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M A G A Z I N E Publishing Editor: Warwick Smith-Chandler Publisher’s Assistant: Cat Robinson Deputy Editor: Jo Kromberg Restaurant Food Opportunity Editor: John Kilian Design and Production: Ikhala Graphics, Shawn Hancock Advertising Executive: Reinette Rathbone Online Campaign Manager: Cat Robinson Events & Database Admin: Abongile Mapapu Editorial Contributors: Jaqueline Martinez Smith, David Hartley, Michael Said, Scott Gerber Subsciptions: R200 for 1 year (6 issues) R375 for 2 years (12 issues) Address your subscriptions to: PO Box 44214, Claremont, 7735 Published by: BizTech PO Box 44214, Claremont, 7735 Tel: (021) 671 1526 Printed by: Creda Press Distributed by: RNA Distribution

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BizSmarts Mailer

New Business Opportunity Seekers


Finding profitable opportunities are easier than you think

So far 2011 has been a remarkable year. The worldwide financial crisis just seems to carry on and on. We lost the plot at the Rugby World Cup semi finals and our SAFA officials proved that illiteracy or fecklessness can go right to the top of any organization. Meanwhile on the ground we seem to be forever playing catch-up to the rest of the world as institutionalised oligopolies dig their heels in over the provisioning of inexpensive broadband access to the majority of our people. Whilst South Africa’s growth rate is insufficient to dent our massive unemployment, our northern neighbours are recording growth rates far in excess of ours. Proof of this bonanza is the relentless drive by our large SA corporate citizens to expand into Southern and Central Africa. And the unions consider Walmart a threat to jobs rather than an opportunity to sell to their worldwide operations. So just where are the opportunities for South African entrepreneurs? Whilst every successful business started with an idea, it is perhaps far more financially rewarding to follow the growth or, as my lecturer at UCT said many years ago, follow the money. In those days the dream of any South African businessman was to be able to sell a dollar’s worth of goods to every American just once in order to retire wealthy. He was on the right track but little did he know that 30 years later there would be a market for selling one dollar per month to over a billion people. That is the market for cell phone applications and to a lesser extent YouTube advertising. Stop for a moment and consider the sheer volume

of downloads in 2010: 10,000,000,000 – yes 10 billion and for YouTube the daily video viewing is 3,000,000,000 views per day. Yes that’s 3 billion! So what’s your plan going to be to tap into this market? To help guide you and motivate you, our major feature this issue is called ‘How to make a zillion with Mobile Apps and YouTube’ on page 27. Have you noticed how everything is becoming customizable? Endless production runs requiring the same product but with minor variations seems to belong to years gone by. Our feature on printing profits explores how shortrun customizable printing and engraving is revolutionizing the personal and corporate gift market.The best part of it is that no retail or factory space is required and the machinery fits on a table and is connected to an ordinary computer. For more details go to page 11. At SA Guide to Business Opportunities we realize that while social media is here to stay, not all social media are equal when it comes to maintaining and growing professional business relationships. For this reason we were astonished just to see how much momentum LinkedIn had achieved within the relatively small South African business community. I especially like the analogy that Facebook was like a pub; Twitter like a cocktail party; and LinkedIn like a business trade show. It’s a no-brainer that more business gets done at a trade show. This article appears on page 32. Our attention to women in business continues, as do our home business sections. We have selected seven exciting woman-focused business opportunities –

many of which we had the pleasure of meeting at the recently held Franchise and Business Opportunities Expo held in Johannesburg during September. In the women in business section you can read about South Africa’s only qualified firewalking instructor and how one woman uses free-diving to build team loyalty. The section starts on page 48. Finally the home business section concentrates on our first free home business opportunity. Yes, you can start your own adult dating site at no cost whatsoever. See page 57 for the start of the home business section. Doing business in turbulent times is challenging. There is no guarantee that by spending many hundreds of thousands of rand you will be any more successful that in if you spend R50, 000. We are being forced to cut costs, acquire extra skills, outsource more noncritical functions, take responsibility for marketing and networking; and work harder. More and more businesses are moving home-taking advantage of lower costs and a better lifestyle. Whilst I am a committed capitalist it doesn’t stop me from noticing that conspicuous consumption is giving way to conscious consumption worldwide. That just means that every small business owner will have to become a more savvy business owner. It remains our overriding goal to give you, our readers the correct tools to make a business success. Warwick Smith-Chandler

