Thursday, 15 November 2012

2012 SME learning points

To SME Owners
 That time of the year to reflect on some learning points,here's some that I have come across this year working with SME businesses.

-Changing and adapting ones Leadership and Management Style to handle the different business climate that will be with us for some time to come.
-Getting your staff to REALLY understand your business.
-Given our "labour law" need to find the best staff, hard and time issues to get ride of passengers.
-Staff training, more on soft skills,ie emotional IQ.
-Cutting out micro managing, staff and personal leadership improvement.

To name a few key areas.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


TO SME Owners

So you have in place your VISION of where you want your business to be and in what form,
this is a great place to be, but as always there is a trick in turning it into reality.

One key trick I have grown to understand and accept covers the following areas,

- when you think of your vision, you actually see images, close your eyes now and think of seeing your business in a certain position, you will see images,
- some still call it visualisation,
- we have about 60000 thoughts a day so you can see how powerful your thinking is, but this might not go along with your, belief system,may be hard to pick up on the concept of what you think about comes into being.

Go do some research, it will also be great self development, the other trick is to get your team to get into the right thinking space relative to their jobs and the vision of the business.
They can start by being a LEADER WITHOUT A TITLE in your business, as Robin Sharma puts it.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Your Sales Team and their client follow up!

To SME Owners

Here is a real live case of a lack of follow up, lack of research, and may be some Arrogance and
Com pliancy.
These two businesses are in the top 4 in their game/industry.

I dealt with one of them in 2010 (December), now needed a quote on a similar need in 2012 (September), rep came to see me, did all the rep stuff, and asked me if I had dealt with his company before, I said no!, not truthful, but wanted to see if he did any research!

When I dealt with the business in 2010, price was R20k, remember very similar need, rep came back with a quote of R36k, I asked him did you pick up from your system that I have dealt with your company before, he did not check! I told the rep that I had and the price was R20k, check out the rate of inflation? In the mean time called for a quote by a competitor, and showed the rep, the invoice of the deal I did in 2010 for R20k, yep he came back with a price of R21k. Even if his price was R25k I would have gone with him.

The rep who quoted me R36k came back with a price of R34k!
SO YOU KNOW WHO GOT THE BUSINESS.... so as an owner need to follow up on.....?

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your Silent partner helping you work on your business

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Scalability of Your Business

To SME owners

This is an important part of running your business, given any focus on cost management.
The law of forced efficiency, is the idea that any job will expand to fill the time you allow for it.
                                            Interesting to say the least!

Herewith a real live case/numbers.(done in SA Rands)

The business moves many commodities, with majority of sales done on line. B2B

Business founded in 1999,
2001 sales R500k
2003 staff head count 13
2003 sales R4.5m  growth 201%
2004 salesR5.8m   growth 39%
2004 staff head count still 13
2005 sales R7.9m
2007 sales R18m
2007 staff head count 33         ( The management and leadership of this business must be good to great) what a business, client service and technology must be first class-well done to them.
The business is Euroffice uk
So always keep an eye on your scalability.
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partners helping you work on your business.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Your TEAMS Performance

To SME Owners

You can't force your staff to perform, you have to create a business vibe that lets staff THINK, and create better way's of doing stuff in the business.

Yes business culture is a driver, but it also includes the working condition's, the office layout, the rituals, etc.

The staff must also take responsibility for not just "taking from the business/ their job"but what are they becoming as a person, do they contribute to a climate of cooperation and willing.

Many sme businesses have Mavericks working in their company's, who are usually achievers, they however mess things up for the rest of the team. I came across this recently, the bossman had a little word with his maverick, and said enough is enough, fit in or------,walk and see more chap.

I will watch this space with interest over the next 30 days!

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Survival is not Sufficient

TO SME Owners

Yes there may be many of you that are just trying to keep your business door open to trade,
so we have got to move your mind away from just focusing on survival, but focus on these
What decisions you have to make that will give your business the highest and best impact,
Really,really find out every day where the cash is in your business, does your business
need to be recapitalised and why,
Are you making quicker and better decisions with speed, with speed,this is so important, I have
researched this area in sme businesses for 15years.

Most businesses adopt unrealistic plans and think, lets keep to the grindstone, that is why I have
developed my Reality Check 303 model, which gets to the core issues with speed.

Yep our labour law in SA is not there to help sme businesses, when it comes to under preforming staff  but you have to spend time to get ride of those staff that are passengers, yes it takes time, but you must, these staff mess up your business brand.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Your SME business structure

To SME Owners

I hear many times have a lean structure, cut your head count(very few sme businesses have shrunk to greatness)Being a sme you tend to win business on your service levels, so in my mind cover your base, by not being short staffed, big business can have two staff off out of a team of say ten, but you cannot!
While I am doing this post listening to my best of the best cd's Rodriguez, Cold Facts, he did a concert in LA recently aged 70, I first heard his great tunes in 1970's when at school, some things do not change, so where does this lead, understand the COLD FACT'S about HOW IMPORTANT the structure of your business is and the balance about working on your business vs in!

Set up a culture where you delegate but check, you need time to think through any risks, any pending decisions, move with speed, big business move slow most of the time, I have a client, where the big player in the industry is so, so slow to wake up.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Your Risk Intelligence

To SME Owners

We all know there are risks in our businesses, so how do you approach risk.
Common since tells us that there are different levels of risk, these come about with every decision you make, sometimes we do not think of the risk level.It should be built into your DNA, if you want to understand, what is at risk, who is at risk, how to manage the risk.

The trick is your view on risk and how you mentally handle risk, from this you create certain stress levels.

So when you take risks ask yourself this,

- will this improve the value of the business,
- will this improve performance and results,
-will this provide better service to your clients,
-will the staff grow and learn quicker and better,
(to name a few areas)

Plus, what are the downside, there are always downsides, so be realistic, yes we all want to be positive, know one whats to think of the downsides!
The winners take "Intelligent" risks, tie this up with your Emotional IQ.

Till next time may the Force be with you,I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Saturated Markets vs "New" New Clients

To SME Owners

In South Africa, we know that most markets have many, many players, but every month new businesses open and close for a number of reasons, all wanting to make it big, or should it be to MAKE a Difference!
Most markets have 4 major players, then there are the marginal players and losers.

