Entrepreneurial expert Allon Raiz – founder of incubator Raizcorp – advises entrepreneurs to look at all the skills they have when starting a business. Write up everything you can do, everyone you know and every asset you have – put them on Post-it Notes and stick them up on your office wall, he advises.
The majority of start-ups fail in the first few years due to lack of cash flow. You have the dream, the drive, the idea – but no money to make it happen. Banks and investors aren’t willing to look at you if you’re 20-something with no experience. Rush Bhana’s initial R5 000 didn’t get him much further than registering his marketing, branding and printing enterprise, The Trump Card, and printing business stationery.
By looking beyond his skills as a marketer, Bhana widened his horizons – and his chance of entrepreneurial success. Financial planning and wealth management are among his many skills and he landed a contract as a wealth advisor with a top financial institution a year after starting The Trump Card.
This brings in a steady base income and helps to address his number one challenge of cash flow. Bhana also got a friend to help him with his first logo and set up a free Wix website.
Leveraging two customer bases
As Bhana explains, “Financial planning is not a side-business. I see it as part of my entrepreneurial make-up. It brings in a steady income, which allows me to survive, but it’s more than that. I am able to leverage the wealth management business and The Trump Card off each other.”
By making contacts through his financial planning and marketing activities, he has managed to increase his opportunities to grow both businesses. Since starting the business, The Trump Card has landed House of Busby, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa and other corporate and SME clients.
Don’t give up on your dream of being an entrepreneur just because you can’t access capital. Consider other ways to generate income to keep you afloat while you get things off the ground. You may be advised that ‘true entrepreneurs’ should focus on their dream to the exclusion of all else, but when you’re starting out it’s also true that you need to be creative.
Find the balance
Running more than one enterprise can be taxing and requires balance, time management and the ability to make realistic promises to clients. Make sure you don’t let one business suffer because of the demands of the other. Don’t over-extend yourself!