Year-End Planning 1

It is that time of year again when we begin to see Christmas decorations in the stores and people begin to wind down for the holiday seasons. But there are still some very important things to do before we close off 2017.

This series of 5 videos will walk you through a process we do ourselves and with clients each year at this time. A process that helps you reflect back on the past year and then begin to map out a way forward for the new year.
This first video will give you a set of tools to use to look back over the past 10 months and map out some of the notable achievements and those all-important non-achievements and then what to do with each.
Take some time with yourself or your management team to do these exercises each week to give your business the unfair advantage in the starting blocks for 2018.
Enjoy. Your comments and ideas are most welcome.


By |2017-11-03T14:58:30+02:00November 3rd, 2017|General|0 Comments

Additions to our Team

On behalf of Entrepreneur and Management Solutions, we would like to welcome our latest staff members Elisha Kasambakuwa and Amanda Dube.

Elisha, 33  is married, with one beautiful daughter. He has 13 years of accounting and bookkeeping experience and enjoys soccer, rugby and motor racing. He has joined us from Sport and Traffic Technologies, where he was doing monthly Management Accounting.

Amanda Dube is 25 years of age. She will be joining the Marketing and Administration Department as an Intern. In her free time, Amanda enjoys hiking and moonlight strolls on the beach. Her friends would describe her as easy going and passionate about growing businesses. She will be joining us from the New Start Living Health Shop, where she was the Shop Manager.

This opens a new chapter in our business as we expand our offering and service levels to our clients. We are all very excited about the future and welcome any business, no matter what the level of development to stop by and see how we can assist you in achieving your goals.

By |2017-08-16T16:35:59+02:00August 16th, 2017|General|0 Comments

Cutting, pruning and firing

I am not an HR or Labour consultant, so this post is not about how to fire a staff member and not end up at the CCMA.

Every business seems to have at least one of those high maintenance, destructive staff members. Those people who seem to suck the very energy out of others. They seem wise to the laws and walk very close to the minimal effort line, but their attitude is what does the damage. You know who I am speaking about.

So what can you do? I just love the Apprentice show, where the Boss leans over the table and says “You have been terminated”. But the laws in South Africa just do not allow for this. Due process needs to be followed and this at best of times can be long and tedious. We have just come out of a season of right-sizing and getting rid of some staff, moving others and employing more. Our team is now better and more efficient than ever. It was a long and often painful process, but we did hire the expertise of a consultant to keep it legal and regulated.

It is important to keep your head above the issues during these times and remember that the bigger picture of the business is always more important than the personal issues and remarks from individuals. People can become very nasty and destructive during retrenchments, hearings and warnings, but as business owners, this comes with the job description.

There is also the coaching and consulting that should happen with each staff member to help avoid the decay that leads to dismissal. Regular meetings, encouragement, guidance and education all help prevent staff loss. But alas there are those that will just not cooperate and need to be pruned.

If you are going through this season in your business, hang in there. Keep taking the high and legal road. Do not get sucked into the personal squabble and hurtful remarks. Address people as adults, hear their views and follow due process. It will work out in the end.

If you are struggling with staff and wanting to do some pruning and cutting, then start today. Waiting even a day longer than necessary just adds to your resentment and decreases the joy of coming to work. Good luck.

By |2017-03-06T14:11:28+02:00March 10th, 2017|Business Resources, Entrepreneurship, General|0 Comments

Accountability and assessments

You cannot manage what you do not measure and you cannot reward what you do not manage. We see and hear this all the time at productivity seminars, but how does this apply to your staff? Are you able to measure the effectiveness of your staff at their various levels of productivity?

Sure we can count output of widgets made per hour per workstation, but what about staff engagement and happiness. Colin Hall from Learning to Lead works with businesses all around the world assisting staff to become more engaged in their daily jobs. With as much as 80% of staff disengaged or involved in activities other than core productivity, it is no wonder our businesses are stagnating and people are grumpy at the coffee machine.

Regular check-in sessions with a mentor with a huge dose of accountability and at least annual or 6 monthly assessments are key to getting a better level of engagement.

But do not fall into the corporate trap of descending a huge black cloud of despair on the business when it comes to assessments. These should be unrelated to salary increases and more about promoting productivity at work. A great assessment should be at its heart a self-assessment that each staff member can then reflect back to their mentor or manager with. The manager is there to guide through their experience the development of a roadmap that addresses failure, understands learning and maps a way forward that is congruent with the development of the business.

