The Hottest Businesses to Start in Zimbabwe Now
SME Business Link February 2011 Contents
Inside SME BusinessLink This Month
3. Publishers Comment
4. Your Letters
5. Guest Comment: Unleashing Greatness! Don’t waste your pain, use it
6. What’s New and Exciting
Starting a Business
7. The Hottest Businesses You Can Start in Zimbabwe Right Now: And You Don’t Buckets of Cash to Do It!
11. Your ultimate Guide to Starting a Business in Zimbabwe
Part 1- Choosing The Right Legal Entity
13. How to write your own bankable business plan- Part1.
Running a Business
14. Meet Empretec Zimbabwe’s Entrepreneur of the Decade
17. The SME BusinessLink Interview: Meet the IODZ Entrepreneur of the Year
20. How to Build a Bootstrapping Culture
19. Good Recording Keeping is Essential for all Businesses
18. Positive Cash Flow Lead to Success
Sales & Marketing
27. How to Close a Sale.
30. The top ten killers of sales
22. Negotiating: How to Negotiate Effectively
24. Five Things to Never Say in a Negotiation
31. The Secret of Sales Success
Leadership & People Management
32. Facing up to the Human Resource Challenges of SMEs
33. Turning Around Negative Attitudes
It’s Time to Accelerate Your Growth!
Since the United States dollar (along with other foreign currencies) was officially introduced in Zimbabwe in 2009, the consumption boom that entrepreneurs expected has not materialized. A survey among small and medium business owners in Harare recently revealed that consumers have adopted a new frugality, characterized by a preference for lower-priced products, rather than value.
In such a scenario, the high-performance entrepreneur has to build new marketing strategies and tactics, because the old methods will not bring spectacular results in the face of cheap imports from South Africa, China and other low cost producers.
One solution for the entrepreneur is to explore linkage opportunities with larger firms. These firms are already buying most of their products from foreign firms as well as local big companies. Local SMEs’ products and services are mostly shunned because they are perceived as of poor quality. Events of the past may have forced some SMEs to cut-corners, hence the bad image.
Now the way forward is to build a new image of sophisticated, highly efficient and high quality SMEs. There is no need to wait for someone to do that for you, you have to take action yourself. SMEs need to work towards attaining acceptable standard of workmanship. The Standards Association of Zimbabwe and the International Standards Organization are there to help you. Of course this needs some investment, in training staff and so on, but that will give you a big competitive advantage against the ordinary players. The days of business as usual are gone, one has to differentiate his business and product offering in order to grow in the new economy.
The subject of business linkages is very important to the growth of SMEs. That is why SME Business Link is working on a number of programs that will help bring together SMEs and large firms for the purpose of transacting mutually beneficial business relationships. The first program should be announced in the next month and if you want to seriously grow your business, we advise to you to keep up with us.
This issue of SME BusinessLink, which is on CD, contains useful tips for SMEs, success stories, and lots of business opportunities for entrepreneurs. The next issue is going to carry even more useful stuff and there will be a choice of print or electronic version, or both. Do not miss it. If you are not on our mailing list, please join now so as not to miss a thing as we help entrepreneurs accelerate their growth in 2011.
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Starting a Business
SME BusinessLink February 2011
SME BusinessLink February 2011
The Hottest Businesses You Can Start in Zimbabwe Right Now!
The Hottest Businesses You Can Start in Zimbabwe Right Now!
And you don’t need bucketfuls of cash to implement these ideas
My name is Mervin and l am an aspiring entrepreneur. I would like to be assisted to come up with small scale business ideas ranging not more than $15,000.00. I am based in Masvingo. Your assistance in this regard shall be greatly appreciated.
These are the kind of letters and emails we receive regularly at SME BusinessLink. In this feature article, we are going to look at the hottest business opportunities in Zimbabwe in 2011. From these, we are sure you will find at least one that you can pursue and develop into a successful business.
One of the things I have learned in dealing with hundreds of successful entrepreneurs is this: true entrepreneurscan succeed in what-ever line of business they venture into. There are three important secrets to success in any venture:
- Your product or service must meet a real need among ustomers, that is, it must solve customers’ problems, make life easier, or save them money.
- There must be a large enough market of people willing to pay for your product or service to make thebusiness viable.
- You have to take care of the basics of business, like planning, marketing, having the right people,managing your cash flow and satisfying customers’ needs.
An entrepreneur who managed to make $2 million in just one year of starting a business recently told an online business journal that his company’s success has depended largely on their marketing efforts, including viral pushes on Twitter and Facebook. If you spot a good business opportunity, plan well and market well, you will most likely succeed. The key is in differentiating your product and service offering, bringing convenience to customers or saving them time or money.
