Five qualities of successful entrepreneurs
There are many factors that contribute to a small business either being a success, or a failure. There’s no denying that things such as timing and luck play a role in determining whether or not a business will go places, but the type of person leading the way has the most significant influence on how things play out.
If you’re going to succeed as an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to be open-minded. Getting a fledgling business off the ground takes time with many lessons learned along the way, so it’s vital that you remain open and receptive, and most importantly, flexible. You need to be able to expect the unexpected and deal with situations that you didn’t anticipate having to deal with. At the same time, you have to be constantly learning and absorbing as many best practices as possible. Lastly, it’s the open-minded entrepreneurs who are never afraid to ask for advice and learn from their mistakes.
Strive to be an expert
A successful entrepreneur will always strive to be the best and a leader in his/her field. Familiarising yourself with the inner workings of your specific industry will give you valuable insight into its history, markets and make-up. This information will give you the knowledge and awareness you need to see how your business can make an impact on the industry and how it can move forward. The longer you stay in a particular field, the more understanding you will glean which in the long run, will only benefit you and your business. Over that time, you will also form and strengthen relationships which will support you in your future business endeavours.
The mark of a truly great entrepreneur is one who is always thinking and generating new ideas. Resting on one’s laurels is never an option and successful small business owners are constantly thinking of new and exciting ways to grow and improve their businesses. They never allow themselves to become stagnant and they make a concerted effort to stay up to date and in the know about everything that relates to their business, and beyond.
As with most things in life, you need a plan. Successful entrepreneurs have the ability to be forward-thinking – they are constantly planning for the things ahead. It’s almost like they have a mental checklist that they use to tick things off as they get done. This gives them the direction they need to succeed. They have an idea of where they want to be and goals they wish to achieve, and it’s these things that they choose to focus on every day. All the hard work they put in is all in the name of achieving these goals and being able to tick another thing off the list.
At the heart of every successful small business is undoubtedly a healthy dose of passion. All successful entrepreneurs are highly driven and committed to achieving greatness within their fields. In the world of entrepreneurship, there’s no room for half-heartedness – it’s all or nothing. You need to be passionate about what you do because when the tough times come (and they will), it’s that passion and dedication that will get you through. Mild enthusiasm is just not enough. The love for your business is what will give you the necessary motivation to succeed.
Of course all entrepreneurs are different but it’s these few pivotal qualities that are the ingredients to success in the business world, particularly in the small business world.
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Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship: Changing the lives of South African entrepreneurs
If hopeful entrepreneurs are to reach their full potential and achieve their business dreams, they need to receive adequate guidance, nurturing and of course, opportunities. South Africa is no stranger to producing top-quality business men and women, and with the number of entrepreneurs entering the scene increasing year after year, the economy is receiving a much-needed boost.
If hopeful entrepreneurs are to reach their full potential and achieve their business dreams, they need to receive adequate guidance, nurturing and of course, opportunities. South Africa is no stranger to producing top-quality business men and women, and with the number of entrepreneurs entering the scene increasing year after year, the economy is receiving a much-needed boost. Aspiring entrepreneurs need all the help they can get and this is something that Sir Richard Branson and his team recognise. The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is an organisation that is changing the lives of entrepreneurs across the country – find out how.
An initiative of Virgin Unite (a non-profit organisation founded within the Virgin Group), the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship was founded in 2005 in the heart of South Africa’s business hub, Johannesburg. From the beginning, the organisation has been committed to providing would-be entrepreneurs with small businesses the opportunities, skills and the inspiration they need to become truly successful in their industries. Business is often seen as a “force for good” and a means of stimulating the economy – it’s not so much about the money as it is about people trying to make a difference in the lives of their loved ones, contributing to society in a positive way, as well as cementing their positions as the future business leaders of our country.
What’s on offer?
The centre offers programmes that aim to help entrepreneurs scale and develop successful, sustainable businesses. Whilst it does not offer funding, it does provide elements that are equally as important. Access to the following is offered:
- Knowledge: The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship considers itself to be a knowledge hub, delivering training and mentorship, as well as developing minds through the wealth of information that is made available.
- Resources: Provides entrepreneurs with the necessary portals that will connect them to the finances and professional services they require to grow their businesses.
- Markets: Many entrepreneurs need a platform on which they can showcase what they have to offer and as a result, gain access to procurement opportunities. They need market exposure and the centre helps with this.
