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How WordPress Can Help Your Small Business

WordPress is an amazingly large platform filled with incredible tools from useful plugins to intriguing extensions. It’s a platform for bloggers, social media influencers, and increasingly, small business owners.

Josh Althuser

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WordPress is one of the largest content management systems available. In fact, it powers nearly 30% of all US websites. Its ease of use and a open-source nature has prompted the platform to become overwhelmingly popular.

For many, WordPress is an invaluable resource that makes website management simple and promotes their brand easily. It is Little Wonder then that so many businesses use WordPress to handle their website and online presence management. Even though it is very popular, learning WordPress is an entirely different task.

Not many small businesses can afford to have a WordPress developer. In that case, it is important for many owners to learn as much as they can about WordPress.

Achieving effective market growth

There are those who still wish to use traditional services but are usually dumbfounded by the price and time requirement for making custom websites outside of the platform.

The abundant array of tools and applications makes using WordPress simple but effective for market growth.

For many businesses just starting out, getting traction and marketing growth are very difficult and can be taxing experiences if done by hand.

Related: 7 Ingredients Of Small Business Success Online

With a platform like WordPress achieving a beautiful website and pushing a brand is much simpler and easier than trying to do everything yourself.

Optimising your website with SEO

One of the most important aspects of business writing on a website is search engine optimisation or SEO. WordPress fortunately comes with a number of plugins that makes SEO very simple such as Yoast.

This service scroll through text and automates the SEO process to make sure your content is pushed to the best of its ability while also giving your brand the most exposure it can possibly take.

SEO is a very taxing and tedious process for many small business owners and the WordPress platform makes it simple.

Monitoring your website and developing leads

There is also the issue of monitoring who is coming to your website and who was looking at your products. again, on the WordPress platform there is the Google analytics plugin which allows owners to analyze who’s coming to their website and for how long.

This can be used to determine if your marketing or branding is effective and can determine what things need to change to increase exposure.

For small business, exposure is everything and awareness is the key to a successful business.

Increasing site security

Keeping a site secure is another main issue for people who run their own website and luckily WordPress has a plug-in for that.

Vaultpress, the premier security plugin, keeps your website secure and in the event of a catastrophic failure it can restore the entire site.

Business owners often fear their website crashing as it would reduce the amount of traffic it could garner and may interrupt their business practice. The WordPress platform has many tools which prevent loss of data or breaches of security so that your business can continue to run smoothly.

The benefits of using WordPress

These tools, mixed with a host of other utilities, make WordPress the premiere platform for websites for businesses of any size.

With its integration software you can automate messaging, simplify marketing and, optimise the speed of your website to give users an incredible experience without the cost of a full development team.

The technological age requires that all businesses must have a website or at least a web presence of some kind. it has been shown time and time again that a website is the best way to make a big impression on the consuming public.

Related: 10 Online Marketers To Watch In 2018

Time, as it moves slowly forward, shows us that the world will revolve around the Internet and technology. A web presence then, is not just a good idea or a trendy notion, but rather imperative to stay competitive in the future. To that end, there is no better platform to create a website on than WordPress.

Josh Althuser is a tech entrepreneur and open source advocate specializing in providing mentorship for startups. You may connect with him on Twitter.

Entrepreneur Today

Stormers’ Siya Kolisi: On Being An Entrepreneur And Employer In SA

Many sportsmen only begin thinking about other sources of income after their professional sporting careers draw to an end, Springbok Siya Kolisi has opted for a head start.

Entrepreneur

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Stormers captain Siya Kolisi has branched out into small business ownership with Frankees: A designer underwear brand with a South African spin. This is Kolisi’s first business venture, which adds him to the ranks of many South African ‘slashers’ who have alternative sources of income to their day jobs. With a current unemployment rate of 26.7%, SME business owners play an increasingly important role in uplifting South Africa’s economy and tackling unemployment.

Ahead of Workers Day on 1 May, Kolisi chatted about being an entrepreneur and employer at the Cape Town Live Better Talks sponsored by Capitec Bank – a bank that partners with business owners to offer smart banking solutions to employees. In SA, SMEs comprise 90% of formal businesses currently and could catalyse 90% of all new jobs in the country by 2030 – especially if President Ramaphosa delivers on his promise to remove current barriers to small business growth. So ventures like Frankees have the potential to make a big difference.

Related: 8 Lessons Rugby Can Teach Us On Achieving Peak Performance In Business And Life

Here’s what Kolisi had to share:

Tell us a bit more about your new business venture and why you decided to found it?

SK: I founded Frankees, a designer underwear company, with my former class and teammate Tim Whitehead. He originally approached me to be the face of the business, but when I looked closer at the business model I saw the opportunity that existed and brought my full skillset on board in exchange for 50% ownership.

It was an easy decision because Tim and I have walked a long road together, I can trust him, and, after a good business model, trust is the most valuable business commodity.

How do you balance playing rugby and managing a business?

