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Businesslink Newsletter 8-14 September 2012



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In this week’s issue


Phillip Chichoni- Publisher

Some interesting bits of news appeared in the past week. The Essar / Ziscosteel deal was finally given the green light by the government last week, after months of uncertainty. This is good news for business in Zimbabwe, as downstream industries will soon begin benefitting from the new business opportunities this huge project will avail.

The 500 million pula (US$70m) finance deal with Botswana has now been confirmed after the government signed a bilateral investment protection agreement with our south-western neighbours. This facility was announced over two years ago but could not be consummated because the paperwork had not been done. Some business owners will remember that SMEs were invited then to submit proposals so as to get some of the amount being availed by this facility. There was a rumour in finance circles at that time the Mr. Phillip Chiyangwa had submitted a proposal requesting the full $70 million for his project! It’s a drop in the ocean really.

In this week’s issue, we show you some highlights of the inaugural Kariba Business Expo. We also share with you the usual business advice, from both local and non-local experts, to help you accelerate your growth. I believe every entrepreneur should keep up to date with what’s happening not only in their local markets but in the global business environment. The world is one single village, made smaller by the power of the internet. A person in Sweden can buy a product from New York, Beijing or Harare as easily as she can from Stockholm. Don’t limit yourself to the Zimbabwean market as its capacity is very small, with less than a million people having discretionary income to buy anything besides basic necessities.

To compete effectively outside our local comfort zone, we need to strive to meet internationally recognized standards. In this vein we are introducing a ten part series on the subject of quality, “The Road to ISO Certification”, don’t miss an issue.

Finally, some folks have a sense of humour, as seen in the pictures at the Padenga Crocodile Farm in Kariba below.

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved

 Kariba hosts first business expo

By the BusinessLink team

The border town of Kariba hosted its first business exposition on the 31st of August to the 2nd of September, 2012. Here are some pictures from the exhibition.

Dunlop Tyres crew busy putting finishing touches to their stand. A Dunlop official said despite being more expensive, people prefer their tyres compared to cheaper imports because of their renowned quality and strength.




A Toyota Zimbabwe crew showing their new mobile workshop, which comes equipped with all the machines and equipment found at regular workshops


Kariba SMEs also took part at the expo. Here, an SME which manufacturers coffins shows off one of their products (below right)

The Executive Mayor of Kariba
(left, centre) poses for a picture before officially opening the exposition.

The exposition is going to be an annual event, and more exhibitors are expected in 2013, especially as it will coincide with the World Tourism Organization conference to be held in Victoria Falls and Livingstone.

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved

You need fresh strategies to strive in a tight economy

By the BusinessLink team

The challenge facing the majority of SMEs in Zimbabwe is that of slow business. Sales are simply low; people are reluctant to buy as they try to juggle their priorities between their most immediate needs and investing in their businesses.

A business owner recently told me that he is very interested in sending his staff to one of the customer care courses that we offer, but he fears they may not appreciate it as he is behind in paying their salaries. With similar situations facing many businesses, you need to change your strategy if you are going to sell anything.

Strengthen Your Value Propositions

Without strong value propositions, you can’t set up meetings with prospects or get them to change from the status quo. It is that important.

What is a value proposition? It’s a clear statement about the business outcomes that customers get from using your product, service or solution. If tells them the impact that switching from the status quo or buying your product or service will have on their bottom line, operational efficiency, productivity or revenue growth.

How can you tell if your value proposition is strong enough? It’s easy. After you say it, your prospect says, “Ooh. That’s interesting. Tell me more.” If that’s not happening, it’s a sign that your message is too weak to be effective.

Set yourself a challenge to uncover the real business case for making a change. Start by asking your recent (not long-term) customers:

* How has our (product / service) helped your company?

* What value has our product/service provided?

* Compared to what you were doing before, what difference is it making?

Know More about Relevant Issues

In a tight economy, sellers who demonstrate expertise about issues, challenges and processes that bring high value to their customers invariably win – even at higher prices. To become a truly invaluable resource you have to know more now than ever before. Being an entrepreneur or in sales today requires you to be a business improvement specialist.

