How to talk to Clients you don’t have yet

posted in: General 2

How to talk to Clients you don’t have yet

How to Talk to Clients when you don't have any Yet
How to Talk to Clients when you don’t have any Yet

 

I can see people reading the Title a few times and wondering…”What?!”  That is pretty much the response I had, so don’t feel alone.  How do I talk to someone I haven’t got yet? How do I actually get a client? Would they want to talk to me? What would they want to hear?

It’s like being on Pinterest right? Half an hour later you are thinking to yourself ….”Where was I again?”

 

How to talk to Clients you don’t have yet?

 

Anyone you meet could be a prospective client. In trying to have a dialogue with a potential client;  “do unto others…” comes into play. We all know how we would like to be treated if we were considering being a client. Why not use that as a guideline for how you would treat someone who could be a client? Each interaction could be an opportunity to represent or misrepresent your brand.

Some ideas on how to talk to your client:

 

1  Be polite

Be nice. It always pays off. You want your client walking away from the experience feeling like they have been heard.

 

2  Talk like you would in real life, don’t use shoptalk

Not everyone is going to understand the jargon you use within your company or even the industry. Keep it simple. Talk like you would in real life.

 

3  Keep it upbeat and positive

Let the client know that their request, even if it can’t be facilitated right away, is being considered with “I will discuss your request with our team” or “We are working on this issue for you”.

 

4  Research your client (ask Big Brother Google)

With the abundance of resources available these days it isn’t difficult to do a little research on your client. There are plenty of social media networks and websites to look through to gain an understanding of what your client does.

 

5  Make sure that all their questions are answered before you close your conversation

Confirm with your client that their question has been answered and see if there is anything else they are unsure about?

 

6  Be willing to admit to a mistake

Unsympathetic support can lead people away from the brand instead of helping them feel heard.

 

7 Don’t leave your clients wondering

Some issues won’t be solved in one go, which means your client is probably left wondering if the issue is going to be resolved or not. Tell your client you will get back to them within a specific time frame and even if the question has not necessarily been answered, contact your client and update them. Take it one step further and follow up a week after an issue has been resolved to see that everything is still running smoothly. It’s bound to put a smile on your client’s dial.

 

Service delivery is something we love to talk about. But in all honesty, it isn’t always readily delivered. What happens when we receive great service? We talk about it. To our friends, online, social media…… This basically means that if you don’t have a client as yet, you could get one by someone else talking about a great experience they have had with your brand. So how do you talk to clients you don’t have yet? Simple, talk to them just as you would want to be spoken to and keep doing it as a standard.

 

It will be sure to place your front of mind next time the person needs your services.

 

 

 

Sources

http://blog.frontapp.com/2017/01/11/how-to-talk-to-your-customers-in-7-easy-steps/

 

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Tendering Online – Bringing your A Game

Tendering Online – Bringing your A Game

77-Blog-Header-Is-your-business-Tech-savvy-when-it-comes-to-Tendering-Online

Tendering online in 7 (easy-ish steps)

 

How do you even begin in this process? It can be fairly daunting right? Perhaps starting with what NOT to do is a good way to go. In order to really learn what not to do when tendering online, you should check out How to stuff up a Tender. South Africa is quite au fait with the term Tenderpreneur. In fact, we actually have a top Ten list. Although it is a tongue in cheek kind of humorous thing to refer to (South Africans love to make fun of themselves in a way the rest of the world is baffled by), it is a serious issue in South Africa. Here are a few news articles on the Topic of Tenderpreneurs for you to browse:

http://businesstech.co.za/news/finance/115828/tenderpreneurs-vs-the-rest-of-the-anc-in-south-africa/

http://www.news24.com/Archives/City-Press/Meet-the-R77m-tenderpreneur-20150429

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/a-guide-to-being-a-tenderpreneur-2013-02-01

 

But I reckon the reason you are here reading this post is because you want to do Tendering online as well. So let’s take a look at some steps to help you with tendering online:

 

Step One

Get yourself a desktop/laptop/tablet or just simply use a smart device.

 

Step Two

To be online you need to be hooked up to the World Wide Web. Yes, the Internet. The purveyor of many evils and sometimes, a little surprisingly, just as much good.

