Top tips for budding entrepreneurs: From the founder of South African soda startup

Bringing your dream to life, being your own boss and adding real value to the world we live in. Sounds good right? Well of course it does, but like most big life goals, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Building or becoming the next big thing is challenging, nerve-wracking and requires some serious grind work, but at the same time can be one of the most rewarding things you do in your life.

So, what can you do to ensure you’re on the right path to owning and maintaining a successful business? Greig Jansen, founder and CEO of the Pura Beverage Company, offers his best pieces of advice to those wanting to take the entrepreneurial plunge.

1. Believe in the art of possibility

“The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself,” says Jansen. As an entrepreneur, you need to have the confidence to act as the architect of your own life and business. You should create an image in your mind of what success looks like, continuously build towards that vision and simultaneously remain open to making adjustments along the way.

2. Do your research

“Have a clear plan before you embark on your journey,” says Jansen. That bright idea may come to you in the middle of the night, but your game plan shouldn’t be created in a day. Before you make any moves at all, identify your niche, analyse your competitors, listen closely to your consumer’s needs and ensure there is a long-term market for your product or service.

3. Measure everything

“You cannot manage what you don’t measure,” says Jansen. Running a business is all about keeping on top of your expenses, income and balance sheet but none of this is possible without clear-cut KPIs and the religious management of them. KPIs differ from business to business but need to be defined at the get-go.

4. Surround yourself with good people

“Aptitude is critical, but attitude is everything,” notes Jansen. The people that you choose to share this journey with you should buy into your business and its future. They need to fit into the company culture you’re trying to build and have the ability to be flexible and adaptable. Take your time in finding the right fit, rushing this process could lead to immense setbacks.

5. Celebrate milestones

“Too often, we are so busy driving the business forward that we don’t realise how far we have come,” says Jansen. Acknowledging and commemorating those wins, big or small, are the sparks that keep a start-up going. These celebrations don’t only give you the opportunity to boost employee morale, but they also give you the power to prove your worth to your investors and customers.