Quinton Coetzee’s 10 pointers to business success

Meet Lizelle Grobler, winner of Bring Change Lowveld 2017

1. Surround yourself with exceptional people
It’s all about people. Take the time to find champions – people who are committed to success, who can work as a team, who will support you in the long-term and with whom you share common interests and mutual business goals. Associate with positive people (how many negative people do you know, who are winners/successful entrepreneurs?)

2. Branding
Just as important as building your business’ brand, is building your own, personal brand – your values, beliefs, morals, standards… how you behave, how you dress, how you treat others. These are all foundations that you need to polish and hone in order to build a successful personal brand – one that people will always admire and respect, both personally and professionally. A reputation is an opinion that others form from your behaviour. A brand is a promise of what a person/company represents. Brand and reputation go hand in hand – an excellent brand supports an excellent reputation and vice versa. Remember, a brand isn’t what you say it is; it’s what they say it is.

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3. Assess… Plan… Execute…
These three words are a precursor to almost everything you undertake in life – from refuelling your car… to going on holiday… to running a successful business. Do a simple, written business plan: where you want to be, by when; and how you intend to get there. This is a simple road map of your journey with financial, marketing and many other important milestones you need to track your progress against time. It’s imperative that you set targets and goals. Be flexible – no business plan is perfect, neither can it predict or prepare you for the future – adapt your plan as required, but stay accountable to the numbers. Sometimes a big change of plan may be required!

4. Know what you don’t know
No one knows everything. No one is good at everything. Be realistic about your abilities – what you’re good at, and what you’re not! Hire in the skills/abilities you lack, but develop them within yourself over time. Businesses built around the strengths and talents of highly competent people, are most likely to succeed, grow and prosper.

5. Know your finances
You need to have a complete and thorough understanding of how the cash flow in your business “works” – where, when, how, why every cent is earned or spent. Always be on top of your factual bottom-line profits. Be master of your cash flow! Failure to do this is the reason why most businesses never reach their full potential or even fail. Get a brilliant accountant… before it’s too late.

6. Stay focused
Especially when starting out, don’t be misled by every so-called “opportunity” that presents itself (and there will be many!) Beware of taking on too much, casting your net too wide, and spreading yourself thin. This reduces your effective output and efficiency. It takes your eye off the ball, you lose focus and deviate from your original goal. Rather do one thing perfectly, than many things badly. Learn to delegate!

7. Promote your business
Don’t skimp on promoting your business. “The person who stops advertising to save money, is the person who stops the clock to save time.” If no one knows about you, you have no business. If you’re not already a good marketer, get professional advice. Develop an affordable marketing plan. Budget for channels (print, brochures, social media, websites) that are appropriate for your business and target market.

8. Network
No matter how much you spend on advertising, you need to network – go get your business! Develop and involve yourself with networking channels – participate in business forums/chambers, professional associations, newsletters. Get involved, get your name out there and “work the circuit”.

9. Customer service
If you have no customers, you have no business! You can never do enough for your customers. Take care of your customers, exceed their expectations, embrace them, care for them, value them, and they will be yours forever. Growth and opportunity will follow. Even better, loyal customers will “sell” you to others, growing your customer base at no marketing cost to yourself. Dedicate yourself from the start, to building referral business.

10. Monitor and improve
Most start-ups are hectic, frenetic – one becomes a jack of all trades and a master of none. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Step back… take the time to assess, monitor and improve. Constantly strive to improve upon what you’re doing… strive to do it better! If you don’t actively drive continuous improvement, you’re not doing things better. If you’re not doing things better, you’re not growing. And if you’re not growing, you’re dying! It is imperative that you work as hard on your business, as you do in your business.

Visit Quinton’s website today!

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