The ever-expanding world of the Internet and mobile devices is enhancing the ability of social entrepreneurs to bring life-enhancing solutions to millions globally. However, just having a product ‘in the ether’ doesn’t guarantee success.
Effective marketing makes all the difference – it makes a service noticeable and accessible.
“The growth of the Internet, social media and digital marketing has enabled small enterprises to compete on equal terms with big businesses,” says Mrs Reeves, Marketing Manager: Scotch Whisky at Chivas Regal South Africa.
To the 27 finalists of The Chivas Regal The Venture competition getting ready to pitch their ideas to an expert panel in New York for their share of USD1 000 000 million, marketing will have to be a key focus.
This must be considered if they are to achieve their dreams of taking their products global so they can have the most impact on peoples’ lives.
“In this digital age, it’s vital that start-ups make full use of the benefits available in the digital marketplace, including social media,” explains Mrs Reeves.
“This often means filling gaps in marketing knowledge and translating these into action, so growth opportunities are created.”
In only a few years, social media platforms have not only evolved into useful marketing tools, but also valid channels through which consumers express their views and receive customer service.
A major advantage of this is that consumers can assess a company on its offerings only. The rest depends on responsiveness, the quality of an offering and the service experience provided.
As small companies are generally more ‘hands-on’, the opportunities to build large, faithful customer bases are real. Add the convenience for customers to take up offers 24 hours a day, and the picture is complete.
According to Mrs Reeves, the tools that should be considered include:
- Websites and ‘owned media’, such as blogs
- Managed properties, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or mobi sites
- Media sites where people talk about businesses. This involves taking time to consider all options and then developing a digital public relations campaign that encourages people to get to know and discuss your business online
- While marketing efforts may drive traffic to targeted social sites, customer service teams should meet customers where they are already socialising.
“An advantage of digital sites is that they are far easier to measure than the more traditional forms of marketing,” Mrs Reeves continues.
“Every time a site is opened, this is recorded and tracked, providing the owner with a synopsis of how often the site is opened and even what products are most often viewed.”
Valuable ‘conversations’ with customers can also be created by offering value-added features, such as interactive devices specific to products (e.g. calculators); in-depth information on the technical aspects of products and tips for optimal product and service use.
For smaller businesses, costs and budgets are usually major concerns. These can be minimised by:
- Setting up a business website: Initial costs and monthly fees are required, but this is generally the most effective way to enter the digital market
- Using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to attract visitors: The costs of this approach are negotiable. Key search words can be regularly changed, so the best phrases for your business can be developed on a ‘trial and error’ basis
- Setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account etc.: These don’t involve initial costs, but time is required to ensure that profiles are kept current
- Getting onto LinkedIn: This can provide business leads and networking opportunities
“Although these options provide easy entry into digital marketing, it’s worth researching what other companies in your sector are doing and what services they are using. This information can be used to address the gaps you may see on their sites,” advises Mrs Reeves.
An understanding of digital marketing is key for social entrepreneurs as it will help them increase their impact in addressing socio-economic ills while incorporating current business practices to grow their social enterprises.
“Though digital marketing seems quick and easy, it is almost worthless without a well-thought-out strategy,” says Mrs Reeves.
To ensure future prosperity, the social entrepreneurs must decide on two crucial factors before they start tweeting or instagramming; what they want to accomplish, and their brand identity.
“Once they know this, they will be able to speak with a specific, unified voice; set up a digital marketing budget; and – most critically – plan and measure their success.”
With Hundreds Of Franchise Options Out There, Choose The One You Can Trust
If you’re looking to invest in a business venture that offers you years of experience in the industry, the trust and loyalty of its customers, and franchise support from an expert team – then Hi-Q is the one for you.
What you’ll become a part of
Since opening their doors in 1999, Hi-Q has gone from strength to strength, growing a humble three store enterprise into an extensive 130-store franchise network with a unique multi-product and multi-services automotive offering.
Hi-Q’s approach to business is centred around being ‘the one you can trust’ to their customers, their suppliers and their franchisees.
“That has always been the key driver in everything we do,” says Sean Harrison, Hi-Q’s Managing Director. “For example, when it comes to our customers, they need to know they can rely on us to put their safety first.
That we’ll always strive to offer them expert, friendly service and top of the range products, while also keeping up-to-date with the latest technologies and advancements in our field.”
An acclaimed and awarded brand
Hi-Q has again and again proven themselves to be a leader in the industry.
They’ve been voted South Africa’s No.1 tyre retailer for eight consecutive years (2010 – 2017) by consumers in the Ask Africa Icon Brands Survey, the biggest of its kind in Africa – a clear indication that they are respected and trusted by their customers.
Hi-Q Franchisees all have the support of an expert and knowledgeable team with years of experience in the industry, who are available to guide them on their business venture. This includes areas of business such as marketing/promotional, commercial, organisational structure, tools and equipment, sales and more.
Franchisees also have access to various skills training opportunities for members of their team.
Hi-Q is invested in providing their network with the tools needed to thrive and grow in an ever-challenging market.
