You have a bright idea for a new business venture but where do you start? How can you get the knowledge you need to make your business a success? How can you achieve your great business dreams with the limited finances that you have available? These are some of the questions which go through any aspiring entrepreneur’s head. Here are some keys to help you unlock the free help and advice you seek so that you can lift your name high with the entrepreneurial greats that you admire.
1. Read up about your local government programmes
The government offers a lot of programmes which are available to assist the young and aspiring entrepreneur. In South Africa, small business development is encouraged to help with the unemployment rate. The government offers many grants from a variety of industries to help develop business in these industries. There are also departments like the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) which offers a lot of informative advice on their website as well as giving you guidance on where to go to get help to grow your small business.
2. Attend Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)
Some people may not know about MOOCs. They are usually free online courses held by some of the leading international universities. They cover a wide range of topics from business to IT. Through these courses you can gain the knowledge you need to start a business or expand your knowledge in your area of expertise to help grow your business. There are also many forums on these courses which let you interact with fellow students who may have advice for you regarding the topic you are dealing with.
3. Go to business expos
By attending local business expos, you will be exposed to what is involved in developing your business. Through these expos, you will get a chance to network with a variety of players involved in the business of creating small to medium enterprises. One example in South Africa is the National Small Business Chamber’s My Business Expo. These are held in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. You can gain a lot of knowledge at these expos as there are business leaders and critical business partners present who are willing to share how they can help you build and grow your business. The free advice you can gain from attending these events is worth the time you spend there. Furthermore, there are great networking events which let you network with people inside as well as outside of your industry. These expos are great opportunities waiting to be taken advantage of.
4. Speak to successful friends and family
Another goldmine of information is to speak to your friends and family. They may be able to give you some good advice on how they have created their business. Additionally, they could give you the inside scoop on places where they fell short or how they become the success they are today. They could also give you great leads on how to create your small enterprise.
Hold on to your dream. It will take many hours of blood, sweat and a few tears but in the end you will have something which you can call yours. You will also have a legacy which you can pass down to your children, and they can grow from it to be great citizens of the world.
Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).