Economies world over are sustained by economic players’ entrepreneurship activities. Productive entrepreneurs are the chief anchors of any viable economic system. The world had a total of 582 million recorded entrepreneurs by the end of 2020 (Markinblog 2020).
Though there is an increasing number of entrepreneurs coming on board, there remains a lot of untapped potential and ideas in many who remain fearful of the known and unknown associated with starting, supporting and sustaining a business.
This article focuses on the 4S (Start, Support, Sustain and Succeed) that are important in the entrepreneurship and business endeavor.
“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” – Seth Godin, Squidoo founder, author and blogger
According to a World Bank, almost 565000 new businesses are starting every month in the United States. This translate to 18833 startups per day. Zimbabwe and other African countries are also experiencing a similar rising trend of entrepreneurs getting into serious and sustainable business.
There is a difference between starting up and registering a company. If you rely on information from the company registry’s office to mean startups, then you will be misleading the world and fooling yourself.
Having a certificate of Incorporation and other company documents is far from starting a business. That’s registering your intention to start a business. That’s the reason why you hear some people saying they registered their company ten years ago but they haven’t used it.
Reliable statistics of how many companies were actually started should be obtained from an efficient and functional local authority which provides the operating licenses and continue to inspect the business premises.
No one has ever been named and famed after an idea that failed to see the light of day. Some people stands guilty and charged of abortion. Why abort that brilliant and transformational business idea just like that. The world needs that solution you’re hiding in your grey matter.
Even if you have a groundbreaking solution for humanity, as long as it remains between your two ears it’s useless. The world is at pains and mourning on the devastating and rampaging COVID-19 pandemic whose cure is still far from imagination and yet there could be someone somewhere harboring the solution within them procrastinating on releasing it into the world in the form of a discovery, invention or new business venture.
Why continue to waste time wondering in the corridors of entrepreneurship thinking the closed doors are locked. Entrepreneurship doors are naturally kept closed for lazy minds to think entry is prohibited. Not all closed doors are locked. Some are just closed on account of whether. You just have to develop the confidence to turn that nob / handle on and push open the door. How many doors of opportunities did you miss thinking that they are locked?
The world can only benefit from businesses that has been started, supported and sustained. The most important issues is to start. Entrepreneurs are known not only for coming up with new business ideas but by actually configuring resources in the form of a new business venture. So the ultimate aim is to provide relevant solutions to the market, product or service wise.
Starting a business entails understanding and dealing with many issues at once. We have the legal, financing, sales and marketing, intellectual property protection, liability protection, human resources and others that one need to understand and plan for
Idowu Koyenikan once said, “Money is always eager and ready to work for anyone who is ready to employ it.” Those who did a bit of accounting know that capital is employed in a business. This implies that it has to work for you to give you profit.
Of all the forms of capital I have studied, social capital has greater impact on business than the others. It entails the networks and relationships that you build around yourself. They offer you continuous support beyond your saved or borrowed dollar.
On starting your business, it’s no longer time and age to start informally. You need to have your company formalized from the start. By formalizing I mean registering it with the registrar of companies, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for the tax clearance certificate, your National Social Security Authority and the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe. These documents will help you open doors of business opportunities.
People get into businesses differently. Some just follow what their friends are doing, while others are pushed by the harsh economic environment to start some cash generating projects after being laid off from employment. Regardless of the pushing or pulling factors, the bottom line is making money while at the same time serving the community.
In entrepreneurship, we encourage innovation and uniqueness in the execution of your business ideas in order to create new value in the market. You don’t just get in and become as ordinary as others, you need to register your own unique footprint apart from and beyond that unique business name of yours.
Unlike nature, business needs to be nurtured. Having that start or capital is not a guarantee of success. It’s just a starting point. You need to learn how to invest wisely and convert that capital into a viable business.
I have personally seen a number of businesses going under with borrowed or own capital. This speaks to the other truths that one needs to know, understand and implement in business.
We have the “I know it all” type of people in business. I think names have started running in your mind of such people but where are they now?
Over and above that start or capital, you need to have a solid business knowledge that can be obtained from coaches and mentors. There are a number of people who have gone the journey that you’re trying to take. You would rather engage them to walk you through the path.
Nothing comes at no costs in business, be prepared to pay the price. Anything that comes easy also takes the same easy way out. But what you have paid for, you treasure.
Those who named capital START were indeed in their right frame of mind. It means capital is not everything. It just gives you a starting point. We all know engines have a key and ignition. This is just a component that sparks a whole lot of processes within that engine.
There are a number of other factors that need to be in place for the engine to keep running. We have issues like oil, grease, fuel and others which are essential.
After all these, there needs to be someone with knowledge and expertise to make the engine useful. If it’s a car, it needs to be driven to cover that journey you want to travel.
The same goes with your business, your start makes sure that the stock is in the shop on the shelves. It doesn’t go on to think for you on the best marketing and sales strategy to employ, type and qualifications of staff that you need to have given the nature of your business.
You need to be schooled in all these other issues for you to succeed in your business endeavor. Your start or capital would have played its part.
Support your business with systems and structures that sustains your business especially when operating within this current COVID-19 scourge. There is every need to keep updating your way of doing things otherwise you become irrelevant in the market.
Research indicates that, of all the businesses that are started, only 30 percent survives. This figures tells you that, it’s not that easy to support and sustain a business once it’s started. You’ll really come to realize that capital and operating systems in business are not enough. These only stands as enablers but not the whole thing.
To sustain is to save, nurse, preserve, defend, assist or bolster something. The ability to sustain your business venture is one of the major characteristics of an entrepreneur. Learn strategies to preserve your business beyond systems and structures. These are too common to do the work.
Establishment of strong networks and working relationships with all your stakeholders is an essential component that sustains your business and entrepreneurship venture.
You need to continuously improve and upgrade the mental software of your employees so that they remain current, relevant, efficient and futuristic as they execute their daily duties. Applying yester year solutions to current problems is a recipe for failure in business. Businesses can’t be sustained on that.
There is need for continuous research and development within your business in order to sustain it. When we talk of research and development, some think and take it as more scientific in nature. Research and development can be reduced to the size of your business and applied in context of your operations.
Every system is as good as its user. Systems don’t work alone. They need skilled and knowledgeable people behind them. Over and above having them, their operational needs to be continuously checked, monitored and evaluated.
Business success is not measured by your annual profit alone. It’s contribution to humanity matters. How it relates to its environment, physical and otherwise equally matters when we talk of business success. Success is a result of doing a number of things right. You can’t be making money at the expense of human life, operating a profitable business that pollutes the environment.
Success comes as a result of operating a sustainable business. A business that’s capable of standing the test of time. Once you disregard basic and standard business operating procedures and expectations, your chances of succeeding becomes slim. You can only succeed when you start, support and sustain your business well.
Let’s continue to engage, inspire and transform each other entrepreneurially.