Relationship with Goodyear
Hi-Q has the support and backing of international tyre of multinational premium tyre manufacturer, Goodyear, and its full value proposition. This means access to incredible promotional and marketing opportunities in partnership with the brand.
Hi-Q has embarked on an extensive expansion plan and have identified areas of opportunity to extend their Franchise footprint growth countrywide.
You’ll find more information on our website www.hiq.co.za We’d like to invite those who are interested to become part of our team to contact 011 663 2431 or email@example.com
Get The Edge This Winter
Five short courses from WITS kicking off in July will give you the competitive edge.
From Gauteng’s most trusted provider of the best learning experiences, come five WITS-curated courses starting in July 2019. Use the longer, colder days to curl up with a “good book” and emerge from winter with a new edge.
There are three online short courses offered via the WITS Digital Campus, starting 15 July.
Managing Labour Relations
This 10 week course will equip you with sound knowledge of South Africa’s complex labour landscape and an understanding of your legal rights as an employee or employer.
You will also learn skills for navigating employer / employee relationships successfully, and get tools for managing disputes effectively. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Logistics and Supply Chain Management Practice
This 10 week course is packed with practical and theoretical information to help retail managers, supply chain supervisors, stock controllers and even CEOs drive efficiencies in the value chain.
It covers everything from improving exporting transportation, warehousing, order processing and procurement to financial management and managing waste. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Applied Digital Marketing
We operate in an increasingly digital world and traditional marketing must include digital aspects and channels to be relevant.
This 10 week course will teach you to think digital, talk digital and deliver effective digital campaigns to elevate marketing and brand-building initiatives. You will learn to conceptualise and implement successful digital marketing strategies that drive customer acquisition, optimise your digital footprint and deliver business results.
There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Comprehensive onsite courses in July include:
Real Estate Investment Analysis
This intensive five day course is for people who have been introduced to the real estate discipline at NQF 4 and NQF 5 levels. It is designed to provide higher level, more focused training as well as tools for analysing different types of real estate investments at the individual asset level, and measuring investment performance.
The course will benefit property practitioners who do not have property degrees; past graduates of SAPOA programmes in different aspects of the real estate business and people from different disciplinary backgrounds considering entering the profession. The course takes place over five days from 1 to 5 July 2019.
Advanced Performance Management
Presented by the School of Accountancy together with Wits Enterprise, this course is designed to prepare students for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Professional level exams.
On completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Use strategic planning and control models to plan and monitor organisational performance
- Assess and identify key external influences on organisational performance
- Apply strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organisational performance
- Advise on business performance evaluation as well as recognize vulnerability to corporate failure
The course will run from 15 July to 22 October 2019.
For more information on registering for any of these courses, criteria for registering, and costs, visit.
This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.
The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll
One of an organisation’s biggest overheads is that of salaries and wages. And yet, if these are not processed on time, it can negatively impact staff morale and create the impression that the company is not financially stable.
For a small business, payroll is normally the responsibility of an accountant or bookkeeper, but even administrators can sometimes be roped in to do the job, even though they have no expertise in the matter. This is where the value of outsourcing your payroll comes in.
When should you outsource?
- If you want to grow your business but are not aware of ongoing legislative changes that could pose a risk to your company, then it is better to get professionals to assist.
- Accountants and bookkeepers are not specialists and do not keep up with the compliance environment. If you outsource your payroll, you enable them to focus their core duties and not get bogged down by legislative complexities.
How to choose an outsourced service provider
Understandably, payroll is a sensitive subject dealing with highly confidential information.
This is often the last thing a small business owner wants to outsource. It is therefore vital that the company does its homework and researches the potential outsourcing partner thoroughly.
Instead of going with the first available service provider or the cheapest one, here are some questions to ask:
- Is the service provider a one-man band and, if so, what backup resources are available?
- Is the service provider a recognised payroll provider belonging to a professional body?
- Do they have the necessary training and skills on payroll?
- What does the service provider do to ensure it stays up to date with legislation?
- How secure is the payroll data and can the service provider take on historic data?
- How easy is it to recover your payroll data in the event of a disaster?
- What value-adds can the service provider offer? These can include anything from leave management and third-party payments, to employee self-service, time and attendance management, and any other related human resource service.
- Can they process salaries and/or wages hourly, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly?
- Can the service provider accommodate your growth requirements if you open new branches?
- Is the service provider able to assist with payrolls in other African countries, manage their currencies, and deal with their regulatory environments?
- What processes are in place to ensure the timeous processing of payrolls?
The advantages of outsourcing your payroll
One of the most obvious benefits of going the outsourcing route is freeing up your resources to focus on your core strategic objectives. This ensures you provide quality of service and control costs while an experienced partner takes care of your payroll.
Here are a few other benefits:
- Reduce operating costs.
- Statutory compliance and consistent service delivery.
- Access to the latest technology, as well as skilled and dedicated payroll resources.
- Access to a secure, risk-free and confidential payroll environment.
- Increased flexibility and responsiveness.
- Streamlined internal processes and procedures.
This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.