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Self-employment Opportunities & Skills Development

Exceptional Entrepreneur

Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

People today are simultaneously driven by greed, fear and self-righteous entitlement; on the one hand undermining responsibility, and chasing money-spinning opportunities on the other. A daily diet of strikes, corruption, political uncertainty, shortages, energy breakdowns and price hikes distort our view of social stratification.

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How to Achieve Prosperity

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in business, Uncategorized | 0 comments

“How can I achieve prosperity?” is a popular question asked by many people today. While for some individuals the answer lies in understanding the importance of becoming financially literate and keeping up with ever-changing economic trends through the pursuit of life-long learning, an often ignored element to achieving prosperity has to do with the fact that we don’t understand our value as people.

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Downsize your company wisely

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Streamlining your business is not necessarily a negative choice.  There are many advantages to downsizing your business operation to a more manageable level. It helps to prune down the hedges to allow new ideas to flourish, reassess your corporate culture and market position, re-distribute resources and employee responsibilities, cut costs, and identify shortcomings in terms of in-house training, customer service, and lean management to create value and initiating a philosophy of continuous improvement.

Words by Theresa Lütge-Smith


Any process that does not add value – that which customers are willing to pay for – should be revamped for optimal flow or even eliminated. Done successfully, streamlining your business not only reduces overhead costs of non-value-added activities, but also improves customer satisfaction by bringing their needs and requirements into alignment. In brief, the process of downsizing your company wisely should focus on continuous improvement. The purpose of lean management is to adapt to change to get the right things to the right place at the right time in the right quantity to achieve perfect work flow.

Maneuver Economic Recovery

Staying resilient through tough economic times is undoubtedly difficult. Even marginally economically sound companies are downsizing, rightsizing, and even capsizing. Dire financial pressures routinely thrust massive changes on businesses, necessitating entrepreneurs to prune down the hedges to allow new ideas to flourish, reassess their corporate culture and market position, re-distribute resources and employee responsibilities, cut costs, and identify shortcomings in terms of in-house training, customer service, and lean management to create value, and step up to the plate by giving their company a much-needed face-lift. Firms are being urged to export more goods to help South Africa achieve a sustainable economic recovery. If entrepreneurs fail to broaden their horizons, we consign the country to the certain fate of becoming a marginal, bit-part player in the global economy.

Retain Staff, Boost Skills

As an innovative business owner or manager you may be averse to throwing in the towel just yet. Pushing harder to increase sales and revenue or having to downsize by selling off part of the business are but two redeeming features in today’s economy to help a company stay afloat, but cutting back on staff could result in negative consequences. A short-term solution to cut back on operating expenses is to decrease the amount of hours each employee works rather than dismissal. Most employees would rather work fewer hours than be laid off, despite a smaller paycheck. Scaling back will naturally have an effect on morale as the shock of new procedures and employee responsibilities and less pay take hold. In downsized companies there is an emphasis on inter-reliant management—managers customarily walk around, observe what’s going on and communicate with the people doing the work. Consequently, most employees react positively to this constructive leadership approach and demonstrate resurgence in pride of work and increased productivity. After closely monitoring progress, managers engage with employees involved in the occupation—often asking why things are done a certain way, and whether the employee can recommend a better approach to facilitate productivity and eliminate waste.

Change the business model by identifying key areas where cost savings could be achieved. Would altering the current business model impact negatively on the level of service customers have come to expect from the company? Would streamlining the company cause it to be more profitable? Are employees adequately qualified to sustain a positive company workflow or should job rotation and in-house training programs be initiated? In order to re-distribute resources you will need a comprehensive snapshot of your company overview that includes Business Description, Mission, Goals and Objectives, Stock History Chart, Core Competencies, Yearly Financials, Company History, Executive Information, Corporate Hierarchy, Company Locations and Facilities, Competitor Information, Mentions of the Company in current news stories, Company Highlights, and Legal cases in which the company is involved.

