Lulalend CEO, Trevor Gosling, believes that South African SMMEs deserve a concerted effort, involving the nation. Trevor suggests that if partnerships are emphasised, our country could keep more businesses open. This would ultimately lower unemployment rates. As a Chartered Accountant, Trevor and his co-founder, Neil Welman, launched Lulalend in 2014. Lulalend aims to provide optimal support for startups in order to strengthen the economy. For Trevor, it’s all about making fairer financial opportunities for SMMEs a reality.
In this week’s Business Unusual podcast, Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media links up with Trevor Gosling for an incredibly insightful talk on the challenges SMMEs face in securing capital for their business endeavors, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted a need to pay closer attention the ‘pains and stresses’ existing customer bases. Trevor chats about how to make your second startup a success, and addresses a variety of challenges and solutions, talking on adaptation of business models, leveraging the wisdom of those around you, and approaching ‘step up growth’.
Key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast:
- Keeping your cash flow situation at bay, as an SMME, is extremely important to ensure longevity – always have some sort of safety net available, be cautious and plan ahead for unexpected transactions.
- In the current world we live in, we need to pay special attention to our customers and clients. Everyone is feeling the pinch, and now is the time to come together as business and provide the support they need.
- Adapting your business model for the times is a must. Research Government protocols and policies, and discover practical solutions for your team, in order to forge onwards.
- We need to leverage the wisdom of those around us, whether they are big investors or business partners. People who have ‘been there, done that’ have so much knowledge from living through past challenges – we must extract these insights.
- The SMME economy faces a long road ahead, still. Big growth ambitions have changed due to the pandemic, but there is still hope as the landscape gradually opens up, and new opportunities in the market emerge.
- If you do anything right for your business’s financial health, be careful of your lending and credit behaviours – establish a good level of credibility.
- When you truly understand your business, you are able to pivot and utilise the necessary digital tools required for innovation. SMMEs need to learn how to best leverage tech, AI and Machine Learning to ensure their relevancy and survival.
- You need to spend more time with your customers – understand their needs, wants, aspirations, and use this data to exponentially grow your business. This is how to make your second startup a success.
- Be careful of online and digital marketing practices. Online startups rely heavily on digital marketing, putting tons of money into campaigns and boosting engagement. However, this too often leads to ‘linear growth’ only.
- ‘Step up growth’ is most ideal, and partnerships and collaborations allow for this level of scaling. Remember that you cannot go into a partnership half-heartedly; you need to have a competent team behind you that you trust, know your customer base, and bring great value to the relationship.
*To listen to the full podcast, please click here
Trevor Gosling is a Chartered Accountant with a strong entrepreneurial flair. His last e-commerce venture, 5ounces, was acquired by the Naspers group in 2013. He continued to work as the CEO after acquisition. He has worked in finance for 7 years: as an investment banker internationally with Goldman Sachs and in structured finance for 3 of those years with Rand Merchant Bank.
In earlier years, Trevor attended Benoni High School in the Gauteng Province, and later went on to complete his Chartered Accounting Degree at the University of Pretoria. He then began his journey in the field of accountancy, as a Senior Accountant, for KPMG.
Trevor and his co-founder, Neil Welman, launched Lulalend in 2014, and believe that it is more than just a company. Rather, It is a belief in the power of small business, making a difference, building a better solution and striving for excellence. The Lulalend team works hard to empower businesses across South Africa with the funds they need to grow.