by Jonathan Jacobs on 08/10/12 at 9:11 am
Please excuse the almost obvious cliché, but let me express my concern around entrepreneurs who fail to get the paperwork right. Has anyone of you out there ever driven a vehicle that was not roadworthy? Or without a driver’s licence?
I must admit that I have at the age of 16 years old and when I got caught, I had to run away from home albeit a couple of hours just to let my Dad cool off, in hindsight my running away only aggravated my Dad and boy did I get it from him. No timeouts, no go to your room, no order marks, just a good old fashioned hiding.
My car licence is overdue and has me in a bit of a panic so I brought my car papers with me today to sort it out. This got me thinking about how some businesses operate without the necessary paperwork and yet expect to become a “sustainable business” (the new buzz word). I run an entrepreneurial programme, the Tourism Enterprise Partnership, that assists over 4000 Smme’s in the tourism sector. So I speak from a practical stance.
How can this be possible I ask? The problem is deeply rooted in the nature of the entrepreneur. All entrepreneurs who love paperwork please raise your hands! Not many of you…I thought so. Here in lies the problem. We are the idea people, we drive things, we get things started. Paperwork is what we do in the toilet. Getting the small empire off the ground I had to force myself to get some of the paperwork done…reality check, its taken me six months and I only have my Workers Compensation Certificate still outstanding. I however had to pay my accountant to do this. Use the professionals where you can. After this my business will be fully roadworthy and ready to be listed as a supplier on any database.
Why is it then that we pursue compliance of an insignificant item (in comparison to your business) such as a car licence with such vengeance and when it comes to our businesses we ease off? Both are governed by legislation of which non-compliance could lead to fines or imprisonment. Very little separates the two. In the car situation non-compliance can injure people and lives, the same is with a business, failure to comply puts the business in predicaments which could affect the owner, staff and customers, with devastating consequences. Like your car your business is an asset so look the hell after it. I have a saying that goes; ”if you look after your things, your things will look after you”
Jonathan best describes himself as a social entrepreneur who helps people help themselves. His life mission is to create job opportunities for 100,000 people. Armed with street skills and a few degrees, Jonathan has assisted numerous entrepreneurs. He has recently been nominated as Honorary Consulate to Sri Lanka. He is currently Chairman of International Trade and tourism for the Cape Chamber of Commerce, Founding Board Member of South African Small, Medium Enterprise Federation, Provincial Manager for the Tourism Enterprise Partnership and “The TEA Lady” at Skylar Investment Holdings. He is involved in a myriad of business which include Green Energy, Brands, Technology, Events, Media, Consulting and his personal favourite his foundation. Jonathan lives by the mantra, “IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME”, he believes that if one wants to make a change for the better he can. View more articles by Jonathan Jacobs.