East London management company assists small businesses hamstrung by lack of skills

Anne-Lise Bollaert-Davies, BDI’s founder.
Anne-Lise Bollaert-Davies, BDI’s founder.
Image: SUPPLIED

Shoving SMMEs into the role of champion job creators might sound wonderful in the government’s dreams of future employment, but many new start-up companies fail because of a disregard for tight administration and understanding that turnover is not profit.

East London company BDI Management has introduced a new training programme, the “Circle of Success”, which allows entrepreneurs to cope with the aspects of business where they are weakest and stay focused on their main role, which is keeping clients happy.

Anne-Lise Bollaert-Davies, founder and MD of BDI, started the company in response to the growing need for reliable, affordable and professional business support.

As layoffs increase, people are forced to start their own businesses. Most of them simply do not have the resources to handle everything on their own

“As layoffs increase, people are forced to start their own businesses.

“Most of them simply do not have the resources to handle everything on their own.

“Even within larger businesses, owners and managers are faced with mounting management and administrative needs and have fewer full-time staff to handle everything that needs to be done,” said Bollaert-Davies.    

“BDI works on a collaborative basis with several highly skilled individuals in a mentoring role, covering most business sectors.

“We deploy our partners at an agreed rate, normally based on the hours required to do the job.

“They work with companies and are effectively an outsourced department for areas where owners are struggling.

“Once a problem is fixed, the company can revert back to taking control, or they might find it more cost-effective not to set up a new department, or hire a full-timer, and keep using BDI.

“This means that instead of hiring multiple people to do the work, BDI does the tasks.

“If the work is done in less time, hours saved are rolled into the next contract period.”

She said many companies, especially start-ups with limited staff, struggled with cash flow management and keeping track of debtors and creditors.

Committing to long-term contracts when hiring could be a better option, as well as having firm strategies with regard to short-, medium- and long-term goals and aspects of staff motivation, hiring and remuneration.

Bollaert-Davies said it was human nature for people to put aspects of their jobs that they did not enjoy or understand at the bottom of the “to do” list, and business owners were no exception.

Many entrepreneurs, especially those starting out, are at their best when selling or marketing, not stuck in the office grinding away at administrative matters.

Bollaert-Davies said businesses were being hamstrung by a lack of overall skills, many of these administration-related.

If these tasks are ignored, they will expose small leaks, which will potentially sink the ship.

We would assist our clients on deciding the type of site they need, for an acceptable budget, but that does the job. Flash is not an essential. Fit-for-purpose is

She said creating a website was often a classic example of overspending on “wants” and not “needs”.

“We would assist our clients on deciding the type of site they need, for an acceptable budget, but that does the job.

“Flash is not an essential. Fit-for-purpose is.

“Another example is vehicles. Many entrepreneurs would commit to purchasing a small fleet, but the solution would probably be hiring until a usage pattern was established and cash conserved, leaving buying until it made sound economic sense.

“We are particularly geared to support SMMEs, entrepreneurs, professional services companies, non-profit organisations and foundations.”  

According to research by Investopedia, the most common reasons for small businesses’ success are that owners can identify their own strengths, which enable them to avoid or mitigate unnecessary risks. They get their product or service to the market at a profitable price that meets their client’s expectations and demands.

Doing this involves adequate funding and financial planning, having a sound team, a robust business model, a good marketing strategy and mostly a product or service that sells and will not be eclipsed by something newer, cheaper, better or more fashionable.

Bollaert-Davies said it took a super-entrepreneur to master every area that led to success, and BDI was in the right position to bolster businesses that lacked just one of the essential skills or departments.

To contact BDI visit www.bdimanagement.co.za.


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