BMAN111 Does country context matter when starting a new business?

In this discussion forum we invite you to think about the unique context of doing business in your own country and to reflect on the value of international experience from entrepreneurship.

Please review Partick Bet-David’s 12 mistakes he made as an American entrepreneur.

Consider the following:

  1. Are their any “mistakes” from this list that would not apply to starting a new business in your own country?
    • Post the mistake you identified in this forum and describe why it wouldn’t apply in your country?
  2. Are their any mistakes to avoid when starting a business that are specific to your country that were not considered by the American entrepreneur?
    • Please identify mistakes to be avoided in your country and explain why.

Other discussion ideas

  1. Would an American entrepreneur be able to run a successful small business in your country? Why?
  2. Would you be able to run a successful small business in America? Why?
  1. I think all of the mistakes mentioned in the video of Patrick Bet-David’s 12 mistakes are relevant and would apply too all people that wants to start a new business in my country. His mistakes are common mistakes many people make on a daily basis when they own a business.

  2. I think that most people in my country would want to save money where they can and by that they will make the mistake by doing most of the tasks in the business by themselves. Having an accountant, banker and attorney with whom you’re on a first-name basis ensures you will build a strong foundation for your business and won’t make mistakes that will cost you more to fix down the line. I would also say that a mistake to avoid is to do business with friends and family. Mostly you will let things slip that went wrong because you are to afraid that you will hurt your friend or family members feelings. To be successful, business partners cannot be afraid of hurt feelings.


  1. I think that an American entrepreneur would be able to run a successful small business in my country because there is a lot of needs that the people have in my country. If he could sell a product that is something our people need and the people can afford it, he will be able to be successful. There is also a lot of people that is looking for jobs so he won’t struggle to find people to work for him.

  2. I think you will be able to, but it will be hard to do it. America is first world class land and if you have a brilliant idea, you would be able to do it. There is a lot of work opportunities in America because of there great economic.

  1. I feel that all the listed mistakes would apply. Some of the mistakes are more common than others, but all of them could happen to anyone that is starting a new business in our country.

  2. Thinking you have no direct competitors: South Africa is not seen as one of the best performing countries in the world and that is why some of the new entrepreneurs would think that they have a short list of competitors, making is seem easy to sell a product or business.

  3. Yes, an American would be able to run a successful small business in South Africa, because there are many opportunities in this country that have not been made reality yet. Therefor any American with a dream could make a success if they are just willing to make it happen and never quit.

  4. No, it would be very unlikely for me to run a successful small business in America, because they are very strict. They look over their people and make sure that no job opportunity is taken away from them by someone that is from another country.

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  1. I feel that all the ‘‘mistakes’’ listed in Patrick’s video is relevant and would apply to anyone starting a new business.

  2. Mistakes that we can make when starting a new business in South Africa is to think that our business is not something that will make money or create work opportunities. We should be more open-minded and positive.


  1. Yes an American would be able to, but it would also be hard for them because they are used to their country. Something that might work in America would not always work in my country.

  2. Yes I would be able to, but just like it would be hard for an American to start a business in my country it would be hard for me to start a business there. But if you have the right resources and mindset anything is possible.

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  1. I think Patrick’s clip outlines all the mistakes that one can encounter when starting their own business.

  2. A mistake that we may encounter in South Africa when joining the entrepreneurship world is expecting our business to be successful from the beginning. Another mistake is that people in South Africa start businesses without knowing the local regulations and expecting someone to fund their vision whereas they bring nothing onto the table.


  1. The American entrepreneur would be able to run a successful small business in South Africa if he has done his research, in terms of how large will his market be and how much consumers are willing to pay.
  2. I don’t think I would be able to run a successful small business in America due to many competitors and strict laws within their country.
  1. All the mistakes that Patrick has listed will apply when a entrepreneur is starting a business, because every new entrepreneur will make a lot of mistakes and I think it will be basically the same mistakes over and over.

  2. Yes. I think the most common mistake a person can make is to start a small business, but the entrepreneur is a anti-social type of person. You need to be a very talkative entrepreneur in order to become successful and for your small business to grow bigger and bigger. You will be communicating with marketing companies and clients, so if you are anti-social you will not be able to communicate with important clients to make the business a success.


  1. Yes, a American can start a small business in South Africa. It will contain a lot of research, but if it is done a American can easily begin a small business. There is a local export assistance center that can provide you with every detail you might need to start a business. For every American that wants to start a new small business in my country there are plenty new work opportunities that goes with it.

  2. I think it might be possible to start a small business in America if you have done all your research. I think it will just be more difficult to start a business in America than in South Africa, because you will need a entrepreneur visa when you want to start a small business in America.