Perhaps your product or service fits into a workflow. If so, become an expert on project management, working across the gap between departments or related processes.

You don’t develop expertise by sitting on your butt either. Every single day you need to spend time learning about things your customers deem valuable. Invest 30 minutes per day reading, asking questions, attending seminars, networking and staying ahead of the curve. That’s what experts do.

Feedback, email to chichonip@smebusinesslink.com

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved

 The Road to ISO Certification- Part 1

By the BusinessLink team

How to get certification to the ISO 9001 Quality Standards. The first of a ten-part series to help high performance entrepreneurs achieve world class standards.

Getting ISO certified is a prestigious achievement. It opens up major opportunities for your business and shows the world that your firm  has graduated into the super league of serious and professional players.

However the journey is not simple. It’s long and maybe very complicated, depending on the type of your business. But like every journey, it begins with a single step. This first part describes the first four steps on this most important journey in your business life.

Step 1: Commitment

You need to make the decision to “get ISO”. This needs commitment from “top management”, the person or people in charge. This is the most important starting point, because without commitment from the top, you will never achieve the goal. Every important business goal needs to be backed up with management actions as well as words. There must be a reason why you want to get ISO.

Are you convinced that certification will actually benefit your business?

Step 2: Appoint someone as project manager

Getting ISO is a project. Someone must have the responsibility and authority to manage it internally. Allocate resources to the project. Decide whether to use a consultant to do it, or do it yourself.

Step 3: Do a Gap Analysis

Figure out your baseline- where you are now against where you need to be. You may already have parts of a quality system in place already. But to get certification, all the requirements of the standard have to be met. Identify gaps, and then map the tasks necessary to fill them. Plan what to do, who will do it and when.

Step 4: Map a plan to fill the gaps

Work through the plan to fill all the gaps and bring your system to the required standard. Improve and develop your system: fill in the gaps from the Gap Analysis, revising, adding or improving where you need to do. Identify your processes, making all the improvements necessary to meet the requirements of the standard, and documenting your system.

This article will continue next week with the next introductory steps on the road to ISO Certification. Don’t miss it.

Email your feedback and suggestions to chichonip@smebusinesslink.com.

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved

 Get free handbook- HR Compliance: Getting it right!

If you have friends who may be interested in receiving Job Alerts ask them

to send an email with the subject *SUBSCRIBE* to aapconsultant@gmail.com

We are working on our website and soon you will be able to view job alerts,

register your CV and view our products and services.

We have compiled an HR mini Handbook for non HR Managers called HR Compliance: Getting it right!

We are giving this eBook away free of charge. Should you require a copy, send an email with the subject *HR HANDBOOK* to aapconsultant@gmail.com and we will send you a copy!

We also have a vast array of Corporate Training materials on offer should you wish to conduct your own training. These include Trainer and trainee manuals, PowerPoint slides, ice breakers and games. Call and get it now.

Refer to this newsletter and get a 20% discount!

*TO GET A DETAILED BROCHURE, CALL US ON 0773 974 669 OR email us on aapconsultant@gmail.com

* Introducing All About People HR & Recruitment Consultants

A dedicated, young and vibrant HR Consultancy which aims to “mould our services to meet your needs”.

Our products and services include:

* Pack Recruitment

* Training and Development

* HR Outsourcing

* Corporate Training Materials

* HR Business

Contact us today on 0773 974 669 / 0772 855 161 for an affordable, professional and unique service. Alternatively, send us an email on aapconsultant@gmail.com and we will get back to you.

Buhle Taodzera

Managing Consultant

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved

 Businesslink Events September / October 2012

  Networking Breakfast Meeting Friday 21 September 2012

Nigel Chanakira, the founder of Kingdom Bank and franchise holder of Success Motivation International, will talk about how the Success Motivation Program will change your life..

  Venue: ZimCafe Hotel and Conference Centre, Cnr Fife Avenue / 2nd Street, the Avenues, Harare

  Fee: BusinessLink Gold Club members $10, non-members $20

  Business Plan Classes Saturday 22nd and Wednesday 26th September

Are you an entrepreneur struggling to put together a bankable business plan? Need to put your business idea into a viable proposal? Or you need to develop a plan to guide you in setting up and / or growing your business?

