SMEs Urged to Embrace Technology, Financial Planning for Survival


Nume Ekeghe
The Vice President Business Development (West), Sigma Pensions Limited, Mrs. Mabel George, has urged operators of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) to leverage technology as well imbibe good financial planning to survive the economic downturn posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

George made the call during the ConnectNigeria Virtual business fair where thousands of SMEs converged to learn, connect and showcase their business, held recently.
She also urged businesses to reevaluate their propositions to adapt to the changing business environment and practices in order to survive the pandemic and its aftermath.

She added: “You need to rethink the way you do business, you need to take a back seat to review the economy and sectors and see how you can add a positive stint to what is going on in the economy. That is the only way you show that you are resilient and that is the only way you can transit from what you were doing before to what you are going to be doing now.

“You need to look at your business and how it has been and then build a business that would last, not just a business you are building for efficiency but a business that is designed for resilience and is able to take whatever shocks coming.”
Also, on the need to adapt to technology, she said: “You also need to adapt to technological. I cannot over emphasise it that technology is king at point in time. People are now doing businesses from home and transacting from home so you need to adapt to technology, take advantage of it and let your businesses move forward. Because technology is what would drive this world.”

Speaking further on other strategies SMEs should imbibe, she stressed the need for them to learn how to gather and use data as well have a diligent financial planning
She said: “Data is king, with the right data we are able to predict, make simulations and are able to plan how we are going to work and how we are going to function during and post the pandemic. Data gathering puts you in a better standing compared to people who do not work with data.”

“Most importantly financial planning is the key tool every business owner, young professional or any individual at all must imbibe. Put your finances together.
“It is important for SMEs to become resilient. The truth is that some SMEs would not survive this pandemic but those who have built to last, resilient and those who can adapt are the ones who would be able to rise above the pandemic and challenges,” George said.