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01/07/2020

David White - Building Better Businesses For A Better Economy

I am sure that everyone went through moments of concern and anxiety during the COVID-19 lockdown. I was just the same... My rush of emotion came in the first week of Level 5 lockdown, and feeling uneasy I went into my home office, and sat in wonder staring at my computer.

I had been in the United Kingdom for the first week of March, doing a B-BBEE explanation tour with Bruce Lennon (co director in BusinessFit), and came back into South Africa just before the lockdown started. As I had been travelling abroad, I put myself into self-quarantine, and so when the official lockdown came, I was already in my third week of staying at home.

The feeling I had that evening was that the world is changing, that it is different from how it was yesterday, and different again to how it will be tomorrow. It was a frightening thought, as although the norms of our society are not perfect in any way, there is comfort in knowing our somewhat predictable imperfect world.

A Glimpse of Light
I had been asked a short while prior to the lockdown to address the clientele of an international organisation called PDA, who provide behavioural assessment tools to business leaders in 100 countries around the world. My topic being how to support the growth and development of Entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Suddenly the two worlds: the emotion of uncertainty and change we were experiencing and the responsibility of preparing for an international webinar collided in my head, and I saw a glimpse of light. I started writing the thoughts as they came into my head. I did not get up from my desk for six hours straight, and at midnight saved what I had written and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning and read through what I had written the night before. It seemed a lot more than I remembered writing, and as I read through it, it felt in a way kind of inspired. The content was then put into a booklet by Kerri Adlam of Top Business, and Grant Adlam shared it with a few KZN business leaders.

A gentleman in Germany read the booklet, and immediately contacted me and asked if he might translate the booklet into German. He did so... and it has now been made available in German speaking European countries.

The information in the booklet is a simple summary of the larger than COVID-19 challenges we have on earth today (and tomorrow), and steps we need to take to ensure we protect our environment, and support building better businesses for a better economy.

Establish new norms in product and service consumption
There is no doubt that Entrepreneurs are critical in helping the economy to establish new norms in product and service consumption, that will result in reduced waste, pollution, and carbon emissions. But they too are in many cases inefficient influences in our economy due to their high failure rate. There needs to be a rehaul in the way Entrepreneurs are guided to run their operations, as we need successful leaders to help create sustainable organisations that employ people and have a positive effect on stakeholders.

The Paris Accord speaks about the world's focus and commitment to having zero carbon emissions by 2050. Many people are seeing that this is just too long to wait, and action needs to be taken immediately to affect positive and effective change.

There is a huge waste of resources in the world today, but nothing more so than from the negative effect Entrepreneurs are having in the way they pour raw materials, money and time into start-up enterprises that just fail. There is no doubt that setting up and running a productive, engaged, compliant and sustainable business is one of the hardest things to do...But the waste generated by entrepreneurial operations is of such significance, that focus needs to be directed at creating more successful enterprises more often. The effect, of course, of successful entrepreneurship is employment creation - a global priority.

Processes in Effective Business Management
The booklet speaks about the processes in effective business management in quite some detail, and shares with business leaders and Entrepreneurs some basic facts about what it means to start and run your own business, and what to expect along the path of growth and development.

BusinessFit has been in the space of helping to grow successful Entrepreneurs for the past eight years, and we have learned much on this journey. But the fundamentals are as we initially envisioned, "a good idea plus effective leadership plus sound functional area support plus an engaging work environment equals success and sustainability". It is well to note that if we were to improve the success rate of Entrepreneur set up enterprises to only six out of ten companies failing - we would already have doubled the number of successful enterprises entering the market.

Entrepreneurs make up a small but significantly important part of the population, and their role in society today is to help to discover new and better products and services that will help to ensure we reduce waste, pollution and carbon emissions whilst creating jobs. Entrepreneurs are those business-minded individuals who are focused on improving customer satisfaction through improved efficiencies in design, manufacture, and delivery of products and services for a better world for all. They are good corporate citizens, understand customer and other stakeholder expectations, and intentionally aim to create sustainable enterprises.

No Entrepreneur ever sets out to be a hopeless failure. However, business administration complexities, market conditions, customer changing needs and wants, and cash flow and staffing challenges often create pressure in the day to day business process that more often than not cause entrepreneurial businesses to fail.

The Entrepreneurs Responsibility
The booklet helps to explain that Entrepreneurs are most effective when they recognise it is their responsibility to guide the organisation and its people towards: meeting organisational objectives (mission and vision); ensuring operational stability; meeting compliance, reporting and governance standards; building a strong functional support platform for the business to operate on; and meeting customer and stakeholder expectations.

Successful Entrepreneurs recognise that they are the leaders of their enterprise, and that they mobilise intent and provide energy (purpose) to identify opportunities, overcome set-up inertia, and create goal directed momentum. Their role is not to be bogged down in the administration and paperwork of their organisation, as their real value is in their leadership of the organisation, and to draw in experienced and capable functional area experts who are able to support setting up and establishing quality assured financial, human resource, marketing, operational and other functional area foundations.

Please request a free "Building Better Businesses for a Better Economy" booklet from Youshi Naidoo (youshi@businessfit.co.za) if you are interested in reading more on this important topic. We look forward to sharing this work with you, and to encouraging the growth and development of your own enterprise.

W: www.businessfit.co.za

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 David White - Building Better Businesses For A Better Economy.pdf


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