How do I build a startup company in South Africa? Well, there’s no simple answer. It’s tough, but not impossible.
Since you’ve clicked on this article, it’s clear you have an idea for a startup business. This idea might have come to you while working for your current employer or while standing in line at KFC. So the next question is, what now? How do I get the company going? Well, there are a few things you need to ask yourself first.
The most common mistake people make when starting a business from scratch is the lack of proper market research. Are there clients for your startup? How much competition do you have in your surrounding areas? Is it a capital-intensive startup? These are critical questions you need to ask yourself, and honestly answer them without ignorance.
How to do market research for your startup company in South Africa
In order to do proper market analysis, you need to have a firm grasp of the consumers/clients you’ll be targeting. Such analysis is about studying the market dynamics as well as the rationale of potential customer behavior.
You will get to know your potential clients and the business conditions, thus decreasing the possible risks of producing a product or service that nobody wants. Here is a step-by-step guide on market research for your startup business.
1. Identify your target market.
Identifying your ideal target customer should be the first step. Importantly, this is not about describing the widest possible range of customers that could potentially purchase your products or services. Instead, it’s about creating a clear picture of your ideal customer that includes every aspect like age, location, income range, relationship status, and career choices.
2. Is there sufficient demand for your product or service?
There are multiple ways of accruing this data. The free tool you could use is called Google Trends. With this tool, you can get data on search demands, and this will give you an accurate, clear idea of how many people currently need what you’d supply.
Another way would be to join communities or groups on social media. People often look past this, however, it’s one of the best places to get this data. Ask a few questions related to your offering and monitor their response. Just be sure not to give your business plan away in the process.
3. Is the competition dominating the field already?
Examine the number of competitors on a local and, if relevant, national scale. Study their strategies and operations. Your analysis should supply a clear picture of potential threats, opportunities, and the weaknesses and strengths of the competition facing your new business.
Okay, so now that you have these answers, now what?
Once you have these questions answered, you can move on to the next step. Do you have the capital to get the business going? Some companies don’t require much to get started. However some are too expensive for working class people to manage.
You would need to do a complete rundown of all your requirements. This would include setup costs such as equipment, stock, storage, offices, employees, and online company peripherals like websites, online content and marketing budgets. Once you have this data, and you believe you could afford to start the business, the fun part can start.
Registering your company.
It is not necessary for all businesses to formalise by registering with the CIPC. For some businesses, such as informal businesses and sole proprietors, there may not be sufficient benefits. However, registering your business name is something you should be doing. The costs involved with this won’t break the bank. In fact, this will be the least expensive part of the process. CIPC offers online company registrations and name reservations. You can either do it yourself or get a company to do it for you. Once you have the name registered its time to buy your company domain name e.g. www.yourcomepany.co.za.
Get your business online.
In this day and age, not having a website or social media accounts is a recipe for disaster. Your clients need an easy way of finding your product or service, and this is best done online. You can depict your business in the manor you want, and its constantly there. Get a company to build your website.
This does not have to break the bank; you can get these services from as little as R1500. Be sure to do research as to what the online requirements are. Do you need to sell the product online? Is it a service that can be ordered from your website or social media?
This will determine the pricing of the website. Social media is free; you can build your client base without the use of ads, however it would be time consuming and take a lot of effort.
Get going, and don’t give in.
This is where the hard part comes into play. Starting a business takes time and energy, and one must undergo periods of extended self-reflection to find a business idea that’s both realistic and viable. Since you’ve answered all the above questions, you at least know its possible.
Now you need to put in the hours and prove not only to yourself but your customers that this is the best way forward. Don’t allow yourself to doubt the process. You need exceptional metal strength and tenacity in order to successfully create your startup. You can do it, and you can be financially independent. Make sure you remind yourself of why you are doing this. This provides you with motivation, and motivation is the driver for success.
“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail” — Benjamin Franklin.