Based on the mid-term budget speech presented in November, the positive economic outlook given by Fitch rating agency in December, as well as the reduction in Covid-19 restrictions, there is certainly optimism floating around heading into 2022!
Given that the SME market continues to be the biggest sector contributing to the country’s economy, the sign of growth is encouraging for all small business owners around South Africa. In order to prepare and excel in the new year, small businesses need to continue adapting and pivoting in a new normal world we now live in. Here are some tips and advice for SMEs going in 2022:
1. Creating a Family Culture Environment:
For a small business to succeed, they should understand the impact the last few years have had on not only their business but on their employees as well. This can be broken up into different areas:
- During the pandemic, many people including, business owners and employees have come to realise what and who is most important in life. Family. Small Businesses should focus on creating the feeling of family culture or a culture where employees feel valued and appreciated within their organisations.
- The pandemic made everyone learn new skills and adapt to new situations. Employers and employees shifted to remote working. While every business is different, they should continue to cater for a hybrid workspace for their employees.
- Mental health has become an even bigger challenge during Covid times and is something that is of utmost importance for employers to take seriously in the workplace no matter what. Being available to help your employees in any capacity shows that sense of care and compassion. Everyone has their own personal experience from the last couple of years and the mental effects may be long-lasting. In that light, it is important to try and instill a positive company culture going forward, and implementing policies that address this trend will increase engagement, reduce staff turnover, and improve productivity.
2. Social Media Presence
- One way many small businesses have been able to adapt is through increased usage of social media. Social media has become a powerful tool in recent years and the presence of online platforms and social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram can help small businesses tell their stories to drive awareness.
- E-commerce is clearly the way forward for all businesses. Big businesses are far ahead in the e-commerce space and now it is time for small businesses to adapt as well. E-commerce can be an excellent way for small businesses to differentiate themselves from the rest, offering a way to drive sales, increase visibility on social media and online, and show innovation that will allow them to meet growth goals in a way that achieves everything a small business needs to succeed.
- One of the most powerful aspects of trying to grow is having the ability to network which can help small businesses grow exponentially. Networking will allow you and your business to gain lead referrals, understand market trends, learn from others’ experiences and obtain new insights into leadership and other business cultures. Furthermore, networking can be used as a tool to form relationships and partnerships that can inspire and fuel each other’s growth. The power of networking cannot be undermined!
5. Expanding Recruiting Efforts
- With the adoption of a remote style working environment and people choosing to work remotely around the world, people definitely feel more connected than ever. Companies need to continue to embrace these changing working conditions and have the ability to expand their recruiting efforts to be more far-reaching than in the past. Businesses with the right mentality and culture with clearly defined values and norms will be more successful in attracting the right talent no matter where in the world they may be.
As alternate lenders, we at Payabill, are looking forward to the year ahead and continuing to ensure small businesses have the ability to grow and succeed, and as a result, create valuable job opportunities. With our local and international Trade and Asset Finance options, we want to help your business move forward. We understand the impact your business can make on the economy and we want to see and help you reach new heights in 2022!