SME NEWS Compiled by Jaqueline Martinez Smith

World’s first Solar-powered notebook now available in South Africa

Samsung needs to be commended for this innovative notebook and whilst it may not make the top seller list in South Africa I have heard that it has been flighted on TV in The Democratic Republic of Congo. The Samsung NC215 with a 10.1 inch display comes with an inbuilt Solar panel on the lid itself which would charge the netbook for 2 hours giving one hour of runtime. This model is powered by Windows 7 starter edition and features the 10.1 inch display with a matte screen supporting 1024x600pixel resolution. It has a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 dual core processor and a 1GB DDR3 RAM. For storage it is provided with a 250GB, 5400rpm hard drive. A USB port which is capable of charging a mobile phone even when the device is turned off is one of its unique features. With a solar and cell phone charging capability this netbook is the ultimate for hikers and camping freaks who can’t do without their cell phones and netbooks. For connectivity this model has 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and an Ethernet port. Three USB ports are provided including the one for mobile charging while it’s off. Battery life up to 14 hours. Weight 1.3 kg Available from Incredible Connection. Retail Price R3995 inc Vat Samsung NC215

Big Business Solutions for your Small Business

We’ve been introduced to the ‘cloud’ on numerous occasions the past couple of years – and for people who are still unsure of what this ‘cloud’ is, it is simply a platform where a service provider offers its customers storage or software solutions on a public network via the internet. Cloud computing has proven its numerous benefits to businesses over and over, and even the most sceptical business owners are now on the bandwagon. With CEO (Cloud Enabled Office), especially designed for SMEs and start-up businesses, you can save costs on software purchases and infrastructures such as dedicated servers and storage devices that are usually extremely costly and often not factored into a business plan effectively. Operating on a ‘pay as you go’ basis, CEO also provides internet solutions, printing services and national support to the SME sector. The key products include invoicing and payrolls systems, Email and Microsoft Office, Backup services, managed printer services, with Office 365 being launched shortly, giving full Microsoft Office functionality in a cloud based environment. Continued on page 6


SME NEWS Support vouchers are purchased online giving the SME access to certified technicians country-wide. Advocate Solutions, the service provider in this regard, is a subsidiary of JSE-listed Morvest Business Group, a black empowered provider of business support services and ICT solutions with a presence throughout South Africa, the rest of the African continent, India and the USA. The group serves blue-chip customers in the private and public sectors, and partners with global leaders in its niche areas of operation that include Professional Services, Outsourcing and ICT Solutions. Thus the CEO slogan - Your Business Unboxed. Contact:

Getting your ACT together

Sometimes setting up and running your small business can become a headache, especially when you need to do large volumes of printing. More often than not, one forgets about the maintenance costs of equipment such as the trusty printer churning out all your admin or advertising material, not to mention the frustration of either having to service or maintain such equipment in the middle of making your millions. Advanced Channel Technologies (A.C.T.) is a company that has developed a solution to allow end-user customers to take the worry out of their printing environment. Sold via reseller channel, ACTive Print works very much like a cell phone agreement: you sign a 24-month agreement and pay a monthly fee. This entitles you to a new printer and the supply of toner. The agreement also includes the maintenance and insurance. The benefits of buying printers through ACTive Print include: • Reliable, consistent document output solutions • The ability to budget for printing spend • Printing stability with scheduled deliveries of your printing supplies, as well as a brand new printer that comes with insurance and a warranty for the duration of the agreement • The investment in the hardware comes from A.C.T. – which means no upfront capital layout for you Since ACTive Print is an ‘agreement-based’ way of purchasing a printer, you would benefit by getting a new printer without having to pay for it upfront, a flat month fee is charged for the duration of the agreement, you receive a regular supply of toners and a further option to receive extra supplies on a payas-you-go basis exists too.

Kickstart your business

It is known that SME’s have been helping to alleviate the unemployment burden in South Africa for some time now, and that while this is a positive reflection on the industry, 75 – 80% of startup businesses still fail within their first two years. Therefore, Business KickStart, a new innovative business model for getting new businesses off the ground, and up and running fast, was launched at the Business and Franchising Opportunities Expo at the Coca Cola Dome in September 2010.


In his capacity as managing director of Vantage Business Solutions, as well as being a service provider to both GEP (Gauteng Enterprise Propeller) and SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency), Johann Venter – one of the directors and the founder of Business KickStart – identified a gap in terms of the setting up and getting businesses off the ground. Business KickStart offers an easy, convenient, hasslefree solution that means no running around to different service providers. Customers choose from a variety of amazing packages to suit their needs, depending on the package they choose they can be up and running within seven working days and packages start from as little as R3 999.00. In addition, Business KickStart offers great added value items such as a very comprehensive business plan guideline (with various examples, worksheets and exercises), a template on how to put together a business proposal and a template on drawing up a service agreement with a service provider or subcontractor. Business KickStart aims to give entrepreneurs all the tools they require to get their business off to a successful start which includes, front-end marketing tools, back-office tools and business skills which is required to operate a successful business. Contact details:

Need funding to grow your business?

