Reasons to break up with your business partner

 

There comes a time in every relationship when you have to make the decision to try and work issues out or break things off with your partner. If the spark has fizzled, every conversation turns into a fight and spending time with them isn’t fun anymore, it may be time to reconsider your relationship. The same goes for your relationship with your business partner.

When you first started out, you may have spent endless hours bouncing ideas off each other, but now it’s hard to spend even two seconds in the same room with them. The relationship may have reached a point of no return and you want to quit because you and your partner are no longer on the same page.

Here are some common reasons people break up with their business partners.

Vision

Two people cannot work together unless they agree on a vision. You and your partner should want to head in the same direction. In the beginning, both of you may have had the same goals on where to take the business, but people change over the course of time. And your partner may want to take another route in terms of the business. If you and your partner have different views on how to run the business and the strategic direction of the company, it may be time to call it quits.  

No respect

If discussions with your partner end up in screaming matches more often than not, it might be time to evaluate your partnership.

When you’re in disagreement with your partner, you shouldn’t raise your voice. Even though you and your partner may not see eye to eye on certain issues, there should always be a level of mutual respect.

Judge, jury and executioner

Sometimes things can get out of hand to the point where you and your business partner end up taking each other to court. It’s better to try to settle outside of court, than spend large sums of money on lawyer fees. Going to court will be time consuming, financially draining and stressful.   

Work harder

They say two is always better than one because they can share in the failures and challenges of the business and come up with solutions together. If one falls down, the other can pick the other one up. But sometimes this isn’t the case. In some partnerships, you only get one partner doing all the work.

If you wear multiple hats in your business, while your partner wears none, it could create friction. In order to have a successful relationship, each person has to contribute. If you’re the only one working and you put in more effort than your partner or you contribute more skills, it may lead to conflict and you may feel taken advantage of. For example, if you put in 65 hours a week while your partner only puts in 30 hours, it could breed resentment.

You could have a talk with your partner to explain how their lack of work ethic is affecting the partnership and tell them that if they don’t pull up their socks, you may quit. Because the whole point of a partnership is to help each other carry the load and make things easier for the both of you.

Trust

Just like in any other relationship, trust is important. If you no longer trust your business partner, it may cause friction. For example, the trust could have been broken because they promised they’d do something but always came up with excuses about why they couldn’t. Your word is your bond and If you can’t depend on your business partner, it could lead to frustration.

Stress

People deal with stress differently. Some people use stress to motivate them to work harder and others crack under pressure. Starting a business can be stressful because there are many ups and downs, and you may feel like you’re on a roller-coaster. If your partner becomes negative and despondent about the business, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship. Attitudes are contagious and if your partner is always stressed out, it may affect your spirit and end up weighing the business down.

Inflated ego

If your partner thinks they’re all that and a bag of chips, you could have a hard time building a long-lasting relationship. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. And if they always have to get their way and can’t compromise, your relationship could be headed for trouble.

Irresponsible

If your partner is irresponsible, this could be detrimental to the business. For example, if they use the company’s money for personal use, you may end up in debt. You could end up seeking means to get corporate finance to fund your business and pay off business debts to keep your company afloat.  

It’s normal to have differences of opinion with your partner and to view the world differently. In fact, your strengths can help cancel out your partner’s weaknesses. But if your partnership is a constant battle, it may be time to throw in the towel.

 

Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs

You may dream of being the next Bill Gates and have a desire to build a thriving, successful business. You’ve visualised your corner office, a fat bank balance, and coming to work at noon. And all that’s left for you to move from being a “wantrepreneur to an “entrepreneur” is making a few bold moves and taking action.

So, to help you out, here are key ways to help you start your business.

Make the move

If you don’t build your dreams someone will end up hiring you to build theirs. Nike’s famous slogan – “Just do it” – may have been based on a murderer’s last words but it should be applied to every wantrepreneur who dreams of making it big but is too scared to take the leap of faith. Life’s a gamble and you’ll never get anywhere or start anything if you don’t take the chance.

Vision and mission

Your business needs to have a vision and mission so you know where you are going as a business. When you’re driving to an unknown destination, you need to enter coordinates in your GPS in order for it to guide you. The same goes for your business. You need to write down your vision so you always have something to refer to and to show you that you’re on the right path.

Reputation

It takes years to build a good reputation and one second to destroy it. Which is why you should make sure you provide quality products and services so your business can have a good reputation. If you provide a product or service which meets customers expectations every time, you’ll be able to gain customer loyalty and your customers might recommend your brand to other people.

When you make a promise to a customer, follow through on it. Otherwise you may lose a customer. And if they rant about your brand on social media, it could damage your reputation. Word of mouth can build or destroy a business. Many people have boycotted products because of a negative reputation, which causes the business to fail and never recovers because of one mistake.

Perseverance

When you read many entrepreneurs stories, it seems like they were an overnight success. But that’s never the case. Blood, sweat and tears usually go into building a successful brand. Entrepreneurs should know the climb to success is filled with obstacles and challenges and the key to succeeding is perseverance.