 

Step Three

Sharpen your pencil, because here we go….

You need to find Websites that provide tender notices. Or instead, a service provider that will wonderfully just deliver the notices to your email daily (shameless punting I know – but hey – you are reading our blog).

Store this list of websites on a word document (or just open your email inbox if you are subscribed to our services). Check this daily to see whether there are new tenders that match your criteria.

 

Step Four

Are you registered on the Supplier Database for the particular Municipality putting out the tender? Check with them if this is required. It would be a pity to submit the perfect bid and not meet this criteria.

 

Step Five

OK, so you have identified what tenders you wish to bid on. Yay! Half way there. If you want to know what procedures you need to follow, I will leave that to the Pro’s to tell you. Check this link out for tender procedures and more steps to help increase your chances of getting your foot in the door.

Making sure you have the correct documentation is important. Check out a comprehensive guide for making sure you have all your ducks in a row (so to speak).

 

Step Six

Check where the Site Inspection is (if applicable) and whether it is compulsory. Wouldn’t want to miss out on that!

 

Step Seven

Sharpen your pencils and do your calculations – put your bid together. Make sure you have all the necessary forms to submit with your bid along with the correct place to submit it by the correct date.

 

So the big questions is…..

 

How Do I Win A Tender?

 

Well, listen up close. If you want to win.. you need to be persistent. Its unlikely to happen on the first tender, so keep at it. Some winning tips may help you though. Ultimately, tendering online streamlines some of your processes, but isn’t so much different from doing it old school in that attention to detail, diligence and persistence will take you a long way to earning a winning bid.

 

So from the desktop….. to you on the other side of the Web, good luck with your tender. I hope to hear of your success.

 

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To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.

 

 

 

 

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

The Twitter beginners guide to Tender Influencers

Leads 2 Business : Twitter influencers

So how do you become the McGuyver of Twitter Tender influencers?

 

No, I am no guru of the Twitterverse, but I spend a bit of time using it. As far as social goes I can operate with a fair amount of ease on some social media platforms. But it still takes time to find your feet and potentially find the information you are looking for. So today’s tip would be how to find useful Tender tweeps to follow on Twitter.  They may or may not be tendering themselves, but have knowledge or report on topics or factors that effect Tendering or the Construction industry.

Now I am sure that everyone has their own list on Twitter with their favourites, and this one is by no means exhaustive. This is a BEGINNERS guide. So, hu erm, with no further adieu….

 

Step one would be to start at the beginning…. have Twitter loaded on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. If you are at a loss, you can click this link to the Twitter App and be directed to Google Play to download it. Then get yourself versed on using this microblogging tool quickly on either YouTube or by getting the lowdown from a social media leader like Mashable.

So you are up to speed. Easier than you thought right!?!

 

For keeping in the know about what is happening in the Construction industry on the continent:

 

@BusinessNewsCT

@ConstrucReview

@busrep

@concretetv

@ConstWorldSA

@EngNewsZA

@justmobility

 

Some International Construction Companies that are an influence on the Industry on Twitter:

 

@TenderManageLtd

@Tenders_Unltd

@Venturesonsite

@RFPConstruction

@ToyotaEquipment

@CMnewsandviews

@BuildMomentum

@TenderSoko

@iTenderPtyLtd

 

Some Construction Industry bodies:

 

@The_CESA

@SaiaArchitects

@YPFSouthGauteng

@SANRAL_za

@saice_civil

@ewbukzn

 

Some influential Tweeps:

 

@MHLUNGUOLUHLAZA

@JoubertBotha

@markperera

@DazMSmith

@brianmawdsley

@RichSimmonds

 

Well, there is your starting point. An easy one at that. This will help give you a foundation to begin with until you learn more about Twitter and find more interesting tweeps to follow. Please let me know who you find that is interesting … always good to meet new people.

 

Until then, see you in the Twitterverse at @L2Bcoza.

