Running a business: Is it for everyone? Day 12 #WinterABC2021 @AfroBloggers

The Covid-19 pandemic drastically altered our way of life and at the start of 2021, organizations had made adjustments in their operations to stay afloat, despite the restrictions. With the third wave upon us and a lockdown in effect (I’m not sure of the stage/phase in Zimbabwe) people are constantly exploring possibilities of making money. If you are formally employed, you know that your salary alone cannot sustain you especially if you are working for companies which are not paying full salaries due to decreased productivity. If you are self employed or running your own business, you will understand that you are on the grind, every single day lockdown or not.

Could I? Should I? Would I?

Running a business, registered or not, is a life changing decision. Sometimes it just happens and in many cases you have to map out a clear plan before taking the plan. There is a certain comfort and assurance from knowing that you will get paid at the end of each month but when you are running your own establishment, that feeling of security vanishes. You know that you have to put in the work to be able to sustain yourself and cover the operating expenses. Taking all this into consideration plus how you measure as a go-getter one should consider if this is the right path for them to take. Timing is also crucial in making your decision as you need to weigh in on your financial position to fund the start up costs.

There have been many stories of successful businesses that began operations with the onset of the lockdown. The owners love to share insights on how they made it and this might give the impression that running a business is easy. It’s actually quite the opposite. When you are your own boss, you are literally on your own. You do all the hard work and get no applause. You pat yourself on the back and work extra hard because there’s no other way. You just have to.

Your business should be able to sustain you and/or your family. For it to have a better chance at success, your choice should address a problem. Is there a need? Do not be a victim of doing something simply because everyone else is doing it (Zimbabweans will fondly remember the zvihuta phase). That being said, one should also be mindful of what family and friends will say. Some will deter you and say it’s been done to death while others will tell you that there is no market for it. Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve and they will see its potential success through your eyes.

There will be hurdles before you enjoy the success born of your hardwork but it is worth your effort and your will in the end. Everyone might be capable of running their own business but it’s just not everyone who is equipped to make a success of it. The choice to make that life changing decision is entirely yours…

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