Looking to Start your own business? Here’s why you should start NOW.

It’s 2018 and our hope is that entrepreneurship continues to thrive in South Africa! We thought we would start the year off by sharing an article we wrote recently. If you’re looking to start your own business then we have some great advice for you.

Here’s the irony! It’s never been easier to start a business, which is why it’s never been harder to start a business!

In the “old days”, when a big company had five thousand staff, it had five thousand horsepower which is why back then, big companies and governments were the only entities that could get the big jobs done and move the world forward. But thanks to digitisation, the world has changed drastically in the last decade or two and now, a small company of five to ten people equipped with this enabling technology, become an army that has the equivalent of five thousand horsepower.

This is why starting a business has never been more alluring! Small groups of people can disrupt massive industries just like Uber and AirBNB are doing in their respective industries. The really big problem for most established industries is that it’s really hard to see where new competition is coming from. The entire taxi industry could never have predicted that two entrepreneurs and a few software engineers could change their lives forever.

THINGS ARE HEATING UP IN EARTH’S KITCHEN!

For the first time ever, you can impact the world from your bedroom while chilling in your underpants. That said, big companies aren’t standing still and they are equally using the same technology to ring out efficiencies in their businesses. We believe we are at the point where we will see technology replace people at an unprecedented rate.

A small example of this is Nu Metro and Ster-Kinekor! Just two years ago, you actually bought your movie tickets from a human being at the ticket kiosk. Take yourself out for a movie now and you’re lucky to see more than three staff members. All tickets and refreshments are bought using a tablet at the front desk. The only people working are the ones pouring your Slush Puppy and dishing out your popcorn.

With this in mind, being an entrepreneur is a great idea with just one caveat; the easier it gets to become an entrepreneur, the more other people are going to do it. Competition drives innovation, which means it will get harder and harder for startups to succeed unless they are absolutely excellent! With this in mind, the following advice is critical to you when starting a business:

  • You have to be absolutely passionate about the business you want to start BUT your business also has to also solve a big problem for society (there must be an appropriate market for what you want to do).
  • Conscious capitalism is the way forward. Doing the right thing isn’t a nice to have anymore. It’s the only way to do business!
  • You have to have the energy of a thousand men when you start because every little detail becomes your responsibility!
  • You need to use the power of collaboration and networking with other like minded entrepreneurs, this will allow your business to scale without having to take on the expense of employing more people. The connections you make will grow your client base and allow you to offer service to your clients that you may not be able to offer on your own.
  • That said, you have to become a master of technology so that you can scale your business. Technology enables small groups of people to act like an army. The days of linear improvement won’t do!
  • You have to become forever educated because the world is changing so fast and you need to know what’s going on in order to understand how approaching trends will affect your business. Informal education in the form of; YouTube, daily reading and podcasts, is key!
  • AND FINALLY, play the long game. Create a 10- 15 year plan and work backward. Chase excellence and not money. Money is the result of doing something well. When you put this all together, you have a sustainable and scalable business!

SUPPORT LOCAL CONTENT CREATORS

Before we part ways, we thought we’d include this little gem from Dan Newman who runs CEOwise.tv. In this 3-min video, he asks five South African entrepreneurs what their best advice is for people wanting to start their own business and it’s definitely worth a watch: