Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of enhancing an online offering’s presence on search engines like Google or Bing to drive more traffic to a web page. SEO is directed at ‘organic’ searches – people looking for something using a search engine receive results based on the search engine’s determination of the most relevant pages. So how do you make your business’s website rank better? How can you ensure you’re SEO friendly?
Growing your client-base is an integral part of life as a freelance accountant. The process can be frustrating, with many promising leads resulting in dead-ends. But expanding your client list need not be a negative experience – follow these tips and make expanding your business a less strenuous process.
One of the great advantages of being an accountant specialising in small business is the close contact that you can have with your clients. Your influence can be instrumental in pushing your client’s business to new heights.
You’re setting out on your own, business plan honed, brimming with ideas, and ready to conquer the market. Starting a new business is one the greatest adventures you’ll have, but excitement can quickly turn to disappointment. Here’s some advice to keep in mind as you contemplate a new venture.
Staff reviews can be dreaded affairs for reviewer and reviewee alike. But staff reviews are among the most important tools that a business owner or manager has at their disposal for tracking progress and identifying issues in the workplace. Before you enter into the review process with your staff, keep these tips in mind to get the most out of the staff review process.
Not all who build businesses are equal. Very often those who look to describe people with their own enterprise will use ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘small business owner’ interchangeably; however each phrase describes a different kind of person, and distinctive mind-sets about how they pursue their business.
As a business owner, you’re faced with constant pressures on your time. You’ll be faced with new problems as they arise, which means that keeping a regular schedule is nigh-on impossible. The demands of your business can run you down, if you’re not careful. Keep these tips in mind, and have your body run as well as your business.
A manager’s task is to make sure that those that they oversee are performing to the greatest effect; you must get the best out of people. There’s no formula, no algorithm to good management; what works for one person might not work for another. Good management means responding to situations as they arise, each unique.
If you’re a bookkeeper for one, or many small businesses, you’ll know about the delicate state in which a small business can operate. Small businesses, by virtue of their size, need to be adaptable in order to mitigate the risks that come from being a small operation with limited assets. As a bookkeeper working in this environment, your focus should always be on providing your clients, or employers, with a service that will ensure the business’s financial well-being.
Communication is key. Your business relies on the good work of your employees to achieve your goals. Studies show that employee discontent is a major cause of under-performance. As an employer or manager, it is crucial to understand your employees’ workplace experiences.
As the world of retail changes, so do brands. Bigger brands are facing a disconnect with their audience, who now prefer shopping at their pace and curating their own retail experience. From using Instagram to uncover new, independent designers, to shopping in urban spaces that also serve as music stores or art galleries, Cornerstore fits in perfectly with the new guard of retail.
June 16th is a public holiday in South Africa that honours the memory of the students who protested against Apartheid education in schools. The date serves to remind us how important the youth are and how instrumental they are in building our future as a country.
It’s not easy being a freelance accountant, especially when you’re starting out and trying to build your client base. While many people see accountants as purely “numbers” people, you can change that perception by becoming a leader in your industry and standing out to your clients – which can be achieved through content marketing.
The rise of modern technology has meant that our lives have become more streamlined, efficient and exciting, in almost every way possible. We can access information like never before, book and change flights at any time, locate detailed maps of a place we have never been to and even hold meetings across continents.
Hiring new employees is an important process that, as a manager, is a huge responsibility that you no doubt want to get right. We’ve compiled a list of questions to ask when interviewing a potential new hire that can help you get to know what kind of employee they would be and to allow them to express themselves constructively. These questions enable the interviewee to chat at length, providing you with a clear image of who they are and how they could possibly fit into the role and the work place.
Preparing a business plan can be both nerve-wracking and exciting. Before you start jotting down ideas, you will need to ponder on what can go wrong. Here are some curveballs that your business may run into, and how to manage them effectively.
Cloud accounting is the newest feature in cloud storage. Everyone is familiar with storing music, images or documents to the cloud while accessing them via various digital devices. This has spilled over into the business sector and many businesses are reaping the benefits of cloud storage.
Just like any part of life, where there are enough different personalities put together in one place for an extended period of time, clashes will occur. When it comes to the workplace, as a manager, you will be expected to be involved in conflict resolution. Here are six tools that will help you in becoming an effective mediator in the workplace.
When starting out as a business owner, there are many things to sort out before you actually start producing work or services and generating income. You need to formulate your business model, secure a budget and rent premises, among other important things to do.
It’s incredibly difficult to realise your business dream when so many external pressures and opinions seem to stand in your way. From co-workers scoffing at your wish to run your own successful business because of the state of the economy to your fretful parents worrying about the loss of your steady career; the road to entrepreneurship is one you often need to go alone.
As a freelance accountant, it’s important that you are always searching for new ways to upskill yourself. By educating yourself constantly, you improve your business and the business of your clients. Here are four easy methods to improve your skills and become the super accountant you have always dreamed of being.
Your company may have the most innovative technology or the best system processes but if your office morale is low, none of it matters. Once office morale is low, it’s imperative to solve it straight away as it spreads fast, like germs in flu season. Here are a few easy yet lasting ways to boost company morale and keep your employees content.
Knead Bakery is known throughout the country as a well-respected producer of artisanal fare, including breads, pastries and coffee. Their menu is understated, yet treats the palate to full flavours made from local ingredients wherever possible.
It doesn’t matter whether your business is selling electronics, providing accounting services or baking cookies and cakes for those with a sweet tooth. If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, you’re already losing out on potential customers.
When it comes to being an accountant for a client’s business, you will need to cultivate certain characteristics and specific approaches to ensure the relationship is a smooth one. As a freelance accountant, you have the power to define the working relationship from the beginning so that it’s a mutually beneficial one.
No matter what you’re selling or offering these days, you’re invisible if you’re not online. Gone are the days of the Yellow Pages – now consumers can access not just a businesses’ details, but their specifications, including user reviews, company profiles and even a glimpse into the business’s character. Consumers are not just happy with gaining a product or service, they want a story too.
Becoming a manager for the first time is a momentous point in anyone’s career. No doubt, the rise to this position has been preceded by hard work, passion for business and a clear display of optimal people skills. Here are a few tips for when you’re a first-time manager; because it’s always helpful to remember sage advice.