SK: I’m not going to lie, it’s tough. You’d think that investing your money in a good business model is sufficient but that’s only the starting point. I’ve learnt that you have to work hard to make your money work for you.

Tim and I split up our roles based upon what comes naturally to us – this makes it less taxing. I focus on marketing and networking. It’s taught me perseverance and persistence. Having someone famous post a picture in your underwear on social media can have a big impact, but they are also usually very busy so it takes a lot of effort to get the photo out of them.

It sounds like you’re learning a lot along the way, what has been your biggest lesson?

SK: You need to set boundaries about who you listen to. There’s a lot of negativity out there and if you’re not careful people can talk you out of your business idea. I’ve chosen a select few people to walk this journey with me and their advice is the wisdom I value.

Do you think an employer has a responsibility to financially upskill employees?

SK: I do, but only if they’re open to having the conversation. I think there’s a lot to be said for transparency: As an employer, you need to be open about what’s working and what’s not. When things fail, you need to talk about the lessons you learn from the experience. From a financial perspective, I try to ask my staff about their future plans – whether they want to start their own business or pursue an educational venture of some kind, etc. – and offer gentle advice from my own experiences, if they’re open to this. I think, as always, there’s a lot to be said for leading by example. I talk about the way my family is saving and investing in our future. I also am open about the company finances: The importance of cash flow, plus insurance, emergency funds and all those key components to getting a new company off the ground.

Related: 5 Things Businesses Can Learn From Rugby

What role do you think SME’s play in the economy?

SK: Small businesses are very important not only for providing job creation, but they drive innovation and efficiencies in our economy. They have the largest potential to move people out of the poverty cycle of structural unemployment but one must be brave starting up a business because it’s not easy.

Personally I’ve been driven by the need to ensure I can always provide for my young family, even after I hang up my boots. I’m also passionate about being a change maker – running a successful business at scale will result in the ability to employ more staff thus creating jobs and empowering people.

What’s one lesson you hope to impart to your employees and other hopeful entrepreneurs?

SK: Always be on the lookout for creative ways to diversify your income; it is possible to hold down more than one job or to begin something small on the side to add to your income. Don’t wait until you’re confronted with a problem – begin now and be proactive.

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Entrepreneur Today

Attention Female Entrepreneurs In SA – Fairlady And Santam Are Looking For Entries!

Entries are now open for the FAIRLADY Santam WOMEN OF THE FUTURE 2018 Awards.

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FAIRLADY and Santam are once again calling for female entrepreneurs: three amazing women who have taken the leap to work for themselves and are now creating opportunities for others – and boosting our economy!

‘South African women are such an impressive bunch – each year I’m blown away by what our entrants have achieved, and not only in “traditional” female businesses like design and PR. They’ve done everything – from starting giant construction firms to filling transport gaps with innovative ideas and a whole host of other genius businesses along the way. They are amazing,’ says FAIRLADY editor Suzy Brokensha.

Related: Funding And Financial Assistance For SA Women Entrepreneurs

The FAIRLADY Santam Woman of the Future 2018 award goes to an entrepreneur, 30 years of age or older, who has overcome the challenges of the first three (3) years as an entrepreneur and made it beyond 1 000 days in business. The prize comprises R50 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, an Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session.

Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Chief Marketing Officer at title sponsor Santam says, ‘As a company that has been in the business landscape for 100 years, we support entrepreneurship as it is vital to the growth of the country’s economy. Entrepreneurs are the bloodline of economic growth – they are the source of job creation and engines of innovation. We value our partnership with FAIRLADY in the Women of the Future initiative – now in its fourth year – as it gives us a platform to honour entrepreneurs who are positively impacting our nation.’

The FAIRLADY Santam Rising Star 2018 Award goes to an entrepreneur between the ages of 16 and 30 whose business is older than six months but still within its first 1000 days of business. The prize comprises R20 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, a Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session.

‘There’s a new optimism in South Africa, but at FAIRLADY we have always been optimistic. We’re all about the future, and we believe in the extraordinary power of women to create the future we want for ourselves and our children in this country. We award success, but we also award potential (the Rising Star award). This year I’m delighted to say we’re also including the social entrepreneurs who are using their businesses to contribute to their communities.’ says Brokensha.

Related: 10 Successful SA Women Entrepreneurs’ Top Advice On Balancing Work And Family

The FAIRLADY Santam Social Entrepreneur 2018 Award goes to an entrepreneur whose business is making a real difference in her community. She must be 30 years or older, and her business must have survived its first 1 000 days in business. The prize comprises R20 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, an Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session

Entry forms and terms & conditions are available on www.womenofthefuture.co.za.
Entries close on 8 June 2018.


fairlady-magazine-cover-for-mayThe general public can now nominate a female entrepreneur for entry into the Woman of the Future,
Rising Star or Social Entrepreneur Awards. Nomination forms can be found on https://www.womenofthefuture.co.za/nominate-now/

For full details, get the latest issue of FAIRLADY magazine, on sale now!

