Every business owner starting or growing a business in South Africa knows how challenging and rewarding the experience can be. To try and cut through the clutter of what’s important to know about creating a successful business in SA, here are the top ten insights from successful SA businessmen and women who have appeared on her show in recent times.
1. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not expect your business to turn a profit in the first month. It will take time to grow and develop.
2. Find mentors who you can relate to. Good mentors can help you identify and improve your areas of weakness and make learning fun. It never hurts to have someone hold your hand along your journey! A mentor means you will have someone to share ideas with and work out any kinks.
3. Do what you love. You’re going to devote a lot of time and energy to starting a business and building it into a successful enterprise, so it’s really important that you truly, deeply enjoy what you do. Whether it be running fishing charters, creating pottery or providing financial advice.
4. Write a business plan. The main reason for doing this first when you’re thinking of starting a business is that it will help you understand your needs and set clear goals.
5. Employ people you trust. You need to enjoy working with your employees, this will help you to avoid having to deal with inter-personal issues as well as work challenges.
6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail; it’s proof that you are meant to be a successful entrepreneur. The only difference between people who are hugely successful and those who aren’t is the time it takes them to get back up after getting knocked down.
7. Use free advertising. Take advantage of social media as much as possible. However make sure you do it in the right way. Research and find out how to best market your business before taking the plunge.
8. Provide top-notch customer service. No matter what. If you have a happy client there is a good chance they will become a loyal client and word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
9. Try and keep everything as simple as possible. Over-complicating things is exactly that. Complicated!
10. Celebrate your success. Even the small ones count. No matter how busy you are, be sure to celebrate when you, your employees and your business achieve important goals.