Investing in people and supporting systems leads to business success. It is people working for people and not for companies. Without talented individuals no business can grow successfully. In a business environment where people are considered the main asset, individual performance will increase. By Gerhard Hartman, head of department: Sage HR & Payroll International Division

Your people are your biggest asset
Employees should be provided with the right culture to ensure they have sufficient reason to keep working for the business. I believe that many companies forget that true loyalty comes when colleagues believe that the organisation and its leadership team care about them personally and professionally. This ultimately results in long-tenured employees, which has a very real and direct effect on company growth. It is no secret, appreciated colleagues raise entrepreneurial achievement.

Kenya on top of the entrepreneurial spirit
In East Africa, it is Kenya leading the entrepreneurial spirit.
Years ago, Kenya made global headlines launching M-Pesa, a highly successful mobile-phone based money transfer and financing service. Now there is still an upward trend in entrepreneurship, as shown by early released data from the upcoming 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index Kenya scores high in tech transfer, research and development expenditures, ahead of any other country on the continent.
The speed of development in Kenya is now similar to China ten years ago, and that’s a positive trend. The Global Entrepreneurship Index measures entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses in countries by looking both at individual business perception and institutional conditions that may support or hinder entrepreneurship.

Lead with passion
While the institutional environment matters and possible profit margins need to be carefully considered, it is personal enthusiasm and passion that propel the business forward. It is important that you are happy managing and growing it day in and day out. The mind-set always needs to be positive. There is no need to know everything, but you need to know how to deal with challenges.

Use social media to your advantage
Social media has become a powerful tool for business owners. As a business owner you need to take advantage of social media to engage with your customers. Ensure that you have a strategy in place to manage your social media accounts and social conversations with customers. Messages need to be brief and true to the business.
In your posts to the target audience, follow the 80/20 rule. Customers prefer messages that relate to the industry and the business, instead of trying to directly praise and sell a product. 80 per cent of the messages should therefore talk about your business indirectly.
Customers can tell when you’re not being sincere and will not engage with you. Social media allows you the opportunity to interact with the customer in real-time and create conversations. Yet customers may also voice negative sentiments about your business, this is why it is crucial for you to constantly monitor your social media accounts. It is important to note that channels like Twitter provide opportunities to conduct powerful market research.

Don’t forget the systems to make your business strong
It is also advisable to invest in an automated HR and payroll software solutions. By automating HR and payroll processes, businesses can reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks and managing financial compliance. An automated solution eliminates a great deal of paperwork. The software frees space to focus on and keep track of the well-being and professional development of colleagues.
Yet, personal leadership and enthusiasm remain critical. Do what you love. Businesses built around your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success. If your heart isn’t in it, you will not be successful.