If one of these statements fits your circumstances and you’re ready to venture into the unknown world of business, this article is for you!
Everyone knows that we’re facing many challenges in South Africa. A struggling economy and an unemployment rate approaching 30% is one of the more serious issues in South Africa. One of the methods to tackle these two issues is through entrepreneurship.
And for this reason, entrepreneurship has become a ‘buzzword’ in the country. Even though entrepreneurship might click the economic machine into gear and supply jobs to the unemployed, there is a more demanding issue that stands between the problem and solution of entrepreneurship, namely education.
Everybody wants to start a business, make millions and supply the jobless with hope. These are all good ambitions; however, it’s not just as straightforward as starting a business and becoming an overnight success. As the saying goes, "If it was easy, everyone would do it." There are five steps that you need to apply in the build-up to launching a business. These five steps, if executed correctly and in the right sequence will lead you to build a solid foundation with a better chance of success.
So, let’s get back to the topic of education. Becoming an entrepreneur, like any other profession requires a form of education and practice. Before you launch out into the deep waters of business, press the ‘pause button’ and take a moment to think things through. Take a moment to plan your venture and prepare yourself for the challenge of starting a business. Take a moment to count the cost and sacrifice of starting a business. When the excitement and emotions have settled down and you have thought things through, you are ready for the next phase – educating yourself and building a foundation that will not buckle under the pressure. This foundation is a result of the following five steps. Step 1: Discover your entrepreneurial ability
If you have a normal functioning brain, you can become an entrepreneur. Every person on earth is made in the image and likeness of God. And the first attribute we learn of God, is that He is a Creator. This in return makes human beings creators. This truth proves that every person on earth possesses the creative gene, and entrepreneurship is nothing other than creativity, creation and innovation.
If you understand the natural business sequence consisting of (1) production; (2) re-production; (3) distribution and (4) market control and if you believe that you have the ability to become an entrepreneur, you’re well on your way!
What separates freelancers or self-employed people from great entrepreneurs, is that a great entrepreneur builds an organisation that works. In order to build an organisation that works, you need to understand the entrepreneurship personality.
A brilliant example of the entrepreneurship personality is Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs possessed all the traits of a great entrepreneur, and through his dream he changed people’s lives for the better. Step 2: Identifying the right idea
When you have discovered your inner entrepreneur, it’s time to identify if your business idea is worth the effort. Life is short and we don’t have any time to waste. Many people spend hours and hundreds of thousands of rand on ideas that will never sell or ideas that just isn’t worth it. The business idea must be an idea worth working for, an idea that will move your community, market or industry forward, an idea that’s more meaningful than just making money. Money is only a result of the health of your business. Think of it this way, you’ll be paid exactly according to the amount of value you add to the market. To increase your pay check, make yourself more valuable.
To identify the right idea will take some personal soul searching, the following keys are a guideline for you to identify an idea worth working for:
- Skill/talent: What are your skills or talents?
- Passion: What are you deeply passionate about?
- Economic engine: How can you change your skill and passion into a money-making idea?
The right idea will come from the answers of these three questions. If your idea doesn’t include your skill or talent, you will struggle to build a competitive advantage in the market. If you aren’t passionate about the idea, you will surely not last more than six months. If the idea is not making money, it’s not worth the effort. An idea worth working for will include an answer that matches all three questions. Step 3: Viable business model
Now that you have the right idea, you need to create a viable business model. To have only the idea, without a well-thought-out plan of action is not enough. You need to understand everything about the industry, market and customer in order to build a viable business model. You need to spot the issues, market gaps and methods of fixing the problems. The following topics needs to be researched and understood in full as you create a viable business model.
- Industry trends
- Market trends
- Target market identification
- Competitor analysis
- Creating a product/service
After doing your research, identifying the competition and creating a valid product/service that the target market actually wants and needs, you know with confidence that the idea is worth your time and effort. Step 4: Define your vision
With the peace of the mind that the idea is worth working for, you need to create a vision for your business. Vision nowadays can be very confusing; people confuse the concept of vision with a dream or purpose. I mean, which one is important, should we have a dream or rather a vision and where does purpose fit in?
An easy way to define Vision is to divide it into different compartments:
- Part 1 of Vision – Purpose: Purpose is the impact that your idea and organisation will have on other people’s lives.
- Part 2 of Vision – Dream: The business dream is the end result of your business.
- Part 3 of Vision – Strategy: You need a clear-cut strategy of what makes you unique in the market, your competitive advantage and your entry point into the market.
- Part 4 of Vision – Tactics: Your tactics is a step-by-step process of how you will establish your strategy in the market.
Looking at a vision through this perspective, will make it a less daunting picture. After creating a clear vision, it’s time to make a decision and commitment to your vision. The word decision comes from the Latin word "homicide" and means to kill off any other alternative. It will also be impossible to build your vision without being fully committed.
The discipline which comes through a well-thought-out vision is one of the key factors that will drive you to success. And the opposite is true, without vision people throw off self-discipline. Without a vision, it’s impossible to build a successful Business and it’s also going to be very difficult to practise discipline, which incidentally is one of the key principles that will lead you to success.
To become a successful entrepreneur, you need both a personal and business vision. One of the most important aspects to understand, is that a business needs to fit into your life and not the other way around. If you mess up this cycle, everything in your life will slowly start to take strain, leaving you with an imbalance that could lead to many bad things like divorce, health issues, obsession, etc. Step 5: Build an organisation that works
Finally, after pressing the pause button and taking a moment to plan things through, you now have a foundation in place! This foundation will serve as your launching pad, which will not crumble under the pressure.
In order to build the business that you’ve planned, you need marketing, sales and operational systems. One of the biggest issues with technical people starting a business, is that they know every technical aspect of the industry. However, they don’t understand business. 80% of your business success will come from your ability to generate leads and convert them into sales. Without this recipe, you’ll have no cashflow and technical work to do.
At the Entrepreneurship School we believe that the correct entrepreneurship education will enable you to build a business. We have an online business course that addresses all five steps to start a business in South Africa. The course is done in your own time and should take 2–4 weeks to complete. Included in the business course is a study guide that you need to complete as you work your way through the five steps. This study guide, if completed correctly will become an in-depth business plan that will put you in full control of your own destiny as an entrepreneur.
- Over 30 educational videos
- Over 25 practical tutorial videos
- A business plan template in Word format for future editing
- A study guide
Requirements: smartphone, laptop or computer with Wi-Fi.
- Understand entrepreneurship like you’ve never known before.
- Get the right idea to build your business on.
- Build a viable model that’s right for your business.
- Write your wwn in-depth business plan.
- Key building blocks for success.
- A marketing strategy right for your business.
- Learn how to sell your product.
- Avoiding the trap of self-employment.
Cost: Only R990. Click here
to apply for the Online Business Course. Click here
for more information regarding the Online Business Course. Click here
to see what the Online Business Course did for previous students who are now successful entrepreneurs.
We’ve recently assisted Niel Smuts from Sparkdust, who was running a business part-time and couldn’t make the leap to quit his 08h00–17h00 job and go in the direction of his dream.
In the business course we assisted him firstly to identify his dream and we helped him to write down a clear vision. Secondly, we started working on his branding, marketing and sales. Sparkdust started to receive leads within the middle of the business course and Niel managed to convert three of the leads into more than R80,000 in sales before the end of the business course.
To read Niel’s testimonial click here