Despite the progressively more difficult conditions that continue to hound small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa, it looks as though the ambitions and dreams of entrepreneurs and those wanting to start their own business still remain intact – and are perhaps even more distinct than ever before. Basically you would like your business to be big enough to make a different in your industry yet small enough to care.
Going Global for those wanting to look outside the country’s borders for fresh and new opportunities is perhaps the best way forward. While 45% of SME’s in South Africa operate solely within the country today, this will drop considerably to 27% in around about three years’ time.
Business ideas and tips for going global:
- Start off early – the sooner that you create a business abroad, the sooner you will be in a position to track metrics and to find out exactly what works and what does not work.
- It is important to do your homework meticulously. First look at the marketplace you would like to go into. You need to ask yourself who’s there, who is winning and who is not. The more you become familiar with a country’s demographics the easier it will be to gauge what your market should look like and to endorse your brand.
- It is important to become familiar – building a relationship and creating associations with others and the value systems of new cultures the better as it will put you in good stead for doing business with individuals abroad.
- Learning the local laws is imperative – when doing business overseas, your company will be subjected to a new set of rules and unfamiliar regulations and depending on your agreement with distributors you might be exposed legally. Obtain water-tight contracts with the companies you are dealing with at all times.
Going forward, globalization, change and technology will be the hallmarks of success; SME’s have never been better equipped to win, therefore taking advantage of these business ideas and tips is a good was forward.