Covid-19 Third Wave Calls For Resilience, Communication, And Empathy
Few South African businesses have emerged unscathed the heavy lockdown a year ago and the second wave after the festive season. But the vital message to franchisors and franchisees following the onset of the Covid-19 third wave remains essentially the same, according to Amith Singh, Nedbank Business Banking, National Manager, Franchising.
“It’s vital that franchisors and franchisees, remain in touch with customers, so that they can resume operations seamlessly once the lockdown ends, says Amith Singh.
Paramount to staying afloat, Singh insists is the need for clear and effective communications with all stakeholders connected to one’s business, particularly clients, and, especially your bank.
‘As money experts committed to doing good, we understand the hurdles posed to the economy by the pandemic, which clearly is the greatest global crisis since World War 2. Businesses are experiencing severe challenges, and its impact on the workforce is of great concern, therefore, we urge both franchisors and franchisees to stay in touch with clients, operate where possible online, and most importantly, engage with their dedicated business bankers to discuss various relief measures on offer to assist clients during the pandemic,’ adds Singh.
While no restrictions are in place during the third wave, Singh believes that it is still the best option for businesses to operate via electronic channels for banking, including scan-to-pay or tap-payment options, and, when necessary, the building of ecommerce platforms and exploring alternative revenue streams.
Lessons learn from the hard lockdown and second wave can provide guidelines on approaching the third wave, for example, a national restaurant group, which suspended franchise fees during the lockdown, while another large group made video conferencing available so owners and their staff could communicate with one another, as well as with their customers safely.
‘As a bank we are committed to your sustainability and future survival. These are challenging times and we support measures aimed at mitigating real human hardships during the pandemic. Our main task is to let clients know that we care about their challenges and pledge to work with them in accordance with relief measures set out by the bank to assist where possible,’ says Singh.
‘Our dedicated business bankers are on hand to provide support during these challenging times. We value our clients and the South African population in general experiencing hardship, and want to acknowledge the hurdles, and show our support as best we can as a bank committed to doing good,’ adds Singh.
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