Experience with SME businesses tells us that there are 5 common reasons why SME’s fail.
- Capital Constraints
- Lack of Planning
- Ineffective Marketing
- No Business Oversight
- Wrong Pricing
And far too many fail! This is an opportunity to learn by using past experiences as lessons. These factors impact all businesses, without size or industry specifics.
What differentiates successful SME’s is their ability to be agile and respond to dynamic environments.
If we know that we operate and live in a world where information is available and accessible 24/7, and that world is driven by technology, are SME’s responding properly? It doesn’t matter where SME’s operate, whether it be in emerging markets or not, information and technology are enablers... and this is an opportunity for agility and response in today's markets.
Some considerations that we believe SME’s must capitalize on:
- Access to Information 24/7 - SME’s gain a competitive advantage in dynamic markets as they grow.
- Expanding Globalisation - SME’s can access a global market and also have opportunities for global collaboration.
- Cost Controls - Costs need to be controlled in any business to be effective and to become more competitive.
- Information Management - Accessibility, relevance and validity in real-time aids in making better-informed decisions.
If an SME is looking to grow, improve or transform, these factors should be considered. We understand that for an SME business owner, plenty of time is spent working IN the business, and often there is not enough time to work ON the business to plan and adapt to market conditions.
And so we aim to assist SME’s in becoming more sustainable, empowering them to make better decisions and fostering growth.
Business Enabling Toolbox (B.E.T)
With that background we developed the Business Enabling Toolbox ("B.E.T") for SME's to capitalize on new market technologies and opportunities. We have designed B.E.T so that business leaders don't have to take on the challenges alone.
B.E.T is a self-diagnostic digital advisor giving owners and executives access to leading consultancy, guidance, personal real-time business performance dashboard as well as tools and templates to assist you in your business.
Not being industry or business size-specific makes B.E.T an advisor for any firm, 24/7.
1) Retail Salon Franchise Process Standardizer. B.E.T was implemented within a chain of franchised salons. Before B.E.T, the salons weren’t operating in a standardised manner, weren’t profitable, had no clear strategy and did not understand the different types of clientele and the markets in which they operated. B.E.T was used to standardise messaging across the salons and by providing base knowledge for all franchisees and staff. B.E.T was also used to provide each franchisee with real-time performance data of their salons which allowed the franchisee to make pro-active decisions with regards to how the products are sold and marketed to customers. The insights gained from B.E.T allowed the franchisor to make the necessary changes to their operating model which in turn resulted in all salons making a profit after 4 months and becoming more sustainable!
2) Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Training Tool. B.E.T was used to understand the informal trade of a large FMCG multinational organisation. B.E.T was distributed to +-25,000 informal traders teaching them the basics about running a business and in return, the FMCG was using B.E.T to collect information and market intelligence on their operations. After one year of using B.E.T, 500 informal traders had been formalised and the FMCG organisation realised a 2% increase in sales and a 5% reduction in product returns from these informal traders.
3) Truck Logistics Business Initiative. B.E.T was used across an owner-driver initiative comprised of 500 trucks/individual businesses. These truck drivers ran individual business who delivered on behalf of a retail organisation. Before B.E.T was used, truck drivers had little to no knowledge of running a business, resulting in poor overall business management with almost half being on the verge of liquidation. B.E.T was used to provide these owner-driver businesses with the knowledge required to run a business as well as real-time business dashboarding and performance monitoring for them to better understand the important metrics in their businesses. After 8 months of using B.E.T, efficiency increased by 7%, 90% of these truck drivers obtained a second delivery vehicle resulting in expansion of their businesses with additional contracts awarded from multiple companies.
4) Chamber of Commerce Member Initiative. B.E.T is being used as a capability platform for businesses who are involved in various development programmes at a large and one of the oldest chambers of commerce in Africa. B.E.T is being deployed as a prerequisite for all businesses to advise and enable these businesses to operate at base knowledge. The insights and analytics drawn provide real-time information that allows these businesses to make informed decisions, as well as provides insights to the Chamber on the performance, skills level as well as developmental opportunities for the businesses they are supporting 24/7.
We're launching B.E.T around the world, and we encourage you to try this solution on your business. Special offer: Receive 20% off on ALL subscriptions by using the code: GC20, active from the third to the fifteenth of September. Register here.
B.E.T originated from the work of Dishen & Yushini Maharaj, who have a combined 30 years of owning SME businesses and experience with multinational organisations. The need for such a solution arose from what Dishen & Yushini have seen in owning their businesses, being business mentors/advisors to other businesses, and working with many diverse businesses and clients through their corporate careers.
Through most of their engagements, there has always been one common insight - that many SME businesses have functions operating in isolation as opposed to an integrated and collaborative business. It has been observed that business failure can be attributed to poor management and lack of business skill.
Therefore Dishen & Yushini began planning and designing a platform in 2017 with an aim for it to be:
- Easy-to-use and accessible
- Helpful with the necessary knowledge on important functions within a business
- Transparent for small business owners to share key snapshots of business performance, 24/7
B.E.T shares “what” executives need to know, illustrates “why” they need to know these things, and explains “how” to implement and apply actions. It assists them to Grow, Improve & Transform while fostering sustainability, and empowering owners to make better, informed decisions.
In addition to being an SME owner and Co-Founder of B.E.T, Dishen has over 15 years of business consultancy experience in local and global markets with a large multinational organisation. His commercial exposure to various industries includes both the public and private sector across a wide variety of industry sectors including Telecommunications, Government & Public Sector, Power & Utilities and FMCG. His broad-based experience ranges from external/internal audit, management consulting, business development, business re-engineering, business performance improvement and project management. Dishen has been involved in initiatives at a corporate level, however his passion was always with SME businesses and how to ensure sustainability for them. He believes that SME’s are the foundation to economies and that the growth and sustainability thereof is of paramount importance to local and global economies.