How Your Business Can Survive Tough Times? Lessons from Mo Issa

“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going” is a popular proverb.

Once you set out to start a business, the challenges are just lying in wait for you. Mr Mo Issa, CEO of Kimo Home offers some solid advice on how to toughen up in tough economic times. He appreciated challenges the local economy is facing, where businesses are losing over 30% of their sales and others practically disappearing from the market.


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He points out growing pains emerging economies go through, falling prices of commodities and the ever worrying issues of corruption you can associate with many African countries. And there is your business in the midst of all the economic setbacks. He encourages…

My point here is not to dwell on the why but rather be stoic about it and accept that tough times are here for now and what are we as “Tough guys” gonna do about it? What lessons can we learn?

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1. Get lean (Not mean!).

This is a period of “battening down the hatches” as the storm has arrived.

Get rid of the excess fat and stick to what is absolutely necessary:

  • Cut down expenses and do it quick.
  • Reduce receivables and stop selling on credit.
  • Buy or import only the necessary products that form the 80% of your turnover.
  • Immediate freeze on capital expenditure.

2. Enroll everyone.

You need to express what you are going through and everyone from the lowest earner to the top brass need to hear this and have to be enrolled in your plan.

Your customers have to understand why you can’t give credit or why you have less variety than you did before. Engage them to understand what you can do and what you absolutely can’t do.

Your employees have to be treated humanely even if you are severing their contracts.

Make your pitch firm, real but ultimately reassuring as at the end of the day all you are trying to do is survive and maintain the business that you have built for twenty plus years.

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3. Revisit your “why” or Vision.

Why did you start this business in the first place?

Who are you serving – what kind of customers are you targeting?

Has the business outlived it’s usefulness?

Who in the team will you take with you if you were asked to start up a new company?

As we enter the eye of the storm, I feel excited, and worried,

The answers will become more clear and obvious. The tough people will magically become apparent and it’s not always the ones you thought that would.

The right products will announce themselves through the lips of your customers.

The real customers will stand with you and support you.

The business will survive all right if it can still serve and if it can’t then you learn the toughest lesson of them all.


Become A Member of JOBACOM, to access Loans, Accommodation, Business Support & Internships. Call/Whatsapp on 0231626480 now.


Author: Mo Issa
CEO of Kimo Home Group


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