  1. No, I think that the mistakes he mentioned is daily mistakes that any human make if they own/starting a business. All the mistakes would apply in my country, not at the same time, but eventually.

  2. All the people in my country would like to save some money and would not accept ant co-workers to help, because then they have to give them a salary. And then they will do nor most, but everything on their own.

  1. No, most of these mistakes are common and could be applied in almost every country by anyone wanting to start a business in my opinion.

  2. Thinking it’s going to be easy- people should keep in mind that SA has a struggling economy and we have less opportunities and resources that the average entrepreneur in America. Also I think we have to remember that it could take a bit longer to get the business started (because of the limited resources and opportunities)


  1. Yes and No.
    Yes-if an entrepreneur has an outstanding idea that would cater to the needs of people it would be possible
    No-Americans are use to much more resources and opportunities because of a better economy, they would have to know how to get by with less in able to start a business.

  2. Yes, although it would take a while to study a new economy and ‘business world’ , the more opportunities and resources available would make it possible.

  1. I think all the mistakes that Patrick listed would apply to any starting business. all starting businesses are going through the same steps.
  2. With the economy at mind in my country, the entrepreneurs don’t usually understand when their plans for their business isn’t going to plan. with the economy falling out of the blue, can have a huge impact on what decisions you have to make to keep your business up and running, and most of all making a profit.

Other discussion ideas

  1. Yes I think that an American would be able to run a successful small business in my country. it would take a small portion of time for the person to learn how our country works, and most of all how to economy works. But with all the knowledge the person would be able to run a successful small business.

  2. Yes I think I would be able to run a small business. but with that said, I would probably stay there long enough to see how things work and what kind of business there is wanted. you can’t begin a business that there are thousands of, you have to have an unique business to make it work.

  1. All the mistakes that Patrick made/mentioned apply to all starting entrepreneurs.
  2. Looking at where you are and how far you still have to go. Entrepreneurship needs persistence and it needs you to be visionary, look towards the goal not how you’ll get to the goal. That can be very discouraging.


  1. Yes. If the American did their research. Things like target market, place where the business will be etc. are important. If you are at the right place, at the right time you’ll be successful.
  2. No. I am not a persistent person, I want to see results in a short time place if I don’t I get discouraged then I give up.

I would say yes. A business can only be as successful as far as economical growth goes within any country. Without economical growth or health, a business can not develop and grow. Businesses need the support of a growing economy to be able to produce more, employ more people or to buy more assets etc. Without economical growth and support of a country’s government, businesses will merely survive and break even. So if a country is able to uphold economical growth and is able to grow even more in future, starting a business would then be considerable.

Yes ,it is very important to some extent. The failure or success of a business in the end depends on how the economic growth of the country
1)no, all the ,mistakes Patrick mentioned apply to my country
2)One mistake that is specific in my country is to never forget where you come from. Community is everything and as an entrepreneur you depend on costomers so that your business can be a success. Not giving back to the community and not remaining humble can have a huge impact on your business

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  1. Most of the mistakes mentioned could apply to any entrepreneur anywhere because, entrepreneurs probably face the same problems when it comes to starting their businesses. Their ideas wont work all the all the time and for this reason some entrepreneurs had an “I almost quit” experience.

  2. I believe that the mistakes to avoid when starting a business aren’t necessarily country specific. Majority of the mistakes mentioned are mistakes that are common amongst all humans, hence they should be considered when starting a small business.


  1. An American entrepreneur would be able to run a successful business in South Africa provided they do research about their target market and they have a business plan and follow correct measures to get their business registered.

  2. Now that I have knowledge regarding the mistakes that first time entrepreneurs make, theoretically speaking, I could be able to run a business in America.

1: I think that all the mistakes that were mentioned in Partick Bet-David’svideo will apply to any person in any country because they are common mistakes that anybody would be able to make regardless of the country that they are in.

2: A mistake a south African entrepreneur can make is to think that they can only employ schooled workers with some sort of education, but the fact is that if you employ people with no education you can help then develop and learn new skills that can help them get a better job or even start their own business one day one then also help other people and by doing this we can make South Africa a better place and improve the economy.


1: I think an American entrepreneur will be able to successfully run a small business in my country because we have the recourses to make it work and it would create job opportunities that will lead to fewer people being unemployed. There are a lot of unemployed people in my country and the American entrepreneur would not struggle to find people willing to work.

2: I think that I would be able to successfully run a small business in America, but it will require very hard work and a lot of capital because of the economic differences.

