With the rising cost of living and the festive season around the corner, personal finance management is becoming an increasingly top-of-mind priority for South Africans. Andile Jonas, Head of Marketing at Momentum Financial Planning, gives a few financial hacks for consumers to not only survive the festive season without breaking the bank, but to also be deliberate about how they spend their money. He also offers a few ideas on how they can even save money along the way.
Host potluck style
Potluck refers to a communal gathering where each guest or group contributes a different, often homemade dish of food to be shared.
“Dining out can be very expensive, especially if you are hosting friends and relatives over the December period. Ask your guests to chip-in and you will find entertaining infinitely less expensive. It can also bring some celebratory creativity to the dining room table, as each guest offers a food choice unique to their tastes,” says Jonas.
Buy gifts ahead of time
You don’t have to wait until a week or two before Christmas to go shopping. Jonas says that he often starts picking up gifts throughout the year, to make sure these items aren’t a big expenditure in December.
“Both birthday and Christmas gifts should be bought throughout the year, especially if you spot something that you know your loved one will be crazy about. Mid-year sales, or even early January sales, are a good time to shop for gifts if you can afford it. Keep them stashed away in the back of your cupboard and update a list of who you still need to shop for throughout the year, to minimise expenses in December,” says Jonas.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday – a good or bad idea?
South Africa is no longer new to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday movement, and consumers expect sales and discounts from retailers on these days. According to Qwerty Digital, most retail or mall websites receive an average of 150% increase in website visits to their promotion pages, and in 2015 Absa reported that card spending increased by 81% on Black Friday compared to any other average day throughout the year.
“There are amazing sales and specials on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but I would advise consumers not to splurge on items only because they are available at a discounted rate. Instead of allowing yourself to be seduced by marketing ploys and spending money on things you don’t need, earmark a few big-ticket items – for example, a television or refrigerator for the home that you need to replace. Understand what your real needs are, and keep an eye out for worthwhile discounts and promotions on these days,” says Jonas.
Save throughout the year
The age-old advice of relying less on any kind of debt shouldn’t be lost during the silly season. Saving throughout the year can also go a long way in ensuring your December spending doesn’t get out of control.
“Reduce your debt, starting with that dreaded credit card. Avoid undoing any ground gained by setting money aside in your monthly budget for your December holidays. Even if it’s R500 that you put into a 30-day account, this can be a welcome nest egg when the festive season rolls around,” says Jonas.
Prioritise your wants and needs
Saving becomes infinitely easier when you have a reminder of what you are working towards.
“Draw up a list of the top five to ten items you most need to pay for during the year. This list will make it easier to remember why you are setting aside money each month. Whether you want to make sure you are able to pay your children’s school fees by January, or you want to go on a luxury holiday, this list – and even the act of physically writing these priorities down on paper – can help keep you focused on your bigger financial goals throughout the year,” says Jonas.
Maximise on your reward schemes
There are several reward schemes that consumers can make use of. Multiply, Momentum’s rewards and wellness programme, has partners that South Africans have shown a real affinity towards, such as Pick n Pay and Dis-Chem.
“We want to make it easy and practical for Multiply members to save. The more active and engaged you are with Multiply, the more you will save with our partners,” says Jonas.
Multiply also recently launched a benefit called Multiply Money where members can earn cashbacks for everyday purchases. Multiply Money allows members to get rewarded with real cash when they shop in store at Pick n Pay and Dis-Chem, as well as on the Multiply online shop. These cashbacks grow in the Multiply Money savings wallet, at a linked interest rate of 5.25% from the first cent.
“Make the most out of savings and the cashback rewards that you are entitled to. Be conscious about where your money goes and optimise every saving opportunity that comes your way,” concludes Jonas.
Global Guide For Entrepreneurs, Innovators Launches In Johannesburg
Startup Guide partners with SAP Next-Gen, Tshimologong Precinct to bring global guidebook to Johannesburg innovation ecosystem; calls for nominations.
Calling all entrepreneurs, accelerators, innovators, co-working spaces and experts in the City of Gold: Startup Guide, the leading global guide for start-ups in high-growth innovation hubs in Europe, the US and Middle East, is open to nominations in Johannesburg.
