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How To Improve Your Business Productivity And Efficiency With Help From Tech

Technology and mobility solutions mean that your business can be more agile, productive and efficient than ever before. Here’s how.

Nashua Limited

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According to Avesh Subbiah, Team Product Manager, Voice & Infrastructure at Nashua, there are five key benefits to businesses deploying Nashua’s Voice solutions:

1Saving Money

The cost of using a VoIP telephone is much cheaper than using a conventional phone. Long distance phone calls are exponentially cheaper when using a VoIP number.

2Geographic numbers can be ported to the VoIP Service Provider

This means you will be able to cancel all of your services with your current service provider and still retain your numbers. This is also another way to save money and keep all your numbers under one service provider.

3Complete Mobility

Your VoIP number can be used as an external extension so that you are still able to receive your calls while away from your desk or travelling.

4Multiple calls can be transmitted over the VoIP line

Related: 10 Simple Productivity Tips For Organising Your Work Life

5Points of Presence

There are over ten POPs (Points of Presence) around the country, making it easier to connect businesses quickly, efficiently and affordably.

mobility-in-the-workplace

Supporting overall mobility in the workplace

Nashua’s value-added services include video conferencing, virtual fax, boardroom and virtual access. Through these services, Nashua is able to support overall mobility in the workplace. “Workers are increasingly mobile,” explains Subbiah.

“A majority of enterprises are now focused on supporting the growing number of employees who use mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to do their work at the office, at home, and while travelling.

“With services such as video conferencing, virtual fax, virtual boardroom and virtual access, corporate mobility momentum will continue as an increasing number of employees purchase and use their personal smartphones for work-related activities, and a growing number of enterprises support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programmes to cost- efficiently mobilise their workforce.”

If you want to remain competitive, both as an employer and an organisation, consider the mobility of your workforce. Are you meeting (and exceeding) current expectations?

Related: 5 Ways to Keep Your Productivity High All Day

An essential competitive tool

Mobility has become an important tool in today’s competitive business environment, enhancing operations, employee support, and overall efficiency. Subbiah unpacks why.

“First, the global growth of mobile connectivity is far outpacing hardline connectivity. Mobile is cheaper, more convenient, and more useful, even when landline connectivity is an option. Mobility is increasingly playing a role in improving operational efficiencies, generating revenue and reducing operating costs.”

According to Subbiah, mobility is embraced by employees, making it easier to support, understand and utilise as a tool for maintaining work/life balance.

“The increase in higher performance smartphones, tablets and other devices enabled by 3G and 4G networks, as well as an explosion of innovative applications, makes mobile workforces that have flexible schedules and geographic locations a real and efficient opportunity for progressive companies.”

Mobile technology allows staff to use company data and resources without being tied to a single location. “Consider this,” says Subbiah. “Whether staff are travelling to meetings, out on sales calls or working from home anywhere on the globe, mobile devices can help them keep in touch, be productive and make use of company resources.”

More importantly, mobile IT devices can change the way your company does business. New technologies lead to new ways of working, and new products and services that can be offered to customers. This can make your team more efficient, creative and valuable to your clients.

Related: 5 Distractions That Are Productivity Poison (And How To Avoid Them)

 

What do Nashua’s Voice solutions include?

  1. Hosted Cloud Solution VBX (Virtual Branch Exchange)
  2. BusinessCall LiTE
  3. BusinessCall SME
  4. BusinessCall Corporate
  5. VAS
  6. Business Internet Data.

Get on the mobility journey

  • The main reasons to deploy mobility solutions is to improve productivity and improve efficiencies in the business area.
  • It keeps users engaged with the business.
  • It gives a better user experience which will increase the productivity of the user.
  • It keeps users on the road working and not having to come back into
  • the office to be set up.
  • Businesses should take the following into consideration: Security, Reliability and Plug&Play.

Nashua transforms workspaces with scalable solutions – from access control and communication to data and document management – to give you the freedom to confidently grow your business.

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The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – More Than An SUV

The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession.

Alfa Romeo

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The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession. The Stelvio pass is widely seen as one of the most beautiful and engaging roads on the planet.

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Enhance Your Entrepreneurial Flair With An Online Postgraduate Diploma From The University Of Pretoria

The Department of Business Management at the University of Pretoria, a leader in business management education, will be offering an Online Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship for the 2018 academic year with some seminars to enrich your action learning experience.

Dr Alex Antonites

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The Department of Business Management at the University of Pretoria, a leader in business management education, will be offering an Online Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship for the 2018 academic year with some seminars to enrich your action learning experience.

The programme content focuses on the start-up processes, creativity and opportunity recognition, business planning and marketing as well as financial management. Furthermore, the programme emphasises entrepreneurial growth and small business policy development with relevance to the enabling environment.

Who should enrol?

The programme is designed for pre-, nascent and start-up entrepreneurs who want to attain an advanced degree in entrepreneurship. It is also intended for individuals who work in an entrepreneurial environment and are involved with small business policy development. Although many students in the programme have academic credentials in entrepreneurship or business management, the programme is also appropriate if your education and/or experience may be in other disciplines (e.g. engineering or medicine).

Admission requirements

A relevant bachelor’s degree.

Related: This Enterprises UP Expert Explains Why Start-Ups Really Fail

Additional programme information

The duration of the course is one year. The language of tuition is English and the course will be presented in two blocks by means of the blended learning method (70% online and 30% contact sessions). Students need continuous access to the internet to complete the course.

