Success isn’t measured by how much you make, there is a lot more involved in the equation. Some of the most successful business personas failed to make money in their first few years, many struggled throughout their venture. The odd few landed with their bum in the butter, but for the most part it takes blood, sweat, and tears.
According to studies and interviews of some of the most successful people in business like Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, and Jeff Bezos all have several things in common. Whether this is what makes them successful or not is up to you to determine, but it’s worth thinking about.
Maybe you want to audit your own success and see if you can put any of these into practice and adopt these guidelines for your business.
Successful business owners are:
These heavy-weights understand efficiency and the necessary processes that not only influence output but also the work environment and the company culture. They put processes in place to help establish, grow and develop the business.
Internal processes that work smoothly and help with communication make for a better work environment where everyone is onboard and knows their role in the business and how it fits into the overall operations.
Processes involved in customer service and product development are also a high priority, after all the customer is who supports your business at the end of the day.
Successful business owners are always looking to improve processes and look for opportunities to make things more efficient.
They are not afraid of criticism. They reflect on themselves and the business; regularly and vigorously auditing both. It’s no use thinking you have all the answers and can go it alone. Reflection requires input and an objective opinion. Having mentors and other people speak into the business, and reflecting on successes and failures allows for the kind of reflection that looks to solve and improve.
Successful business owners don’t like blind spots, they want to be aware of their weaknesses and strengths and how their specific skills can contribute to the business. Being open to criticism makes them humble, teachable and allows them to constantly move forward.
Entrepreneurs and business owners are known for being gutsy. They are the risk takers and the go-getters. And it’s not because they are naïve to failure and bumps in the road but because they don’t worry so much about it. They don’t avoid failure, they embrace it and see it as part of the journey.
Successful business owners expect failure and prepare for it. They know it’s going to come but they aren’t complacent about it. They learn from it, hurt from it and move on. They carry courage on their side and keep moving forward, finding solutions for short-comings.
- Find an audience to serve
There is a clear knowledge of who their products and services can help. They understand their audience inside out, with a deep understanding of their biggest challenges and pain points. After all, they seek to solve those problems and provide the best solution.
Successful business owners are like ‘business psychologists’. They have understood their audience and have set out to serve them in the best way possible.
Success doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice, and effort, at the end of the day that says, ‘I will try again tomorrow’. Don’t measure your success purely by the amount of money in the business bank account, or the size of your business. Measure it by how you develop as an individual, by your capacity to be courageous, and your attitude towards your customers.
On a whole we know the country is taking a hit with the load-shedding, but SMEs are being hit particularly hard. Rolling blackouts are affecting operations for as many as 4 hours a week, cutting the work day in half. No industry is excluded from the knock-on affect their business is experiencing.
The reduction of electricity may cost the country as much as R5 billion a day, according to the Organization Undoing Tax Abuse, a civil-society group.
What the repercussions look like on a daily basis
Shopkeepers and those in the food and beverages industry, like restaurants,experience walkout when customers aren’t able to get what they want. They are also losing stock – particularly wastage from perishables.
Manufacturers have to down tools altogether as machinery dependent on a power source shuts down and delay orders. Staff that are paid by the hour are also affected as their hours are cut in half.
Professional Services and Technology company’s…. need we say more. The interruptions in communication amongst teams, the inability for stakeholders to access systems, and the financial and accounting bottle neck start to take a toll.
Workarounds that might ease the pain a little
Sadly we’re can’t control the inevitable and need to start looking at workarounds to lessen the impact if possible. It might be worth getting your team together and brainstorming a couple of your own suggestions that are applicable to your own business. We’ve started you off with some suggestions below.
1. Download apps like Eskomsepush to make yourself aware of the load-shedding times in your area and communicate this with your team. Structure your workdays to tackle the important tasks in those times. This means being mindful of what needs urgent doing and what operations are vital for the business.
2. Breakup the workload. If you only have a limited number of hours a day – spread the important tasks across team members so that they get accomplished in time before any downtime.
3. Identify which tasks can be done with your mobile device when all other systems are down. For example, phone and email communication can be done via your mobile device when there is load-shedding. Though your data costs might be higher than usual at least you’re able to stay in touch with suppliers, customers and stakeholders.
4. This may seem obvious, but charge your technology while you have power. Many people can still do offline tasks when internet connectivity is down. Power up so that you can still continue with work like reporting, design work, and presentations.
5. Consider investing in a generator. It’s difficult to say how long these troubles will continue and it might call for placing some of your budget on something that can keep you online, refrigerate stock and keep the doors open for customers. If it’s difficult to find the extra cash, consider a bridging loan with Lulalend – it’s an 8-minute application and you get paid out in 24 hours.
6. Backup all systems. It’s easy to lose documentation and vital information if it’s not saved and backed up in time. Load-shedding can also cause hardware issues and surges so make use the cloud and keep everything safe and accessible.
If you have any other suggestions about how businesses like yours can find solutions while the government tries to find the answers they need to know. If we help each other we can be part of the solution – we just need to think out of the box and keep a positive outlook.
What is Yodlee?
Yodlee is a leading data aggregation and data analytics platform powering dynamic, cloud-based innovation for digital financial services. This advanced technology makes it easy for clients to upload documents, knowing that their information is protected.
How does Yodlee work?
Yodlee collects data on Lulalend’s site through screen scraping: a technique which collects data and sorts them into categories. After entering the details into Lulalend’s site, it gets encrypted from that point, to ensure that your details cannot be viewed by third parties. Your credentials are securely stored on Yodlee’s system and cannot be accessed by Lulalend
I don’t trust Yodlee, can I send you my bank statements?
