The Root (Part 3): Support System


The most essential thing that you have to understand about one of the most essential parts of a plant, “the root” is to understand that it has the massive backing of the plant.

In business, you have to realise that you need to take care of your business in order for it to take care of you. If you are to reap any fruits from the investment input into your business you have to ensure that its internal clockwork and functions are at their optimal point.

Some plants can easily be reproduced by making cuttings from the parent plant. The new plant/cutting, continues to survive for a short while without some of the most essential elements as the roots and leaves.

It would not be a wise thing for a plant to assume that it can continue to operate in such a way for a long time.

There comes a point in the new plant’s “reasoning” that the plant realises that it has been separated from its source of nutrition and the time has come to develop an independant system.

If the plant fails to produce the necessary organs such as the leaves and roots because it thinks it is still alive, it will suddenly wake up one day and the internal storage would have been exhausted subsequently leading to its wilting and death.

If you neglect the most essential drivers of your business as it reaches its maturity, it may suddenly whilt and die on you. And you wonder what happened.

The business would have been operating very well for the last 12-15 months and because the systems in place appear to be operating very well. There is need to continualy review the systems in place and assess the functions, viability and overall feasibility going forward.

There is a need to continually review each and every function to make sure that it is well catered for and is able to perform its function to the best of its capability.

Some things that were efficient whilst you were serving five or ten clients may no longer be as feasible when there are now 25 to thirty clients.

New equipment may need to be purchased, vehicles acquired, software upgraded, buildings upgraded and refurbished. There are so many intricate details depending on the type of business that you have to look out for as you progress in business.

The bible says “do not restrict the horse that treads the corn.” There are certain “perks” that are derived from working in certain industries, at times these appear to be irrelevant to the operations of the business.

However they offer a certain level of satisfaction and quality of life to the employee.
These need to be regulated in order to ensure that the company suffers minimal loss from these activities but gains in improved perfomance from the employee. They can be used as moral boosters and perfomance enhancers ensuring that the core objectives of the business are achieved.

They say a hungry man is an angry man, this is obvious in many day to day business activities in a lot of our companies. We have seen industries being brought to their knees because the employees have been neglected.

The key unit of any business are its employees and if they are mistreated or given a package that is below the standard that a normal being can operate under, then the business owner is simply sitting on a ticking time bomb.

It is only a matter of time before the employee bomb explodes on it.
I am continually amazed at employers who choose to neglect and abuse their employees through poor pay packages as compared to the actual business net revenue and poor working conditions.

Whilst a dollar here and there is saved in the short run by employing strategies that disadvantage the employee, an employer should be wary because watering down the wine is a dangerous strategy.

Shortcuts in business are the quickest way to failure.

A strong, secure, solid employee root base ensures that the business system is founded on a solid rock.

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“The Money Tree” : Land Preparation – Part 1


In any business, it is essential that you make sure that you do the ground work first before you begin to inject any of your seed.

Shoddy preperation, no matter how good the seed input and effort thereafter may rob you of the potential output from your input effort.

First impressions count.
The most important thing that you can have from a client is his confidence. Confidence in your ability to get… not just barely get the job done… but do it excellence, in a classy manner.

Confidence in your ability is the client retainer. Clients will come back for a second sale based on how impressed they are based not only on the work you have done but also the impression and perception they have of you.

It is this perception that markets you and extends your reach and influence.

On the other hand you should take note that you create an environment that suits the type of business. You have to, “dress the part, so to speak”.

There is absolutely no need to present an exterior that is clearly innappropriate for the job, for example going for an interview that seeks a proffessional plumber, gardener, landscaper or handyman putting on an expensive suit.

That is clearly not aligned with the job at hand, and if a suit sits well on you (like it does on me) you may have a difficult time convincing the interviewer that you are capable of getting the job done at all.

Appearances need to be appropriate for the job at hand, but then there is an added advantage for going the extra mile. For example a free lance photographer who shows up already in gear equipped with some cameras is at an adantage to one that just…. well for lack of a better word.. that just shows up.

The business premises reflect the characteristics of the culture and nature of the environment at the firm. In my gardening example, a farm that is producing crops in the middle of weeds, with stones dirt and garbage openly visible would greatly hamper the prospects of a potential supplying contract with a major buyer.

