Best Security Tips Ever

Security, Safety and Protection are things that we will always struggle with, no matter who you are, regardless of the kind of house you live in, or where you live – security will always be a concern.

Security Threats can find you anywhere, at any time and everyone is vulnerable. We blindly look to technology, believing its efficient and all we need to protect us, but as much as that is true, the equivalent [if not more] works in favour of the same threats we need protection from.
Crime evolves with technology. It equips criminals with better, more efficient tools and creative ways to carry out their crimes. No surprise there!

We no longer have the luxury of concerning ourselves with just home and body safety – there is a big dark cyber world out there, and their attacks are more severe and lasting than any home burglary. And with today’s social media obsession, who’s really to blame? We put ourselves out there, documenting every detail of our lives for anyone and everyone to see, risking personal information/details that you think is safe, but easily accessible to those who know where and what to look for!

Fact: South Africans spend an average of 8 hours online per day, a third of which is on social media.

Point: Protecting yourself online is important, more than you might think.

One of the many threats out there is Identity Theft.

It is real and serious and it’s an ever growing and terrifying danger that you have to protect yourself from.

It is easy to laugh off and think, this will never happen to me, but just one wrong click on the internet, or 1 fake telesales call where you are distracted and divulge some personal info you should not have and WHAM – that comfortable ‘I would never be so stupid’ rug is swept from under your feet and before you even comprehend what just happened, it’s gone… its all gone – your life, your money, your credit, your Identity!

Ever lose your wallet, or had it stolen? I have.
It’s a massive pain and so inconvenient and time-consuming, having to run around and cancel cards, get new cards, replace your ID or Drivers license [which means hours at home affairs] and of course, let’s not forget – buying a new wallet!.

Now, think what its like when your whole life is stolen, your identity – which is all you have that is actually yours, something that no one is supposed to ever be able to take from you – but they do, they have, and they will continue to do so – and anyone can be next.

Losing a wallet or having it stolen is unpleasant, disruptive and inconvenient.
Having your personal info/identity stolen/hacked is, without measure, WAY worse

So today I am sharing 5 Basic security tips [thats not as basic as it sounds because so many don’t think of it] to protect you from Identity theft:

1. Keep your Tax Info, Bank Statements, and financial docs in a secure place.

2. NEVER EVER give anyone your ID number or any other personal information unless you initiated the contact or you are sure that you know who you are dealing with

3. Your cellphone is not safe! NEVER EVER save sensitive information such as ID Numbers, Bank Login Details or PINS etc on your mobile.
Fingerprint and password-protected phones are never full proof – there’s always a way around it to unlock the phone.
If your phone is stolen with sensitive information stored on it, you have literally handed your identity to criminals all wrapped up with a pretty bow on top – to do with as they see [pro]fit!

4. Tighten up on your social networking security settings. It is known that Criminals can make use of the information obtained on social media platforms,
And do not ever respond to emails that provide you with a website link which requires you to either log in with a password, or update personal information

5. Protect your computer/phone/laptop from hackers by keeping your software up to date, install security apps and keep them up to date to help keep your devices more resilient against automated hacking tools.
Create complex Passwords on everything, and change them regularly. And do not save said passwords anywhere on any of your devices either!

It can never be emphasized enough: Always Protect your Personal and Financial Information.

 

Sources:
Businesstech
SARS
Kaspersky
CreativeBloq
Locklatch
TomsGuide


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About Jackie Van Zyl

My epic journey at Leads 2 Business started September 2008, as a Researcher / Data Capturer in the Tenders Africa Department. I joined Customer Relations in 2011, where I have had the great pleasure of being part of the Dynamic L2B Admin Department [From 2011 to present]. I deal with the Registration and Administration details of New Account Activations, and Existing Account Upgrades, etc. I also assist with client & staff queries. I’m a ‘think-out-of-the-box’ individual and an excellent problem solver. I am hardworking, meticulous, efficient, friendly and always happy to help! I look forward in assisting you with any queries you might have

How does Load shedding impact your Business?

