Jakarta, 25 September 2020 - In light of the ongoing pandemic situation over the last few months, brands and businesses - especially MSMEs have had to make extra efforts and work twice as hard to ensure their business continuity and smooth operations. Gauging the need of these small and medium businesses, Zilingo’s B2B arm Zilingo Trade has been supporting brands and businesses offering a wide range of services from an expansive sourcing to selling marketplace to software, logistics marketing and financial services, all under one unified platform.
As we approach the last leg of this year, the Q4, the sentiment of the epidemic still holds strong. In this turbulence, it is imperative for businesses and merchants to have a custom set of parameters in place to evaluate their current position as well as plan accordingly for the coming months.
Head of Commercial at Zilingo, Melina Marpaung, with her decade-long industry-relevant experience speaks of the state of things, “Having worked with thousands of brands and businesses over the years, at Zilingo, we understand that this unprecedented time has been one of the toughest by far. With Zilingo Trade and its gamut of services, we have been supporting and equipping businesses across verticals and are ready to power them as well through Q4, 2020, but there are some relevant trade facets that should be considered by any business at this point to further their operational prospect or even for keeping a check on their business health.”
Here Melina shares her key tips for brands and businesses in the event of the last quarter of this tumultuous year:
Review Inventory Management
Reviewing your inventory is one important parameter in evaluating the state of your business’ health. “If you have way too many inventories sitting in your warehouse, this might be the perfect time to re-evaluate your stock. Reducing your inventory could help you lower the inventory costs without sacrificing the quality of goods sold or inconveniencing your customers,” says Melina. She adds that this situation may arise with multiple excess orders placed for a particular item. One of the viable solutions is to have the same items sourced from somewhere else at a better price.
Try to find drop-shipping alternatives so that you can eliminate shipping and warehousing costs. Finding other suppliers that provide competitive pricing, like that of Zilingo Trade, could aid your procurement process and cut down the cost.
Focus on core competencies
Small business owners often get confused with the concept of ‘diversification,’ reducing it to ‘different’ offerings. “By merely adding other products or services to your offerings isn't diversification. At best, it's a waste of time and money if done without evaluating proper market demand or local consumer behavior. Investing your precious time, money and efforts away from your core offerings could eventually result in your brand and reputation damage,” explained Melina. As such, now would be a good time for you to revisit some of such decisions.
Adjust your business model
As an entrepreneur or business owner, you should accommodate and keep up with changing trends and this especially holds true in this pandemic-afflicted year. If you want your business to survive the crisis, you have to adapt and seize the right opportunities. “At times, pivoting or changing your business model might appear as the last resort to survive. You can start by changing your products category, simplifying the payment process, and so on. This way, your business continues to adapt with trends and consumption patterns,” added Melina.
In times of crisis you need to lower your expectations from your business performance, mainly focus on running smooth operations and not be driven by profit alone. As such, be very careful in prioritizing your needs, reduce expenses, pause inventory, and delay any expansion plans for the time being. In addition, be aptly prepared with backup financial plans anticipating the worst case scenario.
“Make sure to stay on top of your finances by analyzing financial reports regularly. This is to ensure that your cash flow remains smooth. Avoid taking on business debts without the ability to pay them off. This way, you can prevent your business from undue financial stress or exhaustion of funds,” explained Melina.
Take advantage of technology
This pandemic is the opportune time for your business to be innovative and explore new ways to reach target consumers using technology. You can start selling your merchandise on an online marketplace or social media, or even sell in bulk to increase the turnover. Consider more promotions, and pump up your digital marketing efforts through affordable yet attractive strategies and content. “If you don’t know where to start, Zilingo Trade with its plethora of services is ready to enable, equip and elevate your business to the next level. The services are also adjustable as per your business requirements,” concluded Melina.
Apart from providing an honest and trusted wholesale trading platform, Zilingo Trade also offers business solutions, from marketing, finance, production, to logistics. The platform customizes its services according to your business needs and capabilities, to help drive profit and widen your business reach. Find out more about Zilingo Trade on zilingotrade.id.