The COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Indonesia for almost 2 years, has impacted various sectors including MSMEs. Whereas MSMEs cover 99% of business owners in Indonesia and absorb up to 97% of the national workforce. From this number, 64.5% of MSME owners are women, but the pandemic has affected their businesses. The women-owned MSMEs under the care of YCAB Foundation, reported losses of up to 70% since the pandemic hit.
Seeing this situation, YCAB Foundation is collaborating with various parties to improve and train women-owned MSMEs so that they are able to get through this pandemic. One of them is through an Instagram Live broadcast with Lifepal.
“We have done numerous initiatives to help these women through the pandemic. We provided them with various upskill programs such as financial literacy training, business management training, digital marketing, and content creation. Not only that, we also educate them about online loans. We, YCAB Foundation, want to provide a holistic intervention to help these women-owned MSMEs so their businesses can grow, become better entrepreneurs, and support their families.” said Amanda Kalangit, Head of Project Management at YCAB Foundation.
YCAB Foundation and Lifepal went live on Instagram to talk about the importance of financial planning and how it is one of the most searched skills to survive the pandemic. In the Instagram Live, entitled “Become a Strong Business Woman Through Good Financial Planning”, on October 29th, 2021, Aulia Akbar, CFP®, AEPP®, Financial Educator and Financial Planner for Lifepal, shared his tips on how to become a better financial planner:
- Separate personal and business accounts
This way, women-owned MSMEs can easily calculate monthly profit quickly and precisely. Not only that, the purpose of this act is to minimize the financial crisis that may occur due to cash withdrawals for personal interests. Therefore, during the pandemic, segregation of accounts is more important than ever.
- Profit is not a priority
Surviving and maintaining the longevity of the MSME business is the best decision, especially at times of pandemic like this. Instead of just focusing on getting as much profit as possible, it is better for women-owned MSMEs to start focusing on maintaining a positive cash flow. Then, perhaps, when the condition is getting better, MSME owners may think further about developing or expanding the business.
- Prepare an emergency fund
With an emergency fund, the chance for cash flow to be negative will be smaller. The amount of emergency funds that need to be prepared varies, but women-owned MSMEs can prepare approximately 6-12 times expenditure per month.
- Reducing operational costs
Reducing operational costs is also the next tip that MSME owners must apply so that the business they are running can survive. For example, when many employees work from home (WFH), MSME owners can save on operational costs such as electricity, water, and so on. Not only that, other costs that are usually carried out directly are now carried out online, for example, the cost of renting an offline store to a virtual shop (online/e-commerce).
- Check assets
Try checking and detailing the number of assets currently owned. After finding out the details, MSME owners can find out how long their business can last if there is no income for the next few months. Remember, when detailing the assets owned, make sure MSME owners can examine them properly and thoroughly to prevent losing business finances.
- Able to read future risks
The last tip that is no less important is being able to read the risks and observe the situation going forward. This is important because the financial decisions that will be chosen will affect the business that is being undertaken now. Therefore, stay focused on the possibilities that could happen in the future so that the MSME business that is being carried out can survive even in the midst of a pandemic.
“The goal is that business finances are not burdened if at any time they experience risks that befall themselves and their assets because all risks have been handed over to the insurance company,” concluded Akbar.