Article provided by Ikusasa Technology Solutions
“A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in” – Nicole Snow.
As a member of the small business community, I believe we are the anchors and beacons of the economy. There are a number of things SMMEs need to consider for sustainability and development. Some of them are compliance, collaborations, products and demand (innovation), digitization, monetization and mentorship.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at six items that can help to build a sustainable and growing small business.
One cannot over emphasize the importance of compliance. When you start your business, you should register it with the CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) and follow any taxation rules which are applicable to your business.
The benefit of compliance is that you can register on different platforms to be eligible for a variety of opportunities. One of these opportunities is to be registered on the Central Supplier Database (CSD) for the government
Have you heard the saying “if you want to run fast go alone if you want to go further then have company”? This saying is applicable to business as well. As small businesses, we do not have capacity or the means to have all skills or to onboard a full staff complement.
Partnering with other businesses allows SMMEs to play in spaces they would not necessarily have access to. An example of this is when tenders are awarded to big businesses. The reason being that they have the capacity and resources to do the job. But what if SMMEs grouped together and put in bids for these big deals.
I believe all of us started our businesses because we identified a need to be addressed. Therefore it is important that we look for solution-based businesses rather than off-the-shelf services. Who best to know our challenges but us?
With the ever-changing markets due to evolution, we should always think outside-the-box to ensure our products remain relevant and in demand. Innovation is a requirement for sustainability.
Every business should have basic digital skills, whether it is working from home or selling your services online. You can take advantage of free courses offered by tech companies to boost your digital skills or invest in your business and upgrade your Microsoft skills.
This is a difficult aspect because money is what we need to start, sustain and grow our businesses.
The best way is to know how to upsell. When we collaborate with a complementary business we have a new market to sell our offering to. Funding is an option but it needs to be used to keep the business growing. If you are using it to keep afloat then you may need to go back to your business plan and see if there isn’t any refinement you can do there before looking into funding options.
Businesses should consider having mentors in their industry and other industries. This will help to avoid biases or conflicts. Mentors play a vital role in the growth of both the owner and the business. Every business owner can benefit from a sounding board at every stage of their business.
Lastly I would like to leave you with these word from Dr Martin Luther King:
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.“
Remember wherever you are in your small business journey to keep on going forward even if it just one small step each day.