Lots of money given to wrong entrepreneurs

Denton Goodford, MD of Multisure Corporation. (Supplied)
Denton Goodford, MD of Multisure Corporation. (Supplied)
Denton Goodford started Multisure when he saw the concept of combining legal cover and network marketing in the USA. Fin24 asked him more about being an entrepreneur.

What is Multisure all about?

We provide legal and funeral cover using the network marketing model.

The latter enables us to provide people from all walks of life with an income opportunity irrespective of background, education, race or gender.

How did it start?

I saw the concept of combining legal cover and network marketing in the USA.

When I came across the multi-billion network marketing success story in the USA, I wanted to join a similar company in SA, which offered legal insurance (because of my career at the time as an advocate).

But there was nothing like that back in the early 2000s, so I started my own legal insurance network marketing company from scratch.

It was an experiment to see whether it would work in SA.

What made you decide to become and entrepreneur?

I had a successful legal practice at the time, but couldn’t resist the challenge and excitement of starting something that had never been done in SA before and which was hugely successful oversees.

What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur?

Access to growth/development funding remains the biggest problem for most entrepreneurs in SA.

Banks and venture capitalists, in my humble opinion, place too much emphasis on the business plan and collateral rather than placing the focus on the entrepreneur behind the business plan.

Most people can come up with a great business plan that makes sense on paper. One can download thousands of plans from the internet.

In most cases that is all that banks and venture capitalists look at without even interviewing the entrepreneur behind the plan.

They make their decision whether to grant the financing based on the lay-out and figures in the business plan.

A director at one of SA’s biggest development funds personally told me that they never interview the entrepreneur before they make a decision whether to take the application to the next level.

In his bestselling book Intelligent Entrepreneur, former attorney and Washington journalist, Bill Murphy, highlights this flaw.

He gives reasons why so much money is given to the wrong entrepreneurs and why so many who should be receiving funding don’t receive even one dollar.

A great business plan will not come to fruition if it is implemented by an “average” entrepreneur, as you still need hair on your teeth to get past the inevitable and huge obstacles.

This is where most “average” entrepreneurs give up. But give an average business plan to a great/true entrepreneur, who doesn’t stop at anything and he or she will make a success of it.

What is the recipe for success as an entrepreneur?

Proper planning;
Constantly improving your knowledge about business;
Belief in yourself;
Doing something you can’t wait to do all over again the next day.

What are the pitfalls?

Thinking you know it all and not seeking advice from others or a mentor(s);
Cash-flow management;
Not seeking to continuously improve you team, what you have to offer and yourself;
Making decisions because it feels good;
Taking the advice of people who haven’t done it before;
Wanting to grow too fast.

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