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Selecting & securing profitable customers

By Pavlo Phitidis

Knowing how to focus your sales efforts on the most profitable customers can accelerate the growth of your business exponentially. It is a critical exercise because, with limited resources on hand, you need to focus your efforts, to maximise your impact and build your business’ momentum. On this week’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we outlined a useful technique for positioning your business:

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Building a business to survive and thrive in a Junk Status economy

By Pavlo Phitidis

The recent downgrade of South Africa’s credit rating to Junk Status will have a dramatic effect on our economy changing our socio-economic environment and introducing new challenges to business survival. This week, on The Money Show with Arabile Gumede we considered what this downgrade means for growing businesses, and looked at ways you can adapt to not just survive these circumstances, but thrive beyond it:

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Building and Implementing a Succession Plan for Family Businesses

By Pavlo Phitidis

Building a family business, and passing it down as both a legacy and an asset, is seldom achieved. A mere 30% of family businesses passed on to the next generation survive, and only 12% making it to the second generation. A tiny 3% survive to the third. This week, on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we outlined the ways succession plans go wrong, and how you can ensure your family business enjoys not only longevity, but long-term success too:

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Building a business into the next generation

How creating simplicity enables scaling. Simplicity is only possible with strategy and a clear understanding of who you serve. It's found in product design, supplier selection, business systems across the organisation and especially in customer segmentation and engagement. It's rare in any business and especially so in a 3rd generation business. It's also key to next generation succession.

Effective goal setting builds relentless growth momentum

By Pavlo Phitidis

Building a business has very little to do with taking over the world. Instead, it has everything to do with adhering to a clear plan that enables you to build towards the future.

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The Discipline of Focus 

By Marcus Visser

Martial arts legend, Bruce Lee, once said; “the successful warrior is the average man, with laser focus.” This saying is especially true in a time when the whole world suffers from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). For the entrepreneur, this level of focus can mean the difference between spinning your wheels and never gaining traction or your business taking off.

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Create more time in your business to focus on growth

By Pavlo Phitidis

Time is our most precious resource, but it seems like we never have enough of it. The second entrepreneur Aurik ever gave guidance to, was a bakery business owned by a 54-year old man, who had initiated the company at 27. It was highly successful, but he’d not been able to focus on its strategic growth because all his time was tied up in operations. Fourteen years after we rebuilt the business with him, it now creates more than a Billion Rands’ worth of business.

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Building a scalable service business

By Pavlo Phitidis

Almost every business owner claims that it’s their service that sets them apart from their competition. What does that really mean though, beyond the jargon and big claims and, is a high service level truly sustainable when you’re a product-focused business?

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Get The Money You Need To Build A Business & Keep It

by Pavlo Phitidis

Starting your business is hard, but growing it can be far more difficult. One of the most important elements attached to the process of growing your business lies within negotiating deals. Television programmes like Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den have put the art of making deals into the limelight, as investors ask for equity from entrepreneurs, in exchange for injecting their skills and financial resources into a fledgling business. But how can you fund the growth of your business without giving away too much equity? Here’s how to get funding for your business or project.

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Understanding Risk in an Automating world

In this show Pavlo and Bruce chatted about how the world we are living in is changing dramatically. More and more is being automated. Listen to the full show here.

We are living in a world that is accelerating faster than most of us can keep up. As an entrepreneur and business owner, forewarned is forearmed.

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The relationships you form with customers

Last night Pavlo spoke about how most businesses start off the back of relationships and how these first relationships are crucial to your generating cash flow. 

 

Often, to make this happen, you:

1. Make big accommodations in price, quality, service to cherish and look after the relationship;

2. You build it personally, close and familiar;

3. You do things that don’t make business sense to keep the relationship happy

 

This is fine if you are happy building a small, very small business.

It’s okay if:

1. You building a job;

2. It’s a very small business that is good enough for you;

3. You don’t need the money;

 

But, it’s not okay the moment you try to grow to the next level because:

1. Growth means that you can’t do everything. That relationship will need to be managed by the business rather than you and that means a staff membe4r

2. If you don’t get this right, you will grow the business to the limits of your time

 

Getting it right is hard because:

1. People don’t like change

2. Personal relationships are often abusive and to the benefit of the customer – they don’t want to change that

3. The “deal” will most likely have to change because growth requires standardization in deals and agreements

4. You fear it not working

5. You struggle to trust the person responsible in your company to manage it

 

How do you do it:

1. Identify the activities that you perform in managing that relationship

2. Put them into a sequence

3. Be sure that these activities are trainable and teachable

4. Be sure that these activities are scalable

5. Find a system operator to perform these activities 

 

Listen to the full podcast here.

 

 

 

Pitching your business successfully to any audience

By Pavlo Phitidis

Any business owner, anytime and always has learnt that you have to constantly be pitching your business. Whether it’s to possible investors, customers or collaborators, you and your team will pitch your business every day, and to multiple audiences. Getting your pitch right, throughout all levels of your business, is vital. A poor pitch erodes credibility, trust and faith.

