business charts data document

10 Ways to Adapt Your Marketing Plan During the Pandemic

Your target market’s needs are continually shifting, so it is important to stay up to date with trends and modify your business strategies accordingly. One way to reach your customers during this unstable time is by adapting your marketing plan to meet their needs. We spoke with small business owners and marketing experts to determine the 10 best ways to adjust your marketing strategy during the pandemic. 

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is an overall strategy for how you will communicate with your target audience and influence them to buy your products or services. Although marketing plans can vary from basic to comprehensive, they should include pertinent information about your brand and how you want to be perceived by your customers. 

“A well-rounded, strategic plan will address where the company currently is in the market along with a road map for where it would like to be and in what timeframe,” Heather Schuck, founder of TheSchuck.Agency, told business.com. “While the specifics can vary by industry, most commonly you’ll want to address the seven P’s – product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people.”   

When promoting your products and services, it is important to adhere to your marketing plan to stay in line with your brand identity. However, a marketing plan is a living document that should be modified to best fit the current needs of your customers. For example, the coronavirus crisis, recession and civil unrest have caused drastic changes in consumer behavior, and your business should adapt your marketing strategy to match consumers’ current demands. 

The economy and marketplace are in a state of constant change, forcing your consumers into a wide variety of purchasing phases. How you pivot your marketing efforts to match those needs can make or break your business. Instead of continuing with “business as usual” – which your customers may perceive as insensitive – or overcorrecting and flooding your consumers with exhausting information, there are several great marketing strategies you can employ. 

We spoke with small business owners and marketing experts to help you determine the top 10 ways to modify your marketing strategy and reach your audience during the current economic upheaval. 

1. Emphasize the true relevance of your product or service.

As consumer needs change, the relevance of your product or service may change as well. It is important to emphasize how your brand is still essential to your consumers and how it can be beneficial to their lives. This may mean shifting focus from one product to another or emphasizing unique ways that your current offering can fulfill your audience’s needs. 

“As far as messaging goes, between the pandemic and the possible recession, leaders and brands have an opportunity to further connect with anxious consumers and focus on the true relevance of their products or services,” said Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls

2. Meet current consumer needs.

“Focus more on meeting consumer needs and helping them deal with the realities of the pandemic rather than blatantly promoting what you have to offer,” said Linda Pophal, marketing consultant and owner of Strategic Communications. “I’ve seen a number of SaaS and app providers offer free subscriptions for some limited time period, [and] some news outlets have taken down their firewalls to offer access to virus-related reporting, etc.” 

Offering helpful tools and thoughtful promotions can build brand awareness and loyalty. Think of ways you can help your customers make a purchase, whether that is by promoting online services, offering curbside pickup, or providing live chat and support. 

3. Increase your digital marketing efforts.

Your consumers are online, so it is important that you are too. Focus on digital marketing efforts like paid ads, search engine optimization (SEO) and email marketing. Keep your website up to date, and focus on establishing yourself as a thought leader through blogs, videos, social media and other digital content. If you have the marketing budget for it, consider hiring a marketing professional or social media influencers to increase your online visibility. 

4. Modify your email marketing campaign.

Companies should focus on adapting their email marketing campaigns to address the unique challenges customers are facing. Instead of sending out the standard email content you’ve always offered, change the tone, content and frequency to match your consumers’ expectations. Stay on brand, but be cognizant of how your emails are adding value to your audience.  

“For example, just because a day care closed doesn’t mean a parent still doesn’t need help caring for their children,” said Schuck. “Don’t waste that email sharing your updated hours for the third time; provide value such as tips on fun ways to practice the alphabet while preparing dinner. Those types of value-add communications will pull your customers in towards you, not repel them.” 

5. Focus on social media marketing.

Chances are a large portion of your audience is on social media, so use that to your advantage and take part in the conversation. Focus your marketing efforts on the social media channels that drive a lot of your customer engagement (such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). Create relevant posts that add value, education and entertainment, instead of strictly trying to make a sale.   

“Be engaging, comment on audience posts, and adjust upcoming posts based on the current sentiment and feedback,” said Schuck. “When our world is in a state of upheaval, creating content to be automatically posted 30 days in advance might not be the best option. It can make you appear tone-deaf and heartless, no matter how innocent the posting goof was.” 

6. Communicate critical information.

Keep an open line of communication with your audience, and the transparency and honesty will be well received. Each state and industry has its own set of regulations and guidelines, so keep your customers informed on how you are being impacted. It can be especially helpful to update your hours of operation on your website and Google business listings. 

“Even if you have to be shut down, don’t stop communicating with your audience,” said Pophal. “They need to know you are still out there, and they want to know when, if and how you will reopen. With small businesses particularly, your customers are likely worried about you personally, so make sure you’re sharing messages and updates frequently.” 

7. Incorporate your audience.

Schuck said this is an opportunity for you to show true leadership by reevaluating your goals, adjusting timelines and welcoming your audience to be part of the conversation. Invite your target market to help guide the direction of your business, as they will likely have valuable insights about what they need and how you can help. 

“For a company to create raving fans, there must be some level of buy-in from the audience,” Schuck said. “When you demonstrate to your customers that they are being heard, it builds trust and strengthens customer loyalty.” 

8. Show compassion and empathy.

It is crucial to show your customers compassion, especially during this tumultuous time. As your customers deal with financial, emotional and mental stressors, offer empathetic content that shows you truly care. 

