Issue Date: 
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Starting your own business in South Africa

By Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Starting your own business in South Africa can be a challenge.  According to survey that is done annually by The World Bank, South Africa is rated 88th when it comes to the ease of doing business.  This is all good and well if you are an overseas investor with a lot of money and looking for new countries to invest in.  However, if you are a South African with little or no money, doing and/or starting a business in South Africa can be a daunting task!

There are many people who dream of starting their own business.  There are many people who go out and start their own business and then they fail dismally.  There are horrific statistics of how many start-up businesses fail within the first two years.  It is said that 80%-90% of all new start-up businesses fail within the first two years and of the remaining 10%-20% another 80% fail in the following three years.  The 2-4% of businesses that survive the first five years will most probably be successful and exists for some time.

You think the large family concern that you are working for is safe from failing, wrong again, most family owned businesses last not much longer than twenty-five years. 

So, starting one’s own business is tough, keeping the doors open – even tougher. 

The question is why do so many businesses fail?  There is not a straightforward.  Many people have studied this phenomenon and there are many reasons why businesses fail but we are not going to focus on that; we need to focus on what to do to make your business sustainable.  You want to ensure your business survive the first two years in order for you to build up a reputation as reliable and sustainable enabling you to respond to that large tender that will provide you with financial independence.

But let us get back to the ease of opening a business in South Africa.  There are many factors that one needs to consider when starting your own business:

  1. You must decide which product or services you are going to sell. 
  2. You then must decide on where you are going to locate your shop or factory or offices.  Getting a lease agreement signed is challenging in South Africa – ensure that your credit record is clean; otherwise you are going to struggle to get a lease agreement for your business.  If you are going to sell goods, then you need to be located at the best location.  You can have the best product or service on offer but if people do not know of your existence you are going to fail.  Find the best place to put up shop so that as many as customers as possible see your goods that you have on offer.
  3. Then there is the matter of registering everywhere – from SARS to UIF, Workman’s Compensation to your industry specific regulation body. 
  4. You also will have to open a bank account – this can be a challenge.
  5. Ensure you have enough funding.  There are few businesses that you can start without money.  Even the smallest of small business will need a cash injection to get the ball rolling.  There are many ways to get funds to start a business, but the trick is to have access to funds to sustain the business when times are tough.  Always save money for tough times.
  6. The most challenging thing of opening your own business is to find clients.  Sure, if you open a shop in the busiest mall in town you will attract walk in cliental.  But what if you are not so lucky?  Or, you produce something that needs to be sold to retailers all over the Country?  How do you then find clients?  This is where a lot of business owners tend to take the Tender Route.  They imagine that if they are lucky enough to be awarded a tender, they will generate enough sales to be sustainable. 
  7. Advertise.  There is an old tale about the business owner who did not believe in advertising, eventually his business failed and the first advertisement he had to place was advertising the liquidation of the business.  Advertise as much as possible.
  8. Be committed.  The main reason you start your own business is because you want to be independent.  The problem is that once you have the freedom you lack the commitment.  When you work for yourself you need to be 110% committed otherwise you are going to fail.  The rule is to apply the same work ethics and commitment that you would have applied should you have been working for a boss.
  9. Be willing to start from the bottom.  There are few businesses that started out as multi-million-dollar operations.  Ninety nine percent of the time it is small businesses that grow into large businesses.  The rule is to start out small and affordable and then grow your business over time.

By following these guidelines, you might just give yourself the edge needed in succeeding in your own business.

So, starting one’s own business is tough, keeping the doors open – even tougher.  My advice to you when starting your own business is to be as well prepared as possible.  Ensure that you have enough knowledge of your product or service.  You do not need to be the best but be at least competitive. 

To learn more about this and many other tender conditions attend our “Become a Tender Expert” 2-Day workshops presented in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town.  Book and pay online at https://howtotender.co.za/tender-expert-form/

Contact us at wernervr@howtotender.co.za should you require more information.

