Starting a Business

Step 1: Do Your Research.
Step 2: Make a Plan.
Step 3: Plan Your Finances.
Step 4: Choose a Business Structure.
Step 5: Pick and Register Your Business Name.
Step 6: Get Licenses and Permits.
Step 7: Choose Your Accounting System.
Step 8: Set Up Your Business Location.

How To Start A Business When You Have Literally No Money

  1. Ask yourself what you can do and get for free.
  2. Build up six months’ worth of savings for expenses.
  3. Ask your friends and family for extra funds.
  4. Apply for a small business loan when you need extra cash.
  5. Look to small business grants and local funding opportunities.
  6. Find out about—and woo—potential angel investors.

Most Profitable Small Businesses

  1. Tax Preparation and Bookkeeping
  2. Catering Services
  3. Website Design
  4. Business Consulting
  5. Courier Services
  6. Mobile Hairdresser Services
  7. Cleaning Services
  8. Online Tutoring
  9. Real Estate Brokering
  10. Logo Design
  11. Warehouse Storage
  12. Property Maintenance
  13. Technology Repair Services
  14. IT Support
  15. Marketing Services
  16. Personal Training
  17. Food Truck
  18. Legal Services
  19. A Man with a Van
  20. Gardening

Start-up checklist

Starting a business can be a daunting task, but it needn’t be. Use this
checklist to guide you through the step-by-step process of starting your
own business.


Name and register your business.

Choose a name that is easy to pronounce, is memorable and is easily recognisable. Register the name and the business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Decide on the legal structure for your business

The new Companies Act stipulates the way owners can register their businesses. You need to decide how your company should be structured, i.e. will it be a non-profit company, profit company, personal liability company, state-owned company, public company or private company?

Prepare a business plan

This should include an outline of how you want to start the business, how you are going to make money, who you wish to target as clients and why this idea will work.

Build a relationship with your banker
You may want to approach one or more of the major banks for funding. A strong relationship with your banker and knowing how credit decisions are made can improve your chances of getting a loan.

Establish professional relationships
Build relationships with experts in various fields, such as insurance, legal, accounting. These professionals will be able to guide you in various aspects of your business.

Have a good relationship with an attorney
There are a plethora of legal requirements when setting up and running a business. A lawyer will ensure you adhere to these and will be able to guide you in other matters as your business goes forward.

Comply with the law

As mentioned above, you need to meet all the legal requirements for operating a business in South Africa. These include BBBEE, The Companies Act and the Consumer Protection Act, to name but a few.

Obtain the necessary licences
Your relationship with an attorney will be useful here. You need to obtain the relevant registrations, permits and licenses for your business, such as registering intellectual property, registering with SARS, applying for a business license, etc.

Decide what you’ll charge
Setting a price on your product or service can make or break your business. The amount must be affordable for your customers while producing a profit for your business.

How will you finance your business?
Finding the right financing for your business can prove challenging. There are various options, including bootstrapping, bank finance, friends, family, investors and government funding.

Find premises, equipment and suppliers
Choosing a site from which to run your business is of primary concern. You also need to decide whether to purchase or rent equipment for your company. Establishing relationships with suppliers to your business will ensure a good support infrastructure.

Take out insurance
Familiarise yourself with the specific risks faced by your area of business and insure your business against that risk.

Have record keeping systems
You need a proper record of your business’ financial transactions. Not only will this help you keep track of how your business it doing, it will prove essential should you need to apply for funding.

Manage your finances
You need to decide whether you will manage your company’s finances yourself or will you outsource the task. This includes matters such as accounting and financial reporting, budgeting, collecting accounts receivable, risk management, and insurance matters.

Market your business

Marketing drives sales and, ultimately, makes profits. Customers need to know about your business and its offerings before they can decide whether to spend their hard-earned cash with you.

Staffing your business
Decide what positions need filling and research the best places to advertise to find those people. Have a clear idea of what that person’s role will be within your company. Familiarise yourself with the legal requirements of being an employer such as registering with SARS, PAYE, UIF, etc.

Day to day operational plan
This is how you are going to run your business on a daily basis. It includes things like how are you going to manage orders, timekeeping and service levels. 

You need to address each of these areas if your business is to be successful. The idea is to plan ahead so that you don’t face any unnecessary roadblocks further down the line.