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Thread: Small business has to get real representation to the table.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Small business has to get real representation to the table.

    Why did I get involved in this site? I was perfectly happy coming and going as I pleased on another community site with somebody else in charge of keeping order and maintaining continuity. If I got busy elsewhere for a while - no big deal. What did I hope to achieve that the other site would not?

    Read this little snippet for a clue:
    A forthcoming review of pharmacy dispensing fees announced by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang on Thursday was well received by pharmacists.

    When the health minister launched the controversial new structure for the fees pharmacies could charge when dispensing medicine last year, pharmacists were outraged as they felt the move would result in their operating at a loss.

    Community pharmacists welcomed the announcement, said the United South African Pharmacies (Usap), which represents about 1 200 community pharmacies.

    Chairperson Julian Solomon said Usap was particularly happy about her offer to include interested parties in the process.

    "We are more than happy to cooperate with the Health Department in revising the fee structure, and are hopeful that a workable compromise can be reached that would be acceptable to both pharmacies and consumers."

    Solomon had reportedly described last year's dispensing fee structure as a "lunatic ruling" that favoured large chain stores and would obliterate independently owned pharmacies.
    from a story on M&G on medical dispensing fees here
    Didn't the Department consult before putting the fee structure in place last year? Yes they did. But who was at that table? Was anyone looking after the independant community pharmicist?

    This is not an isolated occurence. Small business simply must make a concerted effort to get representation to the negotiating tables that understands and genuinely represents their interests.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. #2
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I agree wholeheartedly - but where does that start?

    I would say it starts in the same way you started with the BEE codes. There are a number of people concerned with an issue, but someone has to take leadership and run with it - the community will be behind them in the effort.

    Unfortunately my experience has been that there are very few people who are willing to step up to the plate (Dave, thanks for being one of them).

    I know that in my current situation as a startup I'm constantly challenged for time, focus, energy and so on, BUT when I put my mind to it I get results - even if I am juggling a number of balls.

    Maybe it is a bit like "field of dreams" sometime, "If you build it they will come." I think the challenge lies in finding the right cause, finding something that people will believe in rather than just think that that is a good idea.

    BEE was one of those issues - it tugged at heartstrings, bit deep into the mindset of SA business owners, challenged our perceptions, made us angry...it made us fight for what we thought was right. It was not about rands and cents, but rather about hearts and minds.

    In the words of Hugh Mcleod, "The market for something to believe in is infinite."

    This forum is about finding people who believe in a vision for their business in the context of South Africa - if you don't believe in that, then why bother putting in effort to make things better?

    What we believe in does not have to be complicated, it can be as simple as, "A better life for small business" but we do have to believe in it and be passionate about it. Passion spreads like wildfire.
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  3. #3
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Maybe it's time to go for the jugular. This is such a typical example of what is happening all the time - and most small business people just can't see it!! Or they do and just think they can do nothing about it.

    This little episode just reminded me why I got started here in the first place.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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