Founded in 2014, Startup Guide is a creative content and publishing company that produces guidebooks and tools to help entrepreneurs to connect to communities and resources in the leading start-up cities around the world. Its global footprint covers some of the most innovative and thriving start-up ecosystems in the US, Europe and the Middle East, including those of London, New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Stockholm. After launching in Cape Town earlier in the year, Startup Guide now moves to Johannesburg.
According to Sissel Hansen, Founder and CEO of Startup Guide, South Africa’s largest city is emerging as a key innovation hub for start-ups.
“Johannesburg has recently emerged as a growing ecosystem for start-ups and entrepreneurs in Africa, particularly in the tech industry. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to create a comprehensive guide of resources for aspiring founders wanting to do business in South Africa’s largest city.”
Startup Guide Johannesburg was launched at Wits University’s Tshimologong Precinct, one of Johannesburg’s newest high-tech addresses in the vibrant inner-city district of Braamfontein. Tshimologong, which means “new beginnings” in Setswana, focuses on the incubation of digital entrepreneurs, commercialisation of research and the development of high-level digital skills for students, working professionals and unemployed youth. Lesley Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Precinct, says: “South Africa is fast-becoming a go-to source for innovation, especially in the tech sector. We believe the introduction of a dedicated resource for the startup ecosystem in Johannesburg will unlock significant opportunities for innovation hubs such as ours to more easily connect with entrepreneurs, experts and other roleplayers, ultimately providing a more supportive environment for growth.”
Startup Guide has partnered with SAP Next-Gen, a purpose driven innovation university and community for the SAP ecosystem enabling companies, partners and universities to connect and innovate with purpose linked to the UN Sustainable Goals for Development. Ann Rosenberg, Senior Vice President and Head of Global SAP Next-Gen says:
“We strive to connect digital innovators in an open innovation community to drive the future success and growth of industries through the use of technology. As we have witnessed in other high-innovation cities around the world, the introduction of knowledge resources – supported by opportunities for collaboration and partnership in an open ecosystem – enhances the overall success of entire start-up communities. Johannesburg’s world-famous energy and business acumen will greatly benefit from the launch of Startup Guide Johannesburg and the support of industry partners, including SAP Next-Gen and the Tshimologong Precinct.”
Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa, adds that the partnership with Startup Guide aligns well with the company’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “As an organisation we are committed to achieving the high ambitions set out by the SDGs. However, it is virtually impossible to do so alone: the concept of partnership with likeminded purpose-driven organisations and initiatives is vital not only to realising the SDGs but to foster a greater and more inclusive innovation ecosystem in Johannesburg and across the African continent.”
Nominations for the Johannesburg edition of Startup Guide are now open. If you know a start-up, entrepreneur, programme, space, accelerator, or experts and would like to see them featured in the book, please visit https://startupguide.com/shop/startup-guide-johannesburg and submit your nomination.
Aspirations For SMMEs In South Africa
Research released earlier this year, revealed that there are only 250 000 formal SMMEs in South Africa.
Entrepreneurs who have started up a business over the past 10 years have done so in an environment that has been largely negative, with slow economic growth and an unstable political landscape. “So, all in all, a very difficult setting to launch, grow or even maintain a business,” says Bizmod MD, Anne-Marie Pretorius.
Pretorius says that many entrepreneurs who operate in South Africa can be forgiven for often wondering if the slog is worth it. Yet they continue – despite economic uncertainty, strikes, retrenchments and downscaling. “It is this tenacity that sets entrepreneurs apart, and I often wonder how much more successful they would be in an easier and more supportive environment.”
Below, Pretorius shares her ideal pro-entrepreneur outlook for the future:
- Greater policy certainty on all key government policies from land reform to regulations surrounding labour broking.
- Being able to do away with bad policy faster. An example of where this did not happen was in the changes of visa requirements; leading to an unnecessary dent in our tourism industry, an industry that should be targeted for growth.
- Lower compliance requirements for companies with a turnover under R50 million. The cost of compliance for smaller enterprises is significantly higher in comparison to their income and the cash they have available. Smaller companies need simpler frameworks where compliance is required. A portal similar to SARS e-filing, which makes compliance across various pieces of legislation clear and simple, would be ideal.
- The Labour Relations Act is a key piece of legislation that has done a lot to protect the rights of the employee. It has attempted to balance the power relationship between employee and employer. Some innovation is however required in labour practices, allowing for mutually beneficial flexible working relationships that keep pace with the changing work environment.
