Author: [email protected]

get business to 100million

Growing your business revenues beyond 100m

Business growth is not a function of luck.

3 elements in play will generate growth despite your levels of luck, hope and prayer.

What are the 3 elements? Listen to this podcast where Pavlo Phitidis unpacks these on The Money Show:


  1. Mindset

It begins with you as the business owner. Success in a mindset has a few characteristics:

Passion – we believe in what we are doing, we see success, and this passion is fuel that keeps us going through disappointments and ups and downs. But it’s not enough.

You need purpose. And there’s only one purpose that any business owner should adopt: Building the business into an Asset. And an asset has 3 features:

1 – Generates income, and those incomes grow.

2 – Growing the capital value of your business. Some business owners work in their business for 10, 30 or 40 years and invest all of their time only to realise it doesn’t have capital value.

3 – It can operate without me, so that I can sell it when I need to exit.


  1. A growth system

Without a growth system to organise what we are doing, how do we know how to drive growth one day to the next? We get sucked into the operations of the business, and growth takes a back seat.

The reason is that we aren’t given a method or a system for growth. A system is a series of activities put into a sequence that is measurable. You should be able to use this system to guide your team to do what, when and how.

We have a system that has been proven to drive growth and it relies on:

1 – Positioning. What makes your business special? And product is not enough… it starts with what your customers want and need from you, what problem you solve for them.

2 – System of delivery. Get the systems right for marketing, sales, operations to deliver. As systems are repeatable. So when you’ve gotten that right, you don’t have to be involved in the repetition as your team can implement them.


  1. Four acts of leadership

One and two – mindset and the growth system, are the acts that get you to the point where your business is growing steadily without your direct involvement. Once you’ve gotten this right and are growing steadily, what next?

Dominate your market! And this takes you to the third stage of leadership, which deliberately focusses on ramping up that growth.


The final act of leadership goes back to purpose.

Every business in the world only has 2 final outcomes: Successful sale or closure. So the fourth act focusses on deepening profits, to increase your valuation, which allows you to exit successfully which secures family’s future and your legacy.


synthesis Reset rebuild reignite

Leading a business through a crisis: Synthesis podcast with Pavlo Phitidis & Howard Feldman

What are the mindsets and actions needed to lead a business through a crisis? Whether it is Covid or a partner fallout, Pavlo and Howard discussed how some businesses consistently rise above the challenges and how they get that right.


The conversation is based on Pavlo’s book, Reset Rebuild Reignite, which offers practical insights on building a business to be resilient to crises – and to take advantage of the opportunities that crises and change bring about. Get your copy here 


Asset of Value 7 steps

What is the job of a business owner and how should it change over time?


Time, the most precious commodity in the world. Once spent, you can never get it back.

Return on time, learning too late that its too late to undo the habits that spent your time rather than invest it.

Spending, once done is done. Investing, done once and smartly, yields ongoing returns without too much additional effort.

Given this, what is your job as a business owner? And, how and when should it change over time? Knowing and understanding this now will yield massive dividends in the future.

Most business owners spend 15-20-30 years building their businesses. The same business owners spend 30-60 hours engaged in a sale to exit their businesses, and, should they succeed, seldom get the price they want. It leaves most with a realisation that what they’ve spent their time doing over the years of building their business, could have been better invested now understanding the end game. Hindsight makes us all wiser, but what is the value of that wisdom if you have no time left to implement it?

Foresight might hold the answer to winning the insight you need today to ensure that you change your mindset, practices and habits to invest time rather than spend it.

Business Evolution

The best way to evaluate this is by understanding the natural progress that any business goes through in its development.

There are 5 stages professed by academia which include start, grow, prime, maturity and decline. Whilst interesting, they may not be that useful to understand what we should be doing and when to ensure the best investment of time available to us.

A better starting point would be to understand the end game and then build towards it. From an Aurik point of view, we believe that to be the successful creation of your business into an Asset of Value.

A business built this way offers 3 criteria including income growth, capital growth and independence from you. It is what makes a business salable and for any business owner who has invested deeply and consistently in their business, is essential to ensure a return on time, risk and effort. In fact, essential to secure a pension and legacy of wealth as the final reward.

6 stages of progression to build an Asset of Value

In relation to an Asset of Value, there are 6 stages of progression that any business goes through. Traversing these stages of development can take a business owner anywhere from 7 years to never. Many land up successfully moving from the first to either the next 2 or even 3 stages before they end their tenure in the business itself. It is for this reason that 94.6% of business started, fail to sell.

Asset of Value 7 steps

In each stage above, I have indicated the average revenue numbers that should be achieved, the time invested, the objective and the behaviour of the business owner to transit from that stage to the next.


