Become a Recession-proof, Visionary Entrepreneur – This is how

Updated on 6 February 2017

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Become a recession-proof entrepreneur - this is how

Brian Joffe, one of South Africa’s toughest and most successful businessmen and visionary is known to have placed a sign in one of his companies which read, “Here we do not participate in a recession.”

This is advice which he himself has heeded as he started his business in the tough trading conditions of 1978 and today the Bidvest Group has a turnover of billions of rand and its companies range from dealerships to catering to pharmaceutical.

One of the essential success ingredients for any entrepreneur is to keep positively focused on their vision and, no matter the prevailing economic landscape, to believe that they can make it a reality.

Develop a Vision

Make sure that you have created a future picture of your business. Decide on a time period for your vision, either 3 or 5 years.

What products do you envisage you’re selling? What is your turnover and your profit? How many staff do you have? What markets do you serve? What lifestyle are you enjoying as a result of your business success?

Set stretch goals, as that’s what will challenge you and motivate you to get those creative juices flowing. Break the vision into manageable milestones and have a clear view of those milestones which need to be achieved within your fiscal.

Give It Life

It’s a fact – what we give attention to, is what grows and manifests in our lives. Write your vision down and place it somewhere so you will be able to read it every day. Mount it on the inside of your clothing cupboard or on the wall above your laptop.

To make it exciting, create a vision board by cutting out pictures which reflect the goals which you wish to achieve and the lifestyle you will enjoy once your vision is achieved. It’s an effective way to make the vision real to your subconscious.

Share the Vision

If you have a team of staff, share your goals with them and place visual triggers in your office environment as a reminder. The most effective example I’ve seen of this is the erection of wall clocks which reflected the annual turnover target for a 5 year vision period. Whenever someone looked at a clock, the goal was reinforced.

Give your team regular updates as to the progress being made towards achieving the vision. When a key milestone is achieved, celebrate with the staff and get their commitment to the next milestone.

Re-read your vision before interviewing any prospective employee to assess if they are a good fit for your envisaged business culture and whether they can contribute to the achievement of your goals.


Use your vision as a motivator, particularly when times are tough and targets are not being met. Your picture of what your business can look like in the future can uplift your spirits.

In the words of Brian Joffe, “Out of bleakness is opportunity and those who can see the opportunities out of the mist, will be very successful.”

About the author: Shirley Anthony is the owner of consultancy, Marketing Breakthroughs, and has implemented projects in 25 industries, amongst them banking, cellular, food, travel, cosmetics, information technology and engineering. She now also offers a Marketing Mentor Coach programme. Send her a message via:

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