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    We live in a brutal world where most of the “leadership” we small business owners are faced with is not of our own making, but rather of the policies, pals, practices and downright dishonesties of our politicians – past, present, and dare we say – future. Never before has the old adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same” been truer than at present in South Africa.

    Business life is more than just concentrating on limiting damage in the face of the imminent collapse of one’s business, life or country. It requires the practical implementation of strategies and tactics that work. Sitting at a computer with nobody to talk to, bounce ideas off or get some advice from can be a lonely existence. Prowling the factory floor with only workers to accept your instructions is no less lonely. And as much as you value your clients’ custom, orders and payment, you really cannot afford to confide in them about collections, your BEE score or cheaper suppliers.

    BusinessMASTERS changes all that.

    Perhaps the words of some of our members will help illustrate the point:
    Originally Posted by Iain Robertson:
    What a lot of people forget, or don't understand is that the SMME business is a lonely business. As a sole trader, or as the owner of a small business you essentially work without the social and professional support structure that one finds in formal business. Whilst the highs are great, the lows can be terrifying when your entire life and all you hold dear seems to be hanging by a thread.

    No casual water-cooler chats, no popping down the corridor to ask Fred's advice.

    To me, that is the overriding value of groups like this. A place that provides that water-cooler chat, and an army of Freds just a few keystrokes away. In an environment where we all understand where we are coming from.
    Picture a group of similarly disposed business owners sitting in a virtual meeting hall, moving in and out of topics of discussion, relating their own experiences, debating the merits of different tactics and strategies, sharing stories and highlighting opportunities

    Wouldn’t it be magical if you were able to resort to the advice of a bunch of like minded individuals who are there and weathering the storm with you? Even better perhaps is that so many BusinessMasters have been through what you are experiencing, some more than once before, and are able to offer street wise advice that has worked, and will at least keep you free of the mistakes made by others.

    Originally Posted by Tim Jackson:
    There are some BusinessMASTERS members who have huge hearts with lots of kindness and patience - I know because I've met a couple of them and I are one myself.

    All too often we are afraid to reach out to others for a bit of support when we need it most.
    Originally Posted by Dave Britzius:
    There is already a large streak of love coursing through this forum - let us foster this and let it grow.
    Originally Posted by Thinus Botha:
    It is the balance between the members of the forum that to a large extent keep me sane. The humor keeps me going on those bad days and it is a way for me to escape from the real word. Then you get to the next post and it is a serious or contentious issue and knowing it is people just like myself with the same problems that contributed just make things way easier.
    Over time you learn to respect, admire and enjoy their company, and feel as if you have known people forever - even if you have never met them. Some days it is nice to just read, take in, think and laugh. Then there are times that we all feel we can add value to others or just let go and join in the fun. To me it all comes back to balance, thank you, you are all MASTERs and MAVENs.
    We’ll encourage you to set up an introductory thread in the public section with all your contact details, including your web address, so that Google, Yahoo and all the other creepy crawlies can send their spies through your marketing information and elevate your business positions on the search engines.
    And if you are an expert in your field we’ll give you free reign to tell us all about your specialty.Then we’ll expose you to a network of business people and encourage you to gently demonstrate your particular brand of brain surgery.

    BusinessMasters works on a tiered availability structure.

    Anybody is able to access our content in the open section, our articles, our sections on specific area which affect business; finance, business tips, SARS, social media etc. Articles and blogs are available, as well as our RSS feed. A limited forum feed is also available. None of forum posting, article or blog commenting are available to unregistered readers.

    Registered Members are able to comment on articles and blogs, and make posts within the publicly available area, and will be subject to BusinessMasters rules in doing so. Registration is free. You can Register here.

    But you won’t benefit by staring at this page. Register here.