In a drive to support start-ups in their first critical 12 months, Standard Bank has launched a fresh drive into the small business start-up market.
Clive Pintusewitz, director of Small Enterprise and Enterprise Development at Standard Bank, says many start-up businesses have met a premature end because they have not been built on the most solid foundation.
“Through working closely with start-ups over the past decades, we have developed an understanding of the holistic needs of start-ups. Based on these experiences, we have developed a product that offers real support during the high-risk first year following the launch of a new business,” he says.
Standard Bank’s new drive, known as BizLaunch, will focus on getting a business started the right way to avoid the false starts that many businesses face.
“If we concentrate on the essentials, what you really need is to register the business, keep track of cash in and cash out, pay suppliers, deposit funds into a business bank account, and get some basic advice when you ask for it,” says Pintusewitz.
A business account for R90/month
Among the key features is a R90 a month business account that includes various transactions and services to assist and set up the business for the first 12 months. With a 28% share of the business banking market, Standard Bank is best-placed in terms of experience and presence to lead this back-to-basics drive, says Pintusewitz.
“Starting a business is difficult and daunting. People with an idea just want to get cracking and yet they face all sorts of hurdles and bureaucracy, in spite of what everyone says about the importance of supporting small business.”
BizLaunch is aimed particularly at any new business (including sole proprietors) with no existing business account, any business wanting to switch with an account younger than 12 months and any business currently trading from a personal account.
“Twelve months is the typical period a business needs to get up and running, become aware of what banking transactions and what other services the business will use. This means that after the 12 month period the entrepreneur will be correctly positioned to choose a suitable account package that will appropriately match the business needs,” explains Pintusewitz.
Full service offering
BizLaunch is a one-stop shop, full-service offering that includes a proper and affordable business account with no hidden costs; Pastel My Business Online; an affordable insurance offer, and access to expert advice and other support.
Whereas traditional small businesses got all these separately from various service providers, Standard Bank offers all of them under one roof.
“This approach is important in that it saves customers time, money and, more importantly, allows people to focus on running and growing their business. It means that Standard Bank’s small business staff can develop a relationship with start-ups based on a better understanding of the challenges and how we can help them grow. It means that most problems can be nipped in the bud, reducing typical causes of failure,” says Pintusewitz.
The BizLaunch offering
BizLaunch offers the critical things needed to get started:
- A R90 per month (R3 per day) business account, which includes unlimited electronic transactions (electronic account payments, ATM deposits and inter-account transfers), unlimited debit orders, unlimited cheque card swipes, Internet banking, My Updates (SMS notifications); and 8 ATM cash withdrawals. This excludes branch transactions
- My Business Online, an accounting package from Pastel, the market leader in accounting software
- My Business Online from Pastel, the market leader in accounting software
- Businesses also have access to a Business Banker to discuss and meet their needs
- Packaged content business support and tips, such as how to start and grow a business
Over and above the core package BizLaunch offers:
- A merchant device (Point of Sale device) for R325 a month – including telecommunication fees and insurance per month, at a commission rate of 3.25% irrespective of card type
- Basic business insurance cover at R150 per month
- Online business registration services and annual returns to help you get your business started
- A 20% discounted training voucher on the basics of how to start a business, such as finance for non-financial managers (normal course fee approximately R1200)
“One thing we know for sure by now is that there are no silver bullets when it comes to starting a business. Every person who successfully starts a business will tell you that it takes hard work and persistence.
“Standard Bank’s wants to get businesses to succeed. Through BizLaunch, we are presenting practical solutions that are relevant to the market and that tackle head-on the challenges banks encounter in connecting with entrepreneurs,” concludes Pintusewitz.
How to get it
All you need to get started are your registration papers, FICS documents and your ID book.
If you’re not a registered business, Standard Bank can still cater for you, just visit any branch and bring your ID book.
