Showing posts from September, 2012

Thousands of small businesses use Standard Bank’s back-to-basics start-up tool

Just five months in, BizLaunch sees strong take up by SMEs wanting to start right
Over 20 000 small businesses have opened BizLaunch accounts in the since Standard Bank introduced the initiative in April, aimed at helping small businesses get started properly and reduce start-up failure rates in South Africa.

Clive Pintusewitz, head of Small Enterprise and Enterprise Development at Standard Bank, says it’s gratifying to see that entrepreneurs are taking advantage of and benefitting from the offering. “Too often, in spite of everyone agreeing that small business is essential to the health of the economy, people with good ideas are confronted with hurdles and bureaucracy,” says Mr Pintusewitz, “The take up of Bizlaunch shows that small business are keen for banking solutions that directly address their needs.” 

“Priorities for a new business are simple: register the business, keep track of cash in and cash out, pay suppliers, deposit funds into a business bank account, and get some ba…

Action Now!

A 7 step plan for your business as you navigate the dip and crest of the business wave

By Michael Said

One of the downsides of being recognised as a speaker specialising in business turnaround strategies, is that I am expected to have all the answers to all the problems associated with running a business.

The truth is, I am an expert in failure and I have the business scars to prove it. I have made bad business decisions, trusted the wrong people, misjudged markets, did things the wrong way round, let the administrative side slide and worked hard instead of smart. And while I do have many answers to share, it’s only because I still ask so many questions and have been where you are so often, that I consider myself quite the expert! My firsthand experience is also the reason you will find these articles relevant and useful and why you can apply the information with confidence.

However, if you are expecting a dry do-it-yourself textbook, you’ll be disappointed. What I offer instead is do…

Maxi’s Heritage Day promotion aids Rhino Force

In light of Heritage Day, Maxi’s has demonstrated its commitment to making a difference in South Africa having launched a “SAVE OUR RHINO” promotion that will not only satisfy hungry appetites, but as importantly, will benefit rhino conservation.

In partnership with Rhino Force, an organisation specialising in the development and activation of philanthropic campaigns, Maxi’s has crafted a cheeseburger, chips and Rhino Force bracelet combo for consumers, of which a percentage of the proceeds will go towards the rhino saving campaign.

Customers purchasing the Save Our Rhino combo will receive a distinctive white, red, and black beaded bracelet from Rhino Force, in addition to their appetising meal.

All profits from the sale of these beaded bracelets is being filtered towards raising awareness of the illegal rhino horn trade, and supporting the conservation work carried out by Rhino Force.. In addition to selling the beads through their Save our Rhino promotion, Maxi’s is also selling …

Absenteeism and disability - a growing risk to business

The South African economy loses billions per annum as a result of absenteeism and lower productivity related to illness and disability. Is your business showing the signs?

By Werner Odendaal
Momentum – Minute with Momentum

High absenteeism is detrimental to business, lowering productivity, escalating costs and hampering timeous service delivery. Momentum Employee Benefits' claims data also reveals a worrying new trend that companies are losing skilled staff to disability occurrences at an even younger age due to stress-related causes. This is a risk which could be mitigated through proper health management strategies.

While some blue chip companies have strategies to keep employees healthy, an overwhelming proportion of small and medium companies do not. The SMME sector, which employs some 60 percent of the country’s workforce, is clearly at high risk. It is therefore imperative that small to medium size enterprises identify risk factors indicating a possible future spike in absent…

FNB Business Banking sticks to winning marketing formula

Johannesburg – 21 September 2012 – On 3 September 2012 FNB Business Banking launched its new Business Account, which offers small business owners access to some of the most innovative products and rewards that FNB has introduced to the personal banking market in the last two years.

The launch of the new Business Account has seen FNB Business Banking go above-the-line for the first time ever.  Head of Marketing, Barrett Whiteford explains:”We truly believe that the new Business Account offers the best value for money in the entrepreneurial market.  Our intention is to highlight the key products and services offered by FNB Business Banking through an aggressive outdoor campaign.”

