Over the last 12 years we have walked alongside both budding entrepreneurs and those working in established businesses, helping them to survive – and thrive. Here are some of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face and how our expert mentors recommend solving them.
It is vital for entrepreneurs to be diligent with their record keeping and to detail expenditure such as ‘fuel’ and ‘ad hoc purchases’ for the business. When this isn’t done, the business’ finances are not a true reflection of the actual business transactions.
Having a clear picture of the business’ finances allows one the chance to make meaningful and informed strategic decisions.
Entrepreneurs are often so eager to start their business that they may not realise some of the legal or compliance issues that they need to be aware of. These include South African Revenue Services (SARS) taxation regulations, implementing the New Companies Act, labour laws and the like.
To combat this, it is important to have a calendar of governance deadlines that the company can follow. It is most effective if these deadlines are sooner than the national deadlines so that if there are any glitches – and often there are – they are caught in time.
Lack of strategic oversight in a business will hinder an entrepreneur from being able to plan the future of the business and affect key decisions such as whether to expand and grow, how to market the business’ goods or services and which markets to target.
It is very helpful to have a vision for the company. Until the vision comes to fruition, all business ideas are simply a way of implementing the success of that vision. If the company isn’t growing, it is because the leader isn’t growing. Think big and this will guide the direction of the company.
The price is right
Competitively pricing a service is extremely difficult for small to medium size business owners. Without any experience or support in the financial or administrative arena, entrepreneurs starting out may not necessarily consider all the costs involved when they price their services. Although they may be bringing in money, they may not be covering their expenditure.
Having someone who can help with market research to assist in answering these questions is extremely helpful.
It takes an enormous amount of self-confidence to start a business. However after running a business for a while many entrepreneurs may have lost a bit of that self-confidence and realize that their business needs some assistance and that they need guidance.
Working with a mentor is a good way to help you know that you’re on the right track as mentors can provide a ‘sounding board’. A decent support structure is necessary to make an entrepreneur secure that they can go to the next level. Some of the world’s best innovators have turned to family and friends who made it possible for the business to take off.