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.

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

Waiting for Sales? Don’t hold your breath…

Waiting for Sales?

“I’ve placed advertisements in all my local papers, got a website, printed awesome business cards and told everyone I know about my new business. For weeks now, I’ve been waiting and waiting and nothing has happened.”

Sound familiar? If it does, you need to keep on reading.

There is no such thing as waiting and waiting for sales. Your business will thrive if you have the correct attitude and approach to sales – but no successful salesperson worth their salt will advise you to wait patiently for your sales to happen. Selling requires action! It requires planning and a cycle of persistent, intelligent contact. Selling is one of those many aspects of your business that is a journey and not a destination. No business, regardless of how established it might be, can afford to take the view: There! Our sales are done! Your sales are never done. Continue reading

Low Carbohydrate Business Success

Lower carbohydrates can mean higher productivity

This article is about a self-experienced low carbohydrate business success. Lowered carbohydrates in the evenings impacted positively on personal and business life and affirmed the correlation between a healthy diet, sound sleeping habits, weight management and a clear mind.

I have always had enormous difficulty sleeping and know many others in the business world who also struggle to disengage gears and switch off at night. In fact, you are truly blessed if you have the ability to sleep well at night. Although I say “ability” as if the whole issue is one purely of genes and you either “have it or you don’t”, it is often a matter of teaching yourself better sleep habits. Many of these habits involve becoming aware of your lifestyle and they will not guarantee sound sleep in and of themselves; but at the very least, you can give yourself a good shot at it. Here, I’ll discuss just one, small, but critical adjustment you can make to your lifestyle which I hope makes a huge difference. Continue reading

Cash or Credit: Cash In Hand is Worth Two in the Books.

“Money is the key to financial success” David Kleinbard

Cash or Credit? Cash Every Time!

Everybody has heard the expression about a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush. The earliest known English version of this proverb is from an English translation of the Bible during 1382. The English are definitely not the only language and culture to have a proverb reinforcing the concept that a definite immediate gain is better than the mere possibility of more gain later. Simply put, rather be paid slightly less cash now than marginally more later. The decision will be “cash or credit” and until you feel you can start losing money on clients, the answer is cash! Continue reading

New Business Legal Expenses

“If law school is so hard to get through, how come there are so many lawyers?” Calvin Trillin

Spend less money earlier

Most people I know have heard one or other joke about lawyers, but dealing with lawyers is no joke. In any new business, legal expenses for the drafting of proper contracts and purchasing an accounting system  for accurate cash flow management, are cheaper than cleaning up a mess later.

It is an unpalatable truth that your business will inevitably seek legal assistance of one description or another. That may be in the form of litigating in court, having contracts drafted, legislative compliance or a myriad of other proactive or reactive matters. Let me assure you of the only guarantee I know of in law – it is expensive! Continue reading