Having launched The wave, I am beginning to realize that many of the business opportunities that these young entrepreneurs are embarking on have relatively low start up capital. You do not need a lot of money to start a business, the most important thing in the early stages of the business is the passion and the determination to be in business.
If this is the case why is that we do not have local retailers and the economy continues to be dominated by larger players from neighboring South Africa? What is making it difficult for our local business grow into larger businesses? This is also my frustration at PAK farming and I went to do some research and the following are some key challenges that entrepreneurs do not deal with proactively that can hinder business growth.
- Cash flow management. Cash is king and if you do not manage it well, it can kill your business. Often the owners neglect the recording of income and expenses robbing them the opportunity to know how much money the business generate monthly and how much expenses the business incur to keep its doors open. With lack of recording, you will not know how much money the business will need in the future and are often left with knocking at the banks doors last minute.
- Selling shares in the business too quickly. This somehow goes hand in hand with point 1. Lack of money to run the business can results in owners selling shares in the business rather too quickly. When you bring in other people in your business that do not share the same values as you and do not understand your vision too early can have negative impact on its growth especially if you give up a controlling interest. If you are unlucky , they might even kick you out.
- Building onto number 2 is not getting the right partner. Some people wants to be in business but are not prepared for the hardships. Partners who pulls out when things are tough can leave you with your own mess to clean up. Some people are only interested in salaries they can draw from the business which can drain the business.
- Not finding a mentor in the business you are operating. Learning from the industry gurus is the best one can ever get. You get to draw from their experience. If you do not have the opportunity to have a one on one session with your industry gurus, even just picking up a book they have written can set you off on a good path.
- Not reading about the industry you are operating. If you are going go play , you need to study the game, study your opponent and come up with a strategy. Sometime we venture into this but we have no interest in the underlying industry, just the money that we could potentially make. This is one of the reason why I do not offer business plan services because if you are lazy to outsource the process of thinking about your business to someone, how will you execute it?
Those 5 challenges are my current challenges at the chicken farm. Two years down the line, I would have hoped for the business to be bigger. But as we speak, we are only having 30 birds in stock. This is about to change. We have gone back to the drawing board and on daily basis , we have WhatsApp meeting to strategies on how we can get past those obstacles going forward. One of our partner was on the farm this weekend to go engage with the worker and get her insight on how we can improve better. We have even bought a minute book to record all resolutions taken in those voice notes. Come a few months time, we will have a different story to tell.
What are you waiting for? Get to the planning session, do it well and do not delay the execution. If you have been putting off that business idea for some time, maybe its high time you also get a partner and get started on this journey. You will not regret this.
May the remaining 45 weeks left of 2019 be those of action.