Growing a small tech business in South Africa

I have a small business of my own that launched in October 2004.  When I started working on it in about June or July 2004 I was so excited about it.  After a fair sized payment to my web developer we got it off the ground and I soon had my first subscribers.  In the beginning I had grand ideas about how the business should be run.  My prices were half my closest competitor (well, the ones who were charging at any rate) and the site design was simple.  About 5 months later I have come to the realisation that my target market doesn’t want what I offered.  It was a really tough realisation.

I also realised that my web developer didn’t share my vision for the site and we parted ways.  When I met with new developers (the guys I now use for my hosting and development work), I came to see that for my venture to work, I need to turn the whole thing upside down.  This requires a complete redevelopment of the site to do it properly and that, of course, requires money.  Lots of it (certainly considering that the site isn’t producing much and I am funding this myself).

Once the disillusionment and unfortunate depression began to lift and I started to focus on the site once more (this involved a narrowing of my focus to one project from the 3 or 4 projects which I began to think about) it became clear that I must do more homework and I have to locate some seed funding to get the show on the road.  There is no point putting up an OK site or even a site that is like the rest.  One thing I have learned from my extensive (sic) blogging career is that your site has to be distinguishable from the rest and has to be dynamic if you hope to attract people to it and keep them coming back.  I am going through some older posts on Mena’s Corner and reading what she said about the different levels of funding Six Apart has taken on to develop and grow over the years.  I really admire what Mena and Ben did with their company and the awesome business they now run.  In many ways, I look to their stories for inspiration.

My question is how a small business owner goes about locating what may still be or was called Venture Capital these days?  Money tends to make things happen far faster and more effectively.  To me, it has become the oil that lubricates the many ideas that could become brilliant realities and help me make my business really great.

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