“Words are part of the healing process, and we can see which leaders and brands are doing the best job every day with messages that touch not only the mind, but also the heart and soul,” said Arnof-Fenn. “There has never been a more important time to provide accurate, empathetic communication with transparency, truthfulness and timeliness.” 

9. Give back to the community.

Help out your community in any way you can, whether that involves donating, volunteering or collaborating with other businesses. If possible, pivot your business strategy to better serve the community. Giving back will help you increase your community support, goodwill and brand awareness. By encouraging your staff to take part in the conversation, you can facilitate corporate social responsibility movements that your whole team believes in, building a positive company culture.  

10. Audit your sales funnel.

Just because your marketing strategy was working three months ago doesn’t mean it’s going to work right now. As the market changes, it is important to thoroughly audit your sales funnel and analyze the data. Conducting a competitive analysis can help you see what others in your space are doing, letting you evaluate what is working and what isn’t. 

“I think we all get a bit emotionally overwhelmed, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of complacency,” said Schuck. “However, there’s opportunity in hardship. Taking that extra step to reevaluate your funnels might mean the difference between gaining an extra 25% market share or losing it.” 

What to avoid in your marketing plan

There are several things to avoid when you are reworking your marketing plan. For example, you don’t want to continue sending out the same old marketing campaigns as though nothing has happened, but you also don’t want to inundate your audience with exhaustive marketing and political material. Consumers are fatigued and can see through PR stunts and bandwagon emails. 

It is important to acknowledge the current state of affairs, but don’t talk about these things any more than you need to. Instead of flooding your audience with generic information, provide them with educational or entertaining marketing messages that add value and enhance their customer experience. 

You also want to avoid being too pushy for sales or over-promoting your products or services. Ensure that every communication you have with your customers has a purpose and value, whether it be on your website, through email or on social media. As the social and economic situation changes, adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more.
With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us: 

www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

pexels-photo-4974914.jpeg

How to Transition to Long-Term Work From Home

Now that many companies have extended full-time remote operations until at least January 2021, they are faced with transitioning their workers effectively into working from home for the long term.

“One thing is clear: Our workplace is changing and won’t be the same after this global pandemic,” Rorie Devine, founder and CEO of GRO, told business.com. “Companies must now shift their focus towards a more agile work environment and limit their dependency on physical workplaces.”

If your company has decided to make telework a long-term or permanent situation, there are many things you can do to help make the transition smooth.  

1. Use the proper communication tools.

Howard Sublett, co-CEO and chief product owner at Scrum Alliance, said you should invest in the necessary tools for asynchronous communication. He said businesses need to find the online tools and software that will allow their employees to stay connected and get insights into various projects in real time.

2. Only hold video meetings with a clear purpose.

One of the most common remote work complaints is video call fatigue – also referred to as “Zoom burnout.” To avoid this problem, try to limit your video meetings, and make sure every meeting has a defined purpose and agenda that is shared with everyone involved with the call.

3. Have a dedicated workspace.

Going from commuting to an office to walking a few steps from the bedroom to the kitchen is a difficult transition. The best way to trick your mind into thinking you have entered a workspace is to create a true working environment as best you can – even if it’s just a computer monitor on your kitchen table or a desk in your bedroom corner. Only use that space for work, and walk away from it when your work is done for the day.

4. Create boundaries between your work and personal life.

Another common complaint from remote employees is the difficulty of drawing boundaries between work and home life – after all, work is now home. Blurred lines between work and home life can lead to burnout, so do your best to create firm working hours and stick to them. Communicate your boundaries to family members and co-workers, and commit yourself to walking away from work when your day ends.

5. Overcommunicate.

When you’re used to communicating in person with team members, it can be difficult to move that same level of communication to a digital format. Significant nuance and nonverbal communication are lost when communication is virtual, which can cause rifts when something is assumed or tone is misread. Commit to overcommunicating and making things as clear as possible, and avoid assumptions.

6. Set a schedule.

The structure of your day is a lot more flexible with a remote job, so it might be helpful to create a schedule that you follow each day. “Have a plan and use your time wisely,” said Lucy Reyes, a full-time blogger. “Working from home can make you much more productive and enable you to get more things done at home. However, the opposite can happen as well, so make a plan around how your time will be used so you can stay successful and productive all around.”

COVID-19 and its effect on working from home

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March and the country shut down, many companies assumed that mandatory remote work would be a short-term issue, with workers coming back after a month or so. However, working from home has turned into a long haul for most American office employees, with no clear end in sight.

As such, there has been a herculean shift in how all types of employees, including managers, work. Employees have had to create workspaces in their homes, balance work tasks with child care and adjust to collaboration via Zoom. However, many studies have shown that productivity has increased as a result of people working from home. [Looking for new video conferencing software to help with your remote team? Check out our best picks.]

In a study by YouGov, in partnership with USA Today and LinkedIn, 54% of respondents said working from home had positively affected their productivity, and many respondents had positive reactions to the lack of commute, fewer distractions from co-workers, and the ability to create a more flexible work schedule.

On the other hand, the sudden switch to working from home full time has created a slew of mental health issues, including burnout, increased stress and anxiety, loneliness, and social isolation. A global study conducted by Qualtrics, SAP and Mind Share Partners found that over 40% of respondents said their mental health has declined since the outbreak of COVID-19, with more workers reporting high levels of anxiety and stress.

