How to thrive, not just survive

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to Greg Mason12

Look around. The world is built on the ideas of some dreamy entrepreneurs. From the television to the couch, the rug and the heater, they are all the ideas of individuals who dared to dream. They formed companies out of their ideas then employed people. Some were successful, but others were not.

In SABC3’s The Business Coach, we see the elements that are needed to make any business work.

Thirteen South Africans with small businesses are invited on to the show to receive direction from business coach Greg Mason, a master in business management.

This show is not a competition like Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, but instead we meet people with real issues in their businesses. Mason offers the 13 valuable advice to turn around their fortunes.

“I was invited by Rapid Blue, the producers of the show, to audition for the role. Rapid Blue was adamant they wanted a ‘real-life’ business coach rather than a professional TV programme presenter,” said Mason.

“I am a real-life business coach, having bought an ActionCoach Business Coaching franchise in 2008, so the viewers will get to see what I do every day for a living.”

Having said that, we have to wonder how, in the eyes of a guru in the business sector, SA fares when it comes to individuals running businesses.

“With the unemployment issues facing South Africans, many individuals have had to become entrepreneurial and have been forced to start their own businesses to make ends meet,” he said.

“There are numerous statistics that show the huge numbers of businesses that fail. However, many businesses manage to break even and make enough to put food on the table.

“They survive. But they don’t thrive and this is because many small business owners are technicians, they are good at their particular skill/craft/service, but they are not necessarily good at running a business.

“They don’t understand their numbers, and the systems and processes that are necessary to have a commercial and profitable business.”

He said that small business owners were self-employed. They simply had a job, working for themselves, so coaching aimed to help business owners become owners by teaching them to work on their businesses and not just in them.

If you have ever contemplated owning a business, you must have wondered if your idea would work at all. Sadly, Mason believes not all of us are cut out for this feat.

“Some people can do better working for someone else. It takes a lot of guts, hard work and determination to run your own business.

“Successful business owners need vision, they need to be goal-driven and results-orientated.

“They need pig-headed discipline. They need a sound business plan that provides a service or product the market actually wants or needs, and they need to market, price and deliver that product or service carefully. They need to understand the key numbers in their financials and how to make these numbers work for them.”

“In terms of the 13 businesses, following the run of the Call to Action promo we received thousands of enquiries and following a strenuous casting process we selected 13 businesses to feature in the show,” said Kee-Leen Irvine, the executive producer of the show.

“Most of the businesses featured are really small, owner-operated businesses where people have followed their passion for a certain art without necessarily having the pre-requisite business skills.”

• The Business Coach will air on Sundays at 4pm from Sunday on SABC3.


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