By Phillip Chichoni
Last week entrepreneurs had the pleasure of hearing first-hand some essential
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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