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24 HOUR SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR SMALL

BUSINESS
BY GAVIN TONKS

MENTORSHIP IS YOUR POLICEMAN – COACHING IS GETTING YOU OVER


THE FINISH LINE – GAVIN TONKS ON ENTREPRENURSHIP
AUTHOR: GAVIN TONKS
DATE: 03/03/2009

DEDICATION: This book is dedicated to those who have chosen the high road and are
taking control of their destiny by being an Entrepreneur.
The Entrepreneurial road is truly a hard one as you need to develop skills and attitudes
coupled with experience to tread where angels fear to go.

Some people are blessed with opportunity and an easy road and others like me have not.
I have not only seen the weeds on the edge of the road but have detours which took me
into oncoming traffic lanes.

Life is a lesson so learn it, suffer what life brings and enjoy every moment that nature gives
“Do not go gently into that good night” and get up everyday to be what you want to be - Do
not take prisoners and let us become the greatest nation in the world with our creativity and
determination embracing integrity, humility and creativity as our icons like Nelson Mandela
has done.

To make this book more interesting and explain concepts in more depth we have linked the
information to Enterprise Support at www.entererprisesa.com where you will find articles
and information including a business plan creator to assist you in developing the array of
tools you require that will assist you in being successful.

CURRENTLY CONDITIONS ARE TOUGH AND GETTING TOUGHER AND


ONLY THE TOUGH WILL SURVIVE!

If electricity, interest rates, rising costs, petrol and all the other negatives are driving you to
despair in your business then you need this quick survival guide

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24 HOUR SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS
ISBN Number:
Barcode: 6009691421396

Self Published Edition


Copyright 2009 Gavin Tonks
www.tradesecretsrsa.co.za

Author: Gavin Tonks


Date: 03/03/2009
Words approx 8 976

Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-
sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re
reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only,
then you should purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of
this author.

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24 HOUR SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Is your business currently a Headache? Take two of these steps daily and repeat until they
become a habit, here is a list of topics you need to consider for the survival game:

CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION AND ATTITUDE


ABOVE AND BEFORE ALL ELSE YOU NEED ATTITUDE:

CHAPTER TWO – PERSERVERANCE: GOING THE DISTNACE


THE POWER THAT COMES FROM BELIEVING IN YOUR BUSINESS

CHAPTER THREE - OPPORTUNITY


CAST YOUR NET AROUND

CHAPTER FOUR – WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS


TAKING LONG HARD LOOKS

CHAPTER FIVE – USE YOUR NETWORK


YOU ARE ONE PERSON AWAY FROM ONE PERSON YOU WANT OR NEED TO
KNOW

CHAPTER SIX – DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR BUSINESS

* YOUR BUSINESS IS GIVING YOU A DOSE OF MIGRANE – IT IS REALLY


PAINFULL BUT NOT YET LIFE THREATENEING

CHAPTER SEVEN – NEGOTIATING WITH CREDITORS

CHAPTER EIGHT – NEGOTIATING WITH DEBTORS

CHAPTER NINE – CUTTING COSTS

CHAPTER TEN – SHARING THE BURDEN BY MAKING PEOPLE


RESPONSIBLE
CHAPTER ELEVEN – BUY IN FROM STAFF
READING FROM THE SAME PAGE

PROZAC TIME – THIS IS THE STAGE WHEN YOU NEED THE POWER OF
EUPHORIA TO MOVE TO A SUCCESFUL BUSINESS POSITION, TAKING
CHARGE OF THE SITUATION AND RISING ABOVE THE PROBLEMS,
CREATING SOLUTIONS AND SUTAINABLE REVENUE PLUS ENHANCING
THE FEEL GOOD REASONS YOU WENT INTO BUSINESS IN THE FIRST
PLACE.

CHAPTER TWELVE – DO YOUR HOMEWORK - BETTER THAN EVER


BEFORE
TAKE AN EVEN HARDER LOOK AT THE PLAYING FIELD

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN – DO NOT TAKE UNNECESSARY RISKS AND THINK
OF BEING INVOLVED IN ANY “GET RICH QUICK SCHEMES” AS THE
ANSWER TO ANY OF YOUR PROBLEMS.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN – MORE THAN EVER STICK TO SIMPLE SOLUTIONS


AND MUD BEFORE MARBLE – DO NOT BUY MARBLE IF ALL YOU CAN
AFFORD IS MUD.
STICK TO KNITTING
PLAN YOUR BUSINESS BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE AND KEEP EVERYONE
INFORMED, ESPECIALLY YOUR BANKER

CHAPTER FIFETEEN – DOWNGRADE WHEREVER POSSIBLE


ANYTHING THAT IS NOT DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO YOUR BUSINESS OR LIFESTLYE
GET RID OF THESE THINGS AS THEY COST YOU MONEY YOU DO NOT HAVE
IMAGE IS NOT IMPORTANT - SURVIVAL IS
THE STRONG DO NOT ALWAYS SURVIVE CONFLICT BUT THOSE THAT PLAN
WELL THAT USUALLY DO DESPITE HOW STRONG OR WEAK THEY ARE
IMAGE IS NOT IMPORTANT - SURVIVAL IS

FINAL CONCLUSION

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CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION AND ATTITUDE
INTRODUCTION
The following steps are created to assist you in surviving any tough times.
These attributes and statements have not only given me strength in really dark hours but
have proved to be reliable tools in assisting many small businesses I have mentored over
the last twenty five years.

