Adam Rabinowitz, Chief Imaginator, says that Imagin8 is a dynamic software development company that specialises in making life easy for their customers. He believes that they are great at creating systems and data platforms that make processes simpler, faster and more reliable which helps free up time for their customers so that they can focus on growing their businesses. Adam says that you would be surprised how much time you could save by implementing the right systems rather than having to manage complex processes that consume people’s time. These systems should be automated, or simply connected, so that people don’t have to manually transfer data between different systems.
Imagin8 love small businesses and are creating some innovative software platforms to help SME’s grow exponentially in 2021. Their flagship product Imagin8 Debit Orders, currently helps hundreds of their clients get their money in on time from their customers. They’re not debt collectors and don’t wish to be confused with them. They run Debit Orders.
Ask yourself how many of your customers pay you late, or how much time you have to spend chasing customers to pay, especially those small invoices. Imagin8 takes the pain out of that and ensures that 99% of those customers pay on time. Imagine how much time you’d save and how much more stable your business would be if everyone paid on time and you didn’t have to waste time chasing customers to pay you.
One of the other things they do at Imagin8 is help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. This comes from Adam’s experience in both teaching managers how to be more effective and in creating successful businesses. Currently, Imagin8 has taken on a handful of SME’s to mentor and grow and Adam says that they’re already seeing how their help will save these businesses from failure, and get them on their way to growth. He has encapsulated a lot of this valuable knowledge into his latest book, “How to Create, Manage, Fix and Grow Your Business” which is available from Imagin8.
Why did you start Imagin8?
Adam started Imagin8 when he was young and thought he was the best programmer in the world. He wanted to make life easier for his dad’s Insurance business. That was back in the days before Windows and visual programming. He learned the hard way how NOT to run a software company when he was young and naively thought that as a software developer he didn’t need to learn about business. Once he completed his MBA many years later, things changed. He learned about what it meant to create a successful business, and Imagin8 has grown from strength to strength since then.
Over the years, the original core of the business remained the same – software development – but now they do it differently and so much better. Today they help hundreds of businesses with essential functions like accessing critical data in real time and collecting money from their customers so that their businesses can run like clockwork. That’s what he had in mind when he started this business. He wanted to help other businesses run better, more efficiently, and by engaging with Imagin8 he wanted their businesses to be worth more. Adam says that they’re doing that more and more every day. He believes that when you use one of Imagin8’s products or services, your business starts to run better.
Adam always wanted to make a significant impact on other businesses, and he thinks that they’re set to do that on a much bigger scale in 2021. He’s looking forward to transforming hundreds of businesses this year and freeing up their founders’ time so that they can concentrate on growing their businesses. Imagin8 are building some really exciting tools that will help them to do this. (Join the SMExpert Facebook group to find out more)
What do you love about running your business?
What Adam loves most about running his business is how they can literally change lives, with the power of the Imagin8 engine. He believes that their new platform for small businesses, SMExpert, will transform the way business owners run and manage their businesses. They’re not just building an accounting package like most of the so-called SME apps out there. They’re building a complete business management suite that will help business owners learn some of the critical lessons he’s learnt over time and that have made such an impact on Imagin8’s success. They’ll help business owners develop good business habits and practices while at the same time making their lives easier.
Adam loves that every minute of every day, he knows that hundreds of businesses out there are using products and services that he has conceptualised, and that his team have created. He says that they’ve become that important to their customers that without access to these services, they literally grind to a halt. He wants to turn that around and create products and services that form the underlying foundation of millions of SME’s and becomes core and critical to their business growth. He also wants to be more than just a key cog in the wheels that keep their customers businesses running. This year, he wants to be the runway that rockets their customers to greater success.
Adam says that if he had to distil everything that’s led to where Imagin8 is today and how well positioned they are for the journey ahead, he thinks that the most important lesson he’s learnt is that knowledge is power. Back in 2004 when he was considering closing his business, he ended up in business school doing an MBA wondering why he was wasting his time learning about various topics that he never even knew existed when his business consisted of him alone, no employees and no office premises. One simple change made all the difference in the world. If he continued to see that his business didn’t belong in the world he was learning about, it would never grow. If he started turning it into that kind of business, it would eventually grow into the kind of business they write case studies about. Just to give you an idea of the power of this knowledge, in 2005, when he completed the MBA, Imagin8’s cash flow improved 1200% and the business has continued to grow exponentially since then.