- Networks: Connecting with local and international business communities and industry networks is key in order for entrepreneurs to become successful, and the centre helps to provide the necessary channels that make this possible.
The Foundation Course introduces entrepreneurs to the basics. They are taught how to identify the right market, customer and product, plus they are provided with the tools that ensure effective strategising and planning. This is limited to 25 participants. The Advanced Course is offered to those who successfully completed the Foundation Course (limited to just 20 participants) and delves deeper into the inner-workings of running a small business, with particular focus on the idea of “value”. A six-month mentorship programme is then offered upon completion, during which entrepreneurs are paired with suitable mentors who continue to provide guidance and advice as they progress on their journeys. The best part: all training is free (although transport and accommodation costs are the responsibility of the participants).
Plans to expand
Currently, there is only the Gauteng centre but there are plans to expand to other parts of the country in the upcoming months. This will allow the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship to continue to spread its magic further afield and therefore change even more lives.
The centre is partly funded by Virgin Unite, with the remainder being covered by corporate business leaders and investors from across the globe. It’s always on the lookout for new mentors who are qualified and wish to offer their assistance to this valuable cause. There are also volunteer opportunities available if you are keen to get involved in another way.Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is an organisation that considers entrepreneurs to be the lifeblood of a booming economy and therefore believes (and prides itself on) in playing a vital role in developing their success. South African entrepreneurs are going places, but are sure to go even further with the help of initiatives such as this one.
Sage One also believes in offering budding entrepreneurs assistance on their journeys to success. Watch these informative videos and discover exactly how Sage One can make a difference in your business life.
You may also be interested in reading: Top female entrepreneurs in South Africa OR
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Robin Sharma on leadership I Career advice
Recently South Africa saw Robin Sharma back in South Africa for another mind blowing and inspirational leadership event. Needless to say it was sold out and everyone left the event, ready to make a change and to step up his or her game for a new business-doing perspective. Whether you attended this event and want to develop your leadership skills further, or just missed out but still keen to enhance your knowledge, here are a couple of leadership courses and alternative programs to make use of.
Recently South Africa saw Robin Sharma back in South Africa for another mind blowing and inspirational leadership event.
Needless to say it was sold out and everyone left the event, ready to make a change and to step up his or her game for a new business-doing perspective.
Whether you attended this event and want to develop your leadership skills further, or just missed out but still keen to enhance your knowledge, here are a couple of leadership courses and alternative programs to make use of:
Gordon Institute of Business Science
Close to Sandton’s business hub, The University of Pretoria is a leading a business school in the heart of Illovo. Ranging from short courses to certificate programs, one can study and enhance in social entrepreneurship, management development, thought leadership, networking and so much more.
Social events like Tomorrow Entrepreneur
10th July, OPEN hosted the first of many inspirational and informative Tomorrow Entrepreneur events.
Free of charge a person can book their seat and enjoy an evening with 5 key speakers that will give inside information, talk about their experiences and advise on how South Africa is progressing while in the meantime encouraging you as a young entrepreneur or small business owner to take that step and make the change.
Never underestimate the need for good public speaking
As a leader, you need to come across strong, confident and make people want to hear what you have to say.
Monash offers a 3-day course, training the new speaker to be able to provide guidance for his or her new employees, how to be more productive in your business through effective communication and most important how to invoke the leader in you.
The African Leadership Academy
The African Leadership Academy for young entrepreneurs or students., allows you to take a gap, reevaluate your position in your career or future career and study speciality leadershop courses. You can attend for a year or meet with them and organise a customizable program that fits your lifestyle.
Habits of successful entrepreneurs
Behind every great entrepreneur, there’s invariably a great attitude. Starting your own business isn’t easy, but truly successful entrepreneurs display similar habits that seem to help them overcome the obstacles they face and become amazing at what they do. Contrary to what you may think, entrepreneurs don’t necessarily set out to get rich.
Behind every great entrepreneur, there’s invariably a great attitude. Starting your own business isn’t easy, but truly successful entrepreneurs display similar habits that seem to help them overcome the obstacles they face and become amazing at what they do. Contrary to what you may think, entrepreneurs don’t necessarily set out to get rich. Of course making money is good, but it ends up simply becoming a sweet by-product of a business with the vision of making a difference. See how many of the following habits you already possess and how many you could possibly adopt.
