So you think you're in business?

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To help educate and grow entrepreneurs, Engen Petroleum have partnered
with Raizcorp to bring the Pitch and Polish programme to cities and towns across
South Africa, for the fifth time.


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You've come up with a great business idea - you have a business name, a
logo, new business cards and have even registered your company - you?re
officially an entrepreneur and you're excited about the future. Right? Wrong!

Raizcorp, Africa's only unfunded for-profit business incubator, experiences
this common misconception on a regular basis. Together with partners Engen
Petroleum Ltd and longstanding media partner, SAfm, they aim to help
entrepreneurs demystify this perception through the annual entrepreneurial
programme, Pitch and Polish.

An idea is only an idea, until you take action and it becomes a start-up
business, which is only a going concern when you have customers buying your
products or service - on a regular basis.
When in business, think about:
1. Proof of concept. When Sizwe Nzima entered the ENGEN Pitch and
Polish 2013 competition, his start-up was already servicing 250 clients, by
collecting and delivering their chronic medication. His business model was
already proving to be a success.
2. Living in the real world: If you think you are going to be the next big
thing overnight, you may be in for a rude awakening. For every big success
there are a whole bunch of failures. Focus on what the next step is to achieve a
healthy sustainable business. From the beginning, Sizwe encountered a major
obstacle - the weather! Delivering packages on bicycles in the rain was
becoming inefficient. His immediate solution was to provide good raincoats,
while working towards implementing am improved and streamlined system.
3. The market you are in: Research, research, research. Understand
what your competitors are doing. Read about international trends and make
sure you are poised to take advantage of tomorrow, not just today.
4. Your pricing. While start-ups do need to spend some money to make
money, it is not always necessary to buy the Rolls Royce solution. The item or
service your start-up offers should also be priced correctly to make it affordable
for your customers, whilst still profitable enough to grow the business.
Research, investigate, scrutinise the numbers.
5. How your customers can find you: These days, technology is more
crucial than ever for future business success. Whether it?s a website, laptop or
telephone system, make sure your customers can access your business quickly
and easily. Look for marketing opportunities that are relevant and speak to your
target market.
6. Nurturing your successes. Since winning the ENGEN Pitch and Polish
competition, Sizwe?s client base has more than doubled. They have also
increased the range of products they deliver which is expected to triple their
revenue.
Each year Pitch and Polish actively seeks to reach local entrepreneurs,
cultivate their skills and polish their presentations - providing them with the
tools to be successful and thriving cogs in the economic wheel.
For more information visit

target="_new">Pitch and Polish 011 566 2000 or
href="[email protected]">[email protected]

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