Tuesday, 3 November 2015

At this time of year, keep your TEAM FOCUSED

To SME Owners

Yep silly season nearly here, here are some ways keeping your staff focused.

- set them weekly goals, ask them to set goals,
- have brief one on one sessions re one area they need to improve on by shut down time

Ask staff what successes they are having with clients,

Be  persistent in your Managing BY WALKING ABOUT, are your teams busy, doing work, or just chatting.

 Focused on 3 areas you need your staff to focus on before the xmas close.
Arrange a mid afternoon braai at the office, ask staff to bring 2 ideas that will improve the busy
Go do something different, yes you can be creative.

No regrets going into 2016, because something important was left to chance.

Till next time may the Force be with you.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


TO Sme Owners

Really important to do this when it is time to focus on your clients, sorry focus all the time on you clients.
This is your most important daily function.

Set aside time every day, implement SLL.
Do you phone clients on a regular bases, especially when you have a sales team.
Do you wonder why business from a client has dropped of, or increased, stop, think about.
Do you ask clients for feedback, I have a client that after every deal done, the client is contacted, yes hard work, not time consuming!!!!!,

When clients become a pain, you have become arrogant, you are driven by your EGO, sure there are some clients you must fire, but you get my drift.
NEVER NEVER ever stop thinking about SLL

Till next time may the Force be with YOU

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


TO SME Owners

Hi it would be great of you to mail me on guywdaines@vodamail.co.za your title or if you are an sme owner, I will not put you on my mailing list unless you ok it.
The objective is for me to obtain a feel for my Audience, given that my blog is read world wide.
Thank you it will really help me focus on the type of blog content going forward, some research.

Negotiate a BETTER deal, how,
-When you win a deal,your client must also feel that they won
-Understand the different personality styles of those you are dealing with, analytical, amicable,expressive, driver/control freak-it helps big time.
-Have a willingness to accept disagreement
-Are you a good judge of character
-Make sure you have done your homework.

cool, hope this helps you.
Till next time may the Force be with You.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Yes YOU have a MENTOR

To SME Owners

We all have a mentor, if you think you do not need one read on, mentors can help you do great things, yes you must be honest with them and they must be honest and up front with you.

We learn every day, well we should if you are not, then you need to open your mind, there are new dynamics in every situation. When I was in my 30's I was so arrogant, it was my way or the highway, yes only with ten plus years business experience. But maturity can be learnt the hard way!!!!!!

Here is what a mentor can do for you,
- cut out the emotion, do a reality check, I love this one.
- they walk the walk and talk the talk
- they have been there and done it
- they add value too you
To name a few, go find a mentor that is there for the long haul, not just in and out.
Till next time may the Force be with You.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

World Cup RUGBY fever

To Sme Owners,

Many of you may be aware that from the 18th Sept to 30th Oct, the top rugby nations will take to the field to battle for the WORLD CUP. How does this relate to your Sme business, on our Supersport tv channel, they are running build up to the world cup, interviewing those players that have been there and done it.

They were asked "what does it take to win the world cup" Here are some of the comments, which are relative to our businesses.
- Be well organised both on and off the field of play.
- Be able to adapted
- Ensure consistency
- Have the right team/skills
- Have total belief
- Have structure
- Be smarter than opposition
- Have some luck.
Yes these are pro sportsman, but we are the pro business people, makes one THINK.

Till next time may the Force be with You.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

As a MANAGER do you do-----

To SME Owners

I often here Sme owners, complain about their staff, many a time it is warranted, but, the trick is to obtain as much productivity from staff as possible, very ,very few staff are 100% on the ball, that's just business life happening.

Go implement the following and I am sure you will create a winning vibe.

-let you staff know what you expect from them, keep in simple
-give them the tools,and opportunity to perform,
-give them regular feedback on how they are doing(this is where most Sme owners fall down)
-coach, mentor them on two key areas where you believe they need to improve,
- REWARD them according to their CONTRIBUTION.

Guys, it is as simple as 1,2, 3, 4 5 step plan, enjoy.

Till next time may the Force be with you.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Your MIDDLE Managers

To SME Owners.

It is critical that the structure of your business involves, middle management/ supervisor level,
WHY, they play a very important role in your business processes and developing the staff they have report to them.
Yes we hear all the time, cut this level in your business, save costs this way, no, incorrect strategy.

Your middle level serve as a conduit for the free flow of ideas and information up and down the line.

Staff can and will do better if they believe you expect them to, being a control freak in counter
productive, but it is up to you if you want to work 6 days a week, 14 to 16hours a day.

