‘900000 in untapped market’

FRESH IDEAS: Edge Financial Group managing director Ed Gutsche speaks at an Eastern Cape Small Business Network event in Sardinia Bay yesterday. Picture: MIKE HOLMES
FRESH IDEAS: Edge Financial Group managing director Ed Gutsche speaks at an Eastern Cape Small Business Network event in Sardinia Bay yesterday. Picture: MIKE HOLMES

IDENTIFYING a gap in the market is crucial to making “not so great” businesses become “awesome”.

This was the message Edge Financial Group managing director Ed Gutsche gave to entrepreneurs attending an Eastern Cape Small Business Network (ECSBN) event yesterday.

Gutsche told the entrepreneurs to start off by creating a visible brand and positioning it in the right place. It was important to know your own company and your competition to find the gaps in the market to make your business grow organically.

One of these gaps that he believes exists in the Bay economy was the “900 000 people who live on the other side of the freeway”. He said the townships of the Bay were underdeveloped and offered huge business as well as philanthropic opportunities to entrepreneurs.

Gutsche said the average salary of white-collar workers had only increased by 11.9% over the past five years, whereas the average wage increase of blue-collar workers had been 59% in the past five years.

“After 20 years of democracy, there is still a huge difference between the two PE’s – on the one side of the freeway and the other. Instead of rotating the same customers in a small pool, we are missing out on the 900000 customers on the other side,” Gutsche said.

He opened a branch of Edge Financial Services in New Brighton a year ago, and said it was important not only to take money out of the community but also to put it back with philanthropic acts.

“Use every opportunity to grow your business. And if you can do something for the community in the process, it is just the cherry on top.”

Gutsche said it took over four years to establish the New Brighton branch because it was not an easy market to penetrate but it was untapped and was a growth path for the business.

  • The ECSBN will host a business network expo running concurrently with the Nelson Mandela Bay Investor Seminar on May 15 at the Boardwalk Convention Centre. Contact support@ecsbn.co.za. – Cindy Preller

 

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