Fear: One Reason for SMEs Failure

a small business owner

a small business owner

In trying to improve the SMEs sector; before we talk about things like funding, equal opportunities to participate in business, the introduction of an SMEs bank, etc, it is important to look at the person of the entrepreneur to see if they are ready to be in business.

There are two factors that influence SMEs business.

Endogenous – internal to the enterprise –  entrepreneur has control

Exogenous– external to the enterprise, entrepreneur has no control but in some instances can exercise some degree of influence.

In that regard, most SME failure in the country is not a result of lack of funding (which is an Exogenous factor) but lack of grooming and training on the part of the young entrepreneur (which are Endogenous factors) and fear is one big challenge that if not tackled, most budding entrepreneurs, even those with brilliant ideas, will not live to see their ideas come to fruition.

Most small company owners are afraid. They are afraid of the future, afraid of losing money, afraid of literally anything and everything.

Giving a speech at the launch of TV personality Makosi Musambasi`s book ‘Self Love – The Ultimate Choice’, prominent businessman, Nigel Chanakira, commended the author of her boldness and lack of fear in getting things done (which is the total opposite of most budding entrepreneurs around).

Said Chanakira: “Makosi is an intelligent young woman who has tremendous vision and is not afraid to on knock doors. I applaud her for that. She has achieved something at a young age that I have failed to do even up to this day.”

On the other hand, this is what goes on in the minds of most young business people who end up failing: “If I hire another person, how then will I pay him, what if business slows down,what if this, what if that.”  

One common thing in most of these SME owners is that they are afraid to approach seemingly bigger people than they are because they fear to be turned down. They often ask themselves what if he refuses or what if her guards push me away.

They are also afraid to approach bigger companies for synergies. Their decisions are based on their fears and their actions are determined by their fears and in turn they end up mediocre or they lose touch and they fail.

This partly prove why statistics show that only 1 in 12 Small to Medium Enterprises see the light of the day in the country.

They are afraid to start new things and champion new ways of doing business. They are oblivious of the fact that one can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.

In the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki said something remarkable about how important it is for entrepreneurs to make up their minds and not be jittery in making decisions.

Said Kiyosaki: “If you cannot make up your mind decisively, then you will not learn to make more money anyway.”

Definitions of fear

  1. feeling of anxiety: an unpleasant feeling of anxiety or apprehension caused by the presence or anticipation of danger
  2. frightening thought: an idea, thought, or other entity that causes feelings of fear

one who is fearless to tread any path wins the appreciation and gains a lot of confidence and courage. Fear is the first hindrance towards for all your actions.

The danger of having little knowledge

Sir Francis Bacon, an Englithsh Renaissance philosopher, coined a famous quote that many of us use a lot.

He said Knowledge is power.

What Sir Francis meant was that, with knowledge man can attain success, power and positions in life.

His statement also proves the fact that mighty minds with power of knowledge can rule the minds of millions.

Looking at it on a business world perspective; those that have knowledge and understand the technicalities of the industry they are in, are bound to attain success, power and positions.

As an entrepreneur, knowing your area of trade will make you a master and ensure that you live a higher life.

The problem, however, is that most SMEs or, rather, business people in the country are content with mediocrity and do not strive to know more about their line of operation.

My wise friend always says that as a budding business person you need to benchmark yourself with the best in the industry you are in and ascertain whether you are on the right direction or not. If you are not, he says you should increase the amount of knowledge you have.

It’s sad that most young business people are too lazy to seek for knowledge, and think that somehow things will just happen on their own and end up being millionaires not knowing that success is not a mistake and doesn’t happen by chance.

Another sad thing is that most people are entering business without proper knowledge of running and sustaining those businesses (this is the main reason why most start up companies are dying at infant stages).

They have little knowledge on critical business concepts and perhaps know them on academic bases.

This also was noted at the recently held three day conference held at the University of Zimbabwe, organised by the Ministry of Youth Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.

One speaker from Nyanga expressed bitterness at the way youths who are benefiting from the government’s indigenisation program are failing to pay back the money and pointed out lack of knowledge as the major cause for the failure.

William Chaitezvi, a budding entrepreneur who was also present at the conference also attributed the failure to pay back the money to lack of proper knowledge of running business.

He said “to minimise failure, the youths coming from college hoping to start up their companies should be equipped with enough knowledge through seminars, workshops and conferences.”

He added: “There is a serious need for those entering business to take commendable effort to learn more about the business they are entering and also for those in business to do refresher courses to ensure that they remain competitive.”

Statistics show that only 1 out of 12 start-up companies see the light of the day.

Failure… is the price of little knowledge.

Turn your passion, into your business

Its confusion and more confusion in your head…you know perfectly well that music is your thing but you doubt if it will put food on your table.

You have bench marked yourself with the best in the music industry and you have realised you have what it takes to even surpass them but your girlfriend, Hilda, is sceptical about you becoming a professional musician saying musicians are vagrants.