How does Load shedding impact your Business?

69-Blog-Header-How-does-load-shedding-impact-your-business

 

Load shedding impact your Business?

 

Load shedding, a word we have come to know all too well in SA. So familiar in fact that we have a regular Power Alert Advert that runs daily from 5pm. Load shedding is even used in advertising from the Santam “One-of-a-kind” ad to the SPAR “Better Together” ad which try to highlight the ‘positives’ of Load shedding.

In many ways we have learned to live with the fact that Load shedding is a part of our daily lives even if we haven’t had any recently. You may be celebrating this relief but Load shedding is far from over. Eskom has said it is still monitoring the situation and will implement Load shedding if necessary. Our power grid is fragile and constantly at risk and this will only be alleviated once all pre-existing plants have undergone comprehensive maintenance and new plants have been completed. The future of our energy supply is uncertain and alternative energy although necessary is not an option for immediate relief.

It’s one thing living with Load shedding on a personal level when we can light candles, turn on the gas and order takeout but for a business Load shedding can have serious impacts especially for smaller businesses.

Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprise at Standard Bank, said: “While big companies have the infrastructure, client bases and capital to cope, many small businesses, which have the potential to be active players in the South African economy, do not have the financial muscle and resources to overcome these challenges.”

According to Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, the impact of even short periods without power was greater on SMEs than it would be on larger companies that likely have generators and other fall-back options and due to this there has been a dramatic shift in what SMEs consider to be the biggest external threats to their businesses.

“With power failures cited by 71% of respondents, the issue rates at almost exactly double the importance of crime, which came in a distant second, at 36%. This category is obviously driven to a large extent by those concerns that are highest in the public mind – SMEs have in the past attributed their sleepless nights to crime, the high cost of fuel, or even interest rates. These results came even when power failures were featured in the survey during the first load shedding several years ago, but load shedding still came well below crime at the time,” he says.

Productivity is vital for any business and Load shedding hits productivity hard which impacts profit. Load shedding is estimated to cost our economy between 8 to 10 billion rand a month understandably as Eskom currently provides 95% of our power.

 

Here are the Top Impacts Load shedding has on Business:

Loss of Production

Stock spoiling

Damage to electronics & machinery

Theft and burglary

Lighting

Battery life

Loss of Profit

 

On the positive side there are ways to minimise the impact of Load shedding:

Keep up to date on the Load shedding schedules

Solar Power/Alternative energy solutions

Generators/Gas

Surge protection

Back up your data

Back-up batteries/UPS

 

The fact is, there is no way to avoid Load shedding but by thinking smart, creatively and calmly could give your business the power to minimise the impact of Load shedding.

 

How does Load shedding impact your Business? Do you have tips to share? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources/Further Reading:

http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Poor-load-shedding-plans-affect-businesses-20150128

https://www.enca.com/money/load-shedding-biggest-threat-small-businesses-survey

http://www.rdm.co.za/business/2015/02/11/how-load-shedding-hurts-the-economy

http://www.poweralert.co.za/poweralert5/how-does-it-work.php

https://www.santam.co.za/blog/santam-news/our-latest-tv-ad-one-of-a-kind-insurance-for-a-one-of-a-kind-country

http://www.gadget.co.za/sme-survey-shedding/

http://paycorp.co.za/is-load-shedding-killing-your-business-2/

http://www.nolands.co.za/index.php/auditing-news-and-information/business-news/item/341-load-shedding-your-business

http://adslive.com/why-load-shedding-is-bad-for-business/

http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/2015/07/30/what-basic-things-can-you-do-to-limit-load-sheddings-effects-on-your-business

 

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About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.

Financial Business Tips

Financial Business Tips

I must confess I don’t have much life experience with regards to the topic of ‘Financial Tips for Business’, considering this I decided to take some advice from those more qualified and have relied heavily on my research skills.There were many tips I came across while scouring various news articles, business columns and financial websites, too many in fact to mention in one blog.

So I decided to list those that seemed most prevalent in my research.

