It is always a privilege to be allowed insight into people’s dreams and aspirations. This is a special position business advisers always need to respect, and this is why utilising an IBA-accredited business adviser adds some peace of mind on value for money and professional conduct.
In South Africa, we have for very long had an overemphasis on business plans and funding for small business. Because the emphasis is on funding, the tool becomes the business plan. Unfortunately, a business plan is useless as a management tool; while an approved and funded business plan creates the impression with the entrepreneur that their business cannot fail, since the bank would not have approved the finance if the plan were not perfect.
Business modelling through business viability evaluation and a proper strategy to achieve objectives are prerequisites for business success – not a funded business plan.
The biggest challenge is the growth rate and the need to ensure that they are going in the right direction. All too often, entrepreneurs believe they are unique and have no natural competitors. Then the risk is relying on too many assumptions, and too little real market and competitor research.
The example of Mthombo Development Services, covered on this page, shows how a focus on creating a good model and implementable objectives drive success, rhather than a funded business plan. Vuyo Luxanda and her team were really willing to learn and take advice. Even though she had to clarify some milestones with the other shareholders who could not attend the sessions, the owners created the vision and strategic objectives to mould the strategy around.