Posted on 24 July 2011.
Ever dreamt of becoming a self-made millionaire, but failed before you even launched your brilliant idea? Many young people run successful businesses but there are many more that battle to jumpstart their empires. Setting up a business, especially in its early stages, is not for the faint-hearted. Youth find it particularly challenging to translate their business ideas into feasible and profit making businesses and without the right guidance, information and tenacity it is harder to succeed.
Before you venture into starting your business ask yourself, “Am I persistent, ambitious, committed, a self starter and willing to take risks?” There are no blueprint requirements or rules to what makes a successful entrepreneur but you need to be sure in what you want because you do have a lot to lose. You also need to have researched the industry that you would like to join. Is there any money to be made in the short or the long term? Do you need any licenses to operate? One can’t expect to plant a tree today and start enjoying the fruits it bears tomorrow the same principle applies when you venture into business. “About 80% of all new small businesses fail within the ﬁrst ﬁve years. Wanting to be your own boss isn’t enough to make you successful” – SA Business Warrior
Tips and tricks to jumpstart your empire:
Know which company structure you want to adopt: Sole proprietor / Sole trader this is best suited when you would like to provide a service and your business is not asset driven and the owner is the sole employee. Income accrues directly to the owner and there are no complicated statutory returns other than meeting basic legal and tax requirements. Closed Corporation this popular and widely used structure gives a business a separate legal identity without the formalities of the Companies Act that governs (Pty) Ltd companies. Partnership best suited when you would like to have partners to share responsibility. This form of structure is formalised by a contract.
Religiously attend networking sessions: This provides a platform to put your foot in the door. Networking sessions are also low cost advertising strategies, it is not often that you can tell people about who you are and what you do without a formal appointment and fear of rejection. Remember to print enough business cards and exchange with as many people as possible.
Get operational quickly: The least complicated profit making business is selling or reselling. Research and find out what products are needed or can be brought closer to your community. You will then be able to make profit right from the beginning and this can be used as start up capital.
Join you local chamber of commerce: This is one of the best ways to get exposure and meet potential clients. This way you can even find companies in the same industry and learn from their strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses.
Monitor the growth of your company: steady growth is preferable over fast growth. Explosive growth would require more financing and more support staff. Slower growth reduces the amount of funding that you will require.
Choose to under-staff: In the inception of your business the entrepreneur must be the chief sales person (limit the amount to two and not more than 3). You must be able to play all the roles that entail keeping your business a float i.e. the cleaner, the receptionist, the tea girl/guy the messenger, the proof reader, the debt collector, the sales guy (etc).
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN and PLAN: Not every business requires funding. So before you quit your 9-5 make sure that you have enough saved to cover your costs when business is not making any profit. In the long run, what matters is not the fancy corner office or title. It’s the profit that you will use to pay your bills, grow the business even larger and secure the self-made empire you always wanted.
Remember in order to succeed you need to love what you do and trust that you can do it!
Next up we look at how a business plan can be the road map to your success.
By Lerato Makgobatlou
JCI Mogale City