  • Goals: Financial goals inform what to strive for, focus on and what expectations are. Goals enable everyone to work collaboratively to achieve success, which allows companies to realize more financial achievements. It is important to keep financial goals measurable and realistic. Timeframes, values and targets are measurable components to include.
  • Budget: A budget helps keep track of cash flows, increase reserves, minimizes unnecessary spending, gives you a clear plan for all income and expenses and should be updated regularly.
  • Cash Flow: A cash flow analysis is an integral part of operating a successful business; it enables a business owner to understand gains, losses and identify financial concerns as they arise in order to resolve them early.
  • Debtors: Implement procedures to avoid late payments by Debtors. Make your credit terms and conditions obvious from the start. Issue invoices promptly that are clear and accurate. An automated credit management system will help to keep track of debtors’ accounts.
  • Creditors: It’s important that you meet your obligations; failing to meet deadlines can incur fines and interest. These are unnecessary costs that can be avoided with planning.
  • Savings: When times are tough, it is vital to have the comfort of knowing you have savings to rely on. Take the time to grow, strengthen and secure savings.
  • Support: Choose the right finance partner, establish a good relationship with them from the start and if you think your bank isn’t providing you with the best deal on your short-term borrowing, overdraft or investment facility think about alternative arrangements.

To summarize: a prosperous and profitable business needs planning and organisation in all aspects. If however, you like me are not a business owner remember as an individual we can also use many of the financial tips listed above in order to achieve our own financial freedom.

“A good financial plan is a road map that shows us exactly how the choices we make today will affect our future.” Alexa Von Tobel

Further Reading/Sources:
http://www.bbb.org/sdoc/news-events/news-releases/2015/01/financial-tips-for-your-business-in-2015/
http://www.theadviser.com.au/blog/31382-financial-tips-for-a-thriving-business-in-2015
http://www.santabanta.com/sms/quotes/business-and-finance/79/?page=3
https://www.learnvest.com

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About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.

Human Resources & Human Capital Tips

Say what now????

This topic is definitely not something I sit around on the weekend bantering about, so believe me when I say I was not 100% excited to write about it…. well at first anyway, then I gave myself the “Knowledge is Power” pep talk and took to Google for some inspiration!

So Human Resources vs Human Capital….

Human resources is the set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or economy.

Human capital is the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. (not limited to the work place)
So from what I can gather, Human capital is the development of your work force, this in theory gives them a feel good feeling, encouraging performance and in turn grows your company revenue. 😉

This seems like the most logical way to run an organization right?

Well, I remember being in my early 20s and going to my first few interviews and being shot down right after them asking “So what experience do you have?”… “ummmm well I’m 20… so anything more than waiting tables and a killer coinage hand… not much!”

Where exactly would I acquire this experience they were all talking about?

Yes I understand its important to hire employees who can come into your organization and pick up right where possibly the last person left, but…. wouldn’t it be more important to hire some one who WANTS to do that? Eager and ready to learn, grow, develop and improve their skills?
So what I’m getting at is, Attitude has to trump experience! Surely? Right?

Now for obvious reasons, this strategy is only going to work if you follow through and actually grow your newbies.
Hiring someone with zero experience followed by no development is going to break your business!
So where do you start? How do you improve your companies Human Capital?

  • Don’t let employees become complacent or stagnant.
  • Offer and encourage education in terms of in-house courses, training, webinars and literature.
  • Reward – this will inspire your workforce to do more and be more.

Now Human capital goes both ways, it is not solely the employers responsibility.
As an employee, you need to initiate development with in yourself.

  • know the philosophy of the company you work for, this will give you an idea of where your employer is striving to take his company, giving you an advantage over the rest of your colleagues that are only interested in collecting their monthly pay cheque.
  • Don’t limit yourself, further your education where possible, this doesn’t have to be formal if finances don’t permit it, but use the resource the world-wide-web so readily provides us with.
    “Wear more than one hat” meaning don’t be scared to learn every aspect of what your company does.

