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When your business is in survival mode here’s what to do: Case study Ikaze PCO

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The most terrifying aspect of starting a business is having to consider the possibility of failure, imagining your company failing and you declaring bankruptcy. But failing is no longer an option at this point; all you have to do is pivot kust like Ikaze PCO did during the Covid-19 pandemic.

When a company pivots, it means that it is changing something about its core products or services. Businesses may pivot to better meet customer demand, to shift their target audience to increase sales, or to do both.

Businesses change their plans as they seek better solutions; if the plan and idea you’ve implemented aren’t working, you should consider pivoting rather than giving up.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, many businesses had to close their doors due to a lack of clients to sustain their operations.

While this was a difficult and trying time for many, Ikaze PCO chose to pivot rather than close their doors.

Ikaze PCO is an experience-driven and customer-centric company that focuses on inbound tourism, specifically MICE tourism with a strong emphasis on Conference and Incentive travel to Rwanda.

They provide event planners with a single point of contact. This includes venue and lodging selection, event website design and online conference registration, function planning and theming, audio visual and technical requirements, and so on.

Many conferences and events were canceled during Covid-19. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, professional conference organizers in Rwanda had to postpone major events.

Brenda Nyakira Anderson, CEO and Managing Director of Ikaze PCO, led the team 12 months into the pandemic to adapt their business model to the new normal and introduce some novelty to the market.

Because the pandemic was still relatively new and many restrictions were imposed, the Private Conference Organizer (PCO) lost 90% of their bookings in 2020 alone.

Nyakira claims that things worsened in March of that year as policies, restrictions, and laws changed. “Ikaze was at a point where it had no clients.”

Difficult situations necessitate quick and decisive action. Instead of closing their doors, the company changed their strategy and chose a different path.

They strategized on how to keep the ship afloat using creativity and innovation. They settled on a virtual solution.

The company now has a license with a virtual platform provider, and they have begun organizing virtual conferences.

This is what pivoting entails. In theory, changing course is beneficial to a company. The road to long-term success is rarely a straight line.

Certain businesses reinvent themselves multiple times. They reduce their chances of failure by conserving resources while learning more about their customers, business partners, and new technologies.

This is something that startups and SME’s should think about. Pivoting is the process of validating your product and business level, then adjusting if you discover you were incorrect about something.

As you run your business, especially if it is still in its early stages, you must analyze what works and what does not, and you must determine whether your plan was correct and realistic and productive.

If you discover you were incorrect, you do not give up and close your doors; instead, you pivot by developing new strategies, delivery methods, and business approaches, just as Ikaze PCO did.

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Brenda Nyakira Anderson, CEO and Managing Director of Ikaze PCO

Straight out of Twitter