 

 

 

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

#10Best Blog Posts for the year

Leads 2 Business : #10BEST

 

So its roundup time. End of year contemplation combined with a healthy amount of mayhem. But as we close off and tie up all the loose ends in a pretty bow, I wanted to present you with a neat package of all the best the year has had to offer. Well, strictly speaking, the 10 best blog posts we have had to date (which trickles just over a year) voted by your foot traffic.

 

Without further ado…

 

  1. Wanting to save resources? Here are some top tips – “Ways to reduce your Carbon Footprint
  2. Looking for a means to getting your tender on in a better manner?  Look no further than “Is there Value in attending Tendering Workshops?
  3. Keeping our country pristine is not easy.  But being able to do something about our resources is priceless. The follow up to a popular post with local news “Too close to Home! What the frack!”
  4. You have heard about the growth of … well almost everything… in Africa. Get some fact here “Developing Africa….is Africa the new China?
  5. Covering industry exhibitions as we visited a popular “Cape Construction Expo
  6. Our campaign to create awareness of the desperate plight of our black rhino in Southern Africa – “Heart of a Ranger
  7. The story of our team trip to Timbavati Private Nature Reserve to film the Heart of a Ranger video – “Rhino dreaming in Timbavati
  8. Taking a look at our country and it’s colourful journey is Sherina Swart with “South Africa … just how far have we come?”
  9. Looking around us and following the trends “Trends in Africa
  10. Some inspiration from history with our witty Claire Donaldson’s “Ancient Inspiration for Modern Motivation

 

 

Now that you have had your fill of a good combination of facts and humour, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you well for a fantastic festive season and peaceful New Year. Our offices will be closing on the 15th December and re-opening on the 6 January 2016.

 

Until then, have a wonderful break and hopefully rest.

 

 

 

 

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Rhino dreaming in Timbavati

posted in: Rhino's 3

As a little girl I dreamt of fairies, dragons and unicorns. As I have grow up, (somewhat), perhaps the reality that I am unlikely to meet any of these characters becomes more entrenched in my psyche. Enter modern day scenario. I venture with some intrepid folks (our Marketing Director, Lee Finch and a film crew from Rooftop Productions) out to Timbavati Private Nature Reserve which hosts a marvelous spectrum of wildlife including the Big 5. The reason I am fortunate enough to find myself in this dream scenario is there are some unicorns that need help. The unicorns in this particular scenario are the rhino. More specifically, but not exclusively, the Black Rhino.

 

Chasing unicorns
Chasing unicorns

 

 

I can see the thought bubbles popping up above people’s heads – “those lumbering creatures?”. No sirree. Ever had a rhino sneak up on you? This creature can sneak with the best of them. A one and a half tonne sneak at that. I had exactly this happen while on foot with rangers in the field and was [tweetthis]privileged to watch a rhino going through the thought process of whether I presented a threat to it or not.[/tweetthis] I was much relieved when its curiosity was assuaged and it decided to nimbly trot off into the thick foliage.

But without beating around the bush (see what I did there?) let’s get to the point. Leads 2 Business as a Company, along with our subscribers have donated funds to the Anti-Poaching team protecting the Rhino and wildlife at Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Unlike our National Parks, Private Nature Reserves do not have the benefit of subsidised funds, leaving the onus on the individual owners to maintain the Reserve and carry the costs incurred by doing this. Wildlife is something that Leads 2 Business is passionate about. Without this kind of effort from Timbavati, the next generation – being our children  – will be learning about Rhino’s in a Museum. This is certainly not something I would ever want to see; most especially after encountering these beautiful creatures in the wild.

 

 

Leads 2 Business : Adgar Picket Leads 2 Business : Adgar Picket

[tweetthis]With the funds that have been donated by Leads 2 Business, the Anti-Poaching guards now have rooms to rest their weary bodies[/tweetthis] in when they return from being deployed in the bush for a week to ten days at a time. Funds also supplemented the kitchen equipment making it easier to cook food. I am a little envious of the super herb and vegetable garden growing in the fenced camp. In addition to this, two bicycles have been added for the rangers to make use of.