ABOVE AND BEFORE ALL ELSE YOU NEED ATTITUDE:


FIRST ATTITUDE: Your business is giving you a headache and a fever and you really
are fast approaching your wits end. You need to take a step back, take a breather and
plunge right back in, but ensure you are armed with information and the necessary strength
to carry things through.

You need to really develop positive attitudes and characteristics that will “create” strength
for you - strength to handle situations and make people believe in your ability to deliver and
trust in you as a partner and desired business associate.

QUOTATION: A wolf is not a selfless beast but an animal that has a focus on survival.
The wolf can be alone or part of a pack and when it howls you know its distinctive voice
and cannot mistake it for anything other than a hunting predator - Gavin Tonks on taking
control of your business.

There are only sheep and wolves in business.


When times are tough wolves are always hungry so “do not become a victim” of your own
attitude - Sheep are food or a resource.
Not everyone is born a wolf but you can learn to be a wolf, sort of “sheep in wolf’s clothing”
until your transformation to wolf is complete.

Please understand the wolf and sheep allegories are attributes and people are comfortable
in these roles or not – we are dealing with the transition of the not happy people who want
more, who because of their current attitude are not succeeding.

TRANSLATED: Business is all about a sale and transfer of money. There are those
people in business that give business and those people that take business. Find out what
your business is and do not be ashamed for taking or asking for the business you plan to
have. That is the nature of business.

Learn to be focused on what you “need to get” and what is honestly required for your
business – ultimately money in the bank after everyone is paid and all parties are satisfied
and eventually a cash resource that belongs to you for your passion, commitment and hard
work.

Taking business is for wolves and giving for sheep.


Everyone cannot be wolves and there are very successful sheep companies like Microsoft
as an example. You need to confirm your role in the business and the business landscape
and the attitude that fits your business in order to create a sound enterprise that will grow.

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NEGATIVES YOU NEED TO MANAGE IN A WOLF TRANSITION.
• Do not get that haunted, hunted look as you try and do business
• Be positive and know what you want and how much you want it for
• Now is the best time to really look into your business goals and dreams and plot a
path to success and attack these decisions with passion, commitment and energy
that comes with attitude

In business we all face pressures when times are tough so you look for relationships with
people who can assist your business and save you money as well as bring in greater and
more profitable sales

People have their hands full with their own problems and naturally are drawn to other
business people who can bring relief to their business or relief from management pressure
by being fast, efficient and cost effective.

Success is exactly a 50/50 chance - by not being a victim and planning, your odds can be
stacked a percentage or two in your favor, damn good odds for any entrepreneur.

SOLUTIONS TO EMBRACING A WOLF MENTALITY AND ATTITUDE:


Further web site learning, tutorials and explanations of business terms and concepts are
available at www.enterprisesa.com.
Other topics to research in your path to becoming a peak performing business
entrepreneur: WELLNESS AT WORK www.wellness-atwork.co.za

Entrepreneurship is a complicated mix of emotion, ability and desire. It is like saying I want
to be in the Olympics, but we cannot all be 100m athletes and out of 6 billion people on this
planet there really are only a handful of athletes capable of running the distance under a
minute and only one is the fastest.

But the Jamaicans proved they could compete, made a plan, didn’t give up and achieved
their goal, and even made a movie out of it.

A requirement for the growth of sustainable business is a sound small business layer.
In India and China this layer is usually family owned business handed down from Parent to
sibling, there are unfortunately so few such business in South African, that we can say we
lack this layer all together, having 3% of businesses controlling 97% of the current business
turnover.

The small business networks in countries like China and India are stable, generate millions
of US dollars and effectively market their networks and achieve yearly stability for their
business.

Some have traded for over 120 years as family business, and then in South Africa we want
to compete with them in 7 days, from finance, without understanding the principles handed
down by generations of entrepreneurs and the stable financial asset bases they have.

IF YOU DO NOT SEE LONG TERM FUTURES IN WORKING FOR YOURSELF


GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN NOW!

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CHAPTER TWO – PERSERVERANCE: GOING THE DISTANCE
THE POWER THAT COMES FROM BELIEVING IN YOUR BUSINESS
An entrepreneur once told me that they really battled in their business and that they had
sold everything and were still battling and always seemed in the tunnel in the darkness,
never thinking they will ever see the light of day again.

They decided the going was just too tough and planned a “cut off day” or exit strategy.
However the new focus on doing things differently and resolving to go the final distance
was the catalyst that took them to where they wanted to be. They never looked back.
They had stopped chasing rainbows, resigned themselves to their business changed their
attitude from desperation to compliance and everyone supported them.

The moral is that you never know when the next step forward is the one that changes your
road to a path of success. If they had turned back at that point that they had decided to
change, they would have lost everything and would not have had the successful business
they had developed together.

As you plot the way forward you will eventually see that success is a planned excursion
and even those that appear to have fallen into it head first, have planned it for a long or
short time, but there was always planning and thought behind the intention to succeed.

