21st century business requires more than product and services. 21st century business requires problem solving skills, agility and offering of product and services which are on the go and will make an already busy customer happy.
How to attract this social creature who is the 21st century consumer? The changes in the market demands are fluid, rapid and swayed by ‘likes’. However these ‘likes’ do not necessarily mean business. You could have millions of ‘likes’ and no interactions. Social media sites offer statistics that an entrepreneur can follow and analyse. Do this! These stats are useful. What you have to look at is the interactions because these are your interested customers. What are they looking for? Which posts did they interact with vs those they didn’t interact with. Are you using the # effectively and efficiently.
The 21st century customer is also looking for accountability and reliability. With the vast reach of social media it is not a good idea to offer shoddy service and then fob off poor service with excuses. That’s trouble asking to be taken up.
Look at adding value to your clients/customers. Offer them more than just your product or service. Women In Business is offering a free virtual race in November. Why are we doing this? We want to encourage healthy work life balance and we are wanting to introduce our members to new world thinking for Business.
Join #WomenInBusiness for a FREE virtual race from the 10th November 2019 until the 15th November. Yes you have 5 full days to complete this event or you can do it one day. Its absolutely up to you. Any where, any time at your own pace. Walk/run/cycle whatever turns your toes back 🙂 As its our first virtual race ever, its free. All you need to do is get off the couch, put on your walking shoes and walk or run for 12 miles (19 kilometers) wherever you are. That’s the joy of virtual walking – you don’t actually physically have to be where the virtual walk is. Here’s how it works: o Sign up by submitting your name and email. o Run anywhere (seriously, anywhere). o You track your activity by a GPS watch, app, sundial, change in the tides, or any other means. o Reply to a daily email with your activity (yea! you’re smokin’ fast!). o Your place on a map is plotted instantly (you get a really cool avatar!). o Your total mileage will be tracked. Sign up and get your friends to sign up! It’s always more fun when you’re running with friends. https://womeninbusines.racery.com/r/women-in-business-virtual-walk/
Writing a business plan and training for sport require very much the same actions. Both require planning, time lines, visions and goals. Without these your business plan nor your training plan will work.
Today I went out on a Trail Walk (I don’t run) and my plan did not work. I had not done enough preparation to achieve my goal of completing 10 kms in under 3 hours. I was not fit enough, as I had not done enough of the correct training. I had not researched the terrain sufficiently to understand the physical and mental energy required. I had my goal – to finish the course. I had my mission – another trail walk to add to my list of events done. BUT I had not planned nor had the correct foresight.
However I did enjoy the trail walk. I met some amazing people on the way who taught me lessons and enabled me to think differently. All of this is very similar to planning and setting up a business plan. Next weekend my plan may be different as the terrain will be different, the weather will be different. Not unlike a business plan where the economy changes or the market changes.
What did I learn? Both in business and in physical activity it is not good enough to have a vision and a mission. There is planning (short, medium and long term) that needs to be done and there has to be flexibility to change.
My 2nd Rhino Run was extra special as my daughter walked with me. This event continues to be a wonderful outdoor experience. Sadly not as well supported as it should be. We enjoyed the walk and the magnificent views around iNanda Dam. We decided to make a weekend of it and enjoy the pleasures of being in the outdoors. As a country South Africa has so much to offer to the outdoor enthusiast. Any reason to drive my #LadyMavis #LandRover is a good excuse. We booked into the Msinzi Tented accommodation and had a wonderful afternoon and evening outdoors and in touch with nature. Being with nature truly grounds you and makes your realise all the dramatic drama of the work week is sometimes in our heads. Being in the quiet stillness of nature brings everything into perspective. Well worth the visit and the stay at Msinzi iNanada Dam
One of the issues that is raised consistently is the fact that the enquirer is ‘not making money’ and they need help with marketing their product. In discussions with the entrepreneur I generally discover that they have taken the focus of their core business and diversified into a number of other unrelated products/services. This diversification is particularly onerous when the range of products/services is from health care, through to construction to catering. Such a wide variety of offerings can only be detrimental to the entity. No entrepreneur, especially a small emerging business, can cope with this kind of diversification. Through the interactions and mentoring process it becomes clear that the entrepreneur in question has been given unsound advice by friends and family. They have often invested large sums of money registering a company. They have not taken into consideration the onerous reporting procedures required of a company nor the accountancy costs. The entrepreneur is under the impression that if they are a registered company they can obtain finance and are eligible for tenders. Then they offer every single service they can think of without proper planning, testing the market, assessing their customers, no business plan or financial plan. No vision or mission. When questioned as to why they are not trading as a sole trader business, which is less onerous, they are ill informed as to the benefits of being a small business to start off with.