Get your technology in tip-top shape by having your own static IP (Internet Protocol) address so that your suppliers, clients or anyone else can reliably connect to your server. Other attributes of a static IP address include hosting a dedicated website (allowing you to respond to queries for your domain name) or gaming site; connecting to email or chat servers, and important servers such as backup web servers, database servers, network equipment; VPN (Virtual Private Network) equipment (allowing people to remotely access applications, as well as easier back-up of important documents. Other examples of how technology can help you develop your business are  VoIP systems (cheaper than a traditional small-office phone system) and automated billing process to generate invoices, electronic transfers, e-mail reminders for late payments, file taxes electronically, option of paying smaller bills in advance, renew insurance policies on schedule. Ask your business broadband provider about this service. Visit (click on value-adds) to find out more about owning your own stand-alone static IP address for R55 per month.

Enlist your customers to streamline your business by tracking the daily activities of your target audience and then creating ‘decision simplicity’ to make it easy for them to connect and work with you. What do your customers do all day? What drives their thoughts at the start of the day? What is the toughest part of their day? What leisure activities do they prefer? What shopping methods do they make use of? Ask non-customers why they don’t do business with you; learn from their criticisms to inspire you to introduce change.

Rethink and adopt new approaches to your businesses by embracing new technologies and manufacturing opportunities that will distinguish you from your competitors. The ability to collect, process and interpret complex data is at the core of many business operations to drive productivity, competitiveness and prosperity, and allows you to more effectively communicate with consumers, perform risk-analyses and create new revenue streams. Connecting products, machines or entire factories can increase efficiency and reduce the loss of information. Follow a rapid improvement manufacturing process. Involve workers from multiple functions and levels within the organization, working together to address any problems as they occur and thus significantly improving the process.

The first challenge is to identify an appropriate target area for a rapid improvement event, such as areas with substantial work-in-progress or production area where significant bottlenecks or delays occur. Focus on a specific ‘waste elimination’ problem within that area (i.e. lead-time reduction, quality improvement, or production yield improvement). Managers typically assemble a cross-functional team of employees to engage in developing a clear understanding of the ‘current state’ of the targeted process so that all team members have a similar understanding of the problems they are working to solve.

This process is called ‘value stream mapping’, which involves flowcharting the sequential activities (step by step procedure), material flows, communications, and other process elements that are involved with product manufacture or transformation (e.g., transformation of raw materials into a finished product, completion of an administrative process). Value-stream mapping helps an organization identify the non-value-adding elements in a targeted process. Once data is gathered, it is analyzed and assessed to find areas for improvement. Ideas are tested on the shop floor or in process ‘mock-ups’. Ideas deemed most promising are selected and implemented. A key part of the implementation process is the follow-up activity that aims to ensure that improvements are sustained. As part of this follow-up, personnel involved in the targeted process are tapped for feedback and suggestions.

Contact Theresa ( for original writing.

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Trip Wire Marketing

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Consumers today are leaping out of one segment into another as they seek to fulfill customized innovation. Consumers are becoming increasingly brand-savvy and play a powerful role in inspiring new solutions as they build relationships with brands. Changing patterns in consumerism undoubtedly affects what products people buy and what brands they prefer. Marketers are aware of this and often design their strategies based on customer life cycle trends, known as Trip Wire Marketing, to identify and differentiate evolving customer segments. The theory behind “trip wire” marketing is to identify customers that demonstrate different behavioral patterns than the norm and to take advantage of the opportunity to increase customer value through ongoing CRM or Life Cycle-based marketing. While change in consumer behavior is measured over time it is important to identify whether the value of a customer is rising or falling.

Knowing and understanding the Customer Life Cycle is the most powerful marketing tool you can have. Marketers continually need to reassess changes in consumer behavior from a customer-oriented perspective. In all activities, customer satisfaction is the key to continuing to earn profit which enables us to grow wealth. It is not enough to sell to a customer one time; we need repeat business and word-of-mouth endorsements. Unhappy or disgruntled customers will go to our competitors who do satisfy their expectations or find alternative products or services that fulfill their needs. It is therefore true that the customer is central to our efforts and it is clear that in order to be competitive in today’s marketplace, one needs to understand the customers’ expectations and be capable of providing products and services on target the first time, every time. Trip Wire marketing is a cycle of constant replication of action and reaction between customer and marketer, providing there is mutual value in the relationship.