You will realize there are no shortcuts, if there were you would already be successful.
You really have to work hard on developing work ethics that support your strong business
characteristics and developing relationships. Learning never stops and you need to teach
yourself strong attributes to overshadow your weak areas or non existent ones like
understanding finance. You cannot ultimately be a successful business person without
understanding finance.

A successful entrepreneur has all the attributes required for success. All successful
business people have all the successful attributes learned, stored or bought but they are all
there always.

Not everyone can produce rabbits out of hats. Many very successful people do it through
dogged determination. Find the bone you want and bite down hard - do not let anyone take
it away from you. Protect it with everything you have, other people want it too so go the
extra mile and give the person you are doing business with confidence that you are the
best person for the job.

Many people will be offering services cheaper, match offers, business in hand can always
be grown, but once, lost, is almost impossible to get back and usually costs more to get it
back than when you had it in the first place. Make sure you do not come up on the
company radar with any negatives and are seen in a positive light that you are a company
to do the business with.

MORE THAN EVER BE PROFFESIONAL, PASSIONATE COMMITTED AND


DELIVER AGAINST ALL ODDS.

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A friend grew a very successful grass business many years ago when no one thought of
buying instant lawn. His success, he loved grass. He got up everyday to do what he loved
best and made a serious amount of money. It took a while, but no one realized what a
business he had built for himself, by just being around and doing his thing everyday of his
life.

Once you decide you are in it for the long haul, you will need to make decisions.
Expansion is a logical step but may not always be practical or you cannot reach the
intended step on your own. Ensure a proper business expansion plan or an absolute
understanding of the profit ratios and investment to turnover your business can achieve.

Many really good businesses failed because they just did not plan or decided to move
forward without even a bad plan. You need to arm yourself with all the attributes of success
and ensure they are deployed in your business. My best working environment was a shoe
designer for Edworks Border Footwear. The company used to do a R10 million [US$1
million] per annum turnover and manufactured up to 10 000 pairs of shoes a day.

They are no longer in existence as they tried to change systems that had developed for
hundreds of years as craft, with systems created for manufacturing cars, the company lost
millions, had to reinstall everything the way it was and retrenched all the experts and
started a huge downward decline that eventually saw them close for ever.

The second reason is management had no idea the profitable area of the business was the
vulcanized slipper plant that ran profitably for years with no interference. In cost cutting this
was the first unit they shut down selling the plant to the MD who is still successfully running
the business today.

Many businesses would still be trading today if the person who began it actually decided to
study what a successful business requires and the attributes needed by the person who
runs it.

FOR THOSE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL THERE ARE MANY STEPS YOU
NEED TO IMPLEMENT TO ACHIEVE BIG DREAMS, ENTREPREURS ARE
NOT SUCCESFUL SALESPEOPLE SO DO NOT CONFUSE THE TWO, AS
ENTREPREURS ARE ON THE RADAR AS PEOPLE WHO DEVELOP
BUSINESS OF VALUE.

However, entrepreneurship requires careful planning in order to maintain the good shape
that the business should be in, for it to move, say into the expansion phase which may be
one of the headaches you are experiencing.

An expansion plan will outline how you intend to expand the current infrastructure optimally
and to evaluate the options and opportunities of which you can take advantage, especially
increased and more profitable turnover to both fund the expansion and ensure greater
sustainability of the business.

Any business can stagnate – fail, or lose out on opportunities if continuous improvement is
neglected or ignored. Never accept mediocrity and never believe you are doing it the best

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way without being really sure it is the best way. No business is perfect and each business
needs to strive for improvement and a better reputation.

Various plans and reports need to be developed by you in order to improve the reporting of
your business situation. There is only one person who will change the business and that is
you. If you think that putting a highly paid person into the position then you are going to fail
as you have no control of your business.

The buck starts and stops with you and the quicker you realize this and work toward being
an efficient entrepreneur the quicker your business will succeed and people around you will
notice the difference and realize you are the type of person that feels comfortable in charge
and that you are the preferred business partner with whom to do business.

A Business Improvement Plan is a plan you create that evaluates aspects of your business
to ensure maximum viability and best practice. The plan sets out those activities necessary
to bring about continual improvements in your business like reducing costs, effectively
managing the working capital, improving productivity and measuring performance.

If one wants a business to grow, then a growth plan is the way to map the improvement
required for the growth anticipated. An entrepreneur may wish to grow his business and to
make optimal use of its current infrastructure and resources.

Most trading businesses have some form of financial problems sooner or later. A business
can be carefully guided back to economic viability with quick action stabilizing the cash
flow, outlining courses of action; getting the support of suppliers, lenders, employees,
shareholders and possibly other entrepreneurs.

If your business is having problems get to the core issues quickly. The report may highlight
the need to grow, so in order to implement an effective growth strategy, one must
realistically assess the present status of the business based on the four factors sales,
turnover, market share and profits.

This will give you a starting point against which to measure the anticipated growth. Firstly
make sure that the business is running efficiently. Then ensure that there is sufficient
understanding of the changes that the growth will create and know what must be done to
put these controls and systems in place as the growth strategy is implemented.

Salary is called a burden as it usually is the most expensive part of the business and to
increase these expenses must be done only when there is sufficient turnover to cover them
I have too many experiences where business employed everyone and paid them out of
start up capital to find out that not only were the staff unable to perform their tasks but that
the business collapsed as the salary really became a burden.