Likewise, the office environment speaks volumes about the attitude of the firm and its employees about its associated business. It is the responsibility of the principle promoter, that is the owner or manager of the business to ensure that the bar is set in terms of visible standards of organisation and seriousness.

A client walking into a building should not get lost! If the reception area is lost in a labyrinth of dark passages and corners, it is highly likely that you will lose more clients than those you gain.

I have been in situations where I end up knocking on the “Senior” Manager’s office, just to get directions to his receptionist, but that obvously defeats the very purpose of the system.

The layout of the firm is very essential if speedy and efficient execution of the work is to be done.

So a significant amount of time has to be spent in “clearing and preparing the land”, a well designed and good product may be discredited by the appearance that is displayed by ist handlers.

The environment has to be set up in a manner that allows for the free flow of information and the efficient transfer of goods and services.

In a set up where by production or manufacturing of the said product, it is advantageous to ensure that the client is kept as far away and as unaware of the hustle and bustle of activity.

I know of several people who just love to eat chicken meat but cant stand the sight of blood and would not want to be anywhere near a place were chickens are being slaughtered.

Thus it would be very unwise to have a butchery, were if one just peaks behind the counter, they can clearly see the slaughter house in full swing.

The Money tree: Part 1 Seed ~ Reliable Supply


This is a continuation of  “The Money Tree” series, you are advised to read the preceding posts uin the series before continuing as it will prove more beneficial, but, it is possible to grasp the concepts in this post alone.

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As we earlier alluded, clients place a high degree of trust and
confidence in a supplier of a product, especially if the product
relies heavily on repeat sales, which is what virtually forms the
cornerstone of all serious business models.
The strength of a firm is heavily dependant on the confidence of the
clients on the stability and the consistency of supply of the product
by the firm.
No right thinking individual would like to become dependent or reliant
on a firm to supply a product and makes plans with that in mind would
be pleased to discover that the firm can no longer maintain
a consistent supply.
More than just an exchange of goods/services and cash takes place
when a sales transaction takes place. It is as if a silent gentleman’s
agreement is made between the two parties.
The buyer trusts and believes that he is purchasing a good that will
meet a stated or implied need to the best possible ability of a good
in that category for the stated value.
And the seller is of the confidence that the buyer is purchasing the
good with good intent and will further promote the growth of the firm
by repeat sales or spreading the goodwill of the firm by word of mouth
or other and will not spoil the reputation of the store by engaging in
otherwise negative behaviour.
So the two enter into an unstated relationship that is expected to be
strenghtened with time in a good business relationship.
However the said relationship can be spoiled from no intention of the
firm by a failure in the supply of the seed input by their source.
This has the ripple effect of causing the firm to break the supply
chain to the consumer, thus breaking the sacred trust entered into by
the two parties.
A case of such broken trust may be so intense that repairing it may
prove too hard a task to be achieved within one lifetime. For example
a small town pharmacy which is the sole supplier of asthmatic medicine
fails to restock on this medicine and someone in the town suddenly has
an asthmatic attack and the individual is out of his prescription.
Such a case may be fatal, and regaining the confidence of the family
or the entire town for that matter may be something that will take
generations to achieve even though the failure to restock may have
been as a result of no fault of the pharmacy.
That is why you find in the developed world, a firm can actually sue a
supplier for damages incurred by failure to supply. A household might
not sue a bakery for failure to supply bread, but they may label that
bakery as unreliable after spending a morning lacking bread and switch
to another and advise any of their friends and family to do likewise
thus ruining the reputation of the firm.
Thus concludes my argument on the need to ensure a reliable supply of
your seed input. Please join me in the next blog on how to assess the viability of  a supplier as a going concern as we take a look at simple indicators that a firm may be liable to face supply problems in the not too distant future

Success Tools


Once you have established what it is that you need to carry out any given project that you undertake, the next thing that you need to do is equip yourself. Do not get carried away at this stage and forget what it is that you are doing, recognise the task at hand as it is and that is to simply grab some tools.

Tools are what they are, “tools”, nothing more nothing less. Always have your final objective in mind. A lot of people start out on the right track, with a set of goals and objectives, but soon get caught up in the acquisition of tools that they soon forget their primary purpose.
They begin to think that the tool is what they want and not the actual fulfilment of their goal, hence they end up with a tool and an unaccomplished goal.

