Showing posts from October, 2014
SMEs need to avoid festive season delivery bottlenecksShane de Beer, Sales and Marketing Director at express courier company TNT
Small and medium businesses would do well to plan their logistics requirements in good time to avoid getting caught up in the bottleneck of last minute deliveries as the festive season gets into full swing.

This is particularly relevant given the escalating volumes of deliveries for online fulfillment as an increasing number of companies sell their products online. With the increasing focus on customer service excellence it is important to maintain a business as usual status and ensure deliveries arrive on time over this period.

The most important measures smaller businesses can take to ensure this happens are providing the correct information on the delivery documents. It is recommended that electronic interfaces be used where possible as this will ensure that the information is collected correctly from source and timeous delivery will take place. Further shou…
Cash Converters, the largest second-hand franchise in the world, has extended its range of financial services products to include their new microloan product 1│2│3 to cater to a broader section of employed South Africans.

“Fundamentally Cash Converters is all about  offering consumers access to cash, either by paying instant cash for second-hand goods, cash advances (pawnbroking) or by payday advances, another one of our  microloan options,” says Richard Mukheibir, Managing Director of  Cash Converters. 

“Having access to cash is not an option open to everyone and this is why we are extending our successful microloan options.  We pride ourselves in our responsible lending ethos, meaning that although we do loan cash no questions asked, we do not encourage or facilitate our clients or customers getting or staying in a cycle of debt. Our microloans are highly regulated.” 

Cash Converters first started offering financial services p…

22 October 2014: Small businesses that use more than two types of cloud services grow 26% faster and are 21% more profitable on average than those that don't use cloud tools, according to a new report from Google and Deloitte which surveyed over 1300 IT decision makers in six countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. South African business owners and entrepreneurs should learn from the results of this survey and utilise cloud computing to their advantage. 

This is according to Athol Wesselink, Chief Engineer at OpenWeb, a nationwide internet service provider (ISP) who says the use of cloud computing makes it more affordable for start-up businesses or Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to establish a small office or to work from home. “Users can benefit from several technologies, cut costs and focus on their core business instead of being impeded by IT obstacles.”

Wesselink say…
New business owners know their bread is buttered in the townshipsThere is no denying that for many entrepreneurs, business is all about the money. It’s what makes the corporate world go round, after all. Yes, while no one is in business to be unsuccessful, many people look at a much bigger picture that seeks to improve the lives of others just as much as their own.

New owners of the Sandwich Baron Braamfontein store, Trevor and Katlego Mashabane, have a dream of realising bigger things than just securing success for their store. This father and son duo have successfully negotiated a master franchise licence within the Sandwich Baron stable, which affords them the rights to establish more stores as part of this acclaimed franchise business in township areas across the country.

The Mashabanes were originally attracted to the uniqueness of the products that Sandwich Baron offers, which then inspired them to open their first store. 

“From the online ordering to the delivery to the fair prici…
Planning and research key when investing in a franchiseBuying a franchise can be quite expensive, especially if you are considering linking up with a franchisor that represents an internationally respected brand which is already a household name. As a result, there are very few entrepreneurs that can afford to completely finance the franchise from their own resources. 

Simone Cooper, Head of Franchising and Enterprise Development at Standard Bank, says many franchisors require potential franchisees to make a substantial unencumbered upfront payment as part of the business process. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, the contribution helps to make franchises more viable, and ensures that the debt is reduced to manageable levels, something that is vital when initial cash flow is slow as the business finds its feet. Secondly, a franchisee investing his or her own money in a store is making a commitment to its success; something that makes a franchisor and the bank comfortable.” 

Standard Bank and IBM sign ground-breaking deal to bring world-beating Watson technology into bankingDevelopment is a ‘first’ for banking on the African continent.
Standard Bank will become the first financial institution on the African continent to implement IBM’s new Watson technology which breaks traditional barriers in computing by embracing artificial intelligence, natural language processing and dynamic learning when assisting customers & businesses with the interpretation of data.

The trend-setting agreement, which will see Standard Bank South Africa partnering with IBM in assessing the product, was signed in Johannesburg today, says Vuyo Mpako, Head of Innovation & Channel Design at Standard Bank.

“Although the IBM Watson programme has been used for other applications, notably in the healthcare arena, it will be the first time in the Middle East and Africa that this technology will be used by a bank to interpret and maximise use of our data. The ultimate beneficiaries of …
Franchisee life hacks to optimise your productivityProductivity is something that rises and falls like the ebb and flow of the ocean. Some days you might find yourself taking the day in your stride, then on others it seems like you’re just not ticking anything off your to-do list. Fortunately there are tips and tricks which you can employee to ensure you make the most of your day – no matter what your job entails. Managing Executive of The Fish & Chip Co, Jan de Beer shares some ‘life hacks’ to enhance your productivity on a daily basis.

The term ‘life hack’ refers to any tool or activity that you can use to optimise areas of your life that need some improvement. It certainly does not refer to hacking computers, if that was what you were thinking. When it comes to increasing productivity, whether you own a business, work for a company or even if you are a student, here are some hacks that you can use to maximise your productivity every day.

Get a good start
Have a hearty breakfast. …
Franchising remains a thriving and growing sector
The franchise sector in South Africa continues to grow and thrive despite testing economic conditions. This sector, comprising 668 franchised systems, with just over 30 000 franchised outlets and 17 franchise business sectors, is a significant employer of manpower employing more than 300 000 people nationally.

