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EPISODE 39 – KATERINA ZEGA (UK): A GEN Z Serial Entrepreneur’s Business Strategies during COVID-19

Last Update: Mar 1, 2024 @ 6:21 am
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As businesses continue to be disrupted during the Enhanced Community Quarantine or Lockdowns imposed by the government. Business owners and entrepreneurs are struggling to remain open and functional during COVID-19.

In my interview with Ms. Katerina Zega, the GEN Z serial entrepreneur provided in-depth facts and truths on how to properly manage your business and brand innovations during the pandemic and how to prepare for its reopening when COVID-19 blows over.

THE SPEAKER: KATERINA ZEGA

Katerina Zega is a wildly successful millennial serial entrepreneur. She is currently managing restaurants and bars in the United Kingdom while also building other income streams via network marketing with an American based company called Argon.

Other than being involved in the hospitality industry. Zega also manages her own construction company called Manso Building Solutions. 

Currently, Zega is based in London. And there have been a total of 155 reported deaths from COVID-19 with over 5,892 cases.

Katerina mentions that her area has been terribly affected by the outbreak. She hasn’t set foot out of her house for more than a month now. 

HOW ARE YOUR BUSINESS AFFECTED?

Zega shared that on the day that the government has advised everyone to close business operations. She quickly followed the order and closed up shop. 

Although her construction company has taken the most hit with the lockdown since social distancing makes it hard for anyone to grab hold of materials. 

“It’s the most difficult thing ever!” said the entrepreneur.

She had a lot of jobs that were rescheduled. Although it only delayed certain tasks but on the bright side, they haven’t lost any clients.

Zega mentions that everyone’s income is affected with what’s happening. But the best part is that the government is gonna pay and hand out quants towards their employees. 

But it still doesn’t take away the other expenses the business still has. She is worried about paying rent, electricity and other utilities. 

“I’d say it has affected every single business even if it’s different, even if it’s just online, basically everyone has been affected,” says Zega.

HOW IS COVID 19 CHANGING THE WAY WE ARE DOING BUSINESS?

Zega is also an expert digital and social media influencer in her area. So with great curiosity, I asked her insights on how COVID19 has changed the business process.

Zega responded that the most dominant change was the appreciation of business owners towards digital transformation.

She mentioned how there have been plenty of small businesses such as hairdressers, cake stores and other shops who have been building their presence on social media.

They’ve been doing more stories and advertisements to ensure that people and customers are still aware of what they are doing. 

On one hand, Zega believes that COVID-19 is doing good since it lets managers, directors and owners understand what social media can do for their business.

Instead of remaining complacent and quiet. Digital transformation pushes the business management to explore and innovate their strategies for during and after COVID-19.

They are now sending out ads such as email marketing and campaigns. They are now realizing the benefit of online tools and the traffic that it brings to their business.

HOW CAN SMALL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES SURVIVE COVID-19?

Understanding that Zega is also a business owner, I asked for her advice on what small businesses could do to survive or thrive during the pandemic?

Zega mentioned that the first problem is that we don’t know how long COVID-19 is gonna last. So, using small restaurants as an example. She suggests that it’s probably time to sign up with online delivery platforms.

There are plenty of online delivery sites that are currently offering no sign up fees. And you could generate some income as the lockdown is in effect.

HOW DO YOU MAKE YOURSELF VERY PRODUCTIVE IN TIMES LIKE THIS?

I was curious as to Ms. Zega’s activity and plans for her coming days. She has been busy for the longest time and has now found herself with plenty of free time.

So what does Ms. Zega do during the COVID-19 lockdown?

She responded that she does the what many people believe is the most boring job for anyone to do. She went through all her processes and her back office and downloaded every single item she could get her hands on.

For her restaurant, she had a particular cocktail of which she checks on how much income she generated with it. She changed her recipes and made it better. She also ranked each of her items from top to bottom on seeing which are working and which aren’t.

“I am doing this so that when we open. We are five steps ahead and we’re not just doing the same things and expecting it to work,” says Zega.

Zega mentions that if your finances have been a little rocky before COVID-19, you might want to double check the reason for that. 

If your social media needs working or starting, you can use the time to research or even hire a digital marketing company.

You can also ask a friend of yours to check your social media sites. Listen and ask for honest comments and change the things that aren’t working. It could be your captions, they could be your hashtags, stories and other highlights.

If you think that you aren’t posting enough. There are plenty of online applications that can help you schedule all of your posts. 

FOR UP-AND-COMING ENTREPRENEURS WHAT CAN THEY DO DURING COVID-19? 

Realizing that business owners aren’t the only one with free time. Up-and-coming entrepreneurs also have the same opportunities as anyone else’s. So, I asked Zega on any advice that she could give for them.

“You have all the time in the world. You have no excuses. If you do not start, then you just didn’t want it,” says Zega.

Zega believes that everyone has the same amount of time each day. But it is what you do with it that can truly help you make the difference. 

It doesn’t have to be a grand change. Because learning is not something you can force. You can work on it each day and build a habit.

However, Zega was keen on one thing. And that is to make full use of your time and not to waste it watching Netflix all day.

Zega also advised that since everyone is at home right now. Business personalities should have a lot of free time. You can also take an online course or meetings. Learn and even collaborate with one another.

As much as possible, rise early and do great with those early hours. In her own words “If you are getting up at one p.m. Don’t expect to get somewhere in life,”

Make it a priority to use your time well. Get enough rest and never stay up late unless you are trying to be productive. 

In addition, she advises the listeners to limit their time on social media. Don’t waste your time just staying all night doing nothing but scrolling your news feed.

If you are terrible at planning, Zega advises that you plan your tasks at least two to three days ahead. And list them out.

REMINDING YOURSELF THAT YOU CAN SUCCEED 

One of the most important things of being a successful entrepreneur is to have a mindset of affirmation and gratitude.

Zega mentioned that your mindset is the most crucial weapon you can use to break down plenty of barriers. If you’ve been told that you will never make it anywhere. Tell yourself otherwise and convince yourself, not them, that you can do it.

Affirmation can be in a form of like little daily reminders you can have on your phone. That just says good things. Because Zega believes that success must first come from within. As we need to overcome our greatest fears and learn to adapt to unfavorable circumstances.

Because even if you have enough money to start a business. You might be able to hire the right people to do it. But if you don’t have a healthy mind and if you don’t feel great. Then those thoughts will keep you from achieving much in life.

Ms. Zega’s words strikes like a bullet on the listeners. However, they aren’t wrong. Sometimes our greatest enemies aren’t other people but our minds.

Zega strives to be a good influencer on the people around her. Her friends, sometimes take the full force of her wisdom however, she understands that you can only help people who actually want to help themselves.

She shared that one time, she was trying to sign up one of her friends in network marketing. She declined four times but once she saw the things I’ve been doing, and saw the good in it. People will actually want to join you as well.

What can you learn from the podcast:

  • Businesses during COVID 19: The Situation in London (1:02)
  • How to Rise when Income is Affected (1:30)
  • Social Media: Staying Visible During COVID19 (3:12)
  • How to face the uncertainties brought by COVID 19 to businesses (4:18)
  • What to do with your free time during COVID19: Start With Finances then Social Media (5:36)
  • How to make proper use of your time: Connecting and Networking (7:10)
  • Affirmation: Reminding Yourself that you can Succeed (9:15)

Connect with Katerina Zega via FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN or through the WEBSITE.

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