Before the US election, analysts at Morgan Stanley, quoted by Reuters, said that investors should position for a year-end rally in emerging market currencies including the rand.

This is great news for South Africa, as the US’s stimulus packages and improved relations with China will benefit our economy in a multitude of ways, with a focus on our export trade which will be enabled to move more freely from South Africa.

A picture containing map

Description automatically generated

If you feel like this will give you some breathing room in an otherwise tumultuous year, you are spot on. However, don’t rest on your laurels yet: there is still work to be done.

So, where to from here for South African Businesses?

The benefits of the election may be more prevalent for certain industry sectors – export and import, retail, grocery, manufacture and industry – but less impactful for businesses outside the bubble – SMMEs, Media, Entertainment, Education, and others.

Either way, whatever the effect, it’s critical to take steps to safeguard your business against future catastrophes, and to ensure you can keep up with what promises to be rapid yet slightly bizarre change.

1.      Keep your capital expenditure reasonable

Operational expenses have already reduced drastically, thanks to lockdown, work-from-home orders, and the change in business processes. However, there is a great deal of potential investment in tools and software that aids these new circumstances.

You may find that with an improvement in the South African economy, you need more capability faster than you anticipated. Keep a cool head, and plan your investments to truly benefit the business.

2.      Invest in practical tools to improve your processes

Tools which help you to drive a more efficient and effective business are in high demand, but there are very few packaged to provide a full solution to your departmental, operational, or industry needs. Start the upswing on the right foot by vetting and selecting tools and systems which drive your targets and objectives.

3.      Prioritise accuracy and reliability

As a critical function, your business practices must drive accurate, reliable processes from accurate, reliable data. Being able to use historic data to track and analyse your market fluctuations gives a much better overview of your consumer or client behaviour during the troughs and waves 2020 has brought. With a new economic boost, the behaviour will change again, and the opportunities for growth will return.

Get your data right, know your market, and plan for sustainable and consistent growth with the accurate data you have.

4.      Develop a South Africa-strong workforce

Supply chains have been under immense pressure this year, as have expat-heavy companies. With the potential for improved trade, it may be an obvious choice to continue outsourcing to international partners; don’t let the open gate now jeopardise your sustainability through 2021 and beyond.

Mitigate your risk, keep your business profitable, and plan for global supply expansion once you have the data to back up the move.

The critical takeaway? Data will drive your business and enable you to reap more benefits during the economic relief period.

Contact Cortell to get the Financial Planning and Operational Performance Management you need to make better decisions, faster.