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  1. I feel that all the mistakes that were identified by Patrick Bet-David are all relevant and apply to starting a new business in my country. I think that entrepreneurship and the mistakes which can be made by an individual are all the same and experienced in the same way.

  2. Not having an optimistic attitude when dealing with certain problems in this country. Some times things happen for example the economy weakens and the market tumbles, you should always try to see the silver lining around the cloud in every situation.


  1. Yes, the industry and amount of different products sold in America equip certain American entrepreneurs with a new type of market savvy which could lead to new products and services being offered as South Africa is still a developing country.
  2. No, not as of yet. My understanding of the market is not as up to date as most the entrepreneurs of today.
  1. All the mistakes mentioned by Partick Bet-Davids apply to starting a business in S.A . These mistakes mentioned are simply mistakes all entrepreneurs can make regardless of their origin or background. A taste of success and flow of proper income can lead entrepreneurs in the making to fall into mistakes.

  2. A mistake not mentioned by the American is that to make sure you don’t try to make success of your business through shortcuts that might lead you to legal trouble such as corruption .This mistake should be avoided as it could damage the businesses reputation or even end it .

Other discussion ideas

  1. In my belief an American entrepreneur would be able to run a successful business in S.A . American entrepreneurs believe in themselves more than the South African entrepreneurs do in themselves .The fear of not succeeding is preventing many South African entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential as well as overcoming challenges their business faces.

2)No , well not this moment ,simply because I don’t have enough knowledge and insight on becoming an entrepreneur .


I think all 12 of the mistakes that Patrick Bet-David made in his first year of being an entrepreneur can be made in my country as well.
Some mistakes that South African entrepreneurs should try to avoid is not trying because they do not have money. There are so many ways to get the capital you need to start your business. e.g. loans, finding investors… South Africans sometimes think that entrepreneurs are only the people with big businesses and whom live flashy lifestyles, they forget that the people who sell things by the roadsides are also entrepreneurs and that if they work hard and plan properly that they can also grow and start their own businesses.

I think it would be hard for an American to start a business in SA because he would not know anything about the market or the wants or opportunities of this country.
I would also struggle to start a business in America, because all I know about business in this country is from what I’ve seen in movies. There are also so many people who want to go to America ‘‘The land of opportunities and dreams’’ to start their own small business. Unless there is really a need and want for my product in America it would be hard for me to succeed.
#bman111 #Bman111

Hi. I agree. Businesses sometimes forget to give back. Also a big problem in SA is customer service. Businesses make mistakes, but they do not place the necessary procedures in place to stop these mistakes from happening again. e.g. a well known chain restaurant in my home town has had many customers complain about the quality of their toast. The manager has not spoken to employees or passed the complaints up to the people up top. This mistake could be prevented by making sure toasters work and training the ‘chefs’ properly and having quality measures.

Concerning Patrick Bet-Davids mistakes
1.All of his mistakes are valid and most young entrepreneurs go through the same mistakes in my country, none of his mistakes are not applicable.

2.The one mistake I would avoid in my country is acting like a boss when you are not.The business hierarchy is very real and in my Country the government will not take kindly to someone who doesn’t follow their "way of thinking ".

3.I do not think an American entrepreneur would succeed in South Africa without a local citizen assisting them because the Economic climate here is very much different than that of America and we generally do not have the same culture and way of operating.

The same goes for a South African who would like to start a small business in America, both would need to stay in the Place and/or shadow a local citizen to learn how things are done in their respective countries because that will help alot even if there are alot of business opportunities in the country.

  1. Bet-David identified some rather important point that I think could have an impact on entrepreneurs in today’s world. I don’t think that these mistakes are centred on the origin, rather the business market as a whole. These 12 mistakes are his personal experience as a beginner entrepreneur.
  2. Read, S published an article for SME, South Africa. Where he states that lack of necessary research, knowledge and the X-factor are as per his opinion the common mistakes South Africans make when the start as an entrepreneur. In South Africans unsteady economic environment, knowledge is key and power. Knowing and asking for advice is necessary is you want to succeed.

Other ideas:

  1. My overall answer would be yes, but with the necessary sub-questions.
    Would he/she be able to operate in an environment such as South Africa with political and economic instability? Would he/she ask for advice when it comes to the cultural aspect of the South African market? I would like to think that any entrepreneur would challenge themselves to establish themselves in a market such as our own, especially Americans.
  2. Someday I would like to think I can. However at this stage of my life, establishing myself in a foreign market and being an entrepreneur in a progressive political, economic and technological country such as America would be a huge gamble. I don’t possess the necessary characteristics and knowledge to start a business, let alone in another country. So my answer to this would be no.