Business Blog: The dawning of the age of conservatism

Conservatism, as a concept in business, has long been the Cinderella of an entrepreneurial strategy. Growth, risk-taking, marketing, innovation, all stand in line before it. Yet if there is one lesson to take from the recent global slow-down, it is that businesses need to grow and take on risks in a disciplined way if they are to survive.

Conservatism is defined as "the disposition to preserve what is established." In the business context, this means protecting the value that has been created in a business and ensuring, first and foremost, that a business is positioned to survive tough times. It is no use having a spectacular year, only to go out of business in a subsequent year. Incidentally, operating in this way also ensures that when great opportunities to grow the business come along, it is ready and able to take them on.

Realise the risk
Manage what you can when you can

Bekker says that a risk analysis will help a business to get a better picture of where it might be going forward, helping the entrepreneur ensure long-term sustainability. Bekker says that a risk analysis will help a business to get a better picture of where it might be going forward, helping the entrepreneur ensure long-term sustainability.
Business is all about risk.

By risking money in a venture, entrepreneurs are able to make money.

Sustainable businesses however, stem from entrepreneurs managing the risks that come along successfully, to ensure that their ventured moneys yield returns.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of risk in business controllable and uncontrollable.

Both types of risks can be mitigated to greater or lesser extent but this means taking control of a situation.

On the 28th October South Africa South Africa will be celebrating the first Entrepreneur of the Year® conference and Gala dinner that actually offers real meaning to the SME sector. The events are to be hosted at the Southern Sun Grayston Hotel in Johannesburg and with the conference focusing on whether SME's are taking and deserving their rightful place in the South African Economy and the World.

EOY entrant: Ferocious growth
From home office to market leader

Robert Sussman joint CEO of Integr8 Robert Sussman joint CEO of Integr8
Broadly speaking, the idea behind an SME goes something like this: a young entrepreneur sees a gap in the market.

He or she invests everything they have into this idea and customers jump at it.

Over time, they start employing people.

Soon, the business has 50 employees and then 100. Many years later, it is a large corporate with offices all over the show.

The entrepreneur, now grey and wise, sells the business for a bundle and buys a tropical island. Robert Sussman's life has followed this path to some extent. But, says the joint CEO of the Integr8 Group, the story will end somewhat differently.

EOY entrant: Dr Greenthumb
EOY entrant takes on the big world of small business

Garreth Adams, owner of Organic Culture Landscaping Garreth Adams, owner of Organic Culture Landscaping
A few years ago Garreth Adams decided it was "time to grow up".

The former flight attendant says that while it was fun flying around the world, there are only so many ways one can ask a customer if they want beef or chicken for their meal.

Today, he still asks customers what they want but the choices on offer are vast as he has the South African botanical selection to choose from.

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