 

Rooftop in action
Rooftop in action

 

In order to lend more support to anti poaching and make people more aware of what is happening, a film crew was appointed to come and tell the story of the Anti Poaching rangers and their struggle in protecting our unicorns and the wildlife around them. Sitting around a fire while listening to the game outside of the small lit area suddenly makes things seem a lot more real. I get pulled in while the rangers tell of their daily duties and how passionate they are about protecting their friends. Anton mentions how they almost seem to call the animals with their friendship and as sparks from the fire fly up into the night air (perfect timing) I can almost imagine the wildlife sitting beyond the limits of my vision waiting for their ranger friends to return. Orlat talks about how they have sometimes found herds of elephants encamped around their tents at night or rhino alongside them.

A couple of Timbavati members have decided to camp out with the rangers for the evening and we all decide that we will walk (guided by Anton and Orlat) to their camp and back. It isn’t far, but believe me when I say it must have been the noisiest walk in the bush in the history of walks ever. Suddenly you realise how it feels to walk without light. You are willing your eyes to adjust and let in more light, but until they do, walking into shrubs and tripping over logs seems to be the order of the evening. I have such respect for the rangers.

Imagine …. you are in complete darkness with no additional lighting to give away your position in the wild. You hear shots fired. You must, in an instant, decide which direction the sound came from, communicate with your partner and run full tilt with weapon ready with a strong likelihood that you will be fired upon by trained poachers before you can defend either yourself or potentially the wildlife. Sorry, did I mention all this in the pitch dark?

It is such a privilege meeting these men that put themselves between the poachers and the wildlife on a daily basis. Every day brings new danger and yet, they remain steadfast and courageous in the face of an increasing battle.

 

Action
Action

 

The last night going to sleep in my tent I hear a leopard calling not far from camp. I suddenly know that I don’t want to leave this place. This otherworld haven. Where the wildlife can roam and live their lives within the protection of people passionately fighting for their survival. I have a newfound love for these creatures. Much like the fantasy creatures of my younger years. [tweetthis]The only difference is, we are fighting to prevent them being erased from this world to only be captured in book and stories. #WorldRhinoDay[/tweetthis]

If you feel the same way, you can get in contact with Timbavati and find out more on how you can be involved by clicking on this link. Keep your eyes peeled for the video to be released later this year.

To view more articles, please visit our blog.

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Cape Construction Expo – Why you should be there

 

Cape Town International Conference Centre
Cape Town International Conference Centre

 

When last were you in the Cape? It is like Cape Town and surrounds are the mecca to visit in South Africa. Honestly, each Province in my opinion has it’s own special attraction, but the Western Cape ….. well, I have a bit of a soft spot for it, so it may have more to offer than some other Provinces. So if you are anything like me, if a potential work opportunity arises it is hardly considered work – it is an absolute pleasure. It doesn’t mean I don’t think competitively though. It turns into a Sharks vs Stormers derby in my head I guess. Not just in the sense that I am trying to one up my second favourite Province with what KwaZulu-Natal has to offer, but also from a business aspect.

 

Well, here is the opportunity! If you want to strut your stuff, get your show on, tell people about how fantastic you are – you would be amiss in leaving out the Cape Construction Expo (unless of course you do something totally unrelated to the Construction industry). Yes, I hear your point that it is a fairly new enterprise, only being in it’s third year; but you could also hear my point and tell me what you think…

 

Western Cape ranks as one of the top two provinces to live in with regards to business and socio economic factors according to Business Report. But let’s all be honest, who doesn’t want to at least visit what is considered one of the trendiest and most alluring Provinces in our amazing Country? So how much better is it then to exhibit in this hotbed of innovation, design and great business concepts? This off the back of the fiercely contended WDC14 competition with the added bonus of the world’s attention now being focused on the Cape’s initiatives.  The objectives of the Expo are:

 

CCE Objectives
CCE Objectives

 

Some stats for those of us who like figures:

  • Western Cape contributes almost 14% to the national economy
  • Growth for the Western Cape is predicted to be 2.1% this year, increasing to 2.8% by 2018
  • Western Cape has earmarked a further R17.3 billion for infrastructural public works
  • Cape Town has allocated R6.5 billion ($535 million) for infrastructure investment for 2015
  • R5.2m had been set aside for local contractors to apply for subcontracting tenders.

