Starting a business is like becoming a parent- you will lose sleep and tap into energy reserves you didn’t know existed, tears and tantrums are one mishap away, and you will face challenges that pack a punch like that piece of Lego on the sole of your foot. Then one day, the new beginning that you poured your heart into will begin to walk, smile, and achieve small successes that make your chest balloon with pride. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and get excited about what will go right. If you follow our advice below, there may be one less dirty diaper to deal with on your exciting journey as an entrepreneur.
Whilst 64% of South Africans are driven by opportunity rather than necessity, there is a lot of risk involved. It is important to be wary of potential obstacles and equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to ensure the success of your business.
Word of mouth is still key to getting your business off the ground
To move a mountain, you need to start by moving one handful of earth at a time, until you can afford to get bigger machinery involved. The same is true in the world business. Getting an external marketing company or agency can be costly and time-consuming, especially if you are just starting out. Here are some cost-effective ideas to market your business yourself:
- List your business on Google. This will ensure all your business’ details come up in any single Google search. This page will show you how to get your business on Google.
- Get feedback from the people you provide a service to. Mini testimonials are a fantastic way of showcasing what other people think of you and your business and include these testimonials on any relevant platform that is visible to the public.
Be conservative with your equipment
If your business is one that requires various pieces of technology or machinery, then think twice before you purchase them and always ask yourself if it can be used in various places and in multiple ways. In doing so, you will avoid wasting money and potentially wasting space. Co-working environments with a monthly rent payment plan are a great way to minimise costs and will introduce you to other like-minded, ambitious individuals. In the beginning, you don’t necessarily need a fully kitted office with all the bells and whistles; you need a team of passionate employees that are willing to go the distance with you.
Get advice from the professionals and the experienced
Ben Franklin once said that investment in knowledge pays the best interest, and with this in mind, hold off on getting that Nespresso machine or additional computer and rather spend your money on a professional advisor that is knowledgeable and experienced. This person can be anyone from a specialist in tax or an accountant to a well-informed insurance broker (CC&A!). Small business insurance shouldn’t just be considered an optional extra but rather a necessary preventative method for keeping costs low, in case something disastrous happens.
Build up your network
The world has evolved at the hands of ambitious, energetic and savvy entrepreneurs who have paved the way for innovation and success. Look to people that you admire and respect for their leadership qualities and work ethic, and learn from their experiences and expertise. A mentor is a mind to explore, and a fresh perspective on new ideas. A good mentor will not only see your vision but also provide you with the tools to help you turn the vision into a reality. Your next step would be to integrate yourself into the network of like-minded entrepreneurs and small-business owners – keep your eyes open for networking opportunities like talks by entrepreneurs or other expos.
If you are thinking about starting your own business and need some guidance, we can help. Get in touch so we can chat about running your business successfully.
Words by Gabi & Jess