So, you have this great concept for your business but you need a little capital to get it off the ground, right? How often have you heard other business owners lamenting the fact that there just aren’t any ‘angel investors’ to be found – nobody willing to ‘take a chance’ on your idea, let alone lend you money that you will most certainly be paying back on a monthly basis as your concept sprouts its wings. There is hope yet for those of us who are tired of kowtowing to our banks, only to be rejected. Retail Capital, has an innovative new funding product, specifically tailored for small retail businesses such as restaurants, bars, beauty salons, shops and auto fitment centres. Their business cash advance product allows small business owners to leverage an asset that the banks do not even consider - their future debit and credit card turnover. Simply put, Retail Capital will buy an amount of future card turnover, for a discounted price paid immediately. An agreed percentage of the future debit and credit card transactions are then passed over to Retail Capital, until the total amount purchased is reached. The concept of a business cash advance may be new to South Africa, but it evolved in the United States over a decade SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

SME NEWS ago, in 1998. AdvanceMe have since assisted over 20,000 businesses, with over 80,000 advances and the product is now established in Canada, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Australia. A business cash advance has many benefits over traditional loan products. It is simpler, more flexible and faster than traditional options. In addition, the daily pay over integrates seamlessly with existing business processes, making it convenient. The funding can also be used for any purpose, without the need for security or financial guarantees. Contact details: 021- 702 9800 / 021- 702 9900

Say goodbye to exorbitant credit card processing costs

All retail businesses need to be able to process credit and debit cards. But if there is one thing that irks retailers it is the exorbitant bank charges retailers are forced to pay. To make it worse new merchants were placed on the highest percentage tariff and told to trade for six months before submitting a request for tariff reduction! Fortunately Capitec has come to the rescue of SME’s because not only do merchants start off at lower rates but the higher your transaction value the lower the percentage tariff. In these tough economic time retailers cannot afford to give away 5% of their turnover or up to 15% of their gross profit in card processing fees. The advantages of SureSwipe are as follows: • Innovative sliding scale rates – the more you swipe through your swipe machine the lower your rate • Pay less in your peak months • Debit card rates as low as 1.85% and will never exceed 3.0% • Credit card rates as low as 2.3% and will never exceed 3.5% • No need to ever renegotiate your rate. For more information Ph 0860 200 111 or email

The Virtual Office – your path to success Necessity isn’t just the mother of invention, it also gives birth to entrepreneurs. When the global economic tsunami hit South Africa, a mix of need and opportunity inspired many professionals to start their own businesses, raising the country’s new company rate from 2.5% in 2009 to 3.9% in 2010, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2010. The birthplace for many of these infant businesses was most likely the home, where overheads are minimal and commitment to long-term office leases a mere glint in the eye of a proud new parent. Although getting a business on its feet at home can save start-ups a lot of money, it doesn’t take long to outgrow the space, warns Joanne Bushell, Regus VP for Middle East and Africa.

Woodmead reception

“Clearing a desk in the house, if you can find the room, gives entrepreneurs the space they need to focus on getting business in. Problems arise when distractions at home begin to hinder the owner’s productivity and growth potential, from getting sidetracked by household tasks to looking unprofessional when you answer the door in the middle of a business call.” A pragmatic and professional solution is the virtual office, which is great for entrepreneurs who only need a workspace on occasion and don’t want to waste money on office space that lies empty most of the time. Virtual offices give companies access to facilities usually associated with a physical office – a prestige business address, a call answering service, and mail handling. Meeting rooms and video-conferencing services are also available on demand. “The biggest benefit of virtual offices is the flexibility they give start-ups,” adds Joanne. “But they can also give any sized business adaptable space as it grows. Even when the entrepreneur is out on the road, staff at the business centre can route calls to wherever he or she is. “Whether mobile or on the road, the virtual office gives businesses the flexible work environment they need to bring up a new business in the 21st century.”


Bryanston lounge

About Regus Regus is the world’s largest provider of workplace solutions, with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the world’s largest network of video communication studios. Customers such as Google, GlaxoSmithKline, and Nokia join hundreds of thousands of growing small and medium businesses that benefit from outsourcing their office and workplace needs to Regus, allowing them to focus on their core activities. Over 800,000 customers a day benefit from Regus facilities spread across a global footprint of 1,100 locations in 500 cities and 87 countries, which allow individuals and companies to work wherever, however and whenever they want to. For more information please visit:



Compiled by Jaqueline Martinez Smith

WirelessAlert was started in 2004 by Michael Smorenburg, and is a business opportunity selling propriety branded security products under license. Looking for a franchise opportunity in specialty coffees? Here’s a coffee franchise that allows you to occupy small spaces in high foot traffic areas that do not necessarily require much seating, but with an extensive range of coffee beverages that will stop people in their tracks – literally, with its inviting aromas and affordable price.

