The Rise of the ‘Unnatural’ Entrepreneur
We all remember an entrepreneurial kid. That person was making deals on the playground and dreaming of an empire. Most of us didn’t dream of having our own business but focused on getting good grades and a good job.
However, due to downsizing, many people will be faced with no alternative but being their own boss. With the economy puttering along, we can expect to see more job losses in the coming month. The wave of anticipated retrenchments should force many more people to be ‘unnatural entrepreneurs’.
What is an unnatural entrepreneur?
An unnatural entrepreneur is anyone who is forced to go into business as the only avenue to earn an income. This is likely to have been a stressful decision requiring both bravery and hard-earned savings. An unnatural entrepreneur has to deal with self-doubt while navigating the challenges of small business management. This is especially difficult as most people train to be specialists, being your own boss demands being the HR, finance, marketing and IT departments rolled into one!
However, with no option but to succeed, many unnatural entrepreneurs create highly successful businesses. For many, being retrenched can have many positive spin-offs. In reality, having your own business can be much more secure and rewarding than working for a boss. For many franchising is the obvious solution – providing the framework, training and trusted brand to smooth the transition from employee to self-employed.
Surviving and thriving
There is a difference between surviving and thriving. The experts at whichfranchise.co.za advise the following steps towards building a successful business.
Be serious about it
Just because you never dreamt of being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put some thinking behind your new business. Many people live hand to mouth through their business. They don’t spend enough time planning for success. They don’t take the steps to separate the business from their personal financial affairs. As a result the business limps along for years without providing the owner with much personal or monetary rewards. Have the grit to set up a professional business with the intention of building an asset that could be sold one day. Remember that franchises tend to be easier to sell than stand-alone businesses.
While being retrenched is traumatic, it is important to stay positive. Nothing will shut down opportunities quicker than a negative mind-set. Good franchisors are also looking for strong franchisees to represent their brand. Coming across as being downtrodden or desperate will limit your options. Don’t forget that your years spent studying and working have not been wasted. You have undoubtedly developed skills that you can apply to your new endeavour.
While you are bound to be a bit impatient to get going, take your time to choose your opportunity carefully. A marginal franchise offering will not be able to generate satisfactory returns in the current economy. Weak brands and poorly conceived business models will not succeed. This means that you will need to do your homework and seek out those opportunities that cater for a growing and recession resilient market.
It’s your hard-earned money and perhaps even your pension – invest it wisely! Remember that you should aim to recover your initial investment in three years while drawing a market-related salary for the period. For example, if you invest R1 million in a business, you should recover your investment in three years. This means that your average monthly profit should be R27 000.
Find your passion
Remember that there is much more to franchising than simply food. Choose a franchise sector that is a good match for your skills and interests. The excitement of opening a new business can quickly fade should you make the wrong choice. Of course, not everyone is suited to being a franchisee. Take the test to find out if you are franchisee material.
There are numerous franchise opportunities out there including resales, exciting new concepts and tried and tested favourites. Have a look at some of the franchises listed on whichfranchise.co.za and drop the experts a line with your questions.