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The new reality that we have entered globally for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic can be likened to a scenario where humans and organizations, like titans and unicorns , not only coexist in a different environment but also They struggle to excel and ensure their survival in the midst of an unstoppable digital transformation and an accelerating fourth industrial revolution.
However, in this context it also does the same to survive an apparently simple business model where a dose of experience, intuition and resilience predominates, which serve to learn from mistakes and to ensure business continuity, in the middle of closing or the transformation of countless establishments.
We are talking about the inevitable shopkeepers or winemakers, who have immense potential to explore so that they can empower themselves and professionalize themselves, since at the moment a large part of them work without major techniques and state-of-the-art tools that can allow them to become professional and more productive. section of the value chain in which they operate.
Despite the fact that the health emergency paralyzed almost all the economic and productive sectors of the country, the traditional wineries or neighborhood stores did not stop for an instant despite the limitations and social restrictions imposed since the beginning of the pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus.
The resilience of shopkeepers and winemakers have left us inspiring lessons to rethink the relationship between survival, thought and action in the midst of a pandemic, since these true “own account” have not only secured a means to self-generate income, but have also formed a great economic force in their respective countries.
The importance of this business model is reflected in various statistics from South American markets, which indicate that the sales of stores or warehouses may have declined significantly in the current situation, but together they make up a great economic force.
According to a study by the consulting firm Fundes , wineries or neighborhood stores represent 40% of grocery sales in Latin America, which makes them a great economic force.
The resilience of shopkeepers and winemakers have left us inspiring lessons to rethink the relationship between survival, thought and action in the midst of a pandemic / Image: Depositphotos.com
To “get up earlier”
The common denominator behind the stories of each winery is the need to self-generate its own economy, in addition to being part of a family inheritance or an opportunity to raise a family, as well as the strength to overcome obstacles and crises with limited resources and minimal support of traditional channels.
In the midst of the social restrictions imposed by the quarantine in Peru , mainly in phase 1, I had the opportunity to talk with several shopkeeper friends -from different geographical locations in Lima-, about their expectations regarding the continuation of their businesses and the adjustments to the supply chain that allow them to continue serving their customers.
Most of the interviewees indicated that they had not stopped since the beginning of the pandemic and their sales continued to maintain almost the same levels, with the difference that now it was necessary to “get up earlier” to go to look for merchandise, given that many production centers of consumer goods were operating at 30% of their capacity, which caused some delays in receiving their orders.
They were also forced to work fewer hours due to the limitations imposed by the health emergency and the “curfew” at night.
In addition, they refer that they feel “privileged and grateful” because despite the sanitary restrictions imposed, they could continue working supplying the population with basic necessities, while other economic activities were paralyzed or are slowly being reactivated, not to mention that in many cases they were forced to close.
The common denominator behind the stories of each winery is the need to self-generate its own economy / Image: Depositphotos.com
Search for “best prices”
Although it is true that all of them are clients of large suppliers of mass consumption brands, those who deliver merchandise in their stores, continue to consider that it is better to go to the wholesale centers to find better prices and have a significant stock of part of their products. In this search, the maxim that they always keep in mind is “you have to know how to buy”, and also “know how to sell”.
One of the resources used to mitigate the impact of declines in sales was selling stationery, bazaar, and cleaning supplies. In addition, a great strength in these times is having a repowering and trained “delivery” that complies with the required health protocols.
The pandemic and quarantine do not seem to have left Peruvian winemakers in panic or anxiety. It was and is the opportunity to demonstrate resilience and put into practice the lessons learned from personal, family or national crises, since Peru lived through years of violence and economic crisis. Likewise, they should and must demonstrate that they are not conformists, that they have quick adaptability, that there is no time for regrets and that, based on reality, achievable goals should be set.
In recent years many of them went through great challenges and abrupt falls, which made them stagger and test the direction of the ship that they had underway.
It has also been difficult for many of them to go from manual to electronic billing systems and stock control with QR code, contactless payment methods, electronic wallets and apps to use their wholesale orders that are very helpful, but they are working in the process of adaptation while others have migrated to changes that are imposed as necessary to remain in force.
A good part of the Peruvian winemakers have gone from being a small shop to a “minimarket” with success stories that have demanded between 10 and 30 years. This has allowed them to build their own home or buy an apartment and live better, as well as provide their children with a better education, access to private health, not having over-indebtedness, among other achievements that show their personal improvement, as a result of their entrepreneurship.
The strategy that they have implemented for this transformation is to offer a sale for convenience and value-added service, where the client can pay more, having as compensation the immediacy, proximity and solutions.
Thus, they remain the option for people of all generations who want to satisfy an immediate need by resorting to the closest winery to their home, or in other cases ordering through social networks or a phone call.
Added to this is also offering specialized or highly segmented products that are chosen based on the consumer knowledge of their customers. Something that may be easier to know, as the phrase “A good cuber eye” says, and without having an integrated CRM program.
As a corollary, it is appropriate to point out that if shopkeepers had more impulse to progress, access to training with educational quality programs on Marketing, Trade Marketing, Visual Mershandising, Canvas, Design Thinking , Lean Startup , Accounting, Administration, among others, we could talk about a whole power to be developed so that it contributes to economic growth and development according to current times.
This development would have to be agile, dynamic, interactive and be put into practice with traceability .
These traditional businesses have always faced the risk of disappearing as a result of innovation and investments by powerful economic groups. Perhaps today is the opportunity for them to envision and strengthen strategic alliances and businesses that consolidate them as lasting business models, as well as traditional and familiar ones.