Ultimately realise that Human Capital is personal, better yourself where ever possible, learn a new language, a new skill, read about a topic you would not usually read about, broaden your vocabulary, start a blog, get involved in a community sport or fund raising activity, get creative!

Learning something new has to be one of the most rewarding feelings and very seldom goes unnoticed not to mention, more often than not this will inspire the next person:)

So here’s my final food for thought.

Something for the employer to think about:
CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people & then they leave us?” CEO: ‘What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
And something for the employee to think about:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss,

And look…. I just wrote about something I started out knowing NOTHING about, and now I think I may possibly have the ability to hold a 2 minute uninterrupted conversation about it…. ahhhh look at me grow!

🙂 😉

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About Sherina Shawe

"You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining." from: Silver Linings Playbook.

Time Management Tips for your Business

Time Management Tips for your Business

 

As Dr. Seuss says:

 

“How did it get so late, so soon?”

 

When I think of time management, I immediately think of the Bar-One chocolate. For a 25-hour day. It always seems as though there are just too few hours in a day. An 8-hour working day is only 480 minutes. This, however, is one issue that chocolate (unfortunately) cannot solve. Effective time management is the answer.

 

Time management is the process of organising and planning how much time you spend on specific activities. Being busy is not the same as being effective and spending copious amounts of time working on different activities throughout the day, often leaves you with little to show for it at the end of the day. Most of us are familiar with the phrase “work smarter, not harder”.

 

Time management is a skill that everyone can learn. Here are ten tips that I believe will assist you in developing the skill further:

1. MAKE NOTES. For me personally, this is one of the most important tasks. Make a note of everything you need to do, instead of trying to remember everything in your head. This will help you to plan your day.
2. ORGANISE YOUR WORKSPACE. A cluttered workspace creates distraction. Only keep what you need on your desk.
3. PRIORITISE TASKS. Divide them up into three groups, from most important, to moderate and least important. Always start with the most important, even if you can only complete a small part of the task.
4. SET TIME LIMITS. Setting time limits is very important for keeping focused on the task at hand, and to avoid procrastination.
5. KNOW YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS. Review your work on a regular basis to ensure that what you are achieving, is in line with your goals and targets.
6. DELEGATE. You can’t delegate everything and anything, however, if there is someone else with the necessary skills and time, they can assist you by taking on the task.
7. USE A CALENDAR. This is a useful tool for managing your daily activities. An online calendar tool, i.e. on your mail client, enables you to access your calendar from wherever you are. Use this calendar to mark out deadlines.
8. TARGET TO BE EARLY. When you plan to meet a target on time, you will either be on time or late. However, if you target to be early, you will most likely be on time.
9. KEEP THE BALANCE. It is important to manage your time so that you can include various aspects of your life into your day, such as work, family, friends and your health.
10. Last, but certainly not least, TAKE A BREAK. If you overwork yourself, you will tire yourself out and become less productive.

 

And so to end, I would like to leave you with the following thought:

 

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler

 

Sources:
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_00.htm
https://ascendtraining.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/competencies-of-great-supervisors-part-13-time-management/
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/top-time-management-tips0.html
https://ascendtraining.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/competencies-of-great-supervisors-part-13-time-management/
http://www.cimaglobal.com/Thought-leadership/Newsletters/Insight-e-magazine/Insight-2012/Insight-October-2012/First-things-first-prioritising-tasks-for-better-time-management/
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/20-quick-tips-for-better-time-management.html

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About Bianca Warwick

I had the privilege of joining the Leads 2 Business content team in January 2012. I work in the exciting Projects department, following the progress of construction developments in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.

When we talk about Risk

When we talk about risk

 

 

When we talk of risk, we often associate this with things such as Car Insurance or some form of insurance.

 

We talk of risk like it is something we can calculate and reduce to Rands per million at a premium per month.

 

I would like to share a few experiences of taking a Risk, which cannot be calculated. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands, and lack a sense of humour.