A study by Twingate found that full-time remote work is diminishing work-life balance and increasing burnout and mental exhaustion in respondents. The research shows that 45% of respondents reported having to attend more meetings as remote workers than they did in the office, and 40% of employees have experienced mental exhaustion as a result of more video calls.

Many companies are now considering either making remote work a permanent situation or creating a flexible work schedule that lets employees can choose when they work from home. Google, Zillow and Mercedes-Benz recently announced that they will not be returning to in-person work until 2021, leading many other companies to follow suit.  

Pros and cons of working from home

There are many factors at play when you’re considering whether to transition your company to long-term or permanent work from home. First and foremost, you must think about what will work best for your company and employees. Here are some of the main pros and cons of remote work.

Pros

  1. Greater schedule flexibility: One of the biggest benefits of working from home is the greater ability to mold your schedule into one that works for you, rather than adjusting yourself to suit the office schedule. With remote work, you can structure your day to best suit your workload and meetings, as well as your non-work obligations, such as medical appointments or child care.
  2. No commute: With the average American spending 225 hours commuting in 2018, it’s clear that the loss of a commute is a major benefit of working from home. Eliminating a commute can also decrease stress and save money on gas or public transportation.
  3. Increased productivity: Working from home increases productivity for many workers, due in part to the ability to create their own schedule and decrease distractions. Working from home also allows employees to take breaks as they need them, which reduces stress and can help keep burnout at bay.
  4. Fewer workplace distractions: How many times did you complain about the co-worker who always seems to be on the phone, or the manager who stopped by your desk every 10 minutes? Working from home means fewer such distractions, which can help you focus on your work for longer.
  5. Improved communication skills: The sudden transition to working remotely meant that companies around the world had to quickly adjust how they communicated with each other. This has resulted in many workers gaining various new communication skills. Remote work has encouraged employees to build skills in overcommunicating to avoid misunderstandings, effectively running video meetings, and writing clear, effective emails to co-workers. “[Working from home] has taught many companies just how flexible and capable they can be in extreme situations, and brought teams closer together,” said Adam Korbl, CEO and founder of iFax.

Cons

  1. Isolation: One of the greatest drawbacks to being at home every day is feelings of isolation and loneliness. Many workers enjoyed the social aspect of working in an office, so an abrupt transition to full-time independent work can be a difficult adjustment. “Not having a commute or face-to-face interaction does have a negative effect on socialization and overall happiness,” said Paul Burke, vice president of private brands for Sidekick Digital Media. “There are things you get at the office that you just can’t replicate working from home.”
  2. Home office costs: Most office workers did not have a designated working space in their homes before the pandemic, so many employees had to buy desks, chairs, faster Wi-Fi or computer equipment to do their jobs effectively from home.
  3. Poor work-life balance: When you’re working where you live, it can be difficult to draw a line between your work and personal life. Many remote employees struggle to designate firm work hours and find themselves working all the time – or constantly thinking about work. Try to set strict working hours and boundaries with your co-workers and family members to maintain the separation.
  4. Loss of productivity: While working from home might increase productivity for some workers, it may have the opposite effect on others. Working in your living room might tempt you to take frequent breaks, and having family members around can be distracting.
  5. Disconnect from co-workers: When you’re used to seeing co-workers in the office every day and working together face to face, it can be difficult to transition to video calls and emails. It may take longer to get answers to your questions, and some nuance may be lost in communication. “Company culture is hard to build and maintain, even for teams under the same roof,” said Sahin Boydas, founder and CEO of RemoteTeam.com. “Create an environment for [remote] employee engagement to thrive.”

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more.
With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us: 

www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

Business in South Africa is returning to normal, and the economic impact of the outbreak is still being felt

South Africa has eased further the lockdown imposed by the coVID-19 outbreak in a bid to save the economy as business returns to normal. But economists say it could take a long time for the economic impact of the outbreak and the lockdown to ease.

The South African government imposed the most stringent level five “lockdown” across the country on March 26 to slow the spread of the virus. During the lockdown, social activity almost completely stopped and the South African economy was severely hit. Even as the outbreak continues to simmer, the South African government has gradually eased controls in stages. Since January 1, 80 percent of businesses have returned to normal, and an estimated 8 million people have returned to work.

South Africa’s Finance ministry says 690,000 to 1.79 million people are expected to lose their jobs this year as a result of the outbreak and the lockdown. This is a marked reduction from the previous estimate released in April. This comes after official figures showed that between three million and seven million south Africans will lose their jobs this year.

South Africa’s central bank forecasts gross domestic product will shrink 7 per cent this year, the first contraction since 2009. The Federation of South African Businesses expects the economy to shrink by 8.8 percent to 16.1 percent this year.

Even before the outbreak, South Africa’s economy was in a technical recession. Since the outbreak, South Africa’s central bank has cut interest rates three times in a row, lowering its benchmark interest rate by 250 basis points to 3.75%. In terms of fiscal policy, the South African government has launched a total of 500 billion rand (about 17 rand per DOLLAR) of social assistance and economic support programs to help businesses and people weather the storm.

Statistics show that as of the beginning of this month, 6.5 million South Africans had applied for unemployment benefits, and the government had paid 15.8 billion rand for temporary unemployment due to the epidemic.

