South African Entrepreneurs Thinking BIG: Business ideas, success stories, marketing and innovation

Top 6 South African small business opportunities for 2008….Part 3

by on 19/12/07 at 11:00 am

Design your own

Design your own: Once again, thanks to the nimbleness of running a small, non-massproducing company – you can really take huge advantage of one of the biggest global trends of 2007, which we predict will pick up radical speed in South Africa in ’08.

Allowing your customers to hijack your brand and take complete control by designing their very own products gives them a level of personalisation much sought-after in today’s ‘Made in China’ society.

Perfect for any industry struggling to compete for sales in an over-traded environment, the concept will work for anything from cakes and tshirts to stationary and wine production. All that’s needed from your side are well managed flexible systems and a pricing model that’s going to make the whole thing financially viable.

Companies like Threadless in the US have made millions by completely resigning control and allowing all their products to be designed by their customers. There’s no reason why something similar would not work in South Africa.

Colab: South African entrepreneurs seem to have a typical ‘laager’ mentality when it comes to business. What’s mine is mine and you must just keep your nose out of my business. This however, completely ignores the huge opportunity to fast-track your brand’s growth by collaborating with another business for your mutual benefit. Going forward, colab projects will be one-off, project-based and founded more on brand collaboration than anything else.

If the recent phenomenon of social networking has taught us anything, its that we can be far more effective and successful by using the power of a wider network than trying to do it all alone. By taking on strategic joint ventures with complementary entrepreneurs, you can still concentrate on you own expertise while developing your brand in new markets that would never have been possible without your colab partner.

That’s how we see it. There are obviously a whole herd more global trends that we think will make a big impact in South Africa next year, but hopefully these six are a tasty teaser.

[ Read Part 1 ]

[ Read Part 2 ]

Jon Cherry is the founder of Cherryflava Media, a Trends & Innovation company. Jon is also the brains behind one of the most influential websites in Africa. Jon likes to pick out the business needles in South Africa's haystack. View more articles by Jon Cherry.

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17 Responses to “Top 6 South African small business opportunities for 2008….Part 3”

  1. [...] Read Part 3 [...]

  2. juliette veitch

    Mar 29th, 2008

    Hi – Just discovered Ideate and am loving it – and not a moment too soon, as I am contemplating the mass exodus to UK.
    I have been running my own small business, a pre-school and creche, catering for upper middle class parents in a money-d suburb of Northern Johannesburg.
    Been struggling to make it profitable due to not getting classes filled – tons of other schools in area, we are def one of more quality and more expensive, most kids leave there and pay double to get less than what we offer at the private school they will then attend for formal schooling years.
    I love your idea of colab, but my uncreative mindset cannot come up with who would be a good colab partner in the industry I am in – any suggestions…..? please?………. just some ideas to get my creative juices flowing and open my mind to greater awesome possiblities?
    I really appreciate and am totally inspired by your articles. Def gonna stay in SA and make a difference – and tons of money hopefully.

  3. Alex

    Aug 22nd, 2008

    Julliette, don’t leave! I’ve been, done and always returned with a wry smile. A wry smile comes because we live in a massively amazing new country thats evolving faster than we think. A Uni Prof once said to me: “you won’t be able to see the picture if you’re inside the frame..”‘
    Now your message about your school just sparked an idea. I’ve also just discovered this site, and collaborative efforts are indeed within our thought patterns. If i produce rugs (hand woven by Township ladies), and your kids are kids (what i mean is: they’re creative and fun) then should i get your kids to sit with my Weavers and choose and create rugs that are customized and their own. Snakes & ladders, ABC, whatever really – we have a ton of colors. The weavers skills and the childs brain (and by the way the african mama’s we have would go nuts to sit with a child for a day or two and weave what they wanted) Direct outlet: the children (parents obviously pay for the rug at the end – you get a rate on each item). Now the challenge. You are in JHB, I am in Cape Town? mmmmm

  4. jennifer

    Oct 9th, 2008

    About Us
    H M H SPACEFLIGHTTECH CO., Limited Company is a professional dealing and specializing in high technology products industrial link up with worldwide! our company still hard working for global Telecommunication User and world marketing demand,we have been exports and wholesales Computer PC and laptop PC in all of the world.
    we willing to accept difference country in difference cusotmers need and requriments . we can design for you!such some country customers need Student laptop PC. some customers need very high condition Laptop PC.such as World brand it has:Apple MacKBook air.Apple iMac.IMB.lenovo.Haier,DELL.HP.ACER.GREAT WALL.National brand etc.we can according you inquriy produce to you.

