In an ever-changing economy, that is filled with many challenges, it may be very tough for a startup company to survive. Over the past 3 years, we have seen the South African economy struggle to overcome problems that are caused by socioeconomic issues. Then on top of that, the Covid-19 Pandemic happened, which was just an avalanche of chaos on top of all of that.
In the effort to have your startup survive, One of the strategies with which a business can use to survive the difficulty is to be associated with other businesses. This is one strategy that Amandla Omnotho intends to apply as a business development platform and one that every entrepreneur needs to be aware of.
There are many benefits that can be achieved when one is part of a business association in South Africa, but I have chosen to just focus on the six essential ones that can benefit your start-up business.
1. Business Networking
Being amongst fellow entrepreneurs, who are in the same business industry as you are or another is a major advantage for your business. The sharing of ideas, mentorship and resources is a great advantage towards your own success. This allows you to have a better advantage for business growth and having greater access to the market.
2. Exchanging Services
This can be another way which you can be able to lower your business overheads or costs, by exchanging services with a fellow entrepreneur or co-business partner can be in the form of passing jobs between. Some businesses even exchanged customers or suppliers, making it much easier to deliver the services much nire quicker.
3. Access to Relevant Information
Associating with other entrepreneurs means that there is a lot that can be shared, especially information related to problems and innovative ideas for solutions. This information can be about ways to do things, or inventions, request for assistance with certain challenges, as well as setting up your own competitive advantage for business growth. Not just that, but you can put yourself in the advantage of being ahead with trends . Business acquisitions and mergers happen more in association settings making it easy for my next point to expand to other markets.
4. Market Expansion
This happens when you are ready to deal with a bigger audience which is a business dream for many startup entrepreneurs. All this comes as a result of partnering with the right people or stakeholders. Either could be with working to find the best suppliers in the market to lower your overheads or your costs. Market expansion also means that you can now service at a bigger scale which can create much needed networks with other individuals who are more experienced through association with them.
Promoting your Business Offering
Being part of a Business association also enables the opportunity to market your business offerings as well as products to other individuals within your business association. This is a great opportunity to teach people about your value proposition and convert them to be your audience. Once you have converted them into being your audience, it makes it easy for them to share your offerings to others who need your services outside of your network.
Crowdfunding & access to funding
Raising capital whether it is for start up or operational is very crucial for any business, especially in the initial stages. Initiatives like crowdfunding can play a crucial role in assisting startups be able to raise the money together to be able to decrease the need for loans and other practices that make it difficult for start ups to get funding. Putting in your own investment into your own business is a great way to prove even to yourself that you believe in your own dream.
7. Influecing Industry Policies
Business associations have the ability to influence policies and laws that are decided by the government which end up affecting the industry. With a collective voice of associated businesses if there are issues that need attention, an associations ‘voice’, is heard much more due to the numbers of businesses within it. The power of having businesses come together under the said association, greater credibility with external stakeholders like the government, departments and the general public.
8. Unified economic solutions for all Businesses
There are endless possibilities when Entrepreneurs network and work together especially in an unstable economy. With the high unemployment rate in South Africa, there is a growing concern around the high rate of startups not succeeding. Business associations have the potential to offer much more supporting platforms for new businesses to be able to learn and easily adapt to a particular industry.
So we can all agree that there will always be a need for Entrepreneurs to be able to share ideas, share resources and work together, and Business associations provide the best way for this to happen. Find a way to find the best preferred business association based on the amount of business growth through network you want the most and you will get the best results.