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

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

Your Staff are People Too, you know! Embrace That Reality.

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

Start Learning Successful Business

Welcome to our business success site!

Join in my business experiences and share your business success with readers. This site is to encourage readers to start learning – successful business will follow.

We hope to encourage sharing and learning – the author is fortunate to have been educated at secondary and tertiary levels, but the most important lessons were those learned in everyday life and the reality of running a business. Our belief is that the learning is out there and available for distribution if enough of us are willing to give time to those who need to learn from our skills; or use our time wisely to absorb knowledge from our business elders. Continue reading