The IMF’s Economic Outlook for September reported that South Africa had lost its place as the largest economy on the African continent to Nigeria, after a brief period in which it regained the top spot. The IMF forecasts more miserable news for the South African economy – stagnant growth rates of 0.1%. South Africa’s economic prospects have been almost totally held hostage to events in domestic politics.
Your website is a portal for customers, new and old alike, to interact with your business. It’s easy to underestimate just how powerful an impact a well-designed website can have, and conversely, how easily people can be turned away from a poorly functioning or amateurish website. Keep customers’ attention, and check if your site isn’t committing these common, easily missed mistakes.
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.
The office – a place where distractions are disappeared, and work is done. To some, there must be a space that is the unchanging embodiment of this frame of mind. They think that they must be one among many with their heads buried in their laptops. Others are able to work in every space they inhabit; some, cannot escape the mind that pushes their productive efforts forward.
Understanding the whale
Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape and top venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, writes that corporates must be understood as entities that are, to a large degree, beyond understanding. He compares the small business owner to Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab, with the prospective corporate partner filling the role of the great white whale, Moby Dick.
There hasn’t been much to celebrate about the South African economy in 2016. While the Gross Domestic Product grew 3.3%, annualised, in the second quarter of 2016, this followed a contraction in GDP in the first quarter.
Small businesses form attempting to take advantage of a need. A team is assembled, and a product is developed and honed to meet the expectations of a demand.
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.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is described as the ability of a person to recognise, understand, and manage their emotions, and to do the same with others. The term was brought into common parlance by Dan Goleman’s 1996 book, which took its cue from the work of psychological researchers Peter Salavoy and John Mayer.
“The manager treats ends as given, as outside his scope; his concern is with technique, with effectiveness in transforming raw materials into final products, unskilled labour into skilled labour, investment into profits.” Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue
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.
1. Have you got the experience?
You may be freshly qualified as an accountant, with a strong independent streak coursing through your veins, and eager to break into the working life as your own boss. But this may be an error. It is recommended to accrue a good deal of varied experience as an accountant if your dream is to start your own practice.
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.
If you know of a small business that manages to rise above the rest, a provider of an outstanding service or wonderful product, now is the time to nominate them as a potential recipient of the 702/CapeTalk Small Business Awards with Sage One.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.