We have heard many stories of small businesses in South Africa that started with almost nothing, grew organically through entrepreneurial determination and the support of their customers and communities, and eventually became leading examples of local innovation and entrepreneurship.
This is also a dream for many, and the path to making that dream a reality begins with looking at the role that technology plays in it.
Small businesses are vital to the South African economy. According to the Center for Development and Enterprise (CDE), the number of SMEs in the country totaled 2.61 million in the first quarter of 2020. And in 2019, the annual turnover of the formal SME sector totaled R10.5 trillion.
“Only with access to the power of technology, namely business-oriented IT solutions and products, can companies master digital transformation,” says Glenn Du Toit, director at Acer Africa. “Technology opens up new streams of income and marketing, enables people to connect with customers through popular communication channels, and helps with administrative and logistical tasks. It’s business simplified by technology.”
Technology is the playing field
Possibly the biggest obstacle for new and existing South African companies is having sufficient resources to compete with big names in the market. But thanks to democratization through technology, a lot has changed. For example, a company’s marketing strategy is no longer about spending budgets on a magazine ad or a giant billboard.
These are formats with limited space and reach. Today’s formats like Facebook and LinkedIn, which have millions of users, offer greater reach at greatly reduced costs.
But it’s not just marketing. Increased access to inexpensive computing hardware means businesses can exist entirely online and on digital platforms.
At the same time, this hardware should be powerful and reliable. With Acer technology – as found in the TravelMate range – business owners can get the best performance from their devices without sacrificing energy efficiency, as well as reliable wireless connectivity and longer battery life.
Count the total cost
Many businesses falter because they don’t consider the true cost of their assets, resources, or operating expenses.
The solution is to take a long-term perspective and consider up-front pricing alongside the costs that a 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 companies maximize the value of their devices while minimizing the total cost of ownership.
The Acer Promise, a commitment to small businesses, supports customers in this way. If an Acer TravelMate device develops a factory defect, Acer will repair the device under warranty, return the device to the customer, and provide a 100% refund.
This is in addition to Acer’s 3-year warranty on Acer TravelMate devices, giving customers added peace of mind while working towards success.
Enable small businesses
In 2020, Acer launched #AcerInstaPitch, a campaign to help and highlight aspiring small business owners. By redesigning the Elevator Pitch as an Instagram Story, budding businesspeople were able to share their ideas for a chance to win Acer devices, as well as a business coaching session with businesswoman Martine Solomon.
The outcome of the campaign demonstrated South Africa’s initiative and creativity. Whether you sell craft products, run a community gaming cafe, or bake beautiful and delicious cakes, Acer technology can enhance your business strategy and open the door to new opportunities.
“We are extremely proud of how Acer is empowering the next generation of local entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level,” added Du Toit. “By working with them, we strengthen South Africa as a whole and help make a difference in people’s lives.”