The focus is always on what the customer needs
It’s all good and well having a brilliant idea, but it’s no use if there’s no market for it. If you can identify a gap in the market and then come up with a product or service to fill that gap, then you’ll be off to a much better start. It’s about being in tune with what peopleneed and then giving it to them. That way, there’ll be no convincing necessary – customers will come to you.
The company is built on a solid team
Big ideas tend to start small and grow big, and this is true of most start-ups and small businesses as well. Successful entrepreneurs will always have a vision of growing a team that consists of experts and committed individuals who will help take the business onwards and upwards. Once there’s a solid team in place, things will hopefully be more effectively managed and more time will be freed up so that you can really focus on the things you need to.
You may pay your employees well and offer them great benefits, but all that seems to become meaningless when there’s a lack of respect shown towards them. Truly successful entrepreneurs ensure they treat everyone (employees, vendors etc) with respect and dignity – this is ultimately the basis for strong relationships. It’s important to reward and value those people who are as dedicated to your business as you are, because after all, without them, there’d be no business.
YOU are your biggest motivation
Your desire to start your own business and run it successfully usually comes from a deep desire to prove something to yourself. There’s a stronger need to prove to yourself that you can do it, than a need to prove others wrong. That burning passion, determination and drive you have should come from somewhere inside you and from the belief you have in yourself and in your idea. It’s not about pleasing the skeptics.
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Four websites you should be following as a budding entrepreneur
As a budding entrepreneur or business owner you’re part of a world that is ever-changing. As a result, it’s important for you and your business to stay on top of the latest changes and trends that take place in your relevant market. With so much happening on a day to day basis and with the internet saturated with information, it can become quite the challenge to remain constantly informed and in-the-know with all things business related.
As a budding entrepreneur or business owner you’re part of a world that is ever-changing. As a result, it’s important for you and your business to stay on top of the latest changes and trends that take place in your relevant market. With so much happening on a day to day basis and with the internet saturated with information, it can become quite the challenge to remain constantly informed and in-the-know with all things business related. That’s why we’ve devised a list of four websites that you should definitely consider following as a small business owner.
This easy-to-use and well laid out website is an excellent source of business and technology information. Launched in February 2009 and with its base in New York, Business Insider has experienced incredible growth over the years and has garnered an impressive reputation for itself. It prides itself on providing the latest in business news from around the world, as well as offering analysis that is thought-provoking and insightful. The best part is that Business Insider is also an aggregator of the top news stories across the web, so it effectively becomes your one-stop-site for all things news and business associated. It also makes room for “Life” and “Business” sections, ensuring entrepreneurs stay well-rounded in all aspects of life.
Where will you find everything you need to know in order to start and grow your own business? Look no further than Inc.com. Essentially the online version of Inc. magazine, a monthly publication highlighting new and developing companies, Inc.comwas born in 1996. Today it continues to endeavor to provide small business owners with everything they need to make their businesses a success. You’ll find an endless supply of business ideas, practical advice, inspiration and information aimed mainly at entrepreneurs, but also relevant to many business owners who have already been in the game for years. Most of the articles are in list format, making them easy to read and even easier to digest. The sleek site is easy to navigate and jam-packed with all the information and tips any entrepreneur could dream of.
Lifehacker.com is really all about making your life easier and your business more manageable. It’s a site dedicated to bringing you life hacks as well as software news and information. The weblog began in January 2005 and has continued to gain thousands of followers over the years. The content covers a wide range of topics, from Microsoft Windows to Mac, Android and many more. It of course delivers general hacks and life tips all in an attempt to better readers’ lives. Its motto is: “Tips and downloads for getting things done” and this is a testament to its commitment to helping you as an entrepreneur, as well as a person, get things done. Many of the tips are particularly helpful when it comes to the running of small businesses and start-ups. Time is an issue in life at the best of times, and even more so when it comes to running a business. Lifehacker.com has tapped into this and as a result offers information and tips on how you can get things done quicker and simpler. Ultimately it’s all about the convenience.
