If you’ve been away in South Africa, UK, USA – anywhere in the Diaspora for years, one of the challenges you’re going to face is readjusting to how business works here in Zimbabwe. You may also find it a little challenging to identify or evaluate business ideas or in meeting people who could answer questions or prove useful. As this is a topic i get a lot of questions on, I thought today, i would give you a few suggestions on how to get your Zimbo on…If you know anyone in that position, do share this post with them
1) Don’t Just Sit There, Go somewhere!
If you’re going to find business ideas and opportunities after years away in the diaspora, you’re not going to find them sitting at home. You’re going to have to get out. Anywhere. Everywhere. Nothing really beats the chance to see with your own two eyes, what people are up to.
- So walk down first street, go down town.
- Visit all the major malls. Westgate, Eastgate in town, Avondale, Joina City
- Do a lot of window shopping.
If you have a curious mind and attitude, you’d be surprised just how much you can pick up about what is working, what’s not and why, just by walking around.
2) Don’t Shut Up, Say Something!
Not just to your friends or relatives. You need to meet as many useful strangers as possible and get talking. One way to do that is at business or industry events. Best way to find those is on Facebook. You’ll probably need to friend a few entrepreneurially active people if you’re not currently getting invited to any, but that’s not hard (start with me and I’ll point you to a few people). So for example here are a few events coming up. All of these are networking opportunities I’ve been invited to through Facebook events:
- Ignite Your Business Workshop – by Sally and Brendan Palmer (good people to know).
- David Townsend – 25 years old and self retired!
- Leadership , Strategy and Goal setting Workshop
- Zimbabwe Finance Conference 2014
These sort of events are great places to meet useful people and learn something at the same time. Do it, most of them are really affordable, even free in some cases.
3) Get reading some blogs
One of the best ways to get in touch with whats happening in Zimbabwe is by reading some of the popular and relevant blogs. A blog gives you the perspective of the people, some times expects, but certainly the people (this vs publishing machines with a political agenda AKA newspapers)
Technology Zimbabwe is by far my favorite local tech related blog. They’re consistent and cover a variety of tech news related stories. Even if you’re not a tech person, this is a good one to pop in on at least once in a while.
Last few posts from Techzim
- Prices.co.zw: New online “department store”looking to make money on deliveries not products
- Vpayments technical hassles gone but bureaucratic ones need to go as well
- Ecocash now costs $0.05 more, welcome to 2014
- Startup Profile: Deaftronics’ Tendekayi Katsiga
- The year 2013: The high and low tech moments in Zimbabwe
Bizsetup (that’s me). We’re the top entrepreneurial and marketing related blog in Zimbabwe. If you’re looking for business opportunities and ideas, marketing and practical advice and services to get you going, we can help.
Last Few Posts from Bizsetup
- Strive Masiyiwa: How Do You See?
- How To Start A Mushroom Growing Business in Zimbabwe
- 3 Ways to Not Be Boring And Why It Matters in Online Marketing
- 8 Terrible Mistakes Zimbabwean Companies Make With Facebook Contests
- Social Media and the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
4) Hash Tag #Zimbabwe.
Go check out the popular hash tags in the Zimbabwean twitter community. Listening to real conversations is a great way to get the people’s perspective on whats happening on the ground. Twitter does a good job of giving you a slice of that. Check out #Twimbos, #chat263 #Zimbabwe to start with.
5) Read the newspapers.
Not for the stories, but for the ads. Adverts can tell you a lot about who is advertising what, how competitive an industry is and who the main players are. It can tell you a little bit about the marketing or communication strategy a company is employing and how they spend their budget…and more. It’s one of the reasons we’re starting up an online archive for local prints adverts…stay tuned for that.
6) Read the Newspapers (again).
Not for the adverts, but for the stories. Not to believe them, but to gain an appreciation for what stories are currently shaping the belief system of the average Zimbabwean. Beliefs inform buying decisions, product and brand preferences, and so on.
And there you have it. If you were wondering how to readjust to the Zimbabwean business environment, find new opportunities or meet new people, these ideas should have you well on your way. Let me know if you have any questions or if you have an idea I left out…Oh and do share this with someone who could find it useful.