The saying goes: “faint heart never won fair maid.” In business, this translates to: if you aren’t bold enough to take risks, you’ll never reach greatness. The following examples are of entrepreneurs who have made their mark on the world with their smart business savvy and bolstered their empires to be recognised by the global public.
Working in the freelance world, there are certain rules that apply that don’t fit into the corporate environment of 9-5 working days. For one, your social media and networking profiles need to be constantly checked and updated so that you can always be on the lookout for new clients and projects.
As a business evolves and expands, so the need for a larger office space becomes more prominent. We spend one third of our lives at work, which means that any place you find needs to not only be affordable but can become a space that your colleagues and customers can resonate with. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect office.
Nick Kaoma was born in Qwa Qwa, a rural town in the Free State. He went on to study a Bcomm Accounting but grew impatient at student life and spreadsheets. He envisioned a different future for himself; one where he could use his skills at business to become an entrepreneur and maker of his own destiny.
Establishing and running your own business is never an easy road to travel, but the rewards can be greater than anything you've ever experienced. If you’re starting out as a business owner, make sure you take into account these five things that may be hindering and not helping your enterprise.
When first launching their own business, many small business owners tend to don every hat: they’re everything from the marketer, to the sales person and even sometimes, the delivery service too. One other role that they seem to take on is that of the business’s accountant.
True leaders are always looking to expand their knowledge, grow and improve themselves, and one of the best ways of achieving this is through reading. With so many amazing leadership books filling the shelves of book shops, it can be rather overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right ones for you – and that’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top picks for 2016.
Contrary to what people may think, entrepreneurs and small business owners are not superheroes – they are human, just like the rest of us. That means that even though they appear to be going full steam ahead 24/7, they also need to take a break every once in a while, and in many cases, lunchtime is the perfect time of the day to do just that.
Sharing the love: Valuable advice shared by some of South Africa’s most successful business visionaries
There’s a definite sense of camaraderie amongst the entrepreneurs and business tycoons of South Africa. The sharing of knowledge and information is a common practice in many industries, with it being particularly valued in the world of start-ups.
A healthy cash flow is essentially the lifeblood of any business. Everything possible needs to be done to ensure that the flow remains undisrupted because the more frequently it gets disrupted, the more damaging this can become, particularly to the bottom line.
As a business leader or manager one thing is certain: you’ll have to make numerous decisions on a daily basis, both simple and tough ones. Those decisions then affect not only the company, but also its employees, customers and even the market as a whole, so needless to say, there’s a lot riding on making the right ones. This perhaps explains why there’s often a lot of anxiety that comes with the decision-making process.
Last month saw us take a look at the achievements of media mogul, Bheki Kunene, the first in a series that will showcase some of South Africa’s most promising, young entrepreneurial talent. This month, we get up close and personal with the specialist repair service that is iFix, and its intrepid founder and CEO, Alex Fourie.
As an entrepreneur, there are many things you need to know, learn and perfect in order to be an effective driving force behind your business. One mistake that many first-time entrepreneurs end up making is that they tend to place too much focus on themselves and how they can gain from the business, when in reality, the business should be about the customer – after all, without the customer, the business wouldn’t exist at all.
For many small business owners, managing the finances correctly, even though it’s a crucial part of running a successful business, is all too often rather low down on the list of priorities. At the end of the day, it’s probably best to let a professional take care of all accounting matters, but when things are first starting out, it’s likely that the business owner will be the one in charge.
We’re not sure about you, but we‘re pretty certain that we’ve never heard anyone say that a meeting was “too short”. Meetings generally have a reputation for being drawn out time-wasters dominated by off-topic conversation and an overall lack of direction. However, the reality is that in most businesses, they’re a necessary evil as they’re used to resolve issues, pass along information to people and facilitate important discussions.
The entrepreneurial bug has well and truly bitten us here in South Africa and this is evident in the continuously growing numbers of entrepreneurs exploding onto the scene on a seemingly daily basis. South Africans are nothing short of innovative and industrious, and with their drive and passion to achieve something great, there’s really no stopping them in the world of business.
Successfully establishing yourself as an expert in your industry can do wonders for your brand and business. You’ll be seen as an authority and as a result, you’ll be elevated automatically in the eyes of your audience. Once you’re regarded as an expert, you’re likely to attract more attention, with people seeking you out for your in-depth knowledge and insights.
As an accountant for a small business, you don’t only deal with numbers, you deal with people too. In order for you to do the best job possible for your clients, it’s vital that you develop and nurture successful relationships with them. This requires time and effort on your behalf, but forming strong connections with your various clients will lead to happiness and overall client satisfaction, so it’s definitely something every small business accountant should strive to achieve.
If you’re an IT professional, you’re no stranger to high pressure situations, crashing systems and technical problem-solving. You’re probably also constantly experiencing moments of fear when the problem before you seems too large and you’re not sure where to begin. It has to be said that IT certainly isn’t for everyone – you need to be able to stay calm in stressful situations, tackle issues smartly and restore order as fast as possible.
There’s a sales element to any business simply because every business is either selling a service or a product. In actual fact, being able to sell successfully to consumers plays a huge role in the longevity of your small business. This is a subtle art and one that needs to be perfected in order to win over the toughest critics in the business – your customers.
Building a business from the ground up is quite a challenge on its own, so attempting to enter an industry you know very little about, can prove to complicate things even more. Whilst it may be more difficult, it definitely isn’t impossible and it’s comforting knowing that many entrepreneurs before you have managed to enter new markets and “foreign” industries successfully.
When you start a small business, you are faced with several challenges. In fact, these challenges start long before the business even opens its doors. All of the planning, sourcing and accounting considerations that need to be made can take months, if not years, to craft and finalise.
We’ve spoken about the key role communication can play in maintaining lasting business relationships, but it’s equally as important to foster effective communication within the office environment itself. Poor communication, or a lack thereof, can result in misunderstandings, frustration and ultimately, poor performance by employees, and this can lead to high turnover rates.