By having middle management, it will test your own leadership style, good, we need great leaders in SME businesses to day.

So take time out , draw up the 5 KRA'S ( key responsibility areas) for your new middle management position

Till next time may the FORCE be with you..

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Think you know your Clients

To SME Owners

Yes we all fall into thinking that we know our clients really well, but do we.
Have you got in place effective, ongoing plans and strategies for assessing clients and their needs.
- if not you could lose the upper hand when it comes to doing ongoing business with them.

- so as a SME owner how are you keeping in constant touch,
- what promotional plans have you in place to connect, what are the key TOUCH POINTS.

- which clients refer business to you
- how are your clients growing
- do you have a feel for your clients market, their opposition, their suppliers.
 YEP this is all important stuff, your competitors are fighting every day to take your clients away, simple English.

So go set up a system so you can be up to speed on YOUR CLIENTS.

Till next time may the Force be with you.

Monday, 13 July 2015


To SME Owners

- It is always a great way to look yourself in the mirror.

What position is you business currently in, are you losing clients, are staff being drama queens, have you got mavericks that do not work the system.

Then check out your LEADERSHIP STYLE, most of the issues in SME business today are due to owners not being on their game, they blame the economy, they blame the government (which government is always on their game!) they blame there staff, but you employed them.

Go check out what it really takes to take you business to different levels, I had a chat with a Sme owner recently, re staff, great staff equal a great business, he said, great staff adds up to higher overheads, staff costs, !!!!!, amazing.

Make sure your emotional IQ is a focus, are you a great motivator and mentor. COOL

Till next time my the FORCE be with you.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Something NEW

To SME Owners

Yep 6 months gone in 2015, ask yourself the following.

- What did you change in your business the past 6 months that will have an impact on the next 6 months in a positive way.

-Did you just do the same old stuff, which will get you the same old results, and will put undue pressure on you.

- What new things did you introduce into your business.
- Remember there are winners, loses and marginal players in your market, the trick, is to define in your terms how will you measure being a winner.

- look at the key changes you made, if you did not make any, big concern, see what the risks will be,
you are a risk taker, that's what makes you different. Go smash your opposition, but be humble, go do more thinking and research.

Till next time may the FORCE be with you.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Good Growth vs Bad Growth

To SME Owners.

Yes well all want good growth, we have heard it before, lets have the RIGHT GROWTH.

Growth in most forms increases sales, but it must be cost effective, it must be at the right margin.
Right growth is sustainable, the right type of clients, the good paying clients.

Growth should come more from ORGANIC and DIFFERENTIATED approach. Some businesses grow due to their clients growing, ie if you supply a retail outlet/ group and they open 10 new stores your sales will grow, simple enough.

Growing by price discounting is a very very short route, it works for sum, not all, it will be interesting to see how Cell C (here in SA) wins business with their new offer.

The right growth comes from continuously looking at your product range, new products, product improvement, but also which is a key factor is your all round service levels.

Cool go take time out to check how your business is growing, watch the type of business your reps bring to the table.

Till next time may the Force be with you.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

How is your business Strategy.

To Sme Owners,

Always good to review your strategy in this changing world, change and more change, it is key that your staff understand that they may have to change direction overnight.

Here are a few pointers, for a Hold Strategy.
- segment your market and clients.
- upgrade packaging.
- look at ways to add more value.
- have very tight control on every thing in the business, (yep control freaks will enjoy this)

A Build Strategy
- new product development, innovate!
- aggressive pricing
- focus your business units on speed.

So go look at what you need to change/ adjust, it will refocus your mind.

Till next time may the Force be with You. Blog by Kyle Daines
Thank you to those who view my blogs, from, UK, USA, France, Hong Kong, China, Russia, Romania, Germany. South Africa.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Review your sales and marketing material

To SME Owners

When last did you layout your BRANDED material on your desk, boardroom table, and review it.

Building your business brand can be quicker than you think, plus brand building is an ongoing focus.

How does your opposition material stand up to your material, good to do this review once a year.
You do not have to spend big bucks, go to your local quick print shop, like Minute Man Press.

Has your material, got emotion, storytelling in the content, these are very powerful factors,
have you a common thread that focuses your prospective clients on how you will solve their problems.

Does your sales team understand what is being communicated and why, do they believe.

Go review your stuff now, it is an interesting project.

Till next time my the Force be with you. Blog by Kyle Daines

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Mind of the STRATEGIST

To SME Owners

Always important to be comfortable with how you think about strategy, your strategic views of the industry you are in, your level of understanding what is strategy.