You have a great passion for your music that you have spent most of your life time studying about the trends in the music industry but your elder brother constantly advises you to go look for a ‘decent’ job.

Now you don`t know what to do…

This is what is happening to a lot of people around the world, they know what they want but the environment they are in or the people around them keep on discouraging them.

This doesn’t only apply to musicians but to everyone who has a passion for something. More often than not, we grow up liking certain things but somehow we fail to turn that passion into a business.

Regarding this issue, the founder and chairman, of global telecommunications group, Econet Wireless, Strive Masiyiwa said: “You can make a global industry, from whatever you are doing.”
He gave an example of his barber by the name Kelvin who believed: “My business area, of cutting hair does not have much scope for growth, I was thinking of something like shares, or even property.”

Masiyiwa told him that his business was as big as his own business area of telecoms and told him, about entrepreneurs, he knew who have made billions, in the industry, in which he is a part of.

“That machine, you are using to cut my hair; who makes it, those oils, that you use for my hair, those shampoos,” Masiyiwa asked him.

“How big is the global industry, in men’s hair care products, and services, of which cutting hair is just a small part,” he added

Having freed the ‘boy`s’ imagination, Masiyiwa said Kevin began to tell him, things about this amazing industry of which he is a part. There and then, Kevin, began to have great new ideas.

That’s all Kevin needed, to free his mind. Here are other examples of people who turned their passions into business and managed to make a global industry out of whatever they were doing.

In 1996 one of the greatest golfers ever to grace mother earth, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods decided to turn his passion into business when he became a professional golfer and ever since then his light has been shining brighter and brighter.

Milton Kamwendo, a top Zimbabwean motivational speaker says at one time in his life he just had to forego his accounting job through which he was living a good life and decided to follow his passion and now he says he is living large.

Another example is the late Sungura music ace Tongai Moyo who left his good office job to pursue music, which was his passion. Tongai Moyo died a well respected person such that 20,000 people attended his funeral which would never have happened had he remained a clerk.

Five reasons why your business should be active on social Media

Many people think social media is just a platform for jokes and social interaction with their family, friends and loved ones.

Because thof this misguided notion, many companies haven’t tapped into the social media world assuming it is for non-serious issues and that they will not be taken seriously.

Some just don’t have time for it, they haven’t realised that ‘it is this ‘informal nature’ of social media that is magical in terms of improving how business is done.

 If you think that by being active on social media, your target market will stop taking you seriously then you need to think again.

In this age of technology, cheaper internet access and internet enabled devices finding their way into the country that even Uncle Joe from Mudzi district is now on Facebook, you can’t afford to give a blind eye to the power these platforms have.

Below are some of the benefits of social media to businesses.

 1). Two way communication

Social media, unlike traditional media like news papers, provide for two way communication between the clients and the business.

The customer gives instant feedback- letting you know whether your products and promotions are exciting or you need to tweak them a bit.

For example a company can post about a new product or service they are offering and their fans comment giving their opinions about the product. The comments can either be negative or positive but the information can help the company decide faster.

This element of Two Way Communication also helps you get quick feedback about your products or services. With only two minutes after posting something about your new service or product, the company can receive amazing feedback.

2). Social media is also cheaper to advertise on.

 Imagine the impact of an advert on a facebook page with 20 000 likes. Companies should put more effort on their social media pages instead of spending a lot of money on advertisements.

 On these social media platforms, adverts can be targeted to age, gender, interests, and geographic location – therefore you are sure your ad is reaching the people that want to see it, and are more likely to take action.

3). Driving traffic to your website

With 500 million users on Facebook and twitter`s  232 million active users, not to talk about other platforms, you can drive a lot of traffic to your website through your social media fan pages.

You can have unlimited social media users who like you and they are all potential clients!

4). Long lasting relationships with customers and the Pass along Effect

Social media Business Pages are great for long lasting relationships with your customers and creating an interactive community with them.

This is usually because fans get the opportunity to be personal with your organisation through the page, as they can post, share and tag their friends of anything on the page, using even informal language.

 “In viral advertising campaigns, viral messages about brands spread to potential consumers, who then pass along the information to other potential consumers rapidly” (Dobele et al. 2007; Southgate, Westoby, and Page 2010)

Porter and Golan (2006, p. 33) also noted this viral advertising power of social media, “unpaid peer-to-peer communication of provocative content originating from an identified sponsor using the Internet to persuade or influence an audience to pass along the content to others.”

These pages are great for long lasting relationships with your customers and creating an interactive community with them through the pass along effect.

5). Social media facilitates for easy online access

Facebook, Twitter, linked In, Pintrest and many other social media platforms` business pages are quickly indexed by the search engines based on the keywords used in the business page title.

Anyone can access your social media page or from a search on Google.

Social Media in Zimbabwe

We did a research on how effective social media is and we found out that many people in Zimbabwe are on Facebook compared to other social media platforms.

