Showing posts from March, 2018

Debt can be good for SMEs if managed well

The word “debt” often has negative connotations for small businesses as it can be associated with financial trouble. However, it should be noted that it is often a vital resource that allows a business to grow. This is according to Siphethe Dumeko, chief financial officer of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that although outward signs of a successful business are profitability, asset growth and happy employees, a crucial additional indicator signifying its financial health is the way in which it manages its debt.

“Well-managed debt starts with the fundamentals of good overall financial management. This is done by implementing a sound control environment along with necessary processes and checks such as controls over the access to bank accounts as well as regular reconciliation and review of bank statements. Another control measure is tight credit control to ensure that debtors pay on time,” he says.
“Other debt management measures include the implementation of …

A healthy credit record: your building block to financial freedom

Take advantage of your free annual credit report

Nowadays, not many things in life are completely free of charge, but thanks to the National Credit Act, you’re entitled to a free up-to-date credit report every year. “Taking advantage of this free online service via a registered credit bureau (like Transunion, for example) is definitely a good idea,” says Soré Cloete, Senior Legal Manager at Old Mutual Personal Finance.

“Knowing your credit record and keeping it healthy is particularly important when applying for longer-term credit – such as a home loan, or vehicle or business financing – as most credit providers check your credit and payment behaviour,” she explains.

She advises you to check your credit health at least once a year. “If there are red flags on your record, make sure you address them right away. Speak to your financial adviser about how you can stay on top of your debt and make healthy credit part of your financial plan.

“Be conscious of all your outstanding debt and ens…

Fuel franchising sector in South Africa is growing

Fuel retail sector continues to grow in spite of the relatively sluggish economic growth in South Africa. According to the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), this sector contributes 8.5% to the South African Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“There are more than 4,600 service stations in South Africa and a collected annual turnover in excess of R324 billion. This industry has been gradually increasing over the past three years and we expect it to continue in the same trajectory over the next coming years,” says Ronél Fester, FNB Franchise Industry Specialist.

She shares five key insights that continue to characterize this important sector.

Biggest contributor to the bottom line: Fuel is still the main driver in this industry – the comparison ratio between money coming from a convenience store and fuel is about R1.20 to R1.40 per liter sold on the petrol station.

Alternative Profit Opportunities (APOs):  Consumers enjoy convenience. As a result, more and more forecourts a…

Why taking a holiday can be the true test of a business

A surefire way for entrepreneurs to do a health check on their business is to plan a holiday. This is according to David Morobe, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that stepping away from one’s business for a week can in fact help to find its weaknesses.

“Entrepreneurs can even do it as a hypothetical exercise without physically taking a holiday. The entrepreneur should ask questions like: Which system will potentially be the first to collapse if I am not around? Which form of work will start piling up if I am out of office for an extended period? Which staff members can be put in charge of certain processes and responsibilities in my place?”

The answers to these questions, according to Morobe, will tell the entrepreneur which departments in the business need the most work, which tasks they should delegate and which team members can be brought into the management team.

“The short-term plans that entrepreneurs put in place to keep ‘the …

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Domino's Pizza

Ranked amongst the world’s top restaurant brands, Domino’s Pizza is the world’s leading pizza delivery chain both in store number and unit sales. In fact, Domino's pioneered the pizza delivery business and sells more than one million pizzas across the globe each day. Domino's currently boasts almost 13,000 stores in over 80 vibrant markets around the world.

Domino’s Pizza in South Africa is managed by the Taste Holdings Group and forms part of the Taste Food Division along with Zebro’s, The Fish & Chip Co, Maxi’s and Starbucks.

Domino’s Pizza introduced authentic American-style pepperoni to the local market but has also retained the tastiest local pizzas on the menu to accommodate local pizza connoisseurs. Since launching the brand in November 2014, 90 Domino’s Pizza stores have been opened in South Africa and the number continues to grow.

The Domino's Pizza economic model is built on strong cash-on-cash returns. Their industry-leading technology…

Maths is crucial to your child’s development

A+Students prepares for future jobs.

Marlene Mouton, Chairlady of A+ Students, recently pointed out that although half of the jobs in 10 years’ time have still not been ‘invented’, the one thing they will all have in common is maths. According to Mouton, maths and more especially the understanding of math concepts during the early foundation and development stages is of paramount importance to ensure a child is prepared for the future and the job or career the child will embark on.