Whether you have been in business for 3 years or ten, your business will still need to seek out and engage New New clients, remember attract the right clients upfront( it takes discipline)

So the best place to go find new clients is from the BIG players, they are so big they will
 not miss this client and that client, most of the time they are complacent/arrogant,
( okay there are exceptions to the rule)

I am working with a client, and 75% of the reps time( prospecting) etc is focused on the 2 main players. sales have gone up 24% in 6 months, margins are good, of the new clients taken on in
this period the competitors have not fought back, the new clients are good payers, INTERESTING.

So it can be done, with good research, focus and discipline, and some micro managing, which
in this case is important. Wishing you success in implementation.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.
Send me a Cheque!

Friday, 31 August 2012

The Myth about Growth

To SME Owners

Yes we here all the time , must grow the business, lets look at this with a certain mindset.

-why do you want to grow,
-how do you want to grow,
-can you control how your business grows( most owners, in my years of being in the game,
struggle with this)
-sales reps bring in business that does not "fit" with the business positioning.

Growth is an ego thing, with it, it brings material things, not bad, bigger is not always better!
Please get a handle on what key drivers create your growth, this will help you "manage growth"better.

With growth comes the need for more operating costs, scalability is important, same as critical mass,
economies of scale.

BUT the one key trick is YOUR Capacity to manage, lead, and handle the Growth Change,
have you got what it takes, yes this is the foundation, or you have a great team around you.
Otherwise growth is a myth.

So have at the top of your agenda always, the word Growth, why and how.
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sales vs cash flow vs Grossprofit

SME Owners

Lets have a close look at the above and the impact on your business, it is important for your
staff to understand also.

I have chatted before about sales mentality vs business mentality, here's what it is about, in a
 simple approach.

Many business/sales people say "how can I grow the business by turning away sales", the wrong type of sale could negatively affect the business trust me.
The first rule do not allow your GP% to slide, when this happens you believe that higher sales at lower than targeted gp% is the answer, no incorrect move.

Any one can drop their price, why then do business still not achieve their sales targets!
Level of profitability is the key, so if you want and need to make say, R50k npbt pm, work backwards,
-Normal sales target is say R500k pm, Gp% is say 60% operating costs pm areR250k (50% of sales)
leaves 10%( R50k pm npbt)
- Lets say GP% drops to 40% what sales do you have to do to achieve R50k npbt pm, go work it out.

Yep ok is it as simple as this, yes( their are always exceptions to the rule, I don't focus on this)

So Sales will have to be at R750k at 40%Gp with op costs static at R250k.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Measure your Results

To SME Owners

The past few days I have been putting the final touches to my workshop presentation, running
them once per month in Joburg"Is your business going nowhere slowly" plus spent time in
Joburg seeing clients.

Six months in the financial year nearly gone( march- august) time to see how you measure
your results.Quite easy if you know the key numbers to focus on in your business.

Here's the deal, watch out for Analysis Paralysis, but as I understand it you need a sound process,
most of your products will have some clients, plus will show some growth, plus some good results.

That's the trick, identifying which ones is the key, so one needs to cut out the emotion when analysing your numbers. Most SME Owners are optimistic by nature, you should be, but could it be a downside!

So when looking at your numbers, understand, how you are growing, why you are growing, are you growing in the right areas, I have a model which helps with the above,

Reality Check 303, works 99% of the time.
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

SME Marketing Communications B2B

To SME Owners

If you want to go this route as part of your Build strategy here are some areas to give you Focus.

-What do you want to achieve from implementing MCB2B, list the 4 key objective,
-Have a feel for the budget, it is an INVESTMENT, not a marketing cost,
-Time frame and timing,TIMING is critical.

Who are you going to be targeting.

Part of the above is deciding how to allocate your resources(money and staff) among the MC you have chosen.

For B2B here are a few marketing communication tools, trade shows/ exhibitions, e marketing, yep
Ads in certain targeted magazine's, (if you go this route, to create momentum need to sustain your investment) social media (LinkedIn, this takes many hours of dedication to achieve ROE)

Most sme businesses use sales promotion, in the form of sales reps(selling function) that's their budget done and dusted as the saying goes, very little funds left for all the Fancy stuff.

So yes sales team training, managing, developing and controlling takes up most of your time.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Hold or Build Strategy

To SME Owners

In the recent past I attended a talk by a top SA business guru, most of us there run sme businesses.
Some good points were covered, but I did not agree on the point that sme's need to have 3year financial plans/ budgets, yes have a 3, 5, 10 year vision.Most sme businesses are just trying to get through the next 6 months in this Different Economic Climate.( there are exceptions to the rule)

Following on from a previous post on strategy, two main strategies come into play,

Hold strategy- this could include, selective new product development, use of guerrilla tactics
to confuse the opposition( I am doing this with a client of mine, on price with some of the opposition clients selective approach, plus one or two other tricks),selective product enhancements, more focused market segmentation, to name a few, set up strategic partnerships.

Build/Growth strategy- innovation/  new products, new packaging, branding,diversify, social media investment(time and money) aggressive sales action plan, increase sales force, to name a few.

So I hope I have given you some simple but effective areas to think of, there are two things to take into consideration, where your business in it's life cycle and cash flow status, plus your leadership capacity.

Till next time may the Force be with you,I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Fire some Clients

To SME Owners

In one of my earlier posts I chatted about attracting the right clients, we all know that when you first start your business, in most cases it is to get clients, any type. Yes you have to build a client base!

So now you have been in business for more than five years, it is time to look very closely at your client base.I am sure you put clients on "stop supply" if they go beyond their payment terms, no
I thought not.(Ok there are exceptions to the rule)

Suppliers put you on hold, or fire you, so why not the same for clients, oh the client will go to the opposition.

Here's the deal, if your client is not profitable and a good payer you should be looking at your client
acquisition focus.Clients may even come back to you once they have tried to " play games" with their new supplier, and you may be able to charge them more!
Firing clients is good for the business, it gets the reps to really look at clients in a different way, helps reps to be more strategic(I covered this in a post on my sales blog)

There are different ways to go about implementing your fire policy. give it some thought.
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Leadership and your SME Business Part 2

To SME Owners

Here is a follow up on yesterdays post, as you may have gathered Leadership to me and you is so critical for laying the success foundation.