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s President, said the government would pay aid for six months but would then need to find new ways to stimulate the economy, shifting the focus of its economic policy from “aid” to “recovery”.

He said that in the future, South Africa will seek economic development under the coexistence of novel Coronavirus. The new development direction includes strengthening localized production of agricultural products and medical care products, developing green economy and vigorously developing infrastructure construction.

Covid-19 gave a strong shot to e-commerce

Online retail may account for less than 2% of total retail sales in South Africa, but the covid-19 pandemic has encouraged consumers to shift to digital shopping and payments, and it has encouraged businesses to adopt online sales channels to keep revenue streams flowing.

“This epidemic is a shot of adrenaline in e-commerce. Jonathan Smit, of PayFast, an online payment processing solution, said: “habits formed now will continue in the future.”

Smit spoke in an interview with Warrick Kernes, founder of Insaka eCommerce Academy, at the PayFast e-commerce virtual summit held online on May 25 solstice 28.

SA businesses embracing online

“Online shopping trends have been happening anyway, but we are now forced to do so.” “Smith said.

According to the latest Nielsen study, 37 percent of south africans say they shop more online, and Smit adds that older people are embracing e-commerce because it poses fewer health risks than grocery shopping outdoors.

While brick-and-mortar retail will remain relevant for the long term, including in developed markets, companies need to use e-commerce as a distribution channel because it is the basis for future growth, he said.

When the nationwide lockdown began in South Africa, Mr. Smit said, PayFast’s transactions declined, but then exploded as people moved their businesses online to continue trading in a certain way.

As a result, the total number of new business account registrations at the online payment gateway has increased by 83% year-on-year since the lockout began. A few days ago, Smit said, it surpassed 4,000 new accounts for the first time in 30 days.

PayFast reported a 226 per cent year-on-year increase in new business account registrations in the food industry since the restrictions were imposed in mid-march. In order to keep trading during the lockdown, many local businesses have shifted their supplies to necessities, leading to a surge in the food industry.

Companies with e-commerce capabilities, such as Granadilla Swim and NetFlorist, can quickly make the transition to the supply of basic goods because they already have distribution channels, delivery relationships and sales platforms.

According to PayFast, grocery stores, supermarkets and bakeries were the retailers that benefited the most in the first two weeks of the lockout, with sales up 357%, while more subdivided product categories emerged, such as pet care and baby necessities. Significant sales growth.

Accelerating digital commerce

‘The epidemic has not created new trends, but has accelerated and expanded the business innovations that have occurred,’ Mr. Smit said.

Looking ahead, he predicts grocery delivery will become more common locally, as it provides consumers with a better way to take their products home without having to wait in line or be crowded.

In addition, he wants physical and online retail to blend more seamlessly. “Whether it’s clicking and collecting, whether it’s going to the store, whether it’s shopping online and delivering to your door, I think it’s going to be ‘retail ‘- part of the same ecosystem and part of the same machine.”

Source: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/394/204333.html

BY: LAUREN HARTZENBERG

The 10 most important business trends after the epidemic

After a major crisis, two forces often determine the direction of the economy:

One is the habitual recovery, that is, the sharp rebound after a deep fall, This is a natural recovery of human economic activities, after the psychological panic subsided back to normal. There will be bread, and we will surely survive and get through it. It’s just a matter of time.

The other force is that the conditions we take for granted have changed. We are finding that the fundamentals of the economy and business, especially what we took for granted before the crisis, are changing; Or changes that we thought would come a long way later, suddenly become reality. Whether you’re a consumer or an entrepreneur, you’re in it before you know it. Not only are suppliers no longer available, but suppliers may disappear; Not only the user is gone, and the original access to the user channel is not working.

For the first force, I think time and timing are the most important.

For the second force, what we thought was constant has become a new variable, and a flood of new variables has come along, and we face too much uncertainty. The old ways don’t solve new problems. So the process of rebuilding confidence will take longer and meander.

Whether it’s a neighborhood service chain or a major international brand I’m familiar with, I keep hearing that some of their branches or factories quietly closed during the outbreak and then stopped opening.

During the epidemic, about globalization, about the country, about the family, about our environment and the planet, the individual thinks alone and learns about himself through the virus. Also, about business, like to remind you of 10 of the most noteworthy trends for businesses.

The emotional connection between people and technology

Technology is so integrated into our lives that you don’t feel it anymore. My phone and I can’t be separated for a moment. The Internet has changed from a tool to a dependency in daily life, and the collaborative relationship between people and intelligent machines has become closer in work. People and technology to establish a more trusting relationship, in the future, can be virtualized as much as possible.

Technology has gone from disrupting business to being domesticated by business. Taking conference software as an example, the epidemic has brought about a surge in zoom users, and the technology giants have also successively launched conference software, including PC, mobile, conference venue, enterprise level and impromptu, which have created countless subdivided products to serve people’s needs in various scenarios. In Africa, technology companies are pushing for universal mobile payments and timely disbursement of relief funds. The epidemic has accelerated and deepened the pervasive benefits of digital technology, which increasingly needs to be personified in terms of services and products themselves.

Sustainability of consumption

People have paid unprecedented attention to health, from personal health to family health to community health, to the whole environment, to climate change, and to re-cognition of healthy lifestyle. Consumers will personally feel the fragility of the human living environment and embody the concept of sustainability in their consumption.