Because it’s a new year and most of us are feeling refreshed and pumped for the adventures and challenges that lie ahead, we thought we’d add to all the inspiration currently floating around. Sometimes in life we need that push to take a leap of faith and follow our dreams, and there’s no doubt that many entrepreneurs can attest to that.
It’s one thing to start your own business, but it’s a whole other ball game to shape and define it. Whilst many entrepreneurs may know that strong branding is essential, they don’t necessarily know why. It’s vital for multiple reasons, but the main one has to be that it’s through its brand identity that a business is able to define who and what it is, not only to its target market, but to itself as well.
Believe it or not, many small business owners do not prioritise staying on top of their finances, leading to overly complicated situations, high stress levels as well as unnecessary confusion. To many, accounting is just a headache. However, the reality is that a business’s finances are its lifeblood – if they’re in a mess, you can almost certainly bet on the business failing eventually.
In the competitive world of business, people are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from others in an attempt to come out ahead of the rest. Whilst this proves effective, another way of keeping up with the competition is to ensure that innovation plays a prominent role in everyday life.
Returning to the office after a nice, relaxing break is never easy – in fact, many people find it completely overwhelming and well, downright sad. After endless days of sleeping in, soaking up the sun on the beach and unashamedly binge-watching series, you’re suddenly hit by the realisation that it’s time to get back to work.
There’s no denying that many of us find ourselves in complete awe of so many of the amazing entrepreneurs around us. Together with the immense respect we inevitably feel for these business movers and shakers, there’s always a bit of curiosity present as well.
The world of accounting is one that is constantly evolving and being an accountant in that world requires so much more than just being able to crunch numbers. Whilst having the right kind of technical skills is essential, there is a wealth of other skills that can help you stand out from the rest and can take you from being a good accountant, to a great one.
If there’s one thing that shouldn’t be underestimated in the business world, it’s the power of body language. Your facial expressions and physical gestures can tell a lot about what you’re thinking, as well as what kind of person you are and how you feel in certain situations.
Businesses are rarely ever successful from the very beginning. In fact, it will probably take a good few years for a business to even start turning over a profit. This goes for both big and small businesses, as size does not necessarily determine success.
Deciding to go off on your own is no easy feat and it shouldn’t be a decision that is made overnight. People choose to start their own small businesses for a number of reasons, often taking a huge risk in order to make their dream a reality.
Following on from our interview earlier this year with head of Sage One, Steven Cohen, we’ve decided to get to know another one of the many faces behind the company’s success: introducing administrator extraordinaire and sales guru, Juan Stander.
There’s no denying that we live life at a fast pace and that many people are part of a very driven society, particularly when it comes to work. Because we’re working so hard to be productive, it’s becoming more and more of a challenge to fulfil both our roles at home and at work satisfactorily.
Choosing to follow your dreams and bring your small business idea to life takes guts, commitment, time and effort. Once the ball is rolling, it’s really easy to get caught up in the work and challenges that come with managing your own business.
There are many things that go into ensuring that a business runs smoothly, but nothing has more of an impact than streamlining. Having streamlined processes almost always equals a high level of productivity, and this is undoubtedly key if a business is to operate at its best on all fronts.
Raise your hand if, getting up early just to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic for an hour before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee is something you love doing? Thought not. Why would you choose to commute for long distances each day when the furthest you’d have to travel if you worked from home, would be from your bed to your home office?
Every business starts somewhere, and that’s usually with an idea that gets translated into a business plan. If you are looking to build your own business, it is absolutely essential that you have a plan to follow. This plan needs to be of the highest quality, as it forms a representation of your business as a whole.
If hopeful entrepreneurs are to reach their full potential and achieve their business dreams, they need to receive adequate guidance, nurturing and of course, opportunities. South Africa is no stranger to producing top-quality business men and women, and with the number of entrepreneurs entering the scene increasing year after year, the economy is receiving a much-needed boost.
Whilst some people are of the opinion that they “didn’t come here to make friends”, others wonder how’d they get through each work day without their group of work buddies. When working very closely with people on a daily basis it’s only natural for special bonds to form and for the lines to blur between co-worker and friend.
Whilst some small businesses are highly profitable as they are, there are others that simply cannot help but expand. As with most things in business, growth can be a double-edged sword: if the process is managed effectively, profitability can soar, but if not, the results can be disastrous. That’s why it’s imperative to do thorough research and planning beforehand.
Time is money in the world of business, so business owners know just how important it is to make every minute count. Apart from perfecting the art of time management, it also helps to have processes and plans in place that allow for the smooth-running of daily office occurrences. Of course, overall organisation also plays a vital role in ensuring that things run efficiently.
Keeping staff happy and motivated is important at the best of times, but even more so during the time leading up to the festive season and New Year. It’s very easy for employees to get distracted and lose interest at this time of the year, so it’s vital, as a manager or small business owner, to do whatever you can to maintain momentum, keep morale up, and encourage employees to stay focussed on their year-end goals.
For many of us, the idea of starting a small business is a daunting one. What if it fails? What if I’m not equipped enough to handle it? What if something goes wrong? All of these ‘what ifs’ are completely understandable, of course, but you shouldn’t let them stop you from reaching for your dream.
At Sage One, we believe in giving small business owners the support they need to manage and run a successful enterprise more easily. With a range of software products available, you’re guaranteed to find the one that works for you and your payroll and accounting needs, which means that you’ll be able to spend less time balancing the books, and more time focusing on growing your company.
Your office is a place in which you spend a lot of time, so why not make it a home away from home? Adding your own personal touch to your space can end up doing wonders for your state of mind, productivity levels and overall attitude during those work days at your desk. As technology and creativity continues to advance, a variety of fun and interesting gadgets are making their way into the world, much to the delight of techies everywhere.
Many well-known, hugely successful businesses of today started out small and very often, far away from a corporate office. In fact, there are multiple multi-billion dollar empires that began as a great idea somewhere other than within the four walls of an office. From humble beginnings to world-wide fame, here are some brands that were launched in the most unlikely of places: a garage,
There’s no denying that employee incentivisation forms an important part of their overall work satisfaction. As a small business owner, finding the right ways to incentivise staff properly can play a key role in improving their performance on a daily basis and helping to create an environment that fosters growth and job satisfaction.
