With the right attitude, a smart business idea and customers who are willing and able to pay you, it could be the right time for you to make your Mzansi-preneur dreams come true and start a business.
Ready to make the leap to becoming your own boss but not sure where to start? Here’s the first steps to take.
5 Steps to start a business
If you’re serious about your entrepreneurial dreams, then it’s important to look for reasons why it will work, instead of why it won’t. Visualise a future in which you’re running a profitable business, employing people and positively affecting your customers’ lives.
Top tip: Start a daily gratitude habit. Each morning, spend five minutes quietly thinking of three things you’re grateful for. It will set your mood for the day.
Solve a real problem
Starting a business is easy but finding a product or solution that solves a problem, and that customers will pay for, is what makes for successful entrepreneurship.
Top tip: Start carrying a notebook around and documenting any ideas and thoughts that come to you. What drives you crazy? What do you wish worked better? What would improve your daily life? Chat to your family, friends and members of your community to find out what problems they encounter. There may be a common thread or it could spark an idea for how you, as a business owner, could solve a problem others are facing. The best business ideas are simple solutions based on connecting the dots.
Once you have identified the business opportunity, it’s a good time to start developing a business plan. At the very least your business plan should include how you will solve the problem for your customers, how you will make money, who your customer is, what makes your business different to competitors already in the market, at what point you expect your company to become profitable. Read more about how to write a business plan here.
Test your idea in the market
Now that you have your idea, take a closer look – like really close. This step is all about poking holes in your idea to find its weaknesses before you launch. For example, your goal might be to open a beauty salon because you’ve got access to a brand-new local beauty product that you know your future customers will love. It sounds perfect, unless you’re trying to launch on a block that already has five salons – that’s a lot of competition, even if you’re offering products no one else has. Chat to trusted friends and family about your idea to test it and get feedback. They may point you in a better direction to refine it. If it’s a service, test it or sample it with them and see what feedback you get.
Top tip: Research what it will cost you to launch: do you have the money? Is there enough demand: how many similar businesses are competing for your customers’ attention? How will you reach your customers through word of mouth and marketing – even if you’re doing something brand-new and incredible, how will they know? Join business groups like the TymeBank Mzansi-preneur group on Facebook to get advice and start creating networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs in your space. As a member of the group you also get a free SME toolkit that will help guide you on your new journey as an entrepreneur.
Save up to launch your start-up
Nearly all start-ups are self-funded, so you’ll probably be using your own cash to get your business going. TymeBank’s GoalSave lets you save for as many as 10 goals at a time. You can use your goals to save for your start-up until you’re ready to launch, to keep putting money aside for growth and as a rainy-day fund after you’re up and running. You can get access to your savings immediately when you need them and there are no waiting periods.
Once you have a business and some customers, there are many government funds that support start-ups. Visit the South African Government’s website to review what’s available for businesses in your industry. Remember, it takes a track record to secure funding, so focus on good money habits and get serious about your book-keeping and accounts.
Top tip: If you can get people to pay you upfront, you can use your customers’ money to build your business – just make sure you deliver what you’re promising.
Reinvest your profits
This is known as organic growth, and it means you reinvest any money you make back into the business, instead of using it to fund your personal lifestyle, clothing and fancy cars. Each cent should be used to reach more customers, increase your marketing and eventually hire new people.
Top tip: Separate your personal account from your TymeBank business account and pay yourself a salary each month. This will help you keep money in the business and support a thrifty lifestyle while you’re focusing on building your business.
Manage your start-up’s cash in a business account
Ready to get started? Open an EveryDay Business account online in less than five minutes. NO paperwork and NO monthly fees. It’s a great way to keep your personal funds and business money apart through a bank account with no monthly fee and low to no transaction fees.
- Withdraw money mahala and your first-ever cash deposit is also FREE
- Open 10 GoalSaves for your business goals and personal goals. Earn up to 8% interest per year
- Make bulk payments to employees and suppliers.
Find out more: https://www.tymebank.co.za/business-banking/