For example, lets look at a guy carrying out a construction project that has a six month deadline, and one of the tools required is a crane, and in this utopian town there is only one crane and that crane is only available for a few days. The project also has a limited budget, if the builder gets caught up in trying to secure the crane at all costs and ends up exhausting the budget in the process, he will find himself with a tool and no end. Or get so caught up in haggling for the price that he ends up with neither the tool nor the end, he has a big problem on his hands.

So the idea is to take a balanced approach when acquiring your tools. Keep the task at hand close in mind, but the overall objective even closer.

Any tool can be acquired with a simple method of figuring out what exactly it is that you require to be done, how you feel is best for that to be done and what tools are usefull towards carrying out that task.

Usually you will find that there is not just one way to do a job, or there are numerous tools that achieve the same goal. So you have to go for the task that best suites the simplest and least stressful process of acquiring the tool.

Its all a matter of figuring out the process of acquiring the tool and going at it with zest and enthusiasm. Be efficient in your execution, but patient in your expectation of the manifestation of your end result.

Some tools you may permanantly acquire, others you may just have for the duration of your project.

It is important to know the reasons why in every circumstance, and hence adopt the correct amount of effort and investment in making the acquisition for the project.

Never overestimate what you know, or take for granted some of the simpler tasks that you have to carry out. More often than not, it is those simple tasks if not executed properly that chip away at your project and make it crumble and fall to its knees.

Im a person that likes to challenge myself to new and interesting goals.
If you find yourself lagging behind in some facets of knowledge there are three things you can do; get an expert, go back to school, or both.

Personally, I recommend both, because once you get an expert to guide you, you have the best method of execution and the expert will also take into consideration some of his own diverse knowledge even from outside the field in question.

However it is also important to know what it is that you are dealing with, there is nothing worse frustrating, than a frugal employer meeting an extravagant employee. The two will always be neck in neck, and if you are unlucky enough to be that employer, on a tight budget and at the end of the day you realise that you overpurchased or spent too much, well…. let me leave that to your imagination.

So it is important for you to stand in the gap of the decisions that you make concerning your resources.

So in this instance it is necessary for you to equip yourself with adequate knowledge to make the right decisions.

Silent Heroes


Okay. So maybe the world has been a little rough on you, but you know what it has been rough on everybody. Each and every human being on this earth has had his share of the world beating down on him unfairly.

There is no single person out there given the time and motivation who is unable to recount some sob story about how someone or some group of people in society have let him down or dissapointed him when he least expected it.

There are people in our lives that seem to have been literally sent by God into our lives. Those people who never seem to be unwilling or without the desire even though means are not always available to make a menaingful contribution in our lives. To make the effort to see us smile and be comfortable eve though there is no direct benefit to themselves.

These are the heores of our lives, they do not necessarily have much, or live the model lifestyle for that matter those people whom when we think of them feel more than just a moral obligation, but a longing to do something for them that would literally make their faces glow.

The people that try to pull you up in life so you may achieve your dreams. The people that when you dream of greater things than they can imagine do not put you down but offer you their shoulders to stand on. That you may see further, dream bigger, imagine greater and realise your potential.

Who are these great heroes that do so much? Usually those guys who shove you forward when you aare afraid to take the leap of faith, the ones that catch you when you fall. The ones that are never judgemental about why something you set out to do failed.

The ones that you can count on to be there when things turn sour. The ones that lift you up and stand aside and cheer you on when you succeed. Yes we each have such people in our lives, the guardian angels of our lives, the unsung heroes who seek nothing from us but our own success.

If you still dont know them or are too blind to see who they are, then let me shed some light. These are the mothers, the father, the brother, the aunt, the sister, the grandfather, the friend, the boyfriend, the girlfriend, the mentor, the counseller not necessarily all but as an axample may come in the form of any one of the above.

The ones whose chastise actually means something. Who when they say they are hurt by our actions you feel a deep pain in your gut telling you that something is amiss.

Yes these are the people that are the fire on a wintery night, that no matter where you are. How deep and hopeless a situation is and how insumountable a task may seeem to be, that you can take a deep breath. Imagine them by your side, what they would say to you in such a situation, get up and with renewed zest and determination take on the challenge set before you.

So whenever life hits you below the belt, remember the good days, those people that made you not only smile, but actually feel good about yourself, and know that you are worth it, because you realy are.