Target market

Who is your target audience? You need to define who you’ll be targeting your product or service to. For example, if you’re selling pantyhose and your market is women, you need to find out what they like and where they buy it? What do your customers value and what do they desire in a product? Finding out about your target market is important because you’ll be able to create a product which caters to your customer’s needs.

It’s important to find out whether your target market will actually buy your product. Just because you want to sell a product and you think it’s a great idea, that doesn’t mean there’s actually a need. Many companies fail because they don’t do enough market research. It’s important to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and see things from their perspective.

SWOT analysis

You need to do a SWOT analysis on your business in order to be successful. What are your strengths and weaknesses, and what opportunities and threats are you faced with? It‘s important to assess your business and find out aspects which will make you thrive as a business. What can you do better than anyone else? What separates you from the rest and what are the things you can improve on? If you don’t do research, your competitors might.

Word of mouth

You need to make sure the word gets out about your product. If only a few people know about your business, you won’t make a profit. Technology has made it easier for companies to make their brands known. You can use social media to get people talking about your product. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great tools to create hype and buzz around your product.

Cut down on costs

When you’re starting your business, you might have a tight budget. So, you need to find ways to cut down on costs. For example leasing a car for business use or buying secondhand equipment could help you keep more money in your pockets. It’s imperative that as a business you save money and eliminate any unnecessary expenditures.

A running your own business isn’t an easy feat and it will take a lot of determination and persistence in order for you to succeed. Understanding your business and market is central to building a successful business.

 

What are the most common types of mining equipment?

Despite a slowdown in some sectors in the mining industry, there are still plenty of well paid jobs on offer. You don’t necessarily have to be an engineer to work in the mining industry, there are opportunities for tradesmen such as electricians, mechanics, miners, machine operators, boilermakers and the list goes on.

If you don’t know how the industry operates, it can turn out to be a dangerous environment in which to work. It’s important to have regular training and an understanding of the machines you’re working with. And the way you operate the machines also plays an important role in all aspects of the industry.

There are different types of mining equipment and each one comes with its own set of mining activities. The most common equipment vary, depending on whether the work is being carried out above or below the ground. Or whether you’re mining for gold, metal and sand. From crushing and grinding equipment, this industry comes with all the right tools.

Are you new to the industry and want to find out what it all means? Here are a few of the most common types of equipment used in the mining industry.

Mining drills

This is one of the most common pieces of mining equipment as it’s an important part of the underground mining operation. Underground mining takes place when rocks or minerals are located at a fair distance beneath the ground. They will have to be brought to the surface. Underground specialised mining equipment such as trucks and diggers are used to dig the material. And it’s usually pulled to the surface with skips or lifts for further processing. Drilling is usually required to place explosive charges to release the minerals from the overburden material. Underground mining operations have progressed over the years and they now make use of remote-controlled machinery.

If miners are required to work underground, drills are also likely to be used to ensure the holes are large enough to serve as a portal for miners to enter.

Blasting tools

Blasting tools are an important part of the mining industry and are used to break down and fracture materials. They’re also used to remove pockets of the unwanted material found with the actual mineral of interest. This tool is used for both underground and open pit mining operations. It’s known to be one of the most dangerous aspects of the job. Good blast designs are essential for mining operations to be successful. Poor practices and excessive explosives could result in damage to rock structures and that can cause unwanted caving.

Earth movers

If you’re mining above the ground, earth movers are utilised to carry loose soil on the ground from one place to another. Earth movers play an important role in the mining industry because the equipment is designed to work on big mining projects for a faster and more practical process. It’s usually used for digging, pushing and transporting the earth. You must have a specific skill set to work with an earth mover if you’re an operator.

Earth movers are heavy mining equipment that the industry would struggle to survive without. And they usually work hand-in-hand with bulldozers. It’s usually used for removing overburden of waste material, which enables the excavators to remove the material of interest. The bulldozers, on the other hand, are used to move this overburden material around to create a working surface for other equipment.

Crushing equipment

This equipment is used to crush rock and stone. It’s designed to achieve maximum productivity and a high reduction rate. Mining crushing equipment comes in a variety of different types for a range of jobs.

This equipment is specially configured to break down hard rocks or gravel to a manageable size for transportation or conveying. It’s a valuable piece of equipment in the industry because it reduces the cost associated with the handling of larger sized material. It also ensures efficient liberation of elements in downstream processing materials. In the case of a strip mining operation, the run of mine material is usually transported to the primary crusher. And in underground mining operations it’s conveyed to the primary crusher. This equipment is important to the mining industry because it reduces the use of precious excavated resources and eliminates the amount of material on the site.

These are just some of the equipment needed in the industry. And it’s important to know how acquire finance for this mining equipment. All these common mining tools are important to the industry and will help to get the job done efficiently and cost effectively.

Is your security system infrastructure in place?

security-265130_960_720Security is not always the first thing new business owners think about. In fact, it’s often the last thing they think of but it’s good plan to have in place from the beginning. When you create your workspace there is a lot of administration to take care of. You’ll need to begin setting up your phone lines, internet connection, choosing your furnishings and having the workspace branded. During this time you should begin considering the various security methods you’d like in place. Of course, these differ depending on where you are based.