 

CCE is being held at the Cape Town International Conference Centre between the 12 – 14 August. The organisers, Hypenica, have some contemporary ideas on how to keep people intricately involved and connected in the seminars with Question and Answer platforms so that the conversation can not only be creative but hopefully bring solutions to relevant issues. They also boast that there will be more than 100 of the most innovative suppliers to the construction industry (can you really afford not to be there?). That, along with the fact that the conference is very socially connected, is evident through the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn presence they already have. So be aware that your reach would go beyond just being a delegate and exhibitor. It will be travelling out onto the web to give you extra coverage, opinion and reach.  Capetonians are considered social beings anyway aren’t they?

 

The Conference times are as follows :

 

  • Wednesday, 12 August 2015
    9:30 – 17:00

  • Thursday, 13 August 2015
    9:30 – 17:00

More information can be found at: Conference Overview

 

The Exhibition times are as follows:

  • Wednesday, 12 August 2015
    11:00 – 17:00
  • Thursday, 13 August 2015
    10:30 – 16:00

More information can be found at: Exhibiting at CCE

 

Leads 2 Business, being at the forefront of Construction Industry Information supply, is very pleased to be exhibiting at the Cape Construction Expo. Being the generous folks that we are, we would like to extend an invite to those reading this blog. You can access a free invite by clicking here, pop in for a visit and soak up the amazing offerings from both the workshops and the exhibition, keeping in line with where the Construction Industry is heading. While there, come in and chat to us at Stand 411.

Can you really afford to not come? Besides, who turns down an offer to spend time in the Cape right?

See you there 🙂

 

 

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Why be Revolutionary? (The Sequel)

 

 

In my previous post, ‘Why be Revolutionary?’ I talked about the rise in popularity of alternative energy sources in South Africa. This is growing in impetus all over the world as resources become more scarce. The billions of people on the planet are realising that the onset of global warming was not just a conspiracy theory after all and that something needs to be done, quickly, to start remedying our current and ever growing impact.

The term Revolutionary has always seemed to me to be a word that implies movement? Why? It is a major and sudden impact on society or human endeavour according to Wikipedia. If you look at some of the famous revolutionaries in history (whether you agree or disagree with their principles and actions), none of them achieved the status of being a Revolutionary by doing nothing.

To name a few:

Spartacus : A slave leader who led a revolt against the Roman empire and in doing so became symbolic of revolutionary leaders fighting oppression.

William Wallace : (Who could forget Mel Gibson with war paint on?) Scottish rebel who led an uprising against the English during the Scottish wars of independence.

Joan of Arc : A revolutionary who inspired the French Dauphin to renew the fight again English Forces.

Mahatma Ghandi : Ghandi inspired non violent protests against the British.

 

But why am I going on about revolutionaries? Well, regardless if action was carried out peacefully or with force, the point is that there was action, movement, sudden impact. I had the opportunity to briefly discuss the ‘power play’ in Africa with one of our Project Researchers, Marlaine Andersen. She had some interesting points to make about her research in relation to the power (or lack thereof in some cases) in Africa:

“In terms of history – The African and SADC countries, like South Africa, have not made any provision for the expansion of their cities and town, the population growth and influx into the towns from the outlying areas, neither have they maintained the existing power grid infrastructure and as a result most countries in Africa have a huge power deficit, with load-shedding being a regular occurrence in many countries and many poor people having no access to power whatsoever. In recent years, many of the African and SADC countries have started making plan, raising funds etc. in a bid to generate more power through different sources, like hydro power, wind power, transmission lines, power stations, etc.”

Some of the more recent projects are:

Gas and Oil :

  • Construction of a 350MW gas-and oil-fired combined-cycle power plant in the municipality of Kpone, within the Tema industrial zone, in Ghana. Tema, Ghana’s major residential and industrial city, has the largest sea port in the country. It is about 24km from the international airport in the capital, Accra. Estimated project value : $900-million
  • Construction of a 50MW gas power plant in Rwanda in Central Africa.
  • NamPower (Pty) Ltd, the national electricity utility of Namibia, is developing the Kudu 800MW CCGT Power Station near Oranjemund in south-western Namibia. The combined cycle power station project will use natural gas from the Kudu Gas Field which is located 170km off-shore. Estimated Project Value: N$13.8 billion.
  • Namibian electricity utility, Nampower’s plans to build a new 300MW power station and waste oil recycling plant the heavy industrial zone of Arandis in Erongo, Namibia. The source of the coal to fire the power station has not yet been decided. Nampower would seek to identify all potential environmental, social and health impacts associated with the project, so as to manage these in accordance with international standards.

