Five things your SMME doesn’t need right now
Roosevelt once urged the world to “do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. Nobody needs to hear this advice more than the small business owner just starting out. There is a lot of advice that puts emphasis on “needs” that, often, don’t play an integral part of running a business.
- Your business doesn’t necessarily need to be online
The Internet is a wonderful development that helps a lot of business owners run their businesses. From web searches that lead to new customers, to free information. But not everyone needs to invest in being online.
If your business is local and you have direct access to your clientele, a website, which can be expensive, shouldn’t be too high up on your list of priorities or there at all.
Tip: If you must be online, there are hundreds of free resources that can help you build your own presence online. Refer also to tip 5.
- Your business doesn’t need headquarters
If you can run your business well without being beholden to a landlord or a bank’s bond repayments, do it. Put the location in your long-term plan. Work from your kitchen table or a shared space until your growth warrants moving out.
Tip: Co-working spaces rent out meeting rooms to freelancers and small businesses.
- Your business doesn’t need a huge broadband bill
Your business might not need a website but you will likely still need to check your email, research, and keep up with trends in your field. Either way, in South Africa data is still expensive and monthly costs might run into the hundreds.
Tip: The South African government has implemented numerous public Internet access points. It’s worth finding out if there’s one close to you and use that free resource instead of putting your money towards data bundles.
- Your business doesn’t need full-time staff
Or any at all. Entrepreneurship is always branded as the key that will end unemployment. It does help, and your business will likely be able to contribute to alleviating the problem one day. Not when you first start out. Invest in only the key people that will keep your ship sailing.
Tip: Depending on the industry you’re in, you might find other business owners like yourself who can’t afford to hire anyone but are prepared to do a skills exchange. Check your arsenal and don’t doubt the niche skills you have to offer.
- Your business doesn’t need to always stick with the plan
Sometimes the plan doesn’t work out right away. Sometimes, in the midst of pursuing your original plan, a new opportunity presents itself. Unplanned as it is, it doesn’t have to go unused. This unintended path might just be the one to lead you to where you wanted go in the first place.
Tip: Always re-evaluate your business plan and the steps you have set out to achieve it.