Business wellbeing

Stay relevant to stay in business

The way you run your business is often based on what you believe made it a success in the first place. Your plan of action is based on the credence that what worked in the past will work in the future. As long as this philosophy works its fine, but to what extent does is actually work? When I visit entrepreneurs and start asking questions about their business model, how long they have been in business and why they think their business is still...
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Growing your business

If your business is established, you already know the ins and outs of your business environment. However, with market trends changing as often as they do, it is important to stay abreast with these changes and keep your options open. With the SME environment becoming increasingly competitive, it's important to keep an eye out for new opportunities and possibilities. If expanding your business is something you want to explore, here are some tip...
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It’s time to prepare for the second half

For a spectator of a game of football, the half-time break is merely a chance to stock up on some beer, but for the captains, the coaches and the players, it is a crucial few minutes of reviewing and tweaking their game plan. In a similar way, businesses that do not use some time in the middle of the year to reflect and plan are running the risk of losing the game, says David Morobe, regional general manager of Business Partners. The questions a...
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Avoiding the pitfalls of an uncertain business world

As Youth Month comes and goes every year, the lamentations over South Africa's high youth unemployment reach a crescendo, together with calls on young people to start their own businesses. But somehow not enough is ever said about the serious survival gear needed by anyone venturing into their own business. The business world is an uncertain place, says Byron Jeacocks, Business Partners regional general manager, who, as an experienced financier ...
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Real cost of absenteeism in SA’s workplace

Absenteeism, an employee’s intentional or habitual absence from the workplace, is a growing issue for many South African businesses due to the knock-on effect it creates for productivity, staff morale and a company’s bottom line. According to Christo Botes, Executive Director of Business Partners Limited, while the impact on larger corporations can be significant, the consequence of regular absenteeism for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) ...
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Power of business mentorship lies in finding the right match

When asked how important having a mentor is when it comes to the development and growth of a business, Business Partners Limited SME Index respondents rated the average importance level as 73%. According to Lionel Billings, Head of Consulting Services for Business Partners Limited, who matches quality business mentors with business owners, all new business owners, or entrepreneurs, should find a mentor to assist and guide them on in their busines...
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Business advice forged by the fire of experience

Frances Wright became a business advisor by mistake; or rather, by mistakes – many of them - which she had made when she was running a community radio station in the nineties. They were the typical mistakes most business owners make. Since then, Wright has seen the same situation in countless other businesses – constant crises, high turnover of staff and customers, and miserable, overwhelmed business owners. They all stem from pretty much t...
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Riding the roller coaster of seasonal fluctuations

The inherent seasonality of some businesses is neatly illustrated by the way accommodation establishments take turns at feast and famine in South Africa. At certain times of the year, a great wave of bed-and-breakfast customers pushes inland as they travel to the economic hub of Gauteng on business while coastal beds stand empty. But come holiday season, the wave rushes outwards and the coastal establishments get to feast while the Gauteng accomm...
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Build your own support network

The business support landscape in South Africa for young entrepreneurs is like the business world itself: it is teeming with opportunities, but you will have to seek them out yourself and build your own support network. Nobody is going to hand it to you on a silver platter. For decades, various spheres of government, corporates and development organisations have been setting up “one-stop shops”, “help desks” and “local business service ...
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Crisis management: 5 tips for getting through an office pickle

Starting your own business will bring about some challenges; learning how to manage a crisis situation is a trait you’ll need to master quickly. Here are five tips to get through an office pickle. 1. Stay calm No matter what the crisis is you need to take a step back before you react and take a deeper look at the issue at hand. Reacting immediately could lead to even more issues – keep your cool, identify the issue and find the solution. 2. B...
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