Business Management

Your business is your economy

In business, it is important to focus on the things you can control rather than what is out of your hands. This article outlines the aspects that, as a business owners, you have control over and should therefore focus on, as well as the aspects you have no control over and should not disrupt your day-to-day business.

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10 uncommon tips for starting a business

There is no shortage of advice on how to successfully start a business and begin your journey as an entrepreneur. While this advice is helpful, it can give the false impression that there is a "perfect" formula for starting a business, which doesn't exist. Every entrepreneur will experience different entrepreneurial journeys. There is no "one size fits all". Here are 10 uncommon tips for starting a business that you may not have heard before.

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3 top tips for SME managers

Owning your own business means you have to be on the ball 24/7. You’ve got to keep your eye on the bottom line, know the ins and outs of your finances, as well as ensure your product or service is always of the highest quality. But that’s not all you have to think about. You’re also managing a team, no matter how small. You’re not just the boss, you’re the manager and you need to ensure your team is productive and working well. Here are three tips to help you manage it all.

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6 ways to improve communication etiquette and boost productivity

Long gone are the days when receiving text messages and emails were a novelty, celebrated by the receiver. In today’s technological age, most of us crave an hour or two in the day when we can escape our phones, tablets and laptops, either for a run on the mountain, or to go into strategic thinking mode and switch off from the outside world for a while. How many times a day do you let your phone distract you? Here are 6 tips on how to stay present and focused, without missing out on all the action.

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7 ways to be a better business person this year

No matter how good you are at running your business, you can do better. As a small business owner, you have to be pretty hands-on when it comes to the day-to-day handling of the company, which means you always need to be at the top of your game. This is the year you’re going to do that. Here are some tips on how to be a better business person.

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A loadshedding survival guide for your business

One thing which is uniting a diverse South Africa is our mutual disdain for loadshedding. The situation is annoying enough for individuals, but for your business it can be more than just an inconvenience. This article discusses how to make sure your business is not disrupted or that you have a contingency plan.

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All business owners need better writing skills

As a business owner you might think writing isn’t that important. You constantly have to manage all facets of your business and need to have an opinion on everything from how best to move your company forward to which brand of coffee your kitchen should stock. How could you possibly find the time to worry about your writing? But the fact is every piece of communication you send out says something about you. Here are some tips on how to improve your business writing.

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Business evaluation can lead to business optimisation

There is something to be said for making the time to investigate, evaluate and think about some critical elements impacting on the success of our businesses. These elements include service experience, business premises, staff, and the business image, which are discussed in this article.

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Do you know where to allocate business resources?

When starting and running a business, planning for the future (and multiple eventualities) is necessary to ensure the initial and continued success of your business. Continuous business planning therefore is advisable and widely-considered to be non-negotiable. This article focuses on navigating resource allocation in particular.

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Efficiency is everything

Successful organisations learn from their experiences, be it good or bad. Getting it right the first time is not always the outcome, although it is the ultimate intended outcome. Organisations that approach things with order, common sense, consistency and persistence will ultimately succeed. If you are going to deliver on your promise you have to learn to listen to what and how you may deliver on your promise. This message will come from your clients or customers. Here is why efficiency is everything.

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Everything small business owners need to know

Owning and running a small business is an impressive feat. For some, however, reaching this point can be difficult and confusing. You might not be sure of your business concept or you might still be figuring out how to manage your finances. But, if you follow these simple tricks and tips, you will become the success you have always dreamed of. Here is everything small business owners need to know.

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Financial resolutions for the coming year

As the end of the financial or business year approaches, it is a good idea and the ideal time to reflect on your business' finances and see what worked and what could have been done differently. This reflection will allow you to create resolutions for your business, to get it ready for the new year.