 

Electricity Highway :

  • Construction of an electricity highway between Ethiopia and Kenya, approximately 1068km of high-voltage, direct current 500kV transmission line and associated alternating current/direct current converter stations from Wolayta-Sodo, in Ethiopia to Suswa in Kenya, with a power transfer capacity of up to 2000MW. The total estimated project cost is $1.26 billion.

 

Hydro :

  • The 2067MW Lauca hydro-power station is being developed on the Kwanza river between the Cambambe and Capanda project in Angola. The project includes the development of a 132m high roller-compacted concrete dam, with a crest length of 1075m. The plant will comprise two units with six Francis turbines, each with an output of 340MW, and generators as well as additional equipment. The power station will supply power to about 750 000 people.
  • The project involves the construction of the 40MW Kabompo Gorge hydropower station to be located between the Solwezi and Mwinlunga districts at Kabompo Gorge on the Kabompo river in the north western region of Zambia. The development of the plant on the Kabompo river will help reduce the constant power outages occurring in the region. The power station will have an installed capacity of 1 600 MW and includes a 181-m-high roller-compacted concrete cavity arch dam, a radial-gated crest-type spillway and two underground power stations on the north and south banks of the river, each with four 200 MW vertical-shaft Francis turbine generators. The project is designed as a run-of-river scheme, with an estimated average energy generation of 8 700 GWh/y. Estimated project value : $120 million.

 

Coal :      

  • The construction of a 150MW to 300MW coal-fired power station(with potential to upgrade to 800MW) in the Erongo region of Namibia, known as the Erongo Coal-fired Power Station. The proposed project has a total estimated price tag of between R4-billion and R7-billion.

 

Action is always better than stagnation. Does Africa like South Africa has power issues? Of course! We, as a continent, are developing at a rate faster than anticipated (or planned – regardless of whose fault it may be). Life doesn’t tend to play by a set of guidelines. This continent is most certainly revolutionary. Sometimes the actions taken are not the ones we would specifically choose and sometimes to the detriment of her people, but the point is, there is also action being taken that is in a direction to build and improve. Take a look at these projects and see for yourself.

 

I suppose my question is really, “what am I doing to be part of this revolutionary continent?”

I leave you with the words of Martin Luther King Junior “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. What is your next move?

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Why be Revolutionary?

 

Leads 2 Business : Alternative Energy

 

I have enjoyed music all my life. There is no doubt that it plays an integral part of who I am. I enjoy anything from classical to rock to indie to reggae to alternative. In my choice alone, some would consider me a little unconventional. But that isn’t where it ends. I enjoy (exceptional) tattoos and consider it wearable art. Perhaps a little nonconformist I hear you say? Not to mention I like the idea of eco houses, container housing and other non standard building methods. Just because it is different, it doesn’t mean it is wrong. In fact, sometimes different can be exceptionally right.

I think most South Africans have gotten a good few picnic dinners with candles of late. Some relish the opportunity to ‘unplug’ from life and make the most of quality time with loved ones, while others lament lost time and money and the effect it is having on the economy.  I am fairly certain that Companies retailing solar panels, solar geysers and lights as well as generators thank Eskom profusely for their increase in revenue. Flipping a switch to only find yourself still standing in the dark, in winter especially, definitely brings you to looking at alternative methods of getting things done and wondering how long we, as a nation, can continue on this (dark) road.

 

We all know that our amazing nation has an abundance of natural resources. So why not utilise them? Enter the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (try say that fast five times over) aka REIPPP.  Say what? Well, the IPP procurement programme has been designed to contribute towards the target of 3725 Megawatts and socio economic and environmentally sustainable growth as well as to stimulate the renewable industry in South Africa.