Completing the cycle is essential to repeat the cycle since this act is what takes a business from one level to its next. In a 30-year career as a business owner, repeating this cycle at least 5 times is both possible and necessary to secure a handsome, clean payout when you finally exit. Failing to do so always leaves money on the table for a buyer and compromises both your return on time and risk.

So, 3 questions remains in play – why do you do what you do, what are you doing now, what should you be doing tomorrow? What if you don’t get it right? Well, that question is already answered by the stat: 94.6%.

How are you spending your time, daily, weekly, monthly, annually in building your business? And in that, are you doing what you should be doing to ensure that you are building an Asset of Value? If not, why not?


To gain a deeper understanding of how building an Asset of Value could generate more revenue, profit and time for you, Join Pavlo Phitidis for a 60-minute session on 10 February. Register here


three strategies

3 Winning Strategies for 2021: an uncertain year ahead

This is part three of Pavlo Phitidis thee-part discussion of how to set your business strategy to cope with whatever it is that 2021 is going to hold for us. Taking into account that it looks like 2021 is going to be another tough year.

In part one, Pavlo identified the five biggest issues threatening the survival and growth of established business owners.

In part two he discussed six reasons why you must “be in action” in an uncertain environment.

And in this instalment, he talks about 3 strategies or action plans to get you and your business onto a positive trajectory for growth in a stagnant, uncertain economy. Listen to the discussion from The Money Show here:

He started by stressing the importance of taking a view. Identify a plan of action, and put your head down and focus on it. He sees three strategies that should be considered, and one of these will apply to most businesses.

  1. Reset your business to be resilient because the road ahead is going to be bumpy.

Whenever we talk about resilience, we talk about mindset, which is important – it’s 50% of the solution. But we also need to be designed to be resilient – to be able to cope with a lot of uncertainty. In this environment that includes the tough decisions on cutting costs, simplify your business, don’t try to be everything to everyone but specialise in understanding who you serve so that you can be in control and guide your team to only focus on things that deliver results.

  1. Reignite your business by ramping up growth and making up lost 2020 revenues.

Once you’ve designed your business to be simpler and more specialised in serving your key customers, this places you at the edge of change of your market. This happens because the changes in your clients and customers come from them – you need to be close to them! He referred to a website he had stumbled across that said “we are chef-led innovators”. To Pavlo this reminded him of what we all tend to do. When we are under pressure, we revert to our comfort zone, in this case, a former chef, doing what he THOUGHT his customers wanted instead of listening to what they really want and need.

How to do this? It could be as simple as setting aside 2 hours a week to have a zoom coffee with 2 customers, to find out where they are at, and what they need. It is not overly complicated. Just keep asking WHY? Why won’t it work? why do you want it? Why is it too expensive? What aren’t you seeing in the value?

  1. Reset your business for an exit given what lies ahead.

There is going to be a lot of M&A activity ahead, as big corporates hunt for new revenue streams. Your business needs to be built in such a way that the value is clear, and that it runs well, independent of you.




Why action is critical to overcoming the anxiety caused by uncertainty

Pavlo identified the 5 biggest issues threatening the survival and growth of established business owner, due to Covid and the challenges of lockdown:

  1. Cannot get access to funding
  2. Struggling to find new clients
  3. Cannot pay rent/suppliers
  4. Motivating staff and ensuring performance
  5. Anxiety and fear which is largely oriented around uncertainty.

He has already shared strategies and remedies for the first 4 and now talks to the last concern – Overcoming anxiety in order to set strategy for the year ahead. Listen to these in the podcast or read on for the key takeouts:

A lot of business owners are looking for a path of action, to simply tackle that anxiety.

What lies ahead is an extended period of uncertainty around Covid. Pavlo pointed to the time it takes to vaccinate people, when the vaccine becomes available – it is as slow as 4 people per hour, which means it will take a very long time for any vaccination programme to become nationally effective. As always, he reminds us to Expect the Best but Plan for the Worst!

The reason action it is important is because it puts you in control. Taking a view and acting to build your business towards a destination, despite uncertainty offers you a number of benefits including:

  1. Time – you can never get it back.

    When the lockdown happened, many people didn’t invest in growth, they learnt to bake bread and waited for it to pass. It was crazy, because for a business owner, the way you behave now, must build toward something in the future. At all times.

  2. Lead – you are the leader!

    The word comes from lædan, which means leading from the front, If you don’t lead in your business, who are your team supposed to look to?

  3. Act – the act of acting empowers you.

    So long as it’s directed, then over time it’s no different to compound interest and investing: it builds mass, and momentum.

  4. Energy agility

    It is so important to be growth mindset oriented all the time so long as you have control over the pedal, accelerator, steering wheel and rudder of your business. If you are, it creates a cultural mindset in the organisation that the whole team orientates around, and this puts you at the front of the market.

