Monthly Archives: July 2015

Vacation Staff

Every year Newtons gives students an opportunity to spend some time in practice. Thank you to the wonderful group we had in our office from 8 June – 17 July

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From left to right:
Nirvard Alberts
Afika Sonjeka
Marisha Crawford
Minique Ellis

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From Left to right :
Hope Ramaseli
Kathleen Connellan
Franey Wu
Thabo Ntseke
Sine Ntshona

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JC Beukes

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From left to right :
Jodi Lee
Phano Khalema
Candice van Wyk
Jason van Tonder
Susan Nel

Resistance: A stranglehold on business

A4It is not always easy for people to change, but because the business world is constantly changing and evolving, it is essential that your business will adapt to these changes or go under. Real resistance to change does occur in many small businesses and it manifests in ideas that amount to nothing and initiatives that are not carried through.

To have a conservative approach about business is one thing, but to refuse to adapt to changes in technology, customer needs and the market may be futile for your business, especially if your competitors are willing to make the necessary changes in their enterprises. Rick Maurer, an organisational consultant and author of “Beyond the Wall of Resistance”, declares that 70% of organisational change will fail due to resistance from employees. He suggests the following steps to identify resistance and break down the barriers to facilitate change. 

  1. Identify resistance

The signs of resistance are often either blatant criticism or a very easy yes – both potentially harmful to your company. Employees might say yes because they did not quite understand the scope of the changes, and they agreed because they don’t want to give offense or be labelled as uncooperative. Take time to ensure that every employee understands exactly what would be expected of them in the new phase and what the changes entail, else the yes-votes may quickly change to long term, undermining, passive-aggressive resistance. 

  1. Identify the reasons

Resistance from employees is normally due to three reasons. Ranging from least to most severe: they don’t understand what and why; they don’t like the idea; they don’t like you. Every time you find that a business initiative has stalled or a project did not reach its maximum potential, you will probably find one employee who harboured thoughts of resistance regarding that particular process or project. 

  1. Fix it

If your employees don’t grasp the essence of the change, you will have to find a way to persuade them of its merits. Instead of simply repeating yourself, try a different approach or additional training. If they don’t like the idea, one of them will probably find an aspect of the project intimidating or uncomfortable. Try to see their viewpoint – this might help in presenting the information in such a way that their worries and apprehensions are addressed. If it’s you they don’t like, be direct and ask them what the problem is. If you think that trust is a problem, use an anonymous survey with space for personal comments to find out what the real reasons behind the resistance are.

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. 

 

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. 

 

Guard your online reputation

A2Your business may not be advertised online, but the Internet can be utilised to enhance or damage your reputation. Protect your reputation and the way the world views your company.

In the days before the Internet ruled the world, you were the only one responsible for building your company’s reputation. Nowadays you have to manage your reputation, because the smallest thing you do, the slightest fallout with a customer, will be magnified and blown out of proportion online. Consumers research their products before they buy, and it only takes one scathing remark by a disgruntled customer to undo all the hard work you have put into your company. It could take years to recover from such a blow, so like it or not, managing your reputation is extremely important.

Blogs, forums and anonymous review sites have given consumers a platform to air their opinions, which could be a good thing, but some people may comment under instruction of your competition. If you do not actively manage your business reputation, others may do it for you, in a way that will not be advantageous for you or your company.

Michael Zammuto, president of Brand.com, offers these tips to small business owners on how to protect your online reputation: 

You cannot ignore the Internet

Research on the Internet rules, and that is a fact. Even small business owners who do not advertise on the Internet may find themselves being discussed online. The Internet may not bring you business, but it may influence your reputation, because customers go online, especially when they feel cheated or mistreated. You have to go online yourself and do research about what is said about your own company; you might be very surprised at the results!

Know what you can control

Do not direct potential customers to online review sites when they inquire about your business, because you don’t have control over the content of those sites. Rather try to improve your ranking in Google search results by posting helpful articles with advice, information and hints. Become a trusted source of assistance for your customers, and in the long run you will see positive results. 

Protect your own reputation

Instead of spending a bunch of money on a reputation management company, use free tools and services such as Google Alerts, TweetBeep and Monitor to help you keep track of your company’s reputation. If you do opt for a reputation management company, avoid companies that create various Twitter accounts and microsites to flood the Web with positive feedback about your company. This will cause your position in search results rankings to fall to the bottom and will do more harm than good.

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. 

 

MSI Global Alliance adds four new member firms

A1MSI Global Alliance is delighted to announce the admission of four new members to the association as of 1 July 2015.

Please click on the respective links below to read the full press release online or to download the individual documents.

  •  MSI Global Alliance admits Chinese law firm DaHui Lawyers with offices in Beijing and Shanghai. (Download press release)
  •  MSI Global Alliance announces the appointment of US accounting firm Holsinger P.C. based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Download press release)
  • MSI Global Alliance strengthens its presence in Europe with the appointment of German accounting firm Herden Böttinger Borkel Neureiter GmbH and French law firm Nova Partners. (Download press release)

Please welcome our new members.