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. As with many concepts though, there are both advantages and disadvantages that come with the flexi-hour system for employers and employees alike – read on to discover just what some of these are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our globalised world requires giving thought with global scope to our business. Where appropriate, you may come to believe that your product has a market beyond the confines of your immediate surroundings. You may be right, and here’s how to begin to evaluate whether the grass is greener (and the profit margins wider).
When working out how your business is going to organise itself, thinking of a structure that is not hierarchical is incredibly difficult.
Hierarchy describes a way of organising people. Hierarchy comes from the Ancient Greek hierarkhēs, meaning Sacred Ruler. If you are a business owner, you sit at the top of the hierarchy, with your employees at various levels ‘below’ you on the organisational pyramid. Information, privilege, prestige trickle downwards, from CEO to manager to worker.
Starting a new business is a risky move. You open yourself up to the chance of failure. Sometimes failure cannot be helped, but often, failure is a consequence of poor decisions. Failing to keep abreast of accounting is one of the most common causes of business failure – here are some of the most common setbacks.
Starting your own business involves coming face-to-face with the prospect of failure. This possibility, and its attendant consequences – financial strain, pressure on personal relationships, blows to drive and confidence – can be enough to warn most people off beginning their own enterprise. But the benefits of starting your own business can trump the risks that are involved.
Retrenchments are an agonising process for any business. They can cause upheaval in the lives of all involved, with those who lose their jobs being most seriously affected.
As a small business owner, you’re looking to take advantage of every opportunity available to make sure that your enterprise is a success. To help in this here’s a selection of some great free resources for South African businesses to help you on your way.
Can you support yourself?
There are many practicalities that may inhibit your ability to start your own business. If you’re planning making your endeavour a full-time job from the get-go, you will need to have enough savings to cover your living expenses.
Almost a decade on from the start of the global financial crisis, South African businesses are still facing a number of challenges. Here are some astounding figures about the state of South African small and medium businesses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.