Then the business plan class is for you. Experienced business plan developer Phillip Chichoni, who has helped scores of entrepreneurs write successful business plans, raise funding and get investors, will help you put your ideas into a powerful and viable business plan. The course comes with full templates, worksheets, software and samples to help you develop your own business plans.

  Venue: ZimCafe Hotel and Conference Centre, Cnr Fife Avenue / 2nd Street, the Avenues, Harare

  Time: 0830-1300

  Fee:  BusinessLink Gold Club and Young Entrepreneurs Club members $30, non-members $60

Fee covers tuition, handouts, CDs and Business Planning Simplified handbook, teas, sandwiches and refreshments.

  Essential Business Skills Training Workshop (3 days) October 3-5

  Are you an entrepreneur skilled in your industry but not well versed with business management, financial management, cash flow planning, marketing and people management skills? Do you want know how you can use the Internet and Social Media tools to accelerate your business’ growth?

The three day course is designed to empower you with essential skills to improve your competency in managing your business and help you grow and make more profit in the current depressed and highly competitive economy.

The course consists of six modules as follows:

  Day 1 Business Essentials

Module 1:  Setting up the essential infrastructures for building a great business

* Program your mind for success in business (0900-1030)

* Five essential legal requirements your business must meet(1050-1150)

* How to set up and use an effective financial  record keeping system (1150-1300)

Module 2: Financial management and cash flow planning

* Listen to the numbers, numbers don’t lie (1400-1500)

* How to plan and manage your cash flows to avoid disaster (1515-1630)

Day 2 Building a sustainable business

Module 3: How to develop and improve your business model for more effectiveness and profit

* Introduction to the various business models and their effectiveness and applicability (0900-1030)

* Build an effective team and create a scalable management model (1050-1130)

* How to avoid mistakes when recruiting employees (1130-1215)

* The importance of employee contracts, codes of conduct and HR manuals 1215-1300)

Module 4: You need other people

* How to work on your business, rather than in it (1400-1500)

* Businesses are built on relationships (1515-1630)

Day 3 Marketing that works to grow your business

Module 5: How to develop an effective marketing strategy + Essentials of Social Media and Inbound Marketing

* Six steps to developing an effective marketing strategies  (0900-1030)

* Introduction to the Internet, websites  and free Social media tools (1050-1120)

* How to use the internet and social media to get more customers (1120-1220)

* Blogging, content  marketing and creating buzz to get results (1220-1300)

Module 6: Low cost high impact marketing strategies to grow your business

* Networking to get more customers and build business relationships  (1400-1500)

* Five  tips to sell more quickly(1515-1600)


* Phillip Chichoni (Business planning expert, consultant and founder of SME BusinessLink)

* William Makava (Internet, web design and social media marketing expert and founder of

* Buhle Taodzera ( Human resources consultant and founder of All About People HR Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd

*Our guarantee: We will provide support systems and follow up to ensure you get the results you want.  If you are not satisfied with the results after 6 months, we will refund your course fee.

Fees: Full course $200; One day session $75; One module $50

All fees include course materials, handouts, teas, refreshments and lunch, plus certificate of participation. BusinessLink Gold Club members get 40% discount.

To book, please complete the Essential Business Skills Training Workshop booking form, which you can download at http://smebusinesslink.com, or you may request it by email to marketing@smebusinesslink.com, or call our marketing executive, Christine on 0772 854 301

Promote your products for free

Inform other entrepreneurs about your business and promote your products in this newsletter. Send your materials to chichonip@smebusinesslink.com

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved


By Brendan and Sally Palmer

It is said that two of the main causes of stress are…

1.Unfinished business

2.Uncertainty about the future

If you think about it, when you are stressed, you are probably either worrying about something that you need to do that you have not yet done or you are worrying about what might or might not happen in the future.

In order to reduce stress, always finish what you start.  We have a tendency to start something and a soon as it gets either too challenging or boring, we put it on the shelf and start something else that is more exciting.  While putting boring, challenging or frustrating tasks on the shelf may bring temporary relief, these tasks play on the back of your mind continually and cause STRESS.

