The largest, most comprehensive study of small and medium-sized business enterprises (SMEs) show that smaller firms are stagnant in both turnover and employment growth. A recent article by Standard Bank further claims that on average, about 50% of all start-up businesses in South Africa fail within 2 years due to the inability and inexperience of their owners.
Though it can be difficult to boil success down to a shortlist of things that should be applied, proudly South African company and leader in automated cash management and payment solutions, Cash Connect, is a blueprint of success – this is underpinned by its 10th anniversary milestone, a reason for celebration.
Cash Connect Management Solutions today has a working formula from which all SMEs can learn. A platform for its joint CEOs, Richard Phillips and Steven Heilbron to share their philosophies for smaller businesses to make it big in South Africa’s crowded commerce market.
In true entrepreneurial spirit, Richard Phillips, the founder of Cash Connect with more than 25 years’ experience in cash management and logistics shares his recipe for business success:
Transparency, honesty and integrity: invaluable for business success
No one buys from a company that’s not trusted, and trust is only possible if there’s complete honesty and transparency. According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer,58% of people around the world trust companies– but that leaves 42% that are less sure. Being more open is one clear way that a business can close that gap and ensure that it is trusted.
Build a network of complementary skills relationships
No man is an island – and neither is a company or employee. A business is the sum of all its parts. Collaborating with a network of skills that complement your business brings new ideas, greater expertise and knowledge-sharing. These fundamentals lie at the heart of a company's success.
Employees build a business
Investing time in your employees and giving them the tools and direction they need to develop is incredibly important for quality output, morale and staff retention. There also has to be an element of integrity, accountability and ownership, which should be instilled from the start.
Goodwill and a good work ethic are inseparable
Generosity is a key driver of success. Managers and leaders generously share information readily, give credit when it’s due and look for everyone in the team to present and substantiate their views as part and parcel of the process of transferring skills, responsibility and confidence. The result is that trust and respect becomes an underlying characteristic of the business.
Steven Heilbron an entrepreneur with a fervent vision and backed by determination to grow a business into a successful commercial enterprise, attributes business success to the following guidelines:
In an era where entrepreneurship is the norm, meritocracy must be encouraged - recognising and rewarding individuals for the value they bring to the table. This is based on merit and encourages performance and the desire to improve oneself. A meritocratic environment is the very hallmark of a successful entrepreneurial business.
Build a culture in business
According to a published surveyof 365 companies across Europe, Asia, and North America, 81 percent believe that a company lacking a high-performance culture is doomed to mediocrity. Fewer than 10 percent succeed in building one. For both customers and employees, companies are respected for their thriving and coveted corporate cultures. A culture that aligns with a company’s core values has to be created. Such a culture takes work and nurturing, as well as the freedom to evolve.
Never settle for second best
In our crowded commercial environment, there is no place for second best. Yet, to be truly successful one needs to set one’s sights on being number one. This can only be achieved by learning from the best and improving on those working formulas that define success. Also never just agree, but challenge the status quo. Strive to become the new leader in the market.
Quality, service excellence and efficiency are key
These are the main building blocks of any successful business. To achieve them one has to be realistic. Start by having three focus areas, and work them to achieve optimal results. Very few businesses reach their full potential when there are too many focus areas to consider at once.
The list goes on. But to sum things up, ultimate success in business can best be simplified when your company has a culture where people love coming to work, and where they feel they are moving in the right direction, both for themselves and for the company. Also, never should one view the business world in which one operates as separate to the larger realm of life, but rather as an extension of life itself. Success in business equates to success in life.