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3 Important Ways To Foster A Successful Future For Your Business

Employees should be given an opportunity to contribute towards defining the company’s core values and owners should invest in continuous development training programmes for their younger, more inexperienced employees.

Johan Van Zyl

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For any successful business, safeguarding its future through careful succession planning should be an important focus. This applies whether you’re running a large listed business, a family owned business, or a small to medium sized unlisted business. There are interesting parallels to heading a successful family and preserving long term family wealth.

This was borne out in our latest survey of over 150 ultra-high net worth individuals, many of whom run or have run successful businesses, often across jurisdictions and generations. Over two thirds of the respondents identified succession planning as their current primary concern in preparing financially for the future. This represents a shift from our 2017 report which identified capital preservation as the primary concern.

What is driving this change? According to our findings, the answer is the rapidly changing and uncertain socio-political and economic environments. Against this background, our respondents said they see a certain urgency in preparing the next generation of leaders to respond to future challenges and opportunities. This means a more sophisticated, better structured and increasingly democratic approach to leadership, greater emphasis on training and development of young people, and better communication and renewed emphasis on long-term planning. The risk of failing to prepare the next generation is now seen as the highest priority for long-term sustainability.

In the family business scenario, and given the rate of technological, social and political change, intergenerational relationships are also transforming. Nearly all respondents agree that the impact of societal change on a family business must be reflected in the way they prepare for the future. Traditional, informal approaches are thus being challenged as families look to more sophisticated governance and communication.

Related: 25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

For many of our clients, a successful business is the principal source of wealth and frequently represents a substantial proportion of their assets. Below are some practical, actionable insights from the report that came out of the survey, Four Pillars of Capital: Practical Wisdom and Leadership for Changing Times.

Concern #1: Succession Planning

As mentioned, the survey showed a shift in the primary concern by respondents from capital preservation to succession planning. We found that 69% of respondents identified succession planning as one of their top three concerns for future financial planning, followed by capital preservation (62%) and tax planning (48%).

Our Recommendation: Planning for the long-term is crucial in any business. Discuss strategic planning for future ownership with your Board, your mentor, your family and or key business stakeholders, which could include raising external finance or planning for an exit. Develop a purpose or planned vision for your business.

Partner with an independent professional to help advise and implement suitable and practical strategies to support governance and succession.

Concern #2: Leadership Selection

We asked families how they selected their leaders and how this should change in the future. One of the most interesting results of the survey is that 28% of families interviewed still currently operate on the basis of primogeniture (the right of succession belonging to the first-born child). When asked about their intentions for the future, however, the figure is now around a third of that at 10%. There is a growing preference for wider consultation for the selection of new leaders, possibly including a formal process. Currently only 13% use a committee to select the leader, however at least a third (33%) expect leadership to be selected this way in future.

Our Recommendation: Our experience tells us that having a clear leadership structure and process will provide the best chance of managing unforeseen risks – both internal and external – pursuing opportunities and ensuring that the business prospers. Most business owners need to employ leaders who can keep pace with the modern world and are able to adapt to a fast-changing environment. This means more broadly-based preparation than in the past.

The counterweight is that there is greater need for leadership responsibilities to be shared with others who have both the knowledge and stature to debate the key areas of risk and ensure the interests of all stakeholders are properly protected. Having an experienced mentor to help think through ideas and handle challenging relationships is invaluable.

Related: Watch List: 11 Teen Entrepreneurs Who Have Launched Successful Businesses

Concern #3: Failure to prepare the Next Generation

Respondents identified that the top risks to long-term family wealth relate to family disputes (68%) and lack of planning (67%) as well as the failure to appropriately engage or train the next generation. This happens in businesses too, whether or not they are family businesses. Partners in a business can fall out, leaving the business and its employees to an uncertain future and often resulting in detrimental impact to the value of the business.

Our Recommendation: Increasingly, we suggest that families and business owners should engage in ongoing, regular and transparent communication with all company stakeholders, regardless of their responsibility or position within the firm. Employees should be given an opportunity to contribute towards defining the company’s core values and owners should invest in continuous development training programmes for their younger, more inexperienced employees.

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Company Posts

Travel At The Touch Of A Button

The revolutionary Travelit app has been developed for the global marketplace to meet your business travel needs.

Tourvest

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Travelit has launched an easy-to-use mobile app that simplifies the trip approval process, provides a full trip itinerary and assists in management of travel expenses.

“The app is designed in South Africa, for the African and global marketplace,” says Wayne Muirhead Chief Sales Officer at Travelit. “We have developed the app locally with our own developers, and opted not to use a white labelling solution.”

The app interface enables the requirements of travellers, approvers, users, as well as finance and procurement role players to be met so each trip is seamlessly planned and executed.

Stress-free financial administration

“Expense management is an integral part of the complete travel cost; businesses want to understand their complete travel bill,” says Wayne. This is why the app incorporates features that facilitate:

  • Capturing of photographs of receipts real-time
  • Immediate allocation of expenses to the correct description
  • Uploading expenses for workflow approval
  • Attachment of an expense to a travel trip, or generating a non-travel related expense.

Simplified trip approval process

In addition, approvers’ features enable simple visibility into the trip’s cost and details:

  • Approval of booking requests
  • Trip confirmation once trip has been successfully approved
  • Managing alerts — approval notifications, pre-trip notification as well as travel notifications
  • Out of office activation for approvers.

