24 Hour Survival Guide for
24 Hour Survival Guide for Small Business
Published by Gavin Tonks at Smashwords
Copyright 2009 Gavin Tonks
ISBN Number: 978-0-620-54661-4
Date: 03/03/2009 revised 25/09/2012
Words approx. 30605
Author: Gavin Tonks
Graphic Design: The Design Trap, http://www.designtrap.co.za
Editor: Monica Van Aswegen, mailto:email@example.com
This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-
sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this e-book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you
are reading this book and did not purchase it for your own use, then you should
purchase your own copy.
Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.
Genesis: And in the Beginning was the Idea
Your Business Case: Developing Your Business Plan from the Business Case
The Strategy Plan: Reaching Your True Business Potential
Ask for Business: Show No Fear or Shyness
Attitude: Adjust Your Attitude – First Aid for Your Business
Opportunity: Cast Your Net Around
Use Your Network: Building Your Business relationships
Do Your Homework: Take a Look at the Playing Field
Weigh Your Options: Taking Long Hard Looks
Minimize Risk: Do Not Take Unnecessary Risks
Simple Solutions: Do Not Buy Marble If all you can afford is Mud
Cutting Costs: Cash is King
Sharing the Burden: Delegating Tasks
Consider Employees’ Input: Creating a Platform
Creditors: Negotiating with Creditors
Debtors: Negotiating with Debtors
Business Acne: The Preventable Business Infection
Business Depression: Trade Your Way Out
Stress: Coping and Staying Focused in Business
Business Self-esteem: Be Confident and Positive
Healthy Business: Toning up and Slimming down
Perseverance: Believe in Your Business
Never give up: Getting up One More Time
Survival: Image is not Important, Survival is
Surviving Today: How to make it into The New Month
About the Author
I dedicate this book to those who have chosen the high road and are taking control of
their Entrepreneurial destiny.
To Tharine, the graphic designer who strives each day towards successful business,
may you inspire many to do just that!
To Monica, whose passion is evident in structuring written words.
The Entrepreneurial road is truly a hard road where you need to develop skills
and attitudes coupled with experience, to tread where angels fear to go.
Unlike those who are blessed with opportunity and an easy road, I have not only seen
the weeds at the edge of the road but I have had detours, which took me into oncoming
Life is a lesson, so learn it. Take what life offers and enjoy every moment that nature
gives. Start every day by getting up and being what you want to be - take no prisoners.
Begin each day with a mantra of “how much successful business, am I going to do
Let us become great entrepreneurial nations with creativity and determination,
embracing integrity and humility as Nelson Mandela has done.
If electricity, interest rates, rising costs, the petrol price and all the other negatives are
driving you to despair in your business, then you need this quick survival guide.
Good advice is timeless and many entrepreneurs fail because they are not equipped to
succeed, it is a sad fact.
Conditions in Business are tough – only the toughest survive!
These attributes and statements have not only given me strength in dark hours, but
have proved to be reliable tools in assisting many small businesses I have mentored
over the past twenty-five years.
The information contained here is relevant to all small business. You will find some
business cycles are tougher than others are and during these cycles the following steps
will help you survive those tough times.
To add to the book’s interest and for in-depth explanations of business terms, tutorials
and concepts, link to Enterprise Support at http://www.enterprisesa.com. Here you will
find additional articles and information including a business plan creator to assist you in
developing an array of tools, which will assist you in your journey to success. Many of
the site assets are free; you are just required to join. There are also many topics to
research in your path to becoming a peak performing business entrepreneur through
the enormous web resources available today.
I hope you will enjoy reading this guide and that you will find it a useful springboard to a
1 - Genesis:
And in the beginning was the idea…
Not every idea has the potential to develop into profitable business.
We all too often confuse the words, “idea” and “business.” An idea is a thought
process, a dream or a concept that is perceived in the conscious part of the brain as
having some commercial worth.
Ideas on their own in the business world typically have no value and even Richard
Branson has publicly thanked all the people who have sent him good ideas.
Ideas are ten a penny and not every idea is reinventing the wheel. McDonalds and
Burger King did not invent a hamburger; they just found ways to make them faster and
to sell more of them quicker than anyone before.
