Episode 69 Transcript

Welcome to episode 69 of the Business in
Morocco Podcast today we're going to be
giving our general impressions of the
confinement and talking about the
pending deconfinement that we all hope
happens on June 10th well let's get some
updates Ryan what's going on how you
doing?
I'm doing okay yeah I'm looking forward
to increased freedoms I think a lot of
people have been out of the house a lot
more I've noticed traffic patterns
really increasing you know there's quite
a few construction sites that have have
kicked up more people are going to their
office so life is beginning to return to
normal but there still are police checks
and so there's still questions around
what what's permissible before the 10th
and we're a few days away from that so
I'm looking forward though to things
cracking back open and there's even
still some hesitation some of the
clients I've been dealing with we're
booking training for after the 10th but
they're still wanting to do that
training online because they they aren't
sure are they going to be able to gather
large groups together at that point so
yeah there's still a lot of uncertainty
but looking forward to things picking up
again and getting back out into the
world how are things for you well I am
very optimistic about the actual reality
of the virus on the ground for probably
a month in my neighborhood where I live
and where my office is I have been
observing crowds of people people
gathering together people hugging people
shaking hands some people wearing masks
some people not wearing masks huge
crowds of people packed into marjan and
Carrefour and bhim and other places and
this has been happening for like a month
so if this virus was very contagious and
if it was everywhere and it was very
dangerous as we've been told then then
we would have seen an explosion of cases
and deaths
Morocco already like it already would
have happened I mean I remember in the
beginning of May I went into Carrefour
and it was literally packed with people
all standing right next to each other
and to me like you know that's what they
said you shouldn't do but it was
happening mm-hmm but I looked at the
statistics today and as of today we're
recording on June 4th there have been
about 8,000 cases in Morocco and about
206 deaths
sort of put that in context the state of
California United States was about the
same as Morocco has had a hundred and
seventeen thousand cases and more than
four thousand deaths so when you think
about a comparable situation comparable
climate geography size of the population
Morocco has done far better and you
asked like why is that well I don't know
if anyone really knows because
California went into confinement the
same day that Morocco did March 20th and
you know I don't know so I'm that's why
I'm very optimistic I feel like the
virus is made its way through it's not
spreading it's not causing people to get
sick I feel like if if it if it was
going to do that it already would have
done it and if you go out I went out on
Saturday it was like a normal Saturday
Morocco like there was no virus people
everywhere yeah and you can watch the
number of active cases so there's you
know eight thousand people have had
corona virus that that we know of that
were tested but then the mass majority
of them recover and then the case is
closed and we're under a thousand active
cases now and each day is much less than
a hundred new cases coming so it's
really encouraging when you look at the
we look at the graph we're moving in the
right direction obviously the big
question is opening up the border
because then you're allowing new people
and you're relying on the measures that
other countries have taken and then
they're coming into the country which is
how this this all began originally
so that's the one thing that that
Morocco might be really reluctant to do
is to fling the borders wide open but
with a country that relies so heavily on
tourists you know you've got millions of
people coming in especially over the
summer
lots of Moroccans returning to visit
home from Europe from North America they
bring a lot of money with them really
boost the economy so I think it's
inevitable they're gonna open up this
summer and we'll see what happens but
it's really encouraging to see how
things have progressed I think Morocco
has done a pretty good job yeah you know
clearly the virus is not impacted
Morocco the way it's impacted places
like Spain Italy France the United
States but we just put it in context for
example in in in 2018 almost 5,000
people died of heart disease right or
3,500 people died in car accidents you
know every single you know 33,000 people
died of cancer right so when you think
about like the relative impact of this
virus you know every single year more
than 500,000 people almost 600,000
people died in Morocco every year and we
talk about 206 people and you talk about
literally shutting down the economy for
three months you know I understand why
it was done in the beginning but to me
like the economy needs to open and and
stay open like I said if the virus isn't
spread through crowds at Carrefour then
it's not going to be spread at the beach
like you know you're outside it's fresh
air yeah so hopefully that's what we see
happen I'm looking forward to life
beginning again yeah so what does this
mean for the economy I know you you said
you had a story about the confinement
that you wanted to share what why don't
you share that with us yeah I've just
been really impressed with a young guy
from chef Shaolin that I've connected
with so I appeared on an Instagram live
with the guy from algid EDA named Ayub
and this guy from chef Cowan was was
watching the live and afterwards he