Your team needs to know your Values, they should also give input on what the values of the business are.( how they see it)
I like to keep things SIMPLE so you can move with speed to IMPLEMENT.

So what are some of the values,
      - mutual respect,
      - open minded,
      - integrity,
      - use of initiative,
      - take responsibility for the quality of work produced.
To name a few.

The above then forms the foundation of the business culture, which means simply,
     Culture is not in the job, it is in the ATTITUDE to the job, the values are the key to behaviour
and this moves to having the RMA(right mental attitude)
      So the culture is how things are do in the business.

Yes the values may need to change slightly over time depending on, the business maturity of the business and experience of the team.
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Leadership and your SME business

To SME Owners
Yes you KNOW this all, but a refresher.

Everyday I chat with clients on the single (in my opinion) most important skill, leadership of their sme businesses which can make or break their level of success.Recently my son and I were chatting about his degree that he is doing, Kyle asked do owners/ entrepreneurs know the true definition and process of leadership,( my son helps me in my business from time to time, on market and marketing research) good point, so I said lets go through the above two areas.

Leadership can be defined as, influencing and directing the Behaviour of staff, in such a way to achive the best results for the business and them, thats a key to a win win situation as late MR S Covey put it.

So that word behaviour comes into play, I am the first to agree that being a leader is hard work, lots of pt,effort required if it is not part of your DNA.

Simply there are SIX areas to Leadership, score yourself on them(10 being the highest)
     -  Authority(fear authority or not), how good are you at giving orders, instructions to your team,
     -  Influence, by setting examples(recently I did a post on my sales blog, sales reps and their
       influence with their clients) Influence behaviour, behaviour and more behaviour,
     -  Delegation, do you get your team to do the work, or do you want to be the busy being busy,
     -  Leadership is "all" about Responsibility and Accountability.
If the business fails it is your fault, if it wins it is the team, thats how life is.
     -  Finally that word Power, this does mean different things to different people, a pity but we
         are in the real world,
             -  power is as the dicitionary states, ability, capacity,capability, competency( not ugly power)

So six very simple areas for you and I to focus on to be better leaders.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Types of Intelligence for your Business

To SME Owners,

This is not a look at your General Intellect but four areas that I have come to understand, not only in myself, but coaching/ consulting to sme businesses over the past 15 years.

Not in order of priority,lets keep in short and simple, I am not into pages of stuff.

     - Business intelligence, what does this mean, as the saying goes, knowing the nuts and bolts of the business, but which nuts and bolts? things like, how is the business valuable to it's clients, are the competitors really competitors, how do suppliers impact on your service and cash flow.

     - Business CULTURE intelligence, is values, change and adaptability of the team in today's different market.

     - Strategic intelligence, is working on the business, what drives the success of the business, what FEW key opportunities to focus on, are there any threats coming your way.

     - Emotional intelligence,( this is the one area that screws up the business,) the owners EI and the staffs EI, it means different things to different people, but please understand, yourself and how your staff think.

So, yes, You need to get a handle on all four areas, it can be done, as a starting point score your self on scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

SME's and "The New Economy"

To SME Owners,

I am doing on going research into CHANGE and ADAPTABILITY, and what does this really mean to SME business's and how critical is it, we all here that it is a key factor!
So for this post, I have gone back through the workshops that I have run over the past 15 years.
     Here is one I did in NOVEMBER 2001, titled The New Economy,(2001-2010) seven areas were covered, you tell me if they are still applicable today!
      Knowledge, of the business owners, the staff, on competitors,
      Technological innovations, but more on the IT systems within sme businesses,
      Staff learning curve,their SPEED of understanding their jobs to perform better,
      The business flexibility and how to adapt,
      Cost reduction, will always be on the agenda,
      Investment in human capital, the right staff in the right positions, staff training,
      Productivity levels of staff,

Yep looking at the above now, how important are the undermentioned, that I stated as, issues, trends for sme's in 2012, to name a few,

     Social media and ROE(return on effort)
     Financial information (up to date)
     Leadership/Management style(culture)
     Quality of b2b relationships
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Innovation? and your SME Business

To SME Owners,

We always hear the word Innovation, it's the buz word for the next upteen years, but is this relative to your business and in what form, here I am focusing on B2B.

We used to have the Knowledge business world, now it is the Innovation/creative world, or to us in our sme business is it still is a combination of the two, I would say it is from where I sit.

I see Innovation broken up into two areas for us sme's,

      - Innovation within the business,
      - Innovation within your market.(are you /can you innovate in your market)

So a simple rule is to look at the above two segments, and what does this mean in each area.

What does Innovation mean, here's my take,
        -What shifts and trends are taking place in your market,ie new regulations, new technologies, different application's for your product, new opposition, new sales/ supplier channels, to name a few.
         -Are there new markets for your products, how to supply and service, will it be different/innovative.
         - In your business, are your team encouraged to come up with "new" ways to provide better service, improve relationships, improve efficiency levels, to save costs, to increase margins, ways
to get to see more of the "right" clients.
         -So do we call it new ideas or innovation?
For many sme business it is difficult to innovate in their markets, alot easy to innovate within your business,( yes there are exception to the rule)
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Friday, 13 July 2012

What Works in Your Business.

To SME Owners.

You may know consciously or not what really works in your business, the trick is to have some system, or model, or process(that is simple to implement), so you can be ahead of the game,
 and it is a way of keeping your staff in the loop.

Keeping it all in your head, may not be a great idea.Ask yourself is your business still focused on it's CORE activities, or are you and your team trying to seize on every opportunity that comes your way.(I did a post on the issue of opportunities in June)

A simple way is to benchmark, or score those areas( on a scale of one to ten) that you want to see if things are really working, how detailed you need to be is your call.

Obviously,your model will cover the Key Numbers you focus on that help you have a great handle on your business, and how often you get reports in this regard.