The more you put your shelved tasks off, the bigger they seem to grow and the more stressed you become.  So, to reduce your stress, completely finish ALL your tasks that you have to do.

It is also good to attempt and complete your most challenging or most boring tasks first thing in the morning so that you get them out of the way so they don’t corrupt your valuable mind for the entire day!

To reduce stressing about an uncertain future, start planning your life.  Write down tasks and goals for each day, week, month and year.

Know what you are aiming to achieve with your business and your life and how you are going to get there. The simple act of writing tasks and goals down can dramatically

reduce your stress levels so be proactive and start planning your life and determine and take control of your future.

Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle.  ~Bill Phillips

Have a great week and as always…Be Cool! Be Great! Be Alive!

Brendan and Sally

Website http://www.sabrebusinessworld.com, Phone +263 772 354 840


http://www.twitter.com/sabrebusinessw, http://www.youtube.com/sabrealive Subscribe to our newsletter, visit www.sabrebusinessworld.com

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved

 Entrepreneur Profile: ZNCC 2nd Most Innovative SME

    Name: Peter Mauchi

Company: Cranrid Petroleum

How do you feel about winning the runner up award of the ZNCC Most Innovative SME of the Year for 2011?

To be honest, I am overwhelmed by this recognition. I am happy that there are some people out there seeing and appreciating what we are doing as a company. This award has also brought with it a lot of respect to our organization.

Cranrid Petroleum has seen tremendous growth on the market, what factors do you attribute your success to?

Hard work. Team work. Committed staff  who have embraced our vision. And God’s grace.

As to the concept of SME support and advocacy, is our economy grasping the concept?

The world over, SMEs are becoming the mainstay of economies. We are very fortunate in Zimbabwe that we have a full ministry that is responsible for SMEs. This is also in line with the empowerment policies that the nation is promoting. The biggest challenge for SMEs has been the failure to raise capital.

To aspiring business people out there, what words of advice would you give them concerning good cash flow management?

It’s very simple, financial discipline! One should know one’s business priorities and stick to them.

Finally, who is Peter Mauchi?

I am happily married to Florence, who has always been a pillar of support through thick and thin. We are blessed with two boys and a girl. I am an accountant by profession and currently studying for an MBA. I am a devout Christian and God has been faithful in my life. During spare time I play golf and frequent the gym.

(Courtesy of the ZNCC 2011 Annual Business Awards Magazine)

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved

 Local firm launches cloud computing for SMEs

Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00

A local IT services company yesterday launched a cloud computing service that is set to benefit financially strained organisations especially the Small to Medium Enterprises. In a statement, Twenty Third Century Systems Zimbabwe, through its subsidiary, Devoted Business Solutions said the cloud computing service would enable Zimbabwe customers to access critical business management data for efficient and effective functioning.

DBS has unleashed “Cumulus” — a revolutionary business management solution that will eliminate the need for organisations to have significant upfront financial investment for ICT services and provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional on-premise installations.

The service will be hosted locally and accessed securely over the internet.

“Traditionally, companies have had to invest huge amounts of money in hardware and software in order to provide its employees and business partners with ICT services but cloud computing presents an alternative as organisations do not have to invest and own all the ICT assets but can ‘rent’ or pay per use whatever resources they need for their operations,” read a statement from TTCS.

Wikipedia describes cloud computing as being the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network, typically the internet. This provides a way of providing ICT services “on-demand” from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection.

TTCS believes the advances in telecommunications and security technology coupled with the dropping costs of connectivity have allowed cloud computing to become a more main stream reality.

“Internet bandwidth is becoming cheaper and more ubiquitous making cloud computing a real business operation alternative for the average Zimbabwean company,” the statement further said.

According to TTCS, Cumulus would come with a host of other benefits among them the reduction of IT overheads through the decrease in the need for the hire of experienced IT staff to manage and support hardware and software as all back office functions will be handled transparently by the DBS support team at the data centre. — CAJ News.

Copyright © 2012 Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd. All rights reserved


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