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Automation for start-ups require a personal touch

  • Financial experts warn old-fashioned, manual payment processes cost twice as much
  • Many start-ups fail because of poor planning
  • Demand for automatic processes and efficiency is driving development in SA's professional financial services industry
  • Bashier Adam, CEO of Nexia SAB&T
    Bashier Adam, CEO of Nexia SAB&T

    If your small business (or Covid-19 side-hustle) has outgrown your home garage or dining room table and you can no longer manage the overwhelming administrative and financial reporting burden each month, it might be time to consider automation.

    Automated systems are designed to simplify routine tasks, as well as old-fashioned paper-based systems that are labour intensive. There are solutions for just about any task or challenge, from cash-flow projections to data capturing and invoicing.

    According to Nexia SAB&T CEO, Bashier Adam, small business owners often feel reluctant to hand off administrative tasks, especially invoicing, despite the promise of time and cost savings. However, it’s one of the fastest-growing areas of the business.

    Adam said: “Our automation and digitisation department is one of our largest growing departments because of the demand. Technology is a part of our lives and harnessing and developing systems early is one of the more exciting journeys we are on.”

    “Cash flow management can also make or break any business, let alone a start-up,” said Adam, “many small businesses don’t take the time to do financial projections and implement budgets. Often successful side hustles start without a bank account making the accounting process very complicated in the long run, so first things first, open a bank account.”

    If you’re not sure where to begin, Adam suggested: “Look at your processes and see what can be automated vs manual. It’s also critical that businesses look at their staff complement, their skill set and ability to take on the work or client requests. Don’t over promise and underperform!”

    Businesses could also be significantly undervaluing the labour costs of outdated manual processes.

    Start-ups are also very often distracted by the work of scaling up their business, which Nexia SAB&T has experienced first-hand. “The origins of our firm are humble. We started in a local garage in Laudium, Pretoria. Our path was littered with challenges which required careful navigation throughout the journey and so our experiences are real,” said Adam.

    “Our South African client base includes a high number of micro-businesses; however, every entrepreneur wants to go it alone. No business is too small to seek professional help in guidance and benefitting from the experience of others,” comments Adam, “this will offer the opportunity to streamline processes and maximise the benefits.”

    The brand is sharing more advice for local start-ups via a new OURstory campaign, based on the company’s inspirational, 25-year history.

    “The idea for OURstory was to showcase our firm culture and insight into what makes us unique – that is the origins of the firm, the obstacles and opportunities we’ve encountered, and how we got to where we are today. We hope to inspire others like us.”

    Watch how Nexia SAB&T’s OURstory unfolded here:

    10 May 2022 10:29