Silvanus is an up-and-coming company that distributes oil sealants to the market. FLOORS in Africa magazine spoke to co-owner, Wesley Fuller, to discuss some of the challenges that the industry currently faces and how companies can make sure that they are able to weather the storms in uncertain times.

According to Wesley, some of the challenges that companies in the flooring sector currently face include sudden cost increases and currency weakening.

“Foreign exchange is a massive risk at the moment and your product can literally become 50% more expensive overnight. Besides currency weakening, price cutting has also become a large problem in the industry. The project pies are becoming smaller and this is leading to flooring companies cutting prices too low. But businesses need to proactively manage their costs so that they can meet their running overheads and costs,” says Wesley.

While there are many short-term strategies that can be used to address current challenges, a company that wants to be sustainable in the long term needs to focus on the industry holistically, making sure they change according to client requirements.

“A forward-thinking company is one that looks at the future needs of a client. It is adapting business models so that they foresee future needs and pre-empt market changes. This enables you to strategically adapt so that when the changes take place, you are positioned grab hold of new opportunities,” says Wesley.

One way in which Silvanus is preparing to adapt their business for future changes is by positioning themselves to meet some of the challenges that their clients are currently facing. Many clients in South Africa, as well as neighbouring African countries, are demanding high quality oil sealants, but there are still relatively few companies supplying these products.

“The current industry players have a captive market because there isn’t a lot of competition. We’ve come into the market with a product that is not only well priced, but also 100% natural and biodegradable,” says Wesley.

Not adapting to client needs and staying ahead of trends can not only cost you market share, but it can lead your business to fail.

“Refusing to adapt to where the market is going and staying stuck in the same old way of doing things will at best cost you money and at worst cost you your business. We’re fortunate to be operating in a global market and many flooring companies now have access to clients that they wouldn’t have been able to reach twenty or even ten years ago. Long term, we are looking at how Silvanus can expand into new markets and reach new customers across the globe,” concludes Wesley.

For more information, contact Silvanus on +27 (84) 580 1146 or via www.silvanus.co.za.