As a young man, I would often think back to how my parents raised me. I would think carefully of the things they had done completely wrong like clipping me on the back of the head with a flat hand when I made an inappropriate comment, like chirping them for being lazy when they asked for a cup of tea or some help around the house. I recall thinking that in going to school and achieving an above average grade I had done my job, why should I also clean the pool or mow the lawn?

I was a cheeky little brat, I could drop comments and be sarcastic with the best of them. I didn’t like the way my parents raised me when I thought about it. I thought they could have done better!

When I met my wife we were both in agreement, our parents had done a poor job of it. The way they raised us was so risky, it is a surprise we made it to the chapel! We would be SO MUCH BETTER. These are the things we would never do.

  1. Say the following: “I brought you into this world, I’ll take you out of it!” Nor any of those classic lines about taking a look off your face and such like.
  2. Smack a child in public! (Very taboo).
  3. Scold a child when they are tired.
  4. Raise our voice in anger. (Like we would never be angry with our angels??)
  5. Exceed the speed limit!
  6. Start the car before each child has been strapped in or confirmed that his seat belt is clipped in.
  7. Give the children sweets before driving any distance with them, or putting them to bed.
  8. Smacking them across the back of the head – ever.
  9. We would never yell at our child to not be stupid
  10. We would never make them; do something, eat something, or be something they did not want to; do eat or be.
  11. The list goes on.

 

How long do you think it took for me to hear my father’s voice in the garden, telling the two fools to stop bickering with each other? “If you two “chops” are bored, I’ll give you something to do! Don’t look at me like that, I’ll wipe that look right off your face!”

On more than one occasion, I have clipped my son on the back of the head for a comment or chirp he has fired at his mother, without even thinking – almost like it was instinct.

I have since, and on many occasions noted, with much humility and occasionally a little smile on my face, that the apple falls close to the tree. I am not my father, but I am not too different.

So why tell this story, why be vulnerable and share that I am not perfect? Well the truth is that not all risks can be calculated. Not all mistakes are avoidable. We make choices intuitively, and without so much as a thought.

We drive to work, drop off the children, walk across the street, run for exercise and think nothing of the collective risks we take.

 

When life throws us a curve ball. Take a swing at it!

Mountbatten Insurance consultants is an Independent Brokerage. We are parents, we are mothers and fathers who understand that you have not done the calculations, and you have not worked out what risks you are taking. You are quite likely just taking life one day at a time, and doing the very best that you can!

We do however have products that can help limit the impact of things going wrong in many areas of your life. Every product type we offer is there to help.

From Assurance (Life Cover, Disability Cover, Dread Disease), to Investing. From Insurance and all of it’s guises, Contractors all Risk, Guarantee’s, Event Liability to Household and vehicle insurance. We are here and available to help.

If you have read this article, and can identify in any way with what has been written, feel free to send a mail to sizaminakakhulu@gmail.com One lucky respondent will win one thousand rand. I will accept mails until the 30th of July and respond to all on the 1st of August.

If you would like additional information about what we can do to assist you with your daily risks, be it insuring a hole in one, or the risks associated with building a bridge, send an e-mail to brad@mountbatten.co.za We are here to partner with you in every aspect of your business and life.

 

 

 

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Risk Analysis

Risk Analysis

To jump or not to jump? That is the question.

 

I vividly remember when I was younger and my teacher asked me if I could swim the froggie (breast stroke to you and I), I wasn’t sure what that was but I knew two things.

  1. I knew that a frog jumped on all fours and
  2. I knew that swimming involved getting from one side of the pool to the other.

 

That was all the information I needed to come to my conclusion, I thought to myself. “I could do this?”. In a matter of seconds I had decided that I could swim, regardless of whether or not I had actually done this. I had seen a frog leap plenty times, I mean how much more different could it be in water?? In that moment I had made a conclusive decision to sink or swim.

 

One can say,  I think, “That is crazy!” and I probably was. I think I could have won first prize for my bravery but that is what risk taking is all about, uncertainty. Risk taking presents a high level of uncertainty and this scenario is no different. There is always an element of uncertainty when taking risk.  A few scenarios could have played themselves out in this situation but only one did, of course the level of uncertainty is heightened by the lack of knowledge and experience but it does not eliminate the fact that the objective was clear – getting to the other side (staying alive perhaps).

