Do not start a business just to make money, start a business to add value or make a difference

Many people are looking to start their own businesses to earn a living. This more than ever because of the economic pressure caused by the global COVID-19 outbreak. According to a study done by the SBI (Small Business Institute)[1] in partnership with the SBP (Small Business Project), there were just over 250 000 micro, small & medium businesses in South Africa in 2016.

There is one key focus that differentiates businesses that survive, from those that don't. Earning a living from a small business is essential, but if the product or service your business delivers is not adding value to people lives, chances are people will stop supporting your business in the long run – and that's the key.

Don’t worry about being successful but work towards being significant and the success will naturally follow”- Oprah Winfrey

This perspective leads to a win-win situation. A win for consumers, and a win for businesses. If you consider that according to Euromonitor International[2] the Top 10 global consumer trends for 2020 are:

1. Beyond Human

2. Catch Me in Seconds

3. Inclusive for All

4. Frictionless Mobility

5. Minding Myself

6. Private Personalisation

7. Multifunctional Homes

8. Proudly Local, Going Global

9. Reuse Revolutionaries

10. We Want Clean Air Everywhere

Consumers want businesses to be responsible to the environment, the community, themselves, and their time. It is a matter of adding value for yourself, your immediate community and others. If businesses do not provide this, customers will take their business elsewhere. The days of being in business just for a quick buck is long gone. And entrepreneurs are the winners in the process!

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”Steve Jobs, co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.

With this shift in perspective, consider that worldwide, 9 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first five years of existence. That is not a very welcoming statistic. In order to survive, it is critical that small business owners find a business idea that enables them to do what they enjoy and are passionate about, since this will sustain them through the difficult times. It’s about that win-win position.

So, if your business wants to survive in the long run, focus on adding value and make a difference.



1. [1] [cited 3 July 2020] 2. [2] [cited 3 July 2020]

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