  5. Signals – how to identify the earliest signals of change and new change.

    Pavlo used an analogy of someone wanting to cross the highway. A BUSY highway. As a pedestrian standing still, all you see is a stream of fast moving cars. Whereas if you are in motion in the traffic – you see the gaps.

  6. No one cares – the brutal truth!

    If you don’t care, no-one else will, and if you have invested everything in that business, it is fundamental that you get out of the headlights and find a strategy to act.

In the next discussion, Pavlo will speak to the three strategies that he sees as critical to adopt to get you and your business on a positive trajectory to growth.



5 impacts on smes

The 5 Biggest impacts of the Lockdowns on SMES – and what to do about them

Pavlo spent his holidays thinking about and consolidating the biggest impacts that the lockdown and Covid have had on SMEs with a view to then plotting out the remedy to each of these.

He identified 5 challenges, and the corresponding solutions, which he discussed on radio. You can listen to the podcast here:

1. Access to funding

We naively believed that relief funding would be available to the SME economy, as it was in the USA and UK. But less than 10% of the funding available was taken up as most businesses didn’t qualify.

The lesson here is that as private businesses in SA, we have to build reserves. So if things are looking good, we need to have about 3 months worth of operating costs. In the environment we are in, which is fraught with uncertainty, these reserves need to be built up to 6 to 9 months of operating costs.

2. Struggling to find new clients

Pavlo reads this as the business isn’t geared for growth. You started your business, you took it to market, you started to build it but you didn’t ever sit down and really analyse what makes you special in the eyes of your customer.

What you need to do is run is consistent campaigns. During a tough period, if you know who you serve you must INCREASE your marketing. And as digital marketing becomes less effective, traditional marketing is coming back to the fore, and you need to find the right ways to reach the customers you serve.

3. Cannot pay rent/suppliers

Overheads remain! All of your fixed costs need to become variables – negotiate to peg your rent, and other payments to reduced your income during lockdown.

4. Anxiety over staff – how to motivate and manage them

Are they doing what they ought to be doing, and in this new environment – what ought they be doing?

As always, Pavlo recommended very specific job descriptions based on a system – activities in a sequences that can be measured. This takes away the confusion and allows you to manage them remotely.

5. Anxiety and fear is largely oriented around uncertainty

Those who thought the lockdown was going to be a 3 week holiday were caught off-guard by the 18 to 24 month timeline that we are now sitting with. Those businesses that took the mindset to immediately reset their business to meet the needs of the changed marketplace are the ones that are now ahead of their competitors and taking advantage of the change that Covid brought.


Why are mid-size business owners committed to build, grow and dominate in such a bleak economy?

Pavlo Phitidis drew inspiration from an event he had spoken at earlier in the week, with 119 established private businesses turning over between R15million and R200million annually, probably of an average age early- to mid-50s. The businesses crossed all sectors and were from all over the country.

Pavlo was preceded by a highly regarded economist who shared a brutally tough economic forecast. He spoke about a lack of economic recovery strategy post-Covid; to the 4 caps to economic strategy development; to the political issues marring our ability to develop our growth strategy; the kleptocracy, ongoing corruption and its impact; the rating agencies who downgraded SA, the unemployment rates – it was a devastating picture and the audience were all felt shattered by the end of it!

Pavlo’s role was to try to share insights on how to build a busines in this environment! Not an easy task.

So he started with a poll. Which asked these business owners: in the next 36 to 60 months, which of these do you want:

  1. Build grow and dominate in your sector
  2. Build, grow and emigrate
  3. Build, grow and exit for a comfortable retirement at the coast or in the bush
  4. Exit your business to get a steady, predictable paycheck

What would you anticipate the results would be?

Listen to the podcast of The Money Show on 702 or CapeTalk here to gain his insights into what the business owners’ responses say about this segment of the economy.

Pavlo ran the same poll on social media and the results indicated that 83% of the people on social media thought that business owners would be looking to build & grow to emigrate.

But in reality, 87% of the business owners polled voted to build, grow and dominate their sector. Despite having just been reminded of the appalling operating environment we are dealing with.


  1. Mindset:

These business owners had signed up to attend an event that promised a business growth discussion. They were open to learning about opportunities.

  1. Age:

These business owners were wanting to find a different way to build, grow and scale a business – they had probably tried to do it themselves and realised what they could, and could not achieve alone. The runway is far shorter than for a 30-year-old.

  1. Necessity:

Established mid-tier businesses have too much to lose. The business owners have all their wealth tied up in their business. To realise that, they need to grow, in order to exit.

  1. Reality:

Corporates that tend to dominate a sector or industry, are too big to grow in low-and no-growth economies, but mid-size businesses are nimble enough to make the changes needed to get ahead of their competitors.

