Efforts to develop new models and evaluate them are key to SMME sustainability.

The global pandemic, the onset of global recession and the resultant major impact on all walks of life, have seen everyone scrambling for solutions. This has also seen a lot of the major economic players such as financial institutions, government and BDS providers making great promises to support small business and thereby creating great expectations.

But what does the small business community say for itself? Are there enough attempts to “self-help” and how can small business find out about and join such efforts, for collective power? There is also the question of what these efforts could look like and finding a way to measure their success.

“All South African business leaders have a responsibility to stand together to keep business moving, protect employment and the economy ticking over ……… How decision-makers adapt to the Covid-19 national disaster will determine the knock-on effect to businesses and livelihoods around the entire country.”  
Frank Mullen, CEO of ICT provider Zinia*

If small businesses are willing to, break silos and go to the necessary lengths to come together and keep themselves standing, then they will need to consider:

  • Each other as “the market” and proactively and deliberately source from each other, thereby mutually boosting each other’s businesses directly, and the broader economy indirectly.
  • The need to map themselves as a community rather than work in independent “survival silos”
  • The opportunity to identify opportunities for integrating their services or even sourcing joint projects and related funding. Collaborating with like or complimentary offerings greatly increases the ability to deliver efficiently and access markets and funding.
  • Developing a collaborative model by which to implement this approach and measure success with the support of the broader stakeholder environment within their reach.
  • Consulting more directly and frequently with each another through “community of practice” conversations to find areas of alignment.

One thing is clear. The recessionary and COVID-19 environments will give birth to new models and thereby a new SMME landscape in Africa and around the world.  The small business environment can and must become its own market and through designing, testing and monitoring, this approach could find its own sustainable, “future-fit and future-proof” strategy.

Just thinking….

N Langa.

*Quotation Source BIZMAG

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