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Four tips for small businesses

Rudi Britz is the owner and founder of Waxing Buddy, a male waxing studio that is dedicated to helping men of all walks of life with their personal grooming and waxing. Rudi says he started out 14 years ago with a few small ventures including a mobile massage service for corporates but he soon realized there was a specific need for male grooming. Addressing this need, Rudi started Waxing Buddy in 2012. He shares the following invaluable tips for other entrepreneurs starting a small business.

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Get more customers than you can serve

You may have tried new ways of reaching prospective clients like using social media, more traditional ways of getting out there like distributing leaflets, focused on optimising your website, or you may have targeted networking events. There are many options available to reach out to your audience. However, none of your efforts will work if you are not very clear about the key elements of your plan. Here is how to grow your customer base by creating and implementing an effective plan.

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Get your business up and running – again

Many businesses have failed, and then succeeded, but it takes a smart entrepreneur to see the faults first and then implement a new strategy. Any business can be compared to a phoenix; rising from the ashes and coming out strong again. There is absolutely nothing that can keep an entrepreneur from moving forward and weathering the storm. Here are some tips to help you get your business up and running again.

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Getting a fresh start

As a business owner, the start of a new year is often an exciting time. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to reflect on the successes and learnings of the year gone by and feel re-energised to make the current year your best year yet. This article provides tips on how to make a success of this financial year.

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How automation can save you time

As an entrepreneur, small business owner, or manager, time is something you rarely have in great supply. Your time is taken up by all sorts of tasks on your to-do list, ranging from admin, to employee management, to business operations, and there are still fires needing to be put out regularly. Days often go by without you getting everything on your list done. Clearly, you need more time, and automating mundane tasks in your business can make this possible while also making your business more efficient.

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How digital workplaces better your employees and improve your business

Without employees, a business will not succeed. As a business owner, one of the most critical aspects of your role is, therefore, is to ensure your employees not only have what the need to do their jobs well, but are also sufficiently motivated to do and find satisfaction in the work that they do. Employee management is a multi-faceted and on-going task. This article explores one of those facets by looking at how introducing digital technology (and creating a digital workplace) leads to more motivated and satisfied employees.

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How outsourcing can help your small law firm grow

Running a small law firm can be difficult work. You have to ensure it is running smoothly at all times and that your clients are happy with your service. This can take a toll if you are also managing your own administrative duties as well as collecting documents. This article outlines the simple steps you can use to grow your small law firm.

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How to conduct an effective midyear review

By the midyear mark, businesses have six months of information to dictate where they need to reallocate resources and take corrective measures that will mitigate the impact of inefficiencies or ineffectiveness in the business during the second half of the year. Here are seven steps to an effective midyear review that will help you build on your strengths while eliminating any weaknesses.

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How to free up time at the office

Who couldn’t do with a few more hours in the day? Well, you don’t have to halt the sun’s trajectory to do that. Here are a few tips to loosen and free up the time that is tangled up unproductively. From simple tips like planning your day, to harder tasks (for many managers) like delegating, learning to say "no" when necessary, and refraining from micromanaging.

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How to get more customers to stop at your service station

In most cases, one service station is almost exactly the same as another. Everyone sells fuel. Everyone sells cold drinks and chips and magazines and juice and chocolates. Everyone sells airtime and has an ATM. Everyone has forecourt attendants and cashiers and food handlers providing relatively good service. So why would a customer deliberately drive to your service station and not go to one of your competitors? What would increase one site's capture rate above another?

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How to grow your business while saving money

There will inevitably come a time (or many) in your entrepreneurial journey when you begin to consider or actively try to grow your business. This time often occurs at a point where you may not have the financial resources to grow your business according to the plan you identified. However, that should not stop you from doing it anyway. These 8 tips will help you achieve business growth at a fraction of the cost.

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How to improve your small business

Running a successful business whether it is a small or big business requires you to put a lot of work and time into growing it. More so when your business is still starting out there are times when it will seem as if your business is not moving forward which might leave you feeling discouraged. However, you aren’t alone many small-scale businesses have a few problems which make it seem as if your business is stuck in the same place and not making any progress. Here are some tips on how you can improve your business.