It is so sad that many aspiring entrepreneurs do not seek advice from reputable organisations or service providers. In the long run it would have saved them large amounts of money, time and disappointment.
On our website is a link whereby members of the public are able to contact us and we will assist and start the mentoring for free (limited number of sessions). We will also direct genuine entrepreneurs to reputable service providers who can assist them in their entrepreneurial journey.
Today I set out on an event that I have never participated in before. Purely because I have always had something else on at the time. However this weekend was the right weekend and I set out on the Capital Climb event in Pietermaritzburg. 15 kms of grueling testing of the legs on a pure uphill climb to World’s View and a pure downhill back to Voortrekker School. The event was a test of determination. The hill climb started on the tar road, led into a dirt road and then a slippy track which was extremely steep. Once at the top we could not see the view due to the mist, but just the sheer delight in having conquered the muscle stretching climb to the top was enough.
This event made me think of how entrepreneurs have to climb many hills of various challenges in order to make it to the top of their game. If you give up you have achieved nothing, but if you keep going and continually encourage yourself you can do anything you set your mind to. The event required training and preparation, as does a business. You have to be mentally and physically fit to be in business. You need to ensure you have all the necessary knowledge to ensure your success. BUT you cannot have immediate success without having to slowly find your way to the top. Quick success leads to quick failures. Rather slow and sure to be able to manage and plan the business path.
Today’s event taught me a lot about tenacity. In one’s own life, private and business, this tenacity will go a long way to ensuring success. Don’t give up because you can do it.
Reading through news sites, twitter and other social media there is a common theme of corruption and fraud. Lack of integrity seems to becoming a social norm. I ask, with tears in my eyes, how can humans be so dishonest, unethical and lack basic social skills that they take, indiscriminately from other humans. Often those who take, have more than they can use, yet they continue to take and marginalize those who do not have and dis-empower the poor even more.
Our very own watch dog who collects funds for the government, South African Revenue Services (SARS) has done exactly what we as tax payers are not supposed to do. How can they be telling us, the tax paying public to be honest, when they themselves are not honest?
“SARS GUILTY OF BREAKING ITS OWN LAWS
The Auditor General found that the SA Revenue Service in 2017 flouted the Income Tax Act by overstating its compliance figures in public documents. The findings, in an AG report dated March 2017, came to light yesterday during public hearings in Pretoria for the Nugent inquiry. Tax compliance refers to making payments to the revenue service in full and on time in line with relevant legislation. SARS apparently stated that its compliance level was at 91.14%, which according to the Auditor General is not true. The commission of inquiry, appointed by president Cyril Ramaphosa, is probing the state of corporate governance, revenue shortfalls and allegations of misconduct at SARS. (Fin24)”
This is nothing short of disgusting. Heads need to roll and with immediate effect. It’s time government servants were made to pay and pay dearly for their greed and lack of integrity. Lead by example!
I read this paragraph and it just made my blood pressure rise.
WOMEN WOEFULLY SHORT ON BOARD REPRESENTATION Female representation at senior management and executive levels in South Africa is still, on average, only 20%. This is according to the REMchannel report by PwC that also showed that 61% of the women are remunerated below the median of the sample, compared to just 39% of men. By contrast, 63% of men are remunerated above the median, compared to just 37% of the women in the sample. The survey looked at remuneration data for more than 550 participating organisations and just over 4 000 senior managers and executives. Globally, there is renewed focus on the pay disparities between men and women, the report says. It argues that corporate South Africa still needs to focus on ensuring that the number of women at senior management and executive level is increased, in addition to addressing gender pay inequalities. (Fin24)
The reason for my ‘moment’! Why are we not appointing people to positions for which they are qualified and skilled? Why does it have to be about #gender and even #race for that matter. We must stop being stereotypical and allow people to be appointed for what they can do for an employer/company to improve productivity and service delivery. The job description carries criteria and key performance areas. So whomever you have in the position should be paid for their performance not on what body parts they were born with!!
In South Africa we have a Department of Women. Why? What is this department doing for our entrepreneurial women? In fact what is this department doing for our women in general? Absolutely nothing. Minister Bathabile Dlamini its time you did what you are being paid an astronomical amount for!
Leadership is an action, not a position. Donald McGannon