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Dutch founders Lars Veul and Derk Hoekert

Spotting the gap, simplifying the experience, scaling for success

There are gaps all around us in terms of how we live, work and play and where there's a gap, there is a business to be built.

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The Four Serial Killers of Every Business

By Pavlo Phitidis 

It may seem a somewhat macabre analogy, but the four serial killers that threaten your business are, most often, not knocking on your window at midnight. Instead, they come from within your business. Serial killers have a particular attitude and behave in a certain way. We considered these four serial killers on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield:

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Creating media to generate inbound leads to grow your business

By Pavlo Phitidis

Your business has an interesting story to tell, no matter the nature of it, or the services and products you offer to customers. But telling that story, and using media to generate leads that bring customers to you, requires some decision-making. There are two strategies you’ll use for attracting customers: an outbound strategy, whereby you hunt for customers to sell to; and an inbound strategy, which generates leads that bring customers to you.

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What Is Experience & How Can You Assess It?

By Pavlo Phitidis

No business is ever built on its own. You will need to work with people be they staff, suppliers, customers, funders, partners, consultants, mentors and the list goes on. Your ability to assess these collaborators experience as a business owner is therefore a vital capability. We delved into this topic with Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show, on 702, this week, and outlined six different types of experience to consider:

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How to be sure that you will get paid for goods & services delivered

By Pavlo Phitidis

Finding customers is one thing, and servicing them another task entirely. But getting paid…can be a dilemma all on its own. 

With the rise of the freelance industry, and a significant project-based work trend developing, debt collection has become an even more critical pain point for small businesses. Notably too, the process of collecting monies owed to growing businesses is critical, because it can affect the company’s short and long-term development. Unfortunately, legal or court processes in South Africa are far more focused on serving the needs of big businesses, and these can be highly expensive for a small concern to take on. There are, however, useful and innovative ways to tackle the problem of getting paid.

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Growing digital grows value

Going Digital to Increase Your Business Valuation

By Pavlo Phitidis

Very often, the bigger your company, the longer it takes for you to innovate. Agile small businesses can, propel their growth by adopting workable technologies, that lead them towards solving customer problems accurately, efficiently and cost-effectively. This leads towards freeing up time, money and effort within the business and ultimately, enables growth. Freed from the shackles of bureaucracy and slow systems, you can digitize elements of your business to accelerate growth and value.

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Entrepreneurial opportunities from Brexit in Britain

In last night's show Pavlo and Bruce chatted about his recent trip to Britain and what opportunities the current environment presents. The full show can be heard here.

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How to manage personal and business change

Last night Pavlo and Bruce chatted about how to get better at dealing with change. Changes are happening at an alarming rate in SA. Business owners are now expected to make so many decisions and so fast. Often these decisions are not made since the environment is too demanding, the changes too sudden and there are too many variables all in play.

Entrepreneurs have to become “change fit” to outlast the road you have to run that will eventually build your business into the Asset that you want.  

How do you manage both yourself and your business within an ever-changing environment?

Personal Mastery

1. Look for it

Be present and watch the levers of change. Ask what this means for you? Be sure to look at both positive and negative impacts. This allows you to think, plan, consider and have options when change comes.

2. Don’t be alone

Whatever it is, someone has been through it or knows someone who has. On your own, you get stuck in your head and it’s impossible to see things differently after a while.

3. Be future forward in thinking

Focus your energy towards the things that you can control rather than what was

4. Be chilled

You will make mistakes in dealing with change. You will say things that you regret. You will realise that in hindsight… Be chilled with the fact that you will make these mistakes and that retrospectively, there would have been better options that the ones you took.

5. Always be a big thinker 

You have to anchor your thinking and actions into the future towards something.

6. Be positive

Acknowledge that this is simply a challenge and seek to find interesting, novel ways around it. The language you use matters enormously and the view you have of yourself matters equally.

 

Business Mastery

1. Build a customer facing business

This is a business that solves a problem for a group of customers who have that same problem

2. Build a simple business

Don’t try be everything to everybody

This is a business that is designed to solve problem

3. Build a system driven business

Systems control the customer experience. If this is the experience the customer wants to solve their problem. Your business will be supported by your customers as and when you have to change. They will lend you a kind ear.

4. Involve your core team

A business is made up of functions. Good systems delivering the function means you will have people who can operate the systems and deliver the function. Team leaders allow then for a layer of supervision. These supervision or management levels form your core team.

Change means a response from these areas of the business. Get the problems and challenges solved at that level.

This enables ownership, ownership enables action, action enables a response to change.

5. Generate data

Allows you to remove emotion and think rationally

 

Listen to the full podcast here

Converting new business leads into real sales

Marketing generates, Sales Converts

Sales and marketing are two very different activities and should never be confused or combined. Getting customers to know about you is one of the single toughest things for entrepreneurs to get right. This is why you need marketing. Effective marketing should generate new business leads.