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How to meet the expectations of your target market

Before we can meet and exceed the expectations of our clients, we first have to determine and re-examine what their real needs are. Once we have a crystal clear and factually-based perspective on this, we can determine if our products and services are meeting the identified needs and wants of our target market. Here are some tips to help you meet the expectations of your identified target market.

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How to progress your business

The point of departure with this article is that you have already developed an empowering vision and crystal clear mission statement for your business. (If not, read this article). With these strategic elements intact, we will focus on the current reality of the elements which all have a bearing on the realisation of the strategic goals of the business. Read on for more guidance on how to realise the goals you have set for your business.

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How to refurbish your business

For many South Africans, running a business can be challenging. The first challenge is to get your small business off the ground. Once your business starts doing well, there will be technological advances and refurbishments that you would need to undertake. It is understandable that you would want to keep up with these changes. Technology is growing and changing at an increasingly fast pace and it can be difficult to keep up, especially since these improvements requires money. Here are some tips for refurbishing your business.

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How to relocate your business to another city

Relocating your business is never a move to take lightly. Moving your business to another location in town is tricky in itself. If you’re relocating to a whole other city though, the difficulties and considerations are compounded. This is especially the case if said city is in another province or country. Here are some tips to make the process of relocation as smooth as possible.

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Managing a company across different time zones

People telling others about their positive experiences of your business, sends a far more powerful marketing message than any advertisement. Word of mouth is credible, personal and admiring. The best advertising cannot match that. Word of mouth is also free, so it is a great marketing medium and deserves more attention than it normally gets. Here are some tips on how to manage your business across time zones.

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Pivoting your business

What do you do when you realise your current business model just isn’t working? What do you do when your customers or clients respond in an unexpected way? What do you do when you find out that the product or service you’ve been offering is competing against too many giants? You pivot, that’s what you do. You get your core team together and you shift your strategy. You roll with the punches and move in a different direction. Here's how.

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Plan differently to get better results

There is so much to keep in mind that things can easily go wrong. And they do go wrong – this I’ve seen over and over in the more than 20 years that I’ve been supporting, coaching and training entrepreneurs. However, it does not need to be difficult to plan to increase the likelihood of great results. In fact, the simpler your business plan, the better your results. Read on to find out why this is the case.

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Putting processes in place for your SME

Businesses that don’t have definite processes don’t often last very long. Processes turn chaos into manageable scenarios. They ensure everything is being done at the right time and by the right people. If you don’t have the correct processes in place, mix ups happen, things go wrong and clients or customers end up being unhappy. So, here are some things to consider when creating processes for your SME.

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Recommended reading: Of Course You Can!

Of Course You Can! is a practical guide to starting and managing your own successful business in South Africa, written by Brian Adams. The book covers terminology; swot analysis; taking your idea to market; image and branding; banking and finance; statutory returns; working from home; and so much more. The book also provides notes pages, as well as space to complete self-assessments on some of the material.

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Set goals for your business

Goal-setting is crucial to the success of any business, but is particularly important for entrepreneurs who can become distracted without focus. Goals direct actions, give you something to aim for, and can serve as a yardstick for measuring your business' success. The way you approach goal-setting will determine whether you are able to attain your goals. That said, if you tend to avoid goal-setting, these tips should help.

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SME trends to take note of

SMEs are breaking ground and getting noticed, as evidenced by the influx of investments last year. South Africa is recognising the importance SMEs play in the local economy, and now is a good time for your small to medium enterprise to be in business. While it might be a good time for SMEs, it’s beneficial to keep abreast of trends so that it’s still a good time for your business tomorrow.

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Strategic alliances, motivation, and productivity are the result of quality connections

To inspire motivation and productivity in our businesses, we need to connect to the right aspirations and the right people – in the right way. As individuals we have 3 critical connectors. As business leaders we have 3 platforms on which to connect effectively for sound business structuring and growth. This article looks at how you can leverage these 3 connectors and 3 platforms to structure and grow your business.