For those wanting to enter the sector, one of the big questions to address is what industry would suit them best?  

“Take for example the number of hours you are happy to dedicate to the project,” advises Richard Mukheibir, CEO of Cash Converters. “For example, Fast Food franchises often require dedicated long hours and if you are not prepared to put in the extra time and make a full time commitment this may not be the option for you.  On the other hand, many retail franchisees, while happy to commit, still want weekends and evenings free, so this is a better option for them.” 

Then there is the question of capital.  Many, if not all…
‘Staff smarts’ can give a franchise ‘star’ statusGetting to grips with the pro and cons of managing staff effectively is vital to the success of a franchise  

The most valuable asset in any franchise is its people. It is people that drive admin, control systems and provide the service, build efficient teams and help to keep customers coming back for more. Ignoring staff needs and failing to acknowledge and reward them can potentially harm a franchise. 

“If you are buying a new franchise and selecting your own staff, or acquiring an existing outlet with staff, getting to grips with employee issues is vital. It is critical that the right people are in the right positions and that the staffing process is accomplished as quickly and effectively as possible,” says Simone Cooper, Head of Franchising and Enterprise Development at Standard Bank.

“Sorting out employee issues is time-consuming and can even be intimidating, but you can usually get advice, tips and possible staff referrals from the …
SHOULD I QUIT MY JOB?If you have dreamed of becoming your own boss, bear in mind that 40 is considered the point of no return, or rather — the point of no departure.

Without considering your lifestyle, academic qualifications, balance sheet or ability to own and manage your own enterprise, the age of 40 is generally accepted as the point of no return, or rather — point of no departure.

At 40 years of age your income, as an established professional, has probably reached a point where you are highly unlikely to earn better in the next five years, by venturing into your own business ­— not impossible, but unlikely. 

Waiting for 40 to draw closer before you consider a move also indicates that you are naturally risk averse and less likely to be comfortable in a self-employed environment. The freedom of being self-employed, the satisfaction of generating employment and the capacity to grab that next income earning opportunity when it presents itself, is what entrepreneurs thrive on.

Every aspir…
Sparkling Auto Care Centre Amanzimtoti
Project funded by Kagiso Trust

We talk to Corné Gustafson about the funding process and the support he received from SA Franchise Warehouse.

By combining traditional car wash and valet services with automotive repair services, Sparkling Auto Care Centres have carved a unique niche in the marketplace. The Sparkling Auto Care Centre franchise in Amanzimtoti, located at the Arbour Crossing Shopping Centre on Arbour Road, was established in 2010, but as the franchisee has since experienced a change in circumstance that has diluted his attention to the business, the franchisor has decided to bring this outlet back into the company fold. The purchase of the franchise as a going concern was funded by Kagiso.

Creating the Sparkle

Sparkling Car Wash was founded by Corné Gustafson in 1992 as a car wash and valet services business. Two important factors — service and speed/time — were identified as key success factors for operating a successful high volume car w…
Matrix Warehouse Parow shaping the future of IT in the Western Cape
Project funded by the Jobs Fund and administered by Business Partners

Dale February is the proud owner of the brand new Matrix Warehouse Parow store.


Growing up in Atlantis in the Western Cape with an older brother and sister for company, Dale completed his Matric at Saxonsea Secondary school. With no means to further his studies he started working in a factory and eventually worked his way up to a position at the IT helpdesk with Metcash (Metro Cash & Carry). Dale studied part time to obtain his A+ and N+ qualifications and during his 20 year tenure in the corporate IT field he worked for Cargill RSA as Senior IT Technician and Service Desk Supervisor for the Sub-Saharan Africa Region. 

Married to his wife of three years, whom he calls "the most gorgeous, jaw-dropping woman in our galaxy", Dale is also the proud father of three kids of aged 15, eight and two. He also points out that his wi…
Matrix Warehouse shaping up in BritsRiaan Gericke is the delighted owner of the new Matrix Warehouse store in Brits.

Project funded by Kagiso Trust

The person

Growing up in the little town of Despatch situated between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, Riaan completed his Matric at Despatch High School and then went on to study at CS Holding where he qualified as a Certified Novell Engineer. Before stepping out on his own, Riaan was employed as a Regional Service Delivery Manager at South African Breweries, managing the IT infrastructure of the biggest brewery in the Southern Hemisphere. Riaan is fortunate to have the unwavering support of his family as he embarks on this new venture — "They are all involved in the business, providing support and helping where they can."

Life as an entrepreneur

Q: Is being your own boss something you always aspired to and who/what motivated you to want to own your own business?
A: I always wanted to be my own boss, even when I was s…
Mobile payment adoption on the increase
Small businesses face a number of challenges on their road to becoming sustainable enterprises. Not the least of these has been the problem of accepting card-based payments for services rendered at customer sites or at venues such as local markets, due to the relatively high cost of point-of-sale (POS) devices needed to process sales.  

This however is rapidly becoming a thing of the past as more small businesses are embracing the technology of SnapScan and moving towards mobile payment solutions explains Vuyo Mpako, Head of Innovation and Channel Design at Standard Bank.  Specifically developed for the small business sector by Standard Bank, SnapScan has signed up over 12,000 small businesses nationally, in three short months.

“As a financial institution serving thousands of small businesses, we believed that this was a major impediment to the future development and sustainability of small businesses. There was an urgent need to provide a real-tim…