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Three sales propositions to speed up deals in a tough economy

Three sales propositions to speed up deals in a tough economy

In today's tough economic environment it is taking longer and longer to close deals. To speed up this process, you need three...

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Start with the end in mind

Start with the end in mind

Plans don’t always work out – that’s life. Starting a business is no different, especially when you need to work closely...

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Negotiating the family business deal

Negotiating the family business deal

76% of family businesses don't survive through a second generation. It's a scary statistic and one that affects many private...

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Building a pricing strategy to grow your business

Building a pricing strategy to grow your business

“The pricing game is emotional”… this is how a tweet from a listener began, and he’s right. A challenge to your pricing feels...

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NEXT-LEVEL GROWTH: WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET IT RIGHT

NEXT-LEVEL GROWTH: WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET IT RIGHT

How often have you heard the terms "Next-level growth" or "Getting to the next level" bandied about? It's become more business...

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Our past determines our approach to the SA economy

Our past determines our approach to the SA economy

Carl Jung said “We are trapped by the images of our past”. Meaning that our past experiences affect our perception of reality....

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White Knights, Silver Bullets & False Prophets

White Knights, Silver Bullets & False Prophets

The exhaustion of running a business can make us vulnerable to the allure of a cure-all solution. But if it sounds too good...

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Help Pavlo to #NameTheBook
namethebook

Help Pavlo to #NameTheBook

Pavlo Phitidis has just completed a book about the ideas, thoughts and more valuably, his direct experience in building successful...

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How to build a retail empire very, very slowly

How to build a retail empire very, very slowly

Retail is notoriously difficult, but if you have a great product targeting consumers - you need to get it right. Pavlo Phitidis...

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Immigrating talent for a quick but enduring economic boom

Immigrating talent for a quick but enduring economic boom

If we can attract 100 000 STEM qualified immigrants, we can not only bridge the skills gap that is stagnating our growth,...

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EMIGRATION: Its cost and opportunity to a business owner
Business Growth

EMIGRATION: Its cost and opportunity to a business owner

Over the last month, I have had two same, but different meetings with two different business owners. They were the same because...

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Creating opportunities that didn’t exist before
Growing business value Business Growth

Creating opportunities that didn’t exist before

Creating economy is a key entrepreneurial skill. Its something that is entirely possible irrespective of the environment...

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Why waiting to act becomes the only act and how to ‘snap’ the bad habit
Asset of Value

Why waiting to act becomes the only act and how to ‘snap’ the bad habit

With the South African elections now come and gone, it feels like we have passed a milestone that we were all holding our...

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Winning mindsets turning thought into action and action into results
Building your Business Business Growth

Winning mindsets turning thought into action and action into results

The distinguishing feature between business owners who crack it and those who drift along, and fail… is mindset.

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How to structure the offer of a Management Buy Out
Business Succession Succession planning

How to structure the offer of a Management Buy Out

A hardworking, smart professional presented me with a scenario on an offer she had received to conclude a management buy-out. She...

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Position your business for success and maximum impact
Positioning your Business Business Growth

Position your business for success and maximum impact

Wing Chun Kung Fu, a style of martial arts, requires that you have a secure footing on the ground in all its defensive and...

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Building a business is like sailing a ship
Asset of Value Building your Business

Building a business is like sailing a ship

Analogies are very useful to simplify thinking and action. As a #businessowner, building a #business in a challenging environment...

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What’s your business worth?
Business Growth

What’s your business worth?

Firstly, this only matters for 5.4% of all #businessowners since 94.6% of all business started fail to sell. They close at...

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Creating wealth through your business
Business Growth Wealth Creation

Creating wealth through your business

Wealth describes an abundance of a desirable thing. It could be friendship, love, money, access to a foodstuff and so on....

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Developing an effective marketing strategy
Business Growth Marketing strategy

Developing an effective marketing strategy

If you can’t and don’t get potential customers to know that you exist, they don’t care and you die. They don’t care because...

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Build resilience into your business to take control of your future
Business Growth Strategic Planning

Build resilience into your business to take control of your future

We often hear about being resilient to thrive and survive in business today. Why does this matter and what does it mean?

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Escaping the project revenue trap and why you should do it
Building your Business

Escaping the project revenue trap and why you should do it

Recently, at an Asset of Value event in Johannesburg, South Africa, a room bristling with 58 business owners that collectively...

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What is your business building approach to 2019: Chose one of 3 strategies
The Money Show Business Strategy

What is your business building approach to 2019: Chose one of 3 strategies

2018 has been an exhausting year. Taking time off is important, so long as you don’t break the momentum of your business....

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How to Deal with Nightmare Partnerships, Collaborations & Joint Ventures
The Money Show

How to Deal with Nightmare Partnerships, Collaborations & Joint Ventures

Collaboration is a key element for building your business into a successful Asset of Value. But, not every joint venture...

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