You can also purchase a Tender Manual (Handbook) on our website https://howtotender.co.za/ which is a step by step guide how to respond to a South African Tender.  It includes examples of completed SBD forms.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
The identification of premises for office space for the NDA to be occupied over a period of five years in the following areas: Eastern Cape (Queenstown) and Mpumalanga (Hazyview) 2020-02-17 14:00 NDA39/ FIN01/ 20
Terms of Reference to Request for Bids From Service Providers for BID NO OCJ2019/06: Re-Advertisement of the Anti-Virus and Malware Protection Solution for the Office of the Chief Justice 2020-02-07 11:00 OCJ2019/ 06
The RAF hereby invites experienced, suitably qualified service providers to provide Research Services for the RAF for the period of five (5) years 2020-02-21 11:00 RAF/ 2019/ 00027
Sekgosese Magistrate Court: Repairs and Renovations 2020-02-18 11:00 PLK 20/ 02
Appointment of service provider for e-mail continuity, archiving and spam filtering services (unified email management solutions) for a period of five (5) years. 2020-02-14 11:00 HSRC/ 13/ 2019/ 20
iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, a schedule 3A public entity invites suitably qualified service providers to bid for construction and rehabilitation of roads situated in the Maphelane section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Kwa-Zulu Natal 2020-02-14 16:00 RFP NUMBER: 15/ 2019
Office Accommodation for the merSETA Western Cape Regional Office – FAC/2020/004 The primary objective of this request for proposal is to invite landlords and agencies to submit proposals to the merSETA to provide leasing of Office Accommodation for Western Cape Regional Office for a period of five (5) years. 2020-02-06 12:00 FAC/ 2020/ 004
The objective of the bid is to appoint External Moderator(s) Nationally to form part of a panel that will provide the verification of Learning Programmes and Workplace Approvals for FoodBev SETA on a rotational basis for a period not exceeding three (3) years from date of appointment. 2020-02-24 11:00 FB SETA (19- 20) T0022
Office Accommodation for the merSETA Gauteng North Regional Office – FAC/2020/002 The primary objective of this request for proposal is to invite landlords and agencies to submit proposals to the merSETA to provide leasing of Office Accommodation for Gauteng North Regional Office for a period of five (5) years. 2020-02-06 12:00 FAC/ 2020/ 002
Office Accommodation for the merSETA Mpumalanga Regional Office – FAC/2020/003 The primary objective of this request for proposal is to invite landlords and agencies to submit proposals to the merSETA to provide leasing of Office Accommodation for Mpumalanga Regional Office for a period of five (5) years 2020-02-06 12:00 FAC/ 2020/ 003
FoodBev SETA would like to invite a suitable service provider to project manage the recruitment and placement of 2017/2018 learners in workplace within the Food and Beverages Manufacturing Sector and/or Government department (National, provincial, local). 2020-02-25 11:00 FB SETA (19- 20) T0023
Office Accommodation for the merSETA Eastern Cape Regional Office – FAC/2020/001 The primary objective of this request for proposal is to invite landlords and agencies to submit proposals to the merSETA to provide leasing of Office Accommodation for Eastern Cape Regional Office for a period of five (5) years. 2020-02-06 12:00 FAC/ 2020/ 001
Appointment of a Well-Established Service Provider for the Provision Of Cafés / Restaurants, Shops, Outdoor Weekend Recreational Activities (Such as a Market) 2020-02-14 11:00 DMSA 014/ 2019
Appointment of a panel of service providers to assist with sighting, drilling, testing & equipping of boreholes in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality of the North West Province 2020-02-06 11:00 NW- TEN02(011)19/ 20
Appointment of a Well-Established Service Provider for the Provision Of Cafés / Restaurants, Shops, Outdoor Weekend Recreational Activities (Such as a Market) 2020-02-14 11:00 DMSA 014/ 2019
Port Alfred: Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries: 8 William Cock Street: Repairs & Renovations. 2020-02-18 11:00 PE01/ 2020
Appointment of a panel of service providers to assist with sighting, drilling, testing & equipping of boreholes in Bojanala District Municipality of the North West Province 2020-02-06 11:00 NW- TEN02(013)19/ 20
Department of Agriculture: Paulpietersburg: Construction of new District office 2020-02-21 11:00 ZNTU 01858 W
Replacement of fence at Nkunzana Clinic, Pongola 2020-02-21 11:00 ZNTU 04233 W
Once Off Supply, Delivery and Installation of Office Furniture for the Pietermaritzburg Deeds Registry. 2020-02-17 11:00 DRDLR (CRD- 07) 2019/ 20

Pages

Free Keyword search

Search all tender notices for FREE!

No subscription or registration required!

You can also search by the reference of the the tender.

Advanced search

Search by Issuer, Region or Sector, individually, or using any combination of the three.