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(South Africa)


Helping you start and build your small business empire

Before you start

So, you want to start your own business? First let’s run through a quick check list to make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

Reasons to start a business:

  • You are your own boss and do not have to answer to any “dictator”.
  • Increased flexibility in working hours and work tasks. You can choose when and how to do things.
  • You benefit from all your good work. All profits are for your pocket, not someone else.
  • The sky is the limit. If successful your earnings could make your current salary look insignificant
  • You get to do something you enjoy.
  • You get the chance to employ others and improve their lives.

Reasons not to start a business:

  • Nine out of ten new businesses do not last five years.
  • The first year of business can result in no or very little income as you build up your customer base. No secure salary at the end of each month.
  • Finding finance to setup your business is extremely challenging.
  • Your business becomes your life. When the pressure to get results starts to build, you may be working 7 days a week, 16 hours a day. Will your family tolerate this? Will you lose friends?
  • If things go wrong (often beyond your reasonable control – somebody copies your idea, your biggest customer goes broke, etc.), you may lose everything.
  • If you start off on your own you have to do everything, sales, accounts, buying, production, admin etc. Chances are that some of this will be a pain in the neck – are you ready for that?
  • Do you have all the skills that are required? Are you able to sell, do your accounting books each month, meet government requirements on red tape, make your product?

Answer the above questions honestly and give them plenty of thought. Keep in mind that if running your own business was easy, then everyone would be doing it. However if you still feel ready to take the leap then we wish you the best of luck and suggest that you arm yourself with as much information as possible. This site will try and keep the advice and information as simple and easy to understand, but if you want special case in depth information you will need to contact a professional consultant in the required field.

Now you will need to check that you have the skills and attributes of an entrepreneur:

Entrepreneur – “one who undertakes a business enterprise, esp. one involving risk”  - Chambers Dictionary

We don’t believe for one minute that an entrepreneur is a special type of person that is “one in a million” and a very rare breed. Instead we believe that most people have the ability to become an entrepreneur. Some however will be better at it than others but it is simply a skill that can be learned. You need to identify the important characteristics of an entrepreneur and work at improving these skills if they don’t already come naturally to you

Typical characteristics of an entrepreneur:

  • Willing to take calculated risks (not a gambler).
  • Prepared to move out of any comfort zones.
  • Able to problem solve using logic, intuition and experience.
  • In most cases will need to be a “people” person.
  • Have plenty of self discipline – there is no boss to make you work.
  • Have a general understanding as to how the business world works.
  • Be able to self motivate – there will be many tough times.

Some of the above will be areas in which you are already strong, others you will need to work on in order to create your successful business empire

Once you have decided to start your business, the next step would most likely be deciding on what business structure to use in order to run your business. Take a look at:Types of business structures

To arm yourself with other bits of information, we suggest you take a look at the following pages on this site which will hopefully help in this regard:

Business plans
Getting your business started
Common problems faced by small businesses
Business information on scams to look out for
Legislation for small businesses
IT (computer) information for small businesses
Business Book
Financing your small business
Newsletter to keep you up to date with the latest developments
Small business products
Small business services

Good luck with your business venture.

Last updated 2015



The subject matter dealt with on this site is of a general nature only. It is always advisable to consult a professional for your specific situation. All information provided on this site has been carefully chosen and is to the best of our knowledge correct and current. If however you find errors, broken links or disagree with facts provided, please contact us at so that we can make the correction and provide South African business owners with relevant and error free factual information. If you believe there is relevant content missing and you wish to add this value to the site, then you can contact us at the same address

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