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Being an entrepreneur is not without challenge, especially in South Africa’s current financial climate. Starting, building and growing a successful company demands determination and most of the odds will be against you, but if you have a vision, and your perseverance is enough to drive you to succeed, victory is possible – companies are able to grow despite financial difficulties and other external circumstances, and that is always inspiring to see!

World-class innovation and dedication have led many local entrepreneurs to make a success of their businesses despite South Africa’s financial struggles. When studying these entrepreneurs’ journeys, there are 7 lessons that become apparent and these lessons may be worth noting if you are planning on starting your own venture – here are the 7 lessons:

  1. Hedge currency risks to maintain your income during tougher times
    Doing business internationally from South Africa can be especially tricky due to the Rand fluctuating so often. A ten percent drop in the Rand, against major currencies, is not uncommon and it can happen in a short period of time. This can be distressing if you import products or materials, or if you make use of global software. If you can manoeuvre your business to pay expenses locally and gain your income from overseas currencies, however, you can capitalise on the weakening Rand.
  1. Track your progress to make improvements
    Setting goals for your company is important – but you also need to track and measure your progress so that you know which areas of your business require improvement. By taking note of certain aspects that need improvement, you will be able make the necessary changes to let your company grow.
  1. Manage your cash flow
    Effectively managing cash flow is a key proficiency of any successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs that understand their business working capital cycle and their cash flow requirements are usually more successful. By controlling and planning your cashflow requirements, you will also be able to make better financial decisions.
  1. Take care of your company culture
    Every company consists of people and it is important that you develop and nurture a company culture that is unique to your business and your brand. A company where the staff are taken care of will most often achieve more success as all employees will give their best to achieve the company’s goals.
  1. Professional connections can benefit your company
    Knowing the right people and being able to network with the right connections can make or break your business. Try to cultivate a network of connections, both locally and abroad, as this may lead to more options for the expansion of your company.
  1. The right investor (at the right time) can help you grow
    Many entrepreneurs are hesitant to raise capital as it may require them to sell a certain percentage of their company. But, accessing growth capital at the right time can benefit the growth of your company significantly, and entrepreneurs should therefore weigh the benefits of owning 100% of a small company versus owning 80% of a much larger, more successful business.
  1. Never give up!
    An entrepreneur’s journey is tough and holds many obstacles and let-downs, but if you have what it takes you will succeed. Keep your business’ vision in mind and push through whatever is thrown at you.

(Article sourced from: OCFO)

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