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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Punchy, straightforward and practical: Business-To-Business Marketing: A Step by Step Guide

Business-To-Business MarketingPenguin Non-fiction is pleased to present Business-To-Business Marketing: A Step by Step Guide by Mark Eardley and Charlie Stewart:

The way businesses buy from one another has changed profoundly in recent years. Markets have evolved, disruptive technologies have sprung up and buyers’ expectations have changed.

But despite this, the fundamentals of business-to-business marketing have remained constant: today’s corporate decision-makers still need to know who you are, what you do and why you matter to them.

In Business-to-Business Marketing, Eardley and Stewart review the basic rules of B2B marketing. They offer guidance on how to:

  • motivate your markets to buy from you,
  • how to differentiate yourself from your competitors and
  • explain which tactics to use to reach your customers with the right messages at the right time.

Their step-by-step guide will help your marketing effort deliver three critical results -

  • increased sales,
  • rising market share and
  • rock-solid margins.

Written in straightforward, punchy language with simple, practical take outs at the end of each chapter, this is a must-have book for anyone involved – in any way at all – with attracting and retaining profitable customers.

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Times are tough: be smart and save with Jillian Howard’s Best Pocket Guide Ever series

Economically speaking, times are tough. Whether you find yourself in a tight spot or have some cash to spare, it is always a good idea to consult a financial planner to help you manage your money.

Jillian Howard is well known in this industry. Her Best Pocket Guide Ever series breaks down difficult and sometimes intimidating concepts such as family finances, wealth-building investment, debt and insurance. Visit her website – – to read articles she has written, sign up for her newsletter or get in touch and make use of her financial coaching services.

Some articles by Howard on financial topics:

Have a look at Howard’s books and consider them for your shelf so you can save, save, save:

The Best Pocket Guide Ever for Family FinancesThe Best Pocket Guide Ever for Wealth-building InvestmentThe Best Pocket Guide Ever for Eliminating DebtThe Best Pocket Guide Ever for Minimising InsuranceThe Best Pocket Guide Ever for a Financially Secure Retirement


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Learn 10 tips for better presentations at the launch of How to Make Your Point Without PowerPoint

Invite to the launch of Douglas Kruger's new book

How to Make Your Point Without PowerPointPenguin Random House invites you to join them for the launch of How to Make Your Point Without PowerPoint by Douglas Kruger.

The art of presenting needs a serious shake-up. Presenters are constantly on the lookout for fresh ideas to get their message across, but mistakenly believe PowerPoint is the right medium to do so. Kruger’s latest book teaches readers 50 ways to present more effectively and leave lasting impressions.

The launch takes place on Monday, 15 February at 8 for 8:30 AM at The Wanderers Club in Joburg. Coffee and light snacks will be served.

See you there!

Event Details


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Simplify your financial planning with The Best Pocket Guide Ever for Family Finances

The Best Pocket Guide Ever for Family FinancesJillian Howard offers indispensable financial advice in The Best Pocket Guide Ever for Family Finances, now available from Zebra Press:

Do you know what practical steps to take to ensure that you and your family thrive financially? If not, this book is for you …

It is much easier to control your finances and plan your investments when you are single. But once a partner comes along and financial decisions are shared, planning can become more complicated, as different people often have different ideas about how to spend and invest money. Without some guidance on dual finances, a marriage or partnership can easily become a statistic – a major cause for break-ups is financial stress. Add children to the mix, and the financial pressure increases.

But it is possible to achieve a financially successful life for your family despite the huge costs involved, and this book will show you how. It covers all aspects of family life – funding the wedding, children, lifestyle and education, as well as divorce, retirement, and the death of a spouse or partner.

Comprehensive yet easily accessible, this is your guide to financial planning throughout all stages of normal family life. A must-read for anyone who is married, is planning to get married or is cohabiting in a long-term relationship.

About the author

Jillian Howard has a BCom degree from Unisa, a CFP® from the University of the Free State and a Results Coaching qualification. She has been a qualified financial planner since 2003. Her mission is to help people understand and simplify their financial planning because being in control of their money is fundamental to being in control of their lives and dreams. Jillian lives in Gauteng on a small farm with her husband and their youngest son.

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Tony Manning’s 8 critical strategy practices from What’s Wrong With Management and How to Get It Right

What’s Wrong With Management and How to Get It RightTony Manning has been an independent strategy consultant since 1987. His clients include major firms in most industries, and numerous public sector organisations.

