I’m busy renting a property where I have a business running. It’s very dilapidated. I took over about 20 years ago. The owner has offered me an option to buy the property. How do I go about getting a loan? — Ashley
There’s only one way to get a loan: Go to your bank. If you’re really brave, go to your family and friends. All other loans will be too expensive and dangerous.
Banks will only lend you money if first, you have property as collateral, and/or you have a salary to cover the repayments. The alternative is to pay cash. The way to do that is to save up. If you can’t get debt or pay cash, you have one last option: Cut a deal. Tell the seller you’ll pay off over five years. Or give him a share in future profits. Or figure out some crafty way to give him what he wants, while allowing you to afford the deal.
I’m a tool and die maker working in the steel industry in South Africa. I have been working in this industry my whole life but it’s no longer the right fit for me.
I’ve been reading about fast-growing eCommerce merchant opportunities. I’ve done some research and I’ve found out about Shopify, Dropshipping and that Oberlo.com is an app that works within Shopify. I have no idea how to take this research and make a business a reality. — George
You are right, the steel industry is not a rising tide. So perhaps it’s not the right place to be if you’re trying to get ahead in life, ie. attain financial freedom. It’s probably not even safe for a comfortable job and pension.
Starting a business is not for sissies, but better to rely on your own wits for your financial security than the wits of whoever moves the steel industry needle.
Onto eCommerce. First thing to understand: The less you know about a subject the more likely you are to underestimate what you don’t know about that subject.
I know nothing about tool and die making, therefore I am highly likely to underestimate how little I know, and therefore overestimate my chances of success should I decide to start my own tool and die making shop.
eCommerce is in everyone’s face; that’s why every Tom, Dick and Harry is dreaming of starting an eCommerce venture. Only people that have experience in logistics and retail truly understand the complexity.
That said, nothing ventured, nothing gained. The first step to attain your eCommerce dreams is to find something to sell. Anything. Then add 100% mark-up. Then sell it using your new-found Shopify/Dropshipping/Oberlo apps.
Once you have a complete fulfilment cycle, and the cash is in your bank, then you can decide whether this is a bicycle you want to ride.
Hint: The hard part in eCommerce is not making/finding stuff to sell. It’s the actual marketing and sales part that kills folks. Easy to make. Hard to sell.
It’s always been my dream to own my own business, and I finally took the leap, registering a company together with my wife and brothers. Our next challenge is finding funding as a start-up cooperative. Our plan is to manufacture cement-based building materials such as hollow bricks, stock bricks, maxi bricks, pavers and pillars, but it’s not limited to this as we intend to do construction on a small scale in a year’s time. Any advice? — Joseph
There is a lot of funding available for start-ups and small businesses in South Africa — over 200 funders providing more than 350 different finance products for SMEs. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs don’t understand the different finance products. They don’t know who all the funders are or where to start to find them.
It’s a very frustrating situation. Entrepreneurs waste a lot of valuable time and money going in circles when it comes to accessing finance.
At best, some know about a few government grants and most know about the banks. The problem is that banks very rarely fund start-ups and early stage businesses.
Fortunately, there is a great website, called Finfind, that can link you with all the funders and finance products that match your specific funding needs.
They also give you a lot of information about what the different finance products are, how funding works, what funders require from you and much more.
All the information is written by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs so you’ll find it very easy to understand and best of all, it’s FREE. To find the right funder go to www.finfind.co.za.
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