Will your business survive? Three ways to build a lasting business

Will your business survive? Three ways to build a lasting business
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This week’s training workshop Essential Finance for Entrepreneurs and SMEs in the Agro-Industry Value Chain is at Mandel Training Centre, from Wednesday the 7th to Friday the 9th, 9am-4pm. Fees: Gentlemen $60 and Ladies $45 for the 3 days, lunches and refreshments included. Businesslink is giving a $20 discount to the first 3 women and 2 men entrepremeurs or their staff in the agro-industry who wish to benefit from this training who book and pay.
Full details are attached to this email, or call Chrsitine on 0772 854 301.
PLUS: Refer someone in the agro-value chain to attend this course and you will get FREE GOLD CLUB MEMBERSHIP of BusinessLink for 6 months worth $60 (which entitles you to free entry to the next Networking Breakfast Meeting on Friday 23 September)

Will your business survive? Three ways to build a lasting business
You may already have heard it but it’s a sad fact that more small businesses fail than survive within the first 5 years. The business environment is fraught with many risks and dangers. One of the Sunday newspapers carried a story about some cross-border traders lamenting the reintroduction of duties on basic commodities, claiming it has put them out of business.
In South Africa, hundreds of hotels and restaurants are closing as the tourism hype created by the 2010 Soccer World Cup fades away and the global recession hits tourists’ pockets.
That’s the reality of business: because of market and external environment forces, some enterprises have to die to make way for new ones. It happens all the time. Is your business going to be among victims of the rule or be the expection? Here are three ways to ensure that your business survives:
1. Make planning part of your business management process
Without a plan you are planning to fail. The traders I mentioned above knew that the removal of duties on basic commodities was temporary. In fact, it was an arrangement meant to alleviate the shortage of goods while local industry was recovering from the economic disaster of the previous decades. Planning enables your to analyse your threats and weaknesses so as to take mitigatory measures, while also allowing you to take advantage of new opportunities. Take time to plan where your business is going and you will be prepared to take on the future . Have at least two planning processes, maybe one at the beginning of your financial year and one mid-way to review progress and ensure you are on the right path.
2. Have systems in place
Many business owners right now work in their business and not on their business. They are more like workers, but only working for themselves. Without the owner, there is no business. Every little decision is made by the owner. Such a business is inefficient and will not survive when the pressure mounts or faster competition comes.
You need to put in place systems that allow your business to flow smoothly without your presence all the time. These systems include: the production process; selling and distribution; people management; marketing and selling and quality management. If the procedures are documented and all staff are aware of and accountable for their duties and responsibilities, then you have a real business, not a self-employment practice.
3. Continuously improve your competitiveness
When you started your business you probably just needed to know the basics of producing your products and services and getting them to customers. For a small outfit, that was enough. However, as the business grows you need to acquire more and better skills in order make better decision, grow the business and stay ahead of competitors. You need to improve your knowledge in managing the finances, people, marketing and production. That’s what make your business competitive. It reduces inefficiences,waste and poor decisions and maximizes your profits. Take the time to read, attend workshops and seminars or hire experienced consultants to help you empower yourself with the relevant skills and knowledge so you keep in touch with happenings inside and outside your business.

Your will find more resources on all these issues at http://admiralbiz.wordpress.com or contact me for resources on any specific issues.

To your business growth

Phillip Chichoni
Email: chichonip@gmail.com
0777 774 007

PS. If you need materials from last week’s Business Planning Essentials to Grow Your Business (held at the Holiday Inn Harare Sat 3 Sept) please contact me. I can send you the summarized version by email for free, or if you want the full modules on CD it’s $7, and the printed copy $12.

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