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Tag: systems

Embracing Relentless Uncertainty: A Business Owner’s Guide to Thriving in Chaos

Embracing Relentless Uncertainty: A Business Owner’s Guide to Thriving in Chaos

In the fast-paced and ever-changing landscape of today’s world, uncertainty has become an inevitable part of life, especially for businesses. The overwhelming influx of variables and challenges can leave even the most experienced entrepreneurs feeling stuck and unsure of their next move. However, there are tactics that can empower you to navigate through uncertainty, seize opportunities, and drive your business forward with confidence and vigor.

In a recent podcast of The Money Show, Pavlo Phitidis explored some essential strategies that can help you embrace and conquer relentless uncertainty.

1. Drip Feed Your Psychic Energy

To combat the mental exhaustion caused by a barrage of uncertainties, learn to draw inspiration and energy from both your past successes and your vision of the future. Reflect on your past achievements to boost your self-confidence and envision a successful future to fuel your motivation. This balance will help you maintain your focus and determination amidst the chaos.

2. Simplify and Group Variables

Facing a multitude of variables simultaneously can lead to a chaotic and overwhelming experience. Instead, simplify the complexity by grouping related variables together. Categorize challenges into themes such as customer issues, capacity problems, and supplier concerns. This organization allows you to tackle each group with a clearer, more effective approach.

3. Visualize and Shape the Challenge

Visualization is a powerful tool for comprehending intricate challenges. Grab a whiteboard or a piece of paper and visually map out all the moving parts and variables involved. This process will help you identify the significant issues rather than getting lost in a sea of minor problems.

4. Break It Down Into Steps

When confronted with an overwhelming challenge, break it down into actionable steps. Focus on the first step and the desired outcome, leading to the second step and it’s outcome, and so on. This approach allows you to test the waters without risking everything upfront. However, be cautious not to abandon an idea prematurely, as some endeavors may take time to gain traction and show results.

5. Envision Multiple Scenarios

The future is uncertain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for it. Envision various scenarios, both favorable and unfavorable, to understand potential outcomes and associated risks. This foresight enables you to be proactive and make informed decisions based on the situation at hand.

6. Rely on Data to Objectify

Data is an invaluable asset in navigating uncertainty. Analyze what can be measured and what is tangible. While it may not be feasible to quantify everything, leveraging data can provide invaluable insights and clarity during critical decision-making processes.

7. Get It Out of Your Head

When grappling with complex challenges, avoid keeping everything confined to your thoughts. Talk it through with a trusted colleague, mentor, or even write it down. Hearing yourself or reading your thoughts aloud can shed new light on the quality of your thinking and uncover new perspectives.

8. Seek the Right Guidance

Consult with experienced individuals who have faced similar challenges. Remember, expertise is not solely measured by time, but also by the depth of learning from mistakes and experiences. Engaging in discussions with the right people can provide you with invaluable advice and insights to make more informed choices.

9. Embrace Decisiveness

In an uncertain world, decisive action is a game-changer. Embrace the unpredictability and recognize that taking a stance is essential. Choose a path, and once decided, act deliberately and boldly. Your courage and conviction will set you apart from competitors, enabling you to shape the market rather than reacting to it.

Embrace the chaos, and by doing so, you will not only survive but thrive, becoming a driving force in reshaping your industry and creating a brighter future for your business.

Building Meaningful Customer Relationships: The Key to Sustainable Success in Business

Building Meaningful Customer Relationships: The Key to Sustainable Success in Business

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, finding, winning, and holding onto customers is the lifeline of any successful venture. However, traditional approaches like door-to-door selling and social media bombardment have lost their charm, leaving businesses wondering about the next viable strategy. In this blog, we delve into the essence of what you are really selling when you make that initial customer call – is it a product, a solution, or a relationship?

Product Selling: Showing Up and Throwing Up Product selling is often characterized by the one-sided presentation of features and benefits. The focus is on pushing the product onto the customer, hoping that it will somehow meet their needs. However, in today’s market, customers are savvy and skeptical, and such tactics may leave them disinterested or turned off.

