Category Archives: Small Business

The Seed of Potential

HBX Insights Potential

Potential is the seed, floating in the wind, travelling from afar to settle, waiting for the environment to be just right to take root and become a part of the very fabric of this land.

This same potential lies in the fruit of past seeds who’ve established themselves, and the land is welcoming, it accepts the seeds, and the fruit and allows each to blossom in its turn and in its season.

For the seed; the youngest bloom; the impatient youth; the young lady and gentlemen have as much potential as the middle aged man and women; the brother and the sister; the aunt and uncle and the grand parents.

We all have within us the potential to be even better, to make history or to pave the way for others to do so.

That is potential and we’re in South Africa, and so we’re Potential South.

In his maiden SONA President Ramaphosa challenged us all to lend a hand, to help double the numbers of jobs in tourism by welcoming guest into our “rondavels” in the most beautiful country in the world. And while the government get themselves in order we’re getting involved, so that when our children ask us what we did when we had the chance, we can say “I stood up and was counted”

This is our answer to the call to make our country great again, to work together to right the wrongs of the past and to finally put them behind us, while at the same time building a prosperous nation that can be shared by all of us in our lifetime and beyond.

And if we all get more prosperous along the way, even better.

Bootstrapping your business is bootstrapping your life

Insights Bootstrapping
It seems obvious when you think about it, but when you’re bootstrapping a business, trying to get it off the ground at the lowest possible cost, while maintaining your health and fitness then an easy way is to consume less, waste less and ultimately pay less.
Starting your own business may require significant personal sacrifices and if you’re personally financing your business, you’re likely to need to bootstrap your life as well as your business.
Here are some thought on things you could consider:
Instead of maintaining you gym membership take up running or dig that old bicycle out of the garage and go for a ride. Not only is it good for you, but it will give you personal time to think through ideas and re-energise you.
Instead of buying 2 litre bottles of milk, buy 2 one litre sachets of milk. Save R2 a litre. It’s fiddly but the savings add up. Over a month that could save another R100
Coming to the end of your phone contract? Switch to a pay monthly plan, not a contract, that you can scale according to your needs, and keep the phone for another year or even two. At R500 a month for the phone that could save you R12000 over 2 year.
Have an old phone/pc/printer at home, use it to start your business, don’t buy new unless the business can afford it.
Don’t use your personal money to buy goods for your business unless you have to. Wait until the business is making it’s own money, it exists as an entity separate from you.
Walk somewhere instead of driving, save petrol or take a bicycle and add it to your exercise routine.
Look for bargains in store and shop around and don’t be afraid to buy something nearing the end of it’s sell by date, just consume it within a reasonable amount of time.
Be careful of buying in bulk, this saves money over a long period but ties up your money in stock or in the food cupboard. I know so many people who struggle month to month, or day to day, but have cupboards full of bargains they bought in bulk.
Use up everything you have in the cupboard before doing shopping. Get creative with your ingredients.
If you have the space, plant a vegetable garden, it’s almost free. And if we’ve learnt anything from the current drought, use grey water to keep them alive. This is a great way to not only return water to the ground, but also saves you on your water bill.
When dealing with suppliers don’t be afraid to ask for a discount, almost anything is negotiable, but also recognise that we all need to make a living, and if you cut the deal too fine someone may not do business with you in the future.
This is only the first of many bootstrapping articles we’ll be sharing. We might even explore some of these ideas in more detail as we build up our knowledge and experience.
Feel free to add your thoughts and ideas below.

Everyone should be be able to go online

Insights Internet

The internet is here to stay for the significant future, of that we can be certain. We’ve learnt over the past 20 years that the internet as a means of connecting people is unsurpassed, whether on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet or internet connected fridge.

It’s also gotten cheaper (and still has a long way to go) and more accessible across most walks of life (and still has a long way to go) and it’s become easier and easier to use (and still has a long way to go).
I truly believe that the internet has a long way to go before we reach saturation point and that far more disruption is on the way.

Africa’s industrial powerhouse, South Africa is only now beginning to roll out fibre into provincial towns, with much of the country to do and as we accelerate the roll-out, the opportunities already realised in other countries are going to appear. Internet connectivity can expect to be followed by increased logistics requirements as new sources of knowledge and skills comes online. This exercise is being repeated all over Africa and indeed most of the the developing world, in some instances they’re able to leapfrog developed countries who are dependent on legacy infrastructure.

Government and industry commitment to fund wide scale roll-out of communication infrastructure is crucial to ensure that we’re able to take advantage of this “fourth industrial age” to leap frog from a developing country to a developed country.
And ensuring that we’re all apart of this is not only simple, but it makes sense. We have young people who are unemployed but have experience as digital natives, we have mature adults who are semi-retiring to run small family businesses such as B&B’s, Guest Houses or lifestyle businesses and who may be more comfortable checking sms’s and emails than building social media following.
Many of our youth have within their pockets the tools and in their minds the brains to go out and start their own digital marketing company, assisting our small and medium sized businesses to get online in the modern world and to promote South Africa not just locally but globally.
Taking advantage of this “Fourth Industrial Age” means educating ourselves on the business benefits of social media and helping them understand the basics of setting up and running their own business.
I believe that this is important enough to spend a good deal of time exploring questions and providing answers as to what it takes to start and run a business digitally and run a digital business in South Africa.