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E-Commerce & other essential elements for South African startup success

by Tia

Where America’s start-up and entrepreneurship market has historically had a competitive edge over the rest of the world, rapid changes in technology and its access to many more aspiring entrepreneurs in South Africa have become a crucial game-changer in levelling the playing field. 

“Just through simple e-commerce platforms with the right digital marketing, South African entrepreneurs can now easily tap into global markets without the need for a physical presence in overseas countries.  Data from the World Bank reveals that in 2011, internet usage among the South African population stood at only 34%. By 2021, this figure had surged to 72%, highlighting a significant improvement in internet access,” shares Daniel Novitzkas, Chairman at Specno.  

He adds that: “Technology not only opens new opportunities for success, but with the right strategy for utilising what is available, any highly self-motivated individual can become the next global trendsetter and change many lives. There is nothing more empowering than this realization.”

But, before any aspirant entrepreneur can achieve this success locally, they must diligently find their North Star, cling to it and channel all their energy into it. Acquiring experience should also never be an undervalued route to success. As demonstrated by Bill Gates in Outliers, the 10 000-Hour Rule underscores that achieving success demands significant time investment. 

For those aspiring to become entrepreneurs in a particular field, joining a startup and absorbing every possible piece of information is paramount. While universities provide valuable knowledge and real learning, self-development will only unfold beyond their walls. And while the investment of your time is a prerequisite for success, it also requires one to make sacrifices elsewhere. Any distractions that are designed to be addictive may compromise your productivity and should be removed from your life, even if just temporarily. This could include productivity-killers like social media, gaming or Netflix.

“Simultaneously, it’s crucial to leverage all available resources, including free online courses, to enhance your expertise. Gaining expert knowledge on a specific industry or subject is a gradual process, built step-by-step, and diversifying your learning sources is essential for becoming well-rounded in your chosen field. The internet offers a wealth of electronic books, and budget-friendly second-hand bookstores are stocked with literature in your area of interest. Enriching your mind with as much information as possible can establish you as an expert within the industry where you aim to enter or build your business,” concludes Novitzkas. 

Self-motivation is another tough discipline to master. On its foundation, it requires one to unconditionally and truly believe in themselves.  But when you can confidently, with humility, demonstrate your knowledge and skills to others, the doors of opportunity are bound to open. Sometimes, they may open immediately or may still require further perseverance.

The origin story of any successful entrepreneur can be found in the protagonist latching onto the right opportunity, leveraging everything at their disposal to gain valuable experience and knowledge, towards building a clear pathway to long-term success. 

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