South African entrepreneurs may be particularly interested in this premium South African business magazine that is easily accessible online. The site follows in the shadow of its American counterpart and is essentially a “how to” handbook on how to build and grow companies. It aims to bring business owners as well as key decision makers content that is pertinent, perceptive and of the highest quality. It offers all the right ingredients necessary for a small business to flourish and be successful. The site’s distinctive local flavour comes in the form of inspirational local success stories that provide the fuel and inspiration all budding entrepreneurs need to make a go of it. Many of the articles act as guides and offer steps that entrepreneurs and business owners can apply within their own start-ups and companies, to better them in various ways. This is a particularly useful site for local entrepreneurs as it tackles a broad range of business issues that cater to different industries. With local and international experts weighing in on important discussions as well, it’s truly an excellent resource for all business movers and shakers.
Perhaps you already follow one or more of these sites, but if not, each of them are well worth a visit and exploration.
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Three young South African entrepreneurs to watch
The future of South Africa inevitably lies in the hands of its youth. It’s young South Africans who are going to lead this country to greatness and set an example for future generations. In recent years, it’s entrepreneurship that has played a key role in the fast development of the South African economy, so when
The future of South Africa inevitably lies in the hands of its youth. It’s young South Africans who are going to lead this country to greatness and set an example for future generations. In recent years, it’s entrepreneurship that has played a key role in the fast development of the South African economy, so when combining young people with entrepreneurial ideas, the result is a veritable powerhouse. Here we take a look at three young South African entrepreneurs making waves across the business landscape.
Bonolo Mataboge – Founder and head designer at Afriblossom
Despite a formidable disability as a result of suffering from Blount’s disease, Bonolo Mataboge is taking the fashion industry by storm. Inspired after a trip to the States in 2011, where she saw how accessible plus-size clothing was for fuller-figured women compared to back home, Mataboge established Afriblossom. Influenced by 60s style as well as the Ndebele culture, Afriblossom caters for curvier ladies, sizes 34-46. The clothing can be described as modern Afro-chic pieces that are stylish and flattering, yet also affordable. In Mataboge’s words: She’s building a fashion empire one stitch at a time.
Ludwick Marishane – Founder of Headboy Industries
Ludwick Marishane was still a high school student when he developed DryBath, essentially a specially designed gel that gets you clean just like a bath does, but without the need for water. Hailing from a rural province in Limpopo, Marishane has his life-changing brainwave when a friend, who was too lazy to bath, remarked that it would be helpful if someone invented something that you could put on your skin and not have to bath. Using the limited resources he had, Marishane invented DryBath, a revolutionary sanitation product that would change lives, particularly those of people living in areas where they have limited or no access to fresh water. He became the country’s youngest patent filer and was named the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011. He used his prize money to set up his start-up, Headboy Industries, home to the DryBath products.
Wongama Baleni – Co-founder of DOC (Department of Coffee)
The Department of Coffee (DOC) is a coffee shop based in the township of Khayelitsha and the brainchild of Wongama Baleni and his two fellow entrepreneurs, Vusumzi Mamile and Vuyile Msaku. Their aim is not only to teach their young trainees how to make a good cup of coffee, but also to equip them with the necessary skills and experience required to start and run their own businesses. It’s about creating employment but at the same time instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in the youth of South Africa. Baleni is a businessman at heart, but he is also passionate about trying to make a difference. For him, his growing business is about so much more than just coffee. He sees the need to help those in an impoverished community and to make something of themselves. With a delicious selection of coffees to choose from at ridiculously low prices, it’s easy to see how business is booming for this exceptional entrepreneur.
South Africa boasts some impressive young entrepreneurs who continue to contribute to the country’s growing economy. Sage One is there to support entrepreneurs just like these when it comes to their accounting and payroll needs.
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Reading between the lines
In the world of entrepreneurs it is of the utmost importance to know and understand how a business works, both internally and externally, as well as to find a behind-the-scenes team that holds significant expertise. Guiding the currency flow, money as well as ensuring a good marketing and advertising strategy, all the while taking care of the running and organising of business activities, are all necessary to allow the smooth development of the enterprise and the assurance of a profitable year.
In the world of entrepreneurs it is of the utmost importance to know and understand how a business works, both internally and externally, as well as to find a behind-the-scenes team that holds significant expertise. Guiding the currency flow, money as well as ensuring a good marketing and advertising strategy, all the while taking care of the running and organising of business activities, are all necessary to allow the smooth development of the enterprise and the assurance of a profitable year. Take a note from the experts’ pages to get the best sense of your business. Here is a list if six must-read books for any entrepreneur:
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
One of the Business Insider Top 15 Great Books for Entrepreneurs of 2010, this work details a man’s battle against the conformist powers of society. The book encourages people to think as individuals, take risks to reach goals and take responsibility for both their successes and failures, despite society’s judgement. Motivating entrepreneurs to take action and follow their gut to achieve their goals in due time is this book’s main emphasis.
