What Benefit is There for the Entrepreneur Joining the Progress Project?

The essence of any decision by aspiring, young South African business people will surely be: What benefit is there for the entrepreneur joining the Progress Project? What is in it for you and what can we do for you? Continue reading

Amway, Hamburgers and Freemasons

I am running out of space at the bottom of our garden next to the swimming pool filter-box. You see, that is where I bury the bodies of all friends and associates who have tried to con me into joining their Amway scams.

Many years ago, a former friend whose remains now fertilise a beautiful rose bush, lead me on a tale of cunning and deceit matched only by those Jason Bourne movies. All questions I posed about this mysterious meeting we were to have with an acquaintance of hers were met with the most carefully scripted replies. Had the CIA flown in under cover of darkness and zipped her off to Guantanamo Bay for endless weeks of interrogation, they would have been no wiser than I was and would have ended up at the only place worse than Guantanamo Bay – an Amway meeting. Continue reading

Summary of the Process for Approval to Join The Progress Project

The process for approval to join and benefit from joining the Progress Project is easy, but designed to protect the entrepreneur.

  1. Submit a basic business idea to establish the uniqueness of the proposal.
  2. Brief online or telephonic assessment of the appropriateness of the Progress Project as mentor.
  3. Signing a Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement to protect the intellectual property rights in the idea of the entrepreneur.
  4. Quantifying the mentorship and leadership requirements and contribution.
  5. Quantifying the financial investment and methods of funding required and achievable.
  6. Decision on progressing with the project proposal of the entrepreneur.
  7. Drafting of basic business plan for presentation and identification of appropriate business type.
  8. Meeting potential key stakeholders, contributors and investors.
  9. Viability decision and creation of time frame deadlines for project.
  10. Secure and make available initial funds to the entrepreneur.
  11. Completion of legal paperwork to establish business.
  12. Establish new business.
  13. Ongoing guidance, expertise and knowledge sharing between the Progress Project and the entrepreneur.

At this stage, the process for approval is competed and the entrepreneur’s new business start up is underway. The entrepreneur has funds and expertise available, a comprehensive course of action plotted out and the business tools necessary to start up and successful business.

Risk of Somebody else Starting a Business in Your Name

Start a Business

I was recently asked: Should I let somebody put their business in my name? A further catch, was that the third party who wanted to use another’s name to set up a business was a family member with a failed business with negative financial information and ratings.

Should you accept the Risk of Somebody Else Starting a Business in Your Name?

Do not let somebody else start a business or put their venture in your name. At the outset, and as harsh as this may sound, there is probably a reason why that other person’s current business has lawsuits and debts against it… Whether that situation came about as a result of bad luck, bad management or a combination, you would be very exposed in your personal finances if you allow them to put the new business in your name. Continue reading

Ongoing Learning for Entrepreneurs

Feed your Brain with Knowledge

The human brain feeds on knowledge and will be happiest and most useful if it is learning something new on a regular basis. Ongoing learning for entrepreneurs and executives is the most beneficial tool for improving your chances of achieving business success.

The knowledge that provides food for your brain does not need to be of the traditional sort. What this means, is that you do not need to undertake mammoth projects at an institute for tertiary education. You do not need to take on a two or three year course, such as a Masters degree, if you are not keen to devote that term of commitment to a learning project.

Many aspiring and current business people have an enormous work load and little available time, whether their commitments be to family, work, gym, social contributions or any combination of these and others. This makes the prospect of longer-term study unattractive, to the extent that often, they shy away from study entirely. But, ongoing learning for entrepreneurs will bring a host of benefits, not least of which is to keep all areas of your brain active. Continue reading

Apprenticeships are Real Education

Apprenticeships are Real Education Accessible to All

Formal education, or rather the complete lack of it, will become the current South African government’s greatest legacy. It will be nothing to be proud of and is a tragedy of the greatest proportions. I am a firm proponent that apprenticeships are real education and that  vocational training is a realistic part of the solution for millions of unemployed youth in Africa.

Unfortunately, as I ponder this article, it occurs to me that it would be dangerously easy to move into a diatribe against the educational crisis in South Africa and place newspapers filled with the odorous mixture of doggy-doo and responsibility at the relevant doors. But I will tread cautiously. Continue reading

Control Your Business and get into the driver’s seat

Control your Business

This article is about encouraging you to control your business affirmatively. It rejects the concept of passivism in business success and embraces positive, if unorthodox, steps.

Get into the driver’s seat

A common complaint amongst small business owners is that they have no control over a situation and feel like they are just a passenger to a lousy destination. This can happen in a variety of situations, whether it is large customers pushing for extended credit terms and stretching your cash flow or staff pushing unreasonable demands upon the employer. Most of you will have felt pushed at some stage and wondered Why is this happening to me?  Beware of feeling a victim of your circumstances, as this is tremendously disempowering regardless of the challenge.  It might be more useful to think How is this happening and how do I stop it? Let me use a quick example. Continue reading

Bad Business Systems Cost Pizza

“Don’t worry, head. The computer will do all the thinking from now on.” Homer Simpson

Bad business systems are expensive

I’m a control freak and admit that quite freely. That is not to say that I’m unaware of the value of delegating tasks to others, but simply that I delegate reluctantly.

Quite apart from my other limitations, this reluctance is a reality that I constantly negotiate to negate any adverse effect on business ventures. If you, too, are reluctant to hand over the reins of control in various departments of your business, I have found that it is easier to do so when you have effective control and business systems in place. These systems will give you the ability to manage aspects of your business with less direct involvement, by isolating and summarising important information, with various red flags that can pop up and alert you of danger ahead. Continue reading