Several industries are adopting digital technologies to survive in the digital world, but one industry has lagged in that adaptation and that’s the small medium enterprise (SMEs) market in South Africa.
The South African SME market is not harnessing technology to grow their small business and is ignoring the benefits of using technology to become digital entrepreneurs.
However, digital technology is becoming increasingly less expensive and most platforms offer a no-cost or free solutions to enable your business to flourish.
“When you simplify how you understand your business, you simplify how your customers see the value you offer,” Lindile Xoko, head of SME at MTN Business South Africa, said at MTN Business Digital Entrepreneur Masterclass in Cape Town on Tuesday.
The objective of the MTN Business Digital Entrepreneur Masterclass is to equip entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and insights into running a successful digital business.
Embracing digital technologies as an entrepreneur or SME, Xoko says implies being smart about your communications.
“You need to be in constant communication with your target market,” he says.
Xoko encouraged entrepreneurs and SMEs to find nifty and credible ways to engage their customers.
MTN Business South Africa offers Hosted PBX, a prepaid service for SMEs that enables your office and employees to be integrated in a common network that includes all mobile and SIM-embedded desk phones. It provides your business with the functionality and benefits of owning a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system without having to install any equipment within your premises.
With MTN Hosted PBX, you not only eliminate the huge cost and inconvenience of having to own and manage a physical PBX but also enjoy all the benefits of a traditional PBX system – Auto Attendant, Call Hunting, Call Diversion, Music-on-Hold, Find-Me/Follow-Me, Admin Portal and much more, such as MTN CUG and MTN Smart Number services – all for just a small monthly subscription.
Xoko added that this too provides your small business credibility and is a very cost effective way to communicate.
Digital entrepreneurship is driving an economic revolution
This is the second Digital Entrepreneur Masterclass that MTN is holding in the country.
The telco also mentioned other tools that entrepreneurs can utilise to digitise their businesses.
MTN’s senior manager for SMEs, Wei-Ling Chiu, mentioned some of the eight practical digital business tools for entrepreneurs to use to run their business effectively and efficiently on a dime.
Some of his mentions include Hootsuite, a social media manager platform that automates all your tweets and posts on Facebook to promote or sell your business.
Chiu encouraged entrepreneurs to be friends with automation to ensure that they focus on growing their business instead of managing their social media.
“Automation is becoming important for your daily life as you can automate your social media through apps such as Hootsuite, etc.,” says Chiu.
She also encouraged small businesses to create a digital footprint by creating websites.
About 62% of small businesses in South Africa don’t have websites.
MTN Business South Africa offers Mtnbybo.co.za a simple and easy to use tool to custom build your own website.
Chiu also talked about other useful online marketing tools for entrepreneurs such as Pexels, MyMTN, Canva, Mailchimp, Bitly and Grammarly, etc.
However, entrepreneurs were warned to safeguard their websites and information on their smart devices to ensure that their mobility is secure.
Participating entrepreneurs will also be able to view solutions available from MTN Business and technology partners like Samsung, Microsoft, Google South Africa, Huawei, HP, Hisense and Finfind, etc.
A digital transformation requires a shift in the mindset of entrepreneurs and small businesses.