Give your business some Sugars | Fin24

Give your business some Sugars

Jul 21 2014 16:39
Matthew le Cordeur
Cape Town – “Dad … $450.” For jousting sticks, dad replies, always ready to fight for a lower price. “Tell him he’s dreamin’.”

And so begins a typically Australian interview with author and business coach Bradley Sugars at the Westin Hotel in Cape Town.

The quote from the cult classic The Castle connects many to Australian humour, but it also tells a greater story about the passion of business acumen, something Sugars prides himself on.

Sugars, the founder of ActionCOACH, a global business coaching franchise aimed at the small and medium enterprise (SME) market, is visiting the country this month to talk about the contents of his latest book Buying Customers

ActionCOACH has 33 franchises in South Africa, with over 1 000 franchises across 32 countries.

Sugars still plays an integral part in the business as its visionary and spokesperson. As a gifted speaker, he devotes a large portion of his time to delivering talks to business owners all over the world. He is also the author of 15 business books, including the best-selling Instant Success series.

Focus on entrepreneurship

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reputation as an entrepreneurial expert as well as the establishment of the ministry for small and medium enterprises has shifted South Africa in the right direction, but education and mentorship for entrepreneurs is needed for success, said Sugars.

Watch The Castle quote here:

“The better educated business owners are, the more jobs they can create with more profit,” he said. “We give them the confidence to make better decisions.”

There is no school on how to run your own business, the expert from Down Under said. “If you’re a business owner, you can’t study full time. That is why our system of offering coaching three to four hours per week works so well.”

Between 300 to 1 000 new South African businesses seek out ActionCOACH’s help every week, testament to its success. “It’s a lonely job running a business,” said Sugars. “Many marriages are ruined by badly-run enterprises. The hardest part is learning, not doing.”

What ActionCOACH does, apart from coaching and educating, is to hold their members accountable for their actions. “Too often in business, you have no one to answer to, so you can’t see your problems,” he said.

“Once a business comes on board, we help them put out fires for the first six months, before they eventually feel any stability. Only after they’re in control, can we start working on developing their business.”

Sugars message to South Africa:

Buying Customers

Sugars' latest book helps business owners gain a better understanding of acquisition costs, lifetime value, investment strategy for marketing, building teams, lead generation and strategies for conversation. “Marketing is fundamental to growth,” he said. “It won’t grow if you don’t spend accordingly.”

Sugars said the key to ensuring that marketing is profitable is to always measure its impact and return of investment. “I have met so many business owners who advertise their product, but have no clue whether it’s working,” he said.

“Businesses often assume their marketing strategy works, but there are clear guidelines that can help measure exactly what you’re getting out for every cent spent.

“If you get your marketing right, your budget for marketing becomes unlimited,” he said. “You just need to test, measure and change to ensure it works the best possible way. Good marketing takes time. There’s a science to it as much as there is an art to it. Up to 20% of your marketing budget should go to testing your strategy.”

The reality is that we act too fast, he said. “If you’re running an email campaign, rather send a few to start with. Customers will reply if there is anything wrong with the campaign and then you can adjust it before sending out the rest,” Sugars said. “Marketing is like a tortoise!”

Be prepared for the Sugars way of thinking, because as his dad once told him: “If you motivate an idiot, they just do stupid things faster.”

Plans, said Sugars, start with the acquisition of knowledge.

Sugars on Buying Customers

* Sugars is speaking at an event on Monday in Johannesburg and in Durban on Wednesday. See more here.

- Fin24.
business advice  |  entrepreneurs  |  mentorships


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

Voting Booth

Do you support a reduction in the public sector wage bill?

Previous results · Suggest a vote