For most businesses in South Africa, 2018 and 2019 has been tough. Who knows what 2020 will bring?! One thing is sure, the lessons learnt will be a “feather in the cap”, and I for one, choose to see the silver lining.
When we know, more we can do better. Let us focus on that in order to move forward in 2020!
My thoughts have been very focussed on SMEs this year, call it being future focussed. Notably, they have experienced the lessons the hardest of all.
The fundamental difference is the direct impact any volatility has. In larger businesses, there are often reserve resources, so any sudden decrease in revenue is felt later. Because of the time difference in actual direct impact, there is a valuable opportunity to adjust first and ultimately prevent failure. I realise that some choose not to react, but surely that is a business decision and the judgement in that, does not fall on me.
In small businesses, of which the vast majority are family-owned in South Africa, the impact is felt in the family unit – almost overnight in the event of a sudden change. If the business fails, a family is impacted, and the ripple effect is that a community is also affected. Jobs are lot, and a vital product or service is simply no longer there.
The more this happens, the more the joblessness cycle, our country is currently gripped in, is fed.
So, the key here is not to forget the genuine human impact. Service providers such as accountants and lawyers should remain aware of the duty we have to prevent this in the solutions we provide these SMEs. The answers are not apparent or straightforward, but we must collect information, lessons, and seek them – always. Let 2020 be a year where we implement what we feel are solutions to a cycle that ultimately impacts us all.