Gloria Jean’s Coffees was originally founded by Gloria Jean Kvetko in the USA and was then purchased by its present owners, Nabi Saleh and Peter Irvine, from Australia. The brand was relaunched in South Africa in December 2009, with the master license being held 100% in SA however licensed to GJC International which is based in Australia. Four stores have been opened in the past 12 months and three were opened before that. There are four planned in the next 6 months they hope to be at 50 stores within 5 years, since turnover has been increasing year on year by 15 to 20%. This business opportunity costs R650, 000 to R1, 300,000 with royalties at 8.5% and a marketing fee of 2.5%. Franchisees can expect to receive Franchise Partner Training off and on-site, theory and practical In-store training for the franchise team; fully equipped and fitted out store, and a five year license. Contact information: Contact person: Craig Simpson Contact number: 0315664200 E-mail address: Website address: Business Opportunity Cost, Monthly Royalty. – R650, 000 to R1, 300,000 with royalties at 8.5% and a marketing fee of 2.5%


Owning a lucrative security outlet has become more available to the modernday entrepreneur.

While standard alarm systems protect valuables for insurance purposes, WirelessAlert focuses on protecting people (from robbery, home invasion and ambush).

With Yale Security Point – the only internationally recognized domestic security outlet in South Africa, offering consumers great security products and solutions – it is possible to build up that dream business you’ve been planning.

The system uses high-performance solar powered RF/wireless enabled sensors that report to unique alarm panels, and offers the customer discreet user-recorded, zone-by-zone, voice warnings and send simultaneous detailed SMS warnings to multiple recipients.

With 18 stores already, ASSA ABLOY, who own the Yale brand, gave the then franchisees the opportunity to rebrand the stores with the well know consumer brand name – Yale.

Unfortunately, crime is on the increase, and herein exists the opportunity for entrepreneurs to open a business that helps prevent injury to people who feel they might be threatened or affected by the criminal element in South Africa.

Yale has for years been synonymous with security; and on hearing the brand name one forms a picture of a huge, strong gold and silver lock on a gate or your front door. Who hasn’t, when asked for the key to the front door replied: “It’s the gold, Yale, key.”? There are only three stores available for 2011 and 2012 and the franchisor would be looking for dedicated in-store operators, with a passion for people and awareness that the Yale Security Point franchisee will sell products that protect the lives and homes of families. Yale Security Point is a registered FASA member, and in addition offers its own members the highest quality training and support, with the leverage of the Yale brand in both, and above and below the line advertising to support awareness of the franchise opportunity. The total set-up cost ranges from R650 000 – R850 000 excluding VAT. Contact information: Prospective franchisees are invited to contact Clint Jones on 011 781 9110 or

WirelessAlert plans to grow its outlets in 45 identified areas by 2012. Such an opportunity will cost a potential franchisee around R20 000 – R200 000 for initial setup, depending on the area and the needs of the franchisee for the business. Product training, marketing and sales collaterals are some of the benefits a licensee can expect, and the minimum down payment a purchaser would have to make for a sample is R20 000. The ideal franchisee would be selfmotivated, with excellent selling skills, a willingness to learn and possess an understanding of the elementary technicalities of the system. Training is also provided. Contact information: Contact person: Aretha Atkinson Contact number: 021 438 8324 Cell: 084 401 5788 Fax: 088 021 438 8324 E-mail address: Website address:



Established 25 years ago in 1985 with a modest single product advertisement, the HomeChoice brand has grown into a mega business opportunity – and you can own your own HomeChoice catalogue service without any capital required. This wholly South African-owned business concept has grown from strength to strength over the years and now boasts an existing customer-base of over a million people. There is in initial investment, however Sales Agents receive commission for their efforts on the approved sales they bring in, thus earning potential can be as high as R18 000 plus per month. The ideal HomeChoice sales agent would be someone who is motivated, hardworking and enthusiastic about the retail industry. If they fit the criteria, there is a huge opportunity for growth with this leading South African catalogue retailer, and pioneer in the industry. Contact information: Contact person: Mary-Ann Ridler Contact number: 021 680 1410 E-mail address: Website address:




Printing Profit$ By Toby Bennett


emember when... having your own business card was a big deal, and only the big boys could have pens with their company’s moniker scrawled across them? And anything your company printed had to be ordered by the thousand? (Which always did seem over kill for the fifty people attending the conference...) Well, with apologies to Patrick Bateman - no one is going to be swooning over the expense that you must have gone to get that perfect business card anymore. Times have changed - and as we find ourselves ever more challenged by the strictures of a shrinking economy; it seems that technology at least is keeping up. Sure, you can still go to a print house and if you genuinely need fifty thousand flyers for your next promotion, and that might be the way to go but for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs, advances in printer functionality and quality have opened up a whole new world of solutions and opportunities. The long print runs of the past are no longer necessary and on demand printing is very much a reality. With improvements in technology and a lowering of costs, it has become practical for small businesses to order only what they need - or even invest in their own equipment. Less costly printing is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do with printing though - advancement in printing technology means that you can create professional quality prints that can be applied to literally hundreds of surfaces. Take a moment to consider the possibility of printing to virtually any surface. A brand is one of the most valuable things a business can own and building your brand has never been simpler. If you need ten pens to impress an important customer then you just get ten pens printed, it’s like finally having as many

