Entrepreneurship can be defined as the capacity and willingness of a person or group of people to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit and/ or effect change. If the nature of entrepreneurship is to go forth and ‘make it on your own’, where exactly does outsourcing fit in, asks Louw Barnardt, co-founder and MD of Outsourced CFO.
The South African economy is facing multiple core issues like poor infrastructure, corruption that is undermining state legitimacy and service delivery, and a plan for economic growth that is highly resource-intensive. These challenges are being answered by the rise of South Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Characterised by qualities like innovation and risk-taking, the most obvious example of entrepreneurship is in the starting of new businesses. However, entrepreneurship extends even further, into anything related to new business venture, and it can include the adaption and innovation of something that already exists.
Starting and running an operation is such a multi-faceted process. Entrepreneurs face a uniquely steep learning curve and enormous risk when starting a business. They are expected to know skills as diverse as pitching skills to growth management in HR to tax compliance. Besides having natural talent, more difficult qualities like acquired skill, tenacity and resiliency are demanded of entrepreneurs. In a troubled economic environment, it is more important than ever for entrepreneurs to work both smart and hard to create, and successfully cultivate, change as quickly and effectively as possible.
Luckily, advances in technology have made access to information and communication on a global scale easier than ever before. Gone are the days of single-handedly building an empire; the latest quality demanded of entrepreneurs who are working towards a South African purpose, where time is of the essence, is the ability to successfully action on these opportunities of information and communication. The culmination of these two opportunities is in networking, collaborating and partnering: working together with others to achieve incredible goals faster.
Overall, entrepreneurs and businesses share a responsibility to succeed, not only for themselves, but for those they might employ in the future, and for the legacy they hope to leave behind. Having an impact on the nation’s wealth and reputation, entrepreneurship is an essential part of South Africa’s ability to evolve in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.
In a booming marketplace like ours, time is almost as valuable as money, as both a measurable cost internally, and a means of exchange externally.
Enter outsourcing: our synonym for clever business collaboration. For a group of entrepreneurs who feel a responsibility towards positively affecting South Africa and have a limited amount of capital and time to spare, it is not only about what each person or company does, but also about what they choose not to do. Call this playing one’s strengths, where the benefits both internally and externally are second to none.
Internally, outsourcing lends leaders the opportunity to better focus on their talent, their team and the core aspects of their business. By managing their resources carefully, entrepreneurs are better able to drive optimal efficiency and effectiveness, creating room for creativity and innovation.
Outsourcing non-core activities can benefit in a number of ways:
* Improve staff efficiency;
* Cut overall operational costs;
* Drive faster turnaround times;
* Streamline capabilities, and productivity;
* Increase competitiveness within an industry;
* Improve job satisfaction, as staff will be doing more of what they love, not burdened by the stress of doing work they are not confident, comfortable or motivated doing; and
* Improve internal culture, creating one of pride and innovation, where staff will hunt for new ideas and further training out of a want instead of a need.
Externally, in a supportive eco-system where everyone is looking out for one another and working together to serve a bigger purpose, there is certain strength in (clever) numbers. As entrepreneurial skills develop and experience is gained, the strongest entrepreneurs embrace collaboration as a way to seek out and include diverse views, and effectively distribute workload for productivity. Learning, working, and innovating, together, is going to make a bigger and better difference to South Africa sooner.
Locally and globally, working to act upon and enable these internal and external opportunities of communication, information and collaboration is a sure-fire way of achieving reputable and distinctive business eminence.
If you’re an entrepreneur, and especially if you’re just starting out down the path, collaboration isn’t just important, it is as important as your idea itself. Finding a way to make collaboration part of your planning, and incorporating it into your mindset, will make you a better entrepreneur, and South Africa a better place.