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Corporate Wellness Doesn’t Have To Break Your (Small Business) Bank Account

There’s a strong relationship between an employee’s health and wellbeing and their performance at work.

Fedhealth

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Corporate wellness programmes are becoming the norm as more and more companies recognise the advantages of having healthy employees. But in small businesses where budgets are tighter, these programmes often aren’t a priority. The irony is that in these start-up environments, employee burnout can happen even quicker than in large corporates – which makes a wellness programme even more important.

Ignoring your physical and mental health in favour of working yourself to the ground is something large corporates are realising is detrimental to productivity. But if you’re an entrepreneur who owns a small business, you most likely have a tight budget and resource constraints, which means you may find it harder to incorporate wellness into your company’s ethos.

It’s well worth doing though. Why? Absenteeism costs South Africa a whopping R16 billion per year*. In fact, 15%** of employees are absent from work on any given day!

So as a small business owner, how do you avoid these figures, and ensure happy healthy employees who are also productive?

Related: 8 Tips for Staying Healthy in an Open Office

The first step is not to think of corporate wellness as expensive – after all, we know not everyone can afford a company gym or personal trainers for every employee. However, there are other smaller measures that you can implement as an entrepreneur that will give you happier employees, lower staff turnover, increased productivity and fewer sick days.

Here are our suggestions:

1. Wellness Days

Many health problems can be prevented simply by education and providing awareness. Wellness Days at work are extremely convenient, as employees can have their BMI measurements taken and have tests for cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose without having to leave the workplace.

Any potential risks can then be identified and feedback given to them by an expert including any lifestyle changes they need to make.

2. Sitting is a Sin

We’re not designed to sit at a desk eight hours of the day; in fact, there’s even a new saying that “sitting is the new smoking”! 50-80% of people suffer from lower back issues and it is second only to headaches when it comes to painful disorders affecting humans.

Look at standing desks for some employees or invite a professional in to review the ergonomics or your staff members’ desks and chairs.

Related: 8 Awesome, And Strange, Offices

3. Get Active

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South Africa ranks amongst the most obese nations in the world, with 60% of people not doing any form of exercise.

There are many ways to encourage your employees to get more physically active:

  • Buy everyone a pedometer and create a weekly competition where the person who walks the most steps receives a small prize or cash incentive.
  • Encourage exercise during work time: start a running club during your lunch hour or encourage people to cycle to work.
  • Enter races as a group and sponsor every km run as a company – funds raised can go towards a good cause.

4. Give them their weekends back

As much as there are occasional emergencies, make it company policy that people should not send work emails after certain hours and definitely not on a Saturday or Sunday.

If there are urgent things to attend to, insist on phone calls or SMS as a way of communicating. This way you and your employees can spend your weekends relaxing and recharging for the week ahead. In the same way, encourage employees to take annual leave, and don’t give them the option to cash the days in.

Related: Is Working From Home More Stressful Than From The Office?

5. Healthy Eating and Drinking Options

If you do have canteen facilities, ensure that there are healthy meal options available such as salads, wraps and fruit rather than only burgers, chips or fried foods. Get a water fountain or cooler so that filtered cold water is available and employees have other options rather than only coffee and tea to drink.

Running a growing business makes each and every staff member integral to your success, so nurturing their quality of life will only impact positively on enhancing their professional output.

When it comes to corporate wellness programmes, most medical schemes only offer wellness services to companies of 100 people or more. In contrast, Fedhealth’s Corporate Wellness programme focuses on small to medium enterprises too. No matter what your company size, their programme helps you promote healthy employees, reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism, ultimately contributing to the growth of 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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