What in your opinion makes an entrepreneur?
At Property Point we work with businesses that have been in existence for at least two years. In South Africa there are two sets of business owners, survivalists and entrepreneurs. After about two years one will see the wheels coming off a bit if the person is not really an entrepreneur. Due to the high unemployment rate, many people have no option but to start their own businesses; we look at identifying those people who really have that ‘X factor’ and can make it happen. This does not always come down to an educated background, it’s about vision.
What are some of the personal traits that impress you?
Above having a vision for their business, they need passion for what they do and should be open to input from other people. They should be humble and accept that sometimes what they are doing is not the right thing. They shouldn’t be arrogant and think that no-one can teach them anything.
What do you look for when assessing a business?
We have very specific assessment criteria. We look at the business’s financials over a certain period as well as their records, systems and processes. When meeting with the person, I look at their vision for their business. Do they have some business training? Do they have determination and vision for where they want to see their business? I also look for growth potential and
whether or not the business could compete against
What exactly do you look for in the systems and processes?
Businesses always say they need financing, but this can actually be a deterrent if they don’t get the basics right. There is a dire need for compliance in the industry, with regards to tax, company registration, health and safety, etc. Lots of businesses don’t focus on this as much as they should. I also look at how the business operates, how it is marketed, and how it engages with clients. It is critical for entrepreneurs to create efficiencies and then secure funding. If funding is raised too early and systems are not compliant, they won’t maximise that funding.
What would put you off someone?
People who are in business just to make a quick buck by following trends. They are mostly not entrepreneurial but survivalist. They are usually the people who try to do everything; for example they will run a construction business as well as sell stationery. It is better to focus on one thing you are passionate about.