    Our products sell well in Southeast Asia, North America, South America, Oceania and Europe. Moreover, we have accumulated abundant experience and established stable and faithful business relationships with customers worldwide.

    With rich experience in dealing with all types of shipping, either large orders or small ones, we have developed extensive contacts within many local and international freight organizations. Consequently, we are able to ship our goods safely and reliably almost anywhere in the world.

    Our mission is to gain a sustainable competitive advantage by providing customers with the highest quality products and services. “Customer foremost and service first” is our top priority. We really hope to expand our business through cooperation with individuals and companies from around the world.

    Ensuring high quality products and services, competitive prices and prompt delivery, we are looking forward to starting long-term cooperation with you in the near future. Please feel free to contact us for more details
    More info pls email to us by MSN:

  5. Jennifer

    Nov 30th, 2008

    Established in 2000 year, China Mainland Tk technology co. ltd Major leading PC Computer developing industrial ,Such as desktop computer, notebook computer and cell phone etc products, manufacturing workshop 4.000m2 with 20 engineers who have at least 6 years of experience, including with strong industrial leader such as.: Hewlett Packard, Sony PC, Lenovo, Haier etc, so our R&D Team’s training and average experience of 10 years of PC motherboards SMT, also enables them to rapidly render your desired function and design so you can get your order within two weeks, by working with global market research agencies, we are able to create products in various styles intended for difference demographics worldwide, we can also provide customized services ranging from ID,PCB,SMT, PCBA layout and mold design . to semi-finished assembly and sourcing of add-on parts and modules, whatever your needs OEM integration with CE, RoHS and E-Mail us today,
    Our products have been exports and wholesales in all of the world, we eager to cooperation with you OEM customization inquiries,more info pls have looking our munfacture website

  6. Oscar

    Jan 27th, 2009

    Hi, Guys,
    i would like to exchange ideas with you all about new busyness ideas that will take and become the pillar of the economy of this country. please let share ideas.
    take care.

  7. Morne Prinsloo

    Jul 23rd, 2009

    I have found your Blog (article) on Google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    If you want, you are more then welcome to visit my website by Googling (Mortgage Plus cc) “a website aimed at helping the youth in South Africa find good financial advice with regards to bonds, home loans and mortgages. This is also aimed at building awareness to those in South Africa especially with our current escalation in property prices“.
    We are bond originators in South Africa, who is dedicated to procuring and arranging highly competitive mortgage lending rates to existing and new residential bondholders and we shall private a seamless transaction which not only results in substantial savings to the client, but which is also effective and convenient.
    If you know someone that needs assistants in NEW HOME LOANS, FURTHER BONDS, BUILDING LOANS, DEVELOPMENT FINANCE, or AFFORDABLE HOUSING please refer them to me. It will be highly appreciated.

    Ps: Keep up the good work. !!!!

    Yours truly,
    Morne Prinsloo

  8. Mr Bright

    Jul 13th, 2012

    Hi Everyone
    Finally a South African site with Entrepreneur-ally minded people, I’ve just decided to take the plunge and get into the world of Entrepreneurship loving all the stuff I have been learning so far. I’m looking for business opportunities at present got a few financial partners and we on the search for great Businesses to acquire or create.

    I’m a good problem solver so love coming up with great creative, innovative ideas. I’ve just spent my afternoon researching a brain wave I’ve just had, I think in South Africa Entrepreneurs are overlooking the obvious, in SA we have hundreds of thoughts Rural Areas and in all of them there are endless “Needs” and given the high number of people who live in Rural Areas the is a lot of Demand. So we have it Need and Demand all in one place, I think we are all sitting on a goldmine. I my self dont live in a rural area but watching the news last night spark just hit me of all the potential in those areas.

