What Entrepreneurial Opportunities Await in 2018?
The tumultuous events of 2017 have already shaped the entrepreneurial opportunities for 2018. The innovators respond first, and then the thinkers and actors catch on. Soon thereafter, the early adopters are hopping on and, before you know it, the legislators and regulators are taking notice. Look at cryptocurrencies as an example! Big businesses, bound by bureaucracy and legacy systems, too much comfort and layers of fragmented communication mostly follow last. And, of course, these waves of incredible change are propelled by our always-on, instant media universe that has become an essential part of our daily lives. Set yourself up to be one of the first to act on entrepreneurial opportunities that arise in 2018, and you’ll have a winning business in your sector by the end of the year. On this week’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we considered four big trends from 2017, and the momentum behind them:
How to write the right kind of business plan
I’ve recently read through oodles of business plans, with a sample of ten showing me that: 4 were applying for growth funding; 2 were applying for innovation funding; 2 were looking to fund operations; 1 was looking to fund their business through a share acquisition strategy, and 1 was looking for acquisition funding.
But what makes a business plan truly effective, and just how important are they? For funders and interested stakeholders, business plans are important for evaluating a business’ investment potential. But, unless a business plan has right kind of components; is implemented in the right kind of way, that’s customized to be relevant to its purpose and is – always – a working document, it’s useless. Your business plan should be an introductory document, that invites potential funders and investors into a conversation with you, whether that be a casual meetup or a more formal meeting. It’s an important document, so don’t rely on templates or external specialists to write it for you. The reality of a business plan is that it won’t roll out in real life, but it will serve as a working guideline. On this week’sThe Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we considered what goes into writing the right kind of business plan:
Critical strategies to future-proof your business
Even for established businesses, it’s not easy to make sure that you will be ready for whatever might happen in the future. Your company needs to constantly evolve, and you might find yourself in uncharted waters. So you have found your place in the market but how do you keep it? Complacency is a killer. How do you keep your business on its toes to build for resilience and business growth?
Learning Resilience, to Build your Business during Tough Times
Simply reading the news headlines can be downright distressing, and government’s lack of adequate response towards corruption can leave us feeling hopeless. As business owners and active citizens, however, it’s vital to learn and build resilience, so we can survive – and thrive beyond – the tough times. Now’s the time to build your business in new ways, but to do that you’ll need to learn to stay resilient, no matter how tough the economic environment. On this week’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we laid out a plan for building resilience within yourself, and your business:
What to do when you’ve made the wrong investment for business growth
Earlier this week, the South African Minister of Finance presented the Medium-term Budget, and the news was somewhat disheartening. Government’s plan to dispose of some of its well-performing shares in Telkom, to offset its recapitalisation of South African Airways and the South African Post Office, is just bad planning. It’s akin to avid entrepreneurs who believe wholeheartedly in their business, but can’t let go of investing time and money into a bad idea, no matter the consequences. Time and money are finite resources, and pouring them into a bad investment can destroy your business. On this week’s The Money Show, we looked at how you can hit the brakes on a bad investment and start making the right type of investment for business growth:
From a small family-owned business to an internationally recognised operation
How did Liquid Movers quadruple their baseline turnover? The family-owned business joined the Aurik programme to grow its business and increase its market share in the pump service and technology industry. It made the successful transition from a small, family-owned business to an operation that is now recognised internationally for being at the forefront of specialised pump technologies. The company was established in 1996 with a focus on the mining, chemical, fuel, process plant and food industries. Liquid Movers now supplies pumps, valves and related equipment to customers all over South Africa, African neighbours Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, and Kenya.
Building successful and sustainable innovative technology businesses
Aurik CEO and co-founder Pavlo Phitidis was the keynote speaker at the Innovation Bridge event in Midrand recently. With his constant exposure to the changing face of business, Pavlo shared some of his insights on how businesses around the world are adapting their thinking and finding new ways to use technology to reap the rewards of their vision. How can South Africans benefit in a similar way?
Business Is a Bloody Sport: Why Risk Management is Important
In 2008, determined entrepreneur, Karabo Songo, established Olive Communications. I first met Karabo during the 2013 Business Accelerators radio segment, and was happy to discover that, by 2014, he’d followed through on the advice I’ve offered him. This led to him snapping up the deal of a lifetime – a large advertising contract with a corporate insurer. Karabo’s business grew, exponentially, from this, but then the problems began. In this week’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we chatted to Karabo, touching on just how bloody the sport of business can get, and the importance of risk management:
How effective business systems can ready your business for sale
People sell their businesses for many reasons. Fatigue from too many years in the game is one of the most common. They might also choose to sell their business when they reach retirement age or fall ill and cannot work in it any more. Sometimes, increased competition drives them out of the market. Some business owners start their businesses with a planned sale in mind. Whatever your reasons, nothing can prepare you for the setback when you find that you can’t actually sell your business. That’s why it’s important to understand the factors that prevent your business from attracting buyers and how to bounce back and grow your business into an Asset of Value.
Factors that stall a sale
Buyers usually hesitate to close deals because they don’t see the value in the business they’re being offered. Many factors contribute to this, but the main ones are:
- The business is too dependent on the owner – If a business relies on its owner to operate at its best, it’s not an attractive purchase for buyers because they cannot buy the owner with the business. The same can be said if the business is too dependent on one employee, client or supplier.
- Buyers can’t identify any growth opportunities – Buyers are attracted to the future potential of the business and not just what the business can achieve now. In this case, value is shown by presenting convincing growth opportunities. These could be new locations for the business, other companies the business can buy out or new markets that the business can unlock. Anything which proves that the growth of the business won’t slow down or stop.
- The business is too similar to its competitors – Businesses that aren’t differentiated enough can only compete on price. The lower the price, the less cash is left over to grow the business.
