We meet hundreds of business owners every year. So we get a sense of their collective needs, wants and fears. Yes, we chat BEE but in so many ways that’s also a proxy for the confidence in South Africa’s future. Confident? a BEE deal makes financial and emotional sense. Not sure? maybe hold off a bit or even ‘pack for perth’. But even for the confident, the motivation for BEE deals has undergone a sea change since BEE Deals post-Covid.
What we’re seeing more frequently are the businesses that had a unique offering. That were either small enough to fit under the radar or offered something so unique that their corporate customers had little choice to buy from them. Scorecards be dammed!
But guess what happens to ‘unique’ offerings in the long run?
Everyone is a commodity. It takes time or a big external shift, but in the long run your unique offering loses its uniqueness. Other products start to offer similar features. Other businesses move into your space from any strategic direction. And as your customers have real buying power and real scorecard needs, they start to ask your 51%-black owned competitors if they couldn’t perhaps offer what you do?
And in the long run, they do. And you wake up one day and you’re a commodity. Without any remaining appeal to big companies that must buy from 51% black-owned businesses.
You might not like this, but it’s true.
Covid accelerated this. Many businesses went into survival mode. Some got desperate enough to try new things. We gave up (mostly) on offices and moved home. Things changed and people changed. We’ve met with at least 10 business owners in the last few months who specifically attribute Covid to an acceleration of their commoditisation. Their customers have become ‘harde-gat‘.
The B-BBEE Act was promulgated in 2003. That’s nearly 20 years ago. We’re in the “long run”.
Your uniqueness has got you here. What will get you there?
Chat to us about a BEE deal that offers a solid ROI, doesn’t require you giving up control, and leaves your future options open.