Yodlee is trusted and used by many major companies such as PayPal, Amazon and many global banks. We use it to get a read-only view of your bank transactional history. This allows us to process your application automatically, avoiding time consuming validations that are required for uploaded bank statements. Yodlee is totally secure and your bank credentials are never viewed or stored by us. Alternatively, you can upload your latest 3 months formal bank statements (Please be advised that scanned copies do not help much as it does not allow us to extract the data automatically).
Cash flow and business needs are unpredictable. What do you do when you walk into the office one day and find it under water because of some unforeseen plumbing issues? Or are suddenly faced with the need to do urgent maintenance on your machinery, purchase new computers for employees, or order extra stock for a busy month ahead?
A credit facility with Lulalend can go a long way in helping you have access to business funding at your fingertips. And the great news is that you only pay for what you use, when you use it. This can be a great comfort for businesses that want to know they have a safety net, but only should they need it.
Let’s give you a quick breakdown of how our credit facility works…
To find out more about our credit facility and how you can take advantage of quick, easy access to finance, contact us today or simply apply online.
Having an arsenal of advice that you can turn to for inspiration, wisdom, or simply to know that you’re not in this alone, can be a game changer for business owners. Not every day is the same, and some days are harder than others.
We’ve put together a list of TEDx Talks from those that have failed and got back up, those that have learned valuable things along the way, those who know what it takes to build business success, and those who believe Africa is a hot spot for local businesses to thrive alongside local economies.
Magatte Wade,brand creator on why it’s hard to start a business in Africa and how to change that
Many African countries are poor for a simple reason, says entrepreneur Magatte Wade: governments have created far too many obstacles to starting and running a business. In this passionate talk, Wade breaks down the challenges of doing business on the continent and offers some solutions of her own — while calling on leaders to do their part, too.
Leticia Gasca, author and entrepreneur on not failing fast, but failing mindfully
We celebrate bold entrepreneurs whose ingenuity led them to success, but what happens to those who fail? Far too often, they bury their stories out of shame or humiliation — and miss out on a valuable opportunity for growth, says author and entrepreneur Leticia Gasca. In this thoughtful talk, Gasca calls for business owners to open up about their failures and makes the case for replacing the idea of “failing fast” with a new mantra: fail mindfully.
Martin Reeves, Strategist on how to build a business that lasts 100 years
If you want to build a business that lasts, there may be no better place to look for inspiration than your own immune system. Join strategist Martin Reeves as he shares startling statistics about shrinking corporate life spans and explains how executives can apply six principles from living organisms to build resilient businesses that flourish in the face of change.
Knut Haanaes, Strategist on two reasons companies fail – and how to avoid them
Is it possible to run a company and reinvent it at the same time? For business strategist Knut Haanaes, the ability to innovate after becoming successful is the mark of a great organization. He shares insights on how to strike a balance between perfecting what we already know and exploring totally new ideas — and lays out how to avoid two major strategy traps.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Economist on Want to help Africa? Do business here
We know the negative images of Africa — famine and disease, conflict and corruption. But, says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, there’s another, less-told story happening in many African nations: one of reform, economic growth and business opportunity.
Let Lulalend be a part of your businesses’ success by increasing your financial tolerancesupporting with your financial needs. For business funding on the go turn to Lulalend for your free quote today. Take a few minutes to complete our online application form today and get your free quote today.
Get access to our credit facility and have access to finance whenever you need it. Only pay for what you use when you use it.
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Seasonality and business cycles are a certainty, but at least you can plan for them because they are predictable. For some, this is a bumper time for their business but for others, it may feel like the annual graveyard shift. Everything from holiday’s, winter months, tax season, and paydays are part of a business cycle.
If you haven’t got a clear plan for these ups and downs we have some tips below to help you prepare well and confidently enter those business periods.
Identify the cycles that will affect your business
If you don’t know, you can’t plan. Even if you haven’t been in business very long you know your industry and whether certain times of the year are slower or more profitable than others. This gives you several advantages. You can put extra finances aside for these months by adjusting your forecast accordingly, offer specials, or find ways to reduce overheads.
Build alternative income streams
This can involve partnerships that allow for shared campaign costs and reduce overheads for both parties. Alternatively, consider referral campaigns that get rewarded, highlight new products, and stay in touch with existing customers to communicate special offerings. There are many creative solutions so brainstorm ideas that suit your business and support your brand.
Put extra budget aside for marketing
Looking at the previous years’ finances can help you assess seasonality and trends to give you a good indication of when your business has quiet seasons. This can help you plan for marketing campaigns and budget. Plan accordingly so that you can put aside extra budget for campaigns, online marketing efforts, events, or special offers that require more stock at these times. But make sure you have a strategy that is relevant to your customers, you don’t want to waste these funds on ineffective marketing. If you aren’t sure how to best market your business, consider spending that budget to hire a marketing agency that can assist you.
Plan invoicing strategies
These cycles can have an effect on your cash flow as customers are slow to pay or debit order dates change. Plan for months like February that are shorter. Months like this, as well as public holidays, effect payday and debit orders. Business days are also limited while targets stay the same, in comparison to months with more working days this can put a strain on cash flow.
Know where to find quick access to funding
Sometimes you simply don’t have the budget to put aside at these times of year and you need to look for alternative funding. The banks can take a long time and seasonality just doesn’t allow for waiting around. Business lenders like Lulalend bridge this divide by offering immediate funding or a credit facility that you can drawdown from at any time to use as and when needed.