White Water Business Environment

By David Malherbe   –   Published in Drakenstein Gazette – Friday 14 June 2013

Annually we see news coverage on TV of the boat race between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge on the river Thames in Britain.  Next year’s race will be the 160th.  This is a race for long boats with eight paddlers and a navigator each, racing on flat water over a distance of 6,8km.

On the other hand we have white water paddling and white water rafting where you almost risk your life going down the rapids in the river.

Our present day business environment is often described as permanent white water.  Therefore to manage your business in an Oxford to Cambridge way, while you are competing on white water will not make your business succeed.

We live in times of incredible change where most of our securities of the past no longer exist.  Years ago the value of the rand and interest rates were secure.  Nowadays the value of the Rand changes daily and the fuel price monthly, while the Reserve Bank Committee regularly decides on the interest rate.  Amidst all of this and much other insecurity we need to carry on and even grow our businesses.

But there are always things that never change.  Whether you are doing the Oxford to Cambridge or white water paddling, you still need to paddle, you are still in a boat on water, you still need to practice and be very fit, etc.

Business owners nowadays face challenges our forefathers never even dreamt of, yet we still need to manage our businesses and staff well.  We still need to do marketing and have good administration and financial systems in place.

These basic aspects of business should be like a changeless core in your business.  If these are well established, it is easier to adapt a business to the present whitewater environment.

The next couple of weeks we will take a look at some of these basic elements that need to be in place in every business.  We cannot calm the waters, but we can modify the boat and better our skills and fitness and thus keep our businesses afloat and win the race.

David Malherbe and Dewald Scholtz will discuss this topic in more detail Monday evening from 19:00 till 20:00 on Radio KC 107.7 FM in the program “You the Entrepreneur”

(David Malherbe is a business- and career consultant and lives in Wellington.  He can be contacted via his web page www.jedidiah.org.za or at T/F 021-873 0262.)

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