Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Economic realities impact businesses directly. In South Africa we are in dire need of economic growth to stimulate the business sector to flourish, expand and create much needed employment opportunities.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Competition (sponsored by Sanlam and Business Partners – see celebrates entrepreneurial excellence in the midst of tough economic times. Some businesses manage to grow and flourish even in these times.

A dipstick analysis was done by asking the finalists of the 2018 competition the following question: “What are you doing to steer your business through the current maze of economic and political uncertainty?

Their responses are enlightening and worth consideration.

Business Area: Operations

  • Rethink how you are doing business. This might even require that you need to reconsider your business model, target market, business lines and pricing model.
  • Optimise your business. Determine what is required to ‘sweat your resources’ to their maximum capacity and productivity levels.
  • Consider offshore expansion as a way to hedge your business against an inconsistent Rand.
  • Provide products and services to customers which are safe, cost effective and delivered timeously.

Business Area: Marketing and Sales

  • The crux of the matter is to maintain your current customer base. One way is to develop value adds which can lead to higher levels of customer loyalty and secure consistent sales from them.
  • Develop well-targeted and ‘fresh’ marketing initiatives and campaigns which are driven by innovation, creativity and adaptability.
  • Endeavour to keep your marketing budget intact – most businesses decrease their marketing spend during challenging times. If most businesses are following this route, then your business will stand out from the crowd, as your visibility will increase.

Business Area: Information Technology

  • How can you apply technological advances to develop digital products and services? This will lower the cost of ownership for your customers, enable you to deliver in real time and make it more convenient for your customers to transact with your business.

Business Area: Human Resources

  • One of the most challenging decisions to make is to determine how many staff to employ during difficult economic times. Once you have ‘right-sized’ your staff component, you can consider appointing skilled contract workers to fill the resource gap as business flows fluctuate. In this way you will be more flexible to respond to market movements.

Business Area: Management

  • Align all your actions with the business purpose, values and vision. Experience has taught business owners that there is a direct correlation between performance and the alignment of employees to a higher business purpose.
  • Focus on what you can manage.

The winner of the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Competition, Willem van der Merwe, stated that our decisions can either lead to excuses or to results. Will difficult economic circumstances be our excuse not to grow our businesses or the reason why we manage our businesses to further growth and success?

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straight forward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success.

Go to to download your free copy.

Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market



Interest rates : relief in sight?Interest rates : relief in sight?, /businessblog/PublishingImages/InterestRates_ArticleBlogBanner.jpg7/28/2016 10:40:11 AM068725aspx’s been a long, although not especially steep, grind higher in interest rates since early 2014, when the South African Reserve Bank implemented its first interest rate hike of the current cycle.
2018 needs MORE of YOU to make it the BEST business year EVER! 2018 needs MORE of YOU to make it the BEST business year EVER!, /businessblog/PublishingImages/2018NeedsMoreOfYou_ArticleBlogBanner.jpg1/23/2018 1:08:55 PM0169736aspx’s January and you, therefore, have permission to create a whole new you before creating a whole new business. Throw away all the outdated plans, your old thinking and start afresh.

 Related Posts



Top challenges and trends in the SA SME economyTop challenges and trends in the SA SME economy, /businessblog/PublishingImages/SmallBusiness_ArticleBlogBanner.jpg2/17/2017 1:18:29 PM015185aspx6462 are the driving force of South Africa’s economy and there are developments to help them succeed faster. However it’s not easy and business owners still face significant challenges.
Volunteer WorkersVolunteer Workers, /businessblog/PublishingImages/LabourNews2_ArticleBlogBanner.jpg7/14/2016 12:46:25 PM015186aspx5007 workers, including unpaid volunteers, have a constitutional right to fair labour practices. Yet, "unpaid employees working for charitable organisations" are specifically excluded from the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

 Most Read

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
Copyright © Sanlam