The seduction with now -Akash Singh, the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council
The seduction with now -Akash Singh, the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council

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The seduction with now -Akash Singh, the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council


It is incredible how often I see new businessmen and businesswomen who want to join a chamber of commerce and industry and they expect an immediate change or benefit to their business.  Today’s society, both young and old, is seduced with instant gratification. Think about it……you want your email now, you order a new mobile phone and can’t wait till it arrives, and you get pretty upset with sales assistants if they don’t have any stock. My favourite, you scream and shout at the computer when an online payment takes a few seconds longer to process.

Building a solid business or career takes a long time and effort.  Its hard work and dedication, which would ensure that a business or career is built on solid foundation, and will be sustainable to the highs and lows of the economy.

Maybe its laziness that has crept into society and now fed deeply into the fabric of our businessmen, businesswomen, employees and entrepreneurs. I often come face to face with entrepreneurs that want to start a new business. After digesting a small portion of what’s on their mind and their business plan (everyone has a business plan, one that is often copied from another!), I often realise that it’s just a replication of another business and one with limited barriers to entry.

A good case in point is teachers and civil servants wanting to take early retirement to foray into the business world. They take their hard earned retirement savings money to buy a truck or a coffee shop/restaurant.

The truck does well for a few months (as you have to undercut the competitors on price when entering the market), but then as maintenance and costs rise, you start cutting corners by replacing tyres with retreads, paying lower wages to cheaper and often not committed staff….. the writing starts to come onto the wall…..breakdowns, accidents, non or late-deliveries and finally loosing clients.

The same applies to coffee shop/restaurants; many people think that buying a coffee shop/ restaurant is a ticket to a successful business. Have you ever opened the Sunday paper and taken a look at the “business for sale” section?  There are mostly coffee shops and restaurants for sale. I wonder why?

The barriers to entry are there to ensure that few entrepreneurs enter and those that are in are more than likely to succeed.  So work hard to overcome the barriers, don’t choose a business or a job that is easy to enter. Hard work does not kill, it just builds character!

Coupled with the seduction for now, is the seduction for free…Lots of people want services or goods for free. I think this is a symptom of the “seduction for now” phenomenon. Not having to want to work for rewards but expecting them for free. This has created entry level business people that are starting up businesses that are generally in industries that are easier to enter and are built on a hand out mentality.

These wrong ingredients (the seduction for now and free) are the core to why many businesses do not succeed or if they do operate, it’s at a very marginal level. The last statistic I heard was that 60% of businesses started don’t go beyond eight years. It has killed innovation and the nurturing of new ideas. When last have you heard about a brilliant business idea that is unique, brand new and never though off!

So to all the budding business people out there (and employees), think long and hard before you enter the business world or choose your career or job. Be prepared to be different, innovative and work hard (but also smart). 

The seduction with now -Akash Singh, the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council

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