In a recent interview, Rosemary Tusabe, the owner of Toddler’s Gold, shared how she successfully navigated her children’s apparel and toy business through pandemic disruptions. Toddler’s Gold is an online store that was launched in 2018 with offices in Muyenga and employs six staff.

What was the impact of the lockdowns here in Uganda on your business?

We found it challenging to access our suppliers and customers during the first lockdown because of movement restrictions. So, we intensified our online trading and arranged delivery to our customers through boda-bodas. We found that our demand increased because children were home, and parents realized children needed more clothes now than when attending school. As a result, we ran out of stock.

After the government lifted the first lockdown, we stocked more items for clients to prepare ourselves if there was a second lockdown. So, when the second lockdown happened, we were well prepared.


How did you navigate these challenges?

During the first lockdown, because we could not access our suppliers, we identified similar businesses that were struggling to sell because they lacked an online presence. They agreed to supply us on a cash basis arrangement.

Having increased our marketing online, we also generated many inquiries from expectant mothers, so we introduced a new service line called personal baby shopping for expectant mothers. Through this service, we agree with our customers on their shopping needs and pricing and then buy and deliver the items. They can do all of this from the comfort of their homes.


What business continuity strategies were most helpful as you navigated pandemic disruptions?

Since we continued to sell our products online, we were able to keep all our staff working. We also introduced regular meetings to discuss how to hit targets and understand staff welfare during this time. As a relational capital-focused business, we realized that rewarding and motivating our staff during the crisis would keep them happy and, in turn, serve the customers with a smile. So, we continued to pay full salaries for staff and also provided them with relief items.

We also introduced a new program, the winning mom’s mastermind. The program advises mothers on financial planning, conscious parenting, and personal growth and development. Although the company had set to start this program in 2 years, the lockdown presented us an opportunity to speak to mothers who were now at home and needed advice on parenting and personal development.


What other business continuity strategies are you implementing to survive any further disruptions?

The pandemic has taught us to prepare for a rainy day, and here are some of the strategies we are implementing:

The business has established an emergency fund to help us with any unforeseen circumstances that may arise in the future. We consistently put aside a certain amount of money from our profits that we don’t touch for any cash obligations that occur. I recommend this practice to other business owners as part of their continuity strategy.

We regularly engage our customers to understand their needs and problems to tailor our products and services. We hope that these interactions will enable us to get new product ideas to help diversify our offering.

Finally, we have embraced technology and digital platforms to seize online customers since most people use their phones and laptops to shop. The technology helps us understand customer purchase habits, and then we offer them a convenient shopping experience.


Learn more about our products on:

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Facebook:     @toddlersgold

WhatsApp:   0776511499

Call:             0709728624/ 0776511499