The outdoor campaign is backed up by a series of humorous radio advertisements, true to the winning formula that made “Steve from Beep Bank” a huge success.  “The radio advertisements are crafted to highlight a number of challenges small businesses face in its everyday activities.  This if followed by a strong …

Marketing a small business - the ingredient that builds customer loyalty

In the rush to get a business off the ground, it is often easy to overlook the fact people can’t support your business unless they know who you are and what you’re offering. Having a good physical location isn’t enough; marketing your products and services is a business essential.

So says the Business Coach, who stresses that regular marketing that is budgeted for can help a business weather virtually any storm. This applies particularly to the ultimate business disruption of moving to new premises. The advice to all viewers of the Business Coach on SABC 3 is to plan marketing so that it is an integral part of a business from its inception.

Clive Pintusewitz, head of Small Enterprise and Enterprise Development at Standard Bank agrees. “The time to begin thinking about how your business can be marketed starts when an entrepreneur begins drawing up a business plan,” he says.

Start the marketing planning process by considering several elements, says Mr Pintusewitz. These include:

• Choos…

Sandwich Baron’s new website is easy to digest

The convenience offered to Sandwich Baron customers is set to be enhanced even further, following the launch of the food franchise’s fresh and dynamic new website, which allows customers to order delectable food offerings in a more user-friendly, quick and accessible manner.

Visitors to the website will find that exploring Sandwich Baron’s menu options, store locations, food franchising opportunities and online ordering system is as easy as biting into one of the franchise’s delicious wraps or sandwiches.

The new website is generally characterised by a simpler and more streamlined appearance, with customers being able to view the menu and place orders online by clicking on a highly visible link on the front page, which transfers them to a portal for registered users.

Other features of the website include a link to Sandwich Baron’s community forum that provides ideas for breakfast, lunch and parties, testimonials from satisfied customers, as well as the latest company news.
Sally J’A…

MetropolitanRepublic delivers new TVC for Scooters Pizza

The latest Scooters Pizza Television Commercial (TVC) sees a group of children conspiring to turn off all the lights in their neighbourhood so that their parents, thinking there’s a power outage, will order Scooters Pizzas.

The Scooters Pizza brand needed to be revitalised, revamped and rendered more relevant to gain consumer loyalty again, especially with the middle LSM market, and the latest TVC is like nothing the brand has ever done before. Ending with the messaging “Tonight is Scooters Pizza night”, the TVC demonstrates the lengths that children will go to in order to enjoy a Scooters Pizza.

“With relevance being the key objective, we created a TV commercial to launch Scooters Pizza’s new positioning as well as their new logo and tagline 'get a slice of the good life'. The brand’s new positioning is all about being the neighbourhood pizza place; its new focus is on community and the TVC aims to create an emotional connection with the consumer by demonstrating this focus,…

Sandwich Baron Melrose Crossing revitalised by change of ownership

A recent change in ownership has reinvigorated Sandwich Baron Melrose Crossing. New marketing and operational strategies have been instilled which not only provide the store with a competitive edge, but afford customers the opportunity to treat themselves to a delicious meal while enjoying the perks of free delivery and quality ingredient freshness.

Since Logan and Ruby Cook acquired ownership at the end of July, both staff and customers have welcomed the expertise and efficient customer service that the new owners and motivated staff bring to the store, primarily due to their career backgrounds.

Logan was previously employed as a financial director in the clothing industry, while Ruby worked in research analysis at the SABC.

Logan notes that he decided to enter into franchising as it presented him with an exciting new business opportunity, as well as the chance to interact with a variety of different people on a daily basis.

