Small businesses should be proud of themselves, they contribute significantly to the economy. When looking at the South African business trends according to Banking Association of South Africa, small businesses provide 60% employment to the workforce. It’s a figure South Africans hope will not fluctuate: South Africa struggles with an alarming unemployment rate and the formal sector are particularly prone to shedding jobs.
The combination of the country’s high unemployment rate (27%) and the lack of job opportunities have resulted in many job seekers creating their own means of income – both informal and formal. Government is also well aware of the fact that small businesses are driving growth and employment and is, therefore, increasing the pressure on start-ups to perform. Government’s National Development Plan is relying on SMEs to grow their operations to help create no less than 11 million jobs by 2030.
More exciting South African business trends
There’s no denying that small businesses have become the cornerstone of the economy in the country, not only to drive employment but also to add to the overall turnover. This Statistic South Africa report states during the last quarter of 2015 small businesses contributed 27% to the country’s combined R 2,1 trillion turnover. Some news we can all be proud of; South Africa has risen two places in the 2016-2017 World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index. We are now sitting in the 47th position. According to the report, “South Africa maintains its regional leadership in terms of financial markets, competition, infrastructure, and education, despite recent challenges from exchange rate volatility, governance concerns, and policy uncertainty, as reflected in the institutions pillar.”
Small business education
Running a start-up is like possessing a double-edged sword: it’s incredibly challenging, while at the same time, creating your own business from the ground up and seeing it grow is incredibly rewarding. As a start-up owner, you’ve put in the blood, sweat and tears to help your baby (metaphorically speaking) develop into a venture that provides you with an income, and the opportunity to provide employment for others. While there’s no clear-cut guide to running a successful start-up, a large portion of the South African economy is driven by small business owners like yourself which means there’s a wealth of valuable information to delve into.
South African business trends that will overcome the biggest barriers to small business growth
Ensuring that existing start-ups, and those aspiring to start small businesses, continue to support economic growth requires superior internet access. “The internet should be open, neutral, resilient, interoperable and responsive to the growth needs of all,” said South Africa's telecommunications minister, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, at the fifth annual meeting of the African Internet Governance Forum.
According to a research paper commissioned by the Small Enterprise Development Agency, “the lack of access to physical infrastructure is a key impediment to business growth and adds significantly to the cost of doing business.” Therefore, in the virtual sense of providing a proper infrastructure and focusing on creating an ease of access to company information is what will aid small businesses in 2017.
According to an article featured in the November 2016 issue of Entrepreneur to get ready to make 2017 a killer year you need to:
Keep your eye on trends entering your market,
Take a closer look at what your competitors are doing,
And get rid of dead weight (such a poor performing processes).
For inspiration on growing your business download this guide for South African entrepreneurs running a business.