Solution Selling: Unveiling Benefits The approach of solution selling involves understanding the customer’s pain points and presenting the product as a solution to their specific problems. It’s about highlighting the benefits that the customer would gain by using the product. While better than product selling, it still lacks a personalized touch that resonates deeply with the customer.

Relationship Selling: The Power of Trust Building a relationship with the customer is the most effective and sustainable approach. It involves taking the time to know your audience, their needs, and the genesis of their challenges. When you build trust and familiarity, customers feel valued and understood, leading to genuine interest in engaging with your business.

The Foundation of Relationship-Selling Engagement

  1. Know Your Audience: Understand who your target customers are, what drives them, and what problems they face.
  2. Identify the Problem: Clearly define the issue your product or service solves. This is not just about the surface problem but digging deeper to grasp its roots.
  3. Empathize with the Customer’s Journey: Recognize how your potential customers search for solutions, learn about them, and set their expectations for the fulfilment process.
  4. Shift Cognitive Biases: Often, customers don’t know what they don’t know. Earning a relationship allows you to help them understand the value you bring.

Building Strong Customer Relationships: Points to Consider

  1. Be Fully Present: Avoid multitasking during interactions with customers. Give them your undivided attention.
  2. Listen Actively: Focus on hearing what the customer is saying rather than formulating your reply.
  3. Be Curious: Show genuine interest in learning more about your customers’ needs and challenges.
  4. Ask Open-Ended Questions: Encourage meaningful discussions by asking questions that require more than a simple “yes” or “no.”
  5. Let Conversations Flow Naturally: Avoid forced sales pitches and let ideas and stories unfold naturally.
  6. Inject Humor and Authenticity: Build rapport by using humor appropriately and being genuine.
  7. Admit When You Don’t Know: It’s okay not to have all the answers. Customers appreciate honesty.
  8. Follow Through on Commitments: Deliver on promises made to build trust and reliability.
  9. Organize Your Engagement: Provide structure to the conversation while allowing flexibility.
  10. Respect and Empathize: Treat every customer with respect and be sensitive to their unique circumstances.
  11. Avoid Judgments: Stay open-minded and refrain from making assumptions about your customers.

In the evolving world of business, the key to success lies in building meaningful relationships with customers. Understanding their needs, communicating authentically, and earning trust can make all the difference. So, as you make that initial call to a potential customer, remember that what you are selling is not just a product or a solution – it’s the beginning of a long-lasting relationship.

To listen to to the radio discussion

Building an International Brand: Uniting Big and Small Businesses

Building an International Brand: Uniting Big and Small Businesses

In the dynamic landscape of business, building an international brand is a dream for many companies. The potential to see their products showcased on global shelves is within reach, but achieving this goal requires a collaborative effort between big and small businesses. In this blog, we explore the key elements that pave the path towards international success

Unforgiving Consistency – The Cornerstone of Quality:

To establish a brand that transcends borders, unwavering quality is paramount. Customers worldwide seek products they can rely on, and that reliability stems from unforgiving consistency. This means ensuring that every unit leaving your premises meets the highest standards, with no compromise.

Proof – Demonstrating Reliability and Viability:

The global market demands more than mere claims. To conquer international shelves, your products must offer tangible proof of their worth. From functionality to serviceability, from production to supply, your offerings must showcase their capabilities. Providing solid evidence of your product’s performance is what sets you apart from the competition.

Story – Captivating the World’s Imagination:

Amidst the clamour of countless products, stories have the power to captivate and connect. Most brands have a rich tapestry of narratives to tell, stories that resonate with diverse audiences. These stories breathe life into products, forging an emotional bond with consumers worldwide. Embrace the power of storytelling to rise above the noise and create a lasting impact.

Scale – Delivering Beyond Expectations:

Global retailers demand products they can count on – products that can be delivered at scale. Meeting this criterion is essential for gaining their trust and loyalty. Furthermore, financial stability is vital to fund operations and navigate potential stock outs. By demonstrating your capability to scale, you position yourself as a reliable partner for international retailers.