Sandwich Baron’s managing director Sally J’Arlette-Joy …

The Vuka Mentorship ProgrammeTM creates a wider skills base for South Africa

By Sharon Reed, Managing Director of Neosho119 and owner of The Vuka Mentorship Programme™

While Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) play a central role in the dynamics of our economy, the emergence of small world class businesses is currently being stifled by a lack of knowledge and resources on the part of new entrepreneurs. Sharon Reed, who is responsible for The Vuka Mentorship Programme™, explains how this dynamic initiative is turning the situation around.

More than ever before, SMMEs provide a crucial cog in the South African economy. This assertion is supported by statistics, with the African Journal of Business Management noting that SMMEs contribute an estimated 40% of South Africa’s gross domestic product, and employ more than half of the private sector workforce.

However, while there is so much promise in this sector, there are equally high risks as approximately 40% of new businesses fail within their first year of establishment. Owing to this, there is an urgent …

Scooters Pizza Newcastle gets a complete brand revamp

Scooters Pizza Newcastle, one of Taste Holdings’ 28 stores in KwaZulu-Natal, is the first to be revamped with the brand’s complete new corporate identity. While continuing to serve meal offerings that South Africans have become accustomed to, the store’s revitalised urban-chic design will simply whet consumers appetites even further.

The clean cut interior still encapsulates Scooter Pizza’s traditional striking red and yellow featured walls, however, the blend of silver finishes on the counters, chairs and lighting, creates a refreshing and sophisticated design.

To enhance simplicity, the newly refined menu and improved display will help walk-in customers to quickly decide on their orders. The menu clearly depicts freshness, with white backgrounds, accompanied by irresistible food photography, which is rounded off by Scooters Pizza’s signature yellow and red being subtly captured throughout the design.

Vish Govender, who recently took over the ownership of the store, says that his h…

Never underestimate the importance of the personal touch in a small business

A small business almost always reflects the personality and passions of its owner, giving clues about how the owner approaches life, and even whether an owner is building for the future or is simply in business to make a short-term profit.

So says the Business Coach, who for several weeks has been sharing business secrets with small business owners across the country in the weekly SABC series of the same name.

A major difference between major businesses and small businesses is that small businesses reflect the passion, dedication and service levels that are usually associated with the constant presence and attention of an owner. It is this familiar ‘family feel’ that keeps customers coming back. It is therefore a major business asset that must be safeguarded.

Clive Pintusewitz, Head of Small Enterprise and Enterprise Development at Standard Bank, says that unfortunately, some small business owners forget that customers place enormous value on the personal service, friendliness and qu…

Bon appetite! Dinner is served at Maxi’s

Having already conquered the breakfast and lunchtime trade, Maxi’s is set to own evenings as well, having recently expanded into the dinner trade.

In addition to Maxi’s highly popular menu offerings, all 74 of its nationwide restaurants are encouraged to concentrate on the dinner trade, with 1many of the stores staying open for longer hours and serving a variety of scrumptious starters such as crumbed mushrooms, riblets, calamari, and a brand new cheesy garlic roll, as well as dinner offerings.

This offering is not only attracting a whole new market but is ensuring that the hunger pains of existing customers are met through a series of extended promotions that are running.

Loyal customers will be tucking into mouthwatering specials such as a 350g T-bone steak with chips and onion rings for R59.90.

Christo Calitz, CEO of Taste Holdings Food Division notes that that the early evening dinner market presents the perfect opportunity for Maxi’s to make their mark through quality, value fo…

The Vuka Mentorship ProgrammeTM provides emerging companies with the management skills required for long term success

One of the greatest challenges facing new Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is that the owners or managers lack the relevant managerial training and experience required to ensure the enterprise can gain a foothold in a tough business market, and attain sustainable success.

The audited, measured and structured approach of The Vuka Mentorship ProgrammeTM is specifically addressing this area of concern amongst emerging SMEs in South Africa, and ensuring that they have this requisite knowledge.

Success in this regard has been personally encountered by steel fabrication and mining supplies company, Orient, who has been involved with The Vuka Mentorship ProgrammeTM for over a year.

