It’s apparent by the example set by several billionaire entrepreneurs of our time that success doesn’t necessarily come from a degree behind your name or even experience or business acumen. Many skills required to run a business are not learnt at business school, but out in the field, first-hand, through experience and failure.
UK billionaire Richard Branson’s story is well-known – an under-performer at school, he sells records from a church, has no higher education or business training and becomes a business game changer and global icon. Then there are the ‘car boot entrepreneurs’ like America fashion mogul Steve Madden, who knew less than zero about fashion, had no business experience, but undeterred started out selling shoes.
Starting a business while studying
Many entrepreneurs start their own businesses while studying and for some, their businesses become so successful they drop out to work full-time. If you have an Apple device, you probably know about the iFix repair stores (recently rebranded as weFix). A brainchild of Stellenbosch University student Alex Fourie, he launched this business in 2007 from his room on campus. In 2014 Forbes magazine named him one of the 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa and today, there are over 30 stores in South Africa.
A shift in how we learn
The ease with which information, knowledge and education can be accessed, as and when needed, is changing the landscape of learning. Globally there’s a move away from traditional three- or four-year university degrees to online learning. A 2015 survey Online Report Card – Tracking Online Education in the United States, found that 5.8 million students (that’s one in four students) take at least one online course. The survey also found that 71.4% of leading academics deem the learning outcomes of online education as the same, or superior to those of face‐to‐face instruction.
If you’re employed, you’re probably feeling the worldwide affliction that your salary and disposable income are never enough. Studying part-time could help you branch into another direction that could earn you additional income.
For those already running their own businesses and wishing to upskill or perhaps move their offering into a new direction, online study is an affordable and appealing option. It offers great flexibility, as learning can be done in your own time and pace alongside running your business. If you want to study something niche, you’re most likely to find it as an online course.
A world of learning at your fingertips
Online learning options are many, both paid-for and free. There’s Damelin’s short courses and diplomas, business qualifications from the Business Management Training College, and Get Smarter, a great portal especially geared towards working professionals with its portfolio of certified, online short courses from the best universities in the world.
Maybe you’ve always been tempted to play the stock market but felt daunted? There’s free online training available to anyone with an interest in trading – no experience or degrees necessary. Uprise Markets has a user-friendly platform with live training, online modules and videos, or you can go in-store for face-to-face training. You’ll earn your ‘trading legs’ by practising with ‘fake money’ and a demo account until you’re as confident as the Wolf of Wall Street and can go onto a live account.
Or, if it’s a DIY MBA you’re after (usually by reading tomes on the subject), you’ll find course outlines and all the information to do so online. There are also several online MBA study options.
And how about making some extra money while you work? If you’re trained and knowledgeable in a particular field, you could learn to create an online course for purchase or become an instructor.
So whether you put off studying to launch your business or you’ve found a new direction to pursue, your future success, in entrepreneurship or personally, could lie in online learning.
Control And Monitor Corporate Travel Expenses Electronically
Managing business travel costs can be challenging, especially if employees are not able to provide accurate accounts of their travel each month.
Win With GPS Log Book
This month, GPS Log Book – a brand by MiX Telematics – is giving away a GPS Log Book to that aspiring business man/woman who wants to get ahead of their travel expenses. To enter all you have to do is email the answer to the below question to firstname.lastname@example.org, to stand a chance of winning a GPS Log book device.
Question: How much on average can a driver, with a travel allowance, claim back from SARS?
If SARS deems a log book inaccurate in any way, the travel allowance tax claim can be rejected, leaving yourself or your employees, with a potential tax liability. The solution? The electronic GPS Log Book device.
GPS Log Book demonstrates the power of electronic logbook management and the importance of ensuring a SARS compliant logbook. Simple, stylish and highly affordable, the GPS Log Book is a user-friendly device that makes managing business travel that much easier.
Key stats about travel related expenses
Global business travel is on the rise and with it, travel spending and related expenses. Research shows that growth will remain strong through 2019, with business travel projected to grow 6,9% in 2016, 6,0% in 2017, 6,4% in 2018 and 5,8% in 2019.
Optimising business travel costs
If we consider this increase then there is no doubt that business travel and expense management is, and will, become an even more important issue for businesses across South Africa. Therefore, it’s important for companies to find an easy, accurate and effective way to monitor and control business travel expenses.
Many organisations still use traditional methods of completing travel logbooks or reporting expenses. This approach may have worked in the past, but in today’s competitive business environment, organisations need to ensure that their selected approach does not hamper operations and profitability – rather that it improves these aspects and provides return on investment.
Such technology can have great benefits for your staff too. Employees that take a proactive approach to managing their travel claim expenses – through a GPS Log Book – and submitting these with their tax returns, can receive up to R17 000* back over the year.
The role of technology in travel related aspects
If we consider that substantial developments in technology have changed the needs of businesses all over the world, then there is no longer a reason for businessmen and women to worry about managing their business travels effectively. There is an app, a product or a solution for almost any business challenge today and this is no different when it comes to travel logs.
Through the use of GPS Log Book, this can be done electronically.
It ensures an accurate business report that reimburses travel expenses and provides employees with the opportunity to receive a travel related tax return.
The importance of a SARS compliant tax return
As an example, if your car is valued between R80 001 and R160 000 and you travel approximately 20 000 km per annum, of which 50% is business related, the estimated claim amount from SARS should be approximately R25 095.
While you can calculate an approximate claim amount by using the calculator provided on selected electronic logbook websites, if you have not kept an accurate logbook – the benefits cannot be obtained.
With the advent of GPS Log Book, you can plug the device into your car’s lighter socket, ensuring that each trip is logged electronically.
Benefits of a GPS Log Book
The ROI from such devices is tangible, with benefits including:
- Categorising your trips based on business and private travel
- Logbooks are accurate, comprehensive and easy to use
- Trip data can be stored in the cloud for up to 5 years – ensuring data is secure at all times
- When submitting a tax claim, the minimum information required includes the date for each trip, where the trip started and ended, how many kilometres were travelled per trip and the reason for travel – business or private – all managed electronically
- With the touch of a button, you can create a fully SARS compliant report.
Today, it is simpler than ever for businesses to effectively control and monitor travel expenses, reduce administration and cut travel expenses – as well as for businesses to eliminate travel expense abuse – all through the use of an electronic logbook.
* This is based on the following R17k rebate criteria:
- Sample of 432 vehicles in 2015/2016 tax year
- Total average kilometres driven in tax year: 24 800
- Percentage that were business trips: 35%
- Average value of vehicle: R80 000.
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