In his latest book, What’s Wrong With Management and How to Get It Right, Manning brings managers the insights and advice they need to navigate the ever-changing business world. One of the most valuable tools in the book is his identification of eight critical strategy practices that have stood the test of time, and which he explains thoroughly.

When all is said and done, every company always had to do the same essential things – and must do them today. Read an excerpt from What’s Wrong With Management and How to Get It Right to see what these things are and to discover Manning’s eight critical strategy practices:


* * * * * *


The eight critical strategy practices
Tony Manning

The most pressing management need of our time is to know and apply the practices that make the difference between winning and losing in business.

There’s nothing new about this. But there’s an urgency now to get it right.

Many of the challenges firms face are unprecedented. They, more than any other social institution, determine our future. Those in trouble must be quickly fixed, and the strategies of those that are doing well must be sharpened.

But merely improving what is won’t suffice. Given rapidly changing external conditions, firms find themselves constantly at what Andy Grove, the former chairman of Intel, famously called “a strategic inflection point” – a moment of both extraordinary possibilities and significant risks. Choices made today, tomorrow, and next week determine their long-term prospects. And as the world continues to change, and competition becomes ever more hostile and the need for growth more pressing, all have to keep adapting and progressing to produce new results.

Over the past century, countless people have claimed to understand what makes companies tick and what makes some more competitive than others. They’ve produced, packaged, and peddled a truly astonishing amount of advice. But the outcome of their efforts is more often than not another minor tweak to existing knowledge rather than the invention of something new.

It is true that significant insights and ideas have been produced in areas such as finance, accounting, marketing, operations, and decision-making. But in the two whose impact on business performance overshadows all others – strategy and people management – we’ve seen little progress. Our understanding of how to compete and win evolves at a glacial pace. The breakthroughs would fill a thimble.

Most of what’s touted as “thought leadership” is, in fact, “thought followership.” It hitches a ride on what we already know, perhaps from a slightly different angle, or dressed up with a new name or information from a new study, but adds little to our understanding of how to manage for advantage. With few exceptions, “new” ideas are at best marginal when it comes to utility. The language describing them might change, but the foundational concepts hold firm. “In thought leadership terms,” says Fiona Czerniawska, an expert on the management consulting business, “2012 was the equivalent of 1916: stuck in the mud.”

Bluntly put: in one of humankind’s most crucial areas of knowledge and practice, we’re going nowhere slowly.

Most of what spews forth never reaches managers. Much of what does reach them is confusing rather than enlightening; distracting at best, useless at worst. All too often, this results in unnecessary costs and work rather than better business results.

The good news, though, is there’s compelling evidence that the way to build your competitive advantage, capture and keep customers, and stay ahead in the profit game lies in what you may already know but just don’t focus on. That if you want to be a serious competitor today and tomorrow, less really is more and simpler is better.

What’s Wrong With Management and How to Get It Right identifies the practices that have been shown to matter most, and explains why you need to master, embed, and relentlessly apply them in your company. This will guide you towards doing the right things right away, and ensure that your strategy conversation is properly framed and focused. It will also help you put whatever new ideas you come across into perspective, and evaluate them sensibly before you try them.
When all is said and done, every company always had to do the same essential things – and must do them today:

  • 1. Identify their “right” customer;
  • 2. Understand that customer’s needs;
  • 3. Develop a business model to satisfy them better than competitors;
  • 4. Get the necessary resources, and continually strengthen them;
  • 5. Focus all efforts on specific results;
  • 6. Unleash the imagination and spirit of people;
  • 7. Keep learning, innovating, and improving.

So these are the critical strategy practices:

  • #1. Growth leadership — Effective leadership that’s committed to growth, and to achieving it by growing people.
  • #2. Fast learning and adaptation — The ability to sense and make sense of change and act on it faster than competitors.
  • #3. Focus, value, costs — Clarity about where and how to compete, and a relentless effort to drive value up and costs down for the “right” customer.
  • #4. Business model innovation — Continual reinvention of the way value is created, captured, and shared.
  • #5. Resource and capability development and leverage — Accessing, attracting, acquiring, and building the strengths needed to compete, and using them to maximum effect.
  • #6. Stakeholder alignment and support — Persuading individuals and organizations with any interest in a firm to “vote” for it rather than against it.
  • #7. Smart sequencing and pacing — Doing the right things in the right order and at the right time.
  • #8. Disciplined execution — Having a deliberate and systematic way to turn intentions into action with sound outcomes.

As in other fields, each of the practices is a bundle of routine behaviors, concepts, tools, or techniques. If the practices are the what you must do, these are the how. There’s a rich array of them, and there will be even more in the future because this is where most study and experimenting occurs.

