Five steps to help you start your own small business

Your small business helps boost the South African economy

12 November 2018 - 14:35
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If you’re still dreaming of starting a business but can’t seem to get moving or don’t think your venture is important enough, think again. Small businesses are a huge part of the South African economy.

In an interview with The Citizen, Old Mutual Wealth CEO Kerrin Land said: “In SA, small and medium-sized enterprises make up 90% of formal businesses, contribute roughly 34% towards gross domestic product (GDP) and provide employment to about 60% of the labour force.”

These statistics prove that small businesses in SA are vital to a successful economy. Business development in rural areas also provides much-needed employment and opportunities for growth, which leads to an increase in infrastructure development and investment.

Companies like Ithala Development Finance Corporation are jumping in to help build the rural-area economy by investing in development in this area. For many years, Ithala has used its property assets to catalyse development in rural and township environments.

A bold target has been set to boost investment in capital infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal from the current 16.5% of GDP to 25% by 2020. KwaZulu-Natal forms a critical part of the National Infrastructure Plan, which aims to increase employment-intensive investment in the province.

If you’re ready to start your own small business, here are the first five steps you should take:

Image: 123RF/Mavoimage
  1. Do research. Research your product or service, your market and your competitors. You need to be prepared for anything that comes your way and ensure that you have a plan to handle it. Proper research will always stand you in good stead.
  2. Draw up a business plan. Sit down and plan your business properly. You need to consider how you will attract customers, what your costing will be, and how many clients you will need to make a profit. These are all questions you need to think about, and a good business plan will help you answer them.
  3. Find your clients. Your business can’t succeed without clients, so before you do anything else, you need to find them. Call potential clients who would need your product and service, search the internet or start networking with people who have contact with them. Building your network from the get-go will help you achieve great rewards.
  4. Educate yourself. Make sure you are well prepared to start a business. That means making the time to learn all that you can by reading, enrolling for courses and perhaps finding a mentor to help you and provide you with support. Do a search online for free educational resources and watch talks by business leaders. Self-improvement will better your chance of making a success out of your venture.
  5. Implement your idea. Once you’re ready to go, don’t hold back or be afraid; take the leap and start your business. Remember, you can start as small as you want to so take it one step at a time, but do take the step.

For more information on Ithala, visit its website and blog or call 031 907 8911.

 

This article was paid for by Ithala.

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