With business becoming more and more global, the likelihood is that you’ll be expected to travel for work more often too. It’s important to do your research thoroughly beforehand though, as cultures differ from country to country, and as a result, how people conduct business transactions can also change from place to place.
Do you spend hours at your desk at work feeling bored and wishing you could be doing something you really loved? Are you passionate about something and dream about finding a way to transform it into a successful business enterprise? Starting your own business is a journey that is bound to be filled with ups and downs, but it has to be said that if true passion lies at the centre, then the chances are that you’ll be able to overcome even the greatest of obstacles.
We live in an age of technology and with it comes greater connectivity. This is something that has undoubtedly fueled the idea of flexible working hours more than ever – gone are the days of people having to stick rigidly to the constraints of a nine-to-five job. Flexi-hours are fast becoming a more viable reality for businesses around the world, one which is allowing employees to have more freedom and control of their working hours than ever before.
There seems to be a common misconception today, particularly among 20-somethings, that if you haven’t made it “big” by the time you’re 30, you’re practically doomed when it comes to finding career happiness. However, the reality is that success doesn’t have an age limit on it and at the end of the day, very often all you need is a great idea and a bucket-full of passion to give you the best chance of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
When it comes to business, most people would rather start their own instead of working for someone else. If you are one such person, you will know just how tricky it can be to choose the right business for you. There are plenty of things to consider, as you will be laying a lot on the line, not to even mention the fact that others (investors, employees) will likely be relying on the success of your business to get by.
South Africans are many things, but with the number of start-ups that have been launched in recent years, it’s easy to see how “enterprising” is fast becoming an accurate way of describing them. More and more aspiring entrepreneurs are attempting to make their mark in South Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurial market, many of who are driven by their need to make a difference in society and help their fellow brethren – and Lumkani is one such start-up.
In South Africa, small businesses are responsible for creating a large portion of the GDP. From small curio shops to independent convenience stores, the country is home to thousands of independently-owned businesses that have helped the economy along. However, maintaining any business, regardless of its size, can prove to be very challenging
There are a lot of businesses out there that are satisfied with being average, but it’s the ones that push themselves to be more that end up being the most successful. In order to set your small business apart from the rest, you often have to go the extra mile with the aim of not simply meeting expectations, but exceeding them.
As the old saying goes, “first impressions are lasting impressions”. If you own a small business, you will know all too well just how true this is. Making a good impression on your customers the first time you interact with them is of utmost importance, as they are likely to tell their friends, family and colleagues a lot about their encounter with your business.
As the leader of your small business, there are several moves you will have to make at different points in time to ensure that your start-up continues on the path to success. As your business continues to grow, it’s inevitable that certain adjustments will have to be made in order to facilitate your climb to the top, and one such adjustment is undoubtedly mastering the skill of delegation.
So, you finished highschool and went on to study at a top university, where you learnt the ins and outs of how businesses run. You felt quite prepared for the working world by the time you landed your first job, right? But what do you wear to the office on your first day?
In the past, we’ve provided you with tips on how you can grow your small business successfully, but in this post, we aim to tackle the question that many small business owners find themselves asking: “How will I know when it’s the right time to expand?” Choosing to expand your business can be a risky decision, so it’s vital that you make all the necessary considerations before taking the plunge.
If you’re a small business owner, there are plenty of essentials that need to be considered. For one, making sure that you have the right accounting and payroll software is of utmost importance, as it means your books will always be balanced and accurate. Another essential is business insurance, as it will protect you and your business when you need it most.
All too often, entrepreneurs will find themselves sitting on a truly innovative idea, but without the cash to turn it into reality. A lack of adequate finances should not be the reason for aspiring business owners not being able to realise their vision, yet with so many unsuccessfully securing a business loan, this is sadly the case in some instances.
In this day and age, moms can have it all. There is no longer a need to choose between having a career and having kids – you can have both. This is especially true since the introduction of online business software has made running your own business much easier. There are plenty momtrepreneurs out there, all making a name for themselves as they find the perfect balance between motherhood and business responsibilities.
Starting your own business requires a lot of planning, research and investigation. There are many things you need to consider and arrange before launch, such as devising a clear business plan, refining your product and registering the business. When it comes to starting your own online business, most of the same steps apply, yet added to those is also a string of other boxes to tick.
When it comes to small business, nothing is more important than team building. Your team makes up your talent, and your talent is what keeps the business going. Naturally, it then becomes extremely important for that talent to be able to work together and to be as strong as possible while doing so.
As with most human relationships, clear communication is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones for successful, lasting partnerships – and the same can be said to be true for business relationships. Strong, enduring relationships are an important ingredient in an effective business formula and if a business is to continue to grow in the future, they are vital, and in turn, so too is excellent communication.
If you want to have a productive day, nothing prepares you better than a good morning routine, both at home and at the office. While we’re all more inclined to hit the snooze button a few more times than we care to admit during the winter months, formulating a routine, and sticking to it, is key to kickstarting a successful day.
Everything is possible. Impossible just takes a little longer.” – Wendy Ackerman, Non-Executive Director of Pick N Pay Holdings Limited Earlier this year, we wrote a post about some of South Africa’s top female entrepreneurs and with Women’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d honour some additional stellar female entrepreneurs making their mark on the world of business.
Starting a business is no easy feat. There are plenty of things to consider before taking the plunge and moving from just having an idea, to having an idea that supports an entire organisation. While there are, of course, aspects like employees and their salaries to sort out, it’s of utmost importance to make sure the business has a number of foundations in place in order to ensure smooth sailing.
702, CapeTalk and Sage One are recognising and rewarding SA’s best small businesses. The 702/CapeTalk Small Business Awards with Sage One are underway, with more than R1 million in prizes up for grabs for the winners and runners-up in the Western Cape and Gauteng. The annual Awards seek out small businesses with big dreams and enormous potential, recognising their achievements and providing them with the support they need to grow.
Why the proverbial suggestion box isn’t dead (and why what customers have to say matters more than ever)
As a small business owner, you and your employees pride yourselves on treating your customers like gold and doing what you can to ensure that they remain satisfied with the products and services you offer. Customers are in fact the most important stakeholders in any business and in order to keep the money coming in and the business afloat, they have to stay happy.
