Digital transformation is one of the buzzwords doing the rounds but Soweto entrepreneur Keitumetse Segaetsho took the idea to heart and launched her own online radio station in 2019, aged just 19.
“I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur to create job opportunities,” she says. “My vision grew bigger after matric when my parents couldn’t afford to help me further my studies due to financial reasons.”
Glen Radio Station is based in Soweto’s Protea Glen, and has grown to have thousands of listeners who tune in for the station’s content about community projects and initiatives, as well as learning, training and development. Funded via advertising sales and special events, Keitumetse is determined that Glen Radio will help young members of the community embark on their own entrepreneurship ventures too.
“It can be challenging – I’ve struggled to afford rental for our office, and to have proper branding designed,” she says. “However, I’m so proud that we have professional broadcasting equipment for our full-time operation, and that I’ve been able to invest in training for my management team and presenters.”
Connectivity is everything for an internet radio station, and in addition to her primary data partner, Isizwe R5 WiFi, Keitumetse uses her mobile phone to nurture relationships with clients and contributors, and to manage the station while she’s on the go.
She says that starting your own business can be exciting and challenging. While you’ll undoubtedly encounter many obstacles and setbacks on your path to success, using her tips that follow will help ambitious entrepreneurs to be successful in their journey.
Entrepreneurship is going to dole out constant challenges, some of which you’ve already considered but many of which you’ll never see coming. And it’s about more than just business opportunities and obstacles – your personal life will be challenged as well.
You’ll face complex financial problems, decision-based dilemmas, long hours, sudden changes, and predictions that egregiously fail.
Success in business ownership is rarely a matter of how many challenges you face as much as it is a matter of how you face those challenges.
Prepare to make sacrifices
There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Even the multimillion-dollar start-ups that seem to pop up out of nowhere were the result of countless hours of hard work.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires an intense level of dedication to your dream – and this means sacrificing both time and money to make it happen. It may not be fun to give up those nightly Netflix binges or weekend parties with friends so you can put in some extra hours on your start-up, but these types of sacrifices are much easier to make now than when you’re older.
Never underestimate the power of a solid business plan
Having a clear vision and focus while staying objective is paramount if you want to be taken seriously and have any chance of your start-up getting off the ground (and staying off the ground).
Plan, plan and plan some more
The “tell me your five-year plan” question in a job interview is an uncomfortable experience for many, but you need to be able to plan ahead to be a successful entrepreneur. Use your overarching goals to set realistic milestones for the growth and development of your company. By placing key actions on a timeline, you’ll improve your focus and accountability, making it much easier to stay on top of what needs to be done.
Hire the right people
Bringing the wrong people on board is one of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs. You need to bring on employees who have relevant background and experience, and always be sure to do thorough reference checks on them. They need to fit into the company culture you are trying to build, and they need to be hard-working and flexible, as employees in start-ups often have to function in multiple roles.
Listeners can find Glen Radio on the Zeno Radio App. Keitumetse offered these tips to South African entrepreneurs as part of MTN’s Made for Skhokho initiative, an exciting business and networking event that supports entrepreneurs by connecting them with business experts and other local business owners.
MTN’s Made for Skhokho pay- as-you-go bundles help emerging entrepreneurs keep connected via tailored data and connectivity packages that have been designed to meet their needs: easy sign up, wide network coverage, no formal business registration needed, access to social media, and tailored for use during business hours, to help them reach more customers.