President Cyril Ramaphosa gave an encouraging speech during his State of the Nation Address on 16 February, instilling a sense of hope in the citizens of South Africa and foreign investors at large. He concluded his speech by asking South Africans to be the change they want to see, quoting lyrics from Hugh Masekela’s song, Thuma Mina (Send Me). At the same time, various tax increases including VAT and income taxes have been announced in the 2018 budget by Minister Malusi Gigaba. Regardless of what the future holds, we believe that the preservation of this renewed hope and the working together of all South Africans is crucial if we are to grow our economy and create a more equal society. Our coaches at GROW weigh in on how to move your business forward in this business environment.

  1. Change your mindset

For some time now, there’s been an air of negativity in the business arena. This negativity has fueled further pessimism and apprehension for many business owners – many stopped dreaming big and planning for a better tomorrow. However, to grow your business, you need to be optimistic about the country and its opportunities to fuel your business growth and the economic growth South Africa so desperately needs. If your business growth has stalled and you need help to revitalize it, seek help – read books, get a coach, or find a mentor. Avoid focusing on external factors as reasons for the stalling of your business.

Business owners need to take control of their own destinies and learn to thrive in spite of their environment. #ThumaMina #Budget2018 Click To Tweet
  1. Increase your focus on transformation

Unfortunately, to date, we have seen many businesses fail to deal with transformation with the seriousness it deserves. As part of their societal contribution to address the ills of the past, and in anticipation of a more effective government that will enforce transformation legislation, businesses need to ensure that they make transformation one of their top priorities.

Your business cannot grow optimally in an unequal society. #ThumaMina #Budget2018 Click To Tweet
  1. Invest in the youth

In his SONA speech, President Rampahosa said that “young South Africans will be moved to the centre of our economic agenda” – and they should be. South Africa’s youth are incredibly talented. Hiring and developing them makes businesses sense and is crucial to the survival of our economy. GROW Business Coach, Graham Mitchell, wrote an article published by Endeavor South Africa, where he explored examples of companies – big and small – that are doing their bit to develop skills amongst young people while driving their bottom line. Businesses need to develop clear plans for how they will attract and develop young talent, considering their unique needs and drivers as millennials.

In addition, with South Africa’s youth employment incentive, businesses can further be encouraged to do their bit to hire and train young people. Of course, of importance is that businesses should ensure that they do in fact train the young people they hire, as opposed to taking them on merely for tax benefits.

All businesses need to focus on the long-term, widespread effects of genuinely investing in SA’s youth. #ThumaMina #Budget2018 Click To Tweet
  1. Take part in efforts to reindustrialise South Africa

With President Ramaphosa’s commitment to addressing reindustrialisation, businesses in the manufacturing sector should anticipate strong government support for their growth plans and should be willing to engage government on what the sector needs in order to thrive. For non-manufacturing businesses, stay alert to spotting opportunities in the manufacturing supply chain as the sector has much room for growth, but be mindful that it’s certainly a long-term game.

Additionally, Ramaphosa’s commitment to a more effective government, combined with his commitment to investing in infrastructure, could yield strong opportunities for businesses servicing the needs of infrastructure investment projects.

  1. Prepare your workforce for the working world of the future

The President also made mention of a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission that will soon be established to “seize the opportunities and manage the challenges of rapid advances in information and communication technology.” Your role as a business owner is to start planning what your strategic chess moves are, and how you plan to prepare your business and its staff for digital transformation.

Don’t complain that South Africa’s new job market entrants aren’t prepared for the current or future work environment – trends are ongoing, and things change so fast in our new tech-driven world that it’s hard for traditional education to keep up. Instead, ensure that you help to bring people up to speed with appropriate training, coaching and mentoring. Complaining will only ensure that your business falls further and further behind.

Complaining will only ensure that your business falls further and further behind. #ThumaMina #Budget2018 Click To Tweet

Ultimately, we are in agreement with the President, that it will be optimism, and the collective effort of all – business, society, government and NGOs – that will help South Africa address pov