"If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney.
The value of entrepreneurship is crucial for the country's economic development and in turn it's gross domestic product (GDP) growth. This is true both in developed and emerging economies. In America, small businesses are often called the backbone of the economy. South Africa's GDP for 2017 is expected to grow at 0.6%, from the initial 1.1% forecast in the beginning of the year. This indicates tough economic climate for the country, one of the largest economy in Africa. According to Focus Economics (2017) there continue to be promising signs, following the economy's exit from technical recession in Quarter 2. This positive data, should, however, be taken cautiously. Endless political bickering constitutes the biggest stumbling block to faster GDP growth, and it continues to weigh on business confidence and stave off future investment.
In my view entrepreneurship plays a key role in addressing socio-economic challenges, for example in South Africa, reducing high unemployment rate of 27.7%, fostering economic development and transformation. Notwithstanding private sector positive contribution to the overall economy. Entrepreneurship has been described as the "capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit" (Business Dictionary). South Africa has a diverse economy, with key sectors contributing to GDP, to name a few, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, mining, finance, real estate and business services. According to Incentives SA (2014) small enterprises employ about 55% of the country’s labour force and contribute approximately 42% to the country’s wage bill.
Entrepreneurs are optimistic, innovative, passionate, courageous and take risk. They have a disruptors mindset and challenge the status quo. They use innovative ideas and technology solutions to solve social and economic challenges and create new markets in the process.
Where and how to start?
Do you have a great business idea and would like to start your own business? Would you like to grow or expand your small business?
A good market or industry research, well written business plan (roadmap) coupled with relevant strategic insight is just what you need to get started and get your business off the ground.
So end this year reflecting on your business idea, imagine it and start the new year with the bang.
"It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela.
Our four step strategy management process depicted on the diagram below is designed to help you ignite your business idea.
1. Imagine your business idea
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein.
Here you need to imagine or brainstorm your business idea and consider if your idea is valid. Know your market and customers. The market and industry research will provide some meaningful insights to understand the external business environment. Know your competitors, their product offering and pricing. Consider type of business, for example online or brick and mortar business model. Type of operation, part-time, full-time or offshore. Understand your internal basis of competitiveness, your value proposition and unique selling point. Do your SWOT analysis. Is your business idea unique and is it easily imitated. Build your competitive advantage.
2. Invent your business idea
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay.
It is always best to start by defining your business goals, mission and vision. What your business is all about and what good look like in 3 to 5 years time. Define your business values or code of conduct. How will you get your act together and measure success (develop business scorecard). What are the key metrics, for example staff productivity, financial performance etc. Define the business brand, the look and feel of your business. This may include logo and website.
Invent your business plan. In short your business idea should either solve a problem in the market or community, address a particular demand in the market (niche market).
Its important to understand the capital and operational expenditure required to invent your business idea - whether it's starting a new company or growing your small business.
Its always a good idea to re-imagine your business if you are planning to grow locally or expand internationally.
This will enable you to understand the market or country attractiveness better. Keep in mind that your business plan or idea will evolve with your business into a sustainable strategy.
3. Ignite your business idea
"Action is the foundational key to all success." - Pablo Picasso.
This is the most exciting and yet challenging part of your business. Keep calm our strategic analysis and insights will make this journey both fulfilling and enjoyable. Make sure you register your business and obtain appropriate accreditation. Open a business account. Implement or ignite your business idea. Get it up and running. Open up your doors for exceptional service. You don't really need to do a big launch, you just need to get started. Keep in mind, it's not going to be an easy ride, there will be good days and challenges along the way. So you will need to acquire knowledge, strategize often and execute your strategy.
Leverage digital technologies for your business. This will help you provide a cost effective, superior value to your customers, integrate, streamline and automate your internal processes. Create a conducive environment to enable continuous learning and innovation. Cultivate adaptive and innovative culture into your business.
Funding is always a challenge. In the beginning you may need to fund or invest in your business. Depending on your business idea or model, you can leverage other sources or methods of funding, for example, bank loans, government, single investors, crowdfunding (peer to peer or investment funding) etc.
4. Measure your business idea progress
It is important to stay on top of your game. Measure your business progress and financial performance at least quarterly. Make sure you adhere to the laws and regulations, for example tax and governance. Also make sure that you know your numbers.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein.
Strategy is our game plan. Our services include market and industry research, writing a business plan, strategy analysis, formulation and advisory services to transform or re-imagine your business.
Why entrepreneurs fail?
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill.
It is inevitable that some entrepreneurs will succeed and some will fail. So why entrepreneurs fail, to name a few important reasons:
Not having clear vision and goals.
Lack of clear and coherent strategy.
Poor financial planning.
Poor marketing and branding.
Lack of resources.
Lack of funding.
Lack of customer focus.
Lack of innovation.
Networking seen as low priority.
No proper business plan.
Entrepreneurs who are able to address these challenges are guaranteed success.
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, This time more intelligently." - Henry Ford.
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Edison.