Retired businessman Banda Shilimela offered valuable advice to entrepreneurs during the recent Good Business Awards event in Windhoek, emphasizing the importance of consistency and perseverance in building a successful business.
Shilimela discouraged entrepreneurs from pursuing the dubious get-rich-quick schemes often promoted by social media influencers.
Instead, he stressed the need for a strong work ethic and a commitment to consistency.
He shared his journey, which included failures and mistakes, but his unwavering determination and consistency eventually led to success.
The Good Business Awards event, hosted by the Development Bank of Namibia to celebrate and honour local businesspeople, provided a platform for Shilimela to share his insights.
Shilimela, who owns multiple businesses across various sectors, including security, addressed the challenge faced by aspiring entrepreneurs: some lack the means to start a business, while others with the means lack viable ideas.
He called for collective efforts to overcome this obstacle.
He offered practical financial advice, urging entrepreneurs to manage their debts by spending less than they earn and adopting a budgeting strategy where 50 percent of spending goes to needs, 30 percent to wants, and 20 percent to savings.
This approach, he argued, ensures that earned money is not depleted entirely.
Shilimela emphasized the importance of having a strong foundation in key businesses before diversifying.
He cautioned against establishing multiple companies in a short period, as this can lead to simultaneous failures.
A solid foundation in core businesses allows entrepreneurs to recover from setbacks.
He also criticized the reliance on well-written business plans by financial institutions.
Shilimela argued that these plans often do not accurately represent the entrepreneur’s idea and suggested that alternative approaches should be considered.
Regarding small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Shilimela criticized overfunding, suggesting that SMEs do not require excessive amounts of capital.
He argued that providing a substantial amount of money to a small business can lead to mismanagement and misguided ventures.
Instead, he encouraged entrepreneurs to focus on building connections to the market and the right people rather than seeking large sums of capital.
Shilimela concluded by inspiring entrepreneurs to have faith in themselves and their dreams.
He stressed the importance of purpose, hope, and self-belief in pursuing business endeavours, emphasizing that it’s never too late to dream and take action.
“Those with dreams have a purpose and with purpose comes hope. It is never too late to dream. Do not let people believe in you. Rather believe in yourself,” Shilimela advised.