At A+ Students maths and mental arithmetic is taught through play, which assists the leaning process as well as stimulating left and right brain development. These aspects are crucial in a child’s early leaning stages and with over 30 000 student enrolments to date, A+ is the leader in its field of teaching maths and mental arithmetic through the use of the abacus.

Mouton added that although there are 620 teaching venues across South African there is so much scope for growth such as in KZN where there is cu…

Domino’s Pizza tracker gets a face lift

Domino’s Pizza have launched an all new pizza tracker to give customers a richer experience while waiting for their favourite pizza. The pizza tracker allows customer to track their order from the time that the order is placed to the minute it leaves the store. The Pizza Tracker® allows customers to track every stage of their order in real timeNew Pizza Tracker® offers richer user experienceRevamped Tracker is available on web and mobile “The functionality was launched in South Africa in 2014 and serves as a point of convenience and a source of entertainment. Our customers love the idea of seeing the progress of their order. This popular feature required a refreshed look to stay relevant and the redesign forms part of our digital journey that will see more alignment to global initiatives,” says Romy Townsend, Marketing Manager for Domino’s Pizza in South Africa.

To launch the new Tracker, Domino’s Pizza created an 8-episode animated series titled, ‘The Dough of Destiny’. The investiga…

Bosch Service - One of the world's leading automotive parts manufacturers

Bosch has been investing in the future of mobility for more than 125 years, ensuring safety, cost-efficiency and convenience. Bosch is a prominent supplier to the automotive industry offering reliability and innovation, throughout the world. From research and development to production and full expert care, Bosch accompanies a vehicle throughout its life cycle.

Service quality with a personal touch
Bosch Service - the right stop for expert repairs and services. As one of the leading suppliers of original automotive equipment, Bosch workshops uniquely offer diagnostics, service, repairs and genuine spare parts for all vehicle makes – even for new-age cars with the latest automotive technology. Selected Bosch Service workshops are equipped to diagnose the Common Rail Systems that are fitted in new generation diesel vehicles. No matter which car or model, you can be assured of the best service.

The importance of technical training 
Besides theoretical knowledge, Bosch technical training als…

Negotiating lease agreements for franchised businesses

Legally, parties to a lease agreement need only agree on three points for a valid lease to come into effect — the premises, the rent, and the duration of the lease. However, for a franchisee to trade viably from the premises, other issues must also be addressed, whether the franchisor or the franchisee is the main tenant.

By Ian Jacobsberg

Franchised businesses can be divided into two main categories with respect to the importance of the type of premises they will require, and where. The category into which a business falls will play a role in how the lease negotiation will be approached and determine the issues that may arise.

Area-based franchises
These are typically service-type businesses such as real estate agencies, cleaning and repair or distribution services. The franchisee is given a right to service customers within a defined territory and may be limited to trading in that territory. In these businesses, the franchisee generally serves at the customers’ own premises or elsewhe…

Learn the art of un-multitasking

With technology today allowing us to tend to multiple tasks at the same time, we have all fallen into the trap of believing ourselves brilliant multitaskers when the hard truth is that most of us are terrible at it.

By Gary Epstein

While we all want to believe ourselves brilliant multitaskers, the truth is that our brains are simply not wired to focus on more than one task at a time. In fact, neuroscientists have proven that while we can’t actually multitask per se, what we can do is to shift our focus from one task to the next with astonishing speed. Switching between tasks, however, does not make you a multitasker and even though you might think that you’re paying attention to everything around you, you’re actually not. Splitting our focus between tasks causes us to lose our train of thought, to have to redo work, and to erroneously assume that we have completed a task, only to realise that we have overlooked a critical element. If this is you, we suggest you re-evaluate your working…

SA Florist helps transform township businesses

Using marketplace technology, SA Florist has launched a programme to on-board township florists through an ecosystem that has been established to assist entrepreneurs to launch sustainable businesses. It plans to attract, upskill and support at least 30 entrepreneurs over the next three years.

A four-month pilot project was launched in Soweto to empower independent florists that are owned by black-women and service the township area. From 16 applications, five were selected to participate in the programme.

