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#BizTrends2019: More small businesses - because it will be better, easier...
In 2018, it became the top-selling business book by a South African, and was voted as one of the top five books in the 2018 Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award. It is currently in its 4th print run.
This didn’t prove the book experts wrong but it did prove the global trend that entrepreneurship across the world is on the rise and that more and more people are hungry for information on how they can start their own businesses.
This trend will continue to rise as many factors are playing along, leaving both millennials and the older generation, with new opportunities or with no other option:
More money, more freedom
They might not see themselves as business owners, but more and more people are ditching full time employment for freelancing. Freelancers often make more money working on multiple projects and can do it within their own terms.
Technology changed the landscape and these individuals can often choose their own working location and office hours.
With millennials rating “freedom” and “purpose” as important in every survey, this sure will result in more freelancers making the move from employment to small business owner. Then, a few more projects, a few more appointments and before they know it, a small business is in operation.
Technology and the ease to start
Now is one of the best possible times to start a new business, because the internet increasingly provides everything required. An online presence, low-cost marketing, cloud applications, social networking for potential clients, the list goes on. All of these things that were once only available to governments and conglomerate organisations are now accessible to garage startups.
The counter-argument to this would be that technology, robotics and AI will actually eliminate the need for many businesses. Automation (in the immediate future) will do what technology tends to do everywhere: it leads to the replacement of repetitive, routine-focused jobs while permitting human jobs to be creative and more focused on interaction.
There’s no doubt that the landscape will change but it will never be eliminated. It will only create more room for innovation and less time will be spent on routine administrative tasks. Something business owners have been dreaming about for decades.
The need for an alternative to formal employment
The unemployment rate in South Africa rose to 27.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2018 from 27.2% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate since the third quarter of 2017, as the number of unemployed increased by 127,000 to 6.21 million. This figure looks even worse for the unemployed youth.
These figures provide fertile ground for social unrest and a sustainable alternative to formal employment is required. The only viable option being entrepreneurship. Both the public and private sectors will continue to put more support and focus on entrepreneurship but it will also be driven by the people on the ground who will realise that they have no other option than to start something themselves.
Be it for more money, because it is easier or out of sheer desperation, the reality is that more people will start their own businesses, and this trend will continue to rise in the future. We might not see thousands of new Discoveries or Exxaro’s, but we will definitely see millions of new small businesses.