Small town hit by outlaws and bandits but it’s nothing compared to how a crooked bean counter can destroy your business

2015-09-29 08.57.54
Copyright Rayne Bradshaw 2015

Businesses in the town of Harrismith, Free State, was hit by a spate of robberies, burglaries and armed robberies the last time I visited there. The Harrismith Chronicle listed just the businesses that they knew had been hit. Many other crimes are not reported.

It must be very difficult to do business in this small town with criminals having a free hand to target whom they want. It reminds me of the lawless towns in the Wild West in America. Continue reading “Small town hit by outlaws and bandits but it’s nothing compared to how a crooked bean counter can destroy your business”

What do you do when business confidence is in shreds?

Picture 1115I was driving in the morning traffic when I saw a newspaper poster on a poll that proclaimed “Business confidence in shreds”. I wondered just how bad it was. When I saw the newspaper report from a survey done by the accounting firm it was sobering. The survey showed that only 9% of local businesses are optimistic, compared to 39% recorded by South African businesses in 2013.

How are small businesses going to cope? What can they do? Continue reading “What do you do when business confidence is in shreds?”

Being your best at the worst of times

English: A group of acorns.
English: A group of acorns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I heard a story once about how a sales manager in the depression years encouraged his salespeople to make their daily sales targets. He would tell them to put five acorns in their left pocket and that they could only go home after they had transferred each of those acorns into their right pocket. To transfer an acorn, they had to call on a potential customer. Continue reading “Being your best at the worst of times”

Did this small business sign personal sureties?

Stadium progress - March 2008
Stadium progress – March 2008 (Photo credit: warrenski)

The weekend newspaper in the Western Cape covered the assets of a construction company under liquidation in its auction pages. When you look at the concrete mixer, generators and cut-off saw machine you get struck by the sadness of a business going into bankruptcy.

The sale didn’t only include these items but also the company’s construction, road and survey equipment and its office equipment and furniture. These items included containers, compactors, compressors, water pumps, moisture density gauges, generators and Leica Land Surveyor and large quantities of tools, ladders, drills and spares, scaffolding and trailers. Continue reading “Did this small business sign personal sureties?”

10 survival tips for small business owners

Sea survival

The reality for many small business owners is that they were forced into starting something of their own. Perhaps they were retrenched, fired or unable to find a job.

What this means is that often small business owners really haven’t even had time to obtain some training in basic small business practices such as finance, human resources management and marketing.

The other real danger is that the small business owner works so hard in the business, trying to push for more sales, handling negotiations with suppliers, making month-end payroll and trying to get big customers to pay on time that they don’t catch major problems in their business before they become a threat to their businesses survival. Continue reading “10 survival tips for small business owners”

Is your business in danger of these deadly crocodiles?

Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a scorcher in Shakawe, the Northern part of the Okavango-Delta in Botswana. This is an African safari adventure paradise for local and international tourists who flock to this delta wonderland near Maun.

Danelle Viljoen (38) was there with her daughter Ariel (11) fishing with a friend along the banks. All was a happy picture of a family enjoying themselves until Danelle decided to cool off in the shallows. Continue reading “Is your business in danger of these deadly crocodiles?”