 

The qualifying technologies in this programme are:

  • onshore wind
  • concentrated solar thermal
  • solar photovoltaic
  • biomass solid
  • biogas
  • landfill gas
  • small hydro

 

According to The Guardian ‘South Africa has been quietly creating one of the world’s most progressive alternative energy plans. Solar, biomass and wind energy systems are popping up all over the country and feeding clean energy into the strained electrical grid’. It seems that South Africa is taking revolutionary leaps forward in implementing clean energy solutions, but it also has the general view that it should be closely monitored.

The REIPP have recently added to their renewable projects currently underway in South Africa.  Some of these include:

 

Wind

  • Construction of the 140MW Roggeveld Wind Farm. The wind farm will be situated on farms surrounding Sutherland, in the Northern Cape. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.
  • Construction of the 117MW Golden Valley Wind Farm located outside Cookhouse, in the Eastern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the Riverbank Wind Energy Facility: Phase 1 entails the construction and operation of a wind energy facility and associated infrastructure. This is also known as the Wesley-Ciskei (33 MW) which forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.

 

Biomass

  • Construction of a 25M biomass-to-power plant, known as Ngodwana Biomass Power Project, located at Sappi’s Ngodwana mill, outside Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.

 

Solar Photovoltaic

  •  Construction of the 40MW Aggeneys Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located outside Aggeneys, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Konkoonsies 2 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Dyason’s Klip 1 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Dyason’s Klip 2 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75 MW Droogfontein 2 solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and all associated infrastructure on the Farm Droogfontein, in Kimberley, Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 82.5MW Pulida solar photovoltaic park. The planned capacity will be 82.5 MWp DC – 75 mw ac and will be located on remainder portion of farm Klipdrift 20, Letsemeng local municipality, Xhariep district municipality, Free State province. This forms part of the REIPPP – Window 3 Projects.
  • Construction of the 75MW Sirus Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility. The facility will be situated approximately 20km southwest of Upington, in the Northern Cape. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

 

Hydro

  • Construction of the 5MW Kruisvallei Hydo located near Bethlehem, in the Free State Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

 

I have heard the expression that ‘it’s never too late’ to start something. In the case of Eskom, I am sure some feel like they may be testing the boundaries of this expression. The point though, is that something is being done. Something quite revolutionary at that! So I for one, want to keep an eye on the array of projects to keep up to date with South Africa’s progressive steps toward creating clean energy for our overworked grid. I also think that it is maybe time that I start figuring out how to be part of doing something idiosyncratic in my nation instead of being part of the problem.  #Justsaying

 

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Get your Golf Swing on

We are counting the hours…

It’s usually hard to stay focused the last week before our Annual Golf Day. There is so much to organise for the actual day to make sure our Subscribers have an absolutely amazing experience. It makes it kind of tough to focus on doing your everyday tasks as well. But we are fortunate in that we have a team that is dedicated to the cause and always seem to pull the proverbial rabbit (or backhoe) out of a hat. Along with the amazing staff at Randpark Golf Club, we are going to make this year extra special because it is the 10th Golf Day held by Leads 2 Business (which in anyone’s books means celebration time). Meaning it’s a sentimental occasion and  those at L2B will add extra ‘oomph’ to make sure that this is a day that our subscribers won’t easily forget.

 

The day commences with our subscribers being greeted with goodie bags by our lovely staff and registering to start their golf day. Then, as they step out they may happen upon the Audi Q5 (that we have sponsored) hoisted into the air with a crane sponsored by Eqstra. This acrobatic feat is in fact the prize for the person who can achieve a Hole in One on the 15th. That is quite something #JustSaying. Our Sponsors have gone out of their way planning their stands on both Tee and Green to keep the subscribers well hydrated (and highly entertained) along the course. You can see from some of the photos of the stands by sponsors in previous years what we mean. This year’s supporters also got additional branding by having their logos displayed as proud sponsors on an insert in Engineering News supplied by Leads 2 Business. To make sure you and your Company get extra brand coverage, we also encourage our subscribers to log onto social media and post pictures of their day. Tag us on Twitter at @L2Bcoza or the hashtag #L2BGolf or find Leads 2 Business on Facebook. Watch out for those selfies 🙂

In the evening, once our intrepid golfers have driven, chipped and putted to their hearts content, there is an amazing dinner and prize giving hosted by Emcee Dave Usendorff who is a fellow PGA Professional, Operations Director at The Els Club Copperleaf, Supersport Presenter and absolute golf nut!! (his words, not mine). You can check him out on Twitter as well at @DaveUsendorff.