 

If you decide to rent an office in a building filled with other companies, the security and internet connection will probably be up and running already. If you decide to find an office that is freestanding then you’ll need to set up these things, and more, yourself. This requires you having many long winded talks with your rental agent or landlord. So if you’re thinking about security but you don’t know where to start then here are the basics you’ll need to consider.

 

CCTV

 

Video surveillance cameras are important. They will protect you against crimes such as theft and vandalism, but they also deter prospecting criminals from even attempting to enter the premises. If you install surveillance cameras then you should invest in a video wall controller and recording system so that you may view activities happening throughout your workspace. It can also help to resolve serious employee conflicts and helps to make employees who are working after hours feel safer.

 

Access control

 

Access control systems should be installed at your entrances and exits. These may be in the form of an access tag system, a fingerprint installation or even a simple turnstile. You need to create safety barriers. Making sure access control systems are situated at entrances, exits and any other sensitive areas in your workspace aso indicates to passersby that your premises is secured.

 

Alarm system

 

Installing an alarm system that is connected to your neighbourhood watch service is an excellent idea. This is one of the best ways to ensure your property is protected from a burglary, a holdup or any other type of unauthorised entry. You can opt for systems that allow you to remotely monitor your premises if necessary. Also when these systems are triggered the neighbourhood watch is immediately notified, which means someone will address the problem within minutes of it occurring.  

 

Fire and safety

 

Being equipped to handle a fire and to save your employees in the event of an accident is extremely important. You need fire alarms installed throughout your workspace to detect smoke the minute it occurs. Smoke inhalation can be fatal and as dangerous as suffering a burn. You must have the alarms monitored by an inspection service. If you happen to store hazardous materials on site then you should consider a hazmat kit that will help you clean up oil, flammables and other dangerous substances.

 

There are many different types of security systems on the market. You need to do your research to find out what’s most suitable to your business. Also, consider your insurance and what they require in terms of security systems – they won’t cover you in the event of a disaster or criminal activity if you don’t have the correct cover in place.

 

Tips on improving your business

Why do some businesses fail and others do exceptionally well? Some would blame it on sheer luck and others would blame it on perseverance. The truth is there are many ingredients needed to build a successful company and you need to analyse all sections of your business to see where you fall short and what you can do to improve it. A business isn’t built in a day. It takes effort, hard work, and trial and error to get a business going.

Here are key ways to improve your business.

Help your customers

Author Alan Weiss was quoted as saying, “Ask your customers to be part of the solution and don’t view them as part of the problem.” Listening to your customers is important in building a successful, thriving business. And you can do this by providing your customers with excellent service.

Your business should offer quality service that differentiates it from competitors. The aim should be to offer what customers want and what would benefit them. Don’t just focus on what you want to sell. One way to provide the best service is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to understand things from their perspective.

A key way to find out what your customers need is to create questionnaires to get direct feedback from the customer about the problems they’ve encountered with your product. The questions you ask shouldn’t be complicated. They should be simple questions that could range from, “How easy was it to buy from us?” to “How happy are you with the purchase?”

The questionnaire shouldn’t be long and hard to figure out. Otherwise, the customer won’t fill it out and will feel that it takes too much effort and time.The main objective is to make sure customer expectations are met.

Goals

Setting goals for your business is important because if you don’t set them, your business is likely to fail. Having clear, well-defined goals will make your business grow and improve teamwork at the same time. The goals should be SMART( specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely). Smart goals are associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives.

Specific – you should be able to clearly define what goals you want to achieve for your business.

Measurable– you should be able to clearly measure the progress of your goal at the end of a specific period.

Attainable – you should ensure the goals are realistic and attainable. If the goals are impractical, you’ll never be able to achieve them and you’ll waste a lot of money.

Relevant – if the objective isn’t relevant to your customer, it’ll be a failure.

Timely – set a realistic deadline you’ll be able to meet. If the goal is to get new clients for your company, make sure you set a deadline that’ll be attainable.

Know your competition

Social media is a perfect platform to find customer complaints about  products or services offered by your competitor. Customers usually use social media as a place to vent their frustrations. Studying the competition will help you find out who their customers are and you can focus on a whole new demographic.

Find ways to keep costs low

Find ways to cut down on costs. You can buy secondhand equipment, such as smartphones, machinery and office furniture, to keep your expenses low.

You can also lease out equipment instead of buying it. Nowadays anything can be leased. You can lease your company vehicles or computers. This’ll save on costs and you’ll also have the latest model. When you lease assets, you’ll save substantially because your monthly payments will be lower. Sometimes maintenance is included in the lease agreement and this could help you save on future costs. For example, if you own a mining company, you could find it hard to finance machinery because it’s expensive. You could lease your mining equipment to save on costs.

Advertising

Advertising can cost a business a fortune. But technology has made life easier for companies because now they can use social media to advertise their products and be able to reach a huge market in the process.

Clarence Francis once said, “You can buy a person’s time, you can buy their physical presence at a given place, you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you cannot buy enthusiasm, you cannot buy loyalty… you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds or souls. You must earn these.”

And you can earn the loyalty of your customers by providing exceptional service and differentiating yourself from your competitors.