A few key areas could be,
    - your structure of the business,
    - your service criteria,
    - your rituals, relative to your business culture,
    -how do you measure relationships with your client.

I hope the above, gives you something new to think about and hopefully implement in your business, when I work with clients this subject is one of the keys, plus How Fit is your Business, to better position your company.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Is your Business FIT enough

To SME Owners.

We hear this all the time when sports coaches talk about their team, or do they, do they just expect the team to be Fit!
So how do you feel about the fitness of your business, what do you look at, what does this word Fit mean in your business.

Lets try and answer,
-Do you have a "sound vision" for your business, but more importantly, do you know how you are going to achieve in the next 6 months, forget the big plans and forecasts for the next 3 years!
-How is your business structured, is it focused on your client and how you Manage them,
-Is your sales team fully productive, I would say most are 60-80%, will it ever get to 100%!
-Do you have too many Non profitable products, etc
-Is your business focused on your key markets or are you servicing too many markets,
-If you have been in business for 5 plus years you should beable to attract those clients YOU want, not what the odd sales rep wants!

In todays Different market, that sounds better than that word that starts with "r", if I may recommend CHECK your business Fitness every 6 months, yes you will find the time, go get help from a pro.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Who would Miss YOUR BUSINESS

To SME Owners.

So why did you start your business, for Big Bucks! No I think for the following reasons,
      To be of service,
      To build new relationships,
      To test yourself,
      To be creative,
      To be proud, name a few,
and to create wealth.

So if your business went out of business, closed the doors, who would miss your products, service, relationships.

Please ask yourself and your team on a regular basis, WHY DO WE EXIST.

Everyone talks about add value, value add, how boring, BUT go and be VALUABLE,

Simple, but EFFECTIVE. 

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

How They Blew It

To SME Owners.

I have just finished reading the above book by J Oliver and T Goodwin, great book , go buy it.

Here are my views on why these top entrepreneurs, blew it.(can we learn anything, yes I know we can)

-Grew to quickly, had great vision, but had a sales mentality, not a business mentality.
-From this poor longterm Leadership.
-This then included poor decision making.
- Ego and Pride got in the way.
-Took on too many risks.
-Lacked sound structures.
            To name a few, buy the book it goes into deep meanings with good research.

I saw these upsides though,

-Saw opportunities and moved quickly.
-Understood the big picture.
-Knew and were aware of shifts and trends, so they could try to position their business better.
-Wanted to grow something really Big.
-Contributed to charities etc.

As the authors put it,"the failings were mostly Human ones.

As I have mentioned the above is seen through my SME eyes.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

July to December 2012

To SME Owners.

Six months gone, what have you set as business and personal objectives for the next Six months.

Here's some of what I have listed.(I have put action plans to each of them, I do not want to bore you with them, though)

     Share more, case studies and stories of actual "live"sme business issues, I have a front seat.

     Learn more, keep pushing myself to learn new things,

     Network more, (meet more people, have more simple conversations)

     Contribute more, always look for ways to add more and more,

     Study those people I meet, notice and remember the details.

So I have given you a small insight into, GUY,
                  Now it is YOUR turn to take some quite time and look at what you want to achieve.

It could be, Build a more cohesive team, Master your emotions, work more on your business,
                   Reward great attitudes in a better way, Ask your team is there a better way, take time to reveiw how your business communicates with clients.

There's a few to move you in the right direction
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Your Money and Time

To SME Owners.

We are now moving into the second six months of 2012, January to June are history now or not!

Ask yourself what great achievments did you accomplish in the first six months relative to,
                    Your Money and Time.

Did you address the two, three key opportunities you identified in January, relative to your capacity, your team's capacity, your businesses capacity.

Did you get closer to your Key Clients, remember the 80/20 rule.

Did you try to master your time, remembering, most things are about time and timing.

Did your team adjust to change, how flexible has your team been when it comes to their time,
did they put your time under pressure.

Did you get closer to your Key suppliers, they are one critical area that help you succeed.

                                           Simple stuff, right!

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Have Fun in your Business

To SME Owners.

What do you put in place to have fun in your business for you and for your team.

What type of Rituals do you have in place for you and your team.

How do celebrate a great month,

Most of your staff want to go to work and feel, yes feel part of something good, something moving forward.

Staff work better and have more fun when you involve them in having fun. So many people are to serious today, they complain about the economy, go work hard and play hard.

        Simple Stuff not all the heavy stuff, sure you will make the odd mistake and take risks, go do it.


Is it a mistake or risk! My blog career has only been going for about six weeks, so to those of you who view my posts THANK YOU, I hope you find my business stuff of practical help, keep on enjoying.
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Is it good having Competitors.

To SME Owners.

Wheather we like it or not we have competitors(opposition) what sounds better! It is good that we have to compete, but why-

        Competitors help educate the market,     
        Competitors come and go(don't be one of those that go!)
        Competitors help you to be on your game, always looking at new ways to service clients.
        Remember there are always Winners, Losers, and Marginal Competitors.

In most instances when a new competitor comes along, what do they do, yep, under cut price(with a view of increasing their margin overtime! right !)

So does this test your Relationship with your client, is your Service and Quality part of why the client deals with you! that word Loyilty comes into play, does it!

Very few b2b competitors can maintain under cutting prices for long periods, remember they will also lose clients.

I had a client, worked with them for three years, the sales director hating losing a client on price, so with a certain client we let him go to the oppostions, why, we knew the client would be back with us in the next three months, (on our new terms)
          The client was already getting a margin 2% below our benchmark, plus was a bad payer. 
I needed us to remember " that the business objective was to attract clients that are Profitable and who are Good Payers.(otherwise your cash flow and profits will be a problem)

If the competitor wanted to take on a problem account good luck to them.(makes you think)
                           Do you get the picture with this simple example.
Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

YOU and YOUR SME Business

To SME Owners.

Starting up your business, did you ever imagine, the great highs and lows you would go through, over the three, five, ten, fifteen years.I admire many of you, running your business can be a lonely endeavour.
What keeps you going?
    Are you driven by a desire to prove yourself,
    Is it an ego thing,
    Is it doing the next big deal,
    You want to build something, to be remembered,
    You want to be seen as a winner.

