Sales and Success expert Jeffrey Gitomer says “becoming well known at least among your prospects and connections is the most valuable element in the connection process.” The golden rule of business is that people do business with people they know, like and connect to. All of these business idioms are well known but the question is how committed are you to building a business network?
MoneyMind unravels the underrated power of connecting with other like-minded people for easier access, influence and opportunity for business expansion. Creating a network is a deliberate and conscious decision and it cannot be left to the gamble of fortune.
Many times the importance of networking is given lip service but many entrepreneurs tend not to actively pursue networking as a fundamental aspect of their businesses. The need to find peers pursuing the same goals is greater in today’s business environment than ever before in history. Business inter-dependence is common even past sworn rivals can sit at the table together because they realize they can achieve more by working together. That is why to today you can find a Blackberry Messenger (BBM) on Samsung Android system.
The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is to think they can make it on their own. However one of the greatest lessons in entrepreneurship is to create a vast network of people that can add value to your life. It is from this vast network that you end up meeting people you admire who can mentor and guide you.
As the common saying goes “show me your friends then I will tell you who you are,” it similarly applies that show me your network I will tell you how successful your business is.
Spending time with people in your business network is the most important marketing and public relation exercise you can ever carry out as an entrepreneur. You will be able to copy habits, ideas and the ethos of successful men and women in various disciplines.
You will learn from the best in the industry that you are in, find friends and mentors that will guide you and that you can trust. Time is expensive and must be spent in pursuit of one’s desired goals. As you hang around the network you unconsciously start behaving like them, and they accept you as one of their own.
Five reasons why you need a network
Leadership Entrepreneurs need to be good leaders. Leadership is nothing more than your ability to influence. By being part of a group that is rich in practical ideas and testament to business success, you see leadership in action. Even in your network there will be leaders and you will be able to learn how to lead in a group of highly sophisticated people either by observing or slowly ascending the leadership rudder. Because leaders are visionary you will be able to discover your own place and determine the vision of your own company. Work on becoming part of network and not only that you must become an important player in that network.
Learning Recently I posted in the MoneyMind Facebook page that when you wake up every day you must be richer than yesterday. A lot of the followers on the page were thinking rich in terms of money. When I posted I left it ambivalent but deep down I wasn’t talking about money. The greatest asset to an entrepreneur is knowledge when you wake up in the morning you must know something that you did not know yesterday. There is no greater learning than practical knowledge sourced from a group of knowledgeable peers. When you hang around your network you learn something new everyday.
Leaning When times are tough you need people to lean on. Business is cyclical and can undergo tumultuous times but it is even crazier when you do points of reference because every business goes through tough time. Some entrepreneurs within your network surely have undergone the same trouble and have negotiated through. When you have a vast network you have friends and peers that you can lean on when the going gets tough.
Leverage Multi-millionaire and author of the famous book Rich dad poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki found a perfect way to market his book by leveraging on Amway Marketing network. By making the book inherently a requisite for the network Kiyosaki quadrupled the sales of the book by marketing the book to a network that already heralded the concept espoused by the book. As the Amway network marketing grows so will the sales of Rich dad poor Dad.
Longevity Businesses whose owners are in networks are likely to survive. Common sense dictates that because they have an ample opportunity to a friendly networking market, they keep on getting referrals and reselling opportunities hence essential repeat income. Business supported by networks often survives economic challenges because they are cushioned by the power of the network.
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This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.
The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.
Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.
He was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday delivering Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.
Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.
The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.
The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.
The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.
This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.
Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.
Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.
However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.
Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.
When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.
This as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.
Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.
The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.
Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.
In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.
Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.
Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.
Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.
Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”
He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”