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Reality check for business owners

Dec 13 2012 11:43
Cape Town - "At least 72% of businesses fail because the owners work in the business, as opposed to on the business," says industry expert Kathi Clarke.

Clarke, who is a business growth expert and award winning industrial psychologist, called on business owners to take stock of their business before the end of the year to yield greater success in 2013.

Clarke said business owners have to wear many hats, and offers a five-step guide of key performance areas to focus on.

Top on the list is having a clear business purpose."Research shows that by articulating the purpose of the business, you exponentially increase the chance of your business' survival and most importantly, success," said Clarke.

Emphasising the importance of self worth, she said "having a sober, objective appreciation of one's own disposition and capabilities can be the biggest asset for a business owner" in order to identify and balance one's strengths and weaknesses.

Business owners should also invest in the expertise of skilled professionals such as an accountant or labour lawyer, advised Clarke as the third point.

She also said that the business strategy must be consistently reviewed in order to measure the monthly turnover, cost of sales and expenses. "The outcomes will allow you to make informed decisions, and help you to fix problems as opposed to spending time on fixing symptoms."

Lastly, Clarke said that knowledge is king because "knowing something is not the same as knowing what you will do with that knowledge". Therefore it is important to formulate a comprehensive plan of action to become more business savvy.

Clarke said that entrepreneurs will hit the ground running in 2013 by assessing these crucial performance areas.

*Share your experience of setting up your own business, or simply ask a question. Our business panel can put you on the right path.

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