Showing posts from September, 2016

First SA Working Mothers Expo set for November

It is not unusual, today, to meet a woman who balances a challenging career with a plethora of household responsibilities, the intricacies of modern childcare and a fulfilling social life. She is certainly no longer lauded for her super-human abilities – it is simply expected of her.

The Working Mothers Expo, in partnership with MiWayLife, takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 4-6 November this year.  This is the first time that an expo in South Africa will be directly geared to meet the needs of working mothers.

Craig Baker, CEO of MiWayLife, says: “There really is very little in the way of support for this essential and unique demographic in South Africa.  There are a myriad of other lifestyle expos, but nothing which specifically addresses the issues and challenges of being a working mother.  As MiWayLife we recognise the important contribution of working mothers to the economy, which makes this partnership invaluable to us. We hope to see the Working Mothers Expo become …

Interest rates left unchanged, but a lot to think about

Dave Mohr & Izak Odendaal, Old Mutual Multi-Managers

It was a big week for monetary policy. The Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) meeting was keenly awaited as it promised to deliver a “comprehensive assessment” of its policies. With the aim of ending Japan’s chronic deflation, Governor Kuroda launched the world’s most ambitious quantitative easing programme when he took office in 2013. He has ballooned the Bank’s balance sheet to a size equal to the country’s annual economic output, while the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is only a quarter of that of the US. Initially, this had the desired effect of weakening the yen from ¥80 to ¥120 against the US dollar, boosting exporters and lifting import prices, but the yen has since rallied back to ¥100 per dollar and inflation is barely positive, well below the 2% target. Cutting interest rates below zero in January 2016 did not help, making life difficult for Japan’s banks. Consequently, the BoJ decided not to cut rates any deeper into negative ter…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Big Joe's Real Pies

Big Joe’s Real Pies is a specialist retail store supplying competitively priced fresh, high quality home-made pies to the retail and wholesale market. Until early 2016, when a decision was taken to change the business model, Big Joe’s was the manufacturer and supplier for Deeghuys pies. The first Big Joe’s retail store in Hermanus was an immediate success and three successful years, a second store was opened nearby, in Strand, to further refine the business and franchise model.
The Big Joes franchise company is headed up by Hennie Andrews, founder of King Pie and Pieter van der Merwe, founder of PNA and former Managing Director of Deeghuys. Each partner brings a unique set of skills to the table and together, they have created a sustainable profitable business model.

A proven concept, superior product presentation and favourable pricing mean that even in the current economic climate Big Joe’s is a highly competitive business. Consumer trends have shown increased…

Culture shift required to boost SA's entrepreneurship levels

Economic growth in South Africa has, for the last few months, been in the spotlight – especially as ratings agencies keep a close eye on developments in the country. Given entrepreneurs’ significant contribution to GDP, reported at 42%1, the expectation remains for entrepreneurs to bolster growth in the country. As we review our heritage this Heritage Month, the question however remains, is a culture of entrepreneurship being promoted in South Africa?

According to Christo Botes, executive director at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), the answer is ‘somewhat’. “To drive future economic growth, South Africa needs to introduce and enhance initiatives aimed at ingraining entrepreneurship into its culture.

He explains that entrepreneurship is moulded by intention, opportunity, skills and resources. Together these elements derive entrepreneurial activity, which involve an individual identifying an opportunity, and using their ability and motivation to navigate the market enviro…

Living Will & Testament: What you need to know

“I am still young… I took out life insurance a few years ago … I am always careful and take precautions for everything I do… I am a safe and considerate driver…”

Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, none of these are solely in your control – your life can change in an instant and you need to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of, even if the worst was to happen. Having a 'Will' drawn up, is in essence your voice when you are no longer here to speak for yourself.

'When you own a property, a 'Will' becomes even more important as you would not want your loved ones to be left without a roof over their heads' explained Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. “Having life insurance attached to your bond, will ensure that the remaining bond is settled with the bank and that your 'heirs' do not still need to cope with the financial burden on top of the emotional stresses”.

Craig explained the basic terms which we all need to know…

The Sunburst Electric Rebranding Journey

When the right’s were purchased from The Dwyer Group in 2015 to trade as Mr. Electric in South Africa, we were faced with a small but significant hurdle. We couldn’t use the Mr. Electric registered name, the name that is so well known across the globe and in the electrical industry.

Not knowing for certain if we would ever acquire the rights to use the Mr. Electric name, we embarked on a quest to find a new name and so Sunburst Electric was born. With overwhelming excitement and joy we began rebranding all our branded material. We are very proud to call ourselves Sunburst Electric and to be part of an international electrical contracting franchise.

For more information on the Sunburst Electric franchise, visit us on or email

Exporting mistakes that businesses should avoid

SMEs that have made it locally and are ready to attain the next level of growth by venturing into the export market should avoid making costly mistakes that could potentially harm their businesses.    

Bobby Madhav, Head of Trade and Collateralised Trade Finance at FNB Business says, businesses entering the export market for the first time often mistakenly assume that merely doing research and having a good concept and value proposition are enough to guarantee success.

“In spite of these important factors, without the relevant experience, guidance and partnerships, small businesses are bound to fall victim to costly export errors,” says Madhav as he shares ten common export mistakes that businesses should aim to avoid.

•    Not willing to learn from others – SMEs that consult experienced exporters, within their sectors, learn a great deal from their past failures and successes. This form of advice is usually free and can save a business time and money.

