Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can future-proof their operations through rigorous market research and building digital enablement into their business models, according to Tom Stuart chief marketing officer at Lulalend. Picture: File
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can future-proof their operations through rigorous market research and building digital enablement into their business models, according to Tom Stuart chief marketing officer at Lulalend. Picture: File

How SMEs can bounce back from Covid-19 pandemic devastation and economic slump

By Xolile Mtembu Time of article published Dec 29, 2021

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can future-proof their operations through rigorous market research and building digital enablement into their business models, according to Tom Stuart chief marketing officer at Lulalend.

He said, “Many smaller organisations are undergoing some degree of digital transformation and are racing to implement DAPs (Digital Adoption Plans). A good DAP can effectively integrate digitisation into various areas of operations, driving efficiency across the entire business”.

“A single business may deploy numerous applications to facilitate remote work systems; e-commerce platforms; cloud-based data-centres; and cyber-security protocols: all essential considerations for SMEs today,” Stuart added.

Stuart also advised SME owners to organise their funding in advance, instead of waiting until there was an emergency. He said that SMEs should also be building strong credit records to ease access to further financing when needed.

“Besides accessing finance through fintechs (financial technology services), whose loan conditions tend to be far more favourable than those of traditional banks, many SMEs are now exploring innovative models like crowd sourcing and crowdfunding,” said Stuart.

According to Stuart, business owners need to cultivate a good understanding of their business’s core function, and their working capital cycle, so that they can effectively predict when the need for extra liquidity would arise.

Stuart also suggested that SMEs consider outsourcing the more complex, labour intensive aspects of financial management to a fintech partner who can simplify and automate these arduous processes, and streamline many areas of business.

“But it’s a balancing act because you also want to maintain control and close observation of your business’s finances. Many businesses are now looking at which aspects of financial administration could be gainfully automated or outsourced, and what should be handled traditionally, or in-house,” Stuart said.

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