reached out to me and just said hey
thanks so much for sharing I've never
heard of your YouTube channel before but
I watched a couple videos great thanks
for all the value you're adding you know
just a really kind message and just to
thank me for sharing some of the the
info that I do and then I wrote him back
and said you know thanks you know who
are you kind of thing and he introduced
himself and said he's a graphic designer
and does logos and branding and kind of
storytelling for companies I thought oh
that's cool you know can I see some of
your work because you know me personally
I've got a YouTube channel and I have no
skills or interest in graphic design and
I know that my my art and thumbnails and
stuff are terrible they're just like
budget I just make them myself on you
know chief Microsoft programs and so he
was like yeah here's here's a link you
can see you know I'm on design crowd I'm
on Fiverr and I said hey what about this
what if you make a couple thumbnails for
me and I'll promote you
you know I'll credit you my audience is
small but hey maybe you'd be interested
kind of a win-win situation and he
agreed so he designed me a new youtube
banner and and a couple thumbnails and I
posted it on LinkedIn kind of said hey
you know here's some good work this
young guys doing if anybody has any
design needs and he was really grateful
and it actually kind of sparked his
interest in LinkedIn I think he had a
profile but he wasn't leveraging that
platform and it helped him recognize
wait a minute this is a great space for
me to display my work and to find new
customers and then he came back to me
and and pitched me hey could you do a
couple more designs with me but can you
do it through five
because and I have no reviews I have an
account but no one's used me yet so I
agreed you know I was really happy with
the work he'd done he was patient with
me because that I was taking time to get
back to him with the files he needed and
stuff but he was also following up with
me that's something you and I have
talked about a number of times he really
showed that he was hungry and determined
and every time I wrote him he was very
quick to respond and get back to me he
turned things around really fast and so
I did I put an order in through Fiverr
and when I posted on LinkedIn I can I
put a link to his Fiverr account and he
ended up getting more jobs and so it
kind of was just a little bit of a boost
or a little bit of a beginning he had a
review and then more work started coming
in the next customer was from Germany or
something so it was something that I
just really loved to see his his
proactivity you know he initiated with
me he took action he's hustling he was
very creative you know he was the one
who proposed hey would you mind you've
seen some of the work I've done would
you mind putting it through Fiverr to
give me a boost and then we had a
conversation since then he came to me
for some advice on a startup idea he had
which is I think brilliant I'm really
excited for him he's building an app and
I think it could be a huge success and
could be a real source of passive income
for him once the economy opens up again
and I said wow if you if you get this
launched and start seeing customers
download the app and using it then we've
got to have you back on the podcast and
interview you so I think there's a lot
of lessons to learn from his story you
know here's a young guy that planing he
wasn't whining he took initiative he I'm
sure I'm not the only person he reaches
out to a lot of people probably don't
write back and it doesn't end up in a
story like this but he's connecting and
and being proactive and it turns into
good things I love his attitude and I
love his hustle yeah that's a great
story and I think it's a it's indicative
of what other success stories are going
to hear during this confinement
and also coming out of it you're gonna
hear similar themes which is pursuing
new leads pursuing new ideas offering
value right he offered value for free
upfront
he created a partnership he demonstrated
his skill and ability he was diligent in
his communication you know following up
being reliable willing to do new things
understanding the importance of reviews
feedback and testimonies wanting to get
you to order through fiver
which by the way I want to say it now
just send that link to me for his Fiverr
profile and we'll put in the show notes
so that people can get it out yeah
definitely but you know it these are the
types of things that you need to do to
be successful during the confinement and
also coming out of it
you know one of my customers I've helped
move all of his sales online during this
confinement and we are approaching fifty
thousand dirhams and sales during the
kebab I mean he had never sold anything
online before right now and we really
take any opportunity to move online and
you know do some marketing and branding
and and and learn how to do that and you
know this is this is gonna be my number
one piece of advice for companies coming
out of confinement is you have to move
online it's very clear what was not
allowed during this economic shutdown
and what was allowed mm-hmm if you're a
business that relies on person-to-person
interaction for your product or service
you are vulnerable there's there's
absolutely a new business risk and the
new business risk is that any government
at any time can shut down the economy
with no notice yeah and unfortunately I
hate to say it but look this is not the
last time this is going to happen mm-hmm
they they believe they did a good job
everyone's used to it now they think it
was effective
and you know right now if this happens
again we get another virus coming out of