Some emerging consumption propositions will emerge, focusing on the carbon emissions generated in the production of consumer goods, on the environmental responsibility of consumer brands, on moderate consumption, and on the reduction of waste and garbage generated in the consumption process.

The return of familism This is not only because of home isolation, but also because home and family are places of comfort in an insecure environment and a socially alienated world. Seal the function of the city during the family need to be self-sufficient, restart after economic and normal social life, around the family consumption and service will be increased, a large part of will to take-out from the restaurant, to the kitchen, from theaters to the sitting room, household facilities and the environment will upgrade, surrounding communities of consumption and service mode, will adjust.

Consumers and users are sensitive to identity

The social stratification, grouping and diversification basically take shape online, which is more subdivided and more distinct than offline. People are more sensitive to their identity, and also pay attention to the consumption display and attitude expression of friends and themselves in online social circle. Whether it’s the diary debate or the back-and-forth banter, it’s more sensitive to online identity. Consumers will also be more sensitive to personal privacy.

Flexible office style, new collaborative style, new organizational style

Some tech giants have already announced that they won’t consider returning employees to the office until 2020. Home working combined with office work, including third space work, flexible work, telecommuting will become the norm. This, in turn, will drive the new design and construction of traditional offices, office buildings, and even business buildings, parks and central business districts. Behind this is the change in the way enterprises collaborate with their eco-partners and within enterprises, seeking new efficiency boundaries and innovation possibilities.

The organization and management of enterprises will also change. The performance and performance measurement of the team and employees, as well as the internal management of the company, including the sense of belonging and culture of employees, all need innovation.

Virtual contact

The dynamism and opportunity of business comes from contact. Online contact will replace a large part of offline human contact. Innovations in online contact will erupt. The most obvious manifestation is exhibition, seminar, forum, etc. All large crowd gatherings are unlikely to return to pre-epidemic levels, and in particular large-scale cross-border movements of people will be difficult to recover for a long time. International trade shows will be affected the most, as services related to international trade will move more quickly online.

China’s Canton fair has moved online, while Alibaba’s international virtual fair has become the norm. Virtualization offsets the line and creates new contacts, bringing new results and efficiencies to the entire business and the exchange of ideas.

Redefining the city

The hardest hit areas are in cities, especially international and metropolitan areas. Changes in people’s understanding and behavior of social interaction, public transportation, central business district, and consumption will affect the function and planning of a city. And cities will react very differently.

In London, for example, because people are reluctant to use public transport, the city will open up more sidewalks and bike lanes. In Beijing, people will drive themselves more, resulting in more congestion. These are all for health reasons. Public transport should ensure public health and integrate with intelligent sharing networks.

In addition, cities also need new growth drivers, and China will lead an urban revolution in the field of smart travel, which is a huge industrial cluster: 5G – self-driving/electric vehicles – smart/green/healthy travel – Internet of things/energy system.

Intelligent manufacturing and industrial Internet of things

China is home to the world’s largest manufacturing sector and a hub for global supply chains. The disruption of the supply chain during the epidemic and the difficulty in resuming work will accelerate the process of intelligent manufacturing. Higher degree of automation and intelligence, can cope with supply chain shocks, can maintain the continuity of work. The factory becomes the biggest scene of digitalization, and the use of more sensors, big data, intelligent prediction, detection, operation and maintenance technologies, the coordination between human and robot, the control and coordination between machine and machine, mutual learning and decision-making will speed up the development.

Accelerating change

The impact will accelerate changes in business, which are already evident in some industries, particularly services. Mainstream education became online almost overnight. During the epidemic, some university professors told me that the school required every teacher to master various online teaching tools quickly, because online teaching would be the norm in the future.

After the outbreak, some Chinese cities have become world leaders in the online delivery of government services. The health industry and public health management will depend entirely on big data in the future. Apple and Google have teamed up to create an international health code for billions of users.

Because of external challenges, those enterprises that hesitate to change or look ahead and behind will be pushed forward by The Times, and the boundaries of innovation will be constantly redefined. In the media industry with which I am most familiar, the innovations in marketing of social and short videos in China have inspired some of the world’s biggest brands, some of which have already begun to adjust their marketing strategies. In the field of content, the transition from offline to online has accelerated. For example, Disney has stopped paying salaries to 100,000 employees, but the number of online users of its entertainment programs has exploded. Advertising revenues have collapsed and subscribers are growing fast in traditional media that insist on exploring a paid model for premium content.

Leadership in the epidemic era

Survival: the best leadership, like the great expedition leaders and generals in history, can survive a life-or-death test and lead the team to continue the mission of the enterprise.

Change: good business leaders identify new trends, new directions, and new opportunities in the context of their business mission, and act decisively to initiate change.

Organization and coordination: good managers will adjust the internal and external coordination of the organization in time, grasp the emerging innovation boundaries and technology enabling, and launch new products and innovative marketing methods.

Final summary:

Every business is a health business, every company is a technology company, every virtual business is real.