A business man must first ensure the business is running and turning over profit and then
replace his input with a cheaper resource in staff giving him more time to focus on the
business of turnover and profit.

Discuss your growth plan in detail with your accountant and anyone else who will listen
including those it will affect. Consider carefully all advice offered. Growth is a double edged
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sword and the increased turnover can be a serious burden to your cash flow and cash
resources.

My first very successful business created more problems as the growth was so large it
absorbed all my cash and capital making it difficult to serve the business needs and then
having to expand overdraft facilities and cash flow demands from projects. The profit had to
be immediately invested in the next round of business leaving no cash resources for the vat
and tax demands

It became an ever increasing spiral which the eventual solution was equity, but back then
there was little chance of equity investment for small business. All growth options have
risks and rewards, and should be considered on their merits and on their suitability to your
business.

When considering diversification, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, don’t be


tempted to move into a field of which you have little knowledge and or experience.
Remember how you started in business in the first place, you started somewhere with
attributes that made it able for you to be employed or begin a business where you had
knowledge, skills and experience. This rule still applies. Business activity that is in some
way related to your current activities is easier to understand than trying something you
have no experience without suitable mentors or advisors as in a franchise.

For example, the telecommunications industry is embracing media as they are direct forms
of communication. Companies you currently service may require other things in order to
streamline their ordering, that is why Walton’s [a stationary company] sells instant coffee as
well, growing into business that plugs into an existing business where you are already
trading.

Answer the following questions in order to help implement your growth strategy:
• What additional staff requirements if any will be needed?
• Will it be necessary to train staff?
• Are your current premises sufficient?
• Is the location of your business suitable for the growth?
• Are your suppliers able to service your increased demand?
• Do you have the necessary IT systems?
• Are your staff motivated?
• Are you able to finance any growth plans?
• Will there be a definite return on investment (ROI)?
• Do you have the management skills to manage a larger business?

CONCLUSION
We have mentioned many factors and reports and things that you need to do to evaluate
your business. Do not be lazy at this stage and really do the work. If you think it is hard or
for someone else you are not a wolf and I suggest you look for a job that requires your
specific set of attributes.

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While you may also be happy with the current performance of your business, never
underestimate your competitors and the power they may have to take away from you
market share.

Prevention is a cure so have a policy and reports detailing planning and updating all the
time for the continual growth of your business. In conclusion there is a lot of work to do and
if you feel you cannot cope, or need help there are professional people who sell their
knowledge in mentoring and coaching.

A professional auditing firm in Australia has permanent mentors and coaches who spend
time with every employee in the company ensuring the employee exercises his
entrepreneurship muscle to the maximum to ensure maximum efficiency and profitability for
the company.

MENTORSHIP IS YOUR POLICEMAN.


COACHING IS GETTING YOU OVER THE FINISH LINE.

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CHAPTER THREE - OPPORTUNITY
CAST YOUR NET AROUND
Every person is one person away from the person you need to know, so by engaging in
people around you, you can fish for opportunity. As players tighten their belts they
sometimes throw away smaller business they cannot profitably handle.

Look at relationship building to assist you to actually begin your type of business.
Forget about profit and look at survival, what will bring you through intact and pay the bills.
Profit is only good for governments when times are tough as most of it goes to tax in any
case. How much money do you really need to get through the tough months?

Hire instead of buy, or get other businesses to do the work for you so you do not duplicate
or pay for expensive infrastructure and re-invent the wheel.
Borrow where you can – service and support from people who also need a bit of extra
business instead of setting it all up yourself.
You will be surprised at how creative you can be with outsourcing.

In a business I looked after for the bank we were faced with an expenditure of R45 000.00
[US$4 500.00] for three new scales. We came to a deal with a supplier who had three
machines with no spare parts so he charged us R450.00 [US$45.00] per month for the
three machines and if they broke, we all agreed to throw them away. Win/win all around.

FURTHER RESOURCES NEEDED? THEN DEVELOP A MARKET PLAN.


Any product or service offered is useless unless it is sold and to sell we need to let people
know where, how and for how much they can buy it. People already are buying the things
they need and are not waiting for you with bated breath to rush out and spend on it.

The marketing plan has to incorporate all aspects of the product or service benefits,
features and pricing, your competitors’ markets and strategies including pricing
comparisons.

Marketing incorporates distribution and whether you have sufficient product to meet
demand and product life. Does the cost justify the return? Many questions require many
answers to do it right. Juta has some well authored books as extra reference.

CONCLUSION
People are the key to the success of the business so find out who makes decisions, who
decides if you get paid, or not, and when and how. Find people that are as positive as you
are and build business relationships - not tea parties or drinking sessions but measure your
success with banked business. Business cannot be concluded without people “People buy
from People” not web sites electronics or some faceless program somewhere.

YOUR BUSINESS NETWORK IS THE GREATEST RESOURCE IN ASSISTING


YOU TO TRADE.

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CHAPTER FOUR – WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS
TAKING LONG HARD LOOKS
You need income and you need it now. What can you put on the scales of your business to
balance the extreme shortage of cash or business that will immediately adjust the balance
and put the business back in harmony? Look for things you can do to bring in income
“now”, today, this moment - do not wait.