China the first answer is just going to
be a show everything down and make
everybody stay at home so as a business
you need to think about what that would
look like for you again yeah
and he diversify what you're doing you
need to have an online presence you need
to do online distribution ecommerce you
know even if most your business relies
on person-to-person interactions you
have to diversify mm-hmm you cannot rely
on meeting customers face-to-face yeah I
fear there'll be some businesses that
have done okay with pivoting they have
shifted some things online but then
they're going to just cut it off they're
just gonna shut it down when they can go
back to the brick-and-mortar model I
fear that because as we've discussed
before I think a lot of people will
desire the online version at times even
when the in-person version is an option
even if there is no lockdown or
restrictions and I used the example of
my wife doing fitness classes online her
gyms just a few kilometres from home but
I still concede that there'd be certain
times during a busy week that it would
be more convenient for her to work out
at home not a hundred percent of the
time if she'd want that option to go to
the class to have the face-to-face to
use the equipment at the gym but other
times I could see her selecting that
online option and so I hope most
businesses will will keep both and same
thing with universities you know they've
done some of them have done really well
to shift courses online but again I fear
some of them will just say okay good we
can open up again in the fall and so we
can close all that down instead of
finding ways to still offer courses
online to tap into students that are
from the far corners of the country or
even overseas and the professionals who
want to study at night they just want to
take an online course in the evenings it
could be an added source of revenue yeah
yeah whatever work during confinement
needs to continue you need to put
resources into it you know I fear that a
lot of these
drones and cafes and and stores that
essentially not been able to sell for
three months
they're gonna come and they're gonna
find that they they owe rent for three
months and a lot of them are just going
to be like well it wasn't that great of
business to start with so it's just not
gonna open again yeah so you know one of
the other impacts from this this
economic shutdown is that you know
commercial real estate was already way
overvalued in Morocco but it is
dramatically way overvalued now you know
there was already ton of vacancy but all
of those places require person-to-person
interactions and you know smart
investment money is not going to be
going into businesses that require a
face-to-face interaction so you know
that's going to be one of the impacts
hopefully the cost of commercial real
estate go down which will allow new
business models and new startups to to
form in the economy so yeah doing online
presence doing e-commerce to talk to one
of our entrepreneur club members Mohamed
who works for Sammy the payments company
payment platforms for bank cards and
ecommerce and he says yeah a lot of new
customers have come and are starting
online payments so so that it's good to
hear that that's happening if you're a
doctor or a lawyer or a dentist or a
consultants or a coach you need to
figure out how to offer at least the
first consultation doing like what we're
doing right now on zoom or whatsapp and
figuring out a way to have payments yeah
and you know it's a good way to do
customer acquisition offer a video
conference for a low price mm-hmm and
that's where you validate the customer
you qualify the customer and if they
need more services that are in
and then you can set up an appointment
you know but it's still far too often
that in order to get these services you
literally have to show up at the door
they don't you know they're not on
Google or the information is not correct
or they don't have a Facebook page or a
website you know I think those
businesses are gonna have a real problem
yeah yeah I'm hoping that your services
are in high demand helping people join
the 21st century 20 years late but you
know better late than never I guess yeah
I guess I just go ahead we've used Dabba
doc a couple times during the
confinement for different things going
on with the kids and it works well you
know there's just so many things that
can be assessed diagnosed just with a
few photos with some questions being
answered and then a simple crip ssin
written and a follow-up appointment
later no travel no no visit physical
visit to the doctor necessary and so you
think about something like like a lawyer
I mean even more so there's really no
reason to be there in person we can have
documents scanned or even global the
originals right to their office it can
easily be done online it does not need
to be face-to-face yeah I guess I can
give my pitch right now you know I
basically create I put businesses online
mm-hmm and that's why I do if you have a
physical business I do everything that
you need to have an online presence up
to the point of actually selling online
if you have a product to sell online and
and it's still big complicated selling
services online but I think we're gonna
we're going to figure that out here by
the end of the year so if you need a
website or you need help with Google or
Facebook or Instagram or YouTube or
Google Ads you know that that's what I
do is help businesses do that and I'm
really curious to see the statistics of
like the percentage of the economy that
has been ecommerce during this time and
if it shifts
in Morocco you know the number of people
who have done their their first online
