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Growth of SA Businesses: A National Imperative

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Growth and change are not only necessary for businesses to thrive, they are crucial for bolstering the growth of the economy and ensuring a stable environment. In fact, they are a national imperative.

This was shared by acclaimed business mogul, Vusi Thembekwayo at a series of Fuelling Growth events, hosted nationally by Intuit QuickBooks and attended by accountants, bookkeepers and small business owners.

He said: “Businesses that have grown over the past 10 years are in the minority. While we all talk about what’s changing in the world and how it is affecting our businesses, we go back to our offices and do the same things we’ve always done. Real change lies not in knowing what is changing, but in making the shift ourselves.”

Outlining some of the shifts required by business owners to fuel their company’s growth and, ultimately, that of the economy, Thembekwayo asked attendees whether they really know their clients. “If you aren’t having real and honest conversations with them, you can’t really add value. Having value-based conversations entails asking the client what problems are associated with their business and what it is worth to them to solve those problems.  If you aren’t adding value, you are not setting yourself apart from competitors in your industry and if you are selling your services based on time, instead of the value you can provide, what is stopping clients from going to someone whose hourly rates are cheaper, but who might not be able to offer the same value that you can?”

Jolawn Victor, Head of Emerging Markets at Intuit, added: “Business owners are better positioned to provide value-adding services thanks to technology automating numerous processes that, in the past, took up the bulk of their time. This shift to automation has not only freed them up to focus on how they can add value to their clients, but also assists in reducing inefficiencies. What’s more, products like QuickBooks Online Accountant have helped to save businesses between R7,000 and R14,000  per year and up to eight hours per client per month.”

She also revealed the various improvements and advancements being made on QuickBooks’ products that have taken into account the pain points of business owners and have adapted the technology to fuel their business growth. This has included giving business owners the ability to share invoices via WhatsApp to help them get paid faster. They also now have access to supercharged support within their QuickBooks Online account including step-by-step guides and video tutorials to help with common queries as well as the capability to communicate with a QuickBooks specialist. Another major step forward for QuickBooks has been the introduction of Project Profitability to help business owners make data-driven decisions by giving them insight and foresight into the profit margins of all their projects. “We hope to power prosperity in South Africa with the continual development of innovations like these,” said Victor.

Thembekwayo concluded the events by saying: “Change is happening whether you are on the bus or not. If you don’t make the shift and change, you will get left behind. Moreover, if you are not part of the country’s growth story, you are part of the problem.”

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