The recent strike in Rustenburg has proved that tough times can either break or build an entrepreneur. Some gambled on a quick resolution which would see the resumption of tills ringing on their premises; for nineteen businesses it was time for innovation, broadening horizons.
For the latter, the protracted strike has turned out to be a big blessing in disguise: a crash course in smarter ways of doing business. Instead of waiting for the mines to resume operations, they took advantage of Raizcorp’s Arize programme’s incubator model, which provides full service enterprise and supplier development programmes that guide entrepreneurs to profitability.
Thankfully, Peter Kypri, Raizcorp’s prosperator manager and strategy guide, says none of the 19 businesses closed down and some even managed to increase their growth.
“When the strike commenced the entrepreneurs knew they had to revise the way they operate,” recalls Kypri. “They quickly realigned their strategies, aiming for the sole objective of survival. Rationally, they knew their chances of growth while the strike was on were remote as they were not getting business.”
Instead of waiting eternally for the end of the strike, the entrepreneurs heeded the advice to secure new opportunities, even, if needs be, outside Rustenburg, explains Kypri, adding that the results were encouraging.
The priceless lesson they learnt was that businesses should never rely solely on one client for all their income. One of the beneficiaries, Chris Mokgethi of Chrismo Logistics, who has weathered the trials and tribulations and emerged stronger, remarks: “I didn’t have any income during the strike because my business is 100% reliant on work from Impala Platinum, so as a result of this I had to restructure my business.”