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
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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
“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
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
“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
“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
“The spring and autumn time-changes should happen at noon so we don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to adjust all our clocks” Russell Beland
“I was picked for my motivational skills. Everyone always says they have to work twice as hard when I’m around.” Homer Simpson
Do you think your staff are people, too?
Businesses always comprise numerous components, one of which is often referred to as staff, or even more clinically, as human capital. This generically termed component, as with others such as machinery, products, finances, information technology and the like, does not give due regard to its complexity. Understanding that your staff are people goes beyond merely having sound HR practices in place.
Your staff are people: individuals with beliefs, cultures, languages, aspirations and personalities, as just a few examples; but there also exist certain group aspects, emotions, pressures and behaviour. The massive field of human resources and shifting management trends, approbating and reprobating on the recognition of the value attributed to human capital, should be indicative of the attention that must be paid to understanding the “staff” aspect of your business. Continue reading