Rework by Jason Fried
Enthusiastically endorsed by Entrepreneur.com, this book is renowned for its insight and perspective. A book perfect for start-ups and managers alike, Rework covers everything from the guesswork of business plans to the need for prioritising tasks, whilst also covering ethical topics where business practice and ideologies may come into question. This work promotes the need for focus on one detail at a time, and the move away from multi-tasking. With the research and development of these business ideals delving into the deeper side of the working world, this book can help anyone in many facets of the business place.
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
This book focuses on helping the budding entrepreneur make sense of why things work or don’t work in the technology industry. While perhaps not a focus of all businesses, every company still needs a thorough knowledge and understanding of technology and its industry, because the reality is that the contemporary market relies on technology across the board. A book recommended by the likes of Steve Jobs and Andrew Grove, The Innovator’s Dilemma is a must on any entrepreneur’s book list. It explains why technology changes can derail even firmly established companies and points out how even when using the right models and practices, businesses can get side-swiped by major paradigm shifts which are bound to happen around emerging disruptive technology.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Arguably one of the best books written on how to manage a successful company, Good to Great is based on ten years of research showing the clear differences between good companies and great companies. It is the understanding that a great company will last generations, while a good company is only a fad, with its success waning after a short period of time. A sure-fire way to restructure your business model around clear research and solid conclusions, this work is a must-read when looking to start your own company.
Hearts, Smarts, Guts and Luck by Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington and Tsun-Yan Hsieh
Delving into science, research and introspection exercises,Hearts, Smarts, Guts and Luck helps people to understand their own personality within the working world and to identify the decision-making traits useful to their cause. For an entrepreneur, it is filled with tips and insights that are paramount to a smooth business agenda. Working off simple rules and structures to show needs and flaws in customer relations, it covers a whole array of aspects of a business that are often side-lined.
A highly recommended guide for any entrepreneur, this book is a breath of fresh air for the business management world.
The Hidden Agenda by Kevin Allen
Laying out the blueprints for determining what “hidden agendas” the decision-makers may have, this book is about transcending persuasion to rather create connections. Consumers have needs, wants and beliefs, so by encompassing all of these within a brand message you will not have to “sell” your product or service to them, because they will already be on your side. A great book for understanding the connection between customer and client, it holds much-needed knowledge and principals for anyone looking to drive a business.
With the right tools and the best literary insight possible, this collection of works can help you to better understand the ins and outs of starting a business. While you take care of your business (or read about improving it) why not let Sage One take care of your finances, giving your business the best start possible.
Top female entrepreneurs in South Africa
Africa is increasingly becoming known as a viable economy to invest in and this is largely due to the success of entrepreneurial ventures. Entrepreneurship is not only about building and running your own business, but it’s also about offering a solution to a problem as well as having the passion and perseverance to see it through.
Africa is increasingly becoming known as a viable economy to invest in and this is largely due to the success of entrepreneurial ventures. Entrepreneurship is not only about building and running your own business, but it’s also about offering a solution to a problem as well as having the passion and perseverance to see it through. The following female entrepreneurs have many common characteristics but none more so than these two vital elements. Here’s a closer look at some of South Africa’s top entrepreneurs.
Basetsana Kumalo – Executive Chairman & CEO of Basetsana Woman Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Well-known for her string of Beauty Queen titles, Former Miss South Africa and Miss World runner up Basetsana Kumalo has become a household name thanks to her fierce entrepreneurial mind and talents. Starting out by selling sandwiches at local soccer games, it was clear that Batsetsana was gifted with a keen eye for business from a young age. During her reign as Miss South Africa in 1990, Batsetsana became a TV presenter on a popular local show, Top Billing. It was then that she quickly turned her fame into fortune by beginning to build her brand. In 1995, she became a joint shareholder ofTweselopele Productions, the production company that housed Top Billing and later went on to become JSE listed, making Kumalo one of the youngest black female directors in South Africa.
