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Welcome your bigger competitors

big dog vs little dog

This article was published in the 11-September-2014 issue of Finweek Magazine

When small businesses take on their bigger competitors, the larger companies usually win, right? In many cases, yes, but there are important exceptions. New research reveals that sometimes it helps, rather than hurts, a smaller firm if consumers see that it is competing against a larger company. In this article, we unpack why and look at the positive implications for small businesses everywhere.

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Yes, your team can have too much talent

This article was published in the 28-August-2014 issue of Finweek Magazine

We’ve all heard the catchphrases thrown around the workplace: the war for talent, managers needing to be talent magnets that attract A-players, and so on. Attracting top talent should be a top priority for competitive companies, because the more talented your team, the better the results you’ll get, right? Wrong. Ground-breaking new research indicates that there is a limit as to how much talent is good for your team. Too much talent can actually hurt, rather than help, you. Here’s why. Continue reading


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Don’t sell to me, solve my problem

biz-mtg

This article was published in the 14-August-2014 issue of Finweek Magazine.

A big bugbear of mine is that most MBA degrees don’t have a component to teach you how to sell. In my work I’ve also met many MBAs who think they are above selling, that it is only the domain of sleazy carsalesmen.

In fact, the opposite is true. You don’t have to be a salesman to be selling. Every day you are selling yourself in some way. Whether you are convincing your boss to give you a raise, your potential client to accept your business proposal, a potential employer to hire you, your spouse to change the TV channel, or your child to do their homework. Effective selling is one of the most vital skills you need to achieve your goals in life and your career. The key is not to call it selling. In the words of Dale Carnegie, rather think of it as “winning people to your way of thinking.”

Here are some useful tips to help you be more effective at persuading customers or clients: Continue reading


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African Women Chartered Accountants: a growing force in South Africa

african-female-CA-sits-desk

This article was published in the 10-July-2014 issue of Finweek Magazine

Chartered Accountancy has long been a male-dominated profession. But that is slowly changing, with the help of the AWCA (African Women Chartered Accountants) forum. In this article we explore the impact this organisation is making on the rise of African women CAs in South Africa. Continue reading


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What makes you stand out from the crowd?

stand-out-red-apple5This article was published in the 26-June-2014 issue of Finweek Magazine

Picture yourself in a client meeting selling your product or service. “What makes you special? Why should we buy from you and not from your competitors?” If you were asked these questions, how would you answer? In a nutshell, this is your Unique Selling Proposition or USP, your stand-out factor. It’s the reason that your product or service is different from and stands out from the competition. In his book “What to do when you want to give up”, South African entrepreneurship guru Allon Raiz describes it as your secret sauce. The question is: so what? In this article, we unpack why you need a secret sauce and how you can find yours. Continue reading


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Courageous leaders face the heat

courageous-leaders-lion
This article also appeared in Finweek Magazine in their 8-May-2014 issue

Management super-guru Peter Drucker said: “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” Good leaders aren’t afraid to make tough, unpopular and often counter-intuitive decisions. The decisions that prompt their critics to ask: “What were they thinking?” It is their courage in the face of criticism that makes them the leaders of their organisations, while others aren’t. Continue reading