Your company is most likely to be successful if you get back to the principal drivers of business results – what you absolutely must obsess about, and why – and then apply them in the simplest, most practical way possible. You have to free up time to think. You have to move fast. You have to keep innovating and improving. So start doing that right now.

This is an exerpt from Tony Manning’s latest book, What’s Wrong With Management And How To Get It Right, published by Penguin, 2015, R250


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Engage, pursuade and present effectively with How to Make Your Point Without PowerPoint by Douglas Kruger

How to Make Your Point Without PowerPointDouglas Kruger’s indispensable guide to powerful presentations, How to Make Your Point Without PowerPoint, is now available from Penguin:

The art of presenting needs a serious shake-up. Presenters are constantly on the lookout for fresh ideas to get their message across, but mistakenly believe PowerPoint is the right medium to do so.

In How to Make Your Point Without PowerPoint, renowned public speaker Douglas Kruger aims to end the tedium of the PowerPoint medium. He offers 50 practical suggestions to enhance your presentation skills – including the kinds of formats you can use, different methods of delivery and some alternative visuals – so you and your team can trade in the slides and get brainstorming.

This book proves that it is possible to do an excellent job, even a superior one, without slides, by learning to truly engage and persuade. In this way, you will stand out every time and, as the presenter, have an entertaining time of it!

About the author

Douglas Kruger is a professional speaker and five times winner of the Southern African Public Speaking Championships. He helps organisations dismantle the “Rules of Hamster Thinking” which make them industry dinosaurs. He teaches businesses and brands to position themselves as industry experts so that their name has greater equity. See him in action at

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Show Your Support for Sorbet Man’s Balls 4 Brovember Initiative at the Discovery Soccer Park in Joburg

Invitation to Sorbet Man's Balls for Brovember

Get That Feeling: The Story of a Serial EntrepreneurYou and seven of your toughest friends are invited to participate in this year’s Sorbet Man Balls 4 Brovember initiative.

The event will kick off on at 8 PM on Saturday, 28 November, at the Discovery Soccer Park.

Tickets are available from Quicket and cost R1 600 per team (each team has eight players). All proceeds will go to the More Balls Than Most Foundation to help in the fight against prostate and testicular cancer.

Visit Sorbet Man on Facebook and Twitter for more information. Entries close on Tuesday, 24 November.

For more about the businessman behind the Sorbet franchise, read Get That Feeling: The Story of a Serial Entrepreneur by Ian Fuhr.

Are you up for the challenge?

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 28 November 2015
  • Time: 8 AM to 1 PM
  • Venue: Discovery Soccer Park
    The Wanderers Club
    21 North Street
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Cost: R1 600 for a team of eight
  • Tickets: Quicket

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Cutting Edge in 2015; Commonplace in the 1950s: Excerpt from Tony Manning’s What’s Wrong With Management

What’s Wrong With Management and How to Get It RightIn What’s Wrong With Management and How to Get It Right top strategy consultant Tony Manning offers insight and advice, drawn from 100 years of management history, needed to thrive in today’s hypercompetitive business environment.

In the excerpt of the book below, Manning discusses the staggering stagnation of management theory. He compares contemporary “thought leadership” to theory and practice from up to a century ago, and concludes “we’re stuck in deep sand”.

It is fascinating how management principles regarded as on the knife-edge of innovation today were regarded as commonplace in the 1950s.

Read the excerpt:

* * * * *

Much ado about precious little
Tony Manning

Compare what doctors knew about infection control during the Anglo-Boer War with what they know today, or an engineer’s approach to bridge-building then and now, and the difference is huge. But compare what was known about management then with what we know today, and you can barely spot the difference.

Remarkably, in the one area of human affairs that affects almost all others, we’re stuck in deep sand. In both theory and practice the wheels keep spinning.

Henri Fayol told us in 1916 that management had five aspects: forecasting and planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling.

Fast forward a couple of decades. The fundamental work of managers was still much the same. According to Drucker, it comprised five basic tasks: 1) setting objectives, 2) organizing, 3) motivating and communicating, 4) measuring, and 5) developing people.

Fast forward again, to Henry Mintzberg in 2009, explaining the roles of managers as: 1) communicating, 2) controlling, 3) leading, 4) linking, 5) doing, and 6) dealing.

And then, in 2010, Michael Porter and Nitin Nohria suggest that a CEO’s many activities fit these categories: 1) direction, 2) organization, 3) selection, 4) motivation, and 5) systems and processes for implementation.