The Sky Is The Limit For South Africa’s Top Women Achievers
High-powered women achievers from across the private and public sectors, academia and diplomatic spheres gathered for a charged two-day conference in Johannesburg this week to share experiences about empowerment, achievement and the role that women are destined to play in a competitive global environment.
Several hundred women attended the 15th Annual Standard Bank Top Women Conference which, with the Top Women Awards, has become one of the premier events for women on the national calendar. The objective of the gathering at the Maslow Hotel on the 17th and 18th of October, was to showcase the achievements of South African women and reignite their passion as they have major roles to play in all arenas of endeavour, says Ethel Nyembe, head of Card Issuing at Standard Bank.
“The delegates to the Top Women Conference were inspired by speakers such as Yvonne Chaka Chaka, singer, songwriter and an entrepreneur in her own right; Phuti Mahanyele, executive chair of Sigma Capital, a black-owned investment group, and political and academic stalwart Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, now Chancellor of Nelson Mandela University and other women who are playing leading roles in many of the nation’s listed blue-chip corporations.”
“The overall message is that women are playing a central role in growing all facets of our economy and are helping to build a future from which other women can benefit and, in turn, inspire others. Women, regardless of whether they are entertainment icons, professionals engaged in helping shape the minds of future generations, businesswomen or scientists are part of building a new global reality.”
To inspire delegates about the breadth and depth of the future for women, the conference examined all facets of economic life from the impact that IT and scientific research is having on building businesses, through to the development of entrepreneurs and leadership skills. Insights were offered through the contributions of speakers and roundtable panel discussions in which leading women offered observations and advice gathered from their vast experience.
“Standard Bank is proud of the role it has played in enabling women achievers to reach their full potential within its ranks. The bank also recognises that women across society have a broad role to play in the future of South Africa. It is through support for events like the Top Women Awards and the Top Women Conference that this approach is made visible and tangible.”
“We expect this year’s conference deliberations to deliver insights and inspiration that will not only spur established women to new heights of achievement, but also stimulate young women starting new careers,” says Ms Nyembe.
The Ins And Outs Of A Good Exit Strategy
The thought of parting with a business you’ve grown from the ground up may be unsettling, but Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that it is better for both your business and yourself to plan for this as early as possible.
“The challenge that business owners often face in this respect is comparable to the difficulty that many new parents have with imagining their children grown up and leaving for university. Imagine, however, if parents did not plan ahead for the cost of their education – that would be detrimental to the future of their children. The same could be the case for your business.”
Mjadu says that a good exit strategy is about sustainability and being able to measure your business performance against the goals you have set for it. “It’s really about being able to say, ‘this is when the work is done and I can exit the business or take on a different role – this is what success looks like in terms of monetary return on investment and other business growth indicators’.
“The lack of an exit strategy could be telling of a fundamental lack of measurable business goals and this needs to be addressed,” she says.
From immediate liquidation to liquidation over time; family succession; selling to staff or external investors; the open market or another business; or the gruelling but profitable exercise of taking your company public – there are many different ways in which an entrepreneur can exit their business, but Mjadu says that whatever the process, a strong and solid strategy is essential.
She shares five key points of a good exit strategy:
1. It tells you when you are done
Mjadu says that a good exit strategy should reflect a core understanding of all the intricacies of your business and should be able to tell you when the lifecycle of your business (or of your involvement in the business) should come to an end. This is usually done by including a set of tangible measurables or objectives so that it is easy to ascertain when these have been achieved.
2. It sets out the right environment within which to exit
A good exit strategy considers the economic, social and political environment at the time of your exit. Mjadu says that this is important in order to plan for a secure financial future.
“Failure to think about this could result in short-changing yourself by exiting during a tough economic climate when the risk to buyers reduces the value of your business.”
She references the case of Victoria’s Secret when founder, Roy Raymond, sold the failing business for $1m unknowing that it would later grow into the multi-billion dollar empire it is now. “While Raymond’s exit was ultimately necessary for Victoria’s Secret’s growth, he sold it in 1982 during the global recession of the early eighties – one of the world’s biggest financial crises and this influenced the selling price at his exit”.