Then why does it all go wrong?-could it be due to.
     Poor decisions
     Not seeing the risks,
     Lack of relevant management and leadership style,
     Trying to take on to many opportunities, etc etc.
So is there anything you can do about it, sure-
    Be realistic,( yes do reality checks from time to time)
    Work on getting a balance,
    Look at what is important in running a sustainable business,
    Do you really know yourself,
    Get help so you can work on your business, not in it,( believe me this is a key issue)
    Keep Learning, are you improving your skills set, etc etc.

South Africa needs strong, sustainable SME businesses, do not allow yourself to fail, always see the big picture, yep it is hard doing business in SA, you can and must succeed.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am you silent partner helping you work on your business.
You may wish to view, and
Two sites I enjoy.



Saturday, 23 June 2012

Can You Implement Rapid Change.

To SME Owners.

As a sme owner you should be able to implement rapid change in your business, yes where ever we go the word CHANGE comes up, painful sometimes to keep hearing it, but that's the reality check!

Have you asked your team-
   what do they like about change,
   what do they hate about change,
   what do they believe needs to be changed.

Is there sometimes when you do not know HOW to change, are you scared, have you looked at the possible risks.

Do you make the TOUGH calls, yes day in day out, plus if you are working IN your business, your business life will be even more than hectic.

Why does change fail, possibly due to-
    lack of information,
    lack of follow through,
    the why,when, how, all of this is simple stuff, right, what is your view.

And the BIG barrier, good old fashion COMMUNICATION!

Yep, their are always exception to the rule, so I really do hope you can implement rapid and positive change, it is your business, it is your wealth vehicle, the market place does not slow down.
I am in the trenches every day helping businesses handle the key issue of change.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on you business.  

Friday, 22 June 2012

My Top Social Media "advice" Blogs

To SME Owners.

This post follows on from a earlier post about Free online information overload! A quick overview, in the past six months I have spent nearly 600 hundred hours researching social media. It has been part of my communication plan, given I am totally new to the online stuff.(I made the time/ found the time to do the research, If you are committed to something you action it, if you are interested, you do it whenever, right!)and then you wonder why you have been left behind?

As we know there are tons of blogs, so why these Three-
Objective in identifying which blogs I wanted as Favourites,
     My ROE(return on effort)
     Perceived expert
     Easy to read and digest
     Actionable information
     Blogger activity

Here are the three- ( this is more a Macro look at SME business in South Africa)

I do have a few other blogs that I follow, these are in different markets relative to the services I provide to SME Owners.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Is Your SME business Stressed

To SME Owners,

Are you to much of a control freak, are you overworking, trying to make all the decisions, are you frustrated, relax, understand the following(it does depend on where your business is in it's life cycle)

Your plans and strategies are worthless if they are not achievable in a tight time frame, yes speed is more important than perfection I came across a business that was ahead of the game and then fell way back due to the market catching up with them and then racing passed them, to slow to change to the shift that took place, Yep, problem business.

Your cash is king, yep we all know this, but do really know where your money is in your business and the money time movements?

Are you managing by objectives, or managing by hope, start to empower your staff( back in the day it was called,delegation) Please free up the spirit in your team and business.

Always ask yourself, Why did you START your business, profits, wealth are by products of doing everything else right, right!

Till next time, may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Online Knowledge vs Information Overload

To SME Owners.

I was chatting recently with other business executives regarding the above relating to sme owners finding time to keep up to speed with all the FREE knowledge that is available online at the push of a button.
We covered the following areas-
     Does all this free information help sme's be more successful?
     Is there to many different portals, so there is information overload?
     What information can you TRUST?
     How to gather all the relevant information, to make better decisions and to move with speed?

If we factor in the TEN THOUSAND rule, where does that leave you the sme owner, especially if you have been running your business for three to five years( you have not qualified yet in terms of the above rule, yes there are exceptions to all rules.)

To solve the above there are a few options, one of the best,is to out source,( we have heard this before) have a team around you, whether it includes all or some of these experts-
                     - bookkeeping
                     - social media
                     - business consulting
                     - etc,etc
These experts do have the time to research those vital areas relative to your needs, let them get to understand you and your business.They should also bring to the table outside objective views and ideas, many an idea has been worth millions!

It is an investment, not a cost, take into account, that forty thousand sme's closed their doors in 2012 in SA. and that many sme owners work more in their business than on it. More businesses will close this year, what are you doing not to be one of them!

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.  

Friday, 15 June 2012

Different types of SME Owners

To SME Owners.

 Here's what I have come across working with Sme's since 1997 in South Africa, Sme fall into two classes.
      Those who started their business with a technical background,
      Those who started their business with a sales background.
This comes with different challenges-
       The approach to the business, staff, clients, suppliers, the market in general.

The technical approach is attention to detail, many hours spent working in the business, struggles to understand the sales mentality, focuses on features of the product, makes things to complicated, so the team become frustrated.

The sales approach is all about just get the sale at( nearly) all costs, business just focuses on sales and more sale, sales systems are put in place, but are broken regularly, no other systems are in place, the team plays hard and works hard, A Sales mentality has set in, not a Business mentality.

Yes there are exception to the rule, as always, one also needs to factor in where the business is, in the Business Life Cycle.
Tell next time may the Force be with you, I am your Silent partner helping you work on your business.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Do your staff know your business

To SME Owners.

I am working with a young dynamic company(b2b) that does sales between R5million-R10million pa. they have been in the game for three years.

Everything is not just about getting sales, (yes sales is important) but it is more important for your team to get to grips very quickly with understanding BUSINESS.What makes a your business tick.
There are many ways to do this, with the above client, I am working on few areas that I believe is critical for improved performance for them. I have listed three below-

Area number one-Business culture ie how things are done in the business, the values set by the Bossman and the example set each and every day to instill the culture.This also includes the business language, what language does your sme business use/ speak.( could be using these words a lot)      
         whats the objectives, are you results driven, do you talk opportunities and challengers
         instead of we have this problem, is the business solution driven or excuses driven.

 A key advantage is your unique businesses culture, Why, no other sme can copy it.