How can we help small business affected by the COVID-19 crisis

Adjust technical assistance to meet challenges

As COVID-19 shifts from a health crisis to an economic crisis, we are working hard to predict how small businesses around the world will weather this storm and what areas we need to work on. The International Trade Center mainly cooperates with small, medium and micro enterprises in developing countries. The typical small business we work with has 10 to 20 employees, is close to or is ready to export, and hopes to achieve international growth. These msm represent 60%–70% of the work in developing countries and about half of economic activity¹. In addition, they often hire young people and women. It is too early to estimate the impact of the pandemic on our core voters. Small businesses have or will soon face a liquidity crisis, which may destroy the entire economic sector. In the coming months, they will face a series of challenges, which depend to a large extent on how policymakers respond to the current crisis.

The challenges facing small businesses

How big is the coming wave? According to the latest estimates from the international monetary fund, the world as a whole is likely to be in recession by 2020. Some sectors will suffer more than others, with travel, accommodation and food services particularly hard hit. The business itself may go through a four-stage process: closure, supply chain disruption, demand decline and, eventually, recovery. The severity and disruption caused by each stage of the process will depend on the policies adopted by the government. We know the impact will be severe; We don’t know how long the crisis will last.

From the closed state to the restored state, MSME will face a comprehensive threat to its survival:

  1. Demand decline and liquidity acquisition. Demand from the businesses and entrepreneurs we support has fallen sharply, even in commodities, and some buyers are slowing payments on orders they have already received. MSME had little cash reserves and was the first to fail in a liquidity shock. Companies that trade internationally are particularly vulnerable because they rely on increasingly scarce dollars to pay their bills.
  2. Access input and manage inventory. As supply chains become longer and more complex, msmes often source inputs from abroad. For example, for the clothing companies we work with in north Africa, major inputs (such as fabrics from China) have disappeared as orders have declined.
  3. Manage your work environment. For locked manufacturing MSME, staying open is a challenge because the factory floor is not designed for social alienation. Mass migration from the cities means workers go missing and may be hard to demobilise. Even if the agricultural calendar continues, many countries have suspended support for farmers.
  4. Policy uncertainty and supply chain disruptions. Policy has developed rapidly. MSME managers often work alone and cannot create crisis teams to track change. One of our clients reported a fresh batch of products at the airport because passenger air travel had stopped. Supply chain disruptions, such as ground carriers, can create huge liabilities.
  5. Access to urgent support: many of the small businesses we support are on the fringes of the formal economy or in informal trade. They have very little government support and very little network of government support agencies. When governments provide emergency support, it can be difficult to reach out to these companies and find ways to help.

Reactivate business contacts

When the crisis is over, our beneficiaries will expect us to be ready to help them reconnect with buyers, rehire staff and restart production. It is too early to draw lessons, but the following are based on earlier recommendations in this area:

Revise the script (and listen to it). Like other technical assistance providers, many of ITC’s programs to help MSME have strict goals and work plans that did not anticipate the impact. We should revise these plans and listen closely to MSME managers and the government about their needs – and find ways to make it happen. For example, with the active support of our stakeholders, our colleagues have worked with the African garment industry association to develop a recovery plan.

Get the data ready. International value chains account for a large proportion of trade and are linked to millions of MSME. The ITC is using networks in these chains to measure the impact of the crisis and provide its analysis to policymakers and companies. The key is to conduct a time survey so that they do not disturb their partners in solving the current problem.

Build (rebuild) the ecosystem. MSME needs business support organizations now more than ever. Governments also need an ecosystem that can provide much-needed assistance to their MSME. The ITC’s institution-strengthening team is connecting trade promotion organizations from around the world to share emerging good practices and resources (such as market information) for small businesses so they can learn from each other in real time.

Consider value chains and alliances. Participants across the value chain must work together to restore trade. The ITC, for example, is trying to maintain a dialogue between buyers and suppliers.

Focus on finance. Since ITC beneficiary companies rarely receive formal financing, they may be excluded when the government and international lenders provide emergency liquidity. ITC is working with trade finance providers, regulators, guarantors, buyers and suppliers to integrate MSME into an affordable financing network.

We must start these processes as soon as possible and virtualize them as much as possible. Some ITC teams in Geneva have found ways to help small businesses at a distance by mentoring startups remotely, conducting virtual start-up missions, and even providing early funding to keep small businesses growing at a distance. More importantly, ITC’s field teams have been quick to take a role in collecting data, providing services, and maintaining relationships with customers, which is more important to our response than ever before.

In many cases, our MSME beneficiaries succumb to the immediate effects of covid-19. When they are ready to talk about recovery, we need to be prepared and react quickly.

References
¹ ITC, ed. SME Competitiveness Outlook: Connect, Compete and Change for Inclusive Growth. SME Competitiveness Outlook. Geneva: International Trade Centre, 2015.
² “World Has Entered Recession, May Recover next Year: IMF.” ThePrint, March 28, 2020. https://theprint.in/economy/world-has-entered-recession-may-recover-next-year-imf/390194/.

Guidance for COVID-19 prevention and control in schools

The new coronary pneumonia epidemic has been declared a public health emergency. International customs (PHEIC) and viruses have spread to many countries and regions. Although many of the viruses that cause COVID-19 are still unknown, do we know that it is spread directly? Individuals who come into contact with respiratory droplets of infected persons (caused by coughing and sneezing) can also infect their faces (eg, eyes, nose, mouth) by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their skin. While COVID-19 continues to spread, it is important for the community to take action. Take action to prevent further spread, reduce the impact of the epidemic and support control measures.