In any business, time is one of the most precious things. Deadlines come and go almost at the speed of light, which is why it can often be incredibly challenging to manage time effectively. There just never seems like there’s enough of it to go around and ensure that everything gets done as and when it needs to.
As with many things in life it’s about figuring out that winning formula, the one that paves the road to success. Whether you’re training to become a world-class athlete or creating the latest impressive dish to add to your restaurant’s menu, it’s all about finding the right balance of elements that fit together seamlessly ensure success.
With so many things to worry about and oversee as a small business owner or manager, it’s no wonder that cultivating an impressive office culture all too often falls by the wayside. Running your own business can be stressful and jam-packed with responsibilities, leaving little time to apply the “priority” label to “office atmosphere”.
Former President Nelson Mandela spent 67 years fighting for a better world. In light of this, his birthday (18 July), has been declared International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations. For everyone all over the world, but especially for South Africans, this day holds a special place in our hearts. The Mandela Day initiative calls on everyone from all walks of life to devote just 67 minutes of their time to helping improve the lives of others.
It goes without saying that managing people goes hand-in-hand with managing a business, because after all, it’s the people that make a business. As a manager or small business owner, you’ll encounter different types of people who together form the diverse teams that run and grow businesses. The key is knowing how to manage them in a way that ensures that people are working to their strengths and being satisfied, an element that should help create an engaging and therefore productive work environment for all members.
Everything has a beginning – even the largest and most successful companies had to start somewhere. What began as a small venture into the business software industry, soon grew into one of South Africa’s leading developer of accounting, payroll and business management software. Here’s a brief look at how Sage One Accounting came to be [
In a previous post we took a look at the reasons why your small business needs Sage One Payroll software, so in this post we’ll be showing you how Sage One accounting software can help you run your business more smoothly. Here at Sage One, we value the hard work, effort and commitment that goes into getting a new business off the ground and operating smoothly and efficiently.
Sometimes in business, entrepreneurs just get it right. Others will look on in awe and wonder what the secret to their success is and what they could be doing differently in order to become as successful. Establishing, running and growing your own business is one of the hardest yet most rewarding things you can choose to do, and it requires consistent patience, persistence and dedication.
With technology making it far easier to communicate in this day and age, there are some people who view the classic business lunch as being unimportant and outdated. However, there’s nothing quite like a face-to-face business meeting – it can often help take a relationship with a prospective client to the next level by introducing an openness and intimacy that perhaps doesn’t exist when communication is confined to email.
The first few years of a new business can be tough, with money very often being at the root of many of the problems. The key is to be smart about your money and to free up as much cash as possible, and this is something that requires careful planning and management. A common problem seems to be the lag in time that occurs between paying suppliers and employees, and money coming in from customers and others who owe you.
Learning and honing the art of time management is a skill and one that every person should strive to perfect, particularly those who work in the fast-paced business world. The challenge is that it’s often easier said than done. If you’re lucky enough to become a master time maximiser, chances are you’ll be more successful and productive in both your personal and professional life.
Every business has a boss or owner, but whether or not that person is a leader as well, is an entirely different discussion. Whilst the two may be similar in some ways, they are essentially two different things, and at the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you act like a boss or like a leader.
As you embark on the incredibly exciting yet equally scary journey of starting your own business, you can use all the help and support you can get. This can come in the form of family and friends, and if you’re lucky, in the form of a business mentor as well. Having a mentor to guide you along the way, encourage you and push you, could be just the secret weapon you need to get you ahead of the rest.
In an ever-evolving technological age, it’s vital that businesses embrace the technology around them and use it as effectively as possible. The world of business is a highly competitive one, so it’s one of your responsibilities as a business owner to educate yourself about the latest technologies and to integrate them into your business as much as possible.
Every business, big or small, is bound to encounter problems at one time or another, be it during the early days or further down the line. Challenges are, essentially, an everyday part of business – they are inevitable yet it’s how they are tackled that is the important part. Even when things get really difficult, the focus needs to be on finding the right solutions for the business’s current problems.
On 9 January 2015 a (seemingly) ordinary man set out on an extraordinary journey, cycling from Cairo to Cape Town in 121 days. Tour d’ Afrique 2015 was a gruelling 12 000 kilometre off-road bicycle race, which took actor Ivan Zimmermann through multiple African countries on a quest to overcome this challenge he set for himself.
Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that there are numerous secrets to start-up success, let alone six. They’re also likely to tell you that even if you follow all the advice in the world when it comes to starting your own business, there’s no guarantee that it will succeed at the end of the day.
Sometimes in business, you get thrown a curveball and when you least expect it, things can get shaken up – and that’s just what we’ve decided to do with our exciting Sage One competition. Have we got your attention? Good. Read on to find out exactly what you have to do to stand a chance of walking away with some incredible prizes valued at over R10 000.
Now that you’ve launched your small business, it’s time to get out there and land some new business. First impressions do last, so you’ll want to ensure that you conduct yourself in the most professional way possible. There are many smart, capable people out there in the business world, so the thing that may just set you apart from the rest, is your manners.
When it comes to finding ways to run your small business effectively and more smoothly, business owners are the first to admit that this is something close to the top of their list of priorities. Sage One is committed to helping you grow your business and providing you with the tools you need to manage
Starting, running and building your own business definitely comes with its ups and downs, and as with many things in life, we have to take the good with the bad. It’s not always smooth sailing when it comes to business, but it’s important for you as the business owner to do whatever you can to push forwards and stay positive.
Getting to know the people behind a large, established company can help to remind consumers of the human element behind all the success. At the end of the day, without people, a brand wouldn’t exist, and without customers, it wouldn’t flourish. We caught up with the Head of Sage One in the AAMEA region, Mr. Steven Cohen, to find out a little more not only about the exciting world of online accounting software, but also more about the man behind the title.
Talk to any small business owner and they’re bound to tell you how cloud accounting has helped to change their business… and their lives. When people mention “the Cloud”, they are almost always referring to using the Internet as a means of storing, managing and processing data.