Exceeding the expectations of cutting-edge consumers is viagra original ligne becoming increasingly challenging because product life cycles that included two to four years from concept to production are now in many cases one to two years from concept to obsolescence. Albeit, it is the ability to thrive under conditions of constant and unpredictable change that achieves rapid response to customer needs. And because technology is accelerating in some areas and flattening in others, success will go to those who are positioned to capitalize on these changes and capable of reacting quickly to accommodate the changing forces in the marketplace as well as the ability to react quickly to technical or environmental surprises. The entire customer experience is linked to tangible and intangible aspects of the customers’ experience with our product or service including reputation, image, or ease of purchase.

Companies are national, but business is global. National and political borders are transparent to nearly all aspects of business, even those not directly involved in the world marketplace. Customers in the global marketplace expect more value from us due to the availability of high-quality products and services and the swift responsiveness of our competitors. It is therefore vital that we understand all of these elements of the customers’ expectations if we are to remain ahead of the competition. The future belongs to those businesses that clearly define their customers, understand their expectations, and cost-effectively produce quality products and services that satisfy those expectations the first time, every time. However, you need to acquire important internal bench marking knowledge by evaluating on a regular basis what your competitors are doing; by identifying not only which of your competitors are recognized as the best in class but also the processes and practices that make them so; and by assessing how your product or service and its associated processes compare to the best in class. Recognizing when an average customer is ready to become a best customer involves a fair amount of detailed data mining to help you forecast probabilities and trends to identify emerging consumer behavior patterns and establish relationships. This process, called predictive modeling, helps direct marketers and data analyst’s better target customers, discover new market opportunities, manage risk and profile the customer according to gender, age, and purchase history.


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Successful Coaching in the workplace

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Terms such as leadership, motivation, productivity and teamwork are regularly associated with staff training and development. In their attempt to be more competitive, many organizations are using the coaching approach to training to stimulate their development. Coaching is less formal than business training and is much more open-minded. While training may have a specific set of actions, which the individual must learn and on completion, be able to achieve, coaching looks at the present situation relative to the individual and uses custom-made approaches to achieve an objective.

Furthermore, the traditional 37-hour week from Monday to Friday is no longer the norm. A job-for-life is also becoming increasingly rare. Workers no longer expect to hold down one steady job throughout the course of their working life; many of us will hold as many as eight jobs during our career. Similarly, an increasing number of people are now opting to take advantage of deregulation in the workplace, preferring to work part-time shifts, at night, on national holidays and over weekends. Besides the choice of working flexible hours, deregulation also affords the worker increased security and the opportunity to balance work within personal time constraints.

Such market changes demand that job seekers become multi-skilled, in diverse or related abilities. As competition in the labour market increases, a university degree is no longer a passport to employment; rather employers are looking for people who are innovative, self-disciplined and who are willing to adapt and learn. While all industries have had to change their processes to take advantage of information technology, increased competitiveness in relevant markets has led to increased consumer demands and changing supplier relationships. Effective skills’ training is therefore essential. In order for companies to retain core staff they must demonstrate a commitment to training. Coaching is designed to empower each individual to understand their potential and to identify how they can achieve it. By developing a sound knowledge of the individual, the coach knows when to support and when to stretch, when to challenge and when to guide. Coaching amplifies the individual’s own knowledge and thought processes. It creates a supportive environment in which to challenge and to develop critical thinking skills, ideas and behaviors. Coaching’s strength lies in facilitating and developing personal qualities.

Coaches and trainees collaborate to plan and attain key development objectives, taking into account the goals and objectives of the organization as well as the experience, maturity, knowledge and career path of the individual being coached. The coach will require each individual to examine his or her strengths and weaknesses, and to seek innovative ideas for boosting productivity and attaining personal job satisfaction. Starting from a basis of assessing the individual’s current position in terms of strengths, experiences and potential, the coach will guide the trainee to plan training objectives, which is then broken down into a series and manageable and measurable steps.

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