Starting a small business in post-apartheid South Africa can be as daunting as it is exciting. It is always critical that an entrepreneur must make the right moves when starting a business of any kind, be it creating a strong business plan, ensuring legal or regulatory compliance requirements are in place, applying for funding or financial support and choosing the best place to operate his/her business.
Although there are many other important requirements for starting a business to the ones mentioned above, in post apartheid South Africa less attention has been paid to the most important of all requirements to start, grow and sustain a small business, notably, setting up good corporate governance structures and related aspects of running a successful business of any size.
So if you are the owner of a small to medium business, you are probably also a director and possibly the manager in the same business. In the face of the different demands each of these roles brings, it is important that you do not lose sight of the big picture by only focusing a disproportionate amount of time on operations (‘in the business’), rather than on the strategic growth (‘on the business’). This is where governance can introduce discipline, providing a roadmap for the future sustainable growth of a small business.
And that is why at TLC we support and help small to medium businesses to grow bigger in a sustainable way by providing management consulting and support services on, among others:
- Entrepreneurship training and SMMEs’ management skills development & mentoring
- Good corporate governance for small businesses: Drafting of all business agreements such as Memorandum of Incorporation, Shareholder agreements, business to business contracts and Directors’ Resolutions, Setting up of an Advisory Board for your company
- Company registration and other statutory compliance requirements e.g. Tax Clearance, CIDB, UIF, Amendment of Directorship, Training on Duties of a Director
- Business Management: Marketing, sales and promotions, Drafting of company policies and regulations, Reputation and stakeholder management, Risk assessment and management, Supply chain management, and general business management support and advisory services
Pave your way to success with our new 2 day seminar, a radically different training designed to equip you with the tools, mindset and strategies for success as an small business owner.
Corporate Governance and Growth
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Small businesses often lack the systems and skills to take them beyond the micro business scale. While growth should never be the goal in and of itself, the decision to grow should be taken in full awareness of the changing needs and dynamics that will be faced.
For example, almost all businesses these days can benefit from ICT and the Internet in particular, yet far too many fall short for the very understandable reason that the founders’ skills lie in other areas. Yet this leads to lost opportunities, since most of their customers use technology in some shape or form, and expect the same of the businesses they buy from. Furthermore, if they do try to set up a website, email, etc., it can be frustrating dealing with the myriad options available and many are over-sold over-charged.
Another other major reason companies fail as they try and grow is, as the famous saying goes, that if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Even for early stage businesses, some sort of plan is essential. This need not – actually, we would argue it should not – be a large printed document, which will inevitably gather dust in a drawer. Rather, it should contain the basics of the business: what need is being addressed and solved, who are the customers, the price of the goods or services sold, running costs as the business grows, etc. Even if this is just a one-page summary, plus a basic financial model (which is easy enough to learn to produce), this is better than nothing and easy to show people who come into the business and ensure everyone is – literally – on the same page.
While you probably do not think of corporate governance in this context, it is actually the vital tool you need to help keep control of your business as you grow. It is not, contrary to many advisers and media channels, about codes, compliance and the latest King Report, despite the best intentions of these initiatives.
Corporate governance puts the above examples of good management practice into a framework and provides firm foundations upon which to build, like the foundations and the scaffolding used to build a house.
We and our partners can help with all of these areas, from basic ICT skills and support services to the plans and governance systems need for growth and sustainability – especially if financing is required to fund growth. We take a pro-active approach to ensure we understand your business and its needs and offer coaching and mentoring to help you through the growing pains, using proven tools and strategies that give you the best chance at achieving your goals.
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How to contact us
Tel: +2711 708-0462
Fax: 086 510-6063
Email: [email protected]
Corner Cedar & Fourways Boulevard
Postnet Suite #162
Private Bag X033