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The Mentorship Challenge – Behind Every Great Leader Is A Great Mentor

With this in mind, Redefine Properties is proud to sponsor The Mentorship Challenge – with Marc Wainer, a weekly television show that unpacks the notion of social upliftment through mentorship.

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In a country facing what is commonly termed a ‘crisis of leadership’, the moment has arrived for business leaders to step into the breach and become aspirational leadership models for future generations. This is the true power of mentorship, which delivers not just a public service, but a significant social intervention.

With this in mind, Redefine Properties is proud to sponsor The Mentorship Challenge – with Marc Wainer, a weekly television show that unpacks the notion of social upliftment through mentorship.

Redefine Properties, a JSE Top 40 Index-listed Real Estate Investment Trust, is committed to delivering sustained value for all our stakeholders. Our people-centric strategy is what sets us apart in the property industry.The Mentorship Challenge is a perfect fit for Redefine, as it demonstrates just how people-centricity translates into social upliftment.

Launching on Wednesday, 4 October 2017 at 20h30 on CNBC (DStv Channel 410), the show will be hosted by the inimitable Marc Wainer, executive chairman of Redefine Properties, and will unpack the notion of mentorship, providing an unparalleled, enabling platform for top leaders to create a legacy through shaping the journeys of the budding business trailblazers of tomorrow.

Related: Servant Leadership – Will You Serve?

Marc is the perfect host for the show, as he embodies the idea that, even when faced with few resources or having tread a less than orthodox path, you can still succeed. In a country where so many eager youngsters simply don’t have access to resources, raw talent, sheer guts and the guiding hand of a leadership guru can carve you a path out of poverty to success.

Armed with a matric and enough confidence to fill a mall, Marc grew from humble origins to the industry giant he is today. But his extraordinary journey to success is not the full measure of the man. His true strength lies in his belief in people and in his passion and generosity in sharing his hard-earned life and business lessons with others. Because, in Marc’s view, what is the point of amassing a wealth of skills and insights, if you are not prepared to pass this on to others, pay it forward and build a legacy? That’s just leadership in a vacuum.

Marc says, “I am passionate about mentorship. The purpose of this programme is to connect as many people as possible with our guests and their associates. The advice, guidance and support that our mentees will receive is priceless, so if you have not yet registered on our website, do so now… It could change your life.”

But The Mentorship Challenge delivers something invaluable for mentors too – an opportunity to give back and make a difference. Thought leaders and captains of industry often work within narrow organisational constraints, inwardly focused on steering the organisation towards growth and sustainability. The Mentorship Challenge remedies this – by taking entrepreneurial insight beyond the boardroom to a place where bright young minds meet seasoned leadership legends in an exchange of ideas and perspectives The Mentorship Challenge provides the perfect platform for thought leaders to share those nuggets of wisdom, insights and lessons learnt on the path to success that you won’t find in any business manual.

Redefine CEO, Andrew König, agrees: “We believe that, in our socio-economic climate, this show is particularly relevant, given the unemployment challenge – especially amongst the youth – in South Africa. The Mentorship Challenge is an innovative way to make a real difference in people’s lives, and demonstrates our commitment to our country and its future leaders. Mentorship serves as a guiding hand out of poverty to success – securing a better and stronger future for all South Africans. The show also offers us, as a responsible corporate citizen, an opportunity to inspire our fellow corporates to take up the mantle of mentorship and give back to communities in a meaningful and sustainable way.”

The mechanics of The Mentorship Challenge are simple

There’ll be a topical conversation with Marc on the pressing issues of the day, followed by a detour of a more personal nature, where Marc will engage his guests on the mentors, moments and chance meetings that moulded them into the titans they are today.

Perfectly positioned to become the most exciting part of the show, Marc – with incomparable charisma – will challenge these mentors to pledge personal time to carefully chosen mentees in their particular areas of expertise. And he’ll also be encouraging his guests to throw down the gauntlet to their peers to match their mentorship pledges.

Related: Seed Academy Making Strides In The Development Of Female Entrepreneurs

The show will be supported by a microsite (www.mentorshipchallenge.co.za), where mentors and mentees will make contact and schedule time together. And these stories of both collaboration and mentorship will be incorporated into the show.

The Mentorship Challenge is a true embodiment of Redefine’s brand positioning – ‘We’re not landlords. We’re people.’ – and our commitment to sustainable social initiatives. We believe The Mentorship Challenge will serve as a catalyst towards creating a culture of mentorship in corporate South Africa, where the mentorship hours accrued will proliferate into an ongoing resource available to all aspiring bright young minds of tomorrow, no matter their background.

about-the-show

In the time-constrained world of business leadership, The Mentorship Challenge provides a bank of beneficial hours to help build future leaders and businesses. And, beyond that, it is mentorship, finally, that is at the heart of good business.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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5 Things SME’s Need To Be Thinking About In 2018

In 2018, small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) will be looking for a glimpse of inspiration to chart a new growth path and scale their businesses. This is off the back of a tough 2017 and previous years which have inhibited the growth of local SMEs.