Kumalo went from strength to strength when she launched her own clothing, eyewear and cosmetics range that reached over 250 stores on the Sub-Saharan region. She is currently the President of the Business Women’s Association of South Africa and has won numerous accolades for her continued efforts and commitment to developing the South African economy. She is also the Executive Chairperson of Tweselope Productions.
Lynette Magasa– Founder and chief executive of Boniswa Corporate Solutions
Born in Swaziland, Magasa began her professional career as a receptionist for a leading defence technology corporation. After completing her studies in Human Resources, Magasa was then promoted and found her true calling in telecoms. Together with her husband and funding from the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), Magasa created her telecoms start-up in 2004 and is now the proud owner of one the most successful black-owned telecoms businesses in Africa – Boniswa Corporate Solutions.
The business is operational in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, as well as Swaziland, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. A BEE-compliant company, Boniswa Corporate Solutions has won several awards, including the BBQ 2013 Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal New and Innovative Business award. Magasa’s impressive business acumen and perseverance was acknowledged when she won Business Women of the Year in 2013.
Shellie Roodt – Founder and Managing Director of IWESCO, Mpumalanga
Iwesco was founded in 1997 and has since grown to become one of the leading industrial waste management businesses in the country. Providing its clients with consolidated waste and environmental management solutions, as well as contract cleaning services, Iwesco is expanding at a rapid pace and is far ahead of its competition.
Shellie Roodt created a solution for South Africa’s waste management problem. Hesitant at first, mainly because industrial waste management was initially not a widely accepted concept in South Africa, she surged forward and ended up walking away with both the Top Gender Empowered Company and Top Woman Entrepreneur awards at the Top Women Awards in 2012.
Roodt piloted her next project, Adopt- a-Road, in 2012. This initiative attempts to combine enterprise development with the BEE scorecard. Franchises will be sold to individuals who in turn will be sponsored by the private sector. The businesses who partake in this initiative will earn points towards enterprise development and this allows the franchisee to run a profitable business while simultaneously creating jobs. Currently in collaboration with the Johannesburg Roads Agency and the Tshwane Metro, Roodt believes that in time, this initiative will give municipal workers the time to focus on more important areas of service delivery.
Khanyi Dhlomo – Founder and Managing Director of Ndalo Media
Receiving her head start in her media career at the young age of 20, Khanyi Dhlomo is presently the Managing Director of Ndalo Media which she founded in 2007. Collaborating with Media 24, she is the head publisher for two of the most successful South African magazines: Destiny and Destiny Man. Always miles ahead of her competition, Dhlomo has also crossed over to the digital sphere by creating the online media site, Destiny Connect. Seen as a media power house on a global scale, Dhlomo was noted as one of Africa’s most successful women by Forbes Magazine in 2011, and has received awards for Magazine Editor of the Year as well as Most Influential Woman in South African Media.
In 2015, Forbes Magazine wrote that the key to economic growth lies in supporting and promoting female entrepreneurs. In the meantime, South Africa’s economy continues to grow as these female-run businesses expand and flourish.
Dynamic movers and shakers such as these women rely on quality accounting software products to help them run their businesses. Choose Sage One for all your accounting and payroll requirements.
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Business big shots share the best advice they were ever given
Many successful business leaders are the first to admit that it’s the sound advice they received from their mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, friends and family that helped get them where they are today. There’s a common misconception that when starting and growing your own business, you have to do it alone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many successful business leaders are the first to admit that it’s the sound advice they received from their mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, friends and family that helped get them where they are today. There’s a common misconception that when starting and growing your own business, you have to do it alone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The only way you’re going to accomplish your business goals, is with help from others, especially when that assistance comes in the form of sage advice from someone else who has perhaps been there before you. Even the simplest advice can go a long way and no one knows that better than some of the most successful business people in the world. They share with us some of the best advice they were ever given along the way to greatness.
Anthony Lolli – Founder and CEO of Raid Realty
The first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night is either the cause of your career happiness or the cause of your career pain. If it’s pain, focus on changing that.
It’s important to love what you do, because without passion, you’re bound to fail in your entrepreneurial endeavours. If you’re unhappy about what you’re doing, make a change. Focus on changing the things you don’t love about your career and making your business dreams comes true.