Do you have underutilized resources you can or share with someone else who can trade
them for things you can sell or cash? How can you scale down to survive on lower sales
and cash income? Smaller inventory, just in time sales, purchases on orders and deposit
paid? Shorter account terms? Ask and make a list of questions.

WHAT DO WE DO WELL?
AT WHAT COST?
HOW CAN WE SAVE?

Do not venture into things you need to invest in for new business. Use what you have to
piggy back new business instead. You need to keep your money in the bank - and not
spend on anything that does not immediately bring money back in.

Pay accounts early so you relieve stress and create a positive business image for your
company. If a new direction does not realize a payable invoice or payment within three
days do not do it. Everyone looks for a savior in your business, someone you can put all
the problems you have in their lap and wave a magic wand and throw some stones -
someone has blown on and it all goes away.

The biggest gift I can give you today is to convince you to do it yourself as this is the only
way you will learn. Most of the time getting more money will never resolve the issue of your
business as the fundamental understanding of the business and how to trade does not
exist. Money is never a solution to business problems - paid orders and gross profit in the
bank is. Trade instead of borrowing is the greatest advice you will ever get

Many new companies get cash flow management wrong and fail. Managing cash flow day-
by-day and month-by-month can be likened to the blood in one’s body going from one
organ to another to keep it alive. In the same way, a business has to continually be fed with
cash flow.

This way, it keeps the business alive and well and its bankers, vendors and creditors
happy! Managing cash flow is one of the biggest challenges small business has.
This intervention will help a business in this regard.

UNDERSTAND THAT SOLUTIONS ARE IN TRADING WITH PEOPLE AND


CONTINUED BORROWING IS NEVER AN ANSWER.

IF YOU CANNOT GENERATE CASH ON YOUR OWN, IT IS VERY SELDOM


YOU WILL ACHIEVE IT BY BORROWING.

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CHAPTER FIVE – USE YOUR NETWORK
YOU ARE ONE PERSON AWAY FROM ONE PERSON YOU WANT OR NEED
TO KNOW
This is different to casting your net around as casting is a chance that in throwing the net,
you hope that you will find something of value, which does sometimes happen, as opposed
to throwing the net in a direction you know will deliver a harvest.

We all have networks. Phone them and ask for business. You will be surprised what
business you can drum up within a friend or business relationship. Make a plan, have a
meeting with a couple at a time, explain honestly the problems you are experiencing and
make a plan to implement the suggestions and proposals you come up with in your
brainstorming sessions.

Many success stories are related to maturity in your network. As people have more
confidence in delivery and your ability to perform they will trust you with more business.

CONCLUSION
You need to be able to sit in one place and by phoning generate some successful business
because you have assembled the right people around you, who are able to assist you in
achieving the driving of your business through successful traded orders

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CHAPTER SIX – DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR BUSINESS
Asking people for help is not frowned on and the worst that can happen is they say no, they
may even refer you to someone who has business for you. Failure is the next step to
success and then you lose the fear of failure and with your back against the wall pull out all
stops and be the most amazing business person you can be.

Never be shy - business people are not shy to ask for business - it is what makes us
successful. The need and drive for business is a fundamental trait in doing good business.
Even drug addicts go to the bottom before they turn the corner. Only your fears, which are
really dumb, stop you from succeeding and asking for help when you need it most.

Learning to ask for business is in your strategic plan knowing where, when and who to ask.
Ensuring the information is at hand, not going back for quotes, doing the business then and
there and asking for an order. Having a strategic plan will not guarantee success, but
without one, your business has a far greater chance of failure. Your strategic plan will
provide a framework on which you will hang all the company’s policies and according to
which you will make key decisions that determine the direction and performance of the
business.

The strategic plan acts as a point of focus for every activity in the business and can serve
as a concise explanation of the business and its objectives and activities. If something does
not form part of the strategic plan, it should not be undertaken.

It is therefore important that the strategic plan is well thought out and developed in
consultation with other key players in the business such as all the owners, managers and
even certain staff members. They do not have to all participate in the same forum, but
should be included in the strategic planning process in order that they all take ownership of
the final plan. Everyone in the business will be expected to help fulfill the strategic plan. If
they don’t agree with it or don’t feel they had an opportunity to contribute to the plan, they
might not be committed to it.

Your strategic plan is not intended to help you run the business. That’s the function of an
Operational Plan. The strategic plan is a high level, conceptual document which provides
the overall vision for the direction you want the business to take. A Strategic Plan, even if it
is just carried in your head, helps to keep you focused on the intentions to trade and do
business and is one of the most important tools in the attitude arsenal.

Once all have participated in developing the strategic plan, ensure that it is discussed with
and communicated to all stakeholders on an on-going basis. When you are running a
business many people will come to you with offers. I was offered a Vodacom shop free in
1990 when cell phones first came out people did not see the future they would be. I turned
down the offer even though today it would be worth millions and I have zero regrets.

I could never see myself explaining cell phones to computer illiterate people everyday of
my life. I have stayed focused on the way I want to achieve multi million rand success
through my innovation and vision and I will eventually have my success as I stick to my
principles and position to achieve it in my own way. Business needs your business too.

