Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
South Africa has many business opportunities for small businesses but many business-minded people still do not know where to start when they have ideas. This article seeks to give directions to such aspirants.
The first step one needs to take towards achieving an entrepreneurial dream is knocking on the right doors to seek information.
It is after one knows what opportunities are open that he/she can take action.
There are many organisations that can assist you with your business venture and also give you information and advice on certain strategic aspects such as finance, tax, advertising and marketing when you embark on a business venture.
Some of the institutions and publications you can consult for business information are: newspapers and magazines, non-governmental organisations, government departments as well as established businesses.
South Africa has an abundance of entrepreneurial magazines. You can always get crucial information about business opportunities that are open to small businesses today, including buying existing businesses and franchises.
Newspapers and magazines serve as valuable sources of small business ideas. Some of these publications feature weekly articles on success stories of entrepreneurs in South Africa. Sowetan, through its business supplement, is one example. The yellow pages of your local telephone directory/list can also be useful.
It lists different products and services that small business can provide. Valuable information about various products and services can be obtained by browsing through the index of yellow pages in a short period of time.
Support agencies like the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and government departments like the Department of Trade and Industry also have useful information. For example, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers a number of free services.
Its business information centre serves as a one-stop-shop for business information. It has a reference library and a small business advice centre, with the latter helping you identify training needs, network and facilitating joint ventures.
The Business Referral and Information Network also helps in improving competitiveness and growth of small businesses in South Africa by supplying relevant value-adding business information.
Another useful source, although not formal, is using contacts to get information about developments and business opportunities in different industries. It sometimes helps to talk to other people, especially established business people to find out if they do not have any possible small business ideas.
Financial institutions can also be approached regarding information on venturing into business and how they can help. Many banks have small business development departments.
Trade shows and business exhibitions are also a good source of ideas for small businesses. You should make it a habit of attending them.
Finally, you can also use the Internet to get more business ideas. A general search on the Internet using different search engines will expose you to a wealth of relevant information.
By typing in "small business in South Africa", a number of websites with relevant information will appear.
You will choose the ones that appeal most to you.