3. It compensates those who have contributed to the life of your business
It is important to consider the impact your exit could have on investors and staff, says Mjadu. “Closing shop for example, means that your staff no longer have employment at your business. Selling could mean the same.” She adds that it is important to consider ways in which your exit could also benefit these stakeholders – for example, selling to a bigger business could mean more career opportunities for your staff, as well as continued job security.
4. It compensates you
Mjadu says that entrepreneurs often struggle to recognise their own true worth, especially when this involves attaching a monetary value to what has been achieved. “The time of exiting a business is no place to short-change yourself. You need to get out the full worth of what you put in,” she says, explaining that this means ensuring that you are financially secure before and while you go into your next venture.
“Your needs for retirement and medical insurance, as well as the maintenance of your living standard, should be met at your exit.”
5. It sustains your entrepreneurial drive
Mjadu says that while you may be nearing the end of one journey, your exit should enable and encourage you to continue to be an entrepreneur – and to look forward to the next journey. “Your entrepreneurial skills and capacity do not end when you exit your business and whatever your strategy, it should egg you on to more entrepreneurial activity including becoming a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs.”
Mjadu says that exiting your business should allow you a good retrospective look at what you have done over the years – and so planning the strategy early on in your business lifecycle will set you up in regards to what you hope to achieve. “Upon exit, you should be able to say that you have done what you set out to do, financially and socially, and you have some energy left to do more elsewhere.”
Search Is On For SA’S Online Retailer Of The Year
World Wide Worx in partnership with Platinum Seed, Visa, Heavy Chef and the Ecommerce Forum of Africa, launch new awards to recognise online stores that promote shopper trust.
World Wide Worx today announced that it was launching a new awards programme — called the Online Retailer of the Year — to honour online stores in South Africa that grow trust amongst digital shoppers. The awards are part of a broader project to boost online shopping by World Wide Worx in partnership with Visa, Platinum Seed, the Ecommerce Forum of Africa and Heavy Chef.
“Online retail in South Africa has consistently grown above 20% since the turn of the century but only passed 1% of overall retail in 2016. Research shows that trust is a big factor in ecommerce growth, which is why we want to recognise online retailers who help to grow the entire sector by ensuring the kind of ecommerce standards that engender trust with online shoppers,” Goldstuck says.
“But once online retail passes two per cent it crosses an essential psychological barrier and this often leads to a tipping point in emerging economies. That’s when we see online retail snowballing. It gathers real momentum and everyone in the sector benefits,” Goldstuck explains.
To be eligible for entry to the Online Retailer of the Year, owners of digital stores are urged to participate in an essential survey of local online shopping being run by Goldstuck’s World Wide Worx, together with Visa and digital growth agency Platinum Seed.
To participate in the research, local online retailers can go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/OnlineRetailSA
All online retailers who participate will be entered into the award. However, participation in the survey is not a precondition for entry to the awards. However, only online retailers who operate from within South Africa’s borders are eligible for this local award.
The awards will be made at a Heavy Chef event in Cape Town on Thursday, October 01 2018. At the same event, World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck will lay bare the state of local retail, with Brad Elliott, CEO of Platinum Seed, and Visa.
Goldstuck, who is judging the awards, will present the following awards:
- Online Retailer of The Year
- 1st runner-up – Online Retailer of the Year
- 2nd runner-up – Online Retailer of the Year
- Best New SA Online Retailer of the Year.
The winners of the Online Retailer of the Year awards will be given a digital badge that the online store can display online. The winners will have bragging rights for a year — until the next award is made in 2019.
Judging criteria for the awards include trust, innovation, customer service, digital excellence, customer engagement, product excellence, and the online reputation of the digital store. Visa, Heavy Chef, and Platinum Seed will oversee the judging of the awards. The Ecommerce Forum of Africa will audit the results.
Retailers or entrepreneurs who want to attend the awards and presentation of the research results by Goldstuck can purchase tickets from Heavy Chef.
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