The company, which is based in Rustenburg, provide spares for flotation chutes, as well as pipes, grizzlies and high pressure guns to mining companies in the region, including Anglo American and Xstrata. It commenced operations in 2009, and employs 13 people.

Run by Richard and Grace Jobson, the general mana…

Maxi’s is buzzing with their new coffee brand, LavAzza

Maxi’s customers are sure to be provided with a welcome jolt, following the news that the family restaurant franchise has partnered with the world famous Italian coffee brand, LavAzza.
Now, in addition to enjoying a wholesome and scrumptious meal, Maxi’s customers can expect their senses to be awakened by the delightful aroma of a freshly brewed cup of LavAzza.
This tantalizing coffee is sure to provide Maxi’s customers with the perfect way to either kick start their morning, have a pick-me up throughout the day, or a night cap following a mouthwatering dinner at Maxi’s.
LavAzza’s reputation as expert coffee makers has been established for over a century. Through blending experience, innovation, passion and quality, LavAzza spreads the aroma and culture of Italian espresso around the world, and is the perfect cup of coffee to compliment your visit at any one of Maxi’s 74 nationwide restaurants.
All employees have undergone training sessions and equipment was reviewed to ensure that only…

Objectives, Message & Media and Budgets - the key drivers that impact advertising decisions

Our topic for this article is the three key drivers that influence the advertising decisions every franchisee, franchisor and business owner is faced with.

By Gerhard van Wyk

Advertising Objectives

Step one in any advertising initiative is to consider your objectives and determine what you hope to achieve. Knowing your objectives at the outset will aid you in determining whether the advertising worked, provided that your objectives are measurable.

Often, the objective of an advertising campaign is described as ‘to increase sales’, but in reality, most often sales are not directly impacted by advertising. Advertising is but one of a number of variables affecting sales, and its effect is usually so indirect as to be indeterminate.

What advertising will achieve is to inform, persuade and remind customers of the products and services offered, and by informing consumers, advertising brings about changes in awareness. Such changes in awareness are realistic, important and measurable.


Franchising, a viable business option for young entrepreneurs

As a developing and growing economy, South Africa offers a thriving base for talented entrepreneurs to develop their business skills, execute a viable management strategy and essentially maintain a sustainable establishment. Even though young entrepreneurs will have to overcome hurdles such as acquiring start-up capital and high interest rate loan repayments, the key to winning a hurdles race is steadfast momentum.

A notable industry in this regard is franchising, which continues to withstand economic fluctuations. According to the website, there are currently 400 franchise systems in South Africa, with over 23,000 franchise outlets that employ more than 300,000 people.

It is further noted that this industry, which is growing at a rate of 13% annually, will add more than 3,200 new franchise businesses this year. 

These statistics clearly illustrate that franchising is a highly enticing prospect, and great opportunities exist for people who have an entrepreneurial sp…

Understanding yourself & having passion – key ingredients to successful entrepreneurship

By Dr Vijay Bahadur

Knowing yourself can and will give you a competitive edge, not over other people, but in your execution. So we ask the question: Who are you?

Who you are is a multifaceted question, the answer to which should also reveal your answer to the questions: why are you here?, what are your grateful for?, should you be helping others? and should you start a business or be employed?

The next question is: what do you want from life and what is your driving force? In short, what makes you tick? When you have identified what it is that makes you tick, using that knowledge to formulate a personal mission statement or personal plan can be of particular assistance on your road to achieving success. In my personal experience, my self-knowledge has helped me develop strategies that have served me well in my business dealings.

Passion may well be the most important quality in anyone striving for success. Passion is defined as a powerful emotion and to be passionate is to exhibit s…

The impact of escalating fuel prices on real estate

Move closer to your workplace, drive less, take a bus, spend less and try to reduce the use of credit.  These are the choices consumers are faced with following the recent spate of fuel price increases.

