By: Tebogo Mokwena
Small businesses must invest time in research and save as much as possible to take full advantage of digital transformation, according to business coach specialist Kefilwe Lekabe. She also encourages small businesses to ask as many questions as they can from experienced business owners, who have successfully digitally migrated, so that they can formulate creative business solutions for their sectors.
Lekabe was speaking to Vutivi News following a recent webinar in Johannesburg hosted by Digify Africa, which trains young Africans in skills that are in demand and enables them to create a sustainable livelihood in the digital economy. The webinar’s topic focused on the future of entrepreneurship and how to grow a business in a changing world. According to Lekabe, who is also the founder of Kefilwe Tsela Academy which trains SMMEs in digital transformation, many small businesses are so focused on the need to survive, that they miss out on the opportunities that they can obtain from digitisation.
“Many businesses are so focused on generating profit that they forget to be creative, and as a result, they do not think about how digitisation can positively affect their business in five or 10 years,” she told Vutivi News. “Their desperation to survive results in their creativity being blocked, preventing them from thinking outside of the box.”
Lekabe believes that one of the ways SMME owners can be creative is to approach the use of social media and the internet differently. “For example, SMMEs can use the internet to do research on other sectors and how they have implemented different digital solutions that they can implement in their businesses,” she said. “They can also research other countries and see how they have implemented cost-effective ways to make the digital transition.”
Lekabe also pointed out that SMMEs should use social media for more than selling and advertising. “Social media can also be used to network with other businesses and sectors, and SMMEs can tap into these networking opportunities to ask questions from seasoned entrepreneurs that will assist their business to grow digitally,” she said.
“SMMEs should also consider saving as much as they can, even if it means saving as little as R50 a month so that they can work towards purchasing that software that can help them with human resources-related duties.” She also encouraged small business owners to read as much as possible on other sectors so that they could learn how their sectors worked in conjunction with others. “I believe that when small businesses learn about their sectors and other sectors, this gives them an advantage in knowing what they have to implement in order to grow accordingly,” Lekabe said.