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How the cloud can help side businesses succeed

More and more South African millennials are starting side businesses to supplement their income. With the possibility of earning an additional R3,000 each month on average, it's easy to see why.
Jolawn Victor, Intuit QuickBooks’ head of emerging markets
This is according to Jolawn Victor, Intuit QuickBooks’ head of emerging markets, who says that although this is a way that South Africa’s youth are making extra money, subsequently it also promotes entrepreneurship which, in turn, will bolster the economy should these side businesses become successful and fully fledged small and medium enterprises.”

“With most millennials being tech-savvy, using cloud accounting software can be a great way to help these budding entrepreneurs’ side businesses succeed,” says Victor.
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To assist the growth of these businesses, she shares some pointers outlining how.

Figuring out finances


As cash flow is the life blood of a business, the first step to success is knowing exactly how much money is coming into the business versus how much is being spent. Cloud-based technology assists with the seamless and efficient tracking of sales, expenses and profits. It also lets entrepreneurs see how their business is performing from anywhere and at any time on any device.

Minimising late payments


Cloud accounting lets business owners create custom, professional invoices, sales receipts and estimates that they can send in minutes even via WhatsApp. As getting invoices paid can be a struggle for small businesses, with 62% of small businesses in emerging markets having overdue invoices, certain cloud accounting platforms enable business owners to include a ‘Pay Now’ button on their invoices.

Customers can click on this to make an electronic payment via credit card, debit card or bank transfer. Some software providers take this a step further with mobile apps that allow credit card information to be entered. These apps can also be linked to mobile card readers so entrepreneurs can swipe or tap a credit card and get paid instantly.

Mentorship on tap


With a survey conducted by Seed Academy on the state of entrepreneurship in South Africa revealing that lack of guidance is a key challenge, it helps to know that some cloud accounting software providers connect entrepreneurs with an independent accounting pro who can provide strategic insights to drive small business success. These accountants can offer expert advice and guidance that’s tailor-made for the side business and can also enable the business owner to spend less time on their books and more time making money.

“If these entrepreneurs decide to turn their side business into a full-time job one day, they’ll be all set for success when they do,” concludes Victor.
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