Lessons from an economically strapped year….

Nov 26, 2019

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 […]

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.

author avatar
Nicolene
Share via:

You might
also like…

Pushing Boundaries or Breaking Bonds?

Pushing Boundaries or Breaking Bonds?

In South Africa, many businesses are family-owned and operated, with ownership often passing from one generation to the next along the male line. Traditionally, this means that many women support their fathers, brothers, and spouses in the business. Although this sounds familiar or even “as things should be” situation, managing a family business involves navigating complex personal and professional relationships. Be that as it may, family businesses are more than that – they are central to the reality of many families. It is not just another business; it goes to the very core of financial prosperity and home dynamics.

It is indeed a complex situation, but let’s add another layer of complexity, one that we rarely hear ventilated until we are in a courtroom. What happens when a woman is the leader instead of a man? Perhaps, let me put it bluntly, it is when a woman employs her husband, partner, father, or brother.

The issues this brings is a shared responsibility to address, it refers to how we raise our children and support our friends and families that find themselves in the grips of this reality. If we get this right, this will not only benefit the women at the helm but also strengthen the family business sector and the family unit as a whole.

When the Earth moves around You, but nothing seems to be Working Out!

When the Earth moves around You, but nothing seems to be Working Out!

We all face difficult times in business, which can be likened to surviving a tsunami. These trying times may result from external factors such as economic circumstances or internal changes where employees are not performing as they once did. During such periods, the legal and structural framework of a business is put to the test. Leaders, especially those in small organisations, feel the challenges more acutely and are tested in their capacity to handle them. Here are a few lessons i have learnt.