Entrepreneurship is both exciting and challenging; these are some of the tips on how new entrepreneurs can navigate the South African markets. These are things I wish I knew before starting my journey of being an entrepreneur.
This guide is for people who have just started the journey of entrepreneurship. Not seasoned entrepreneurs.
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Don’t overwork yourself
Most new entrepreneurs make the mistake of overworking themselves; believing that this will bring them success. It takes a lot of hard work to build and sustain a company, but this doesn’t mean you should overwork yourself.
This is something very common to people who have just started their businesses; they deprive themselves of sleep; trying to work as much as they can. You end up filling as much time with work; checking emails, sending emails. Mainly because you feel like that is what you should be doing to find success.
Overworking yourself will rarely lead you to success; your brain is your greatest asset and you have to make sure that it gets as much rest as possible. As an entrepreneur; your primary job is to make high quality decisions; you can’t do that using a sleep deprived brain.
Learn to break your work into smaller tasks and allocate time to your work. Don’t work based on your workload; rather allocate some time to your work and do what you can within that time. Give your body as much rest as it needs; don’t wake up at 5am just because some motivational guru said so.
Focus on the numbers
The numbers are the most important thing, it’s all about the numbers. Every business has key metrics that they use to determine growth. Your main focus should be those metrics, and doing things that contribute to growth.
After sending out over 200 emails and getting just 1 – 2 clients; you will start focusing your efforts on things that actually bring growth to your business. Beware of vanity metrics; people liking your Facebook posts or giving you complements is not something that you should even include in your key metrics.
You should know exactly how much money it takes to promote a certain product and how many people buy as a result of that promotion. Going back to the first tip; entrepreneurs overwork themselves doing things that don’t bring any significant growth to the company.
Instead of spreading yourself thin, find the things that bring you growth and focus the majority of your time on them.
Know the stats
A lot of entrepreneurs quit too soon or are not aware of how fast their business is growing because there’s nothing to benchmark. Let’s look at some few stats to get you started. It takes roughly 3 years for a business to be profitable. Over 80% of businesses formed in South Africa fail within the first year.
Looking at these stats, I’d bet the majority of these businesses were closed down because the entrepreneurs felt like they weren’t profitable. You might find that some of these businesses were on a path to profitability but were never given any chance because the entrepreneurs expected to get profits within 6 months.
It’s important to always know the stats of everything that is related to your business. I can’t emphasize this enough.
Understanding the Pareto principle
Also known as the 80/20 rule; it states that roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes. This is why overworking yourself is not worth it; in any business, about 20% of the products bring in 80% of the revenue. About 20% of articles on this website bring in 80% of the traffic.
With this in mind; you will focus more on things that bring results for your business; instead of just working for work’s sake.
These were some tips for new entrepreneurs, people who have just started a business. A lot more can be added to this list. Do you have something to add? Comment below.