Winning entrepreneur’s 10 top tips

2014-02-19 14:29

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Anda Maqanda is the SAB KickStart 2013 winning entrepreneur.

He is the founder of the AM group, a multifaceted provider of engineering solutions, and employs about 25 people.

These are some of his tips for entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs:

» Network, network network. Maqanda says this is how you are introduced to prospective mentors.

» Use your business plan as a living document.

» Market your business properly. “Don’t just sit back waiting for tenders. Go and knock on people’s doors,” he says.

» Use failure as a learning curve. “I started my business in 2008 and it failed. I went back to full-time employment to raise capital for my business and in 2010, I tried again. I have been operating ever since because I didn’t just sit back, I used failure as a learning curve,” says Maqanda.

» You don’t always need people with experience. Maqanda says when he started, he leant heavily on graduates because, although they did not have the experience, they had the theory and came much cheaper. “No one knows your business better than you do, so you are the expert.”

» Tenders cannot sustain your business.

» The quality of your products must be excellent. All it takes is one bad review and your reputation is ruined. “It may jeopardise your relationship with your client,” he says.

» Don’t always look to partner with big companies on projects, you can partner with other entrepreneurs.

» Start with small projects. “You can’t have a turnover of R200 000 and want a R10 million contract.”

» Keep your customers and employees happy. “They are your business,” says Maqanda.

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