The protection of children and educational facilities is particularly important. Precautions are to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in schools; however, care must also be taken to avoid stigmatizing students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus. It is important to remember this, COVID-19 does not know national boundaries, race, disability, age or gender. The educational environment should continue to be an environment that welcomes, respects, embraces and supports all people. The measures taken by the school can prevent students and staff from entering and spreading COVID-19 has been exposed to the virus, while minimizing interference and protecting students and staff from infection and discrimination.

Purpose

Today, children and young people are global citizens, powerful agents of change and the next generation of caregivers, scientists and doctors. Any crisis provides opportunities to help them learn and cultivate while building a safer and more caring community, while increasing compassion and resilience. Information and facts about COVID-19 will help reduce students ’fear and anxiety about the disease and support their ability to cope with any secondary impacts in life.

This guide provides key Communicate messages and precautions with school administrators, teachers and staff, parents, caregivers and community members, as well as children themselves in schools that promote safety and health.

The purpose of this document is to provide clear and actionable guidance for safe operation on prevention and early detection and control of COVID-19 in schools and other educational institutions. Although the guidelines only apply to countries that have confirmed the spread of COVID-19, they still apply to all other situations. Education can encourage students to become advocates of disease prevention and control at home, at school, in their communities, by talking to others about how to prevent the spread of the virus. Maintaining the safe operation of the school or reopening after the school is closed requires a lot of consideration, but if done well, it can promote public health.

Basic principles

Following basic principles can help keep students, teachers, and staff safe at school and help stop the spread of this disease. Recommendations for healthy schools are:

  • Sick students, teachers and other staff should not come to school
  • Schools should enforce regular hand washing with safe water and soap, alcohol rub/hand sanitizer or chlorine solution and, at a minimum, daily disinfection and cleaning of school surfaces
  • Schools should provide water, sanitation and waste management facilities and follow environmental cleaning and decontamination procedures
  • Schools should promote social distancing (a term applied to certain actions that are taken to slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease, including limiting large groups of people coming together)

To stay healthy, teachers and administrators should:

Ask sick students and staff to stay home (and to seek medical attention when necesssary).

Keep a supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

Teach good hand washing practices.

Clean and disinfect classroom materials and surfaces.

Provide reminders in daily announcements about preventing the spread of germs and illnesses.

Adopt healthy practices, such as safe handling of food and the use of standard precautions when handling body fluids and excretions.

Encourage students and staff to get an annual flu shot.

To stay healthy, parents should:

  • Keep your children home, if they are sick.
  • Send your child in with tissues and wipes for the classroom.
  • Teach your children to wash their hands.

The WTO report focuses on the role of e-commerce during the covid-19 outbreak

The world trade organization (WTO) secretariat recently released a report on the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on e-commerce, including cross-border trade. The report notes that the use of e-commerce is increasing as consumers adapt to measures of blockade and social alienation. The report also draws attention to challenges such as the need to bridge the digital divide within and between countries.

In addition to highlighting the growth of e-commerce during the covid-19 crisis, the report explores the measures governments are taking to promote e-commerce and some of the challenges they face. Governments have worked to increase network capacity, encourage the availability of expanded data services at low cost or for free, and reduce or eliminate transaction costs for digital payments and mobile remittances. The report also explores the ongoing wto discussions on e-commerce and how continued implementation of the wto trade facilitation agreement will address some of the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic.

According to the report, lessons learned from the covid-19 crisis can further promote global cooperation in e-commerce, which will help facilitate cross-border flows of goods and services, narrow the digital divide and level the playing field for small businesses.

Key points of the report are as follows:

Social outreach, lockdowns and other measures in response to the covid-19 pandemic have led to an increase in consumer online shopping, social media use, voip and conference calls, video and movie streaming.

This has led to a surge in business-to-consumer sales and an increase in business-to-business e-commerce. The growth in B2C sales is particularly evident in online sales of medical supplies, necessities and food.

Demand for Internet and mobile data services has also increased. Both operators and governments urgently need to adjust network capacity and spectrum to accommodate the shift to online activity. However, demand for some services, such as travel services, which have a lot of online content, has fallen.

E-commerce for trade in goods and services has also been adversely affected by the same factors that have contributed to the overall disruption in supply and demand. This interference results in delivery delays or outright cancellations. Other challenges related to e-commerce have emerged during the pandemic, or have been exacerbated. These include price fixing (that is, raising prices to unreasonably high prices), product security issues, deceptive practices, cyber security issues, the need to increase bandwidth, and development-related issues.

The pandemic highlights the need to bridge the digital divide both within and between countries, given the central role played by the digital economy during the crisis. In developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, many traditional barriers have become more prominent and continue to hinder the greater participation of small producers, sellers and consumers in e-commerce activities. This highlights the need to provide effective and affordable information and communication technology services, such as telecommunications, computer and other information technology services, as well as emerging technologies.

Governments are taking new steps, and the private sector is taking action to address and ensure that e-commerce can help mitigate some of the challenges in the fight against the virus. These measures include increasing network capacity, expand the data provided in the form of little or no charge service, reduce or cancel the digital payment and mobile remittances of transaction costs, improve service delivery and other logistics, using digital tools implement measures and spread information, promote the remote medical care, and using mail tunnels technology monitoring.

