INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Creating Buzz in the SME Market: Harness the Power of Online Platforms
We talked to Ivan Radmore how with Buzzapex, one can now take control, set expectations and exploit resources to create a solution that dynamically caters to their organization.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ivan Radmore: As with most families, this was a year, unlike any other. It was a reminder of how much we all yearn to remain connected with others and that we must rise to the challenges. There’s little doubt that the effects will be felt for years to come, so it’s imperative that we turn this disruption into an advantage. Viewing the disruption in a positive light allows us to reimagine how we should live and interact with everyone, from family to colleagues and clients.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded BuzzApex.
Ivan Radmore: We’re a family of contractors constantly seeking better, more efficient, and smarter ways to do business and take our customers with us on our journey. We are committed to long-term relationships, so we have this massive extended family with over 30 years behind us. As someone who has built businesses from the ground up, I am a champion for SME growth. Today, this passion lies in BuzzApex, designed as a tried and tested platform aimed at promoting the products and services that put small businesses at the top of their client’s search.
In 1990 I founded IBR Fire, a successful business, during which I also served on a myriad of industry associations. I have also gained invaluable expertise in retail, mining, manufacturing, and construction during this time. This extensive experience and the lessons learned from the challenges I overcame at the beginning of my professional career has revitalized my enthusiasm to help others succeed.
How does your company innovate?
Ivan Radmore: Innovation comes from identifying and placing the customer’s needs first. I have experienced the common and frustrating difficulties in securing investment, managing corporate governance, and the struggle to attract customers, maintain growth, and achieve a competitive advantage. It was during this time that the idea for BuzzApex to assist other companies was born. Therefore, I’m confident that BuzzApex is a platform powerful enough to support and strengthen all businesses that want better sales, financial, and management results through the controls and resources that are offered.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Ivan Radmore: The coronavirus didn’t affect us as a business to a large degree as technology plays a central part in it. The forced shutdown and the challenges that our customers endured had a knock-on effect, which is just another justification for a decision taken 3 years ago to share our technologies with our customers. One of our employees of over 20 years was convinced that I had a premonition about a scenario similar to the coronavirus – as we had been discussing plans for using technology remotely in the event of being forced to. This is why the BuzzApex online platform was designed to function as a viable business – away from a physical business. However, the truth is far from supernatural. The platform just made business sense, was affordable and fortunately is now perfectly positioned to make a difference where it really matters.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ivan Radmore: There weren’t any major difficult decisions to make other than to ensure that our employees could pay their bills without taking on extra debt. This meant digging into our reserves, but it was the right thing to do. After all, our people are our greatest assets. The pandemic did, however, reinforce the importance of our relationship with technology. Now is the time to reduce data costs and ensure more people have access to technology. This ensures that businesses have a greater chance of survival despite unprecedented challenges like the pandemic and the measures put in place to mitigate it.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Ivan Radmore: Life happens. This is an important truth to accept. It prepares you for the inevitable downturns. However, we have harnessed the power of technology to reduce the factors that induce stress and anxiety. As a business strategy, our decision-making is centered around everyone being accountable for their activities. This results in a reduction of anxiety overall. As a business owner, I, of course, can never be exempt from stress. However, I found great relief in talking about specific difficulties with the relevant parties, thereby tackling anxiety before it grows and implodes.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ivan Radmore: We positioned ourselves where it’s difficult for others to easily challenge us within our target market. There are layers of technology working in tandem to create unique solutions. We know that over 500 companies offer similar services in South Africa, which is why we’ve gone the distance to adopt new technologies and fresh thinking. We believe we can work with our competitors to better serve customers’ needs, which explains our participation in the myriad of industry organizations where we participate to up-skill our industry and promote compliances. To move forward, technology must be shared in a way that benefits all.
Your final thoughts?
Ivan Radmore: With the adoption of BuzzApex, we are leveling the playing field for all businesses. Where we all work within the same set of rules in a transparent environment, competition is fair, and the customer will get what they paid for. Right now, there is far too many ‘fly by night’ operations in all segments of the market with little to no concern for the harm they do. They negatively impact the growth of small businesses, which are the lifeblood of most economies. The pandemic is a reminder that we are connected, and working together, we can ensure that prosperity is shared.
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