Related: How Travelit Makes Travelling Affordable For Small Businesses

Trip management made easy

With Travelit’s new app, travellers have the ability to update, create new profiles directly from their phones and update and store all their information, including:

  • Updating of profile details
  • Personal information
  • Visas, passports, meal types, seating preferences
  • Loyalty programmes.

As a traveller, when you are travelling, you require information, updates and access to your travel documentation in real time. The Trip Manager function provides you with this through the following functions:

  • View current, pending and past trips
  • Trip itinerary information
  • View trips that are awaiting approval
  • View supplier vouchers
  • Locate properties via the Map option
  • Boarding passes are available
  • Real-time alerts to travellers.

Related: Save Up To 25% On Your Travel Costs

Happy travels

“We have done a soft launch with the app and offered it to strategic users and clients within our ecosystem,” says Wayne. These corporates have enjoyed the functions within the app, such as:

  • Real time information for the traveller (itineraries, vouchers, boarding passes)
  • Approval notifications and the approval capability
  • Notifications
  • Contact information for the consultants after-hours, and assistance
  • Access to the traveller profile to ensure their data is updated and correct
  • Check-in to the airline.

The Travelit app is available in the Google Play Store and iOS Store. Travelit will make monthly app releases by offering users ongoing functionality and features.

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Company Posts

Access To The Best In Travel Excellence

As a global company, business travel plays an important part in Hatch’s successful operation. Yolandi Coertze, facilities manager at Hatch, explains how switching to Travelit changed the way they travelled forever — for the better.

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Multinational engineering consultancy, Hatch requires a travel partner that provides easy access to its regional and international offices for meetings, conferences and client engagements. This is why Hatch chose Travelit, and has since experienced reliable and consistently superior service, says Yolandi Coertze, facilities manager.

“Travelit allows us to have the flexibility in terms of work sharing with global offices and makes it possible for us to attend to our client requirements in a professional and efficient manner.”

Here’s how partnering with Travelit has helped Hatch soar as a market leader.

What have Hatch’s biggest business travel challenges 
been to date?

Our biggest challenge has been to provide our travellers with an easy booking solution that gives them the best options available at a glance, in line with our travel policy for their travel arrangements, without taking up valuable time when booking their travel. In addition, managing cost against convenience and ease of travel is an ongoing challenge.

Why did you start using Travelit?

We were in the market for an online booking solution. Travelit made an impressive proposal by building the system around our specific needs and requirements. They incorporated our travel policy guidelines, while offering us an easy-to-use booking system which decreased our monthly expenditure. The platform also allows us to manage our travel more effectively.

Related: How Travelit Makes Travelling Affordable For Small Businesses

How has Travelit made doing business easier?

We have seen a big change in travel behaviour and travellers are more aware of unnecessary costs that can be avoided when booking travel. Travel booking time (once travel bookers became used to the system) has also decreased, which allows travel bookers to utilise the extra time 
more efficiently.

What benefits have you experienced as a Travelit client?

We have seen a big decrease in our missed savings, which means that our travellers are booking in line with our travel policy by utilising the parameters that have been set up in Travelit. Our contracts with certain suppliers are also maintained on the Travelit platform, which allows us to utilise the lowest rate to keep in line with our travel policy. The ease of booking online at any time when travel is required is an additional benefit. We have reduced our paperwork by being online, and uploading data into our accounting system has made the process simple and efficient.

Why would you recommend Travelit to other businesses?

Travelit is efficient in terms of booking travel, cost-effective and allows for flexibility where required.

What makes Travelit the best in the market?

  • Multi-leg international routings
  • Travel behaviour reports
  • Alternative solution to bill-backs
  • Tracked booking patterns
  • Accommodation feedback solution
  • Comprehensive fare calculator.

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Company Posts

Beyond Business Class

RwandAir, the national carrier of the Republic of Rwanda, is reputed for its excellent on-time performance, customer service and safety – and it has one of the youngest fleets on the African continent.

RwandAir

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Vital Stats

RwandAir has just celebrated yet another big milestone as the airline continues to expand its network. “Our aim is to provide to our customers seamless and better connections on the continent and beyond. Abuja and Cape Town come in as a boost to the different economies in terms of tourism and trade on one hand and enhance bilateral partnership between our countries on the other,” beams Chance Ndagano, previous CEO of RwandAir.

RwandAir, an IATA member, recently renewed its IOSA certification and has been ISAGO and EASA certified. With a fleet of twelve aircraft, including two wide-body Airbus A330 acquired last year, the airline currently reaches out to 26 destinations across East, Central, West and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Related: ‘Shark Tank’ Investors Reveal Top 5 Tips To Make Your Business Famous

Rapid African advancement

Launched in December 2002 as RwandAir Express, RwandAir is among the continent’s the fastest-growing airlines, despite its recent entry into the market. Since its first flight took off, RwandAir has boasted unsurpassed, safe and reliable service, operating from the city of Kigali.

The Rwandan airline aims to connect Rwanda with the world and vice versa. This goal is being achieved through its network that currently covers a number of cities throughout Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. RwandAir’s most popular flight routes include flights from Johannesburg to Dubai, London and Mumbai.

A year of successes

Recently, RwandAir started flights from Kigali to Mumbai, London (Gatwick) and Brussels as well as Dakar from its new hub in Cotonou. The airline also introduced flights to Abidjan, Libreville and Brazzaville from its Cotonou hub. In May 2017 the airline started flying direct from Cape Town to Harare.

This year the airline will be introducing new routes to Addis, Tel Aviv, China and New York.

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