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2 Nov 2020

20 lessons over 20 years #5
The false start

The typical pattern in many small businesses is that they start with a monthly revenue line that is relatively flat and a similar-looking profit line (or rather a lack-of-profit line) along with a cash-flow line that points 45 degrees downhill. As the business starts gaining a little traction and more deals come in, at some point, there will be an exponential increase in deal sizes. Often, the increase in deal size somehow triggers a signal to the entrepreneur that they have now hit the big time, that the struggle is over and their success is imminent.
2 Nov 2020

20 lessons over 20 years #6
Overcoming the first abuse from a customer

In the startup years, the adage “the customer is king” remains fresh and deliberate in your mind. You have probably convinced your customers (and yourself) that by using your company they will receive much better service than from the “big guys.” You get a little thrill every time you provide them with a solution to an out-of-the-ordinary request. They are, of course, the king (or queen) and you are here to serve.
12 Oct 2020

David Mileham

The virus snuck up on us like a thief in the night. At the beginning of the year, we had heard about something happening in China, but we didn’t take too much notice. Then, early in March, after having watched the virus...
12 Oct 2020

Hannes Sauermann

I am a pharmacist working in the mining environment, in an institutional pharmacy, since 2011. The company that I work for has been rendering medical services to the mine and its stakeholders for many years.
21 Aug 2020

Nonhlanhla Nombuso Nkomo

‘My dad was married to two wives. He left us when we were little to go live with his second wife. I have 7 siblings (6 sisters & 1 brother). My mother had to raise us all by herself. She is illiterate and unemployed. In 2014 when I got to medical school, the only income we had...
21 Aug 2020

Nomthandaza Mbatha

‘I was born in Nkandla hospital in 1998, and I grew up in Nkandla at Chwezi village. I was raised by my grandmother with my other 2 cousins. My mother left when I was young and even though my father was there, he didn’t have much to do with me.
21 Aug 2020

Andile Ntuli

‘I come from Umhlabuyalingana from a family of six. Dad passed away in 2009, leaving my mother as the head and spear of the house. She earns R1800 a month. From this R1800, she has to support all my siblings. Three of us are still at school.
28 Apr 2020

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