“Good ideas are common —what’s uncommon are people who will work hard enough to bring them about.” — Ashleigh Brilliant
SME’S CHAT WITH PHILLIP CHICHONI
I wish to congratulate all the nominees and winners at last week’s Harare Chamber of Commerce annual business awards. It was an exciting array of business leaders and entrepreneurs that convened at the five star Rainbow Towers hotel to contest, watch and network. Of course one thing always emerges when you put 400 business-minded people in a room together: exciting ideas are shared and new ideas abound. Lessons from the stories of striving and successful entrepreneurs provide great inspiration. Knowing that others started from humble beginnings and managed to build great business tells you that you and I can also do it.
One of the entrepreneurs nominated for an award stated how he started his steel manufacturing business without any external financial support but from his own humble savings. Today the business is doing very well and has enjoyed explosive growths in both numbers of employees and revenue in the past few years. This proves one of the distinguishing characters of entrepreneurs: they are resourceful.
According to a study by Bill Bolton and John Thompson in their book entitled, Entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs are creative and innovative people, who spot opportunities, exploit them and find the resources and competencies to build something of recognised value. Entrepreneurs develop habits and act in ways that see them attracting resources seemingly easily.
One might think entrepreneurship is a natural trait, something that a person is born with. But after mixing and mingling with hundreds of entrepreneurs and reading stories of numerous others from around the world, I have come to realise that entrepreneurship is first and foremost a mindset. It is the art of finding profitable solutions to problems.
Every successful entrepreneur, every successful business person has been someone who had been able to identify a problem and come up with a solution to it before somebody else did.
One writer said just recently that of the world’s population of about 6,6 billion, 6,59 billion are focused on problems; they see problems everywhere, they think about problems and worry about problems. They switch on the news and buy newspapers just to hear and read about the latest problems. Instead of seeing problems, a minor percentage sees solutions. These are the positive minded people and entrepreneurs that we see building businesses that solve problems while also creating value.
Opportunities are perceived; they are not clearly seen by everyone but by a few whose minds are prepared and they are willing to act innovatively, overcoming obstacles that would stop most people.
One young man saw an opportunity in the tough year of 2007, when the majority of us were worried sick about shortages of basic goods and the rapidly diminishing value of the Zimbabwe dollar. Most business was being done on the black market, with a flourishing trade in foreign currency and smuggled goods. Companies were hardly advertising during that time but Reginald Makuchete decided to leave his job with a reputable design company to start Visual Point Graphics.
Through hard work and innovative thinking, he and his team have built one of the leading design and financial statements graphic architecture house, serving many of the locally listed companies. No wonder the Harare Chamber business awards judges saw it fit to confer the Entrepreneur of the Year award on him.
The so-called challenges this county is facing are opportunities waiting to be grabbed by real entrepreneurs. Not only will exploiting these opportunities make life easier for people in the community, it will also create real value, making you rich if done correctly. So what are you waiting for?
For most of the past two years I have been organising the monthly BusinessLink Networking breakfast meetings. I invite a successful entrepreneur or business experts to talk on a pertinent topic, with participants asking questions, sharing ideas and also networking. You will find out more about this month’s exciting breakfast set for May 22 by visiting my website http://smebusinesslink.com or you can simply send me an email request.
DR Joka honoured for starting medical 24
The story of a young man who won the Business Man of the Year award is remarkable. Mike Joka, after undergoing his medical internship at Parirenyatwa hospital, worked with other doctors for a short while. Then he spotted an opportunity caused by the poor investment in the medical sector in the whole country. He launched Medical 24, which he describes as more like a hotel offering medical facilities than a clinic. The state of the art facilities are world- class, meeting the needs of patients who were previously forced to seek such services out of the country.
Please send me your feedback or issues you would like to see covered in future articles. Until next week, best wishes in accelerating your growth.
- Phillip Chichoni is a business planning consultant who works with SMEs and entrepreneurs. You may contact him by email: email@example.com. You can also visit: http://smebusinesslink.com.