What excites Adam about the future is that he wants to make this kind of change to their customers. They’re focusing on building SME’s this year, and all that knowledge and learning will be available in a software platform designed to help small businesses grow.
Why do you do what you do?
When Adam was asked why he does what he does he said that this question came at a significant point on his own journey. Having built Imagin8 into a stable and growing enterprise, his focus has now shifted outwards to see what he can do to help other businesses grow. Right now he’s doing this as a value based service, in other words, if the businesses he assists show positive growth then he’ll get paid a percentage from that growth. He has already taken on two SME’s for whom he knows he can make a significant difference, and in the first week, some significant changes happened in those enterprises.
Adam says that he has been incredibly blessed throughout his life. He has the most wonderful family and they live a comfortable life. He has always had the mindset that he’s fortunate to have the things he has and that through his success he can help others, whether that be through financial aid or the more difficult task of investing time to help other people live a life of abundance.
Adam’s ‘Why?’ is always driven by a strong vision which he’s had to change over the years because he’s reached and exceeded his vision twice now and he’s had to set bigger, bolder and more scary visions each time. His ‘Why?’ is a combination of providing a good life for his family and building wealth and stability for hundreds of entrepreneurs.
How do you get through the tough times?
Adam says that he has had his share of tough times in business. He says that they come and go like the floods in Jo’burg, or the cold wind in the Western Cape. Whenever he finds himself in tough times, he immediately opens up to his wife and shares the burden. They work through it together and then the burden is halved. That’s where he starts. Then he breaks the problem down and sees what he has to do to navigate his way through and finally he makes a plan as soon as possible. Having a plan changes the problem from something that feels like it’s out of control to something that he knows he can handle. Then he attacks the action plan and gets through it.
Why should South African’s support small businesses?
Adam believes that small business supports many people and families in South Africa and, in his opinion, is the backbone of our country’s future. He says that many people can’t get jobs. This is often due to the lack of opportunity, lack of education, and some because of political interference. Government’s policies have caused a severe outflow of much needed skills, and has limited South Africa’s ability to sustain its economic recovery.
He goes on to say that within that framework, the only way some families have to survive is by creating their own means of income outside of government’s economic noose. Capable people with technical skills can’t get past the entrance criteria of large companies and so can’t secure employment even though they’re capable of doing the job. Creating work for themselves is the only way some of these capable people are able to earn a living.
Adam says that with South Africa’s economy standing on a highly delicate and volatile precipice following COVID-19, small business success is key to kick-starting our economy. He believes that we need to do our part to support small business.
Here are some examples he shares of how to do this:
- Replace purchases you make at big stores and through big companies and instead get these from small business.
- Look for farmers selling boxes of fresh produce instead of getting these at major retail stores.
- Look online for small companies selling services you need instead of going to big brand names.
- Spread word about good experiences you’ve had with small businesses that you’ve enjoyed.
- Help them grow.
- Actively seek one or two new customers to refer to these businesses.
He goes on to say that, “A little collaboration by a lot of people goes a long way. We can’t solve the problems of our country with a single initiative, but collectively, through making what difference we can in our circle of influence, we can make a huge difference to our economy and our country’s future.”
When asked about his experience as an NSBC Member Adam responded: “Being part of the NSBC has elevated our company to a whole new level. When we first joined, we took part in the networking events and made some new contacts but this was only the beginning of the difference that this community has made to Imagin8. Being one of the NSBC’s Top 20 Companies of 2020 has made a profound change to Imagin8. It has opened so many doors for us and has added so much credibility to our business. I feel like we’re an integral and important part of a community of business owners that looks up to us as an example of what could happen if you do business right, and because of that, we’re putting more effort into building products to help grow our fellow NSBC members businesses.”
To find out more about becoming an NSBC Member click here.
For more on the Small Business Friday movement visit: www.smallbizfriday.co.za