It’s safe to say that social media is not just a passing marketing fad, but rather a powerful marketing tool that is here to stay. When used correctly, it can prove to be very beneficial for your business, ultimately contributing to its growth and overall success. There are still quite a few skeptics out there, but hopefully after reading this post, they’ll be more willing to give it a chance.
When it comes to the matter of data security, it’s something that should be very high on the list of priorities for businesses that handle sensitive and personal information on a daily basis. This is especially true for companies that use the Cloud as a means of storing such information, which in this technological age, is almost every one – with Sage One being no exception.
This month saw the release of a range of updated mobile applications by Sage One as its mission continues to try and take customers’ business connectivity to the next level. In a world of ever-changing technology, Sage One knows the importance of staying up-to-date and providing business leaders with the relevant tools they require to run their businesses more efficiently and easily.
We’ve written about how you can create presentations that make their mark, so now we’ve decided to give you budding entrepreneurs some advice on how you can deliver the perfect business pitch to potential investors. There are certain key elements that you’ll want to bear in mind when presenting your business idea to those who are going to help you get your business dream off the ground – things that can make or break your delivery.
As the owner of a small business, you’re having to stay on top of your finances on a continuous basis whether it’s ensuring you’re sticking to your budget plan, or keeping abreast of your daily expenses. In order for your business to succeed, it’s vital that you do what you can to save as much money as possible as well as to cut costs wherever you can.
Have you got a brilliant business idea that you think will set you apart from the rest? Do you feel you’ve got what it takes to run your own start-up company? Are you an entrepreneur at heart and you’re just waiting for the right moment to share your talent and ideas with the rest of the world?
A brand is so much more than merely a slogan or logo. In fact, it’s more about the ethos and core values at the heart of a business. This is why it is particularly important that you as a business owner do whatever you can to ensure that you are projecting the best possible image you can to potential customers.
At Sage One, we’re committed to providing businesses with the software support they require to have successful enterprises that run both smoothly and effectively. In essence, it’s all about efficiency. Sage One’s Payroll system will revolutionise the way you manage your business’s payroll process, helping to streamline the entire procedure so that you can stay on top of earnings and deductions with as little fuss as possible.
There are many essential steps that need to be taken in the lead up to setting up your own small business. There are things like financing, business plans and office space to think about, but before all that there’s the matter of naming and registering the business. Without completing these two things a business will not able to trade.
The future of South Africa inevitably lies in the hands of its youth. It’s young South Africans who are going to lead this country to greatness and set an example for future generations. In recent years, it’s entrepreneurship that has played a key role in the fast development of the South African economy, so when
The technological world is one that is constantly evolving and producing new and exciting products very often designed to make our lives easier. Once your small business has gotten off the ground, you’ll begin to look for ways to streamline things so that they run more smoothly.
The only people in the world who can change things are those who can sell ideas. – Lois Wyse, famous American advertising executive, author, columnist So now that you’ve taken the plunge, turned your great idea into a business and got it up and running, it’s time to start thinking about getting your name out there.
Many successful business leaders are the first to admit that it’s the sound advice they received from their mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, friends and family that helped get them where they are today. There’s a common misconception that when starting and growing your own business, you have to do it alone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s no secret that regular exercise can have positive effects on many different areas in your life. Whilst most people tend to work up a sweat in order to maintain a healthy weight, stay in shape and help reduce the risk of developing certain diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular degeneration, there are also a number of above-the-neck benefits of regular exercise.
Being able to work as part of a team is a vital role that many people in the working world need to be able to fill. Not only does being a team player mean that projects are completed more smoothly and great work is likely to be produced, but it can also help with personal growth.
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” — Lao Tzu Being seen as a leader is an ideal that many strive for and one that can often seem indistinct. But what exactly makes up a leader?
Africa is increasingly becoming known as a viable economy to invest in and this is largely due to the success of entrepreneurial ventures. Entrepreneurship is not only about building and running your own business, but it’s also about offering a solution to a problem as well as having the passion and perseverance to see it through.
In the world of entrepreneurs it is of the utmost importance to know and understand how a business works, both internally and externally, as well as to find a behind-the-scenes team that holds significant expertise. Guiding the currency flow, money as well as ensuring a good marketing and advertising strategy, all the while taking care of the running and organising of business activities, are all necessary to allow the smooth development of the enterprise and the assurance of a profitable year.
Work is usually a stress-charged environment, and it’s easy to say something rash in a moment of anger or frustration. What we often forget, however, is how much of an impact such a small slip can have on the morale and production output of our employees. Here are eight things every boss should avoid saying to his employees.
It’s that time of the year again: the latest tax year is about to kick off, bringing with it some changes, risks and new challenges. Sage Pastel is not only committed to ensuring that all your accounting and payroll needs are taken care of, but it’s also dedicated to making important information concerning your small business accessible and understandable,
We all have unproductive days at work, and it’s understandable. Sometimes it may feel like the busier you get, the less you actually get done. The question is, how do we do more with the time we have? Here are a few tips for how you can be more efficient with your time at work.
How to Play Nice at the Office: Tips for how to deal with not seeing eye-to-eye with certain colleagues
In an environment where you tend to see your co-workers more than you do your family, it’s all too often that one or two of you will rub each other up the wrong way. Workplace conflict is inevitable, but if you handle it properly you can make your differences valuable, instead of just frustrating.
Passion and drive are two of the many key ingredients you need to be a successful entrepreneur, but the one thing that can ultimately make or break a business are its finances. If the cash flow of a new, small business is not managed correctly through smart budgeting, the chances are that the business will not make it in the long run.
You’ve finally done it. You’ve landed the interview that hopefully is going to lead you to get your dream job. Now comes the hard part: the interview itself. Essentially, it’s the interview that can either make or break your chances of winning the role you’ve had your eye on for a while, so it pays to come prepared.
Running your own small business comes with its ups and downs, but successful entrepreneurs are always finding ways to improve and grow their business. It can take quite some time before a small business is up and running, and for many business owners there’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into building a business.
Starting a new job can be very exciting, yet it can also be rather daunting and stressful. You will have to adapt to a new environment, new colleagues and new superiors, as well as take on new responsibilities, and all these things at once can become quite overwhelming. The sooner you learn the ropes and get used to what’s what and who’s who, the sooner you’ll feel settled and comfortable in your new role.
