All small and medium sized businesses want to succeed. No entrepreneur has ever approached a financial institution without first believing that they will succeed at their intended business venture.
The reality of the small and medium sector is that many small businesses fail within the first 2-3 years of existence. Here are my thoughts on what may make a small and medium sized business successful:
1. Focus: No business can be everything to everyone. Many small businesses try to do too much at once. Because business growth is not instant, the entrepreneur needs to focus his/her efforts, energy and resources on the most viable and profitable activities. Another aspect of focus is goal setting and long term vision. Entrepreneurs must have a clear picture of what they wish to achieve, this vision will enable them to make the right decisions to make their business idea a success.
2. Attitude: The right thinking will determine your behaviour and actions. Starting and running a successful business is not for the faint-hearted, but the right attitude will ensure that one does not become negative and despondent when faced with challenges. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who never gave up on their dreams, regardless of hardships and circumstances.
3. Financial Discipline: In my experience many small businesses in Namibia fail due to a lack of financial discipline by the entrepreneur. Every small business owner must understand the value of financial discipline and the concept of delayed gratification. Financial decisions should be carefully considered for their long term impact on the business and the entrepreneur.
There are many other factors that contribute to the success of a business. In my opinion however, these three are the most important ones.
• Mbo Luvindao is Branch Manager at Bank Windhoek’s Emerging Small and Medium Enterprises Department.