Area number two-Maximise the value of the contact with their clients.
Area number three- Focusing on the key numbers in the business.
            Not just sale and gp%, but other numbers, you know what they are.

Tell next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Guy Daines

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

SME Owners and Social Media

To SME Owners.

Let me try and not be to controversial, as owners of sme businesses that are b2b selling product or services and do annual sales of R3m-R20m , you may wish to take note of the following.

Think hard of which Social Media channel to use, ie Linkedin, facebook,twitter, relative to management of your time?

I have spent about 400 hours in the last 5months doing research on the above.

Sure there are exceptions to the rule!

Here's what I have based my assumptions on, a lot of sme owners work more in their businesses than on, most people are busy being busy and love telling others how busy they are( who cares, just get the result),6 to 8 people out of 10 manage time poorly, alot of businesses allow to many of their clients to manage them. So we get the picture, do we?(I have spent 30 years studying peoples time management habits)

So on top of all the above, you now have to find time to communicate via social media platforms, it would appear that you have to be in the game, so use only one of the above three, you as the owner will have to spend time on social media, given the size of your business, you have to be that resource, can not afford a full time SM person, plus you will want to control the input, agree!

We all remember when the world wide web hit the market, most businesses just to stay in the game had to have a website, no different now.
I prefer to use linkedin, gives opportunity to join different groups, access to different discussions on a variety of markets and industries,etc,etc.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.
Guy Daines

Friday, 8 June 2012

Business Optimism vs Business Pessimism

Hi SME Owners.

Whether we as business owners find ourselves in different types of business climates,we will always come across two types of mindsets, optimism or pessimism, why is this.
Pessimism focuses on too many negatives, focuses on uncontrolables, loss of confidence, fear, panic sets in. Emotional decision making sets in, there is more internal focus.

Optimism focuses on, what is going right, what is going well, see that there is business deals being done every day the market place is alive, there is activity, focus on your client.

 Sure you, we must do a reality check from time to time, it's how we go about it? 

No business has ever shrunk to greatness (maybe a few, but exception to the rule)

So as the sme owner it is up to us to set the tone, for our teams, we must take the lead, yep not that easy, but we have two choices,

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.
Guy Daines

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Big Payoff for building Your business

To SME Owners,

Your good name, your reputation equals the way you conduct your business dealings.

Your character as a business person is always on view, please never underestimate this, be transparent, yep even when in deal negotiations, also the old saying never knock your opposition.

Business in many ways is simple, focus on RSQP, relationship depth, service, quality of product relative to its price(I covered this in one of my earlier blogs, really an important point RSQP)

But all the above must come with TRUST,

   Trust in the relationship
   Trust in the service
   Trust in the quality of product
   Trust that there are no hidden costs in your pricing.

The big payoff comes when you want to sell your business, and the above are not in place, simple, no big fancy strategies etc etc.

Work On your business, not IN your business.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Guy Daines

Saturday, 2 June 2012

What is meant by the word STRATEGY

To SME Owners in SA

The word strategy is used in different context all the time, here's how to keep it simple in your business.
I have been working with SME businesses for 15 years, this is my take on strategy.

Strategic discussions/conversations.
- on issues affecting your business, ie, probing into the following,
           -customer service
           -performance measurement
           -where are the key opportunities
           -brand building
           -social media marketing
Strategic thinking,             
-We have 60000 thoughts a day, so thinking never stops, it is continuous, but you need to share thoughts, most times two minds are better than one.
- no immediate answers, combination of gut feel, intuition and facts, deal in facts not fiction.
- by it's nature it is informal.

Strategic planning,
-structured time with key focus areas
-do a C.O.S.T. analysis
-action plans
-control with financial data

Strategy is then about learning-seeing your business through different eyes( this is one of the key
benefits of contracting my services)
-being alert to change
-dreaming up new ways of doing things
doing it consistently-this a key trick, it is not just once a year for us SME businesses
Tell next time may the Force be with you.I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Guy Daines                                             you may wish to join SME Owners in SA group on linkedin

Friday, 1 June 2012

Winners, Losers, and Marginal businesses

To the TEAM SME Owners in SA.

We all want to be a winner, so how much of a player is your business, even being a marginal player could be worth while.
There are always exceptions to the rule when it comes to the following, in every market there are four main players, then there are many smaller players, fighting the day to day battle not to be a loser.

One good way to try and get a handle on how you play the game, is to have a feel for the rand size of your market, you obviously did some form of research. So if you are a b2b business and need to quote for business, the volume of quotes in rand will give you a good indicator. You may need to reposition your business, your market won't stand still, to keep playing you, we, need to be flexible, more innovative(within the business) and more creative.The secret is how quickly you move, the leader sets the pace,as Kahlil Gibran said"it is when you are pursued that you become swift".

So always reposition, reposition, reposition, change, get through to your team they must move with the times.

We all know that the business world is growing more complicated each day, new techniques, new competitors, new regulations( this is a pain in the-----) a new generation of workers, but try to keep it simple if you can, many of us need certain levels of support.

Your leadership style, skills are critical, whether you micro manage or not.

But you might say, your business is profitable, good, but is it enough to create wealth for you and a good standard ol living.

Till next time may the Force be with you,I am your silent partner helping you work on your business

Guy Daines                you may wish to join-SME owners in SA group via Linkedin

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Are you Attracting the Right Clients

To the TEAM, SME Owners in SA.

Most of us hear this alot, it means different things to different businesses or does it.

Remembering there are always exceptions to the rule.

Here are some things for us to consider.

-in a startup there is a sales mentality, attract as many clients as possible in the shortest possible time, with the view take on the client do not worry about the gp%/ margin. the view is ,we will get the price/ margin up over time to be at the benchmark that was set for the business to be profitable!
The business has just started a down hill fight for itself over the next three years if the business lasts that long. SO A POOR FOUNDATION has been established. Here's an example or two, that I have come across in my coaching of sme businesses over the past 15 years,(where the business environment has been up and down)
First 6 months of trading 40% of total sales under gp% benchmark, so you know what this does.