hot dog buns as sausages - and who hasn’t dreamed of that! Once you realise that you have the capacity to customise almost anything, without having to cash in an arm and the best part of a leg, there really doesn’t seem to be any reason to stop at conventional items like business cards and pens. T-shirts, mugs, stationery, small gifts and almost anything you can think of can now bear your brand and represent you to a wide range of potential customers whenever they interact with the product in question. In pure marketing terms the potential of on demand printing is truly impressive. We are used to the concept of keeping our websites fresh, but how often does physical media lag behind the pace of online promotions? Almost as soon as someone gets your flyer for your ‘Red Hot Fire sale’ you find that you have to change some detail and the thousands of flyers you ordered are no longer valid. Print on demand gives you the flexibility to quickly and inexpensively update your content and keep your physical promotions in line with your virtual promotions. Where it once might have seemed prohibitive to advertise a sale that was only on for a day or two, it is now possible to produce a limited run of promotional printing to complement other marketing efforts. And let’s not think small with things like simple flyers; perhaps you want to take a leaf from the guerrilla marketing hand book: print a few attention grabbing stickers and place them in strategic points near your point of sale, or why not give the first few customers T-shirts that read ‘Red Hot Fire Sale- been there, done that, got the T-shirt’? Fifty T-shirts would not cost all that much - but would turn those customers into roving billboards. The convenience of being able to print just as much as you need could be just the start of the benefits you can derive from the improved capacity of the modern printer. If you don’t own the equipment then it still offers you the benefit of limited print runs and customisation; but if you can afford to invest in the technology you have to ask yourself ‘why not cut out the middle man… In fact why not become the middle man?’



The same technology that could help grow your business could actually become your business, or at least a lucrative sideline. The market doesn’t even stop at your own business needs or getting income from other businesses, there is an increasing demand for print work in all walks of life and the industry is estimated to be worth over 22 billion dollars world wide. For every business looking to brand a mug or pen there is also someone who wants a way to mark a significant birthday, a graduation, wedding or just to print a shirt to tell people ‘I’m with stupid’. Textiles are a particularly lucrative opportunity, and a proven business. People have been printing on cloth for thousands of years (though we may have moved on a bit since the first recorded screen printings in Japan 960-1279 CE). Everyone loves a designer original - something that shows their personality - and on-demand printing can offer just that. Why have a T-shirt that looks like a million other identical T-shirts when you can personalise your clothing with a relatively inexpensive print job? In a world where everyone has their own blog and a page on Facebook, being able to express yourself with what you wear has become increasingly appealing.

Unlike many business propositions your print business could even be more recession proof than your current business model. How? Because as the pool of potential income shrinks, businesses and even individuals are going to have to do more to differentiate themselves - and that is where your services can come in: cheap, flexible personal promotions and well priced print and promotional solutions for customers. All in all it doesn’t sound like a bad business model, and whether you buy your own digital printing equipment or simply take advantage of someone else’s, it’s certain that you will be able to avoid the clunky, wasteful print runs of the past. These days you need to look for solutions that suit you and your budget, there is no need to settle for anything less anymore.

If you have the right equipment you can easily cash in on this growing trend. With a piece of equipment like the AnaJet Sprint apparel printer you could offer your own range of funky T-shirts directly printed onto cotton, polyester, nylon, spandex and almost any other type of fabric you could think of. With a maximum DPI of 1,440x1440 and a printing area of 30.3” x 32.3” the Sprint can compete with any ‘professional’ print house and can produce as many as 40, 000 pieces a year. This capacity makes a single machine a going concern in its own right. And why stop there? With prices for unbranded products in China still relatively low, you could put your brand on virtually any product you like. I’m sure I don’t need to emphasise the potential of this for starting up a new business or allowing you to work from home.




