HomeOpinion & AnalysisGreat entrepreneurs never go it alone

Great entrepreneurs never go it alone

Stanley: Lack of focus; fear of the unknown and reluctance to embrace and leverage new technological advances.

Chimuka: lack of support in terms of a real policy that enables recognition of small businesses by financiers; lack of adequate planning; inability to make synergies by combining forces, either as a joint venture or a representative group that can lobby on their behalf while also allowing sharing of experiences or mistrusting anyone that tries to do so because of past experiences with groups.

Betina: stiff competition — that is from big firms and imports; lack of capital; lack of skills on production and marketing.

Courage: poor or lack of laid down strategic planning; lack of capital to finance expansion projects and when available, it’s expensive — entrepreneurs tend to choke the business with their spending on flashy lifestyles.

Don’t miss next week’s quiz. One winner will, in addition to the CD e-books, also get a copy of internationally recognised Zimbabwean business expert and author Rabison Shumba’s latest book The Fountain of Inspiration.
In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey lists the sixth habit as synergy.
The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia, which means working together. The dictionary defines synergy as “the interaction of elements that when combined, produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements”.

In the context of organisational behaviour, synergy is the ability of a group to outperform even its best individual member. In all great entrepreneurial achievements, although one person may hog the limelight, there is always a team of two or more people who worked together: the late Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak at Apple; Bill Gates and Paul Allen at Microsoft; Julius Makoni, James Mushore and Francis Zimuto at NMB Bank; Douglas Munatsi and Oliver Chidawo at ABC Holdings.

If you are seriously considering building a great business, you must understand the simple fact that you can never achieve greatness on your own; you need other people.

John Maxwell  in his book 25 Ways to Win with People, says  “Great leaders tumble when they think people need them instead of them needing people.”

I’m sure you have asked for directions from strangers sometime. How did they act? In most cases, I have found a person repeating directions a number of times to make sure you really understood; people go out of their way to ensure you get where you want to go.  By nature, people want to help others. But many entrepreneurs trudge along on their own, reluctant to ask for advice or assistance. As a result, they never achieve much in terms of building a great business.

Below are some of the ways you can leverage on the synergy of other people to build your business into a great enterprise:

Build a great entrepreneurial team at the top
whether you are starting up or want to grow your existing business, you must understand that you cannot do everything on your own. Engage people with skills that complement yours. Because of the scarcity mentality, some business owners are reluctant to employ the services of others, thinking they cannot afford it. Whether or not you can afford it, is in your mind. if you have a mentality of abundance and want to give and share, you will find the cake expanding faster than you imagined and all parties benefitting.

Give your staff the AAA treatment
that is, show attention, affirmation and appreciation to your employees. How much do you know about your staff’s families, circumstances and problems? Many business owners don’t really care about their staff’s personal issues. As a result, they fail to get the maximum synergy they could. Make your staff feel needed, that they can make a difference, and they will help you achieve your goals.

Phillip Chichoni is a strategic business planning consultant who works with SMEs and entrepreneurs. You may contact him by email to chichonip@smebusinesslink.com

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