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CHAPTER SEVEN – NEGOTIATING WITH CREDITORS
Talk to people, they are part of your business. A recent mentee who was really battling now
has R1 million [US$100 000, 00] per month business because he sat down with supplier
and entrepreneur at a table and worked out an agreement that was good for everyone

I told him his business was not financing stock but reworking it into the products his clients
wanted. So now the entrepreneurs buy the raw materials which are delivered to him to
process and he does what he does best and is paid for it, without having to finance tons of
products he does not use. Know what your business is really and do not try and dabble in
funding business that has nothing to do with you. I am often contracting, and people expect
me to take a percentage of their business as part of the deal and are surprised when I
refuse.

I charge the client what my fee is for my hours as that is my business, not percentages of
other peoples work. When there are complications and issues that require resolving I can
be impartial and distance myself from the problem to find the best solution as there is no
emotional or other ties to the deal.

I do not feel guilty that this “other business fee” is depriving the client of much needed value
It however requires great knowledge of my business to ensure I charge the correct fees
and that people understand the value of those fees to their project. The profit to my
business and sustainability is allowing people to see the value and substance I bring to the
table, and the clear savings of costs to the project.

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CHAPTER EIGHT – NEGOTIATING WITH DEBTORS
Ask your debtors to settle a bit early. They all know it’s tough. Ask them for 50% of the
invoice in the middle of the month and let them hold back 10% for 2 months. You need to
survive and do not need profit if your business is properly structured. Work out cash deals
for up front specials that no one can say “no” to.

Plan to get in enough money to cover costs and survive until you can generate profit before
the 25th of the month. This way you can focus on driving much needed business while
everyone’s purse strings are open and you are not wasting energy collecting money for
past business when you need to be focused on present business.

There are only three people who want your profits, your accountant because he was taught
to, your bank manger because he knows then he does not need to lend you money if you
have your own, and the Receiver of Revenue because he needs it. Profit you just pay half
to the Receiver in any case so concentrate on keeping your business alive.

Flat lining business models help you to understand the monthly costs that you need to keep
the doors closed – yes, closed without trading. When the doors are open and you trade that
is a separate costing and must be linked directly to your service or product.

Cost per month or year - absolutely bare essential payments and divide these between how
much service or product you can supply. Charge raw materials required to make the
product [give this to your entrepreneur at cost, you are not in that business] Add the
working costs as a Rand / Dollar value and then packaging and delivery separately.

This way you can make decision with suppliers to buy the volumes you require surviving as
your products and services will be lean and cost competitive. Never work on percentages
when times are tough as they are misleading in understanding your business.

The butchery point of sale was telling us it was putting on a 25% markup and we were
making between 18% gp [should be 20% if things were running smoothly]
On costing the business the reality was very different - there was moisture loss, cut loss
and bones with no sale value that cost us the same as the rest of the quarter.

So in reality we never made more than 10 to 11 % when everything is cut and sold right - a
far cry from the wonderful gp% the system showed. Our solution is to sell more - we are
dropping prices and increasing supply. People are buying from the cheapest and we
worked on a model to be the cheapest and implemented it – the business held its own and
grew the business as well.

A supply chain agreement was negotiated for product and the business traded more
products in three days of one weekend then the total for two weeks previously. Business is
about getting it right.

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CHAPTER NINE – CUTTING COSTS
Outsource parts of your business to other business that can do the functions cheaper or
more efficiently for you, especially if they can do it better. Look around for suppliers with
better pricing and ask your suppliers to meet this price. Negotiate with suppliers for
minimum basic supply at rates and pay them up front for the products, only putting monthly
purchases on accounts.

Convert all business to cash and use cash as the leverage to cheaper prices. Cash is king
[or acb debits on time and as promised] Cutting costs is a number of factors. I have
increased salaries so all the staff are happy and can cope with increases in their lives from
transport to food; they in turn are protecting their jobs and have volunteered to work longer
weekend hours at peak before and after month end trading periods. This was unsolicited
and brought about by them as they saw the need to improve turnover cash flow and gp.

They ensure property compliance to delivery invoices, are much happier at work which is
creating a pleasant working environment. Staff take time off in low trading times and ensure
everyone is at work for major trading times. We have increased turnover and have reached
previously unheard of daily sales. The place has never been cleaner, machines are working
optimally and everyone is being their own responsible person. So by giving people what
they need to survive we are achieving all the targets the business needs to cut costs.

Business costs have dropped by R200 000.00 [US$20 000.00] per month by staff
negotiating with suppliers for better deals, consolidating purchases, ensuring minimum
wastage and maximum utilization of resources. Quite an achievement brought about by
increasing wages which are usually the first to be cut. The increase in the wages is 10% of
the current savings.

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CHAPTER TEN – SHARING THE BURDEN BY MAKING PEOPLE
RESPONISBLE
Everyone in your business chain is responsible for your success. Negotiate with them and
speak to them about your challenges. Be honest and upfront. Only work with people who
read from the same page as you and ensure your team understands the need for success.

Make each person responsible - you cannot manage more than 3 people at a time so
delegate and make people take charge. It will relieve the stress and help you to focus on
real issues of management and sales.