•    Abandoning core market – n…

Sure you can paint, but that doesn’t make you Picasso

At some point everyone can admit to thinking “I can do that”, especially when looking at a craft project, piece of furniture, cake recipe or photograph. Yes, you probably can, but what will the end result be?

Enter the social media “Nailed it!” memes, which show the before and after photos of people’s unsuccessful, and usually humorous, attempts to recreate a project. Can you really nail it or is it a better option to simply call in the professionals?

“When it comes to marketing there are companies that implement in-house and do successfully get the job done,” says Sylvia Schutte, managing director of integrated agency Stratitude. “But, just as you’d leave financial, legal and even maintenance tasks to the professionals, marketing should be treated in the same way. By hiring an experienced agency, you get markedly different results.”
“It’s the job of an agency to know about the next big thing. We do this by attending local and international conferences and investing resources into learn…

The slow road to recovery for SA’s economy

Dave Mohr and Izak Odendaal, Old Mutual Multi-Managers

This week marks the eighth anniversary of the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers. It was the largest bankruptcy on record – the bank had $690 billion in assets - and turned the one year-old credit crunch into a full-blown global financial crisis. With credit markets seizing up, especially interbank lending, the spill-over to the already declining US real economy was severe. Although the crisis was triggered in America, it spread worldwide, putting over-leveraged banking systems under tremendous pressure. Global flows of credit evaporated and the world economy went into a deep recession.

September 2008 was the low point not only for equity markets. As economies worsened, companies started reporting losses and the market continued to fall until March 2009. Many companies embarked on painful restructuring processes, worsening job losses. But the relentless cost-cutting also meant that they were able to increase profitability …

Untapped tourism sector key to meeting SA economic challenges

As many sectors within the South African economy continue to struggle with growth projected to be low, one sector that continues to thrive is the local tourism industry. Anton Roelofse, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), says that recent figures show the tourism sector to be one of the country’s best performing and consistently stable industries - growing faster than the local economy. Despite tough economic conditions, the sector highlights the opportunities that exist for ambitious, determined entrepreneurs.

The local tourism industry is producing a sizeable, positive contribution to South Africa’s GDP – forecast to grow from 9.5% contribution to national GDP in 2015, to 10.5% of national GDP by 2025. 

Roelofse says that tourism is similar to an export company as it largely operates with foreign currencies. “The weakened rand is favourable for local businesses within the tourism sector as it makes South Africa an even more attractive holiday …

School's out - forever...

It is that time of the year where Matriculants are now well underway in getting ready for the final exams. This is a very exciting and daunting time for both scholars (soon to be adults) and parents – the first step towards their future.

Many know for a fact, and have always known what they want to do after school. For these, University might be the next step. Many students choose a University not because of its location, but due to its strength in the field of which they are looking to move into.

There are various factors which has to be considered… Where to study? What to study? Where to live? And for most parents the worry of whether their child will be okay and safe.

“Interest in student housing has become increasingly popular over the years with the demand growing more and more as urban areas extend to, what used to be, outlying areas and traveling becomes ever more difficult with relation to fuel prices and transport costs” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel& Völkers Southe…

Philly Cheesesteaks aiming to open four new stores in 2017

We don’t want to rub our competitors up the wrong way…necessarily

Brothers Bruno and Ivan Persic have not always been politically correct or done things the way they ought to have been done. While not everyone’s cup of tea, looking at it half a glass full, challenging the status quo sometimes has its upsides.

The word “Hijacking” has mostly negative connotations but is a very famous local hobby. Wanting to keep with the “local is lekker” theme we decided to hijack a US concept and pretend it’s our original idea.

“It all started after having travelled the US while in corporate. I had one or two Philly Cheesesteaks abroad but never really thought much of the idea other than it was a stunning hangover cure after a “long and strenuous” business dinner (hope my ex boss is not reading this)” says Bruno Persic, Joint MD of Philly Cheesesteak Co.

“It was only a few months later that decided I was tired to licking bums for a living and decided to jump the corporate ship that I discovered the …

Why your marketing strategy needs infographics

High-quality infographics are far more likely to be read and shared than text-based content, giving them greater virality and making them a popular marketing tool. However, they need to be thoroughly researched, meticulously written and skilfully designed to be effective and boost brand visibility.

“We’re living in a digital era so we’re constantly flooded with information,” says Sylvia Schutte, Managing Director at integrated agency Stratitude. “This is why we strive to find unique and creative ways to help our clients successfully engage with, and grow, their online audience. One way we achieve this is through infographics that are carefully crafted in order to add

A well-designed infographic is a data-rich image that tells a story in a clear and effective way. It can simplify a complicated topic, make a boring subject interesting, make sense of an idea in a few visual steps and position you as an expert. While it educates and informs, it can also build brand awareness, dr…

Franchises advised to keep up or risk being left behind

Lessons from 2016 FNB Franchising Leadership Summit

Unless franchise business owners start thinking out of the box and embrace the disruptive forces of innovation, creativity and technology, they risk losing market share and ultimately their existence.

Themed “Disrupting the future of franchising”, the summit focused on how the concept of disruption is changing the business landscape, not only in South Africa, but across the globe.

While disruption aims to break traditional stereotypes in the business world it also presents opportunities in tough economic times when consumers struggle to make ends meet and are constantly looking for value for money.

Morne Cronje, Head of Franchising at FNB says as a thought leader and advocate of innovation in South African business, we successfully hosted the 2016 FNB Franchise Leadership Summit. Franchise owners were challenged to find niches within their own industries and further enlightened on how embracing disruption could possibly be the key to…