Building the future we want as business owners in SA
South African entrepreneurs can play a big role in bringing the promises made during this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2018 to life. The peaceful transition between Presidents, the content and promises of #SONA2018 and the measured budget2018 has reignited an atmosphere of opportunity and hope within the country. The edge of chaos we have lived in for the last 3 years may well recede if we all help make it so: our new President cannot do it alone.
During this week’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we discussed what and how South African business owners can act to create the future we want and in particular, solve the single biggest threat to our countries stability, unemployment!
What to Watch Out For
Before we get too excited by the words spoken at #SONA2018, let’s be wary of cheap talk. That talk has to turn into walk to ensure that the “partnership” I’m about to speak of is fair. By the middle of 2018 we must see real action from government to demonstrate their intent to make SONA a reality. This includes:
- Establishing leadership credibility in political leadership. This should mean changes in both cabinet posts (there are too many) and the leadership.
- Establishing a credibility with our National Prosecuting Authority and Public Protector. This might well mean new leadership in these roles and most definitely action on the ground.
- Action in our State Owned Entities. Some have cost us dearly from ESKOM, Transnet, SAA, PRASA and SABC. Placing credible leadership to implement the right strategies to get these entities function as they should must take place.
- Reshaping the competition commission policy and approach to begin addressing the concentrated economy that ‘locks out’ small and medium businesses from growth and opportunity. The SME sector, as we are referred to, generates the most private sector jobs as well as the fastest growth in annual tax receipts in South Africa. Surely this sector should be given an environment to thrive and grow!
Should we see activities like these being implemented and acted on, we ought to reflect on what our role should be to accelerate positive progress in building out our countries future.
What Should You Do
Build a relevant business:
South African business owners must build relevant businesses and focus on getting them ready for competing at a global level. This means:
- Focus on solving problems, not pushing your products – Products focused businesses are struggling to thrive and survive. The purpose and function of business in society is changing and it’s vital that you keep your business relevant going into the future.
- Building your business patiently – business are built over time. Like the human body grows and, over time from an infant to an adult it can carry more weight as its muscle and bone mass increases, so too a business needs time to invest, through right action, in building its scale and ability to reliably deliver what it promises.
- Embracing technology – Where technology can play an appropriate role within your business, or for your customers, adopt it. Don’t get involved with technology for technology’s sake. Use it to your advantage, to generate growth within your business. Every business today is increasingly a tech business from growing spinach to offering payment platforms.
- Self-fund through proper planning – allowing yourself to get too busy being busy often results in your missing the opportunities to invest the tax you paid at the end of your financial year back into the business itself. Think about it, every time you pay your corporate tax, that 28% could’ve, should’ve being the growth funding that you may now need to get to the next level.
Create a more competitive mindset:
As national growth takes hold on the back of the SONA deliverables, we’ll be working in a far more competitive environment. Getting your business ready to compete at a global level takes the right kind of competitive mindset. South African entrepreneurs should consider:
- Our country’s imports – replacing what we import as a country, with products and services we create ourselves, it’ll be good for economic growth.
- Our country’s exports – build a delivery platform in Rands, and then seek out opportunities to export your products and services in Dollars.
- Building excellence - using this to regain our pride and reputation as resilient, focused entrepreneurs.
- Sticking to your knitting – commit to your sector, compete aggressively, and create a competitive atmosphere. That’ll invigorate interest, attract talent, and further investment interest.
Become an Activist:
Becoming an activist for your business and sector doesn’t mean you need to take up placard. Instead, becoming an activist means taking on challenges without fear. If you’re not paid on time, act. Our national Treasury is issuing a directive that all government departments and public institutions must pay suppliers within 30 days, or else they will be charged. Be militant about your business processes and hold people accountable. Through that, we’ll create a better environment for all South African entrepreneurs, and a better economy for all.
Capitalising on new opportunities and readying your business for a new economic environment is vital for your business’ growth. Let Aurik help you build your business into an asset of value.