transaction whether it's through jamia
or or whatever even just ordering off an
app to have food delivered I'm really
curious to see how many people finally
joined during these last three months I
have a few it's a lot considering that
you didn't have a lot of other options I
mean we we know anecdotally that jamia
has had a very large growth in the last
two months and I just heard the other
day that a veto if you build a a store
on a veto you know they're starting to
do the logistics part okay so they might
be a direct competitor for jamia here
okay Wow I didn't know a veto was still
going for it I thought they were a bit
of a relic of the past but maybe they're
resurrecting a little bit yeah it's cool
so just to talk a little bit about what
what's going to be important here in the
next few months and for businesses going
forward is something that's been
important for for a long time we've
talked about and that is engaging
customers and communicating with
customers and convincing them that that
you're the right product or service and
it involves doing content like this
podcasts videos writing articles having
online presence and posting your
knowledge demonstrating that you are the
right person and you're just doing this
podcast Ryan I have got new clients out
of it and I have new ones even
contacting me this week
about providing services to them so yeah
yeah it's a way to establish expertise
you you become an authority in in the
space in your niche whereas if you're if
you are not producing any
or you know publishing articles or
anything then most people have never
heard of you and there's there's very
few businesses that can survive on
word-of-mouth alone even if
word-of-mouth is how you get people
interested they're still going to google
you they're still gonna many people will
do a bit of research check out your
online presence and need to be convinced
that you're worth a try your Worth and
them investing their hard-earned
Deering's to to try out your product or
service right so you know whether it's a
product or service you have to create a
marketing campaign you have to create
your brand you have to present yourself
in a pod in a positive light and you
have to be consistent and you have to be
professional and you know honestly just
doing Instagram or Facebook ads is just
not enough you need to be a little bit
more in-depth you need to have more
channels more ways of acquiring
customers during this these next few
months of the economy it's going to be
very hard to do business to business
sales I have a feeling budgets are going
to be cut there's going to be a lot of
fierce competition in that area and you
really have to show the value and you
have to communicate it and you have to
be you have to make the customer
confident that they're going to receive
the value that you're offering and the
way to do that is to is to demonstrate
it you know what you do and what you
know yeah so one other point is as we're
we've been talking about is we need to
somehow share some of the burden of this
so I think businesses that take a hard
line financially can easily burn bridges
during this time and so everybody's
hurting and even if you kind of have the
legal upper hand I think businesses can
earn a lot of loyalty by being
compassionate or understanding or
gracious even if it means lengthening
payment terms
you know you might still get a hundred
percent of your money just maybe not at
the same time but being able to to look
for a win-win agreement with people that
owe you money
I think that's gonna benefit people in
the long run whereas I think the
businesses that try to just tow the line
they might get their money upfront but
they're gonna burn a bridge they're
gonna lose a customer or a supplier so I
think that's another piece of advice for
business owners is to think long term
with these relationships yeah figure out
how to way a way to be in solidarity
with your customers I mean your
customers if your customers don't
succeed then you're not going to succeed
and there is often a very short term
mentality you know how much can I
squeeze out of this individual
transaction mm-hmm how much how can I
get what I want right now in the moment
without thinking long-term without
thinking about the relationship as
opposed to the individual transaction in
the moment yeah and you know we we've
talked about this but there's something
called customer lifetime value where you
add up all of the expected transactions
of a customer over the life of their
your relationship with them and if you
keep them as a customer for a long time
one individual transaction is not worth
fighting over it's not worth even having
an argument in fact be proactive and be
gracious and you know give a discount
give a reduction right away and keep
that customer happy for the long term
and then they'll have a story to tell
hey you know I was in trouble and this
this this business really helped me out
and they've been very helpful during the
crisis and then of a story to tell their
friends and colleagues that that would
be a good report for you to get more
customers in the future though yeah
exactly
all right well we've got a bunch of
interviews lined up so stay tuned for
the podcast we're going to keep them
coming through the
summer and you have some good interviews
that you can learn from from
entrepreneurs and business leaders here
Morocco so stay tuned for that and stay
safe and hopefully when we go live next
week we will be in D confinement and
we'll be doing a live episode from the
beach or something like that haha
that sounds great























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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