Innovation a fundamental for small business survival and growth

Feb 19 2018 - Eileen Snyders

                                                                        Technology is in the process of transforming small                                                                                                                                          business operations to become more inclusive.                                                                                                                                                       


It is said, you need a village to raise a child, for being a parent demands hard-core dedication.                                

There is no turning back or giving up, you just do the best you can. Arguably parents make mistakes and, with no shortage of willingness, wisdom, support and intervention from those who before you have walked the alleyways of the parent hood, you will be criticised, but you will not be allowed to crash and burn.

Would it then be reasonable to think you need a network to raise a start-up or small business, as without support even with hard-core determination, founders and business owners are set-up to fail.                                                       

Although a great deal of global economic growth is driven by small business, according to Bloomberg 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn.

Translated into our present-day South Africa, which is one of mini economic recovery, this means we should focus on the ability of small business to grow the economy.

So why do businesses fail. What can we learn from the colossal amount of failure that can be applied to develop policies, regulation, products and services and interventions aligned to the aspirations of the NDP, and effect change to facilitate different outcomes.

As far as interventions, we still see a lack of significant financial monitoring and performance measurement prioritisation and collaborative activity for longevity. We need to move away from passive intervention funding where there is enough support for an application to be approved, but no support for the business owner to face the onslaught of challenges following funding. 

Measurement of performance and impact is essential to enterprise development intervention organisations optimising resource allocation to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. "I am confident that consistent financial performance measurement and accurate impact reporting can assist our understanding of support efforts needed and the extent to which they align with the interventions mission".

Without effective stakeholders working together with like-minded groups actively developing networks that include innovation, there is little chance of reducing the small business failure rate necessary to abolish global poverty.

This is exactly why Kusasa is currently developing its platform to make it easier for small business to succeed and by devising new ways of measuring performance, connecting various systems across the ecosystem, aligning services more closely to small business requirements and delivering greater value through improved business insight and embedded learning, we have potential to reduce failure.

Ultimately, we remove the complexity and eliminate the silos.

For transformation to take a foothold we must think differently about how we approach financial services and the way we do business. The opportunities that digitalisation presents requires a change in culture, but we can successfully marry old with new, by moving away from operating business from within that utilise highly complex management tools and system implementations, towards outsourcing the entire back office function to offer financial performance measurement in a customer- centric, supportive environment.

The truth is small business failure is complicated.

"I believe there is less importance for a small business owner to understand the basics of accounting and get weighed down with complex processes, but it is far more important to understand how to run a business using financial management, and analyse data using KPI's, to understand what is going wrong and what needs to change in the process to make it right the first time".

Building a decentralised transaction processing service.

Kusasa has been actively exploring how to use Blockchain and Hashgraph in the complex implementation of automating our business process outsourcing operations. 

While not everyone believes in Blockchain's ability beyond Bitcoin, most believe that adopting technology will prepare small business for a successful future, and there is a spreading awareness across enterprise development intervention that times are changing and expectations are shifting towards newly defined models.

Although Kusasa's basic processing and advanced transactional activities will be significantly improved by process convergent automation, Kusasa's truly significant innovation will result from intelligent cognitive learning, that digs far deeper into and across business functions to drive financial performance and business insights and support business owners in the learning curve.

The focus should not always be about risk, rather it should be about understanding. By having access to this incredible source of learning we will likely see a significant number of small businesses punch above their weight to become competitive and with an equitable opportunity to participate in the economy, actually succeed.

The underlying framework of any business are people and the significance is that there are dramatic differences in behaviour based on a person's life stage and the life cycle of the business they work in.

The business owner must have a strong financial and operational understanding, as well as technical, in order to deliver value and base decisions to be successful. So often business owners are not aware of the capabilities that go into running a business and this ultimately results in mistakes.

Kusasa's IMPACT SUPPORTTM solution delivers an understanding of the problem and engages the various stakeholders in the solution, before the situation closes the business operation.

We intend implementing Transaction Centres that give access to an interoperable outsourced back office that automates the workflow process across small business operations with an effective pedagogical learning method which promotes a different way of thinking. A lot of attention will be given to developing the business owners ability.

We want to get to a place where we deploy very effectively natural learning across business operations and provide on-demand tailored financial analysis beyond the basic reports that are traditionally issued. A lot of attention will be given to developing the small business capacity by focusing on business performance and developing finance products such as Kusasa's CashFlow pay-out claim.

The key is going to be collaboration.

We want to draw awareness to why strategic partnerships are so important in developing impact support services and dealing with broad application teething issue challenges, and attract stakeholders, intervention organisation and accelerator participation in fully understanding the benefits surrounding our unique innovative solution.

Being able to do this will support the business owner in the learning curve, eliminate the silos and deliver the kind of impact to elevate liquidity and guide profitability to reduce the failure rate of small business.