How to become a successful entrepreneur

We have formed about 1 000 companies since my partner packed her bags at the end of October 2014. That's an average of over two per working day. Each of these represents someone's dream.

I know from their non-submission of tax returns and CIPC returns that the vast majority of the dreams turned to dust. Here's my advice.

1) You must have a product/service that people already want.

2) You must be able to produce/deliver that product.

3) You must be able to market that product.

4) You must be able to sell that product at a price that is in line with your competitors - if you have to undercut them to sell, your thinking is wrong and you will fail.

5) You must plan your cash flow so that it is positive from day one. If it's negative, the more business you do the tighter will be the cash until you fail.

6) You must decide to be the best and you must know how you're going to be the best and what will make you stand out from the rest.

7) Don't take on a partner unless it is absolutely vital to the business. It's lonely on your own, but if you're going to succeed you'd better get used to being lonely.

8) Pick your staff carefully and love them as if they were volunteers. Treat them with respect and don't let them take advantage of you.

9) Don't solve problems by employing more staff, solve them by being creative and efficient.

10) Don't pay Christmas bonuses.

11) Be very wary of rewarding people with increases - you can price them beyond their worth to you and there's no going back.

12) Do your own bookkeeping at first so that when you farm it out to someone like us, you understand the issues and the results.

13) Don't let your tax and CIPC returns slip. You'll end up in crisis and we'll have to try to unscramble the mess.

14) If you don't know how to achieve all of the above, you need me. Ad hoc meetings are free and unlimited (see the tab on our home page).

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South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. Designation CA(SA)  Internationally Accredited Financial MediatorsIndependent Regulatory Board for Auditors. Designation RA<Engineering Council of South Africa. Designation Pr(Eng) Member of MENSA, the High IQ Society




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