How to Build A Successful Business or South African Entrepreneurs?
Starting a business and becoming successful is often part of the American Dream. But there is a difference between starting a business and building a successful business. Many businesses fail within the first few years of existence due to the lack of planning for the long-term. South African Entrepreneurs in Sandton there is not enough vision and there is not enough done to strengthen the business properly from the ground up.
If you want to start a business there is an easy way to get a better understanding of why some businesses fail and others don’t. When starting a business think about it similar to building a house. If done right it is protecting you against any kind of storm or danger of the outside world and will last for a long time. It offers shelter and protection. For you and your business that could be translated to that you want to have a business that is able to weather economical ups and downs (=storm) and that will provide income to pay the bills (shelter and protection).
When building a house there are several different steps you need to follow to have the house build. You know you want a house, but you got to pick a location and get an architect to plan everything out. In the business world that would be: you know you want to start a business, but you have to come up with a business idea and work out a business plan. The next thing for the house would be to build the foundation (and eventually the basement) for the house. In the business world – you got to build the initial infrastructure (example: connecting with vendors, find a manufacturer for your product, create a sales team, rent office space, get a delivery truck, etc.). Once that is in place you able to actually do business and earn some money. But you are not completely done yet. You need to build a frame, put in windows and you also need a roof on house. For your business this means that you pay off debt, improve business processes and get professional help when needed (example: find a tax accountant, select a payroll service, etc.).
Once the house is build you probably want to fill it with furniture and make it livable for the future. Nobody wants to sleep on the floor, right. Again translating this to the business world it could mean that you invest money you earned back into your business. You buy machinery instead of leasing it. Eventually you buy a building, hire more staff, develop more products, move into new markets, build up a high cash reserve, and buy other businesses and so forth. This is often the step where winners and losers separate. Re-investing money into the business is a key factor for success. If you go and spend all the money on your own salary to buy things you have nothing to go back to when the economy slips into a recession or if disaster strikes.
The successful business owner has build up a cash reserve or can borrow money from bank – securing loans with the assets of the business. Going back to building a house this pretty much matches the same efforts. You pay off your mortgage and have equity available to eventually borrow against when emergency arises. Emergencies do not include paying off credit cards to use them again or to buy a car. Financially responsible you should be looking at the long term and not finance short-term goods with long-term debt.
Interesting Facts About South African Entrepreneurs in Review:
About South African Entrepreneurs in Review:
How many new products and inventions can you dream up with in thirty minutes? At least a few if you know the techniques of innovation and creative problem solving. The following are thirty minute's worth, with some notes at how they were arrived at.
New Products and Inventions From Old
A fast way to invent new things is to start with existing concepts and find new applications. With the concept of inflatable things, the first thing that comes to my mind is inflatable shelters for emergency situations, such as after earthquakes or hurricanes. Such shelters could be transported easily, and erected quickly with a simple air pump. A basic large tent design, but with inflatable ribs instead of poles might work.
We can always find new products and inventions for babies. Inflatable cribs or playpens come to mind. Deflated, they could be folded up and stored almost anywhere. A simple design for a playpen might be a plastic floor with a simple wall that surrounds it and is attached to it. Think of air mattresses for swimming, set on their sides, connected end to end and wrapped into a circle and you'll get the idea.
When we used to go "tubing" down rivers in Michigan, we were forever trying new ways to carry a cooler with us while keeping it convenient to get a soda or beer out of it. A solution could be an inflatable bar. It might have a cooler built into it, have can and glass holders, and maybe even a secure place to set snacks. It could be used in a pool, lake or river.
Many people drive into water and die each year. One solution to this problem might be inflatable flotation that is activated when the car begins to sink. They would quickly inflate in an accident involving submersion, and would keep the car afloat. Put one in the trunk, and another inside the car, or have them come out from the wheel wells. To avoid accidental inflation, the triggering device would be activated by water, but be in a place where rain and car washing water couldn't reach.
Vending Machine Products and Inventions
When I considered the concept of vending machines, the first thing that came to mind was a beer machine. It could only be used in a bar that was restricted to adults, of course. A big benefit is that it would lessen the need for bartenders, since half of all the drinks sold in a bar are just simple beers. It is an innovation that could be implemented tomorrow, using beer in cans in existing pop machines.
A vending machine for books and magazines might do decent business in an airport, bus station or other places where people are forced to sit for hours. They may already exist, but I haven't seen them yet. Add some padding to the drop chute, and existing snack vending machines could be used.
They sell phone cards everywhere now, but I haven't yet seen them in vending machines. You could also sell those collapsible umbrellas from a machine. There are dozens of other things that could be profitably sold from vending machines. Use simple techniques like this extension of existing concepts, and there are also thousands of other new products and inventions waiting to be made.
South African Entrepreneurs in Review
One of the greatest time wasters of all are unnecessary or poorly run meetings. If you want to dramatically improve your time management skills, then learn how to have productive meetings.
"Brian" is the Operations Manager in a large corporation. Every Monday morning, his CEO has a managers' meeting .
This is what usually occurs:
The agenda is circulated the day before which means the managers have little time to prepare.
The meeting always starts late as the CEO will wait for latecomers. In fact, he's often late.
A couple of the managers tend to "waffle on". The CEO who chairs the meeting is not assertive enough to keep them on track.. He's also a 'waffler'.
Most of the managers sit there, bored out of their brains for a majority of the time. They also get stressed as they feel they are wasting time listening to the "wafflers".
As the CEO does not schedule a regular "catch up" time with each individual manager, many unnecessary issues are also discussed.
If this describes some of the meetings you convene then how about taking action and ensure from now on that they are highly productive.