This is more important for those owners that have got through the first THREE years of trading.
Why, by now you will have a feel for the playing field, know your key competitors, and hopefully are working more on your business than in.

So to give you some input, look strategically,

- your status of your market,
- the status of your staff,
- the status of your opposition,

From here identify three key strategic opportunities.
Then ask your self will these make me sustainable sales stream.

Sure nice and simple.
Till next time my the Force be with you.Blog by Kyle Daines.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Where are your Priorities

To SME Owners

Always good to refresh what should be your PRIORITIES, gives you focus if you list them down.
I have a client that I met with every Wednesday, on this desk he has his "P" list, that we go through.

Have you listed these priorities,

-each day review sales numbers,
-check how many new clients your business has taken on,
- relook your pricing strategy, you can have more than one pricing approach,
-review any expense over R5k,
-are you delegating,
-have you been to visit clients, what is the market feedback,
-what equipment needs up grading.

The TRICK is to have a list and work it day in day out 365 days a year.

Till next time may the Force be with you. Blog by Kyle Daines

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Your Business Model

To SME Owners.

Here is a fancy few words , been used in business for about the last 8 years.

What does your BUSINESS MODEL look like.

Here are some guide lines.

- Your model should show you HOW you are going to make money.
- What people, financial, and equipment you need to invest in.
- Your Target market.

Too name a few blocks that make up your model, after that you develop and implement your strategy, and then put in place action plans.

Till next time may the Force be with you. Blog by Kyle Daines

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Your Business EXPANSION

TO SME Owners

Yes we all want to expand our businesses, locally or per region, or into the GLOBAL JUNGLE.

Here are some key essentials.

- Commitment--- you know what this means
- Knowledge------very very important
- Adaptability
- Financial strength
- The RIGHT PEOPLE, yep people make it work or mess it up
- Effective communication
- Capacity of the business and the Management
- Time and Patience

All simple stuff, nothing new, nope, this info is from my library a book I bought in 1995, by P S Orsino
the point keep it simple, do not get too fancy with the latest buz words.

Till next time may the Force be with You.

Monday, 16 March 2015

You are running a FAMILY business

To SME Owners,

Firstly let me say to you, well done, it takes big -------, to have family to rely on.

Watch out for these common mistakes,

-Blood and business usually do not mix( yes there are always exceptions!)
-Make family members ACCOUNTABLE, by getting them to do weekly reports to you, brings structure to them,
-Hard to FIRE a family member.
- Family members need to work 8 to 5, not when they feel like it, OH but I worked till 2pm
went to collect the kids and worked at home till 8pm????

Business is Business family members must be treated like any other staff member, WHY, you Know

Till next time may the Force be with YOU. Blog by Kyle Daines

Monday, 9 March 2015

Beware of introducing new Products or Services.

To SME Owners,

Yes we hear at every turn, innovate, and we must to be in the business game, BUT,
be very careful about experimenting with new P or S, ensure that your core business is very sound, otherwise you could lose FOCUS.

I knew of a business that within 3years added TWO new businesses, with supposed complementing Services, only 2owners, who now had to run three businesses, their core business was not doing well, so they ending up shooting themselves in the foot.

Keep your business emotions in check, go back and ask yourself, "why did to start this particular business"

Emotional IQ is the killer of most sme businesses.

Till next time may the Force be with You. Blog by Kyle Daines

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Work does not stop on a FRIDAY afternoon

TO SME Owners

For most of us we eat, sleep,and dream about our businesses 24/7 this is half the way in being successful, those sme owners who stop work on Friday afternoons, will come to face harsh realities.

Use your time effectively, thinking about your business over a weekend and making notes will give you focus for the new week. I  know of many successful owners who always have a pen and paper handy, or a Tablet for notes.

This is working on your business.

When you started your business, you signed up for hardwork, even harder work than you had in the corporate world when you had a boss.

So take action, move with speed.

Till next time may the Force be with you. Blog by Kyle Daines

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Managing in todays business enviroment

To SME Owners

YES you may have heard it all before, business is always moving, changing, up, down, side ways.

It is quite simple DONOT repeat what you did last year, just repeating, doing the same old stuff, will keep you behind the pack,(yep there are always exceptions to the rule)

-Do you have the following SKILLS,
-Conceptual skills to see your business through different eyes, be able to analyse and diagnose complex situations, and to keep it SIMPLE.
-The ability to handle stress and pressure.
- Knowing the external and internal RISKS to the business, go list them now you will be amazed at how many there are, what's your plan to minimize, reduce such risks, do your staff understand your plan.

So simple stuff, cool, go implement.

Till next time may the Force be with you. BLOG by Kyle Daines