Investment – Dedication that Drives Success:

Building an international brand demands significant investment – not just financially, but also in terms of time, commitment, and passion. Business owners must be willing to invest their heart and soul into this endeavor. Only then can they weather the challenges and complexities that come with expanding on a global stage.

A Challenge for Big Retailers and Dedicated SMEs:

For both established retailers and ambitious SMEs, building an international brand is a collective challenge that can be overcome through collaboration. Here’s a five-step approach to help  embark on this journey together:

  1. Identify Potential Categories:

Identify product categories where your local  offerings have the potential to replace imported products. Focusing on these niches will increase your chances of success.

  1. Set Clear Objectives:

Define the quality, volume, promotion, and pricing specifications necessary to compete with existing imported products. Clarity in your objectives will guide your path forward.

  1. Seek Dedicated SMEs:

Reach out to ten passionate and dedicated SMEs that have the desire to step onto the international stage. Collaborate with these businesses to create a robust support system.

  1. Progressive Contracts:

Formulate five-year progressive contracts with these SMEs. These agreements will enable both parties to evolve and adapt to changing market demands.

  1. Uphold Service Level Agreements (SLAs):

Throughout this partnership, never compromise on Service Level Agreements (SLAs). High standards and consistent delivery are the pillars of success.

Building an international brand is a journey that begins at home. The partnership between big retailers and committed SMEs is the driving force behind achieving this vision. By embracing quality, providing undeniable proof, telling captivating stories, demonstrating scalability, and investing wholeheartedly, domestic  businesses can rise above borders and shine on the global stage.

To listen to to the radio discussion click here


Spend more time on your business and less time in it with improved business systems

We have seen a common theme emerging in our recent meetings with various entrepreneurs. As a business owner, you might be wondering how best to position yourself for the future amid South Africa’s junk status and unpredictable economy. You might be thinking about how to make the best of your business in this context, but also how you put yourself in the best position. You need your business to be a success without having to tire yourself out and being involved in the day-to-day operations. To be profitable, you must increase sales without spending more or allocating more resources. But isn’t there an easier or more efficient way of doing this than killing yourself by trying to be on top of every aspect of your business?

You are probably wearing yourself out thinking about how you can remain competitive and grow your business without having to spend so much time in the business to ensure things get done the right way at the right time…There must be a better way, there must be a system or example of someone else who has got this right.

The right stuff

To build a great business, you need to have a certain mindset and strategy that pertains to every aspect of your business, including business systems. Perhaps most importantly, have a plan in place that will bring your dream and vision to life. Make sure your plan is a bold vision for the future. You will have to spend a lot of time working on the ground, and having a vision will remind you of the end goal you are working towards. It’s important to keep an eye on the prize and be ready for the long haul. Learning from past failures equips business owners with the knowledge that is important for future decision-making and the experience will equip you with knowledge of the industry and deepen your relationships. And building on small successes will give you the confidence and momentum for the long haul.

We have the right tools

If you build your business on solid systems, you will be able to make use of the right technologies to automate your business systems. This will reduce your cost of delivery, increase your responsiveness and bring predictability to your service delivery. Technology (software and hardware) is cheaper now than ever and affordable for any business. The trick is to first build those systems manually and automate it in stages after this. The implementation of good business systems will result in business owners achieving scalable and sustainable growth across all areas of the company.

Don’t wear yourself out trying to do everything yourself, you might think you are busy driving the business but the business is driving you. Aurik has the tools for exhausted business owners to ensure scalable and sustainable business growth. If your business is systemised, you will drive it instead of it driving you.


Build a sales engine not a sales team

Getting sales right is one of the most difficult tasks an entrepreneur faces, it is the ultimate testament of business understanding and sophistication.

Great salespeople don’t build a sustainable business – they do deals.

Pavlo chatted about the need to build a “selling engine” in your business on The Money Show . Listen to what he had to say here:

So what is a sales engine versus a sales team?

