As I said the last two times, we are changing our focus. Going forward we will be focussing on cheap, simple and easy to execute business opportunities, they will mostly be labour intensive with little to none passive businesses. These less sophisticated businesses are often called “informal businesses”, we believe we need a new “class” of business, or new ways of doing things in SA but you can call it whatever you want to.  But we’ll talk more about that soon.

As previously stated we want to propose small business opportunities that can be executed with as little money and skills as possible. Our goal will be businesses that can generate at least R100 per hour or R1000 a day providing the appropriate work is put in. We also want to put a focus on localisation due to the fact that our post office does not function and private couriers are too expensive (will eat up most of profits), ideally vendors (suppliers), entrepreneurs and the customers of entrepreneurs needs to share a geographic area.

But for now, here is an overview:

With the exception of very few people, everyone is struggling in SA. Most business opportunities don’t reflect the reality on the ground in SA and are out of reach for the vast majority, the situation in SA, considered by many to be the most unequal country in the world quite frankly beggars belief. We will be looking at less sophisticated businesses going forward that requires very little “skill”. For those of you interested in more sophisticated businesses you can look at the previous ideas we looked at. I will also be sharing a new website for you to follow soon.

It doesn’t matter where you find yourself, if you are unemployed, underemployed, self-employed and struggling or employed and looking for something extra as a side business. We will look at everything or rather everything can be made to work no matter your situation.

The plan, strategy and model will look as follows:

The plan
As mentioned last time, going forward all we will need is this business plan format:

  • Focus on what you going to do / Immerse yourself in research (resist the need to ask for help try to figure things out on your own). Try to foster a “find a way or make a way mentality”. It will be basic stuff with no need for formal training.
  • Who you gonna buy from and who to sell to (same logic with making/manufacturing something)
  • Where are you going to do it from (bedroom, garage, mother’s kitchen table etc.)
  • And how are you going to tell people you do it

That is all you need. If your plan is longer than an A4 sheet it is probably too long unless if it has illustrations on or something. Only common sense is required. If you cannot grasp an opportunity it is not for you.

Focus on what you going to do: not only do you have to immerse yourself but you need to know your suitability for the business. You know yourself once you understand the business you will know if it suits you. E.g. if you are a shy person or introvert you are going to have a hard time selling face to face or door to door. Likewise if you are lazy and need to be at the grindstone ten hours a day, then you know you can’t do it. As as adult you have to take responsibility for your decisions regardless how they turn out. But like I said use common sense.

Who you gonna buy from and who to sell to: This is the most important part, I mentioned we will try to get around the chicken and egg problem by by providing linkages for supply and demand. But this is not a sure thing as its easier said than done especially if you live in a far out place. You need to establish your own clients.

Where are you going to do it from: aka sales channel. Our way of doing things may not sustain expensive rentals, as you need to keep your business and living costs low. You cannot pay rent, electricity, water etc. at a house and big premises, unless you sharing. Our focus will be operating from home, garage, shipping containers in yards, municipal trading bays and markets (see if your area has any that are busy as they are usually cheap) and sharing of space.

And how are you going to tell people you do it: If you have a high visibility “where you gonna do it from” then this matters less. But if you think you can just operate from home and advertise on Gumtree & FB Marketplace then I have bad news for you, unless you have real in demand products the income from those places will likely be too lumpy (chunks at irregular intervals as opposed to steady income) to be sustainable. It is this important to focus on the localisation and the word of mouth.

The general plan is simple:
These businesses are what we would consider bread and butter businesses, it’s not going to make you rich but will cover some expenses to help you further your cause. You need a “bread and butter” income to cover your daily living needs. Then you use the time and money to work on your “end goal” (let’s call it that for now). The bread and butter is seen as a means to an end, for some this can be a job while they have a sideline to the self employed this is what brings in the money to live on while they work on their “dream”. Any bread and butter income needs to leave enough time and money (to save or invest) to pursue the end goal.

This is not anything new, a similar strategy adopted by most employed people, when they work and save for retirement or work and buy stocks that will eventually be worth more (hopefully) one day. But from a self-employment perspective, whether you are self-employed or currently working and you are not happy and want to start something. You going to need time and money to get that something going.

To those people who are still sitting on the fence making nothing, thinking they going to make a lot of money passively without a lot of investment (or so risky they will lose it all). You have to help yourself up. Nothing and no one can help you but yourself. As for those dreamers that hope the “democratization” of finance (making something accessible to everyone like EE or Robin Hood or Masterworks) so hyped by social media influencers is going to help them. I have news for you too. I have listened to the solutions of all “influencers” and I don’t think they have the solutions because they don’t understand the problem. An investment banker does not understand the masses of people coming from the gutter.  “Democratising finance” wont help you if you don’t have a lot of money. If you are buying fractional ownership of a R1m “asset” for R10 000/1%. And you can only afford 1 share. And that asset gets sold and returns R1.5 million all you have made is R5000. You better off buying and selling sweets with that R10k it would have given you better returns. Also what a lot of these people are hyping is fractional ownership that has been around for a long time. Right now you can invest in Banksy art via Masterworks for as little as $1000/R15000 (which can be spread over multiple works of art). There is nothing revolutionary about it. “Democratising of finance”, fractional ownership won’t help you if your poor, your needs will eclipse the returns. Trust me only hard work can help you.