SA Florist managing director Matt Surkont says this pilot project was aimed at mining these gems. "After detailed analysis of the existing 300 florists on our platform, we found an unacceptably small percentage were black owned.”

The programme uses a two-pronged approach, combining training and peer-to-peer mentorship. The aim is simple, to play a pivotal role in using our technology to transform black townships into economic prosperity by creating market access.

“SA Florist h…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring SkinPhD

As one of the leading pioneers in aesthetic beauty services and products, SkinPhD continuously invests in the research and development of raw materials recognised for their proven clinical efficacies. Combined with advancing innovations and technology in the field of medicine, SkinPhD’s research is swiftly tapering the gap between the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and medical industries; producing cosmeceutical products and innovative non-invasive surgical services. This essentially establishes SkinPhD as the beauty salon of the future. Joining the SkinPhD brand means moving into the fast lane in an industry poised for growth.

SkinPhD is dedicated to offering clients a world-class salon experience, with the latest in cosmeceutical products and aesthetic services of unmatched quality and value. Comprehensive, client-dedicated service is the focus of all SkinPhD Aesthetic Beauty and Hair Salon franchisees and employees. In fact, it is their hospitable dedication to maki…

The gender pay gap and poor retirement outcomes

As new regulations in the UK tackle the gender pay gap, Emma Heap, head of retail at 10X Investments, says enduring pay inequality between men and women is one of the reasons so many women in South Africa are not able to retire comfortably.

New regulations in the UK require that all companies with more than 250 employees report their gender pay gap to the Government Equalities Office by April this year. This shift towards greater transparency will likely put pressure on companies to pay their female and male staff more comparable wages.

The problem is far from unique to the UK, however, and South African women face similar, if not worse, struggles. The 2017 Pulse of the People report run by market research firm Ipsos found that, on average, women in South Africa earned 27% less than their male counterparts. The same report, which surveyed more than 3 500 employed South Africans across various occupations and regions, found that this gap becomes even wider when looking at top earners,…

Life-long learning key to entrepreneurial success

As a small business owner, it is vital to continually learn in order to ensure steady business growth. Cape Town based entrepreneur, Delia Cupido, owner of Chameleon Schools, is living proof of the power of life-long education in business.

According to the recently released Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report for 2017/2018, South Africa ranks 45 out of 54 countries in terms of perceived entrepreneurial capabilities. Gugu Mjadu, Executive General Manager: Marketing at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) says that it is therefore crucial for both aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs to tap into their entrepreneurial traits.

“Entrepreneurs should explore out-the-box ways to learn new skills and strengthen their capabilities in order to start and grow their businesses. This can be done by learning from part-time jobs, short courses, by networking or investing in a business mentor who is able to teach the skills that the entrepreneur is lacking.”

Cupido’s passion for continuous…

SA’s PREMIER entrepreneurial competition MARKS 30 YEARS OF CELEBRATING entrepreneurial excellence

Amid the current political optimism, entrepreneurs should be especially inspired by the continued commitment to SME support which emerged as a consistent theme in both the 2018 State of the Nation Address and the National Budget Speech. This is according to Christo Botes, spokesperson for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, who believes that this continued focus evidences Government’s recognition of the vital role played by entrepreneurs in enabling economic growth.

Speaking in light of the launch of the 2018 competition, Botes says that this long-deserved recognition of the SME sector only further validates the competition’s unwavering commitment to celebrating excellence in entrepreneurship and fostering future economic growth.

“Now in our 30th year, this renowned competition continues to pay homage to the fearless South African entrepreneurs who dedicate themselves to their enterprises and businesses: driving growth, combatting…

Join the second-hand selling boom in support of global recycling day

Trading in second-hand goods is as old as business itself – and now it’s enjoying a rising new wave of popularity, to the benefit of both buyers and sellers, says Richard Mukheibir, CEO of Cash Converters Southern Africa.

“For me, it’s a no brainer because being a smous is in my blood,” he says. “But thanks to the hugely increasing wave of interest in the millennial mantra of ‘recycle, reuse, repurpose’, we are seeing a whole new generation being attracted into buying and trading in second-hand goods.