Many people have ideas, some brilliant and others just plain stupid, like the guy who
had a micro trading store and thought that his business would in two years be big
enough to give a large retailer [doing millions of dollars of turnover] a serious run for
their money, after a $50 000.00 financial injection [when one store costs more than a
million dollars to set up].
So what’s your idea? Is it a new cell phone, an application or a website? Every person
dreams of the perfect business that will assail them with wealth, yachts and Lear jets.
Sadly many will not see those dreams come true as we deal with two distinct
The salesman, he can sell anything. He sells the concept or the idea and gets you all
going but there is no delivery. He is so busy selling that he has not considered all the
iffy bits in his mind, like after sales service, delivery and all the other effort that is
required of a successful business. A classic example is the Google phone which was
sold on-line, but when people needed after sales service, they had no-where to go.
Salespeople are a cog in a complex business environment and few salespeople make it
on their own in business, despite the fact that having a sales personality is critical to
being a well-rounded business person.
The entrepreneur however, has a dream, a vision and passion. With his idea in hand
he creates a plan to achieve his goal which is getting his product out there, selling it and
getting the money back into his bank where it will hopefully stay.
Every wave that knocks an entrepreneur down will see the true “die hard” getting up
again, this time with the proper tools in hand. He knows that every obstacle can be
overcome and if he wants it badly enough he will be successful.
The true entrepreneur knows he can achieve his goal with well planned, achievable
steps within the concept of his overall vision. He will eventually stand in the waves and
turn them to his advantage.
Many people with solid ideas, sold their houses, mortgaged everything they had,
and believed with the determination of Job to make their idea a success.
The other half believes their idea is “The One.” They are hoping some rich
philanthroper will say: “I have waited my whole life, for this idea. Here is a huge wad of
money. Now I will spend more and turn this into a huge profit. Because I am nice I will
give you more since you are the generator of this idea and from the kindness of my
heart I will let you earn more money because I have contributed nothing to its success.”
Would you do it? So why do you think someone else would?
A business must always make profit to sustain both you and the company since
the business is created as the vehicle to drive the business that is derived from
A business is an entity that drives commercial transactions and it exists to generate
income. The business has a market, a plan and a method to ensure that people who
like the business will support it with their financial transactions. These transactions
generate turnover, if we are lucky “profit” and if you are seriously fortunate, wealth and
some form of valuable asset.
If you wish to sell, trade or generate income from your idea, it will require planning, a
business case to show viability and a presentation. The presentation highlights
information from the business case and how you think it will perform as a business.
There are fundamental questions that must be asked with any idea:
How many people will buy into the idea?
What is the perceived transaction value and why would people pay for the idea?
How many ideas can be sold a day?
Can you manufacture enough of your ideas a day, to meet this demand?
What will happen when other people see that your idea works?
Can this idea generate sufficient profit to run a business?
Finally, would you buy one of your own ideas and put down hard money for it?
Phase one of the entrepreneurial business journey is to make a list of ideas. From this
list see which of the ideas could make a commercial business feasible. This information
is collected and put together as a business case, which will show if the ideas have legs
as a business.
Evaluate the shortlisted ideas based on the business case information and identify
which idea you would “buy into.” Once you have the one, commit all your resources to
formulate a presentation that proves the feasibility and business case followed by a
The planning here saves millions in money, heartache, stress and wasted resources.
So look again at your list of potential ideas and write a couple of words for each in terms
of what you think will sell.
Spend some time in sales environments like malls, wholesalers and shops that sell
products similar to your ideas and see what people are actually buying. Take specific
shops and see how long the stock sits on the shelf before it moves. These steps are
critical to the success of any business.
Enterprisesa did a market research project on entrepreneurs who failed in business
and the surprising fact was that many did not fail because of lack of money or resources
- they failed because they did not know what they were doing.
If your business plan can prove commercial success - consider the journey just
2 - Your Business Case:
Developing your business plan from the Business Case
I had a new client, who wanted to develop a business plan and his first question
was “Will you write it for me?” and my immediate answer is “No!”