The global nature of the covid-19 outbreak and its impact on e-commerce may encourage greater international cooperation to further develop online procurement and supply policies. The pandemic has shown that e-commerce can be an important tool/solution for consumers. E-commerce can also support small businesses and become an economic driver of domestic growth and international trade by increasing economic competitiveness.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital technology, but it has also exposed weaknesses around the world. The resulting experience and lessons relate to various discussions within the wto, including those relating to e-commerce. These discussions could benefit from strengthening international cooperation to facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and services, to narrow the digital divide and to create a level playing field for micro – and small – and medium-sized enterprises.

14 easy ways to improve your health during lock down

From eating more pulsations to spreading love, a nutritionist provides a series of suggestions to help you improve your health during your isolation.

Health is not a specific behavior, but a series of exercises, which together can make your mental and physical health. Here are 14 habits that not only make you healthier, but also make you feel good. You can start one at a time, and when you develop a sustainable habit, add one more. As you absorb more and more things, you will eventually establish a comprehensive set of habits that will benefit your body and mind in a variety of ways.

Drink more water

In one study, when people who drank water were forced to reduce their intake, they felt less calm and satisfied, and their positive emotions also decreased. But when people with low water intake are forced to drink more water, their physical and mental fatigue will decrease. Another study supports these findings and concludes that frequent drinking of water may make you feel better.

Eat more pulses

Beans are plant-based proteins such as beans, legumes, chickpeas and peas. Most likely, you have some dried or canned beans in your pantry. These foods are not only convenient and durable, but also have many health benefits. Pulses are filled with fibers, so they are slowly digested, which helps you feel fuller and longer. They also provide several minerals that boost immunity, including magnesium and zinc. Research on people with the longest lifespan and the healthiest lifestyle shows that these people tend to eat foods rich in beans.

Cook a meal

Being trapped at home may force you to cook more dishes, and if this seems tedious, there is a silver lining here: research shows that people who cook at least six nights a week eat healthier-whether at home or eating out Time-even if not consciously trying to do so.

Add dried herbs and spices to the meal

These master chefs can add effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds to your diet and snacks, plus herbs and spices to add flavor. The health-promoting substances in these seasonings are associated with a low risk of certain chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The polyphenol compounds they contain are involved in protecting the inner wall of your gastrointestinal tract, which helps keep your immune system healthy.

Eat two fruits a day

Only 12% of American adults have reached the recommended daily fruit intake, which not only means that you may miss some important nutrients, but also that your mood may be affected. In one study, young people who ate two more fruits and vegetables on a normal diet reported that their emotions were more positive, and curiosity, creativity, and enthusiasm also increased.

Eat at least three glasses of vegetables every day

About 90% of adults do not meet this recommendation, so if you are one of them, try to find a simple way to add more vegetables to your daily diet. Perhaps this will inspire you: A large study of middle-aged and elderly adults in Canada found that people who consumed more fruits and vegetables had a lower rate of anxiety. You can add some green leafy vegetables to the milkshake or scrambled eggs to make a vegetable soup, or stir a stir-fried vegetable with a frozen vegetable mixture to increase the intake of vegetables.

Focus on healthy plant fats

In addition to using vegetable cooking oils such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil, nuts and seeds (and their butter) can also be added to the menu. Although they are high in fat, they contain biologically active compounds and seem to be easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Eat less snacks and grass

Better eating patterns include three meals a day, with an average interval of 4 hours. If you find that you often eat snacks or snacks between meals, this may be a sign that you are not eating enough during meals. Make sure you have at least half a plate of starch-free vegetables and some vegetable fats in your meal, a satisfying amount of protein and a small amount of starchy vegetables or whole grains.

Limit addition of sugar

A new study of nearly 500 women found that insomnia is related to poor diet quality, and excessive intake of added sugar increases the risk of sleep problems. When you open the food package, check the food label to see how much sugar is added to products such as yogurt, cereal, bread and condiments. Your goal is for women and children to consume less than 25 grams per day and men to consume less than 36 grams per day.

Spend time exercising every day

Although 30 minutes per day and five days per day are ideal, the Centers for Disease Control says that some physical activity is better than no exercise, noting that even a small amount of exercise can bring some health benefits. If you can walk around your driveway, house or apartment for 10 minutes, then do so! Staying active can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Think about something that you are grateful for

Gratitude helps develop a positive attitude, and research shows that this may help you become a healthier eater. Every day, write down or write down something you admire in your heart, regardless of size.

Develop the habit of meditation

Many paid meditation apps have added their free content library, so it ’s time to adopt meditation practice. Not only can it help you reduce stress, research shows that it can also help reduce mood and overeating.

Go to bed at the same time every night

The coronavirus crisis forces us to give up everyday life, such as going to school and working, which makes it hard to remember time. Since sleep is essential to maintain the health of the immune system, it is important to adhere to a consistent sleep plan. Try to go to bed at the same time every night to ensure at least seven hours of sleep.

Tell someone you love them

Hope you are doing this anyway, but if you need another reason to spread love, this affectionate exchange has health benefits. Research shows that it can help you stay calm and manage stress better.

ShopShipShake donates 10,000 masks to medical facilities in South Africa

Affected by the covid-19 outbreak, South Africa has closed its cities since March 26. Shopshipshake, a platform that specialises in sourcing between China and South Africa, has empathy for the people of South Africa. Employees of shopshipshake donated 10,000 masks to the South African medical system.

We wish South Africa recover and kepp safe during the COVID-19.