Coronavirus Pandemic: How To Keep Your Business Afloat in Kenya

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The current global pandemic has people worrying about their health as well as their wealth. Just like the other nations, Kenya has been experiencing economic instability. With more Covid-19 cases being reported every day, we are unsure when things will go back to normalcy. Even though the closure or slowdown of businesses seems to be inevitable, Kenyan entrepreneurs can still beat the odds and record substantial profits. This article will focus on some of the tactics that can help keep your business during the coronavirus pandemic.

Use online platforms

Since the beginning of this crisis, it is common to walk by shops with the ‘temporarily closed’ sign. This is especially observed with small businesses. This is largely because a substantial number of Kenyans have had to cut down on their spending in order to cope with the tough financial times. Even those whose purchasing power hasn’t been affected are unwilling to visit brick-and-mortar stores for fear of contracting the virus.

To avoid closure, it’s time to go to where your clients are. In a previous article, I talked about some of the online platforms that Africans can sell stuff online. For instance, if you own an electronic store, consider selling your products on Jumia or Kilimall. While doing so, do not ignore social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. If you sell clothes, get friends or colleagues to wear them and post the photos on these platforms. Now that most people have ample time to visit social media platforms, you have a good chance of expanding your customer base.

For this strategy to work, be consistent in posting products as well as responding to people’s questions and comments.


Offer deliveries at a fair price

This approach is largely tied to the one on using online platforms. If you start selling your products online but fail to offer delivery services, or offer them at a high cost, customers are likely to take their money to your competitors. The point is to make it convenient for the numerous Kenyans staying at home to get your products.

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Using your car or a matatu to deliver the products to different locations may be challenging. To make work easier, make a deal with a bodaboda operator. Since it will be a prolonged partnership, you can negotiate a reasonable charge for the delivery services. Depending on the type of goods you sell and the location of the client, you can agree to deliver the items within a day or two. This will make the delivery cheaper and convenient since the rider will deliver to several clients along one route. Delivery companies such as Glovo also offer fair deals to deliver your products to clients


Advance your business skills and knowledge

During this period, you have a lot of time in your hands. As such, it is a good time to acquire skills that will help you increase your business’ competitiveness during and after the covid-19 pandemic.

For instance, if you own a beauty parlor, strive to expand your business beyond hair-related services. Watch several makeup tutorials on YouTube or enroll for a makeup course in a renowned institution. With such skills, you get a more diverse and broader customer base.

This advice is not just for those individuals in the beauty industry. Entrepreneurs in all sectors should strive to understand what’s new, what their competitors are doing differently, and how they can increase their competitiveness.


Reevaluate your areas of spending

During this period, you are probably not making as much money as you usually do. To ensure that you are still able to pay your rent, workers, and cater for other bills, it is important to take a look at the areas that you usually spend your money on. Create a practical budget for you and your employees. See for example this post)

For instance, if you were used to taking your car or a taxi to and from work, how about you use public transportation for a change. And carry packed lunch instead of ordering from a restaurant every day.

These deductions may seem negligible but the resultant savings will be an apt substitute for the lost profits.


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Don’t give up

It’s probably been more than two days since you sold anything, or even got someone to ask the price of your products. Despite these low sales, you still have to pay your rent and employees as well as cater for your personal bills. At this point, it seems like the only solution is to close shop. Well, the better solution is to keep on going. Small, medium, and large businesses alike undergo challenges in different periods of their existence.

Didn’t you keep pressing on when you first started the business with just a small number of clients. You most likely took time before stocking up your store or breaking even. Gather the high spirits you had back then hold on for the better days waiting ahead. If things get too tough, talk to your workers regarding their salaries in addition to negotiating with your landlord on a better rent payment schedule.



The current coronavirus pandemic has hit businesses of all types and sizes hard. A number of Kenyan businesses, especially the SMEs, have had to close shop. While this is the reality, there are certain tactics that entrepreneurs can use to stay afloat during this period.

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