Background & Intro:
A couple of months ago I wrote a proposal and submitted it to a few organisations we had hoped to secure as clients. It is worth confessing that after the concept clarification, the research and putting together the proposal, we didn’t apply the discipline required to follow-through and sell until we clinch the deals.
So, about a year later, I’m publishing this shortened version “A proposal prepared for supporters of businesses that form part of the entrepreneurial, innovation & leadership community“. I would like for you to have a read through then to engage…
The Context – SMEs in RSA
- RSA is home to over 2.47million SMEs according to the Small Enterprise Development Agency.
- 80+% of small business owners use a mobile device at least once a day, but at least 31% still don’t have a mobile-friendly, interactive website.
- 56% are concerned with improving customer experience and retention, but only 29% use a CRM.
- Cloud (“Maru”) technology is recognized as; more cost-effective, flexible, easier/faster to deploy, more reliable, and agile, but because 63% of SMEs feel overwhelmed by technology, they haven’t taken full advantage Cloud.
- 60% of cybercrimes are directed at small businesses
- Poor infrastructure results in a lack of funding and insufficient cash flow
What SMEs need that tech & SME support services can enable
- Reduction in cost, increase in profits
- Business support
- IP, IP Strategy & Trademark Advisory
- Legal & Company law
- Market access & linkages
- ‘Office facilities
- Access to seed/start-up funding
- Affordable & reliable business systems:
- Digital/Online presence
- Telephony & Messaging
- Billing and accounting
- E-Commerce & Payment gateways
- Customer Relationship Management
- Growing a reputable & recognizable brand
- Defined business processes
- Insights: Market understanding, ability to do reporting & analytics
- Great customer service
- To be “On-the-go” and always available
Okay, so now that we understand what the market looks like and what opportunities there are, let’s have a look at what the proposal is about:
An SME-focused, collaborated approach for the roll-out of the techBOX that is designed for the prime objective of enabling entrepreneurs and businesses to adopt and use technology (#AdoptTech) to increase productivity, operational efficiency and, ultimately, profitability.
By implementing techBOX, SMEs can:
- Sell goods/services & receive payments online
- Centrally manage/perform operational activities
- Automate sales process/support tasks
- Get insights: Use analytics to measure & report performance
- Participate in the 4th Industrial Revolution
- Innovate business operations
- Save time
Making it practical. (P.s. we’ve done this before with small business incubator)
- Within an existing programme (for Enterprise and/or Supplier Development or incubator);
- Create a project to roll-out techBOX for existing entrepreneurs/businesses
- Implement/Roll-out (this is how we did it)
- Provide post “Go-Live” support
Sponsors & supporters can also benefit
- Of course, in South Africa, the number 1 thing is BBBEE
- Your brand/logo may be placed on the website of the SMEs you endorsed/sponsored.
- Your website link will be added to theirs and our website.
- We’ve done this for more than 100 companies already, so you are guaranteed the job will be done.
- We will put your company on the “Sponsors/Partners” section at events, on posters, etc.
- You will get access to an analytics dashboard for all the SMEs you sponsored
- A session will be set up where the sponsor/partner and the beneficiaries meet & interact
- Immediately get access 300 SMEs for potential impact (Incubated by Partner/Clients)
- Transparency & Accountability (i.e. ask us who/what/why/when/where/how at any time
- …and more
So what’s next?
- To secure 1. a partner(s) and 2. project funding for the techBOX “#AdoptTech” initiative. The project is capable of being replicated throughout Africa. The project can make use of both the public and private sector institutions’ funding/financing resource.
Collaboration often breeds new business opportunities and smarter ways of doing things. I think it’s possible to achieve bigger, more direct impact, through working together with willing partners to increase technology adoption/utilisation by SMEs that want to realise an improved triple bottom line.
The Trademarks, Logos, Brand names, etc. mentioned or displayed on this document belong to the copyright and/or IP owners. Unless expressly stated, we do not claim any affiliation, partnership or direct association.