South Africa is among the fastest developing economies around the world. The growth of this economy is as a result of sound economic policies which encourage the participation of both local and foreign business entities. For foreign investors considering or even starting up their own business ventures, it is important to consider certain tips in order to thrive in South Africa.
Immigration – It is essential that you familiarise yourself with the country’s immigration laws especially with regards to the legal requirements of setting up a business.
Business contacts – Start by talking to entrepreneurs with experience in doing business in South Africa. Don’t focus on potential business partners only, but also on South African institutes such as local authorities and branch organisations.
Business plan – Set up a solid business plan and do market research, set clear goals and ambitions, know your niche market and know about your competitors. Without this knowledge, starting a successful business operation is most unlikely.
Challenges – Understand where to expect challenges, culture and languages, intellectual property rights, trade barriers, logistics, personnel and bureaucracy.
Government – A new business entity should take time to know the Government structure and the decision-making processes as well as levels of service delivery for services like water and electricity.
CSI – Being a good corporate citizen goes a long way in developing your business especially as a foreign entity. Develop a CSI policy which allows you to support some form of charity or other type of development projects.
The above tips should be able to assist foreign businesses stepping into South Africa.