When you’ve been in a business for 20 or 30 years your value stack is deep. You have the relationships and know where the problems and opportunities lie. Furthermore they have been through a cycle, probably including the recession of 2008, and many other crises since and they know how to direct the business into the opportunity that emerges from the crisis.

convert leads to sales

Converting new business leads into real sales


Sales and marketing are two very different activities and should never be confused or combined. Getting customers to know about you is one of the single toughest things for entrepreneurs to get right. This is why you need marketing. Effective marketing should generate new business leads.

With a firm new business lead, your sales effort becomes paramount. Successful selling sees the conversion of leads into customers. This is how you measure your sales efforts: the number of leads that become your customers.

How do I make sure new leads translate into sales?

Align marketing and sales and tell a great story

Marketing and selling are both sciences. Each compromise different activities which should be organised by the the entrepreneur into a sequence, and then set up as two systems that can be measured. Marketing and sales should never be built on the back of a personality because one person’s individual style can never be replicated.

An effective marketing effort creates an expectation with a potential customer about what they can expect from your business. In turn an effective sales effort should create a unique experience that builds trust and cements a relationship based on belief that the expectation generated by marketing will be met.

Converting leads to sales

Translating leads into sales is informed by tow core systems that must be set up in the business first.

Organise each lead generating activity into a sequence

Multiple activities should be driving leads all the time (emails, direct selling, cold calling etc) with each activity organised into a logical sequence that can be measured. For example, sending a promotional email to a database involves:

  1. constructing the email
  2. preparing the database
  3. dispatching the mail and
  4. recording the number of responses to measure the impact.

Create a selling system based on your unique offering

Selling is less about a great personality and more about creating a compelling experience for the enquirer. This experience is informed by what makes your business special and what differentiates it from others in the same industry. Selling completes the story started during marketing when the anticipation is formed is its the encounter that wins the customer over to your business.


Business Consulting – From good to better – the value of mentorship, coaching, advisory or consulting

When do you need a coach, mentor, advisor or business consulting? And how do you know which is going to be the most beneficial to you and your business? Pavlo Phitidis unpacked the different options and their value on #TheMoneyShow on 702 and CapeTalk. Listen to the podcast of that discussion:

Mentorship in its pure form is learning from someone by being around them. Pavlo’s belief is that mentorship relationships that work involve a fair exchange: The mentor feels that their effort and time is being valued and that their experience and wisdom is being engaged with, argued, debated and embraced – and critically that they are learning from those engagements too.

Coaching is different. A coach is a skilled sounding board, who helps you think differently, gain perspective, who resolves challenges and helps you to find a path by asking a thousand questions and then reflecting back what you are saying. You talk to them and you hear yourself back.

Coaches hold you accountable to your intentions. They rely on you doing what you said would you do one session to the next and if you don’t – they’ll ask you a thousand questions about why you didn’t!

There’s enormous value in coaching as it forces you to create good habits that work and drive you and your business forward.

How do you know if you need a coach, mentor, consultant or advisor?

You have to understand how you behave and understand what you need support or help with:

  • If you need someone to do things for you, then a consultant is useful.
  • If you are looking for cogent direction with a challenge you’re facing outside of your expertise – it could be a tax issue or a specific transaction, then go to an advisor who specialises in that field.
  • If you’re feeling trapped in your own head, or feel that you feel you’ve hit a ceiling then a coach is for you.
  • If you’re needing to punch above your weight and reach up and out of where you’re currently operating, or to get ahead in a shorter period of time, then surround yourself with people who have advanced themselves to a significant degree and listen, learn and engage – this is mentorship.

If you decide you need a mentor then understand the experience your chosen support has. If you’re running an SME and you find a mentor who has built their career in a corporate environment, their understanding of your daily challenges will be limited.

Who needs a coach?

Pavlo shared the story of Le Bron James, the basketball player with a net worth of $0.5billion, who earns about $100 million a year. He’s in his late 30’s, which is old for a professional basketball player, and yet he outperforms the 20 year olds in his own team and across the league.

How? He spends $1.5m dollars a year on coaches: A shooting coach, a jumping coach, a speed coach, a body coach… he invests in experts to take him from good to the best. Doing well is not good enough. That is what it takes for Le Bron James to be the best.

It’s particularly difficult to see the need for support when things are going well, but that is the difference that a coach, mentor or advisor can make.

Efficient 25.11.2020

EVENT: Navigate your business through stormy economic waters

There is a way to build your business to withstand the wild waters that mark uncertain economies like the one we are in.

Join economist Dawie Roodt and business growth specialist, Pavlo Phitidis for insights into what the ocean ahead might look like, and how to build your business to thrive in any storm.

Date: Wednesday 25th November 2020

Time: 08h00 to 09h00

Venue: Online

Register HERE

© 2003-2021 Aurik
Aurik and Asset of Value are trademarks of Aurik