- There isn’t enough free cash – Free cash is what’s left behind after working capital is spent. It’s a good measure of a business’s performance because it shows stakeholders and potential buyers how much money the business can dedicate towards growth.
- Legal issues – If you or your business are tied up in any legal disputes that could affect the business financially, there’s a slim chance of selling the business before all the legal issues are resolved.
Aurik nurtures your business for a sale
We work hand-in-hand with you to grow your business into an Asset of Value through careful analysis, focused goal-setting and sound business systems. A partnership with Aurik ensures that your business has a firm foundation from which to grow and expand.
We will collaborate with you and identify who your ideal customer is and how best to position your business so you can serve them optimally. This is supported by targeted and persistent marketing strategies and airtight business systems.
Aurik works with you to establish long-term value in your business. We want your business’s true value to show clearly in its processes, structures and operations – not in who owns it.
Would you like to have your pick of buyers when you’re ready to sell? Aurik can assist. Let us work with you to build your business into an Asset of Value and devise an effective exit strategy.
Assessing Franchise Opportunities
Building your business into an asset of value may include expanding through franchise opportunities. This week, on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we examined the key elements of what you should consider when assessing franchise opportunities:
Start your Strategic Planning for 2018
2017 has been a rough year, for everyone. At every level, corruption has put paid to so much, and the dismal economic growth has left us all feeling angry and frustrated. Yet somehow, small businesses in South Africa have mostly grown. Rather than pulling a Hulk smash, or simply setting your ‘Out of Office’ message on, channel the anger and frustrated energy you’re feeling into something good, that’ll pay off next year. You should have started your strategic planning for 2018 by now but, if you haven’t yet begun, we outlined a way for you pour that energy into something positive, on this week’sThe Money Show with Bruce Whitfield. Set your business up for a good year in 2018, with a strategic plan that responds to your experience of 2017. Here’s your checklist:
A Succession Planning Strategy for Your Business
The resignation of Robert Mugabe and the current race for power within the ANC have highlighted the importance of succession planning within the political landscape, but just how important is it for your business? Statistically, just 28% of succession plans end up being truly successful. On this week’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we considered the all-important questions you need to ask of yourself, and of your business, when creating a succession planning strategy for your business:
How to start a business (or your career) from nothing
My recent meetings with people across the country have revealed that we have so much human potential, and yet such low morale. Fatigued by empty promises from government and business, people – especially the poor – are exhausted by their efforts to make ends meet. The toughest question posed to me was: “How can I start a business, or a career, if I come from nothing, and have nothing?” This week, on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, I set out to answer that question, by adopting an entrepreneurial approach.
How to build your Business into an Asset of Value that is ripe for selling
Every business owner should be concerned about whether they will be able to sell their business for a good return when they’re ready to put it up for sale. When the day comes for them to sell, there will be one big question on their minds – will they get the price they want for the business? So how can you ensure that your business is an Asset of Value? Only 5.4% of businesses are successfully sold, while 94.6% just close down when the time comes. No matter how invested you are, eventually you may want to move on to something else. Building your business into an Asset of Value means investing the time to strategise and, importantly, to implement the strategy. In other words, make sure that you work “on” your business and not just “in” it.
Get with the Aurik programme to ensure company growth
Business owners are bracing themselves for tough economic times with SA’s downgrade to junk status and a gradual economic decline, but what can we do to position ourselves to weather the economic storms ahead? We have a track record of helping businesses weather tough times and we have learnt a few things along the way. From goal-setting to adding new tools and getting to know your customer, we will help you put your business on the road to growth.
Delegate, you must: if you want to sell your business one day
Despite what you may think or feel, doing it on your own won’t set you on a pathway to success. You can’t build a business without people and - as we discussed on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield – if you want to sell your business, you’ll need to learn to delegate:
Think big with an Asset of Value framework
Thinking and building big right from the start with an Asset of Value framework, enabled Atomic Oil to achieve a R60m valuation in only its 6th year of doing business. Being a new player in a traditional and well established industry, Atomic Oil were enabled through its agility to be able to take a different approach and establish for itself a beachhead in the market. It made use of cutting edge technology to build and establish itself and this subsequently led to the collapse of some of the traditional players business models. With the ability to out-compete the dominant players by providing a faster, more consistent, reliable service at a fraction of the competitors cost, Atomic Oil has cannibalized its competitors business, dominating the oil analysis market today in 2017.
Spend more time on your business and less time in it with improved business systems
We have seen a common theme emerging in our recent meetings with various entrepreneurs. As a business owner, you might be wondering how best to position yourself for the future amid South Africa’s junk status and unpredictable economy. You might be thinking about how to make the best of your business in this context, but also how you put yourself in the best position. You need your business to be a success without having to tire yourself out and being involved in the day-to-day operations. To be profitable, you must increase sales without spending more or allocating more resources. But isn’t there an easier or more efficient way of doing this than killing yourself by trying to be on top of every aspect of your business?
The Asset of Value Strategy Series
Welcome to the Asset of Value Series. As part of the Nedbank Business Accelerator Campaign with 702 this year, our CEO Pavlo Phitidis, had the opportunity of producing a podcast series to help successful, established entrepreneurs get to the next level. We do this by giving business owners like yourself the opportunity to share your stories and insights, and in turn, we work with you as the business owner to drive key changes necessary to accelerate your business. In the Asset of value series, we explore your journey to building your business into an Asset of Value.
A Business Strategy to Turn a Dreadful Year into a Success
This year has been tough for everyone, and there are just 12 weeks left before world of business winds up for 2017. There is, however, still time to accelerate your sales efforts and grow your business before the year ends. On The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we outlined an effective business strategy that helps entrepreneurs fast-track their way to success, before the year ends: