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Showing posts from January, 2016

Hard times ahead, but also great opportunities

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Business owners who steered their enterprises through the financial crash that started in 2008 may experience a familiar dread when they look at the storm clouds gathering on the 2016 business horizon. This is according to Nazeem Martin, Managing Director of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) who says that a number of factors point towards the possibility that 2016 may be as tough for business owners as 2008 and 2009 was, while others factors suggest it could be less turbulent.

“Similar to the situation in 2008, the South African economy is at the mercy of adverse global economic forces. Growth in China is at a 25-year low, and with it the prices of commodities. Europe is still struggling to recover from the last crash and even positive developments seem to conspire against us: the recovery of the US economy is pushing up interest rates there, pulling investments away from emerging markets such as ours.

“Locally, South Africa's worst drought in a century is bound to ignit…

Failure to review liability insurance policies can cost SA businesses

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Many business owners make the mistake of assuming that their liability insurance policy renewal automatically happens once a year. Unfortunately, missing a policy renewal date generally leads to a gap in insurance coverage and when it comes to a liability policy, a gap in coverage can result in significant financial losses as a result of legal costs and law suits.

This is according to Simon Colman, Underwriting Executive at SHA Specialist Underwriters, who says that it is essential for all businesses to review and update their liability policies on an annual basis. “Liability policies are often referred to ‘long tail’ insurance as the liability claim often comes through many months or in some instances years after the actual event happened, which can raise serious issues for the business owner if their policy has not been renewed.” 

As an example, Colman explains that someone who injures themselves after falling down a flight of broken stairs has up to three years after the fall occurre…

Moyo keeping the rhythm of Africa alive

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With unemployment in South Africa edging towards the 26% mark and the Rand devaluing rapidly, finding affordable ways to support Africa’s musical heritage is becoming increasingly limited. With this in mind, locals and tourists alike can still immerse themselves in the mood and flavour of South African and African culture at any one of the five highly acclaimed Moyo restaurants around the country. 

Regular acts include Afro-Jazz marimba band 6Mabone, which explores traditional instruments with an urban slant, creating a sound that reflects the authentic spirit of both past and present African culture. “Moyo has always supported us and has given us so many opportunities over the years,” says band member Lucky Thobela, a Soweto-born musician and father of four. “To find venues that allow us to freely express our interpretation of our heritage is becoming difficult, but we know that we will always be welcome at Moyo.”

Since its first store in Norwood in 2008, Moyo has become a haven for mu…

The Franchising Sector still has something to offer in 2016

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The South African franchise industry has evolved to become a substantial contributor to the local economy. While current economic conditions remain fickle, the South African franchising sector remains optimistic for 2016.

Morné Cronjé, Head of FNB Franchising says, “In South Africa, the franchise industry has remained solid despite challenging economic conditions and the country remains attractive to local and international franchise brands. The South African franchising sector is made up of 88% home-grown concepts and there are more than 600 franchised systems operating with over 31 000 franchised businesses and employing just over 320 000 people countrywide.”

Cronjé says that as a result, it is critical that this integral part of our economy assists in achieving sustainable growth in employment, generating foreign direct investment opportunities, innovating and disrupting traditional business models and generating growth.

South Africa’s economic growth has been exceptionally weak in re…

Is your business anchored in the promise of tomorrow, or weighed down by the challenges of today?

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If it has your ears and your eyes, then it has your attention. If it has your attention then it has your heart and if it has your heart it will surely have your voice, says MD of 2one2 Business Consulting; personal development coach and a professional speaker Quinton Douman. 

Currently, South Africans are being inundated with a barrage of negative messaging from a wide variety of sources and platforms, from news outlets to social media posts. 

Anger, insecurity and fear breed anger, insecurity and fear. These three emotions are toxic to your success on any level and can destroy all the hard work that you have put into improving your life or your business; they push you into making defensive decisions rather than proactive ones, spreading the negativity to employees, contemporaries and even family members.

However, if you choose to be anchored in voices and messaging that inspires hope and confidence, then your internal dialogue will reflect that, providing you with the perspective and em…

7 simple steps to improve customer service satisfaction

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If you’re in the business of selling products and services, a content and loyal customer is gold. However, as technology-enhanced, real-time communication grows, a dissatisfied customer is a ticking time-bomb that can do significant damage to your reputation.

Leading integrated business solutions provider, Nashua, recently completed a comprehensive customer service survey to find out just how it measures up in the eyes of their customers. The results revealed interesting insights, as well as an impressive score of 77%. Drawing on their own knowledge and feedback from customers, Nashua has identified seven key steps to improving customer service:

1. Choose the right medium
It’s vital to know when to use technology-based services and when to rely on human interaction. An online form or automated response might work for a customer who’s looking for efficiency and a quick-fix, but someone who’s desperately seeking consolation, advice or assistance won’t react well to a machine. Train service…

SA franchising outlook is positive for 2016

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The economy may be under pressure and consumers may be spending less, but the outlook for franchising remains strong for 2016, with increasing competition and the entry of new players such expected to offer franchisees new opportunities,writes Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprise at Standard Bank.

Setting the pace for 2016, will be increased activity within the franchise sector, particularly the fast food franchises, as international brands which announced their entry into the market this year look to establish operations around the country in the New Year.

One only has to look at major shopping centres to see that competition in the quick service restaurant subsector is gearing up. There is a concerted effort by new entrants to establish outlets close to those of existing competitors. 

For consumers this is great news. Their product choice will expand as competition increases. There is no doubt that 2016 will be a year in which consumers will be spoilt for choice in a market where com…

South Africans to adopt entrepreneurial mindset in 2016

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A new year is synonymous with a ‘new me’ attitude, and is often accompanied by a list of resolutions to become a better, healthier and more successful individual. Christo Botes, spokesperson for the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition – sponsored by Sanlam and Business Partners Limited, says that adopting an entrepreneurial mindset should be included on the list of New Year resolutions for all South Africans. 

While unemployment is a global issue, South Africa’s situation is daunting, with an unemployment rate of 25.5%. Botes says that as entrepreneurism is a viable answer to this problem, South Africans should increasingly be considering entrepreneurship as a viable career option. He explains that this starts with a shift from an ‘employee’ to an ‘employer’ mindset. 

Botes says that an entrepreneurial mindset ideally needs to be instilled in the mind of individuals from an early age. This will enable them to approach their tertiary education with an ‘employer’ mentality rather t…

Entrepreneurs urged to prioritise cash-flow in 2016

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In light of the challenging economic climate, South African entrepreneurs have been cautioned to buckle up for what is predicted to be a challenging year. In order to be prepared for what may face them in 2016, business owners are advised to dedicate the next few weeks to the planning of budgets and cash-flow, which are both crucial tools required for the survival of any business. 

This is according to Gerrie van Biljon, executive director at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) who says that without a realistic and well-managed budget, a business is much like a boat without sails – without direction and headed nowhere.

He describes a cash-flow statement as a vital management tool that should be referred back to constantly, and not only on an annual basis. “The control of cash flow, adherence to payment deadlines and the management of creditors and debtors are all fundamental aspects that will determine the success of a business,” says Van Biljon.

Van Biljon provides entrepreneu…

‘CNN Marketplace Africa’: KFC’s African expansion

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“We have this incredible recipe. The food tastes absolutely fantastic. I think that's why it works everywhere we go and Africa's no different.”

During January, ‘CNN ‘Marketplace Africa’ is airing a series of episodes featuring four of the biggest global brands in Africa. 

Each week, the programme will focus on operations of a brand on the ground, to show how it deals with infrastructural and logistical challenges that exist on the continent, and how it positions its brand to appeal to African consumers.

‘Marketplace Africa’ will also have FaceTime interviews with CEOs from each company to discuss how their strategy for Africa ties into the overall global strategy.

Kick-starting the month is one of the world’s largest fast food chains, Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

With nearly 20,000 restaurants worldwide and more than 1,000 locations on the continent, KFC has the biggest presence of any fast food chain in Africa. Most of the restaurants on the continent are found in South Africa but the…

Succeed as a parent and entrepreneur

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Life is all about priorities, and achieving a perfect work/life balance is something everyone seems to be grappling with.

By Gary Epstein

Work and family are both important aspects of our day-to-day living. Spending time with family is important, but so too is providing a secure and comfortable life for that family. Often it is this constant strive for a healthy work/life balance that drives people towards entrepreneurship, convinced that self-employment is the answer to achieving that elusive balance. 

In reality, even when you are your own boss, sacrifices will have to be made and working parents will continue to have to prioritise one role over the other. The trick to being a great entrepreneur as well as a great parent is giving your business and your family 100 percent of your time and focus. It might sound impossible, but here are a few tips to make it work:

Stick to a routine, but work flexibly
Kids thrive on a regular schedule while work also demands a lot of your time, often compl…