South Africa: 20 Lessons in 20 Years - Lesson 2 - Is There Really a Market?

opinion

Over the past 20 years, Raizcorp CEO Allon Raiz has learned many tough lessons and overcome many entrepreneurial challenges. He has also had the privilege of learning from the journeys of over 13 000 entrepreneurs who have passed through Raizcorp. In this series of articles, Allon shares 20 of some of the most important lessons he has learned using a sequence that mirrors the typical stages of any entrepreneurial journey - from ideation through to scaling a business.

In his book The E-myth Revisited, Michael E Gerber aptly uses the expression "entrepreneurial spasm" to describe the reasons behind many so-called entrepreneurs entering the business fray. The individual experiences one or two bursts of "demand" for a product or service and interprets this as a market signal. The most common source of these "signals" is the individual's friends and family who may, out of some sort of loyalty, provide the first order or orders for the product or service. They may even overpay.

Many would-be entrepreneurs also make the assumption that every problem that can be solved by a product or service amounts to a sustainable business. One could - quite comfortably - describe a cold toilet seat in the middle...

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