I drove out a while back to a modest little suburb in Johannesburg. The green trees, leafy and luscious, were swaying in the light summer breeze. It was the kind of day that you dream about when you are in the clutches of winter’s icy grip and erroneously believe you will never see those glorious summer days again. The small business that I was driving out to visit was one street removed from the main road. I didn’t know what to expect.
When I stopped outside the small business and went inside, I was greeted warmly. What I had ordered was waiting for me there at reception. The small business was well-stocked and in these times well guarded by a friendly security person at the front gate. I was amazed at what I was seeing. It brought much joy to me because here I was in an actual small business that was running successfully under the radar.
It’s not often that I come across an under-the-radar business like this. In these difficult times, in these competitive conditions, in this environment with prying eyes looking to skim something off someone else’s business with nothing in return, it was exciting to see a small business that is well positioned.
What do I mean by well positioned? You won’t find this in magazine articles, small business books, on the Internet or from enterprise professors at institutions. These businesses are not discussed. Besides, many don’t know how to look for these special opportunities.
II’m not going to tell you the name of the business, the type business, its customer profile nor the market it operates in. Such small under the-radar businesses are so special to me that I wouldn’t want them to be interfered with in any way. But I will give you the main characteristics of this kind of business that may help you in your search for a business that is viable and sustainable.
The reason why I guard the privacy of a small business like this is because of prying eyes. This business is operating in a market that the billionaire business owners have overlooked. Sadly, the billionaire business owners would take such a small family-run business and commercialise it for the benefit of shareholders. In this case the small under-the-radar business provides an income for people, human beings, living in small communities. Others from institutions would want to tear up such a business with warped thinking and warped plans.
So what are the characteristics of such an under-the-radar business? Well, let me tell you at the outset that this business is totally legitimate. The next thing is that it is positioned in a market that has been growing for a long time and will continue to grow in the future mainly because of population growth and customer demand. The other thing is that the customers, the primary customers, are large and private. Absolutely no institutionalised selling is required to institutionalised persons. This is a major advantage. Also, no manufacturing is involved at all. Yes, staff are employed but you don’t need many people to run a business like this. The other advantage is that this business can be run and is being run in a modest area, out of sight, out of mind, where rentals are pathetically low.
Yes, it sounds like a perfect dream. But this is a real under-the-radar small business that has been operating for many years and will continue to do so. It’s difficult to come up with a business like this from scratch by the view have a good idea of something you could do under the radar, you might just have a winner.