Autonom, a Romanian entrepreneurial company and an integrated provider of mobility and financing services, launches a guide for entrepreneurs which helps them navigate through the difficulties caused by corona-crisis.
Following a survey carried out amongst Autonom clients about how the pandemic and the isolation period impacted their business, entrepreneurs indicated that one of the biggest challenges is access to sources of financing and maintaining liquidity. Therefore, to support entrepreneurs, Autonom, together with partners, selected several concrete solutions and ideas for optimizing and developing their businesses.
“A crisis always comes with challenges, but also with opportunities. It is a time when we all need to look at what improvements we can make and how we can reinvent our businesses. We strongly believe that entrepreneurship can become the engine of our economy and that Romanian companies will have a fundamental role in reducing unemployment and curbing the recession. But for this to happen, the entrepreneurial sector needs support, cooperation, and access to capital. Through this guide, we aim to provide entrepreneurs with a useful source of tips and information about concrete solutions that can help them redefine their business model into one that is more agile and sustainable,” said Marius and Dan Stefan, Autonom co-founders.
Autonom’s guide “Business optimization solutions for entrepreneurs” contains three chapters, focused around solutions cost optimization, development and financing of the company, and management of people and risks. Throughout the guide, entrepreneurs can find 16 ideas for 5 challenges they might face in the current context of the crisis. The challenges included, among other things, need for financing for investments and working capital, managing the productivity and preparation of the employees, or optimizing the costs related to office spaces or assets.
When preparing the guide, Autonom focused on challenges that were indicated by the 134 local companies, Autonom’s clients, that participated in the study that took place between June 2nd and 12th, 2020. Approximately 69% of the respondents admitted they were affected by the lockdown, out of which 42.5% were affected moderately and 26% majorly.
When assessing the challenges brought by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, 75% of the entrepreneurs who participated in the survey noticed a decrease in activity or sales volume. The second most indicated answer was the reduction of expenses, chosen by 38% of the participants, followed by low liquidity, meaning the inability of suppliers to pay, a situation encountered among 34% of respondents. Other issues mentioned by respondents were: the need to send employees into technical unemployment (30%), decreased employee morale (25%), reduced supply capacity due to traffic restrictions (22%), decreased employee productivity due to work from home (17%), lack of childcare services for employees with children (14%) and staff reductions (10.5%).
When it comes to what is necessary for continuing business, the majority of the respondents focused on the need for capital. 39,5% of respondents indicated as their primary need access to financing sources. Therefore, Autonom’s guide focuses on cost optimization solutions through which companies can create additional savings, as well as alternative financing solutions.
The study concludes that despite the context, Romanian entrepreneurs and managers remain optimistic about the future. Almost 80% of respondents are confident that despite the difficulties, their business will go well over the next 3 to 6 months. At the same time, 18.5% are unsure of what the coming period will bring, while 1.5% admitted that they do not think their businesses will survive.
More details about the results of the study in the complete guide developed by Autonom together with partners is available for free for download here.