Zimbabwe Business: Business In Zimbabwe Standing Still

It’s true, business is standing still in Zimbabwe. Talk to any business owner and he’ll tell you how much money he’s owed – and how no one is paying up. You’re probably going through it yourself. There’s very little genuine economic activity taking place – and what a great opportunity for you!

Think about it.

When is the best time to overtake and make progress…when you competitors are running, or when they’re asleep? This is the time to gain market share… now that competitors are losing it. If you cant do that, then gain ‘mind share’ and if you can’t do that, then gain whatever kind of share you can!

Your choices are few. Either;

• Shrink back, fearful and discouraged
• Outsource your responsibility and response ability to others
by joining the blame game – Zanu PF, MDC, your parents,
pastor or whoever you want.
• Abandon your dreams of significance and contribution.
• Downsize your ambitions from greatness, to mere survival.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many and very good reasons to be discouraged and angry at political, business, church, education leaders. There are good reasons to become fearful of the present and lose hope for the future – to become selfish and self centric…but don’t.

Put to work these invisible forces of good in your life and business. Demand more from life – your skills, talents, opportunities time & every resource. Demand that the doors of possibility and prosperity be opened to you. Refuse to accept limitations and achieve your goals in 2009… no matter what.

Faith and hope are the very core of the entrepreneurial spirit. Selflessness and service are the backbone of the entrepreneurs business. Without these, you’re a victim, a weakling, a mediocre man or woman.

I truly believe that this is the best time to be pressing in to achieve business success – even in Zimbabwe. Don’t wait for circumstances to support you, let them catch up. You can beat your biggest and most fierce competitors by being bigger in spirit. While they complain, wait and procrastinate you move forward. You can gain incredible advantages that aren’t available in easier times. While they’re business is standing still, you’re moving forward.


Max Soutter

It all comes down to knowing how to turn bad news into good news and finding the opportunities hidden in problems…see that post here.

Make Enemies, Make Profit


Listen closely, what follows is one of the single most important and powerful marketing tips you’ll ever get…

As a service/ product provider, your goal should be to become the only viable solution to your markets problem – to be more trusted and respected than any of your competition. This doesn’t happen by luck – you’ve got to intentionally setup your business this way. One of the best ways to do this is to protect your market.

Protecting your clients from the errors of your industry: Every industry abuses it’s market in someway or the other. Industry leaders create business around these industry weaknesses. By speaking up and against bad service and deception in your industry you get on the customers side. And that’s where you should be.

A personal example:  As graphic designer years ago, I did this by educating the market about how Ad Agencies and graphic designers cheat them. I showed how big agencies rely on design without marketing or strategy. I showed them how to avoid being overcharged. I show them how to interview an agency to ensure they were the best for the job.

I can tell you now that a good many competitors didn’t like what I was doing. I was giving away industry secrets, and forcing them to work harder for their clients. On the other hand my market loved it. And so did my wallet.

Benefits: I established trust and credibility by helping the market make better decisions. Others were mere designers, I was a trusted adviser. More credibility means you’re more in demand. Your service is valued more highly.  You come more highly recommended.

Attacking your industries weaknesses spreads word of mouth about you being different. “Finally someone who understands me”. “Finally someone who cares about more than just the money.”

A word of warning – I don’t recommend attacking specific businesses. You don’t have to trash someone else to get ahead – just speak against consumer abuse.

Here’s how you can use this for yourself. Ask;

  • 1) What are the common mistakes and misconceptions the market has that leads them to disadvantage?
  • 2) How do your competitors take advantage of the ignorance of your market?
  • 3) How can you take advantage of this weakness in your competitors to win the trust of your market?

10 years and many businesses later, I still use this same strategy with success. You can too. By protecting your market, you become a trusted adviser to them. They trust you with their businesses, their dreams and even their money.

Setup your business, structure your marketing and position services around protecting your clients. You’ll make a few enemies, but you’ll also make some profit!

Max Soutter

P.S. Need help setting up your business? The Business Setup Kit is for you. Have a look at our brochure or call the Business Setup Group for more info.