I have no doubt that the average South African who owns a TV, will remember the advertisement about the guy who moves into his new office, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, at the beginning of the day. As the day progresses, he continues to watch the phone, which is clearly not ringing, and eventually, in frustration, he picks it up to check whether there is a dial tone or not. The look of absolute disappointment on his face says it all when there is obviously nothing wrong with the phone. His expectation certainly did not align with his reality!
Sadly, for many South African SMME’s and Entrepreneurs – this is their reality – the silent phone – and it has nothing to do with the phone being out of order. In my opinion, it has everything to do with their mindset being ‘out of order’.
I know that I have said this before and I have no doubt that I will say it again, many times over – I am seriously confused as well as really exasperated by the sense of entitlement that some (actually make that many) people have.
Like the chap in the TV advertisement, many people think that because they have made the decision in life to open their own business/office/shop (insert what you like here), that Joe Public, who has never met them before and in all truth, has no idea of their very existence, will suddenly be overcome by some mysterious malady, that is air/water/thought borne and they will now miraculously flood though their doors or ensure that their phone rings off the hook as they try frantically to purchase their particular product/service.
Please people – get a grip! And I would suggest that it is a very large and ‘real’ grip on reality.
For someone to walk through your door, or phone you – you yourself will have to do something! There has to be an action of some sort on your part!
Absolutely, categorically and without a doubt, there are opportunities out there – in fact, again in my opinion – there are probably more opportunities than there are people on the planet, but there has to be some sort of action on your part, to make or turn that opportunity into a successful, viable reality. Oh and . . . opening an office and staring at a phone, willing it to ring just doesn’t cut it!
You have to go out there and ‘create’ your opportunity. You have to take your idea or your product and do something about it.
You have to use your talent, your strengths and go knocking on doors, attend Networking meetings, write blogs or articles for newspapers or magazines. Get yourself interviewed on the radio or TV. Create a stir so that people will sit up and take notice!
Obviously, as an SMME, you do not have access to a huge budget for marketing, so you have to be innovative and creative in finding different ways to get your name, your brand, your product, your service out to the people you want to sell it to.
Not only that but if you are really smart and wide awake, you will ensure that whatever it is that you are peddling – product or service – will be something that Joe Public actually wants as opposed to what you think Joe Public wants.
Whatever it is that you decide though – you can be sure, your actions will determine how successful you are.
Good luck and oh . . . remember to have fun!