When asking millennials about where they see themselves career-wise, many will reveal their dream of owning their own businesses.
According to Deloitte's 2019 Global Millennial Survey, 58% of South African young adults say they want more than working for someone else's company. They want their own business.
The question is: what does it take to be, and remain a successful entrepreneur in the struggling local economy and a global economy that is moving lightning-fast and becoming more competitive by the day? Karl Westvig, CEO of Retail Capital, that provides access to alternative business funding and working capital for small companies, offers ten tips:
Listen to your customers
Just because you would buy your product doesn't mean others would, too. For your company to take off, you will need a sustainable base of customers who are convinced they need, want and deserve whatever it is you are offering.
Be funding wise
About 38% of millennials who responded to Ernst & Young's 2018 Millennial Economy report said a lack of funds is preventing them from starting a business.
Fact is that there is money out there. Expand your quest for finance beyond conventional bank loans, explore convenient, flexible funding alternatives.
Success is more than profits
Stand out by building a business that positively impacts the environment and drives socio-economic well-being. Responsible and sustainable ventures perform better.
Put in the time
Starting, running and growing your business is not for the faint-hearted. Don’t expect miracles to happen overnight. Your business won’t build itself.
Work hard, under-promise, over-deliver, keep your promises, promote your company everywhere (not just on social media) and develop a thorough marketing campaign before launching.
Plan your funding strategy
Raising funds needs to be a strategy, one which requires you to plan.
Prepare for meetings with investors by thinking of every question you might face. Analyse and revise your business plan as you go along.
Disrupt, don't be disrupted
The 2019 GEMS report suggests the drive to introduce new products and services that disrupt the market is what is driving entrepreneurs. This means you will have to stay on top of your game at all times.
It is a misconception that you need to scale your business as soon as you can. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with growing, explosive growth too soon can be a threat if you can’t keep up with the momentum.
Budget like a pro
Cash-flow problems happen when you are spending too much, because you are not getting debtors to pay you, or because you are not making money.
Draw up and stick to a watertight budget, tracking all your expenses and income, and spend your money wisely to prevent these issues.
Take mistakes in your stride
You will make mistakes, and that is okay. Learn from them and use this knowledge to fine-tune your plans to build a stronger, more resilient and financially stable business that can make the difference you want it to make.
It's a mindset
At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is a way of life, not just a way to pay the bills.