Follow FAIRLADY on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairladymag, @FairladyMag on Twitter, and @Fairlady_Magazine on Instagram.

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Entrepreneur Today

The Big Issues Facing SA’s Small Business

There’s no lack of entrepreneurial spirit in SA, but start-ups and small businesses need skills, social capital and a supportive environment in order to succeed.

Entrepreneur

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It’s a popular misconception that funding is the biggest hurdle in the way of small business success: in fact, knowledge and networks may be more important. This is according to small business experts and members of the Small Business Expo expert advisory board, speaking ahead of South Africa’s premier small business development platform – Small Business Expo 2018.

The expo, taking place from 6 – 8 September at the TicketPro Dome is an annual opportunity showcase and knowledge-sharing platform for local small and medium sized businesses, is presented by Reed Exhibitions in partnership with the Eskom Development Foundation. It is further supported by the Randburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Minara Chamber of Commerce; endorsed by the Black Management Forum (BMF) and approved by AAXO.

Related: The Next 5 Steps To Take After You’ve Been Denied A Small Business Loan

According to Langa Manqele, FinTech businessman and chairman of the Black Management Forum (BMF) in Gauteng, entrepreneurial spirit is flourishing across South Africa, including in the townships and rural areas.

“A trend we’re seeing emerging is for entrepreneurs to launch small scale manufacturing and agro-processing operations around the country.” This is in line with the government’s hopes for a more industrial economy, and presents many opportunities for job creation, he notes.

“Unfortunately, though, many start-ups are failing to break through into big business, and many are failing to comply with testing and safety standards. This may be partly due to a lack of awareness and information, and also because safety and standards infrastructure is out of reach of rural business, as well as being prohibitively expensive.”

Manqele believes that stepped up information sharing, skills development and networking, such as that available at the Small Business Expo, may help these start-ups break through into the big business league.

“This is why the BMF is endorsing the Small Business Expo,” he says. “Because of its focus on the development of black business in particular, along with its three days of in-depth workshops and opportunities to network, we believe it’s an invaluable platform for small businesses to gain the knowledge and social capital they need to grow. Capacity building is a major challenge, and the number of startups able to be absorbed by incubators doesn’t meet the national needs; therefore events like these fill the gap for critical business skills development.”

Linda Blackbeard, CEO of the Randburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), which represents businesses in Randburg, Fourways and Lanseria, echoes this sentiment. “Small businesses need partner networks in order to grow. Joint ventures, for example, allow them to take on bigger projects than they might manage alone. And through partnerships with large business, they stand to gain viable income streams.” But many do not know how to tap in to this ‘social capital’ or partner networks.

Blackbeard says belonging to an industry body such as the local Chamber of Commerce is a key first step to expanding partner networks. Another is to participate in industry events.

Related: Get Your Small Business VAT-Ready Without The Headache

“The Small Business Expo is a very important platform for networking, learning and skills development,” she says. “No matter how long you’ve been in business, systems and markets change and there’s always something new for us to learn so that we can operate more effectively.” She notes that marketing is another area where many small businesses fall short, making the networking and exposure opportunities at the Small Business Expo invaluable for small businesses.

BMF and RCCI will be present at the Small Business Expo, where small business can discover the benefits of joining the organisations.

Carol Weaving, MD of Reed Exhibitions, says building social capital and business capacity is the primary function of the Small Business Expo and co-located #BuyaBusiness expo. “Empowering small businesses to grow, has always been the focus of this event, which is closely aligned with the work of show partner, the Eskom Development Foundation. As the expo has evolved, we have increased our efforts to deliver a practical development forum that delivers tangible results for all participants. This year, the programme has been shaped with input from business experts across small business umbrella bodies, chambers of commerce, banks and entrepreneurs, all working towards a common goal of growing businesses in South Africa.”

Small Business Expo will include multiple development forums and workshops, including the Creative Business Cup, Nedbank Money Matters Workshops; Standard Bank Women in Business Theatre; Eskom  “Powering your World Indaba” and a Business Services Theatre.  In addition, the expo will showcase the Business Services Expo & #BuyABusiness Expo as well as offersa #THEClub VIP investors’ programme, business speed dating, online business matchmaking and dedicated networking areas.


About the Small Business Expo

The Small Business Expo, showcasing the Business Services Expo and #BuyaBusiness Expo, is devoted to the development of small and medium sized enterprises, providing an invaluable platform for small and medium businesses to market themselves, network and connect with entrepreneurs and interact with prominent business leaders and representatives from a number of corporate companies. The Small Business Expo is presented by Reed Exhibitions in partnership with the Eskom Development Foundation and will be held from 6 – 8 September 2018 at the Ticketpro Dome, Northgate.

The expo is supported by the Randburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Minara Chamber of Commerce, and is endorsed by the Black Management Forum (BMF) and approved by AAXO.

For more information, visit https://www.smallbizexpo.co.za/

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