T-shirt printing - low capital investment with excellent financial returns There are fantastic new business opportunities within the garment branding industry, especially in sportswear and promotional wear printing - which is considered the fastest growing segment in this market worldwide. Start-up costs for new businesses however, can sink a good prospect before the ship has set sail. With AnaJet, starting a digital apparel printing business is affordable, easy and income generation almost immediate. There is no franchise fee or expensive capital investment in our business start up package. All you need to get started is the printer and inks, a computer and clothing items for printing. You can start generating income as soon as you start working and the printer can pay for itself in less than a year in an active garment decoration business. Anajet printers are easy to install and operate, and function very much like an ordinary computer printer. The on-site training provided by Midcomp’s technical staff will quickly help you master the finer details and highlight any tips and tricks of the trade. You’ll be printing t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, baby clothes, mouse pads, tote bags, canvas art, photos and more in just minutes! AnaJet Worldwide also provides online webinars and marketing tools to keep you abreast of advances and changes in this dynamic industry. How profitable you are depends on how hard you work. How to select a good inkjet garment printer Selecting a good inkjet garment printer can be daunting, especially since the technology is constantly evolving. There are some basic criteria to take into consideration that will assist with making the correct purchasing decision. Firstly you need consistent, good ink flow. Poor ink flow and the need for excessive amounts of head cleaning and maintenance are common issues in most direct to garment printers on the market today. Good ink flow requires proper printer engineering with a closed-loop ink delivery system and good quality ink. A key element is a good ink delivery system which is sealed from open air. Such systems maintain the necessary internal pressure balance and prevent inks from touching open air in the ink bottles - essential factors for good ink flow. Some “direct to garment” printers using open ink bottles may need too much maintenance and do not provide consistent ink flow. The second most important feature to look for is if the printer can control ink flow to provide full ink saturation in a single pass print. Some modified photo printers marketed as “direct to garment” do not have enough ink flow volume and require over-printing to get sufficient inks on the garment. Overprinting can lower print quality and slow production. All direct-to-garment inkjet printers require simple but regular maintenance such as print head and maintenance station cleaning. Carefully evaluate the printer’s performance and reputation. Your productivity will be directly related to the level of head cleaning and maintenance required. Lastly, one needs to look at the inks. Higher quality inks mean good ink flow and high optical density for color vibrancy. Resistance to repeated wash and sunlight fading is also important. Ink formulation is a complex science.


Why consider an Anajet garment printer? AnaJet garment printers have a Closed-Loop Ink Delivery System, bulk ink cartridges, Auto Print Head Maintenance and superior print control software. Combined; all these features result in better ink flow, lower maintenance and the highest up-time in the industry. Less maintenance and less banding mean more uptime for revenue-generating production. AnaJet’s ink cartridge system is more than just a convenient way to replenish ink; it is also an essential requirement for good ink flow. This highly engineered system seals inks from open air, preventing white ink clumping and air-foam formation to avoid nozzle clogging, while helping maintain the critically important pressure balance. AnaJet printers allow total control of ink flow volume based on the textile material used – a lower volume setting for polyesters and woven fabrics; a higher volume for knitted tees; and still a higher ink volume for sweat shirts. The 15 levels of ink flow volume settings allow for optimal ink volume every time. This means printing will always have full ink saturation from a single pass, which translates to faster printing speed and higher production rate. With the AnaJet ink system, you can print on both light and dark garments, cotton and synthetic fibre textiles with ease on the same printer. The eight ink channels make this as easy as switching the cartridges. Loading and unloading garments is a simple process and the hooped table makes printing onto loose garments quick and easy. AnaJet digital textile inks are the most vibrant inks in the textile industry. AnaBright™ Inks are for cotton and cotton blends; and PolyBright™ inks for polyester, nylon, rayon and spandex. The durability of AnaBright White Ink is what makes AnaJet printed black shirts last longer, wash after wash. White shirt prints easily match the durability of screen printed shirts. Midcomp offer business consultation services and can assist with identifying the correct printing equipment for your unique requirements. Call MIDCOMP now to make an appointment for a demonstration on Anajet Digital Garment Printers. | Tel: +27(11) 789 1222 Email: SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

Starting a laser engraving business Starting a laser engraving business today is a great storefront addition, kiosk or work-from-home business opportunity. You can start with very little investment. Laser systems or laser machines today are simple to learn and use. It doesn’t take long to learn so you can generally start up your business in no time. You can work full time or part time and still build up a valuable and profitable business. You can create a wide variety of items including engraving pens, wine bottles, laptops, luggage tags, custom plaques and many other items. You can engrave on acrylic, wood, rubber, stone, leather, fabric, glass and many other types of materials. You can create laser engraved trophies, keepsakes, plaques, pens, pencils, desk sets, toys, games, cabinets, key chains and much more. You can specialize in a particular item or engrave a wide variety. Many people operate their lasers out of their homes with phenomenal success. There is usually very little competition and you can specialize in a particular item or choose a wide variety to engrave. To start up a small laser engraving business will cost around R40, 000. Budget for a further R5000 for a rotary cutter, which is recommended especially for engraving round items such as beer mugs and glasses. You’ll need the laser system, a computer and graphic software. Laser engravers do not however cut or engrave metal items and if this is your

market you will need to consider a CNC router engraver. With laser engravers the biggest price influencer is the cutting surface area and depth. For instance if you want to engrave bathroom tiles you would need to make sure the cutting surface area can reach all corners of the tile. Tile sizes seem to be getting larger and larger which is even more reason to investigate the cutting area size. It is possible to lease a laser engraver for about R800 per month and you will need a computer using a Windows 2000, XP or Vista operating system. The Perfect Laser Mt40 laser engraver with rotary cutter sells for around R42500 – and is probably the best value laser engraver in South Africa. You’ll need graphic software. Most laser engravers are designed to be used with Windows based graphics software such as CorelDRAW. You can start up your business without quitting your current job. You can engrave part-time or on weekends and slowly build up your business. You can eventually build it up into a fulltime job. There is so little competition that getting customers should be easy. Once you decide that you would love to have your own business you’ll either need to lease or purchase the perfect system that will work the best for you. You need to know what the largest size piece or item is that you’ll be working with, what materials you’ll be using, how many items you’ll be doing at a time and what your budget will be.

