Coronavirus: Impact On The Various Business Sectors

How Coronavirus Will Affect Your Online Business
The coronavirus epidemic is getting more serious on a daily basis with more than 1 million confirmed cases worldwide.
According to Aljazeera.com, over 1,002,159 people have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease worldwide, out of which 51,000 where reported dead while 208,000 patients recovered.

Out of the numbers, the United States have over 238,063 reported cases, Italy has over 115,242 reported cases while Spain has reported more than 110,238 cases.

Coming to Africa, South Africa has over 1,462 reported cases, Egypt has over 779 reported cases while Nigeria has recorded 174 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The implication on the economy:

The coronavirus epidermic has had sever impact on the global economy that we fear damages caused by it might take years to take things back to normal. Due to the lockdown in many parts of the world pending when a solution will be found, many businesses have been affected and workers opted for remote jobs.

The lockdown in Spain, Italy and most Eurozone economies has taken its toll on the global demand for oil. The decline in the demand for oil is estimated to surpass the loss of nearly 1 million barrels per day during the 2007-08 recession.

This is also coming at a time when two key players in the global oil industry – Russia and the OPEC cartel – are at loggerheads on the decision to cut output. The unequivocal oil price war started between these two global oil market giants may have more dire consequences on the oil price that has started to dive.

Even though some countries are giving their citizens funds to support them during these period, the fact that many businesses are being affected shouldn't be ignored.

International flights in many countries have been suspended, except special airliners that are assigned to convey citizens back to their countries.

In Nigeria, major markets have been shut down and businesses that attract crowds are raising measures to curtail the number of people they attend to at a time.

Religious gatherings and academic activities have also been shut down for the moment, while banks have reduced the number of customers coming in at a time to 5.

Will coronavirus have an impact on online businesses?

In a moment like this, many employees are working remotely, especially the ones that don't need to meet their clients directly like Facebook, Google and Twitter.
I never really thought my business would be directly impacted by the rising epidemic, like, I don't sell in the market, I don't meet my clients, my users will be at home so bigger business and things like that.
With the enthusiasm to start running a Facebook advert for my new eBook on how to create a PayPal account that can send and receive money in Nigeria, I went to my Facebook page to set up a campaign and was welcomed with a surprise news:
How Coronavirus Will Affect Your Online Business
Wow...No wonder Cardi B stated that sh*t was getting real. Well, no problem, the patient dog always eats the fattest bones.

I had to wait and in a few hours, a notification that my ad had been approved popped out of my phone.

Then two of our sponsors' emails came rolling in, apologising over their inability to pay on time, while blaming in on the same coronavirus. I wasn't angry, because they were my regular partners and I knew it wasn't their faults.

It also affected some items I ordered for our new online shop, Browse.NG. We had to cancel our orders after delivery was being postponed for a number of times by our client.

Over to the marketers:

We all know that periods like these are perfect time to make profit over hot selling items like hand sanitizers, face masks, hand gloves and even food items. Like, you could buy a hand sanitizer for as low as ₦350 and sell them at a high rate of ₦1,000 plus.

For some days now, I've been seeing ads from some marketers trying to make 10x - 50x profit on items that are in high demands now.

This isn’t entrepreneurship and this isn’t marketing. I highly recommend that you avoid exploiting the Coronavirus situation to make a quick buck.

While you could be able to make some quick buck, also remember the fact that the condition won't be lasting forever. It might be ending in a few months, weeks or even days.

What impact will the coronavirus have on the different businesses around the globe?

Businesses will struggle for a while, even after the virus is gone. So many brands will have to trade for a year in order to recover their losses.

Using China as an example, the virus has caused retail sales to drop by 20.5% and unemployment rates increased to 6.2 in February.

Even big companies like Apple are being affected, as they've shut down their retail stores 'until further notice' to reduce the spread of the virus. Even though they'd be paying their employees during the temporary shutdown, not all companies have the ability to do so.

In the travel industry, international flights have been suspended and the virus is expected to lose them 820 billion dollars.

Reuters, an international news organisation described the present situation being faced by airliners as the 'deepest crisis ever'.

British Airways also announced that they'd be suspending more than 30,000 staff, from cabin crew to ground staff, engineers and head office employees, until the end of May under the government furlough scheme for companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, English entrepreneur, Neil Patel in an email told me that that the COVID-19 might be costing the global economy an estimated $2.7 trillion.

What of the media?

While many industries are recording a reduction in conversions, the media and financial industries are smiling with the stay at home policy being practised by many.

For example, we recorded a 102% increase in traffic yesterday, with majority of people reading coronavirus and making money online related contents.

Sales in the eCommerce industry was a mixed bag, and depended generally on what the sites sold. While some that sold items like baby products saw a nice bump in traffic, the rate at which people purchased luxury goods generally reduced.

In the financial sector:

Many African countries turned to mobile payments as a tool to curb COVID-19, hence the reason the increase in the number of financial transactions carried out on mobile devices.

Many startups and government bodies are also implementing measures to shift a greater volume of payment transactions toward mobile money and away from cash.

In order to further implement these, companies are also making certain transactions free. For example, Kenya's largest  teleco, Safaricom, implemented a fee-waiver on East Africa’s leading mobile-money product, M-Pesa, to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to COVID-19.

In the announcement, the company stated that all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under 1,000 Kenyan Schillings (≈ $10) would be free for three months.

What's next for entrepreneurs?

Warren Buffet once said; 'Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful'. He actually made the statement about stock market, but it can also be applied to investing in general.

You'll notice many investors cutting back because of the predictions that the economy will be hit by 1.7 trillion dollars, and some financial experts even saying that we might be going into a recession.

But looking at past events like the the dotcom crash in 2000 and the real estate crash in 2008, you'd believe with me that the best time to double down is when the rest of the world are not.

During periods of economic downturn, you'd notice that there'd be a reduction in competition, which equally increases the potentials of getting positive results. Things like pay-per-click adverts and social media advertising will also generally become cheaper.

In conclusion

While the world is still trying to find a permanent solution to the coronavirus, you should also do the best you can to protect yourself. Avoid going out unless when necessary, and don't go too close to people.
And finally, before I call it a day, always remember Warren Buffet's quote on investing, 'Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful'. I wish you goodluck in your endeavours.
While staying at home, also check out these top 10 online businesses in Nigeria 2019. I bet it'll go a long way towards sustaining you during and after period.
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