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Taking stock of your performance

At calendar year end many companies take stock of all inventory items. Taking stock of how your company performed against your plan is even more important. Pull out the business plan you completed earlier in the year and make a comparison between what was planned and what actually happened. Of course, if you never create a business plan, you cannot do this and you should take note of Dave Ramsay’s wise words “A goal without a plan is just a dream”. Stop dreaming, plan, and implement.

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The 5-step plan to improve your business

Perform a simple exercise every month that will help you make the best of your business. The 5 Step Plan involves 5 easy and simple steps that you must commit yourself to execute every month, to improve your business. You don’t need a consultant or a business analyst to do this for you – nobody can do it better than yourself – nobody knows your business better than yourself! Call it your monthly strategic planning session. Here's how to get started.

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The best apps and online tools for your small business

Technology has changed the business landscape and the ways in which customers prefer to access and consume products as well as interact and engage with businesses. In this digital age, embracing great online tools and apps can really transform your small business in many ways. This article lists some of the digital tools you can use to remain competitive.

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The secret all successful SMEs know

HR can make or break your business. However, small, micro, and medium enterprises (SMMEs) often wait for something to go wrong before they consult an HR specialist. Putting a few basic policies and procedures in place from the outset could save you both time and anxiety. This article looks at tips to help you handle all things HR-related in your business.

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The value of reflection to improve business results

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley. These are very sobering words and make us realise that we might be chasing the next deal without giving sufficient thought to the ability of our business and infrastructure to meet and exceed client expectations. We continuously need to sharpen the proverbial saw. Here is a value chain perspective to consider when reflecting about your business endeavours.

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Tips for managing organisational change

There is no getting around it: the traditional models of the past have no place in today’s fast-paced business environment. Those careerists at the top who expect to remain in those positions until retirement are deluding themselves. Unless you are prepared to recognise change and take the necessary steps to embrace it, you will very soon find yourself out in the cold. The last thing an employer wants is for staff to leave, so it is important that change is managed properly. Here are some handy pointers for overseeing the reform process.

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Township entrepreneurs: what you need to know about never missing a sale again

Township Entrepreneurship offers an invaluable opportunity and avenue of entry into a sector that has historically been largely inaccessible to historically-marginalised people. Whether you run a tavern, lounge, hair salon or general dealer we understand what you want from your business. You want to make money; you want to be competitive; you want to move your goods quickly; and, most importantly, you never want to miss a sale. Here's how you can do just that.

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What roles do you fulfill in your business?

“It often happens that I wake at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up and remember that I am the Pope.” – Pope John Paul XXIII. Like people, your business also has different roles to fulfill. It is important to know exactly what those roles are, because someone (a person or a team) in your business must take responsibility for this specific aspect, otherwise it is not seen to.

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What to do in tough economic times

Recently I asked the 15 finalists and winners of the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Competition, sponsored by Sanlam and Business Partners, to tell me what they do to ensure that their businesses survive and thrive in the current difficult economic environment. Their responses varied, underlying the fact that no single “recipe” works for all businesses. Each business owner needs to carve out and implement the element mix which is optimal for their business. This article will focus on the more generic elements.

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Why are communication skills important in management?

Not sure why you need to be a good communicator? Well, being a manager means that you have to do more than, well, manage people. You need to be able to communicate clearly and build a relationship with your colleagues and employees. If you do not improve your interpersonal and communication skills, you might find that your employees are unable to speak to you about issues they might be facing. Outlined in this article are just some of the reasons why communication is important to management.

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Why you should consider complaint line management services for your business

As much as we would like to believe our business is the best and offers our clients the service they deserve. There are times when things can go horribly wrong during the customer journey and it is sometimes out of our hands. This is where customer complaint line management services come in. There are many reasons why your business should consider customer complaint line management services and there are many benefits that come with it. Here is why you should consider an outsourcing service for your business.

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