On a daily basis I get numerous inquiries from our #WomenInBusiness website regarding help/guidance needed for business ideas. http://www.womeninbusiness.org.za
One of the issues that is raised consistently is the fact that the enquirer is ‘not making money’ and they need help with marketing their product. In discussions with the entrepreneur I generally discover that they have taken the focus of their core business and diversified into a number of other unrelated products/services. This diversification is particularly onerous when the range of products/services is from health care, through to construction to catering. Such a wide variety of offerings can only be detrimental to the entity. No entrepreneur, especially a small emerging business, can cope with this kind of diversification. Through the interactions and mentoring process it becomes clear that the entrepreneur in question has been given unsound advice by friends and family. They have often invested large sums of money registering a company. They have not taken into consideration the onerous reporting procedures required of a company nor the accountancy costs. The entrepreneur is under the impression that if they are a registered company they can obtain finance and are eligible for tenders. Then they offer every single service they can think of without proper planning, testing the market, assessing their customers, no business plan or financial plan. No vision or mission. When questioned as to why they are not trading as a sole trader business, which is less onerous, they are ill informed as to the benefits of being a small business to start off with.
It is so sad that many aspiring entrepreneurs do not seek advice from reputable organisations or service providers. In the long run it would have saved them large amounts of money, time and disappointment.
On our website is a link whereby members of the public are able to contact us and we will assist and start the mentoring for free (limited number of sessions). We will also direct genuine entrepreneurs to reputable service providers who can assist them in their entrepreneurial journey.
Ted Talk “Every kid needs a champion” was shared on social media. I don’t usually open up video’s as I find them tiresome and tedious and often vocally laborious. But something made me listen to Rita Pierson. She was down to earth, real and right. Every child needs a champion. Every child needs someone to believe in them. So does every woman. This made me reflect on why #WomenInBusiness was formed. We are not a glorified business organisation that caters to sponsors and successful women. We have survived for 13 years (founded July 2005) without major sponsorship, without huge amounts of money, without glamour and glitz. We have survived through sheer dedication and voluntary support by our members to one another. We have stood alone and not been dictated to by sponsors or donars because we feel that we represent and support our small enterprise entrepreneurs. Why have we survived? Because we have been champions for one another. We can reach out at any time on numerous platforms and find someone to talk to even if its only virtually.
The networks that have been established over the last 13 years are extensive. We do not necessarily have to have functions and events to prove our existence. We exist to support our members – via social media and face to face. We don’t charge anyone to join our social media platforms. Interaction and sharing of ideas and information is encouraged. No one is on an ego building power hunting journey. We just do what we do because we are champions for one another. Just like Rita Pierson says in her Ted talk, every kid needs a champion, so does every woman need a champion.
I found this image on Pinterest and it struck a cord with me. Being a social entrepreneur I am of the firm belief that what you put out is what you get back. You cannot take from the community within which your business/enterprise exists. Even if you are a multinational corporation there still needs to be a human element. Nothing beats a smile, a well done, a kind word, a listening ear. You may not necessarily be able to change a persons/business situation, but you can listen. Perhaps you know of someone/business that may be able to assist or further the dreams/visions of someone else.
I have also learnt that to motivate and encourage takes small actions/words to make a situation seem better than it already is or to assist in making a situation seem better. Nominate fellow persons/associates for competitions. They may not win, but the encouragement and the fact that someone believed in them goes a long way. You never know they may just win 🙂