Ok so we have got through the first 3years, business not profitable,cash flow not great, but you are still in the game.You start to get the picture that more focused sales activities are needed, so focus is on going after clients you want, not just any client, year 3 to 5 must be the period you really get a handle on more profitable business, so the 40% drops to 20% of total sales, remembering the 80/20 principle, (which I believe was first used in the 15 century) A business mentality has set in.

Year 5 onwards you still have some low margin business, that's ok if it stays below 20% of total sales every month.
Here's a final thought-

Theodore Levitt- USA marketing guru, the purpose of a business is to get customers.

Peter Drucker-USA management guru, the purpose of a business is to create and keep customers.

                             to me they are legends in the business world,

I have added the following- the purpose of a business is to create and keep profitable clients who are good payers.

So if you have low margin clients make sure they pay you quickly.
Till the next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.
Guy Daines

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

SME Owners need a Support Structure

To the TEAM SME Owners in SA

In today's fast changing, competitive environment, and a turbulent business playing field, YOU, we, need a support structure to keep ahead of the curve.

But first there are three key focus areas,
 Communication skills

 Leadership - is the capacity to translate vision into reality, we all know this.

 Relationships - our relationships make or break us.

 Communication skills - develop positive one-on -one skills

Now for our support structure, business partnering, means this for us.
 An Accountant/ Auditor-year end numbers, tax, statutory stuff.
 An Attorney. legal stuff
 A Financial planner. investment portfolio
 A Labour consultant, staff, employee stuff
A Business consultant/ coach, transforming the business, outside objective input.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Running with Sales Reps

To the Team SME Owners in SA

With 30 years of working with sales reps, let me share some of my thoughts with you, sales reps are the most expensive financial layout,or your best investment.

Remembering there are always exceptions to the rule.

A large % of reps are order takers, very few actually sell, here I talking about B2B selling, yes I agree it all depends on the setup within the business they work.

In 1980 I attended an Alfred Tack sales course, first class course, have some of Mr Tacks book, like ABC of selling, some of the information in this post comes from his training, yes somethings change, but some things do not change, you be the judge.

We have all come across the Maverick Rep, gets results, but leaves havoc behind him!

Then you get a Star Rep, a star rep is not-
        -The Personality Rep
        -The Plodder Rep
        -The Know-it-all Rep
        -The Talker Rep
        -The Chip on the shoulder Rep
The Star Rep has great-
         -People skills,building lasting relationships
         -Time management
         -sales admin
         - debtor collection-sale only closed when money in the bank
         - sales prospecting, finding new business and new clients
         - product knowledge
         - sales skills
So hopefully you ,we can set benchmarks to identify Star Reps, more on Running with reps in next posts.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Guy Daines

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Profile of a Successful Sales manager

To the TEAM, SME Owners in SA
For 30 years I have been working with, managing and training Sales Managers, in some areas the sales management role has changed , in others it has not, so heres a look at the sales managers body, tongue in cheek look.
His MIND-above average IQ, innovative,open to new ideas, gets to know how his team think.
His EYES-sees opportunities instead of problems.
His NOSE-for smelling out good profitable business.
His MOUTH-great communicator, good at selling his point of view.
His EARS-good listener, seek first to understand, and then be understood,( as per Mr S. Covey)
His CHIN-boxers chin for the hard knocks, does not fall.

His NECK-for sticking it out, but not Mr Reckless.
His SHOULDERS-broad for accepting responsibility.
His HEART-has good emotional IQ, balance of a soft and hard heart.
His STOMACH-must have guts, good gut feel.
His HANDS-can handle, manage a few key accounts.
His LEGS-strong to keep going, moves with speed(does lots of leg press at gym!!)
His FEET-fast and nimble, can adapt to change

His TECHNO Stuff- laptop, ipad, smart phone, webcam, skype and ipod( for motivational listening stuff)
His Knowledge- lots of reading and research, but not information overload.

His WATCH-has great time management, so he does not have to work a 10 hour day, day in and day out

Off to JHB for two days to train sales managers and sales reps, My next blog will focus on Running with your sales Reps.

Till next time may the FORCE be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Guy Daines
Also on Linkedin

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Are you creating Wealth in your SME business( part 2)

To the TEAM SME Owners in SA.

Following from my 20th May blog, there are two types of businesses, those that create a Lifestyle for the owners and those that create Money Wealth, ie- the value of the business when you sell it.

The Key is for these two types to come together, in your business.

A few years back, I was looking at a project with a new client, needed to repostion his business, so in our chats I asked him if he knew the value of his business,.

Yep he said, about 15million, the business had been operating for 10 years, he, (the owner) was 42 wanted to sell his business at age 50, great goal, vision, so I asked to look at his balance sheets, and other financial info going back a few years.

Heres the deal he was in for a shock, the business had made big losses for the past 2 years, which had affected his Retained income base in his balance sheet. he was in a B2B business, one key product, sales were on big decline. My view was that the business was valued at about 4million, excluding good will, stock etc.I advised that he should chat to an auditor/ accountant, and set up which valuation method to stick with,( the stating point to give focus.)

Lets be clear, there is really no one best method of valuing a business, it depends on the type of business you are in.

For me the quickest and simple way is to focus on the amount of Retained Profit/ Income you have in your Capital Employed section of your balance sheet, if you can show steady profits every year, yes there are dips in profit from time to time, but you get the message

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business

Guy Daines
Also on Linkedin

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Are You creating Wealth in Your SME business

To The Team, SME owners in SA.

Remember Our first Rule, There are exceptions to the rule.

There are many ways to value your business, if possible ask your accountant to give you his method and then every year benchmark where you are at.  Keep to the same valuation method year in and year out.

After 3 years in business and all those long hours where does your business stand re- its wealth, if it is 5 years, 7 years etc where are you at, remembering we have as part of our vision, for a big corporate to buy into our businesses our buy us out, (I am making an assumption here)

Till next time may the Force be with You, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business

Guy Daines
also on Linkedin.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The 7 forms of Wealth

To the Team, SME Owners in SA.

Today lets chat about the above, from the book by Robin Sharma (The Greatness Guide, book one) a first class book, I have been reading it since 2006, go buy it, a great investment, so here goes.