 

You see, the science behind the method of risk taking will take you through the steps of reducing the levels of uncertainty. Transforming a high risk situation to a low risk situation. Intellectuals will teach you different formulas, each advocating for their own method of how to best approach risk management. They will say try the KISS approach, try the Delphi method, do the SWOT analysis, conduct expert interviews or have collaborative workshops but somehow all too often produce the result of focusing on the “weeds” as described by Ovidiu Cretu et al in his book Risk Management for design and construction. This can actually cause what they call “analysis paralysis”. Where one becomes so fixated on the tiny details that it stops one from making progress towards taking risks.

 

Project managers and contractors will know all too well that there will always be an element of uncertainty in any project. The trick is to learn how to reduce it and when the plan doesn’t work out, to find ways of coping. If at some point you can’t avoid it or transfer the risk, Vickey Haney presents a few options of possible responses.

– Work around it

– Contingency plans

– Reserve Funds

– Follow a detailed plan

– “do nothing”

Although the last one seems non-response, it can sometimes be the best response. Taking risks is part of the game, learn it, play it and play it well. With a combination of faith, bravery and action; you too could also learn how to swim. Someone said “a life without risk is a life half lived”.

 

Risk Analysis requires an assessment of the risk, a belief in the risk you are taking, followed by the action of doing what is best for the situation. Sometimes no one can teach you that, you can choose to jump or not to jump. Perhaps we could learn a lesson from my youthful self and take the plunge. You can never fully eliminate risk but you can certainly reduce it so you can achieve the objective.

 

The risk will always be that you could sink, oh but what if you swim?

 

I did. What about you?

 

 

 

References:
Book: Risk Management for Design and Construction, Ovidiu Cretu, Robert B. Stewart, Terry Berends
http://pittsburgh.iiba.org/download/Chapter%20Meeting%20Presentation%2011-01%20%28Risk%20Management%29.pdf

Some quotes on good living,
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/living

 

 

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Calculated Risk

Calculated Risk

Are you a risk taker? Or do you play it safe?

I have always considered myself to be a ‘play it safe’ kind of person. The thought of bungee jumping gives me a surge of panic and I start to feel woozy, all I can think of are the indemnity forms and all those YouTube videos of ‘the bungee jump gone wrong’, so I put my feet firmly on the ground and breathe in and out and think to myself that’s for crazy people and I like the stability of this ground I’m standing on. If you are reading this and are like me you might be thinking, ‘that’s exactly me!’ but there are many things we could learn from the risk takers out there, not to mention the spectacular views we’re probably missing.

Great leaders and entrepreneurs don’t become great by being predictable and playing it safe. There are positives in being consistent and all risks should have a level of consideration but in saying that sometimes it is easy to overanalyze. Anyone can talk themselves out of something and when taking a risk you can’t let yourself be paralyzed by the details. It might never be the perfect time, with perfect circumstances, but at some point you just have to go for it. Take the risk, take the plunge.

In saying that not all risks are meant to be to be jumped at; there are two types of risks in this world – calculated and un-calculated. So what is a Calculated Risk? By definition Calculated Risk is, “A risk associated with a certain course of action which has been given full consideration prior to making the decision to pursue action. This is usually done when the potential gain is greater than any potential damage that might occur.”

For example the insurance industry is designed around calculated risk. Car insurance companies base their rates on how likely you are to file a claim in the future, and they use a number of varying factors to determine that risk such as Driving History, Demographics, Your Credit-Based Insurance Score, Occupation, Location and lastly the type of Vehicle you drive. Taking all of these factors into account and Calculating these Risks they are able to determine the quote which they provide you with.