Course Contents

Overview of modules for Block A

  • Ideation-to-market: Starting up
  • International Business Venturing
  • Venturing Strategy Building (Part 1)

Overview of modules for Block B

  • Entrepreneurial Marketing
  • Entrepreneurial Supply Chain Management
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Venturing Strategy Building (Part 2)

Click here for more information.

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Win A Business Makeover With Retail Capital To The Value Of R250 000

Retail Capital is giving SMEs an opportunity to win a makeover to build their brand with an investment of R250,000.

Retail Capital

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Retail Capital is giving SMEs an opportunity to win a makeover to build their brand with an investment of R250,000. During the summer campaign, SMEs are encouraged to share the vision of how they would like to see their business grow, and led by a team of experts, Retail Capital will work with the winning SME to help make their vision come true.

While South Africa’s economy is not faring well, Retail Capital CEO Karl Westvig remains optimistic about the country’s retail and hospitality sectors. “We are seeing some green shoots, with an increase in turnover in these sectors – starting from the end of September. Economic conditions remain very tough, but businesses seem to be trading well into October and we’re hoping this continues into the festive season trading.”

According to recent statistics from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), South Africa’s retail sales rose by 5.5% year-on-year in August 2017, following a downwardly revised 1.6% gain in the previous month and above market expectations of 2.3%. It is the biggest gain in retail trade since August of 2012.

Related: How To Raise Working Capital Finance

“I do believe that these sectors will see an improvement during the summer season. But, key to this will be for small business owners to ensure that they have the right amount of stock, adequate cash flow, as well as other systems in place to meet the ever-changing needs of customers,” says Westvig.

For many small businesses, however, continually adapting to market changes requires cash injections that they don’t often have.

The prize includes the following:

  • Business plan/consulting
  • Marketing strategy
  • Design and branding
  • Website and social Media and,
  • R50k capital to gear your business.

Westvig explains that the summer campaign tagline ‘Your Vision. Our Belief’ really speaks to why Retail Capital first opened its doors. “Our goal is to see the potential of small businesses and to work with them in making these become a reality.”

He adds that the idea is not to simply help one business during the campaign either. Westvig points out that one of the biggest challenges that small businesses face in the sluggish economy is enough foot traffic through their doors. “Generally, the main hurdle in creating brand awareness and projecting credibility of their establishments boils down to establishing a strong online presence.”

“One of the first ways that South Africans identify a business or service provider that they want to work with is over social media – even in a country where the digital divide has traditionally separated the technological haves from the have-nots,” he says.

He explains that companies that don’t have a social media presence are running the risk of being overlooked entirely. “They may attract customers in their own community with signage or word of mouth, but to grow a business, they need to expand their reach – and that’s where social media comes in.”

But, the reality is that resource and time constraints mean that for many SMEs, social media is not prioritised. “Unfortunately for the average small business owner, they don’t have the time or expertise to get connected.”

Understanding the importance of having an online presence, Retail Capital has also committed to developing the digital presence of all campaign entrants. This would include setting up each entrant’s digital presence on platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tripadvisor, Zomato and any others that may be relevant to their specific market or industry.

“As a partner to many SMEs in South Africa, we are continually looking at new and innovative ways to help provide them with the much-needed support in order for them to realise their visions. SMEs need to be supported with initiatives like targeted education and training, supportive legislation, and funding opportunities that collectively help them grow our national economy,” says Westvig.

Related: 6 Great Tips For A Successful Shark Tank Pitch

Who we are and what we do:

“More than R1.25 billion has been extended to a range of businesses including food trucks, hair salons, restaurants, spas and franchised retail stores. Many of these businesses have not been able to raise funding in any other way, other than to go to unscrupulous lenders,”says Karl Westvig, the CEO Retail Capital, a company that provides working capital with the help of innovative lending technology.

“We have also estimated that for every R160 000 we lend, we create a new job. This means that 625 jobs have been created purely by enabling small businesses to get the funding they need for working capital requirements or expansion opportunities.”

Retail Capital’s system, which enables it to advance funding to small businesses, based on real time information on credit card transactions, is providing a new funding alternative to entrepreneurs who have previously been turned away by banks. Because it is able to get actual sales information, it can approve funding immediately, and allow for flexible repayment options based on sales cycles of the particular businesses it is funding.

“This creates significant opportunity for small business owners to focus on their business and grow volumes or look for expansion opportunities rather than spend their time frantically trying to repay debt or keep the business alive after debt repayments have eaten away at any cash reserves they might have had.”

Retail Capital funding is repaid by it taking a percentage of a business’s recorded credit or debit card sales, with repayments fluctuating in line with their business cycle. This has the effect of ensuring that it isn’t overburdened with debt.

“In the past six years since starting the business, small businesses have had the benefit of R1 billion in funding they would have been unable to get through traditional channels,”says Westvig.

Against the backdrop of recessionary conditions in South Africa, Retail Capital’s client information reveals growth in informal sector turnover across a number of industries.

“We believe that growth in the informal sector is outstripping that of the formal sector,”says Westvig.

As a large proportion of the businesses it funds are women- and black-owned, there is evidence that entrepreneurs who have previously been excluded from access to finance are now enjoying success now that their access to finance problem has been solved.

Win A Business Makeover with Retail Capital

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