Building SMEs: don't overlook administrative tasks

| 0 Comments

 

AdminDeluge.jpgWhile the more traditional approach to enterprise development (ED) typically involves providing entrepreneurs with high-level support and mentorship, the importance of assisting them to focus on “the basics” cannot be underestimated. This includes identifying and addressing gaps in their administration, compliance and general reporting systems, says Shawn Theunissen, head of CSR at Growthpoint Properties and Property Point (Growthpoint Properties’ enterprise development programme), in this month’s SmartProcurement.


As various national and international studies continue to highlight the barriers SMEs face in terms of accessing the formal economy, one of the issues often overlooked is a lack of administrative capability within the company. “This is sometimes further compounded by poor levels of compliance relating to tax and reporting requirements,” says Theunissen.


“With many SMEs failing to recognise the business implications of this oversight, ED initiatives and programmes can – and should – play a key role in alerting entrepreneurs to it, and assist them to address these issues where appropriate.” This is because everything from poor filing systems to incomplete contracts, policies and procedures can potentially cause a business to trip up at a critical time, with the real consequences being felt when they can least afford it.

 

ShawnTheunissen2.jpgTheunissen notes that most entrepreneurs drive operations and are essentially ‘client-facing’ in terms of their roles in their businesses: “Our experience has shown that administration duties are consequently deferred in many instances to when they ‘have time’.”


As a result, business owners often lose touch with what is actually going on at a very basic level, for example, where projects are with less pro-active clients, which invoices haven’t been paid, and whether their tax clearance certificate is still valid. This can (and does usually) have direct implications for the SME – delaying payments because invoices and statements cannot be produced when requested, or causing them to miss tender or proposal deadlines due to supporting documentation not being available.


Questions about the SME’s professionalism and ability to deliver can subsequently be raised because of this, especially when it fails to deliver on what are ‘basic’ or standard corporate expectations. This can affect the entrepreneur’s reputation negatively – with clients unwilling to give them opportunities on bigger projects or, as a worst case scenario, reducing the value of their projects in the long term.


“Because we are so aware of the material impact of this oversight, Property Point’s programme managers perform a monthly health-check with each of the businesses on our programme. This includes everything from a basic cashflow analysis to a review of reporting on projects and spot compliance checks,” says Theunissen.


Should any issues be red-flagged in this process, programme managers then work to determine the root cause and make a recommendation towards addressing this. “Often it’s a case of demonstrating how the entrepreneur can work smarter as opposed to harder to build capacity within their team. We also encourage them at a very practical level to resolve the immediate issue at hand.”


As the revised B-BBEE codes put corporates under more pressure to do business with SMEs, ED programmes need to assist entrepreneurs to gear themselves and their operations accordingly, and to work to ensure they are able to meet the most basic expectations of “big business”. “This practical approach will go a long way to reduce risk within the SME and help the entrepreneur to appreciate and focus on ‘the basics’ within their business,” concludes Theunissen.
 

Leave a comment


SmartProcurement Newsletter
X

Please enter your details below to receive the SmartProcurement Newsletter for FREE on a regular basis.

As part of the SmartProcurement Newsletter you will be receiving World Class Procurement News, Tools, Tips, Tactics, Procurement Training updates, Upcoming Events, and the latest Procurement Career Openings.

* Email Address:
* Title:
* First Name:
* Surname:
* Company:
  Position:
* Country:
* Public / Private:

 

Career opportunites

Head: Supply Chain Management (P6)

  • <500 000 >500 000 Limpopo Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
North east of the Tropic of Capricorn, just ...More

Purchasing and Supply Manager

  • <500 000 >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
Purchasing and Supply ManagerThe CSIR has a vacancy ...More

Senior Manager Public Sector

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Projects / Category Management
 Senior Manager Public SectorTotal Cost to Company: R1.1mil ...More

Senior Manager: Mining

  • >500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent Projects / Category Management
Senior Manager: MiningTotal Cost to Company: R900k – ...More

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER(Total Cost to Company R750k – ...More

Master Data Management Advisor

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Projects / Category Management
 MASTER DATA MANAGEMENT ADVISOR(Total Cost to Company R750k ...More

PRO - Performance Reporting

  • >500 000 Permanent Procurement Consultant Procurement Management Projects / Category Management
PRO - Performance ReportingTotal Cost to Company: R800k ...More

PRO - Risk & Governance

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Projects / Category Management
PRO - Risk & GovernanceTotal Cost to Company: ...More

Supply Chain Site Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
Supply Chain Site ManagerTotal Cost to Company R1mil ...More

Chief Financial Officer

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist
Chief Financial OfficerTotal Cost to Company R1.5mil – ...More

Process Engineer- WMS

  • <500 000 >500 000 Industrial Engineer Permanent Projects / Category Management Western Cape
Process Engineer- WMS(Total Cost to Company R350K – ...More

Forecast Analyst

  • <500 000 Analyst Permanent Procurement Management Western Cape
Forecast Analyst(Total Cost to Company R350K – R500K) Location: ...More

Group Category Manager: Indirects

  • >500 000 Permanent Procurement Management Projects / Category Management Western Cape
Group Category Manager: Indirects(Total Cost to Company R700K ...More

Group Category Specialist: Chemical

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist Strategic Sourcing
Group Category Specialist: Chemical(Total Cost to Company R700K ...More

Sourcing Specialist - 3rd party

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist Strategic Sourcing
Sourcing Specialist - 3rd partyTotal Cost to Company ...More

Global Procurement Lead (Processing)

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
 Global Procurement Lead (Processing)Location: JohannesburgTotal Cost to Company ...More

Global Supplier Performance Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
Global Supplier Performance Manager Location: Johannesburg  Cost to ...More

Group Customer Service Lead

  • <500 000 >500 000 Analyst Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist
Group Customer Service Lead  Location: Johannesburg As the ...More

Business Intelligence Manager

  • <500 000 >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supplier / Business Development
Business Intelligence Manager Location: JohannesburgLead the development, implementation, optimization ...More

Group Procurement Manager

  • <500 000 >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Group Procurement Manager Location: Johannesburg  A Global Organization ...More