SMMEs are feted to be the future of business, representing 40 percent of all business in SA; it has been forecast by the National Development Plan that by 2030, 90 percent of all new jobs will be in SMMEs.
It’s also a sector that faces off against risk on a continuous basis amid efforts to increase efficiency. There’s space for large corporates and SMMEs to exist, operating at different levels, and the demand for both sectors to be customer-centric in all things is critical. SMMEs must examine how they can provide top-level customer service.
The government is looking to the SME sector for job development and sustainability. The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report for 2016/17 indicates SMMEs in South Africa contribute 36percent to gross domestic product.
A hindrance to growth remains complications in establishing and growing businesses: South Africa ranked 74th out of 190 economies in the 2017 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report. There are programmes aimed at accelerating growth in the SMME sector.
If SMEs are to increase their contribution to the local economy, and in turn, the number of jobs they create, we need to ensure we have an enabling environment and entrepreneurial ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs to thrive.
Of course, the wheels of government turn slowly, and for entrepreneurs wanting to push ahead with their businesses, you may have to do what entrepreneurs do best – step boldly into the commercial environment. Intelligent partnerships at the outset can aid in promoting buoyancy in business, as does meticulous planning.
If you’re a smaller operator, you can benefit from being agile, but is that enough? Big business has access to some of the best technology available, allowing even vast corporates to be able to provide personalised service, the kind that customers want and expect. You may only have a small support department rather than a big contact centre, but this could be of benefit to you since it’s easier to roll out new solutions at this scale.