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In 2018, small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) will be looking for a glimpse of inspiration to chart a new growth path and scale their businesses. This is off the back of a tough 2017 and previous years which have inhibited the growth of local SMEs.

Jesse Weinberg, Head of the SME Customer Segment at FNB Business says “Small business success becomes a monumental task when there’s arguably very little to no real economic growth overall. However every challenge presents an opportunity, and in South Africa, not only are we fortunate to consistently have SME development as a key objective on the national government agenda, but most corporates are also  hungry to shift spend to smaller businesses as part of the procurement policies.”

Weinberg says as 2018 begins in earnest, there are some important insights that business owners should consider in order to grow their businesses.

The digital economy is in full swing

SME’s that are comfortably operating without adopting digital technology in their business will likely be outperformed by their competitors unless they adapt to the current reality. Across the globe, consumers and businesses are rapidly migrating services to digital channels for its sheer efficiency, convenience and scalability. This includes basic elements like digitising accounting processes with software, through to using social media to campaign to customers.

If you’re ever unsure where to start, start by observing your customers and listening carefully to how they expect to be dealing with a business like yours – you can’t go wrong by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and then reflecting on your business through their eyes.

Related: 4 Unique Marketing Ideas For SMEs On A Budget

Expect little to no help from the economy

The Word Bank recently predicted that SA will grow at roughly 1.1% in 2018 and while this is not cast in stone, it’s a relatively firm indicator that SME’s will have to do the hard yards to engineer any form of business growth. The focus should thus mainly be on differentiating your business, products or services from your competitors through marketing or even innovation if possible.

Maximise your banking relationship

Banks are investing a lot of time to understand the needs of businesses and have some of the tools to help SME’s run efficiently. The relationship should not be only be limited to just banking. With the multitude of rewards and value-add services offering by most banks, with just a bit of time spent understanding the offerings, great value can be derived for you and your business. Examples of these offered by FNB include eBucks rewards, free Instant Accounting software and CIPC registration services.

‘Think Local, Act Global’

Your business may be based in South Africa but its potential to scale shouldn’t be hampered by your location. In other words, be open to the opportunity of growing your business beyond South African shores, especially if your service or product has universal appeal and relevance. With global marketplaces such as Alibaba and AirBnB, the world market has never been more accessible and easier to do business with.

Related: SchoemanLaw Shakes Up The Legal Industry To The Benefits Of SMEs

Avoid the race to the bottom

Market forces continue to show that consumers aren’t only focused on the cheapest product or service despite the tough economic conditions. These days offering great service will build trust and loyalty with customers and keep them coming back. If you combine this with good quality, accessible products and services you will generally have an edge over your competitors offering the same or similar products and services.

“Even though 2018 is unlikely to come with an SME development boom, a solid homegrown business can still grow sustainably. More than ever, business owners need to arm themselves with as much information and insights as they can to grow their businesses or even reduce the risk of total business failure. With South Africa’s level of unemployment showing little to no signs of reduction, we need to sustain the spotlight on growing our SME sector and offering as much support to it as possible. SME’s represent one of the most effective ways to create employment in local communities, especially if these businesses find ways to trade with customers beyond their normal operating territories.” says Weinberg.

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Surge In South Africans Swopping Their Cars For Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has experienced a seemingly interminable rise. Early adopters have experience lottery-sized pay-outs on minor investments as the currency exploded in value in 2017.

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The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has experienced a seemingly interminable rise. Early adopters have experience lottery-sized pay-outs on minor investments as the currency exploded in value in 2017.

As South Africans are itching to get their hands on the digital currency, there’s been an increase in swops and bitcoin-only sales on Gumtree.co.za, says Claire Cobbledick, Head of Core at Gumtree. “This is particularly true for high-value items like cars, bikes and boats. Many sellers are willing to take a gamble with their assets in hopes of a large pay-out.”

This is on trend with other marketplaces. In the United States a McLaren 720S was put up for sale in exchange for 25 bitcoin, a theoretical value of $425,000.

Related: 11 Things You Need To Know About Bitcoin

While Gumtree does not allow for the sale of bitcoin miners or services, Cobbledick says that customers can exchange goods for bitcoin on the site, but should be fully aware of the risks. “Bitcoin is a volatile currency, so while you could easily see a 50% increase in your investment, you could just as easily end up with nothing. It’s up to the seller to decide if they are willing and able to take a gamble.”