When it comes to risks you won’t win every time even when they are calculated and avoiding risks will definitely limit your chances of success. It’s impossible to know the future and the outcome of anything unless you have supernatural powers (if only). Before you take risks, always carefully calculate everything. Outweigh the pros and cons. If the pros are extensive, it makes sense to take such a risk, especially if it means the possibility of profit or growth. If you want to take a risk then make sure that the worst outcome is bearable, minimize issues that may arise whenever possible and have a plan B. If risks aren’t for you, try them in small doses. Try a test run before taking a big leap or a hot-air balloon ride before a bungee jump. This will allow you to see the possible outcome before the impact is too monumental.

Remember that sometimes a risk may turn out to be a setback. The challenge is to move forward while actively seeking and managing your calculated risks. There are no guarantees but it pays to learn from the others who have forged paths before you like Harley-Davidson, Apple and Google to name a few, they took risks that paid off big (see further reading).

I’ll leave you with this quote: “Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act.” Maxwell Maltz

Further Reading: 8 Risky Business Investments That Paid Off Big:

http://www.onlinebusinessdegree.org/2012/06/26/8-risky-business-investments-that-paid-off-big/

Sources:

http://www.investorwords.com/19256/calculated_risk.html

http://www.dmv.org/insurance/how-auto-insurance-companies-calculate-risk.php

http://www.forbes.com/sites/martinzwilling/2014/08/27/10-startup-calculated-risks-that-lead-to-success/

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About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.

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.

Barriers to Business

Barriers to Business...

I barely notice loadshedding now. It’s generally two hours over the weekend. We’ve adapted. Food is prepared before, just in case. Every electronic device is fully charged in anticipation. We have books. Never underestimate the rejuvenating powers of a two hour nap. We have a Yorkie. We have outside. I have my camera. I barely notice any more. Consistency allows for adaptation and planning. For the inconsistent times; well, we carry on regardless. People complain about the loss to business and the inconvenience to individuals. True. On both counts. But neither is universal. If I see a business with its doors closed due to loadshedding, I also see businesses with their doors open. Usually, to the gentle hum of a generator. If you are in the generator business, good for you. I doubt you’re complaining about loadshedding, too much. People have taken on hybrid appliances, and gas and solar power. Businesses that supply those products; they can’t be complaining about loadshedding either. Anyone who preaches the evils of reliance on coal, and the saving graces of green technology. No complaining from them. Their point is made. You read articles of entire families having taken themselves off the grid. Individuals who haven’t taken on gas or solar power, tend to frequent those businesses that have. There’s still money being spent and money being made. So where’s the barrier?

 

I remember my first day at Daily Tenders. The power went out. The boss simply loaded us into his car, and drove to his house. Us newbies were trained up in the lounge, while Leighann, perched at the kitchen counter, typed out tenders on a monolithic laptop and whatever passed for the internet 10 years ago. Yes, the power being out was an inconvenience but us allowing that inconvenience to interrupt our responsibilities to our subscribers was our choice. Not a bad lesson learnt on my first day.

 

Barriers to business tend to come in two forms: External and internal. We have little or no control over the external barriers. The unforeseen problems. The disasters. The failures. The disappointments. The deaths. These manifest out of nowhere. Or they could’ve been brewing for awhile (Eskom, I’m looking at you). They are the things that happen, that make situations just a little bit harder. But we have all the control over the internal barriers: Our attitudes and perceptions of the problem. When the power goes out, do you close up shop or find a way to keep hussling? Problems are not to be adopted and taken home and raised like one of your own. So you can haul it out and have everyone coo “Ooo look how big it’s gotten!”. You solve it or you let it go. Barriers, impediments and disappointments are not unique. We all have them. Businesses all have them. Generally, they’re all the same. But like that damn DRESS (you know the one) our individual perception affects how we handle the situation. (That was a fascinating social experiment, if ever I saw one). Everyone looked at the same single dress, and said something different. And reacted differently.

 

A river sees a blockage, as interrupting its flow. But that’s how a dam is made. There are opportunities at every turn, if you choose to see them. Momentary inconveniences can lead to long term benefits. The barriers are not suddenly going to stop or go away. But they will be insurmountable, if we choose to see them as such.

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About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

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