Preparing for Elections [Entrepreneur's Guide], by CHRIS ODONGO

 

Preparing for Elections - Entrepreneurs Guide

 

It's exactly twenty days to election day in Kenya and as an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to plan for that day..... No scratch that you have to plan for the day before and the day after..... scratch that... you have to plan for two days before and three days after the election.

In my view, the eve of the election is possibly going to be very calm as campaigns will have ended over the weekend. Most companies will keep their doors closed on that day and you can expect your employees who vote up-country to have taken that day as a leave day and travelled the previous weekend to be ready to cast their vote on 8th August.

That said election day will come and go as people queue and exercise their democratic rights. The day after the election is bound to be too tense for anyone to venture outside and most of your employees will remain glued to the TV set watching results trickle in. 9th of August most MP's position will have been announced and perhaps the presidential results will be called in the evening with two possibilities; celebration or chaos. If it's celebration then you can expect no work to take place on 10th as well and so the entire week will be gone just like that.

The above being the case what should your plan as an entrepreneur look like?

Leave Days
Ask your team members to fill in leave forms for the following days; 6 Aug; 9-10Aug. 7th and 8th August are going to probably be public holidays.

Empower Team to Work from Home
Give your team members air-time and work deliverables to do from home. This is probably a good time to get that research project done, complete old reports that have been pending or develop those customer feedback forms you have been postponing. Better still have team members conduct a personal SWOT and develop an action plan for the time when they will be back in office.

Prepare for 13 August
Election day will come and go and if you prepare for 13 August you can be sure to hit the ground running when work resumes on Monday.

Wait a minute Chris. I am in retail business; I can't afford to remain closed that long!

Election Day Shift
Some businesses should consider some team members who vote in the morning and others to vote in the afternoon or open in the afternoon after everyone has voted. People still need to eat and drink more so when they are idle and anxious.

Post Election Day Preparedness
What if the election is violent and the results are hotly contested? As an entrepreneur, you should be prepared for this eventuality. Seat down with your team and plan for every scenario and remember being prepared for either outcome is the better than not being prepared at all.