Category Archives: Business improvement

The team behind your success

A3A business team that runs smoothly and is well-coordinated can be instrumental in promoting your business’s long-term growth and success. Consider this when putting a dream team together.

Success is brought about by a solid business team. Once you have built your business team and it runs smoothly, you can focus on working on your business instead of in it. You now have the freedom to step back from running the day-to-day operations and focus on strategic planning, improving your products and services and increasing your market share. These are the activities that will improve business growth and success in the long term.

The installation of a well-coordinated team, including dedicated staff, outsourced vendors, suppliers and lawyers is instrumental in attaining success. Shari Gould wrote an article in which she discussed the steps to building a successful small business team.

You have to start by thoroughly understanding your business process in order to figure out which people you will need on your team. It is obvious which employees you will need right from the start, but don’t forget the all-important service providers, suppliers and maintenance staff who keeps everything running smoothly. The delivery of quality goods and services is imperative for a successful business, so make sure your vendors share that goal with you. Select vendors according to their dedication to your budget and to delivering on time every time. Entice better co-operation by offering them something extra to get faster or better service.

It is important that everyone in your company understands the timeline – from receiving the goods to delivery to clients. Prioritise the steps and make posters of them, which you put up at strategic sites in your business.

A good contract lawyer is essential to any successful business team. Create and review contracts between your company and your vendors, so that money can be saved by your lawyer in the case of any future contractual legal disputes.

Learn from your competition. Acquire some of their products and use their services to find out what they are up to and where their strengths and weaknesses are. Learn from that to improve your own enterprise.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. 

 

When it comes to strategy, size doesn’t matter

1To create a strategic roadmap for your business you don’t need heaps of wonderful resources; you only need to give up your preconceived ideas about strategy and open your mind. Sometimes the thing that holds a small business back the most is small thinking. If you believe that the size of your business is a disadvantage when it comes to strategic planning, simply because the big companies have all the financial resources and manpower to influence the market, then why start a business at all? Fortunately money or size of personnel is not what counts when you create a strategic plan – common sense is. Pedro Hernandez interviewed business experts who agreed that company size is not a strategic disadvantage, but rather something which enables you to change direction faster than the large companies. Put on your strategic-thinking hat and develop the following ideas:

Keep your enthusiasm in check

You don’t need to strategise constantly; rather make sure that you understand the market conditions and that you have attainable goals – don’t waste time on too much planning. Business author Kaihan Krippendorff suggests that you use your company’s small size to out-manoeuvre larger, slower companies by addressing challenges and options and seizing opportunities over short but regular spaces of time.

Challenge assumptions

Believing in the status quo is not part of a successful entrepreneur’s strategy. The business climate is constantly changing with the help of the Internet, social media and other mobile devices. Many companies have landed on the business rubbish dump because they could not adapt to changing times. Question everything. Krippendorff suggests that you play devil’s advocate with your new ideas, then get your team together and devise plans to make the idea viable. Ignore preconceived notions about what can or cannot work – while some business principles are a given, very few business ideas are completely useless.

Avoid myopia

Joe Fuster, senior Vice-president of global sales for SAP Cloud believes that you can build a sales strategy based on the outcome you desire. Don’t miss out on good opportunities because you are too caught up in day-to-day activities to think outside the box and re-examine your progress. Change your perspective and get your team to think in more creative, profitable ways.

Jack (or Jane) be nimble, eager and bold

The market and the needs of customers keep changing, and it’s beyond your control. What you can control, however, is how you adjust to these changes and what new plans you create. Be bold in your new approach and keep an open mind as to the unconventional ways in which to grow.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Cost management: 7 Tips for cutting business expenses

AIt is important for every business owner to make a maximum profit, both through sales and by maintaining strict financial discipline within the company. Implement sound practices from the start, and you will reap the benefits later. These seven tips on cost management will be beneficial for your small enterprise.

 1. Watch expenses from day one.

 You might think that overspending during the first few months after opening your doors is forgivable, but discipline is needed right from the start. Spend money only on the necessary and always look for cheaper alternatives. Money saved now will reap rewards later.

 2. Don’t confuse business and personal expenses.

When getting ready for tax season, file your personal and business expenses separately. Be honest and keep your accounting books clean to avoid enquiries from SARS.

 3. Keep detailed and accurate purchasing records.

Accurate record keeping helps you manage your business expenses effectively. Record every purchase, from the smallest to the largest, so that it becomes the custom for everyone in the company. In this way you can see where your money is going and you can cut back if necessary.

 4. Shop around for a low-interest credit card.

As a small business there is the possibility of acquiring a credit card with low interest rates, so visit different banks and find the right one for you. Your card should assist you in expanding your business without the worries of growing debt from high interest rates.

 5. Run reports early and often.

Review your expenses on a weekly basis so that any additions will be picked up immediately. Do this right from the start and include every aspect of your business, including salaries and any new expenses you might have incurred. This is easier than having to backtrack later.

 6. Invest in technology that will last.

Don’t try to save money on inferior technology; rather buy better quality and save on repairs and replacement costs in the long run. You will get more value from the better product and it is also tax-deductible.

 7. Continue financial responsibility.

The skill of budgeting effectively and saving money is imperative for launching a business. Don’t stop saving money after a while; continue to do so and expect the same from your employees. Growing a business is only possible when you accept your financial responsibility. By using these cost management tips your business will become financially more flexible as it expands.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.