“In the USA, a GarageWorks survey found that 75 per cent of US homeowners have garages that are too full to fit the family car and the situation in the UK is very similar. Instead, garages are full of hobby and sporting gear and overspill from the main house, from holiday decorations to an extra fridge/freezer. South Africans can check out their own garages ahead of winter – they will amaze themselves by how much they boost their own bank accounts when they blitz this kind of clutter. T…

New Development Programme launched to boost EC Exports

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber in partnership with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) announced that it has launched a new one-year Exporter Development Programme as part of an enterprise development strategy to empower business owners and companies.

The Business Chamber launched and welcomed several companies that are on the cusp of exporting but in need of further assistance to enter and explore new markets.

According to the recently released EC Export Strategy, many SMEs face key constraints and several barriers such as intensified international competition, unable to participate in potential buyer outreaches, costs relating to marketing, logistics and transport and export documentation. These prohibit companies to expand and grow their products and services in foreign markets.

“The Exporter Development Programme is designed to assist companies to reduce and eliminate all these challenges and barriers,” said Nomkhita Mona, Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Mr Kruger

Mr Kruger is a successful gold exchange business, founded by Arno Egen in 2014. The performance of the initial Mr Kruger branded outlet has clearly demonstrated that in the prevailing market conditions there is a real need for the services they offer. Mr Kruger is an authorised partner of the South African Mint and a member of the South African Association Of Numismatic Dealers (SAAND) and the Jewellery Council of South Africa.

Mr Kruger’s principal business is the buying and selling of gold and other metals, whether in the form of bullion, typically represented by Krugerrands, or jewellery. As a gold exchange, they enable customers to translate faded sentimental value into cash by purchasing gold jewellery and other items, which they either recycle or remodel into newer, unique and more on-trend designs.

The value of every transaction is determined by the current trading metal price; a fact that brings transparency to the business and offers customers a refresh…

SME owners to plan for growth in 2018

Small and medium enterprises (SME) should prepare to take action and plan for increased growth in 2018. This is according to Ben Bierman, Managing Director of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), commenting on the latest Business Partners Limited SME Index – a survey measuring the attitudes and confidence levels of South African small and medium enterprise (SME) owners.

He says that the 2017 fourth quarter index reveals that SMEs are confident that the South African economy will be conducive for business growth in the next 12 months. “Confidence levels have risen to 64% - an 11 percentage point increase in comparison to the third quarter of 2017 – and the most substantial change recorded since the index was launched in 2012.”

On another positive note, Bierman says that SMEs have confidence levels of 78% - a 6 percentage point increase in comparison to the third quarter of 2017 – that their own businesses will experience growth in 2018, which he believes is largely due to th…

6 Key take-aways from Warren Buffet's 2017 annual letter to shareholders

There is always a frenzy to devour and dissect Buffett’s shareholder letter and extract the freshest pearls of wisdom. This year was no exception, even though the pickings seemed a bit slim. On more leisurely reading, says Steven Nathan, 10X Investment chief executive, some insights relate to the things he didn’t talk about. 

Lesson 1: fees are paramount

Some points bear repeating. In 2015, Buffett warned investors it’s their own behaviour that can make stock ownership risky. One such behaviour is “the payment of high and unnecessary fees to managers and advisors”.

In 2017, he reminded his readers that, unlike returns, “fees never sleep”. Or, as he put it in 2018, “Performance comes, performance goes. Fees never falter.” That message never gets old.

Nothing captures the long-term impact of compounding small percentages – as may be attributable to fees – as dramatically as Berkshire Hathaway’s own numbers. Since 1965, $100 dollars invested by the company would have grown to $1,1m, $100…

The art of failing and recovering, fast

Why effective risk-taking is critical for success

Failure is never an easy pill to swallow. But, with 70 to 80% of small businesses in South Africa reportedly closing their doors within the first 5 years, it is critical that entrepreneurs are able to recover from failures quickly, make mistakes on as small a scale as possible and – most importantly – that they learn from these shortcomings.

Speaking to this approach, Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, unpacks an entrepreneurship trend that has been aptly dubbed fast fail. “To avoid sitting on an idea or decision for too long, the ‘fail fast’ trend encourages entrepreneurs to execute quickly and with full conviction, even if this means failing fast.”

The theory of failing fast is particularly applicable to smaller issues such as minor product changes and delegating responsibilities to staff; it encourages a little experimentation in a business.

2017 Sm…