For the first time SABC 3 viewers are able to take a peek behind the scenes and see 13 South African small business owners coping with the day-to-day issues that challenge them.
A new series called The Business Coach helps these entrepreneurs identify the sticking points in their businesses and leap over potential hurdles. On hand to offer advice and guidance is real-life business coach, Greg Mason, host of the show.
Greg to provide information on the format of the programme, and touch on the steps that he takes the business owners through:
Assessing the business.
‘Diagnosing’ the problems.
Advising on the interventions required.
Calling on independent experts to assist with/ facilitate the interventions.
Follow up with the business owner to monitor progress being made, while allowing them some time to make the recommended changes.
Going back to the business to see the changes/ improvements in action.
Small business owners face challenges due to both personal/ ‘self-’ issues and lack of know-how when it comes to the actual management of a business. We deal with a combination of these. The programme is all about helping real people with real problems (and real emotions!).
Episode 1: Graeme from D’Lish, a home-based bakery
Various challenging life circumstances led to Graeme starting his own business from home.
In his enthusiasm to get started he did not put together a comprehensive business plan – one of the essential first steps to get your business started right.
Greg also identified the need for Graeme to separate his business from his home – from both personal and financial perspectives.
Greg advised Graeme on how to go about setting goals, which is needed if he intends to grow his business/ open a cake store.
He also needed to do more to market his business.
Episode 2: Manny from Home of Curries, an Indian eatery
Most small business owners invest their personal/ pension money in their businesses.
They need to do their homework to ensure that they are making a sound investment so that the can provide for their retirement.
Manny did not do her homework before agreeing to the selling price and did not have a clear understanding of the numbers/ return on investment.
Greg’s calculations revealed that Manny would be making a substantial loss every month.
As ownership of the business had not yet been passed on to Manny, Greg urged her to re-negotiate the selling price. Manny and the existing owner (a member of her family) could unfortunately not come to an agreement and Manny decided not to pursue the purchase of the business.
This episode illustrates the importance for aspiring small business owners to do as much research as possible before buying a business.
One of the best ways to do this is to seek out expert advice wherever possible.
Top Tips for starting your own business:
Do your homework – make sure that you invest in a business that is going to make money.
Get the basics right, e.g. draw up a proper business plan.
Understand the product or service you will be offering, your market and find the right location.
If you don’t know what to look out for ask the experts.
Bring plenty of passion and energy to your new venture.
Greg Mason is The Business Coach, a man who decided to chart a new course after spending 14 successful years in the corporate financial services industry.
It was his position as Head of Change for one of the largest Financial Services Groups in South Africa, where he worked with 12 different companies, that he developed his overriding passion for identifying the challenges and obstacles in business, and then developing the solutions required to tackle them head-on.
Five years after changing his life completely, Greg now draws on his diverse experience in accounting, HR, IT, strategy and business planning, change management, project management, and programme management, to assist businesses in identifying their business objectives and coaching them through a process to realise their potential.