It felt like only yesterday that you were putting on that out-of-office and locking those desk drawers before leaving the office for that much-needed holiday. Returning to work after some time off is never easy and very often we’re overcome with panic and anxiety the night before our first day back. The minute you set foot into the office, the joys of sleeping in, relaxing on the beach and lazy afternoons seem to become distant memories.
Aspiring accountants are sure to be in full study mode in preparation for their up-coming exam at the end of January. Whilst some find it very easy to sit down and study, others find themselves becoming constantly distracted or unable to escape the strong grip of procrastination. When it comes to the all-important Board exam, there’s really no room for procrastination or half-hearted studying.
Born on this day in 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who knew that Jeffrey Preston Bezos would grow up to become a successful technological entrepreneur who would define online shopping? From a young age, Bezos displayed an aptitude for all things technological and scientific, so it seemed only fitting when he graduated from the prestigious Princeton University with an engineering degree.
12 000km. Ten countries. 94 days of riding. 27 rest days. The Tour d’Afrique is a grueling cycle challenge that tests riders’ endurance, strength and focus. This year will mark the thirteenth tour that sees cyclists put to the ultimate test as they ride from Cairo to Cape Town over a four month period.
Most people hope to find their calling in life – the perfect combination of what they’re good at mixed with what they’re passionate about in one amazing job. It may take quite a few years as well as a few wrong turns before you realise what it is exactly you’d like to make a career out of.
If you have a job that requires you to spend a significant amount of time at a desk, then you’ll want to ensure that it’s a place that inspires you, is conducive to producing great work, but most of all, is your little home away from home. The type of environment that you work in can have a huge impact on your ability to perform at your best so it’s important to do what you can to make your little space in the office an inviting and organised one.
Running any business is a huge responsibility at the best of times, but even more so when that business is a legacy and one that is the life-blood of your family. When a business is family-run, it tends to bring with it a different dynamic and there is often a whole different set of challenges that face those tasked with continuing the legacy.
Elon Musk is truly a man of vision. The successful entrepreneur is a shining example of sheer determination and passion, and is living proof that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Musk is the co-founder of three successful companies, namely Zip2, PayPal and SpaceX, and he continues to expand his empire and work on projects he is passionate about.
When it comes to a massive and well-respected corporation such as Google sharing ideas, imparting knowledge or offering tips related to business, you can be sure that everyone is going to sit up and take note. Whether you run a large, successful business, or a fledgling, small start-up, it’s of vital importance that you hire (and maintain) the right team, one that will carry, grow and ultimately, make your business a success.
It’s one thing to succeed in the world of business, but it’s another to do so at a young age and all on your own. Incredibly, some of the world’s most successful business people are young, innovative entrepreneurs who had an idea and decided to run with it – and it paid off. They are smart, forward-thinking, hugely passionate and seriously ambitious, but most of all, they have the power of youth on their side.
For those of you unsure of what the term ‘ergonomics’ means, let’s begin with a short definition: ergonomics is essentially “the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment”. Without realising it, your work environment can have a direct effect on your mood, performance and general wellbeing. As an owner of a business, you want to ensure that your employees have a safe and comfortable place in which to work, because ultimately, happy employees are productive employees.
As we approach the end of the year, most of us look forward to some much-needed time off. After a long year of hard work, busy schedules and giving 100% to our jobs on a daily basis, people are understandably exhausted and a break from the fast-paced work world couldn’t come sooner. Taking a holiday can be rewarding in many ways, and contrary to what many may think, it can actually give your career the boost it needs.
Some people were born to be sales people. They simply possess all the necessary traits required to make a strong sales pitch, followed by a convincing closure. They are confident and driven, with a gift with words and a penchant for persuasion. No matter how good you are though, there’s always room for improvement.
As a budding entrepreneur or business owner you’re part of a world that is ever-changing. As a result, it’s important for you and your business to stay on top of the latest changes and trends that take place in your relevant market. With so much happening on a day to day basis and with the internet saturated with information, it can become quite the challenge to remain constantly informed and in-the-know with all things business related.
Internships can be wonderful things for both your business and the interns themselves. As an intern, you expect to gain valuable experience and use this opportunity to explore your career options, and as a business you hope to get some extra help, a fresh perspective and perhaps, in the long run, a star permanent employee.
There are many factors that contribute to a small business either being a success, or a failure. There’s no denying that things such as timing and luck play a role in determining whether or not a business will go places, but the type of person leading the way has the most significant influence on how things play out.
Giving a presentation to either your colleagues or clients can be a rather daunting task. You want to be able to create something that will have an impact on your audience, as well as something that people will remember long after you’ve delivered it. Finding the right balance between being captivating and informative, yet concise can be tricky – the last thing you want to do is overwhelm your listeners with information overlaod which can only lead them to switch off completely.
Entrepreneurs who run various small businesses often display similar traits: they tend to have dynamic personalities, possess the ability to lead, are driven and have a go-getter attitude. It’s these characteristics that set them apart from other business people and enable them to build and run successful businesses. Different small businesses will have different business owners though, most of which fall into certain distinct categories.
There’s no denying that we live in a world dominated by digital and that it has had a profound effect on the way in which we communicate. Gone are the days of letter-writing and telegrams. Instead, in their place, stand email, instant messaging applications and voice notes. The internet has made everything instantaneous and with the click of a button, you can find out close to all you need to know about a place, event or person.
Most businessmen will tell you that there are certain essential skills that have to be acquired in order for a business to succeed. One such skill is having the ability to negotiate, and this is particularly important when you’re trying to run and grow a small business. Being able to negotiate successfully is a legitimate business skill that can either make or break your company.
There’s that saying that goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but in reality, people do tend to form opinions quickly about others based on their demeanour and the image they convey. That’s why as a leader within a business, whether you’re a manager or the CEO, you need to be mindful of how you behave and the persona you project.
Every cent counts when you’re running your own business, especially when that business is still new and small. Doing what you can to cut costs and curb spending can only mean that you’ll be saving some extra money in certain areas, and this is always a positive outcome. Even the smallest and simplest of changes can help to improve the bottom line in a business.
