Entrepreneurship Is Not For The Faint-Hearted

Awaited Opinion

With the world becoming more decentralized and big corporations either reskilling or retrenching people due to artificial intelligence technology has been incorporated into business operations. People are forced to be self-sufficient and most of them look into Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) as an option.

SMME’s have been attracting massive attention lately, especially since globally formal SMEs contribute up to 60% of total employment and up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies. The National Development Plan envisioned that by 2030 SMMEs will contribute 60-80% to GDP increase, and generate 90% of the 11-million new jobs in South Africa.

With such a positive growth projection, the future of SMME looks promising. However, the challenge will be the willingness of people to actually start. A person doesn’t just wake up and start a business, there is self-doubt and contemplation that attempts to prevent the prospective entrepreneur from taking a step. This article highlights three challenges that most entrepreneurs face when starting out.

  • Cloning yourself when starting out is one of the biggest challenges, because there’s still a level of uncertainty in terms of attracting customers, so most business owner’s would get as much business as possible and end up having a large backlog. It’s the entrepreneur’s job to create systems that deliver value to the marketplace. All too often the overworked, burnt-out entrepreneur forgets this. These entrepreneurs believe that they can manually do everything in their business themselves. It’s as if they’ve created a job for themselves, instead of a business.


  • Maintaining quality throughout the business is something that entrepreneurs struggle with when the business starts growing. Keeping the same level of service for each customer and finding people who will have the same drive and passion for your business is always challenging. The trick is to build a strong team if you want to grow. People who have walked this journey will have better knowledge of how you retain quality for instance. Having more smarter and strategic people handling daily operations for you frees you to focus your time on high value tasks that impact your bottom line.


  • Money Management tends to creeps in when a large amount of money is received at once and the temptation of using it on other things not related to business or “suddenly urgent” expenses becomes apparent. This requires discipline as an entrepreneur needs to prioritize understanding their financials and having them documented. This gives a holistic view of fixed and variable expenses so that they avoid recklessness.

Let’s face it entrepreneurs go through a lot for trying to keep their doors open. Entrepreneurs need to remember that their business is their responsibility and they are liable for everything as they set the targets, processes and standards; create values and the brand; train employees and find customers. So, if anything goes wrong it’s due to their failure in judgment or preparation. Therefore it is their responsibility to avoid having a victim mindset as the ball is in their court.

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