ENTREPRENEUR CARE CHECK LIST

• Lead by example. Be the champion of entrepreneur care for your clients, your
business and yourself. Never avoid anyone when times are tough. Set the standards
for how you want your staff and clients to be treated and then exceed them.
• Be very responsive to your client’s needs and wants and motivate your staff to follow
suit. Train your staff to apply the “Three Ring Rule” - answering the phone within the
first three rings. Reply to e-mails promptly or if unable to, apologize for the late
response and offer a brief explanation (not excuse) for the late response.
• Continually emphasize to your staff, that everyone is responsible for client care and
orders. Encourage staff to be courteous and friendly, yet professional. Friendliness
on its own is not enough. No-one likes phoning a company where everyone is very
friendly but no-one knows what’s going on.
• Under-promise and over-deliver. Avoid making unrealistic promises just to impress
clients and then fail to carry out your promises. This is worse than never having
made the promises in the first place. Make realistic promises and then work hard to
exceed them.
• Always attempt to build long-term relationships with customers. It is so expensive to
get one client, for heaven’s sakes keep them and then improve your relationship to
do more business with them. I have clients who have provided millions in business in
cycles for over twelve years.
• Empower your staff to be able to act on behalf of the business in order to solve a
client’s problem. So long as you have hired the right people and managed and
trained them correctly, there is probably no need for them to refer every complaint to
you before taking action. It makes them look good when they are able to tell the
client, that they can sort out the problem, and then do so. Managing a wrong
decision is easier than chasing indecisions.
• If orders take time to be processed, always keep your client in the loop with the
progress of the order. In the case of a delay, let the client know as soon as you
become aware of the delay. If you are able to, offer the client options to get around
the delay.
• Make sure you know who your profitable clients are and who your least profitable
clients are and treat them all the same but go the extra mile for people who give you
more profitable business.

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CHAPTER ELEVEN – BUY IN FROM STAFF
READING FROM THE SAME PAGE
Explain to your staff the challenges of the business and ask for their “buy in.”
Let them help move product. Let them help streamline the business they sometimes know
more than you do. Ask them to go the extra mile after all they all feed from the same table,
and need to contribute to the overall success of the business.

Everyone in the business needs to be a salesperson and I mean everyone


There is no space for people who do not see their role as pivotal to success within the
organization. I have found that management so fears sharing that it impacts negatively on
the business. People are the reason you are in business. Look after these people and they
will look after your business.

If they do not then they are the wrong people you have employed. Respect employees and
pay them to go the extra mile. It is hard for everyone, set standards in your business and
invest in your staff.

If you believe in them they will believe in you, and if you invest in them and they do not
perform it is easier to remove them without conscience. So many seemingly successful
businesses have staff doing work on the side that if all is consolidated the business would
boom.

By not sharing this created a need for employees to seek income elsewhere to survive.
No one is working because they want to. They work because they need to and by making it
easier for them to live relieves negative pressures ensuring a more focused work force.
If it does not, trust me, you either have the wrong people, you are employing your mother in
law or you really should not be in business as you have no clue on how to manage people.

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CHAPTER TWELVE – DO YOUR HOMEWORK BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE
TAKE AN EVEN HARDER LOOK AT THE PLAYING FIELD
Take your business apart paper by paper to see what your core business actually is.
Ensure that non profitable business is outsourced or give it to someone as a trade off.

Make sure you understand the workings of your business and what you are selling.
People in the butchery think we are selling meat when in actual fact we are selling weight in
kilos. We get weight in and we sell weight out. The success is to sell 1 million kilos at R1.00
[US$0.10] net profit. Entrepreneurship is hard work and is not some easy get rich quick
scheme. All the quick rich schemes are focused on good sales people who can generate
sales.

Entrepreneurship is being a well rounded and grounded person who has dreams of being
rich through his intuitive understanding of business. Many people succeed and fail and then
bounce back as they are true entrepreneurs. They are prepared to give everything as they
know the laws of attraction will bring success again.

They work hard at ENTREPRENURSHIP and people recognize these attribute and will give
them successful business as it becomes profitable for everyone to do so. They understand
these people deliver with passion and commitment beyond the normal business, they are
there for the long haul, are passionate about delivering standards and they are proud of,
and always go the extra mile for you, and all they ask in return is pay them by the 25th and
be as loyal to them as they are to you.

Grow them as they will remember you on the way up and more often as not, will offer a
hand when they have achieved success because you helped them then when they needed
the help.

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN – DO NOT TAKE UNNECESSARY RISKS AND THINK
OF BEING INVOLVED IN ANY “GET RICH QUICK SCHEMES” AS THE
ANSWER TO ANY OF YOUR PROBLEMS.
Keep the money in the bank for work that you know brings in turnover.
Do not go for quick rich quick ventures - They do not work. Go around and look for people
who have done it this way, they all started with big fortunes to make small fortunes.

Do not look for specials you can make a quick buck on. Usually it was someone like you
who went to China and bought last seasons Fila shoes. They are called “steals” as you
have parted with good money for product that the only way you can get rid of it profitably is
if it is stolen and insurance pays out.

CONCLUSION
Do not do it no matter how good it looks, without proper planning and making sense of the
business or without having a business deal that can move the product on.