- Buy small, buy South African! A framework whereby large corporations and government would have to allocate a certain minimum percentage to buying from smaller local companies. There are encouraging signs that this is happening more, however this is still not an ingrained practice. In addition, consumers should be more informed on what items are South African produced, in order for them to be encouraged to purchase locally.
- Easier access to funds enabling entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. There are currently a few options available, but all of the options require significant governance and red tape. Whilst this is understandable from the lenders perspective, it does hamper the agility and growth of companies.
- Make good financial governance aspirational, attractive and easily accessible.
- The process for tenders to be corruption free and fair, enabling more companies to add value.
- Pay SMME’s on 30 days or less. Enormous pressure exists on smaller companies when not paid on time. They simply do not have the cash flow to carry a debtor’s book of 90 days and this inevitably hampers their growth.
- Tax SMME’s at a lower tax rate. Profit tax should be lowered in order to drive entrepreneurship.
- Creating a platform that makes it simpler to employ young individuals with potential and create support programmes for SMMEs to upskill them. There is a significant financial and time investment required to train a young person, which can make SMME’s sometimes wary to do so.
“If we are able to make only some of these ideals a reality, there is no doubt that we would see economic growth, entrepreneurial growth, and more employment opportunities,” concludes Pretorius.
Related: A – Z Easy Small Business Ideas
South African Students Win R50 000 In The Universities Business Challenge
Students from Mangosuthu University of Technology beat 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa.
The Overlings from Mangosuthu University of Technology are the 2018 winners of Cognity Advisory’s Universities Business Challenge (UBC), sponsored by General Electric (GE). The winning team of four students are walking away with R50,000 to turn their business idea into reality.
Launched in July this year, the UBC has seen 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa participate in a business simulation competition designed to develop entrepreneurship skills.
When the competition launched, all teams were challenged to form virtual companies and to virtually manufacture and sell bicycles.
The final 10 teams were from the University of Limpopo, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal and North-West University.
During the two-day final, the teams played six rounds of simulations. Each simulation gave the teams a chance to re-evaluate their progress and better certain areas that needed improving. The winning team realised during one of their simulations that in order to maximise profits they would need to introduce two new products and market it differently from their initial product. They paid special attention to their customer’s needs.
The aim of the UBC was designed to tackle South Africa’s high level of youth unemployment. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) that South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018.
Nkosinathi Sokhulu from the winning team said, “Even though we didn’t have a great presentation we made the most profit. This experience taught us a lot about ourselves and business. Most of the decisions that we made came from serious debates. We learnt that market research is crucial when starting a business. We learnt that marketing starts and ends with the customer.”
“Based on this market research information we realised that it was important for us to introduce two new products and this, in addition to the main product we were selling, helped us to maximise profits. We saw an opportunity to add more products and it paid off” said Mbali Tshozi.
Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory said, “All the teams showed tremendous promise and I was very impressed by their levels of engagement with one another and their tenacity.”
“We really want to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills to not only start a business but to run it effectively. While we have selected one winner, our hope is that each team has benefitted by having learned the skills needed in the workplace.”
“The competition is designed to develop the ‘soft skills’ that are important for those wanting to set up their own business or simply be successful at work. With rising unemployment and ongoing talent shortages, having these skills is crucial for those wanting to get a job.”
The UBC, now in its second year in South Africa, will continue into its third year in 2019 and will run as the Africa Enterprise Challenge (AEC).
Types of Businesses to Start1 week ago
(Infographic) 5 Best Online Businesses To Start Before The Year Ends
Start-up Advice1 week ago
(Infographic)The Do’s And Don’ts Of Naming Your Business
Entrepreneur Profiles1 week ago
Tim Hogins Started Out As A Security Guard, Today His Has A Turnover Of R150 Million And Has Self-Funded Three Huge Lifestyle Parks
Entrepreneur Profiles2 days ago
John Holdsworth Founder Of Tautona AI Shares 4 Disruptive Strategies That Are Changing The Insurance Industry
Lessons Learnt2 weeks ago
How BrightRock Is Disrupting The Insurance Industry With These 2 Pivotal Strategies
Business Ideas Directory1 day ago
12 Cannabis Products You Can Legally Start Selling Right Now
How to Guides6 days ago
Making Money Online: 10 South African Entrepreneurs Doing It
Company Posts1 week ago
5 Insider Tips Every Trader Needs to Know