At the end of the day, without a dedicated group of staff members, your business would not be able to function. They inevitably play a vital role in ensuring whether or not your business is a success so it only makes sense to treat them well and keep them happy.
It has to be said that South Africans are nothing short of innovative. This is evident more than ever in the number of start-ups that have exploded on to the scene in the last few years. More and more people seem to be taking the plunge into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, much to the delight of their fellow South Africans who luckily get to reap the rewards of some seriously fantastic ideas that are being made into realities.
Starting your own business can be difficult, but growing it can be even more of a challenge. There are often multiple obstacles you have to overcome in order to get your business off the ground, followed by a large dose of passion, dedication and patience needed to make it successful. Growing a business requires flexibility as well as strong organisational and planning skills, to name but a few.
Last week saw the announcement by President Jacob Zuma of a new governor for the South African Reserve Bank. 48-year-old Lesetja Kganyago, who replaces outgoing governor Gill Marcus, has been with the bank since May 2011 and up until his recent appointment, has held the position of deputy governor. Marcus is stepping down after serving her five-year term as governor of this national financial body.
Behind every great entrepreneur, there’s invariably a great attitude. Starting your own business isn’t easy, but truly successful entrepreneurs display similar habits that seem to help them overcome the obstacles they face and become amazing at what they do. Contrary to what you may think, entrepreneurs don’t necessarily set out to get rich.
Cloud computing and mobility bring a range of powerful benefits for HR and payroll managers, enabling them to become more efficient while offering their employees and the business a better quality of service. With software solutions like Sage One Payroll, there are no annual licence fees or upfront costs, meaning that you don’t need to dip into your capital to afford a powerful, modern payroll solution.
If you’re running a small business, you might feel overwhelmed by the many regulatory bodies and requirements in South Africa. From labour laws and tax regulations to municipal bylaws, health and safety regulations and consumer protection laws, you’ll be spending a great deal of your time simply trying to comply with a range of legislative and regulatory demands.
Members of the public are randomly emailed with false “spoof” emails made to look as if they were sent from SARS, but are in fact fraudulent emails aimed at enticing unsuspecting taxpayers to part with personal information such as bank account details. Examples include emails that appear to be from firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com indicating that tax payers are eligible to receive tax refunds.
Leather goods manufacturer Research Unit has beaten stiff competition from 30 finalists to win the Cape Talk 567 Small Business Awards with Sage One, powered by Sage Pastel and Sage VIP. The runner-ups are confectionary maker Sweet Temptations Toffees and upmarket holiday home rental specialist Perfect Hideaways. The Awards aim to recognise and celebrate small businesses that offer exceptional service.
Entrepreneurs start out as a one-man band, add devout followers and then add skilled technicians. It’s the normal evolution of an entrepreneurial business. At this stage, the new business owner needs people who will serve as an extension of the brand. He or she will want people who, when others see them, will see the business at a glance.
Winning the Talk Radio 702 Small Business Awards with Sage One helps Roof Rats to skyrocket its business
Gauteng-based roof cleaning company, Roof Rats, has quadrupled its business since it won the Talk Radio 702 Small Business Awards with Sage One in 2013. What’s more, the company has grown its headcount from 11 to 44 people in the past year– creating much-needed jobs in the process– and has expanded from a home business in a backyard Wendy House into a formal company with offices and a factory.
Richard from Sage One is here to talk you through some of the basics and the little more complicated features of Sage One Accounting. Enjoy these quick and fun YouTube videos to see if you are missing out on some awesome and helpful features, if you got more questions please don’t hesitate to contact our support team.
As an SME, you know that you need solid computer systems such as payroll and accounting to effectively grow and manage your business. Yet the newest technology can seem prohibitively expensive when you’re just starting out. This where cloud computing can help you to enjoy the benefits of technology while freeing you from many of the costs and complications.
There’s more to running an efficient modern payroll and HR environment than paying your employees on time and printing payslips. An automated payroll solution can help you to save time and money by reducing the paperwork associated with your weekly wage and monthly salary runs. Here are five ways to use your payroll software to run a more productive and efficient business.
South African SMEs are enthusiastically embracing cloud-based applications such as Dropbox and Google Apps. Though the market is becoming more sophisticated, there are still a few myths that prevail about the risks and benefits of cloud computing, says Ivan Epstein, CEO of Sage Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa. “The cloud promises to make the use of business IT resources online and on-demand as easy as services such as Gmail and Dropbox,” says Epstein. “It’s about having a flexible new way of buying technology applications and services you need. Many of the fears that surround the cloud are now out of date.”
Each month we recommend 5 books that we feel will encourage, inspire and educate you, whether you are the CEO of an international business or a start-up working from home. One should never stop learning. 1. And then they fired me by Jannie Mouton, 2012 Losing is not a word in Jannie Mouton’s vocabulary.
Recently South Africa saw Robin Sharma back in South Africa for another mind blowing and inspirational leadership event. Needless to say it was sold out and everyone left the event, ready to make a change and to step up his or her game for a new business-doing perspective. Whether you attended this event and want to develop your leadership skills further, or just missed out but still keen to enhance your knowledge, here are a couple of leadership courses and alternative programs to make use of.
Whether you’re a startup veteran or a newcomer to the game, you’re going to have to sit face-to-face with potential customers or distributors and money lenders at some point and convince them to trust you—there’s just no way around it. Luckily there is wisdom on the subject shared by Claire Blyth, director of UK-based business consultancy and PR firm Red Setter.
The Talk Radio 702/ 567 Cape Talk Small Business Awards with Sage One, powered by Sage Pastel and VIP, have started and the annual search for small businesses with big dreams, great passion and enormous potential has begun. The Awards give Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk listeners the opportunity to nominate small businesses that have impressed them over the past 12 months.
If you’ve read any business or technology blogs lately, you may have encountered the buzz phrase “The Internet of Things”. This is a trend that is starting to change our world, promising new ways of automating business processes and gathering data that enables us to make better and faster decisions.
Entrepreneurship and the further development of small businesses are essential in ensuring South Africa’s economic growth and future success. Sage South Africa has always been passionate about assisting small businesses to be successful and operate efficiently, by providing software solutions to help businesses do just that.