Anything that looks that easy just means it will cost you a lot of money to make it easy.
Repeat after me “QUICK RICH” means it will cost me my hard earned cash I do not have,
to gamble with.

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN – MORE THAN EVER STICK WITH SIMPLE
SOLUTIONS AND MUD BEFORE MARBLE – DO NOT BUY MARBLE IF ALL
YOU CAN AFFORD IS MUD.
STICK TO KNITTING
Find out what is the most profitable portion of your business is and grow it. Get rid of
everything that ties up capital like slow moving business clients or stock. Convert
everything to cash in the bank and stay lean and mean.

Get rid of any useless inventory at any cost - auction it, give it away as a promotional line.
Holding stock is costly but R10.00 [US$1.00] in your hand is better than a million in an
expensive storeroom. No inventory is worth anything other than what it can be sold for.

Talk confidently of your business from a position of strength and ability.


Learn when to stop selling and accept a deal, many people talk themselves into a deal and
then right out again as they do not know when to stop.

PLAN YOUR BUSINESS BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE AND KEEP


EVERYONE INFORMED ESPECIALLY YOUR BANKER
Do what you do best and do not try and start new ventures and product lines that you have
no experience with in these tough trading conditions as they always generate school fees
something you really cannot afford in a difficult trading environment.

Always start with research and make a good plan, gut feelings are good but planning is
even better.
• Make a plan
• Stick to it
• Speak to people and get informed information
• Is it doable? Who can help?
• Now more than ever your business plan is critical to your business

Poor financial management is one of the main reasons why businesses fail. Therefore this
is not something that you should delegate to your banker, consultant or accountant. You
need to have a grasp of the basic principles of your entities financial projections. Cash is
the lifeblood of any business. Cash inflows and outflows occur at different times. Managing
the timing of these inflows and outflows will determine whether the entity will survive or not.

Modeling different scenarios will assist you in ensuring that your enterprise can meet its
cash flow requirements. Once you have completed your financial projection model, you will
have created a projected

 CASH FLOW STATEMENT


 INCOME STATEMENT
 BALANCE SHEET

These are workable models for managing the finances of your small business and give you
an understanding of how the financial decisions you take affect the activities of your
business. Learn to generate and understand these terms - it is not as difficult as you think.

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CHAPTER FIFETEEN – DOWNGRADE WHEREVER POSSIBLE
ANYTHING THAT IS NOT DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO YOUR BUSINESS OR
LIFESTLYE
GET RID OF THESE THINGS AS THEY COST YOU MONEY YOU DO NOT
HAVE
Keep everything to a minimum - do not expand Downgrade where possible and utilize
exiting infrastructure to bursting point. Get people in who can share expenses, and develop
relationships. We had a need to deliver to our biggest clients and the delivery vehicles
forever need repair and are not fuel efficient, so we found a private individual who collects
payments and charges clients directly for delivery, win/win all round.

We normally have clients trying to twist our arm for “free delivery.” It does not happen any
more. The person who does these deliveries is efficient; friendly has brought in more
business for which he gets a commission and helps us with post office and banking for
which he charges us a flat for. To date we have saved thousands in repair and fuel bills.

IMAGE IS NOT IMPORTANT - SURVIVAL IS


Dream about the porche but buy a bicycle. The porche you buy when you have the money
to do it - in the meantime get a poster of one as it does not need servicing, and you can
dream of owning it. Do not have a “flutter” on fancy products when basic ones can do the
job.

THE STRONG DO NOT ALWAYS SURVIVE CONFLICT BUT IT IS THOSE


THAT PLAN WELL THAT USUALLY DO DESPITE HOW STRONG OR WEAK
THEY ARE.
IMAGE IS NOT IMPORTANT SURVIVAL IS

Our deepfreeze broke and the repair bill is R50 000, 00 [US$5 000.00] When we checked
the business the deepfreeze was just a lazy way of not selling. We shut it down and not
once in 3 months did we require it. Everyone ensures that nothing is left that needed
freezing.

Study these tips carefully and implement them in your business where
possible, ask questions, as a question is never stupid, connect
wherever you can and do not expect business if you cannot give
business in return.

Do not always try and meet someone because he is a successful


business man.
Look for people who can transact with you on mutually beneficial
terms and make money together.

Politicians make the worst business contacts and other business men
the best.

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Be hungry for business and do it well and lastly “get up everyday with
the idea of making some money honestly with integrity passion and
drive.”

FINAL CONCLUSION
Make an entrepreneurial dream a reality today and make today your first step to success.
There is no shame in sharing other people’s school fees through mentoring and coaching.
Get up after failure and do not even think of staying down on the ground.

Become a good wolf and remember that people buy from people. The universe rewards
good practice and you sleep better for it and God alone knows we really need to help good
entrepreneurs to change this economy, as currently 3% of business controls 97% of
business income and turnover which is totally unacceptable for entrepreneurial success.

Hard work never killed anyone but also seldom makes people rich either. I know it is a
contradiction to being an entrepreneur but hard workers seldom have dreams of success
and this is where the secret lies – Dream yourself successful but follow it with the passion,
learning, focus, knowledge and commitment required and proved by every really successful
entrepreneur and once you know you have all the parts, never ever, ever give up, as you
will never be bound by other people’s limitations again.

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