Getting this right is not easy and the larger the business the more staff dynamics you have and the more complex the task becomes. If required, get professional help, there are many companies that offer such services.

I like to think that each staff member is accountable firstly to the business as a whole then to their manager for their job KPA’s and then to themselves for their conduct and behaviour. Sharing this at induction sessions and repeating this at regular mentor sessions helps create an environment of achievement and development energy not easily found in most businesses.

And if you still have those grumpy, unproductive staff members around, then maybe it is time to cut. More on this in the next post.

By |2017-03-06T14:08:36+02:00March 9th, 2017|Business Resources, Entrepreneurship, General|0 Comments

Staff development and education

All staff need to be developed as the business grows and changes. There is nothing worse that a staff member who has worked for a business for many years and only has one month’s experience, just repeated 12 times each year over and over again. People like to grow and learn new things. Constant growth allows the business as a whole to grow and thus makes those larger changes easier to manage.

Staff are individual and thus require individual development programmes. We have a staff ‘red book’ that allows each member to plan their year ahead in the form of goals, dreams and hopes. We then work with then at monthly coaching sessions to help them realise their plans for the year. We assist in recommending online or classroom-based courses, hold them accountable for actions and support them through times of hardship that may come up. Theses coaching sessions are held in confidence and have nothing to do with work base assessments or salary increases.

There are so many online training programmes, journals and resources that allow for different facets of personal and skill based development. Many ebooks and audio books can be downloaded and distributed to staff for reading.  I personally commit to three online university courses per year and allocate myself a strict reading programme of one business book per month. Other companies have a reading club for their senior management that they then share the key points of their assignments to the others at a weekly or monthly session.

Learning and development are habits that need to be instilled into every job level in your business. But it does not stop there, people need to be held accountable for things they are assigned, more on this in our next post. What are you doing with your staff?

By |2017-03-06T14:06:07+02:00March 8th, 2017|Business Resources, General|0 Comments

Inducting staff into your business

New staff are just that new. They may have looked and sounded great at the interview but they still remain new and know nothing about what you do or how it is done. You can never just leave a new staff member to ‘find their way’ and hope that everything will turn out right.

Develop some form of induction programme, this does not need to be a whole week of training and signed contracts, but at least a checklist of things that are important to the functioning and compliance of your business. Here are some ideas for your list:

  • Employment contract read and signed
  • Access control, cards, ID, fingerprints etc
  • Tax forms, UIF, copy of ID and payroll forms completed
  • Read and signed Companies Vision, Mission and Values document
  • Introductions to other staff members, individually or at a staff meeting
  • Office orientation of where everything is, desk, toilets, kitchen, emergency exits etc.
  • Daily, weekly and monthly schedules for meetings, processes and deadlines
  • Procedure, process and policy manual for reading and reference
  • Chain of command for line managers, HR and other issues
  • Allocation of a mentor

I am sure there are many more, but this list is a good starter kit to get that first day working well and the new staff member settled.

We put all our staff on a long term learning programme, but more on that in the next post.

By |2017-03-06T14:02:29+02:00March 7th, 2017|Business Resources, Entrepreneurship, General|0 Comments

Nation Minimum Wage

Minimum wage set to improve many people’s lives as South Africa will be joining several other countries who have implemented a national minimum wage as a way of economic and social development.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed a deal which sets minimum wage to be at R20 per hour, R3 500 per month for those who work a 40 hours week and R3 900 for a 45 hours  week.

Minimum wage is aimed to be implemented as from 01 May 2017. This is to start the process of challenging wage inequality in South Africa.

Deputy President was briefing on the details of the status of the National Economic Development Council’s committee of the principals (CoP) on labour relations and wage inequality. This can be a relief to many people in South Africa who have been earning less than the minimum amount, it may not necessarily fix everything but it is aimed as a step forward towards making a positive change against inequality when it comes to labour and wages.


By |2017-02-28T17:13:59+02:00February 28th, 2017|General, National Pride|0 Comments

Awaken the Giant in You – S.A Teen Entrepreneur


SA Teen Entrepreneur, one of our clients hosted their annual breakfast session called “Awaken the Giant in You” this past weekend. The breakfast session, hosted at the Newlands Sun hotel on Saturday, 5 March 2016 was a huge success, that saw a great number of teenagers, parents and other business people in attendance. This awesome event left teenagers with a lot of courage to realize their full potential, which is the aim and purpose of Awaken the Giant in You.

One of the key speakers for the day, Riaan Fourie an artist developer, opened the event by sharing his entrepreneurial insights; with his talk titled “What I would have told myself half a lifetime ago.”