Get a demonstration of laser engraving and cutting systems so you can decide on the table size and tube wattage that you’ll need to create the projects you think you’ll be working with. This way you’ll be able to find the best engraving and cutting system for you. Creating an engraving business is easy. The laser works like a printer, so a system is very easy to use; you just set the page size to the size of the piece you’re working with, then you import your image and place it on the page where that you want it to engrave. Then you just add the text or any other changes you need to make, and print it to the laser. That’s it. Getting customers is easy when you concentrate on marketing. You can contact schools, corporations, and large and small businesses. You can engrave items for customer giveaways.

Starting a promotional gift printing business The corporate gift and promotional market is growing fast. We have probably all received at one time or another ‘corporate’ gifts such as mugs, thermos flasks, pens, ashtrays etc. Up until now this market has been characterized by large production runs, which meant that only larger companies were able to use this type of marketing. For the vendor it was a more complex process because the gift company had to source merchandise from one company and have it printed at another before delivery to the client. Now all that has changed. With JG electronics U-Print system you can do the printing in-house thereby cutting out the time consuming process of dealing with another service provider. The U-Print system’s main features are that it is cheap to operate and easy to use. It handles round objects with ease and it suits gift companies who want to break into the SME market who traditionally need fewer units or supply custom printed merchandise at higher prices for specific corporate events. The process works by printing images onto a


special film and then transferring it onto the item and then finally spraying it with a protective and hardening cure. The investment required will start from R56000 and you will need a computer and a suitable graphics design package. Developed in South Africa by JG Electronics, the U-Print printing opportunity will change the way gifting works. No longer is it necessary to print thousands of pens. If you want 50 for that presentation tomorrow morning, just custom brand your gift with the event details. It will mean far more than just handing out a standard ‘logo’ printed version, which has already been printed in the thousands.

The market is shifting to short run customization. This means frequent orders from your clients who will be prepared to pay more for ‘printed and customised’ gifts that convey the essence of the event or function more fully, increasing the probability that the item will be retained and used. With the trend towards more expensive gifts, customization has become essential and above all it allows SMEs to give corporate gifts without having to invest in hundreds or thousands of units. Contact Details: Laser Engravers Perfect Laser 021 672-2421 U-Print Digital Direct JG Electronics 011 789 6033


Franchising in South Africa continues to innovate and show growth By Jaqueline Martinez Smith Economies worldwide are thriving because of franchising; with entrepreneurs delivering services and goods while piggybacking on the strength of national brand names - as well as the processes that support these well-established brands.


he recent FASA (Franchise Association of South Africa) Awards highlighted some new and existing brands that are growing from strength to strength despite a scary downward spiral in economies worldwide recently.

Scooters Pizza, a favourite amongst South Africans, won the Brand Builder of the Year, with Boost Juice Bars (a concept started in Australia 10 years ago), on the franchise’s heels with its core philosophy ‘Love Life’.

The FASA Awards are a testimony to the success of entrepreneurs who invest in franchised businesses, with the association showing the highest number of franchisors in its 32-year history, with 25 franchises joining in the past year alone, many of them being new concepts. FASA has over the years become the centre stage for businesses, starting out as fledglings and growing into big brands, with the awards marking key stages in their development.

Thus, the eventual acceptance of a concept that has been hit back and forth across the nets by various SMME bodies in South Africa but for some reason has never really ‘found a voice’ for itself franchising on a micro level, at a cost of anything between R10 000 and R136 000 per franchise. All the winners of FASA’s 2011 Awards

What was once just a handful of business sectors has grown to over 17 in South Africa alone, and aims towards 50 business sectors in the coming years, much like those that developed countries boast. Standard Bank, the sponsor of the prestigious Franchisor of the Year category, and with a dedicated franchise division, continues to encourage the growth of home-grown concepts such as DoRego’s, the 2011 Franchisor of the Year (Joe Dorego opened the first Captain DoRego’s in the spot where the famous Grootte Schuur café was situated in the early seventies), encouraging those that afford opportunities to potential franchisees in all locations – be they highend shopping malls or taxi ranks. Says Thabiso Ramasike, Head of Franchising at Standard Bank; “With franchising showing more resilience than other business sectors of the economy, the likelihood of a franchise business being approved funding is much higher than normal non-franchised business. This is particularly evident in the fast food, retail, fuel retail, telecommunication and automotive sectors. There is greater support, sharing of best practice and predictability, especially in the well run franchised brands.”


quiet way, much to the chagrin of larger businesses, their contribution to more than 40% of gross domestic product and the large sector of the community that they employ is downplayed by the fact that so many small start-ups fail every year, as opposed to properly franchised businesses.

