Work­shop spot­lights busi­ness skills

Lesotho Times - - Business -

en­ter­prises.this was said by As­so­ci­a­tion of Le­sotho Em­ploy­ers and Busi­ness (ALEB) Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Ad­vo­cate Lindiwe Sepho­molo dur­ing a busi­ness man­age­ment skills work­shop in which 25 mi­cro and small-sized en­trepreneurs un­der­went train­ing.

The three-day work­shop, which ended yes­ter­day was or­gan­ised by the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ILO) in con­junc­tion with ALEB with the in­ten­tion of equip­ping the en­trepreneurs with busi­ness man­age­ment skills.

Among the top­ics learned dur­ing the work­shop were prin­ci­ples of mar­ket­ing, cost­ing and pric­ing as well as record keeping un­der the Start and Im­prove Your Busi­ness (SIYB) progamme of the ILO.

Adv Sepho­molo said many small-sized en­trepreneurs failed to de­velop their busi­nesses due to lack of ba­sic busi­ness man­age­ment skills.

“This train­ing was in­formed by a fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion study on small and medium en­ter­prises we con­ducted, which showed that most of our small busi­nesses lacked some ba­sic busi­ness man­age­ment skills,” she said.

ALEB, Adv Sepho­molo said, then ap­proached the ILO for sup­port in bringing the con­sul­tants to help with the skills train­ing.

She said the three-day train­ing also fea­tured rep­re­sen­ta­tives of lo­cal fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to as­sist the trainees in fi­nan­cial man­age­ment.

“We also in­tro­duced them to the ba­sics of the labour law as we have ob­served that most em­ploy­ees know very lit­tle about it and only start look­ing for le­gal ad­vice when they have a case to an­swer for,” Adv Sepho­molo added.

The fa­cil­i­ta­tor of the train­ing, Sibongile Sibanda, said fi­nan­cial man­age­ment and mar­ket­ing were the most trou­ble­some ar­eas for small busi­nesses.

“Many busi­nesses at this level fail by just not keeping records. They don’t keep records of how much they sold last time, they don’t know whether they are sell­ing more and there­fore don’t know whether the busi­ness is grow­ing or not. Record-keeping ben­e­fits the busi­ness and makes a world of dif­fer­ence,” she said.

“Costs are also a ma­jor chal­lenge busi­nesses at this level face. In most cases, they just look at the prices their neigh­bour is charg­ing and adapt them as their own with­out un­der­stand­ing the rea­sons.”

Ms Sibanda said they em­pha­sized to the trainees the need for op­er­a­tional costs to in­form the prices of their goods and ser­vices.

“That way, they will also be able to con- trol their ex­pen­di­tures and not just spend be­cause it has an im­pli­ca­tion on the prof­itabil­ity of the busi­ness,” she said.

“Ul­ti­mately we are look­ing at in­creas­ing their prof­itabil­ity with this train­ing by ap­ply­ing busi­ness man­age­ment in their busi­nesses.”

One of the trainees, Daniel Monyaesa, who runs a mi­cro en­ter­prise called Re­li­able ICT So­lu­tions told the Le­sotho Times the work­shop opened his eyes to busi­ness as­pects he hith­erto took for granted.

“I was es­pe­cially in­trigued by learning about mar­ket­ing re­search. It will help me to go back to my clients and find out the chal­lenges they may have and then de­vice so­lu­tions on how to help them,” Mr Monyaesa said, adding the in­put from prospec­tive clients would help him build a soft­ware pro­gramme to ad­dress the needs of the ICT mar­ket.

aleb chief ex­ec­u­tive ad­vo­cate Lindiwe sepho­molo.

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