Learn from Lilian Katiso, Proprietor of Maua and More, on the strategies she implemented to ensure business continuity during crisis

The COVID-19 Business Info Hub spoke with Lilian Katiso, Proprietor of Maua and More, to understand how she managed to facilitate growth of her business during the pandemic. Maua and More, a seven-year-old company whose name means flowers and more, is located in Kampala and offers unique potted plants and garden accessories.

When the lockdown started and the mall where her business is located closed, Lilian quickly identified risks to her business and came up with strategies that would provide the best chance at business survival. These centered around four main areas:



Lilian’s first concern was to ensure her products were cared for to avoid potential losses. The plants must be watered every 3 days, so Lilian discussed with her staff and came up with a plan. The business obtained a bicycle for one staff member who was willing and able to ride to the outlet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to water the plants.



Maua and More relies on both local and international suppliers, most of whom require payment within three days of delivery. Knowing that this would be challenging during the lockdown, Lilian negotiated with international suppliers for a thirty-day credit period, which provided the business with enough time to sell products and use that funding to make payments before placing another order.


Team communication

Realizing that lockdown would make communication among her team more difficult, Lilian set up a WhatsApp group for easy collaboration. The group allowed the team to have regular discussions about ideas and issues as they arose in real-time. This was complemented by monthly progress meetings to discuss what went well, what didn’t go so well, and how to improve.


Customer engagement

Before lockdown, Maua and More engaged customers by posting live photos of the products at the shop. With the lockdown, Lilian shifted focus to posting about plants and their maintenance. These posts generated inquiries, and because people were home and could tend to their gardens, it also led to further sales. After the lockdown was lifted, the business saw sales double compared to those made pre-lockdown. Customers also asked for new varieties of plants, so Lilian began further diversifying her products.


With these strategies firmly in place, Maua and More was able to weather the challenges brought about by the lockdown and even achieve business growth. However, an increase in demand meant the need to purchase some products in bulk from a new supplier, which posed another challenge for the business. Unable to negotiate credit due to the newness of the business relationship, Lilian needed to come up with sufficient cash to cover the deposit, insurance, import tax, and transportation costs. To avoid facing liquidity issues, she approached a bank and requested financing to support the purchase. The business qualified for an unsecured loan and was able to go ahead with the purchase.


In addition to thinking about how some of the above strategies could apply to your own business, Lilian wants other entrepreneurs to know that business owners should not fear spending when it comes to ensuring business continuity. During the most recent lockdown, Maua and More purchased a motorcycle and scooter to ensure staff could get to the shop. While this required laying out cash for these purchases, it also meant three staff could get to work and generate revenue. Additionally, as customers increasingly look to making purchases online, spending for digital marketing can help reach more people in a shorter time. Lilian boosts her posts on Facebook with paid advertising to promote new stock as it comes in. The strategy works, so she has created a budget for this kind of advertising.


For more information, contact Maua and More at: 

WhatsApp: 0777014020

Email: mauaandmore@gmail.com