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Adversity helps to ignite the entrepreneurial flame

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Howard Rybko, CEO at Syncrony (Pty) Ltd, a Gauteng-based provider of Web design and content management services, says that difficulty often serves as a strong foundation for growth in business.

Howard Rybko, Syncrony CEO

Syncrony is a web services enterprise that was formed during a period of uncertainty and volatility.

In 1999, at a time of widespread speculation about technology and its role in business, an established motor group stumbled because of the implosion and suffered the ultimate fate.

The motor company’s Internet team of web, graphic and software experts, headed by Rybko, faced an uncertain future.

The team pooled their resources and cemented together a viable offering to meet a market demand for effective Internet presence and this signalled the beginning of Syncrony.

But Rybko asserts that the process of getting Syncrony into this position has not been easy.

“During first five years it was always difficult to make ends meet. This was compounded by the fact that we did not clearly know what we were doing. We had to learn as we went along and as web technology developed and online commerce was invented. There were very few standards and best practices were a few years away,” he says.

It took a few years of absorbing the impact of tight budgets and economic volatility, along with dogged determination, before the business came through successfully.

“In those days our cash flow always hovered between tight and non-existent.  I vividly remember spending one night before payday staring at the ceiling, trying desperately to think of a way to come up with the next day’s payroll money. Things finally turned around and the web became the place to be again,” Rybko continues.

Rybko and his team have identified several a few key points they believe can help businesses sustain operations during adverse conditions and continue on the growth path.

The first is what Rybko has named ‘the rule of Inverse Start-up Logic’. The basis of this rule is that making money is easier than one thinks, keeping it is a lot harder. By contrast partnerships are easy to get and very difficult to get rid of.

He advises would-be entrepreneurs to avoid taking on any expense without due consideration of the consequences and consider carefully any potential contracts.

“Think very hard before you commit to any recurring payments. Never sign a contract on the same day it is presented to you. Always think it over. Understand how much you are you are signing for, by evaluating the total value of the contract and not the seemingly trivial monthly amounts,” he adds.

Rybko says in the current market reliable service delivery is what differentiates competitors.

The secret to keeping work relevant and meeting demands is down to approach and willingness to challenge the norm to deliver value.

This means keeping up with Web and software technology that changes on a daily basis and being passionate about growing the business.

Howard Rybko, Syncrony CEO

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