Empowering SMEs to emerge stronger from the lockdown

The Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown has placed immense strain on businesses of all sizes. Many businesses need some kind of financial relief just to keep their doors open and staff employed, while others have retrenched workers or even worse, shut shop completely.

The knock-on effects are huge, and the broader economy has taken an enormous knock. Predictions are varied in detail, but all agree on one thing – the economy will shrink and a great deal of effort will need to go into rebuilding what was lost.

The businesses that have managed to keep their doors open still need support to ensure they remain open for business and that jobs are protected.

Support needs to go beyond applying for support from the government business relief fund, Ters19 and UIF applications, as well as payment breaks from financial institutions and tax relief from SARS.

To be clear, financial relief is very important. However, support needs to have one eye on the future, enabling small businesses to tap into the insights and tools required to steady the ship, build resilience and become sustainable in the longer term.

Businesses now need to formulate recovery strategies and build and maintain strong relationships with all their stakeholders to stay afloat as the country hobbles back toward some semblance of normality.

Recovery strategies include diversifying where possible and investing in digitising their businesses. The reality, though, is that big phrases such as digital transformation and the fourth industrial revolution are one thing, but how do they apply to small and medium enterprises (SMEs)?

Digitising one’s business is not only about becoming more active and pushing engagement on social media, promoting a remote-working culture and selling goods online. Digital transformation includes moving certain business processes such as accounting online and the logic here is that by automating very time-consuming processes, you are able to free up the time of entrepreneurs to focus on the business of running their business – when more appropriate than when trying to recover from a recession?

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. QuickBooks Online partners such as EasyBiz Technologies are going the extra mile to assist accountants and SMEs during these extraordinary times.

QuickBooks Online and EasyBiz Technologies are offering new clients 50% off new subscriptions for a period of six (6) months from date of sign up. This offer helps alleviate the financial pressure many SMEs and start-ups are feeling. In this manner, these businesses can receive online accounting software at a fraction of the price.

“We are all in this together and we need to help each where we can with what we have. We also need to be sensitive to the pressures that exist and that is why our sales team works with you to provide you with what you need,”

says Bridget du Toit, Head of Sales and Services at EasyBiz Technologies.

Other services – in addition to the discounted monthly services fee – include:

  • Payroll system that has been updated and aligned with current regulations set by the government so accountants and SMEs do not have to worry about processing and implementing them on their own. The updates include guidelines on Ters19 forms for UIF claims.
  • Uninterrupted sales and support. With many organisations who are considered non-essential having to work remotely, not being in the office has caused a delay in access to support or sales. However, EasyBiz Technologies remains open and available for all new and existing clients.
  • For assistance with business finances, there is a directory available with knowledgeable and reliable QuickBooks accounting experts. The directory enables you to search for an expert in your area and one that operates in your industry.

These additional resources would typically not be available under one roof and would cost money that many do not have at the moment.

Support, therefore, goes beyond only allowing access to funding. Support includes offering businesses access to resources that will enable them to develop strategies to help keep them afloat and ensure that they steady themselves, build resilience and become sustainable in the longer term. That’s what is needed to weather this storm and protect the jobs and livelihoods of millions of South Africans.

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