Newtons Laws of Business

Running a successful business is one of the most difficult things to do.

One has to consider

  • Staff
  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Product
  • Finances
  • Marketing

As an owner there is often nobody to talk to or to assist in dealing with all these facets that comprise running your own business.

Over many years I have come across some tips which might be interesting or assist in thinking differently.

Please enjoy and read.

Law 1

Control and understand your business

Due to all the different facets that comprise the running of a successful business, try and find the one or two things in your business that can be easily identified that will inform you as to the health of the business.

For example, the owner of a shoe manufacturer insisted that every morning the total number of shoes manufactured the previous day was placed on his desk. In this way he was able to know exactly on a day to day basis what the general state of the business was.

Try to determine which factors are critical to your business and monitor them closely.

Law 2


Business owners often find it difficult to communicate.

Remember you are not alone. Your employees are a vital asset. It is only through proper communication that your employees know what is expected from them, what the goals and strategy of the business is.

Law 3

Think out of the box

Things do not stay the same and are continually changing.

In order to stay relevant the business must adapt, change and develop. Don’t do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Take time out to think about the business. This is easier said than done but as the owner one has to have a wider vision. Most businesses have a limited lifespan especially with the technological developments.

It is important to sit back and think creatively on what to do or where to go.

Law 4

Accounting and sales

Salesmen want to sell and are not bothered if the money comes into the bank account while the accountants would rather not sell if there is a chance that the money will not be received.

It is very important that accounts and sales work in harmony with each other. The accounting side must not inhibit sales and sales must act responsibly. The two must ensure that maximum income is achieved with the necessary controls in place to ensure recovery.

I think it is important to tell both divisions that they do often pull in different directions and for them to realise this so that they can work together to achieve the right outcome.

Law 5

Employ the right staff

You will be successful if you appoint the best people available.

Surround yourself with great people. They will make you look good and increase profitability.

Compliments are for free and employees need to be praised if good work is achieved. They need to feel respected and appreciated. This features prominently in “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”.

I know it doesn’t always feel this way but staff is an asset.

Law 6


Running a business is not easy and unfortunately in order to be successful one has to work very hard. Don’t lose focus on what you are doing.

Distractions are many and easily come by. Whether you are behind the till or have a group of managers and staff one always has to stay focussed on your business. Things can slip easily and quickly.

It might be useful to remember the 80 : 20 principle. Concentrate on the 20% that produces 80% of the profit whether the 20% is customers, stock items, services or areas.

Owning your own business is hard work and like everything else that is important needs a lot of attention.

Law 7

Happiness – Love what you do

You have a much greater chance of success if you enjoy getting up every morning and going to your business.

If you are not in that fortunate position, focus on the positives and don’t let the small negatives overshadow all the positive points. Often employing the right staff may change the environment into a happy place. Maybe by getting a partner that shares the stresses of a business can be the answer.


Many of these points may have no bearing on you or your business but I hope that some part of this would have been of interest.

– Cedric Peterson




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IC Marais

Professional experience:

IC Marais is a certified CA (SA) with public sector and private sector technical knowledge based on 5 years’ Public Sector accounting, auditing and financial management experience and 5 years audit, tax and accounting experience. Detailed knowledge of private and public sector accounting and auditing standards (GRAP, IPSAS, IFRS, IAS, ISA) and public sector financial legislation (MFMA, etc.)

He enjoys the outdoors, hunting and fishing.


Professional experience:

In 1995, Schalk started as a trainee at Warner and Newton (which became Moores Rowland in 1997 and then Mazars Moores Rowland in 2007) in Bloemfontein. In 1998, Schalk was appointed as manager at Moores Rowland, where he became a partner in 2003. Schalk received his Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Taxation in 2006 and in 2009 he received his Certificate in the Administration of Estates.


Professional experience:

Cedric started as a trainee at Warner and Newton (which became Moores Rowland in 1997 and Mazars Moores Rowland in 2007), Bloemfontein, in 1986. After completion of his articles, he joined the Special Investigations Division of the Department of Finance (SA Revenue Services) as a senior inspector from 1990 to 1991.


Professional experience:

Lucha started her career as a tax inspector at the Inland Revenue Department of New Zealand. After this she worked in commerce in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

On her return to South Africa, she completed her CA training contract with us and has been with Newtons ever since. She became a Partner in 2012.

Apart from her CA(SA) qualification she also holds a postgraduate certificate in Advanced Taxation (2005) and has the overall responsibility for training as our Training Officer.