However, the research also showed that twitter was on number 2 followed by Pintrest, linked in and Instagram.

Since facebook is the most popular social network in the country, there is need to analyse it a bit

Facebook in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe facebook is growing with the speed of light and recent statistics shows that an estimated 1.2 million Zimbabweans are on the social media site.

 

Surprisingly, two years ago it was revealed that there were 900,000 users of Facebook in Zimbabwe with 500,000 using mobile phones to access it and the rest being on other means of communication.

Such an increase shows that the social platform is growing very fast and becoming more popular.

Meanwhile, promoting your business on Facebook or any other social networking media doesn’t only include creating your profile, it takes more than that, it needs a professional who understand the trends and dedicate themselves to producing results.

For more information contact Cyrex Business:

Phone

+263 775 428 299/399

Email

hello@cyrexbiz.com

Website

http://cyrexbiz.com

 

Tell us what you think hey.

Ways to improve Customer Support through Social Media

Customer Service is one of the most important aspects of having a successful business. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling something or providing a service, you aren’t going to get far if you don’t havcustomer-servicee good customer service.

Customer service is the overall activity of identifying, satisfying and establishing customer needs.

My boss always says, business thrives not because you have the best product or service on offer but because of the relations that you have built, kept and maintained.

There are many ways and techniques you can employ to improve your customer support but there is one other effective tool that most companies tend to ignore.

Social Media, yes you read it right.. I mean the Facebooks, twitters, linked ins of this world

Believe it or
not, social media has a tremendous ability to help you get social with your customers. Gone are the days when facebook, twitter and many other social media platforms were used for
less important matters.

Many people (your customers or potential customers) use social media to talk about various issues varying from social issues, business, technological and political issues. This means they can discuss about a product, service or a certain company and encourage each other to associate with it or not.

As a clever business person you need to take advantage of these social media platforms and make them your first line of contact for your customers, for both praise and complaints.

Embracing social media platforms in your day to day business running will greatly help your business create a good customer loyalty.

There are two things you should always do to make sure your customer service on social media (i will talk about facebook and twitter) is on point.

  1. Quick Responding

Facebook and twitter allows you to respond quickly to customers’ queries, questions and qualms. No matter what problems come up, nothing surpasses being there for people, exactly when they ask for it.

It’s a rule so simple that it is often easy to overlook.  You don’t need to waste time, in the social media world, 24 hours is like a week.  It pays to be quick.

  1. Be personal with your fans

Another very important yet easily overlooked part of giving customer support on facebook and twitter is personalizing the experience.

You need to make your fans feel like they are one of you; journalists call it the plain folk tactic. When answering a question, you need to also address them by name. This means you aren’t speaking to your customers behind a corporate logo.

Always acknowledge when someone posts an update on your page.  If it is a general comment, then click ‘like’ or respond in a friendly and polite tone.

If they are complimenting your service or your products, always thank them and say you are glad they enjoyed it.

It`s these small things that make a lasting impact to your fans (your potential customers) . Customer service, whether online or offline, is paramount to any brand’s success.

Understanding the Virtual Assistant

As a company that has a passion resonating beneath its skin of helping others grow their brands and improve their customer care, we have been carrying out studies to formulate plans of how best we can help small to medium enterprises grow their businesses and create more employment opportunities for job seekers around the country.

In light of our quest, we have realised the fact that many small companies, especially those that are experiencing a boom really need virtual assistance to ensure that they maintain the growth.

We have observed that as business grows, the owner of a company can be really tied up with administration work such that he/she cannot have time to concentrate on what he is suppose to be concentrating on.

The solution is simple. You need to hire a virtual assistant.

You are reading this article and you are thinking to yourself ‘what in the world does a virtual assistant do?’

Well, i guess you are on the right direction on your quest to know what a virtual assistant do. This article will enlighten and shed light on the duties of a virtual assistant.

Recently we conducted a survey  to ascertain how the people of Zimbabwe view the concept of virtual assistance and we found out that many people are still very sceptical about hiring an external person and make them take care of the administration tasks of their organisation.

During the survey, most of the people we talked to underscored about or rather expressed the fear that their classified information might be tempered with by the virtual assistant.

You don’t need to be scared of that; a virtual assistant is just like your permanent personal assistant, save that a virtual assistant is cheaper and more effective as they are professionals who require no or less training. Apart from doing the usual things like,

  1. managing your emails,
  2. travel research and bookkeeping
  3. Database updating
  4. Accounts entries
  5. PowerPoint presentations
  6. Diary management
  7. Travel arrangements

a virtual assistant can even help with,performing your social tasks like writing holiday cards or sending thank you notes to your clients and prospective clients.

Virtual assistants can also help you with researching on the industry you are in, and this will help keep your social media accounts on point, informative, up to date and fun.

Using their vast knowledge and their expertise, virtual assistants can also help find information that can be very useful in increasing your sales like common requests including finding information on corporate websites, exploring new products and vetting potential employees or business contacts.