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How to grow your business: Tips from a top entrepreneur

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By Phillip Chichoni

Last week entrepreneurs had the pleasure of hearing first-hand some essential

Participants at the networking breakfast meeting on 26 October, 2012

tips on how to grow a business despite all the challenges dogging our economy.

The speaker at last week’s BusinessLink Networking breakfast meeting in Harare was the renowned and award winning founder and CEO of a leading security firm, SECURICO, Mrs. Divine Ndhlukula.

From her own experience, Mrs. Ndhlukula outlined six basic elements that are essential to growing your business. These are in brief:

  • Accept that growth is not optional. Your business is never safe standing still. New competition, new products and a changing environment all necessitate you keeping on your toes just to survive. If a business is not growing it is declining, on the way to its demise.
  • Have a clear vision. Every successful entrepreneur started with a powerful vision for success. If you don’t have a clear vision, start working on developing it now.
  • Hire a highly motivated team that shares your vision. You cannot succeed in any significant endeavour on your own; you need a team to work with. Hire the most motivated people you can find who share your vision and your values.
  • Value and reward your most important asset: the people. People work at their best when they feel valued and know that they are doing something valuable. Mrs. Ndhlukula said her security guards never leave to work for another security company because she ensures everyone is happy and has a bright future in the company. (Her executive team and herself together know every employee by name, where they live, their family situations and all the important events in their lives).
  • Uphold the highest level of ethics. There is a common belief that you cannot succeed in getting business without bribing someone or giving kickbacks. This is a fallacy as you can never build a successful business using unethical means.
  • Always be innovative. The business environment and market needs are constantly changing. You need to be aware of what is happening in your industry to stay relevant. This means not spending all your time in the office, but out there in the field where things are happening, networking with other entrepreneurs and interacting with useful people.

A participant asked Mrs. Ndhlukula how she managed to get new customers when there were so many dominant security firms in the market already. This is a challenge that many emerging entrepreneurs struggle to solve. Hear how she did it; get the DVD of the breakfast meeting, available from Thursday 1 November. Find our stockists on the last page of this newsletter, or visit our website or email marketing@smebusinesslink.com.

Please email your feedback, questions and advice to chichonip@smebusinesslink.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Sally says:

    So sorry we missed the event – thanks for the summary. Divine is such an inspiration to entrepreneurs!!

  2. Alfred Munonyara says:

    Mrs. Ndhlukula is a breath of fresh air, I had the pleasure to see her holding the Zimbabwean flag high in Nairobi when she won the coveted Africa Entreprenueral Award. What struck me was it was only her and her HR director at that event. I was the only third Zimbabwean there and I wished our own media people were there to witness the event and beam it back home to motivate and inspire our own young aspiring business people. She was even delayed to come back by requests for press interviews with BBC and CNN. No wonder why she is successful she thinks out of the box. When she returned from Nairobi the airport was flooded with here own employees and you could feel the jubilation of the Securico people. I sincerely hope this will motivate us all.

    These are our own unsung heroes who we do very little to celebrate their achievements.

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