Jack Bosch – Author of Forever Cash
Hire or engage with people who are smarter and more capable in their respective areas than you are. After setting some rules and guidelines, just let them do it. It’s a skill to be able to work with people who are completely different from you, but it pays off when they are able to do what they love and you are [able] to focus on your strengths.
It’s not only important to get some help when it comes to getting your small business off the ground and growing it, but a large portion of that help should preferably come in the form of a reliable and capable team. Hiring the right people is the key to your business’s success as they are the ones responsible for carrying the business. You need the best people possible on your side and this very often means employing people whose strengths lie in other areas to yours.
Phil Rooke – CEO of Spreadshirt
Remain focused on the customer, and the rest of business will fall in line. This customer-centric focus is the truest compass for navigating the road to scale up for business success, and maintains a continual focus on the customer despite market distractions. It is the real secret to continual growth and success.
As a small business owner it’s vital that you make the customer your priority. At the end of the day, you are providing a service or product that need to be tailored according to their intended target market. If you’re not giving people what they want and need, then the chances are that your business will not survive. Stay on top of the latest trends within your specific industry and be sure to get regular feedback from clients so that you can adapt and improve what you have to offer so as to better suit the people you intend to serve.
Jose Li – Founder and CEO of 71lbs
Learn to give up trying to control everything. Being a great leader is about influence and listening to those around you. These are attributes rarely taught in school or training, but most often the ones that define how successful of a leader you are.
Being able to listen to those around you is the mark of a great leader. It’s not possible to have the answer to all your problems and to know everything, so listening to your employees as well as experts in your chosen field can only help you manage things more easily. Successful leaders are those who know how to lead, but also know when to stay quiet and just listen.
Sir Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group
The best advice I ever received? Simple: Have no regrets. Who gave me the advice? Mum’s the word.
Deciding to start your own business is a risk but one that is most rewarding should you succeed. In business and in most areas of life, having regrets can end up being destructive so we should avoid them at all costs. If you have a good idea and big dreams, you never know where they’ll take you if you don’t try. Take chances – you may be pleasantly surprised. And remember, very often, mom knows best.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
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Things entrepreneurs should know before starting a business
Starting a business is no easy feat. There are plenty of things to consider before taking the plunge and moving from just having an idea, to having an idea that supports an entire organisation. While there are, of course, aspects like employees and their salaries to sort out, it’s of utmost importance to make sure the business has a number of foundations in place in order to ensure smooth sailing.
Starting a business is no easy feat. There are plenty of things to consider before taking the plunge and moving from just having an idea, to having an idea that supports an entire organisation. While there are, of course, aspects like employees and their salaries to sort out, it’s of utmost importance to make sure the business has a number of foundations in place in order to ensure smooth sailing. Take a look at five things you, as an entrepreneur, should know before starting a business.
Understand the legalities
Any business needs to abide by the rules of the country. In order to do this, you need to fully understand all of the legalities that come with running a business. This can involve anything from being SARS compliant (easily achieved through systems such as Sage Payroll), to knowing exactly what the legal minimum wage or maximum working hours per week are. The more you know, the better, as it could save you from finding yourself in hot water from time to time.
Trademark your business’s name
While you’ve probably had a name in mind since the very early stages of your business, you need to make sure it’s not trademarked and registered to someone else. For a business still in its infancy, you need to be sure that no one else has the same name as you, as any legal implications could possibly result in the downfall of the business.
Source the best possible accountant
While it often takes time to find someone who is the right fit for a business, it is extremely important to have someone who can manage your books properly from the very beginning. Having this resource in place will afford you the opportunity of being able to determine whether or not you are turning a profit, as well as whether you can cover all overheads.
Define your growth path
Before you even open your doors, you need to know exactly what your anticipated growth path is. This means taking the time to set targets or milestones for yourself. For example, by the 12-month mark, you want to have sold a certain number of products. Having these goals in place gives you something to work towards – and that’s never a bad thing.
Trust your gut
This may sound like a bit of a cliché, but trusting your gut is key. After all, it’s what’s gotten you so far to begin with. Trust your gut when it comes to your business, whether it be in aspects such as hiring new talent or something as small as deciding on the wall colours of your office. Trusting your gut is likely to carry you further than you anticipate, and it will give you peace of mind as well.
Before you even start your business, consider the aspects above. As an entrepreneur, they can be key in helping you establish an efficient business model that will carry your establishment onwards and upwards.
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