Opportunity No.1: IT Software
Information technology presents a huge business opportunity, especially as the cost of broadband internet, computers and mobile phones has come down significantly in the past few years. The idea is to develop a software application that gives solutions to people. Because it costs almost nothing to reproduce once developed, a really good application will earn you quite a lot if properly marketed. Popular types of software include entertainment (games, music etc) and business packages.
Zimbabwe has thousands of IT graduates, but most firms continue to use imported software like Sage, Pastel, Quickbooks and Bankmaster, paying high user fees. Tech-savvy entrepreneurs can make a killing in this growing sector, and they don’t have to be limited to the Zimbabwean market, but to Africa and the rest of the world..
Opportunity No.2: Mobile Applications and Games
The latest mobile phones, such as the iPhone, are quickly becoming mainstream in Zimbabwe. This presents a big opportunity for tech-savvy entrepreneurs to create applications and games for these devices. Most Zimbabweans who want to legally download music on the internet cannot do so. Why not solve this problem for them? Below is how one entrepreneur did it, an interview which appeared in INC Magazine.
The successful IT soloist- How Steven Woolley did it
A one hit wonder took this man from living on a modest PhD student stipend to financial security in less than one year. Steve Woolley was gifted a laptop from his parents and an iPod Touch from his in-laws and it changed his life forever.
Q. Steve, when you started your software development company did you have a plan in place, or did you just “wing it?”
A. I had no plan at all, seriously, just an idea, that friends said people would pay for. I’d never even considered selling software and my business consisted of selling a few LP’s on Ebay. I came up with the idea to create a desktop software program that I call ooTunes, and a bit later, the iPhone app. The iPhone app is where I make all the money. It’s not quite a one-hit wonder; I’ve built and worked at mine everyday for 10-12 hours a day for a year now.
Q. Looking back, what are the most important personal qualities or characteristics that are most responsible for your success?
A. I credit my success to 3 things: a) A lot of luck b) persistence
and c) working crazy hard to make sure every customer (and there
is a lot of them) is happy.
Q. Steve, what was the key motivating factor in your drive and
determination to become your own boss?
A. When I first started working in my PhD, I started reading blogs,
essays and anything I could find on “startups”. I was intrigued
mostly by how someone could start with nothing but an idea, and
through hard work, almost magically turn it into something that didn’t even exist beforehand. On one hand I thought it was awesome that someone could go from nothing to fortunes in a few years. On the other hand, I thought it was foolish to view that as the “most common” outcome.
Q. What is the greatest reward in running your own business?
A. Knowing that I’ve created something that thousands of people enjoy. I guess if I’d started a debt collection agency I wouldn’t have the same satisfaction.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to share with our solopreneurs?
A. If you don’t think about your business or ideas constantly, you probably don’t have the right idea. If you’re not willing to give up sleep, food, sex, hobbies, sunlight, etc. you’re probably not going to give what it takes. That being said, you shouldn’t give all those things up indefinitely or it certainly won’t be worth your time! If you can’t
(give those up or stop giving those up) then get a 9-5 job, and spend the rest of the time doing something you enjoy!
Opportunity No.3: IT Repairs and Services
Still on IT, the influx of cheaper computers and IT gadgets means more people have access to them. However,most of the users are not well versed in servicing and repairing the machines. Offering an IT repair service is a good business opportunity. However, to succeed, your business has to offer extraordinary service, such as home service, fast turn-around etc. You should target specific niche markets, such as people over 60 for example, and find the best way of getting your marketing message across to them. You can use cheap methods such as distributing flyers to their homes, clubs etc. You can also offer training services. (Do you know that the
majority of computer and mobile internet users utilize only a small portion of all the functions available?). As for manpower, there are lots of unemployed IT graduates and students who want attachments.
Opportunity No.4: Personal Beauty Services
These days, working people are strapped of time, but they still need to have personal beauty services done,such as manicures, pedicures, massages, hair styling etc. All you need is the basic equipment and your flyers or business cards informing people that you can offer these services at their homes, offices etc, at their own
convenient times. By targeting your marketing to executives, business owners and other time- strapped professionals, you will quickly build up a solid customer base.
Coming up in the March issue
- A survey of banks: which is the best bank for SMEs in Zimbabwe?
- New insurance packages for SMEs launched.
- Start nominating your choices for the SME and Entreprenuership awards 2011.
- Interview with one of the fastest moving entrepreneurs.
- Customers slow to pay? Five ways to pry out the cheque.
- Business Linkages: How to do business with the big boys. What the CZI says to SMEs.
To read more, get the CD now, which also carries a free e-book, 101 Tips For Your Business in 2011 from leading entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Available at Innov8 Bookshop, 23 G.Silundika Avenue Harare, or you can ger it directly from us at 111 Seke Road, Logan Park, Hatfield Harare for only $3.00 a copy, or add $1.00 and we will deliver to your home or office in Harare, or post it if you are out of Harare. Just call/sms us on 0772 854 301, 0777 774 007, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.