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4 Signs that your Small Business has Finally Arrived

Here are a few ways that you’ll know that your company has grown from a shaky fledgling into a successful and sustainable business.

Steven Cohen

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There is no shortage of articles, seminars, and textbooks that claim to tell you how to run a successful small business, but few of them define exactly what it means to succeed. Yet it’s important as a small business owner to know what you’re striving for every day so that you can stay focused on your goals.

What are you hoping to achieve with the long hours, the risks, and the sacrifices that come alongside running your own business?

We-recommend-tickRecommended: A Simple 6-Step Process to Starting a Small Business

For each SME owner, the answer will be different, given that some simply want to provide a good living for their families, others want to inspire their customers, and many hope to change the world with a new way of doing things.

That said, most successful businesses have a few things in common.

1. Your cash flow is healthy and you’re starting to see consistent profits

When you start a business, you can usually expect to lose money for at least a few months. Your start-up expenses, such as stock, equipment, marketing, business services, rent and overheads will initially be higher than your revenues.

When you start to see a healthy stream of revenue into your business, so that you’re able to cover most of your expenses from cash flow each month, you’ll know that you’re on the right track.

And after a consistent few months where you are making a profit rather than a loss, you’ll be sure that you have a sustainable cost base and that there is a demand in the market for your products or services.

Each month and each year that you’re able to sustain and grow profits vastly increases the odds that your business will survive and thrive into the long term future.

2. Your customers are saying good things about your company

Listen to what your customers are really saying about your business – use an informal survey (tools such as Survey Monkey can help), social media monitoring, and face-to-face interaction to find out what they think about your service or product.

If they’re satisfied with your offering, then you are resonating with your market and have a strong base for the growth of your business. Repeat business from the same customers speaks even louder than social media praise – if they keep coming back for more, you’re definitely doing something right.

3. Your employees are happy and your staff turnover is low

Another sign that your business has established itself is if you’ve managed to build a strong core team that has stayed with the company for a couple of years.

If your people are happy, then your business is probably growing. And the longer they stick around, the better they will get at what they do.

4. You’re happy that you’ve done the right thing with your life and your career

Many business owners are motivated by money or the flexibility and independence that comes from being their own boss; others love the prestige of entrepreneur awards or the buzz that comes from making a difference in the community. These are all valid metrics for success.

We-recommend-tickRecommended: HR Management Basics for the Small Business

If you feel that you are doing the right thing with your life when you look at yourself in the mirror each morning, you’re doing well.

There are moments of self-doubt and difficult periods in any entrepreneur’s life, but if you wouldn’t easily trade what you’re doing for anything else in the world, your business is on the road to success.

As head of Sage One for AAMEA, Steven Cohen is overseeing the growth and development of Sage’s cloud-based accounting and payroll solutions in Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Asia. Before taking his current post, Cohen dedicated his 25-year career to Sage Pastel, the innovative business software company he founded with partners Ivan Epstein and Alan Osrin in 1989. During this time, Steven has held several management positions in the company, including financial director, chief operating officer, and managing director. He has played a central role in the company's growth from a start-up to a part of the JSE-listed Softline Group, right up to its present incarnation as part of Sage plc, a FTSE 100 company. A charted accountant by qualification, Steven has driven Sage Pastel's approach to keeping accounting at the cutting edge of technology and turning accounting software into a business management tool. Now, he will apply his skills and experience to Sage AAMEA’s strategically important and rapidly growing cloud business.

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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.

HI-Q

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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.

Related: Don’t Tread On Toes – Why Investing In A HIQ Franchise Will Offer You More Opportunities

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.

Business support

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.

Franchising opportunities

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 bernie_andrews@goodyear.co.za

Related: We Want To Invite You To Join Us On The Hi-Q Journey And Become A Franchisee

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Get The Edge This Winter

Five short courses from WITS kicking off in July will give you the competitive edge.

Wits Plus

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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.

Related: Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

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.

Related: The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll

This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.

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Accounting & Payroll

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.

CRS HR And Payroll Solutions

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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.

Related: Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

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