 

After the festivities of the day and the evening our valued subscribers head off for the weekend with an armload of goodies and grins on their faces and (hopefully) many good memories. On this note though, over the years we have picked up a few golf tips and thought we would mention them to maybe assist in the smooth running of your game.

 

Tip 1: No matter how bad your last shot was, the worst is yet to come. This law does not expire on the 18th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer and, eventually, a lifetime.

Tip 2: Your best round of golf will be followed almost immediately by your worst round ever. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.

Tip 3: Brand new golf balls are water-magnetic. Though this cannot be proven in the lab, it is a known fact that the more expensive the golf ball, the greater its attraction to water.

Tip 4: Golf balls never bounce off trees back into play. If one does, the tree is breaking a law of the universe and should be cut down.

Tip 5: No matter what causes a golfer to muff a shot, all his playing partners must solemnly chant, “You looked up,” or invoke the wrath of the universe.

Tip 6: The higher a golfer’s handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor.

Tip 7: Every par-three hole in the world has a secret desire to humiliate golfers. The shorter the hole, the greater its desire.

Tip 8: Topping a 3-iron is the most painful torture known to man.

Tip 9: Kikuyu grass eats golf balls.

Tip 10: Sand is alive. If it isn’t, how do you explain the way it works against you?

 

 See you on the course.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.tensionnot.com/jokes/golf_jokes/golf_tips_beginners

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

The Game of Risk

The Game of Risk

 

It is said that you cannot escape two things in life. Death and taxes. But there is one other factor that people do not perhaps think of. Risk. It is inherent to living. To climb into a vehicle and drive anywhere has the potential of an accident taking place. To not exercise and expect your health to be tip top in the long term is a risky affair. To climb on a skateboard and head down a hill of steep gradient increases the risk of doing physical damage to yourself (although some may argue that psychological damage may have already occurred if you are partaking in such activities).

As it is in our daily living, so it is in business. Just to start a business comes with some pretty big risk. According to Bloomberg 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within the first 18 months. That’s some pretty risky business. Calculated risk is defined as “a chance of failure, the probability of which is estimated before some action is taken”.  From this statistic we can see that calculated risk is not necessarily a science. But with the percentage of businesses that do succeed and thrive, it is clear that the risk can be worth the reward. As Louis Pasteur said “Chance favours the prepared mind”.  With that in mind, what kind of business risks can you potentially face?

 

According to Wikipedia, Business risk can be classified in the following groups :

  • Strategic risk: the risk associated with the operations in the particular industry arising from the Business Environment, Transactions and Investor relations.
  • Financial risk: The risk associated with the financial structure and transactions of the particular industry.
  • Operational risk: risk associated with the operational and administrative procedures in a particular industry.
  • Compliance (Legal) risk: The risk associated with the need to comply to rules and regulations of the government.
  • Other risks : There would be risks like natural disaster and others that depend upon the nature and scale of the industry.

 

So why would anyone in their right mind want to take this kind of risk? I guess for the same reason you would want to ride downhill on a skateboard. You love it and it drives you (excuse the pun). In my (limited) experience it seems that when successful people are questioned about their success there are some factors that are mentioned frequently.

  1. Have good people close to you who will be honest and keep you grounded
  2. Have the right tools to work with
  3. Be patient
  4. Be persistent

 

Benjamin Franklin once said “Energy and persistence conquer all things”. I think there is something in that. Like a friend mentioned “You only see an opportunity if you look up”.  Yes, risk is inherent. Yes, the chance you may fail is present. But then – look up – so is the chance that you may be a wild success if you are willing to take a calculated risk.

Now wouldn’t that be a rush. So, I am off to hop on a skateboard ….  What are you going to be doing?

 

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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

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