By Jan Davel

The effect of these increases is probably more far reaching than most South African consumers realise. For example, fuel has a direct influence on a country’s agricultural production and logistics. As soon as fuel costs increase, so too does the cost of everyday produce like vegetables, meat and grains. Not only is it more expensive to produce, it is also more costly to deliver to the local supermarket to meet consumer demand.

For consumers less disposable income means less money with which to purchase commodities and services. Businesses in turn will be less profitable and may be forced to cut their staff complement, leaving yet more consumers with little or no disposable income.

Job creation / employment

FNB Household and Property Sector Strategist, John Loos, states that …


Due diligence is the process whereby the buyer satisfies himself that he is in fact buying what the seller proposes to be selling. It is an investigation (not an audit) of a potential acquisition to confirm, to the buyer’s satisfaction, whether to proceed with the transaction or walk away.

By Bob Power

While the extent of the buyer’s investigation depends on the size of the transaction, regrettably, as a result of poor corporate governance, the investigation for small/medium deals can be more complex than bigger deals. Poor corporate governance, which includes a lack of legal compliance, poor accounting systems and shortcuts with the tax man, is the reason buyers of small/medium businesses are encouraged to dig deep.

In conducting a due diligence, apply the “keep it simple and practical” rule. By focusing on the areas highlighted below you can build a clear understanding of the state of the business and the purchase and sale transaction.

• Why is the business for sale? If the answer is…

Consider costs and then only potential profits, says the Business Coach

Business is about making a profit. This may be an obvious statement, but it is often a concept that is troublesome to entrepreneurs who are driven by a passion for independence and believe that they can learn business skills “on the job”.

However, turning passion into profits means understanding the art of effective costing, as noted by the Business Coach who has been advising small business owners on the Standard Bank-sponsored SABC 3 series about how to deal with the challenges that typically face South Africa’s small businesses.

Clive Pintusewitz, head of Small Enterprise and Enterprise Development at Standard Bank says that proper costing is the most crucial step in ensuring that a business is successful.

“If a business owner doesn’t know what an item costs and what it should be sold for, the chances are that the business will fail. Conversely, mastering this business art will literally pay dividends for years to come.”

Knowing exactly what it costs to open a business’ doors ever…

FNB transforms Business Banking landscape

Johannesburg, 3 September 2012 – First National Bank today announced the launch of its new Business Account which is set to transform the business banking landscape in South Africa.  The new Business Account offers business clients access to some of the most innovative products and rewards that FNB has introduced to the personal banking market in the last two years.

FNB Business Banking CEO, Jacques Celliers explains:”FNB has been at the forefront of innovation in the personal banking space and we are excited to introduce a business banking account which offers business clients the same benefits as a personal account and more.”

”FNB Business Banking is committed to supporting entrepreneurs, whether they are starting a new business or running and growing their established business. At FNB Business Banking we believe we have the solutions to support small businesses and to reduce their costs. In line with government’s appeal for businesses to assist in creating jobs, we believe that our…

Time Management: How to work ten hours less a week

Advice on franchising by Pieter Scholtz, Master Licensee for ActionCOACH SA. ActionCOACH is one of the fastest growing and most successful business coaching franchises in the world today.

John D Rockefeller, a man who commanded incredible amounts of money, once said: “Those who have leisure time to spend pursuing their passions and dreams experience the real wealth in life.”

Knowing how to spend time is a more valuable skill than knowing how to make, manage, invest and spend money. Entrepreneurs who want to be truly successful, must master the skill of using their precious and irreplaceable time wisely. It is interesting that those amongst us who know how to manage, budget and save time, rather than letting it manage them, also find it easier to make money.

Learning how to lop ten hours off a typical work week without sacrificing any income requires practice, but it’s easier and faster to accomplish than most people think, if you follow these three steps.

Step 1: Fire extraneous cust…