South Africa is a famous country for many reasons: Nelson Mandela, our Ndlovu choir, the successful rugby team to name a few. And then there’s the inspiring #ImStaying movement. Yes, it’s an honour living in this beautiful land.
If you’re one of the stayers and have a dream of running a business, you’re in for an adventure. The country has been home to many success stories, but it’s not always easy. With load shedding, a continuously changing economy and many cultures to cater for, being a business leader will definitely never be boring.
What can you do to improve your chances of making it to the top? We compiled a few topics for you to consider. Plan around them before you register your company and become an entrepreneur or talk to your staff about improving some of these approaches in 2020. Make this your best year in South Africa yet.
Focus on Sales and Marketing
As mentioned above, South Africans need to plan budgets in trying economic times. So, you may have a limited number of consumers that make up your target market and have the funds to spend on your products or services. That means you can’t for a moment slack in terms of marketing your brand. If you’re wondering where to invest some funds, consider:
- Lead generation
- Software that streamlines the use of sales data and guarantees you don’t forget about any potential customers
- Using modern digital signage to stand out among your competition
Give Attention to Detail
Chances are that you’ll want to grow your business to one day also play a role in the global market. You’ll be surprised at what some international companies find the most important. It could be the quality of your workmanship, rather than the range of your products.
Some South African cities are known to have a more ‘laid back’ vibe, even when it comes to business and service delivery. But when interacting globally, delivering on time, every time, could be the key to getting that contract you’re after.
What’s Your Online Presence?
Various social and economic challenges within our borders mean that we have characteristics of both first and third world countries. But don’t for a minute think that means you can ignore international, first world trends when it comes to business.
These days, it’s all about your online presence if you want to attract clients, build your brand and gain industry respect. A few practical tips:
- Website: Your website is your modern shop window to the world. You need to attract people, so you need to end up high on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). For that you need to optimise your pages and especially make sure you mention your location, so you pop up in localised searches. For example, if done correctly thanks to professional SEO services Cape Town eateries will appear whenever a consumer types in ‘restaurant Cape’ or even ‘restaurant Mother City’ in Google’s search bar.
- Being personal: Make sure your website seems personal, giving information about you as the owner. Websites are where people do research about businesses these days and they want to know who is behind it all.
- Reputation: What do others say about you? Scan reviews and messages to your Facebook page. Reply to negative feedback so consumers can see you care enough to listen and do something about their concerns.
Evaluate Your People Skills
South Africa is known by international tourists as a friendly place to visit. You need to remember this whenever you engage with clients: South Africans appreciate it when they’re handled in a courteous, welcoming manner.
Business owners in most industries can’t only rely on innovative products or even their skills to shine above the competition. You also need to think of your interaction with your audience. So, don’t alienate your potential loyal clients by seeming too clinical, unapproachable or dismissive.
Prove you care and communicate in a friendly manner on all platforms:
- Engaging with customers in a brick and mortar store
- Creating the content on your website or Facebook page
- Sending out newsletters
- Talking on the phone to schedule meetings or service calls
Be a business leader people ENJOY working with and you’ll see how word of mouth attracts more South African clients.
If you’re still planning your business, don’t underestimate the value of an original approach. In a diverse country like ours, there are many niches. So perhaps you have a novel way of meeting consumers’ needs in a small, but profitable niche. Many others have made their success this way. Will you be next?