Things to consider:

1. A sales engine is bigger than a sales team and its more sustainable

2. Sales people walk in and out of the door daily, the engine if properly built is locked into the business

3. Horror stories

  • Lose the star sales person? And having no sales capability at all.
  • You pass on sales because you don’t like it! Not everyone is a natural sales person.
  • You build a channel driven business model!

4. Success stories

  • 97,8% of customers never met.
  • Break the sine wave

How do you build a Sales Engine?

You should always take the Asset of Value approach which means:

1. Turn the business to the customer

  • You can’t be everything to everyone
  • The better you define the customer, the better the alignment
  • It’s about solving customer problems not products

2. Understand the experience that customer wants to buy from you

3. Map out the activities that you need to create that generate that experience

4. This creates the selling system

5. Employ against that system

6. A clear job description is vital

7. Measurement of the system is vital



Burnout creeps up on you like the Dementors of Harry Potter fame. You may not see it at first, but it slowly takes over and, when it hits, it can devastate your body, mind, life, and business. Burnout can destroy even the strongest businesses and the best business owners. On The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, Pavlo Phitidis discusses ways you can identify, prevent, and manage burnout as a business owner:


If you’ve read any of the Harry Potter books, or watched any of the movies, you’ll be familiar with the Dementors. The Dementors suck the hope out of characters in the series, leaving them feeling listless, tired, and despondent. Unable to identify exactly what’s making you feel this way, you end up disillusioned, unable to focus, and – seemingly suddenly – you’re completely adrift. Burnout works much like the Dementors and business owners are at high risk for burnout. As a business owner, you’ve invested passion, energy, time, and money, into your business, often forsaking financial safety nets, and putting your personal life on the line, to build your business.


Burnout begins to manifest through negative thinking and forecasting. As a business owner, you’re an optimist – if you weren’t, you would not have started your business. Burnout manifests slowly, and then speeds up, to the point where you may feel you can’t even get out of bed in the morning. When negative thinking starts to creep in, you may find your creative abilities falter, and you pay less attention to the tasks in front of you. You care less than before, and standards start to slip within your business. You may find yourself apportioning blame to people or circumstances when things go wrong, rather than trying to own and solve problems. You may find yourself battling to lead your team, and your willingness to fight for your business diminishes. Physically, your body starts to react, with interrupted sleeping patterns, sudden weight loss or gain, and your energy levels plummet.


Staving off the onset of burnout is important for you as a business owner. You may have numerous personal strategies for managing your energy levels, to ensure that you’re able to keep going, no matter what. But, safeguarding your business from burnout is vital, so that you can keep growing and building, no matter what. Build your business to be burnout-proof by:

  • Building differently – Don’t try to be all things to everyone. Burnout typically takes hold during the start-up phase (the first 3 to 5 years of a business journey), because it’s during this time that a business owner focuses on attracting customers and getting significant cashflow rolling. Because they’re so focused on trying to solve multiple problems, and be all things to everyone, they’re not able to build a solid system of delivery, and every functioning part of the business needs their direction.
  • Simplifying – The simpler your business is, the easier it is to manage and grow. Simplifying your business at all levels, reduces the noise you need to contend with daily, and helps you to focus.
  • Creating a system of delivery – A reliable, measurable system of delivery that ensures you deliver what your customers need, when they need it, will help to buffer your business against burnout. With the right, well-capacitated, people in place, your business can continue to deliver even when a business owner is battling burnout.
  • Getting some help – There’s no shame in asking for help. Culturally and societally, we’re somewhat conditioned to believe that asking for, and receiving, help, is a sign of weakness. In truth, however, asking for help is a sign of strength. Your family may be a source of additional pressure, but your spouse should be able to support you in some way. If you have a business partner, it’s time to ask for their help – they probably saw the signs of burnout in you, long before you did. Map out a plan of growth for your business, and for yourself. Exercise, eat, and sleep well, and try your best to get some perspective, so you can stop burnout from burning you, and your business.