The context in which executives operate evolves constantly, of course, but the core tasks don’t. Maybe you’d want to tone down or take out the “command” part, and drop in “coaching” or “mentoring”—such contemporary ideas!—but the other activities are as valid today as they were 90 years ago. All of them have to do with the same critical job: getting results through people.

Now look at the practice of management—in other words, how those things get done. Here, too, it’s more of the same.

It’s sobering to note, for example, that General Motors introduced a bonus plan for managers as far back as 1918. According to Alfred Sloan, this “had an important effect in creating an identity of interest between management and shareholders.” But he understood—as many of today’s managers seem not to—that there was more to motivation than money. After a colleague wrote to him, saying, “The potential rewards of the Bonus Plan to ego satisfaction generate a tremendous driving force within the Corporation,” Sloan commented that this was reinforced by “a fairly general practice of having each recipient’s supervisor deliver the bonus notification letter.” (My italics.)

Sloan was concerned about his other employees too. In the 1920s the car giant provided not only first-rate medical services, fine cafeterias, locker rooms, showers, and parking for employees, but also group life insurance, a savings and investment plan, recreational facilities, payments for suggestions, training, and opportunities for handicapped workers. All thoroughly modern practices.

It’s equally sobering to recall that 50 years ago Hewlett-Packard introduced management by objectives (MBO), “management by walking around” (MBWA), company picnics, employee share ownership, small divisions, and many other managerial innovations now regarded as state of the art in “progressive” workplaces.

Or consider the astonishing lack of headway in growing leaders for tomorrow. Executives complain about a dearth of skills, and know their future hinges on building their “leadership pipeline.” So this is no trivial matter. But few of them do much about it. And those that make an effort go about it in much the same ways as it’s always been done.

“Internal development was the norm back in the 1950s,” writes Wharton School professor Peter Capelli in a recent Harvard Business Review article, “and every management practice that seems novel today was commonplace in those years—from executive coaching to 360-degree feedback to job rotation to high-potential programs.”

Similar examples are to be found in every other area of people management. There’s plenty of bragging about thought leadership in this area, but scant evidence of it. There are constant exhortations to do things differently, but little hint of what that might mean and hardly any new action to speak of.

So don’t get too excited about apparent breakthroughs. They’re few and far between. When they do come along, they usually don’t get widely adopted—or only after a long delay. And besides, the value of most of them may not be clear-cut.

Extracted from What’s Wrong With Management and How to Get It Right by Tony Manning (Penguin)

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Dawie Roodt Believes South Africa's Education Problem is Not Money, but Quality

Tax, Lies and Red TapeEfficient Group director and chief economist Dawie Roodt believes weak economic growth is the underlying cause for the recent university protests.

Roodt, who is the co-author of Tax, Lies and Red Tape, blames South Africa’s high unemployment and poverty for the situation, which he says has been exacerbated by bad leadership leading to ideological confusion.

According to Roodt, the root problem is not money, but quality. Read the article:

Roodt said the taxpayer was overburdened and suggested that the money be rechannelled from the basic and secondary education sector.

“South Africa’s education expenditure is very high compared to other parts of the world. The problem with the basic and secondary education is not money, it is quality. Universities get badly trained students and have to retrain these students,” Roodt said.

However, free tertiary education did not mean that all matriculants would enter universities, he added.

“There are limited spaces, and not all people are university material,” Roodt said.

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Sorbet Celebrates 10 Years of Beautifying South Africans – How Did They Do It?

Get That FeelingWho would have guessed 10 years ago when Ian Fuhr opened two Sorbet Salons in Bedfordview and Norwood that in 2015 the company would boast 140 stores, 12 Sorbet product lines and over 30 000 loyalty members?

Sorbet is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, and the chain has a host of achievements to look back on in the years since those two stores opened in Johannesburg.

Sorbet shared a timeline of the past 10 years on their website, with all the highlights (and low points) in the company’s history. In 2006, Sorbet’s loyalty programme was launched, but in 2007, only one store was opened and Fuhr started to think his business was a bad idea.

Lucky for all of us, Fuhr held tight, and the next year he opened Cape Town’s first Sorbet store in Sea Point.

For more on Sorbet’s rise to success, read Get That Feeling: The Story of a Serial Entrepreneur.

Read the article and view the timeline:

See this guy?
That’s Ian Fuhr, he’s the man behind the Sorbet Brand. Yes, we know what you’re thinking, the person behind the brand looks more like Walter Matthau than Heidi Klum? Surprise! So, how did he do it? To cut a long nail short, his massage therapist convinced him that the SA market was in desperate need of a branded beauty chain.

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