many Malaysians have also come together to express their support for local businesses across social media platforms with #saveourfave challenge. Many has contribute to this initiatives by purchasing eCards of their favourite merchants and benefit from up to 30% additional savings.
For merchants in Malaysia who are suffering from the MRO
Retailers are selling their eCards online and get advance cash to cushion their lost income. As we continue to support local businesses to the fullest, all payment fees will be fully absorbed by Fave and cease commissions for eCards so that 100% of the money that consumers pay will go directly to the merchant.
Alternative actions to take in the worst case scenario
As mentioned in the webinar by Datuk Jake Abdullah, businesses could consider renegotiating the terms with suppliers or any form of expenses to reduce day-to-day costs for a period of time. He also added that businesses could also consider asking people with a senior managerial role to take proportional pay cuts to help everyone keep their jobs and support the company.
When it comes to the team in the company, businesses are also advised to be very transparent with the team to help them get an overview of the whole situation and strategize the next plan together to survive through this period of time.
If the situation improves and MRO has lifted
It is crucial for businesses to stay positive and continue their efforts in marketing, carrying out their promotions and operating the business right now to lay in all the necessary groundwork for the business to regain back its full momentum once the crisis slowly resolves and the condition improves.
When we asked Ren Yi, the co-founder, and director of MyBurgerLab, on what are his advice to help businesses replan after the crisis subside, he answered that If the order is lifted, they will still maintain the status quo for another week or two to play it safe until the number dwindles.
He continued saying
Let's remain persistent and united in pushing through this slump so that we could collectively battle the increased threat of COVID-19 on businesses and the economy at large.
“As we still don’t know the possible scenarios after the Restriction of Movement Order is lifted so we will play by ear. Businesses should be back to usual as soon as possible but we are also expecting some downtime before businesses can start to fully operate as usual.”