It is always good to attend short courses on business management , basic bookkeeping and other necessary skills . These courses are advertised via radio, newspaper’s and magazines for small business entrepreneurs which often have good and reliable information on starting your type of business. Visit your local chamber of Commerce or Chamber of Business which can help you with literature and research materials. The South African Bureau of Standards (S A B S) offers training to small, medium and micro enterprises via the missing link programme in the following industries, Industrial chemicals, welding, textiles and clothing, paints and sealants , civil engineering and marine products.
It is a good idea to try to establish the size and how much of the market is available and the plan of action for your sales and marketing which relates directly to your type of business sales.
How many competitors are their in your area
How long have they been established
What keeps customers supporting them
Can you take away a share of their business
How will you do this
How much is rte rental in this area
Why should a customer buy from you and not your competitor
Can you offer a better quality service
What are your competitors lacking
How many potential customers live in the area in which you wish to establish your business.
How many empty shops are their in a two km radius
A large number could indicate that business is leaving the area
Is their a lot of foot traffic or passing trade
Is their adequate parking
Ask other business people and competitors how the business is like in the area
Distribute a questionnaire in the area near where you would like to establish your business. First tell the customer a little about your potential business product or service, ask them the following
Why would they buy your product or service
How much would they pay for it
How often or when would they buy it
How would customers prefer to buy and pay for the product, credit card, cash or on account
Which store currently offers the same product or services that you would like to sell where do they buy from
Do specials and cheap prices motivate customers to buy
Do quality and back up services also count
From these answers and summaries it can help to establish if your service or product is needed in the area . It is a good idea if you are going to invest a lot of money to do formal market research
Market research can be found by visiting Exhibitions and Trade Shows
An update list of current exhibitions and trade shows can be obtained from the local Chamber of Commerce or from the Exhibition Association of South Africa .
The following are good business related exhibitions
Industrial trade show
International Franchise Exhibition
Media and Marketing Exhibition. There are a number of other individual exhibitions for agriculture , Trade and Industry , Tourism , Motor , Catering etc . A number of exhibitions are also held internationally if you wish to attend these and are a registered exporter for these types of goods being exhibited, you may be able to receive information and financial assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry to cover part of the air ticket and accommodation as well as other related expenses .