Another speaker, Kieno  Kammies of Cape Talk 567’s weekday breakfast show, shared with us  his entrepreneurial journey. He gave a thought-provoking presentation about the dreams of an entrepreneur and how to seize your future as a teenager.

The purpose of these breakfast sessions is to learn from Entrepreneurs who are successful and are keen to share their journeys and experience and to teach others the intricacies of Entrepreneurship.

Through these sessions, a message is sent to parents as well, to say, allow your kids to follow their passion and dreams, not yours.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:09+02:00March 9th, 2016|General|0 Comments

Life Series Podcast Presents Bruce Wade

BruceThis week on the Life Series podcast, SPICE4LIFE interviewed Bruce Wade, CEO of Entrepreneur and Management Solutions, about his views on youth development and his various career changes over the course of his life.

An eloquent, opinionated man, Wade has worked as a navy officer, computer operator, project manager, programmer, process reengineer, trainer, author, and coach. In his free time, he strives to improve himself and expand his knowledge by reading whatever he feels will help him in his work and taking up to several courses at a time. He doesn’t write exams– he doesn’t need the certifications, he says, just the knowledge. He has his life’s motto – “Get it Done” – tattooed on his body.

Wade was born in Chingola in the southwest of Zambia and attended Bryanston High School outside of Johannesburg before embarking on his first adventure – joining the South African Merchant Navy.

“When you’re young you have no cooking clue what you want to do,” he said. “You have no idea what life is about. I joined the merchant navy to sail to exotic places and meet exotic people.”

There, he gained skills including training as a fire fighter, a ship’s doctor, and navigating by the stars.

Eventually, Wade realised that he wanted to more with his life and took an Information Technology aptitude test while on leave. In the mid-80s, the IT field was just beginning to emerge, and Wade scored 100 on the aptitude test.

“The guy just said to me, ‘Whatever you’re doing now, stop, you’ve got to get into IT,’” Wade said. “Because my scores were off the charts. My brain was wired for IT.”

After years in IT, Wade began to apply his analytical and organisational skills to managing companies. He is currently Chief Entrepreneur Officer (and, as he puts it, Chief Buttkicker) of Entrepreneur and Management Solutions. The company offers accounting services, coaching programmes, and marketing solutions to help entrepreneurs and businesses achieve sustainable growth.

Basically, he said, his business is about “bringing new ideas into organisations and changing the organisation to be more sustainable, cutting out the waste,

[and] cutting out the habits that weren’t meant to be there.”

Wade is currently working on a new method of marketing that focuses on a narrative, story-telling approach. He hopes that by using classic story-telling techniques – the hero, the villain, “once upon a time” – he can encourage the audience to connect with an ad.

Entrepreneur and Management Solutions is also currently working on an initiative in Sudan, helping refugees learn entrepreneurial skills to help them establish a life in their new country.

Wade defines success by “sleeping well at night”, puts his faith in God and his own practiced perseverance to get him through tough times, and believes in working hard to get where you want to be.

“Every day’s a constant fight,” he said. “The wonderful analogy is that if you go back to the 80s and 90s, it was like rowing a boat on flat water, where today working is like rowing a little kayak uphill in a waterfall with white water.”

Listen to Bruce Wade’s Life Series interview here.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:10+02:00February 25th, 2016|General|0 Comments

The State Of your Business Affairs – SOBA

SOBA memeThere’s been serious economic changes that have occurred recently, and that calls for a lot of things to change in business. Entrepreneurs sure must do things differently in order to survive. Everyone must change, especially small-business owners. The good news is while change is good; it does not mean that what you have been doing all along is bad. Change can be leveraged to keep up desired progress, saving cost and eliminating duplicative efforts.

With the rand becoming weaker and weaker every day, it cannot be a surprise that the confidence of many business owners is in tatters. Actually, everyone’s confidence is torn into pieces. Therefore as a business owner, you need to have strategies in place that are designed to work in a changing business climate.

Constantly check the state of your business affairs. Adjust, confront and conquer.

In tough times such as these, advisors are crucial because you need people to bounce ideas off, inspect what you’re doing, and push you to greater accomplishments. And always keep in mind that this isn’t about you; it’s about the business. Keep your emotions aside.

Being an entrepreneur is your choice, so make it work. It can be done. You can survive, emerge and succeed in this downsized economy, if you follow the right path.


By |2016-11-01T10:20:11+02:00February 12th, 2016|General|0 Comments
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