    In my studying, I’ve come to express business success in the simple equation “Satisfied Needs = Earned Money”. It’s simply that simple! We have the Needs in abundance, now we need to get creative and find ways to Satisfy the needs. “The helper will be helped by the helped” and that is business at it’s core. Sure there are many other variables to consider, but thats why there are Entrepreneurs, to design the perfect solution.

    I know a lot of people might reply and tell me why it cant be done, well to be really direct with you, i dont care about why it cant be done and all the obstacles, what I care about is people who are willing to put on their thinking caps and we start brainstorming ideas. I can comeup with many ideas why I cant get up in the morning but that wont get me anywhere. Let’s get creative people.

    Feel free to email me if you want to talk Entrepreneurial stuff, love talking and being around like minded people. Let’s colab and do amazing things

    Bright S Mtabela

    Email: “”

  9. Nicolene Richter

    Sep 12th, 2012

    Hi, what can – do to start a business like this

  10. Kgahliso

    Oct 16th, 2012

    Hi my partners. Guys we are so lucky to be in this profitable planet. It is indeed a privilege to be in countries like South Africa where there’s still lot of business gaps to fill..So many countries around the word are empowered by South Africa but to my surprise we cannot empower ourselves…is not too late to make this dream come true.

  11. kgahliso

    Oct 16th, 2012

    Hi, my partners.

    Guys we are so lucky to be in this profitable planet where it cost you only some few hour to become a great business legend. It is indeed a privilege to be in countries like South Africa there’s still lot of business gaps to fill. So many countyies around the word are empowered by South Africa but to my surprise we cannot empower ourselves. This country is so rich in both left,right and center, it only needs our brains to utilize this wealth economically…is not too late to fulfill this dreams.send me an email for any business proporsal..

    yours faitfully. Mr KD, Rakgalakane.


  12. kgahliso

    Oct 16th, 2012

    Hi, my partners.

    Guys it is honor to be in this profitable planet where it cost you only some few hour to become a great business legend. It is only by chance toto be in countries like South Africa where business can grow as fast as possible. So many countries around the word are empowered by South Africa but to my surprise we cannot empower ourselves. This country is so rich in both left,right and center, it only needs our brains to utilize this wealth economically…is not too late to fulfill this dreams.send me an email for any business proporsal..

    yours faitfully. Mr KD, Rakgalakane.


  13. Bryon

    Oct 24th, 2012

    It is profitable only if you use the correct business practises and call a friend in the ANC to giive a tender. for the rest of south african youth , its a struggle process and the beniefts are only in paper stored in our wonderfull economic policies that do not translate to the masses at large..but only he elite anc member of the ANC and thier families

  14. Kgahliso

    Oct 24th, 2012

    To Bryon

    Hi my fellow partner in business, I really understand and appreciate the pressure you’re experiencing right now. One of the most prolific teachers of our time is experience, it is very difficult for me to listen someone explaining the route to a place that he has never been to. But if he’s been there, he knows the land marks and road signs.

    People are getting tired many times, but hopefully their experiences will always strengthens them everyday. I exactly what I’m talking about because I have tried just about everything to be free.

    Its about time time complaining about ANC and its tribulation including implementation.. It is not always a case that you need a tender to be a great business owner. A business plan is atmost a weapon to a great success in business…

    By: Kgahliso


  15. Sbullionare

    Nov 11th, 2012

    I like all the ideas and comments on this site, as a starting up entrepreneur this is the direction I need to be involved more in.

    However I feel that Mr Bright has put up a very clever idea,and I want to work on it with you. Townships are a majority in the country, and I’ve lived in about Eight between Jhb&Dbn. So I know what they are into in many ways, so we should all team-up as many as we possibly can be and lets do this.

  16. sbullionare

    Nov 11th, 2012

    To: Jennifer (of HMH SPACEFLIGHTTECH CO.)

    I like your company,presentation and what your companies creativeness would do for our business individual needs technologically.

    However you might want to reconsider posting your direct email (not MSN or company website) as so its easier to interact with you directly, you presented the company to us and what it does,and so we should easily be able to reply back at you and talk business. I dont even know what that MSN is,nor do I want to google the website cos previous experiences have taught me its gonna be a process before I get to what I am looking for before spending cash so just to be assisted. So its always easier if for example we email you directly and we talk everything with you.

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