Some cars currently up for sale in exchange for bitcoin includes a Land Rover Defender, BMW X5 and a rare 1970 Mercury Cougar V8.

“There are also a few other sellers accepting bitcoin in exchange for Kruger Rands,” says Cobbledick. “Perhaps proving that gold as a store of value is falling out of vogue.”

But the most unusual swop would have to go to an entrepreneurial seller who is offering carnivorous plants in exchange for the cryptocurrency.

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Zando Sold 80 Items A Minute During Black Friday – By Doing This

Black Friday has brought immense success for numerous local online retailers – reflecting the potential of e-commerce in South Africa. Why not learn from Zando’s success in 2017 to ensure your success during the 2018 Black Friday sales season?

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For South African e-retailers, Black Friday is a big sales event. But you need to ensure you’re prepared for the web traffic and that your e-commerce store can handle the logistics of thousands of orders.

zando-sascha-breussAccording to Zando, they experience 100% up-time during Black Friday and less than a week after the season sales event, 95% of customer orders have already been shipped.

To help fellow e-tailers perform better next year, Zando’s CEO, Sascha Breuss answers some key questions about the company’s preparations and learnings around Black Friday:

1. How did you encourage greater sales on Black Friday?

Over the last few years Black Friday has developed a following in South Africa, so we benefitted from the existing hype around it. We didn’t focus too much on upfront marketing, but put our energy into flawless execution and of course great deals for the customers.

Related: The Evolution Of Retail: From Corner Store To Artificial Intelligence

2. How much planning went into ensuring your store platform ran at optimum?

The real ‘hot phase’ started with the first day of November when our IT department went into a ‘feature freeze’ and we focused 100% on site-stability and scalability.

We went through some intense testing of our site with loads up to 15 times the average daily amount of visitors. So, when the actual day came, we were confident in our systems.

3. How were you able to successfully co-ordinate logistics during Black Friday?

Early preparation and experience from past years have been the key to success. We increased our head count in both Warehouse and Customer Service well in advance so that we could rely on well-trained and experienced colleagues come Black Friday.

4. How did you ensure a seamless experience between your website and your app?

We know that our customers are browsing Zando on all platforms, desktop, mobile and app so we implemented some handy features to make the transition between each platform easier. For example, shared baskets and wish lists are now a feature. Some of the deals however have been app-only and sometimes we reward our app users with early access to shop the best deals. So it is definitely worth it to download our app.

Related: How SA’s Online Retailers Can Cash In On Black Friday Fever

5. How did you scale your entire operation for a single event?

This is easy to summarise in one word – TEAMWORK. The Zando staff did an amazing job and were the backbone of our success. Not only did they put the required extra hours in and worked hard until the job was done, but they also showed real team-spirit. When you called our Customer Service during Black Friday it’s very possible that you spoke to someone in our HR, Social Media or Legal team who helped out answering calls.

6. How did your marketing campaign affect traffic on your platforms?

The most surprising element was probably the high volume of traffic that we saw during the night. Visits started to increase every minute before midnight and during the first two hours of the day we saw peaks that were higher than on our strongest week day. This traffic never dropped with a lot of orders being placed between 2am and 3am on Black Friday.

7. How did your technology systems handle the influx of shopper traffic?

In the build up to Black Friday we added additional server capacity and changed the way we handled the flow of traffic. This made us very flexible to switch on additional capacity wherever required. So it was a combination of intensive preparation, close monitoring and ultimately very little sleep for a couple of days to ensure we monitored our system health 24 hours a day.

8. What was your sales strategy?

For us everything that had a discount of 40%-80%, and was still a relevant and recent look, qualified for Black Friday 2017. Once these criteria were fulfilled we made sure that we had sufficient stock available – in some cases the demand was so high that we brought on additional stock from our suppliers during the Black Friday weekend.

Related: 5 Last-Minute Tips For Small Retailers To Boost Black Friday Sales

9. What were your biggest learnings?

We have been very successful in our approach to remain true to the idea of Black Friday – offering great deals on relevant product and not outdated clearance ranges. The customer is very educated and will identify a good deal, and we have seen consumers’ negative comments on stores who used Black Friday solely as a warehouse clearance opportunity.

10. What surprised you about Zando’s success during Black Friday?

Thanks to extensive preparation we have been able to achieve an uptime of 100% for the full month of November. We also kept the deliveries and returns 100% free regardless of discount or basket size. It seems like our customers appreciated this approach and we have actually seen very positive sales numbers after Black Friday while we expected a drop. I believe the full focus and investment on the Customer Experience has worked for us.

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