His crestfallen look deserved answers…
The idea and concept behind a plan to acquire financial support is simple. If I had a pot
of money and wanted to make some more by investing in someone else’s business,
what questions and answers would I expect in order to back this person and their
So imagine if someone was asking you for money, be realistic and put those questions
down and then answer them. With you being the investor and wanting security for your
hard earned money, it is not as simple as being told, “Just give me the money; I will
perform as and when I feel like it”. The same reasoning is required when asking a
company or person to place their confidence in you when investing their orders in your
How often do you buy something and say, “Would I buy this if it was one of my ideas?”
Probably never but if you will not buy the product you wish to sell to others, then how do
you expect to sell to them if you have no faith in your product? The steps to formulating
this plan is a series of questions and assumptions backed by simple calculations that
proves there is a business case, before all the hard work of a business plan is begun.
So I personally, would ask the following questions:
For an investment - would I get paid back?
For a sales and purchasing contract from my business - would they deliver the service
and quality I expect for my investment?
These two questions are crucial when doing any kind of business planning.
For the Business case I would ask questions around the sustainability and
practicality of creating a profitable business entity.
Will this product/ idea sell?
Where will I get my revenue?
Where will I get my profit?
How much do I need to start?
Who do I need to start with?
Who can help me start with samples and costing?
How many ideas must be sold to break even?
Is there a real and sustainable market?
Who is my market – who will actually buy my product?
If I translate my ideas into dollars and I need ten thousand dollars a month to cover my
living expenses, can I sell fifty thousand units in twenty two days, as there are business
costs and profits to consider for the business to survive? That is more than two
thousand dollars per working day. Also bear in mind seasonal purchases and times
when people have disposable income. It now becomes a daunting exercise as you
need to find sales every single day. If you are able to sell across the country then it
becomes easier but it has its problems and costs as well.
The list must be inclusive and show realistically that you can move the units and get
them to their destination cost effectively. Many people do not look at the numbers in
simple terms before making decisions.
I had a client who developed a nifty bottle carrier, which was a nice idea. He spent
about US$3 000.00 in developing and manufacturing the product, only to find out that
people saw it as a free-bee and not as a must have purchase. A few laser cut samples
would have saved him lot of cost and disappointment.
The other problem of course was numbers. The unit cost about US$0.20 to
manufacture. So to make sustainable business and to pay salaries and wages he
would need to sell hundreds of thousands of the units. The other problem was that
once a household bought a unit or was given a few; there would eventually be a
The bottom line is the product was just a flash in the pan and his hopes of making some
money would be better spent selling the idea to a bottling company, as a give-away
You need to formulate a series of questions that will provide clarity in your mind; your
investor’s and your client’s mind. What you are selling, the nature of your business and
how much the actions of doing this business will cost, must be clear to all parties
There is no such thing as, “I started a business with nothing.” You need a place to work
from, a means of communication and a way of getting to meetings or arranging the
business. This all costs money. You may have another source of income but all
business will cost money.
If your business case looks solid, you can either build a business plan in order to attract
an investor or you can show yourself the pathway to success.
It amazes me how rational people completely loose reality for the golden pear of owning
their own business. People avoid and are sometimes counselled to ignore a business
plan. I however, recommend that you build a logical and sensible business case first as
this gives you a better chance of success when you have a really good idea.
A sound business just needs sustainability and returns on sales sufficient to pay costs.
It is not rocket science but people want to borrow in excess of the needs of an average
business as there is no will to drive sales, which is ultimately the life blood of any
A productive business is able to grow and sustain itself and will not be caught in the
spiral of robbing Peter to pay Paul. The business case will determine the type of sales
you need to achieve in order to make the business sustainable. It is very hard to sell
and make thousands of dollars a month so you need to build the business with the
available capital generated in the beginning until you can meet the projections and
goals you have set.
I have started a very successful business with a client’s money. They trust and have no
doubt about delivery. These deposits have fuelled the business without loans or debt of
People said Facebook started with nothing but surely they had to pay the cost for
server power to start with. Remember, doing business always has its expenses.
3 - The Strategy Plan:
Reaching your true business potential