In October 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa opened and addressed the first South African Investment Conference, which hosted influential leaders from both government and the private sector, including multinational businesses. The summit proved to be optimistic and prosperous as the mining, telecoms, paper and print products, and motor manufacturing sectors attracted over R280bn in investment.
The success of this summit is a superb example for entrepreneurs and business owners as it confirms that even during a recession, opportunities reveal themselves to those who are hunting for it, and those who actively track it down.
Instinctively, many business owners feel the weight of the recession and go into a penny-pinching mode. This knee-jerk reaction sees them cutting costs, restricting or putting a hold on all marketing spend, discounting prices and overall putting their heads down to avoid the financial storm. It’s wise to not give in to the fear and negative sentiment. Entrepreneurs are inherently resilient and determined to disprove the naysayers, and a tough business climate presents the perfect opportunity to showcase this steadfastness.
Have conviction that you have the right mindset, relevant skillset and the resilient character to be successful in the market within which you operate
If you offer value through your products or services, and your marketing efforts continue to be effective, having paid off in the past, then surviving and thriving during the difficult times will boil down to consistency, frequency and tenacity. By keeping your head up and focusing on where the investment interest lies, you could look to adapt and align your business to find and secure those new opportunities. Of course, embracing a winning mindset and practicing self belief is also critical.
Furthermore, by harnessing the three pillars of trust as outlined below, business owners will be able to reinforce their efforts in order to keep up the momentum;
Get rid of self doubt. Have conviction that you have the right mindset, relevant skillset and the resilient character to be successful in the market within which you operate.
Believe wholeheartedly that your product or service offering adds value to the target customer that you are focusing on and going after. And trust that clients know how to extract value from your product or service.
Follow the money by finding the sweet spot of customers who already believe in your product or service, and then raise level of activities to attract the attention and sales over your competitors.
Have faith in your consultant, mentor or business coach. Take the expert advice that you are given and apply the knowledge that they share with you. And trust them enough to do the homework or tasks they give to you.
Resilience means having the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or toughness and the ability to adapt to the change with changed behaviour will change the outcome. Don’t sit back and wait out the storm. Actively navigate the landscape, and get out there and test and measure all efforts more rigorously than ever before. And learn from the feedback.
The Investment Summit affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to scope out where the investments and new opportunities are coming from. Knowing where the spend is, can help business owners adapt and re-strategise to take advantage.
Pieter Scholtz is the Co-Master Franchisor in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH, the fastest growing and largest business coaching company globally. Pieter and his partner Harry Welby-Cooke developed ActionCOACH across Southern Africa, which now boasts over 40 franchisees. He is also a certified, leading business and executive coach. He has successfully assisted countless business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills.