by Lekhai Gosai

Help for SMEs

FNB props up SMEs

Sanjeev Orie: Head of Products, FNB Business Banking
Sanjeev Orie.jpg

Latest trends reveal that about 95% of the South African business market is comprised of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). With the high levels of unemployment, SMEs are crucial from a national perspective, as they are seen as major job creators.

SME business needs vary considerably compared to those of large enterprises. “The key difference is that SMEs have simple banking requirements when they start out. As they grow and mature, their needs evolve, which gives us the platform to help these SMEs grow further through our Business Banking offering,” says Sanjeev Orie, Head of Products, FNB Business Banking.

Access to simple banking services is a priority for SMEs. “We have found that business factors such as cost, banking fees, service and access to credit are of importance to SMEs. FNB has recognised these factors and tailored products and solutions that will help emerging SMEs understand the business environment quicker,” explains Orie.

To make their mark, SMEs need to have certain skills and knowledge of the industry to help them lay the foundations to start and maintain their business. Orie suggests the following guidelines that will help get SMEs started:

·         Conduct market research to ascertain the potential size of your target market, pricing and what your competitors are doing. Market research is vital to determine issues such as the process of setting up your company, including its legal form, its tax identification numbers, its permits and/or licences, branding and so forth. 

·         A well thought-out business plan that explains or tells your company's story, including its organisational, financial and market-related details.

·         Financial management, accounting, marketing, legal and tax issues are important. No one is an expert in these fields, but it is important to 'know what you don’t know' so that you can engage the help of professionals in these areas.

·         Use technology in your business. FNB’s Business Account offers business clients access to some of the most innovative products and rewards that FNB has introduced to the personal banking market in the last two years. Tools such as FNB’s Instant Accounting, which helps you complete your financial statements together with Instant Payroll, will enable you run your business efficiently. These can be accessed easily via FNB Online Banking.

Through the Business Banking online facility, FNB offers instant access to an overdraft facility up to a certain value, and is available upon account opening. Any business must watch and manage its cash flows, especially payments to suppliers, to ensure they do not find themselves in situations where they have adverse credit records.

“Our simple solutions are available across all channels (online, ATM, cellphone and more recently our mobile app). FNB has been aggressive in the SME market with its products and services. The drive toward digital and affordable banking has been a key motivator, which has helped us develop products and solutions for all ends of the target market,” concludes Orie.

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