Small Business Focus

Benefit from starving elephants and bears and turn your business into a wild dog

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A number of animals are associated with business potential.

The latest thinking in Government, which originated about six years ago in the USA, is that South African businesses should be like gazelles - fast growing and nimble.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Pavlo Phitidis, Director and CEO of the Aurik Business Incubator.

Phitidis explains how elephant and bear-like businesses are struggling and how to turn yours into a wild dog.

Scroll down for quotes from the audio below.

The Ministry of Small Business has embraced the notion of focussing on small, nimble “gazelle like” businesses. I, however, prefer them to be like wild dogs.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

An elephant has to eat 16 hours per day. They need to move from one area to the next. Big businesses are like elephants. They can’t eat in a 1.4% growth economy. They’re moving into the 5.4% growing economy in the rest of Africa; they have no choice. This is leaving room for smaller ones.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

In times of plenty many large businesses started to provide services beyond their core. They’re now outsourcing those. That’s where the big opportunity is when working with the elephants.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

The Grizzly Bear businesses have gone through six winters in South Africa. They’re focusing on survival and not thinking about tomorrow.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

With bears it’s about being the last person standing. The big opportunity for the bears is to specialise and move from being a bear to being a wild dog.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

Wild dogs collaborate and work in teams. They run long distances while leaving a well-organised system at home.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

To be a wild dog you must decide who your customers are. Understand their problems, don’t sell them products. Respond to their problems and soon you may start moving from being a small business into a medium-sized one.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

The wild dog only chases one prey. It’s absolutely persistent. Have the courage to realise you can’t be everything to everyone.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

As you specialise the world opens up for you and you’re not competing with everyone.

Pavlo Phitids, Aurik Business Incubator

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