Wealth is not just about making money, here's the 7 elements to reach before You, We, can call ourselves Rich, Robin identifies them as-

Inner wealth-positive mindset, high self respect, internal peace and a strong spiritual connection.

Physical wealth-your health is your wealth.

Family and social wealth-when your family life is happy you perform better at work, making your family your first priority is important, yes hard but is a key area.

Career wealth-reaching for your best in your career is incredibly important, it is good for your self respect.

Economic wealth- yes money is important, it makes life easier and better(if used wisely( to me it is a by product of doing everything else well)

Adventure wealth-challenges is necessary for happiness, we need lots of adventure in our lives.

Impact wealth-each of us craves to be significant, to make a difference.

So powerful, you would agree

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Reality Check 303

To the Team SME Owners in SA

Today lets chat about you the Startup business or your business that has been going for less than 3years, as always there are Exceptions to every rule ,so we do not focus on this.

Every one of you guys know that it is a 24/7 task, we have been told this over and over, so whats new. first up I hope your wife, husband, girl friend, boy friend is aware of this, that's a good place to start. Then lets look at the rest of the issues, it will take your business at least 3 years to turn a profit, lack of understanding net cash generation will create huge stress, your emotional IQ will be tested to the full,managing vs doing will create you juggling many balls in the air,etc, etc (not if you get the right help)

Remember you started your business to be your own boss, have you just created another job, yes in the first 3years, for sure, yes keep motivated , stick to your vision, but go do the following- from day one or start now budget for professional outside objective input, advice, be it a mentor, business consultant, coach, or whatever the market calls us who have a passion for helping SMEs. find someone that has been in a sme business , someone that has many years of experience, and knowledge, there are many of us, it is an investment not a cost. Helping SMEs is one of the fastest growing industries in SA.

I was told last week that 40000 businesses in SA closed in 2011, you do not want to be in that class in 2012.

Till next time, may the FORCE be with you, I am your silent partner helping you to work on your business.

Guy Daines
also on Linkedin

Monday, 14 May 2012

What I am learning about Blogging and Social Media

To the Team SME Owners in Sa

I have only been using  SM as a part of my communication plan for a few months now, here's what I have come up with, you may find it of interest.
So I did some research, says that there are over 200million blogs in cyberspace, with 54% of bloggers posting content or tweeting daily, so a very, very competitive market! On techprone website, global stats for 2010, 152milloin blogs where posted on the net.
SM must be part of your, our strategy but it needs focus because it can and does take up a lot of Your Time, and as the saying goes time is money.
Recently I posted on various Linkedin groups, something along these lines, "Is social media worth the ROE, return on effort", I had some interesting views.

So for YOU ,us to get better results, content needs to be relevant, level of comments, interaction, the size of the platform you are on, ie Linkedin has approximately 158million users.

Also a good read Strategic Marketing mag from IMM.

Till next time may the Force be with you, I am your silent partner helping you work on your business

Guy Daines                             You wish to view
also on Linkedin           

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Surviving-Assess our Capacity

To the Team SME Owners and Entrepreneurs in South Africa.

Is it important to know our capacity level and can we improve our capacity, you be the judge.

Lets start with what the dictionary definition of capacity is,
               -power of holding
               -absorbing or grasping
               -power of mind
When we look at a business in terms of capacity we look at,
                -financial capacity
                -resource capacity
                -production capacity
                -technology capacity
So what about our Personal Capacity, some business owners can grow their capacity as their businesses grow, in my experience they may need help in this area, is this a contributing factor for the business to fail, hard to know, not much stats, but with 15 years consulting to and coaching Sme businesses I have a good feel.Personal Capacity is very important.

I was in a meeting recently, it was said that 40000 businesses in SA closed in 2011 seems alot, I also read an interview given by Zweli Manyathi SBSA director of Mid Corporate and business banking,in the magazines Signature, a great mag and read, Approximately 67% of start up businesses fail and as much as 70% of the employed population is found in SME, makes one think.

Till next time may the Force be with you-I am your silent partner helping you work on your business


Guy Daines                   You may also want to check out
also on Linkedin

Friday, 11 May 2012

RSQP Formula

Hi to SME Owners and entrepreneurs in SA.

Here is a formula I came up with in 2008 for focus areas in a sme business, RSQP.

Quality---and then
If you can view your approach to your clients in the RSQP process and you have specific action steps in place to drive these, you should be in a moving foreward position, Yes! price is important, remembering that there are exceptions to the rule.

The above should help you pinpoint how you and your team Win Business, in my view it should be a combination of the above.

Great Relationships come from establishing lots of TRUST, yep we all know this.
Lots of us say we give great Service, here's what I have been trained to know , great service means,reliability,competence,speed of responsiveness,level of communication,understanding client needs,access to the team, credibility, Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten, as the saying goes.Quality means different things to different people, so how do your clients view your Quality.Price, in my view you are in Business to Find and Retain Clients who are Good payers and who are Profitable.So have a RSQP weekend, Rest,Smile,Quality time with loved ones and Party.

Till next time, may the Force be with You, I am your silent Partner helping you work on your business.


Guy Daines
Also on Linkedin        You may wish to visit the online portal at, I like to promote certian businesses in my network

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Spotting New Opportunities-SME

Hi to SME Owners and entrepreneurs in SA.

With 30years business experience and since 1997 I have been consulting to and coaching SME businesses in Joburg and Cape Town who do sales of R3m to R50m pa
With one saying I like, Teamwork,you can succeed quicker and best by helping other people to succeed,  Through my new blog I hope to help you be more successful.My blog will try to focus on B2B who sell products. As in life there are always exception to the rule.

Spotting new Opportunities or stick to what you know?

We have all been there, we try to chase to many opportunities at once, thinking that big deal will be our gold pot, the easy part is coming across the opportunities, the trick and what is essential is having personal discipline and staying power to stay focused on your core business or one or 2 opportunities until the opportunity is turned into a sustainable-established business that can stand on its own.
Look at opportunities in your business ie- critical mass of clients for your business.

Remember there are winners, losers and marginal players, so next time an opportunity crosses your desk think twice before you run off in another direction.

Till next time may the Force be with you.I am Your Silent Partner helping You work on Your Business


Guy Daines
also on Linkedin