Lack of funding is regularly cited as one of the major contributors to the widely accepted statistic that 80% of South Africa’s small businesses fail in the first three years.
What is lesser known is that this lack of funding is often a consequence of a weak deal pipeline and/or insufficient financial reporting resources. While there is little doubt that a strong, credible pipeline is a key ingredient in attracting funding, small business owners are typically overburdened by having to manage the administrative and financial side of their businesses.
Designed to streamline these processes – thereby providing entrepreneurs with more time to focus on growing their customer base, revenue and profitability – Vodacom has developed a new mobile application called Vodacom Business Booster. Officially launched today, the financial management tool allows businesses to run anywhere, anytime and through any device.
“With Vodacom Business Booster, businesses can generate client records, quotes and invoices, conduct mobile payments*, better manage their leads through a customer relationship management solution and improve their financial management through accounting modules already built into the solution – all from a mobile device. The app also has the ability to immediately allocate expenditure receipts by scanning these with the phone’s camera as well as generate pro-forma financial statements.” says Anthon Muller, executive head of managed enterprise mobility at Vodacom Business.
Vodacom Business Booster affords SMEs the benefit of digital technology without the complexity typically associated with managing the associated systems. When small businesses have good financial management and reporting structures, they improve their credibility and track records, increasing the chances of accessing finance from commercial lenders while helping them to comply with the reporting requirements of their current funders.
Vodacom Business Booster’s mobile payment module is even more relevant to those small businesses who provide services on the premises of the customer such as plumbing, pool repairs or home deliveries. The app makes Payment of Delivery (POD) possible and secure.
Mobile technology and digital platforms provide the critical foundation on which to grow modern economies in Africa. The new mobile app taps into the convenience that technology can bring to even the smallest of businesses. “Business management on an SME owner’s mobile phone, through a secure, state-of-the-art platform, will better equip South African SMEs for growth and resilience, particularly in difficult economic times,” adds Muller.
Small businesses are the bedrock of most economies and, in particular, will play a crucial role in the realisation of the National Development Plan’s 2030 vision in South Africa. Making the running of a small business even easier is a critical step in safeguarding the sustainability of these businesses.
Vodacom Business Booster is part of Vodacom Business’ digital strategy. The application is hosted in a build to last cloud infrastructure that enables secure and easy access for customers round the clock. Business Booster is available for download from the Business Booster website at a cost of R175 per month to all pre and post-paid Vodacom customers.