We’ve heard many stories of small businesses in South Africa that started with near to nothing, grew organically through entrepreneurial determination and the support of their clientele and communities, and eventually became leading examples of local innovation and enterprise. This is also a dream for many, and the way to make that dream a reality starts with considering the role technology plays in it.
Small businesses are vitally important to South Africa’s economy. According to the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), the number of the country’s SMMEs totaled 2.61 million in the first quarter of 2020. And, in 2019, annual turnover generated by the formal SMME sector totaled R10.5 trillion.
“It’s with access to the power of technology, namely business-oriented IT solutions and products, that businesses can master digital transformation,” says Glenn Du Toit, Director at Acer Africa. “Technology opens up new streams of revenue and marketing, allowing people to engage with customers through popular communication channels, and assist with administrative and logistical tasks. It’s business, simplified through technology.”
Technology is the pitch
Possibly the biggest obstacle that new and existing South African businesses face is having adequate resources to compete with big names in the market. But much has changed thanks to democratisation through technology. For example, a company’s marketing strategy no longer involves having to spend budgets on a magazine ad or giant billboard. These are formats with limited space and reach. Today’s formats, the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn that have millions of users, offer a wider scope at a widely reduced cost.
But it’s not just marketing. Increased access to cost-effective computing hardware means businesses can exist entirely online and on digital platforms. At the same time, that hardware should be capable and reliable. With Acer technology – such as that found in the TravelMate range – business owners can get the best performance out of their devices without compromising power efficiency, as well as reliable wireless connectivity and longer battery life.
Tallying the total cost
Many businesses flounder because they don’t consider the true cost of their assets, resources, or operating expenses. The solution is to take a long-term view, considering upfront prices in addition to how much cost any purchase will incur over time. Total cost of ownership (TCO) should always be a factor when building your business strategy.
That’s why it’s up to technology providers and innovators to help businesses maximise the value of their devices while minimising the overall cost. The Acer Promise, a commitment to small businesses, supports customers in this way. If an Acer TravelMate device experiences a factory fault, Acer will repair the device under warranty, return the device to the customer, and refund 100% of the purchase price. This is in addition to Acer’s 3-year warranty on Acer TravelMate devices that gives customers extra assurance while they work to achieve success.
Enabling small businesses
In 2020, Acer launched #AcerInstaPitch, a campaign to help and highlight aspiring small business entrepreneurs. By reimagining the elevator pitch as an Instagram Story, budding businesspeople could share their ideas for the chance to win Acer equipment as well as a business coaching session with businesswoman Martine Solomon. The result of the campaign demonstrated South Africa’s initiative and creativity. Whether you’re selling craft products, running a township gaming café, or baking beautiful and delicious cakes, Acer technology can boost your business strategy and open the door to new opportunities.
“We are exceptionally proud of how Acer is putting the next generation of local entrepreneurs front and centre, and enabling them to take their enterprises to the next level,” Du Toit adds. “By working with them, we are uplifting South Africa as a whole and helping to change people’s lives.”