If you're like "Brian" and you would have difficulty suggesting to others how they could improve their meetings, then I suggest you pass this newsletter on to them. Effective time management also includes effective meeting management.
"You'll do so much you'll be surprised when you get your meetings organised"
9 Ways to Improve Your Time Management by Having Super Productive Meetings
Ask yourself, is this meeting really necessary?
Do you need a face-face meeting? A phone call, email or conference call might be a better solution.
Invite as few people as possible
Only have the necessary participants attend.
Have a written agenda with clear objectives
Ensure it is circulated well in advance to those attending. Indicate timeframes allowed to discuss each item.
Double check the meeting venue has been organised the day before
If refreshments are supplied include water and fruit. Ensure the meeting area is quiet with no distractions.
Start and finish on time
Respect your time and everyone else's.
Have an effective chairperson
Unsure who to choose? At the beginning of the meeting count up to three. At three, each participant points to the person they believe will keep the meeting on track.. The person with the most votes is elected.
Circulate the minutes within 48 hours
Ensure all actions have the appropriate person written next to them.
Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes
It's good for your mind and body.
Ensure all mobile phones and pagers are turned off
It's amazing - people have been known to survive without their phones and live to tell the tale.
Good time management is also about using your time wisely when attending meetings. If you can enforce these guidelines, you'll be happy to attend future meetings knowing that your time isn't being wasted.
The 6 Essential Traits Of Successful Entrepreneurs
Does your business needs an outside accountant?
It all depends. If you require an audited or reviewed financial statement, then, yes, you need a CPA. In any event, it is always a good idea to maintain a relationship with an accountant no matter how small your business. Whether your accountant is a CPA is up to you. The real question is: To what extent do you need outside accounting services? That also depends on you and the nature of your business.
I always start with the admonition: The Buck Stops With You! You cannot afford to dissociate yourself from understanding the meaning of your financial statements. If you solely rely on your accounting staff or accountant for completely accurate financial data, then you are asking for trouble. If you are going to own or manage a business, then you have a responsibility to learn how to speak the language of business. The language of business is accounting knowledge.
How involved you become in the accounting process will be determined by time schedules, your mental pre-disposition, desire for control, cash flow, etc. One scenario, if you can afford it, is to hire an internal accounting staff to prepare financial statements on a monthly basis and have an external accountant check them over. Another common scenario is to prepare part of the compilation yourself, such as preparing a sales journal and a cash disbursements journal, and then hire an outside accountant to prepare a bank reconciliation and the financial statements for you. Some do this on a monthly basis, others quarterly. Some business owners do the books themselves all year and turn them over to the accountant at the end of the year to verify the balances and do the depreciation entry for tax purposes.
There are numerous ways to work with an accountant. Regardless, you should learn enough about accounting to be able to communicate intelligently with your accountant. Since you are intimately involved in your business you may recognize danger signals that not even your accountant will see.
Selecting an accountant
Relying on the yellow pages to find an accountant can be risky. The best way to find any professional is by a referral. However, you need to interview prospective accountants before signing on. One of the first priorities is to find out what their experience level is. Your business may have very specific accounting and tax issues that require a certain amount of expertise. Perhaps you have a manufacturing concern. What does the accountant know about raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods inventory accounting? Does the accountant know how to set up job-costing and overhead burdens? Ask for references from other like-kind businesses.
Keep in mind, that you may go to an established firm with a good reputation, but with whom are you going to have a relationship? Is your account large enough to warrant a relationship with a partner? You need to feel confident with the person assigned to your account. Perhaps a smaller firm with four or five accountants who are all seasoned veterans might work better.
You will also want someone with whom you can relate. The ability to communicate is a crucial factor. Your accountant may be technically proficient but can you understand what he or she is telling you? Does he or she listen when you ask questions? Don’t be afraid to ask for someone else if you are having difficulty communicating.
Another important criterion is “accessibility”. Is your accountant too busy to talk to you? Can you get your questions answered within a reasonable period of time? Do you feel important to him or her? Situations may arise where you need information immediately to make an important business or tax decision, will your accountant respond quickly?
Last, but not least, are the accountant’s billing practices. Billing practices vary from firm to firm. Some firms are very aggressive and put tremendous pressure on staff and partners to bill every minute they can. Some firms require a review process before any work goes out the door. This means that every person who performs any work on your account, including the person who puts the stamp on your envelope, bills you for it.
Find out in advance what happens if you call the firm to ask a simple question that takes less than five minutes to answer. Are you billed for five minutes or are you billed in increments of fifteen minutes even though you only talked for five? Some firms justify this increment billing by explaining that you are paying for the accountant’s expertise that may have taken years to acquire, therefore, they say, it’s worth it.
Some accounting practitioners charge a flat rate for services rendered or a combination of flat services and hourly charges. For instance, an accountant might charge $200 a month to prepare a monthly financial statement but charge $100 an hour for special projects. Within the monthly fee, the client can call to ask questions that last fifteen minutes or less for no additional charge. This way the client is not reticent about calling. Getting your question answered may prevent little problems from later becoming bigger more expensive problems.
Very often projects take longer to complete than anticipated. Complications arise and the practitioner should be paid for his or her work. Always insist that, if there are going to be additional charges over and above what has been agreed upon, that the accountant gets your approval first. Be sure to clarify these procedures before engaging an accountant in an “engagement letter”. This is a document that spells out the responsibilities of both parties and how the relationship is going to work.
Remember, there is absolutely no reason to be intimidated by your accountant. After all, you are paying for the services, and I promise you, the accountant wants your business.
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