Maxi’s continued its family focused push, while Roman’s Pizza and Sandwich Baron, too, were recognized for their market penetration and excellent growth thus far. Runners-up in the Franchisor of the Year Category were Fastway Couriers (South Africa), Scooters Pizza and Spec-Savers. Famous Brands also hit a franchise high with the opening of its 2000th restaurant recently, a Wimpy in KwaZulu Natal, and intends opening 120 outlets per annum, according to chief executive, Kevin Hedderwick. This seems quite possible with other popular brands such as Mugg & Bean and Debonairs Pizza under its umbrella. Thus said, Taste Holdings, the owner of Maxi’s, Scooters Pizza, St Elmo’s and the NWJ Brands boasted an increase in sales of 27% - the road to success is clearly through the tastebuds!

This concept was brought to life by Canadian, Martha Deacon, who is the founder and chief executive of The Townships Project. The Townships Project and the UCT Graduate School of Business recently held the first micro-franchise conference in Khayelitsha and Deacon commented that the plan was to select 40 businesses per annum that would be work-shopped, and of which they expect ten could be micro-franchised. With all these endeavours to turn from the dour face of unemployment in the country, it is heartening to note that the Coffee Stop was recognized as the Leading Developer of Emerging Entrepreneurs at the recent FASA Awards Ceremony. Established with the specific objective of being an empowerment franchise, The Coffee Stop is an initiative with retailer Massmart and the National Youth Development Agency assisting previously disadvantaged youths to become small business owners.

It appears too that our innovative business counterparts may have found a way out of the unemployment crisis through microfranchising.

Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest business owners once said: “It is optimism that is the enemy of the rational buyer.”

While it has always been common knowledge that SMMEs are huge contributors to the economy in their own

Thus, we leave you with his enigmatic words of advice: to be prudent in all your buying decisions.


Redfern PrintStation Business Opportunity services, tap into Redfern’s extensive client network and be able to print and supply a vast range of printed material that includes but which is not limited to: black & white and colour version of documents, proposals, business cards, reports, advertising material and marketing flyers, binding, labels, logo design, as well as allied products and services such as packing materials and dispensing products. Additionally non-related printing products such as courier services, airtime, internet-connectivity and usage and most business related products can be sold.


he revolution in print technology and solutions is continuing at a rapid pace. It wasn’t too long ago that only large companies were able to afford full colour printing – mainly because they were fortunate to be able to justify large print runs. Not so today. Digital printing has been taking over all but the larger business printing jobs. Additionally there has been a massive worldwide rise in the number of SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) whose needs are the same as larger companies – but they need fewer copies and they want it today. The rise of internet use in South African businesses has fueled the demand for end-to-end business printing services which will only become more prevalent once on-demand internet printing becomes commonplace. With all these market forces influencing the way SMEs manage their printing requirements it was only natural that Redfern, with its long history of being South Africa’s favourite printer label supplier, developed the Redfern PrintStation concept. Redfern has a long and distinguished history in South Africa. Since 2001 Redfern has been the dominant supplier of print labels to South African business

and has serviced many hundreds of thousands of clients throughout South Africa. With state-of-the-art facilities and expertise at their office in Milnerton, Cape Town, the entry of Redfern into the print servicer arena represents a lucrative and thriving business opportunity for entrepreneurs. By owning a Redfern PrintStation you will be able to share in this exciting growth and offer clients - from corporate companies and SMEs to ordinary citizens - invitations etc. The Redfern PrintStation franchise is suitable for any South African, regardless of computer technology. Because of the skills associated with Redfern’s long history of printing, the training and orientation offered at their head office is superb. Best of all, you will receive training in their own ‘Head Office’ Redfern PrintStation unit ensuring that training, familiarity with equipment marketing processes and overall access to all Redfern’s in-house expertise are transferred to you.

Perhaps the best part of the entire PrintStation franchise is that the cost of set up is only R450, 000 which is fantastic value. There are very few franchise systems that can operate at retail level that cost below R500, 000. Redfern has applied to have its franchise system registered with the Franchise Association of South Africa. In a nutshell, the Redfern PrintStation is an ideal franchise opportunity for entrepreneurs wishing to get involved in the growing business printing and services industry. For more information please contact Monique Wagener Email: Tel: 021 552-9680

At the end of the training course you will be able to manage your Redfern PrintStation shop, source and deal with clients, offer graphic design




Ten days from retail to e-tail By Toby Bennett


e all know a brave new world is coming right? It might have started off too slowly for some and there may have been a few false starts but dot com busts and recessions aside, it doesn’t take much insight to know that the future is stuck firmly in the world-wide-web. It has become easier and easier to get involved in the online community and now whole businesses are leaving their brick and mortar counter parts behind, the rapture may not have come for Harold Camping and his followers but 2011 could well be the year that your business sheds its physical limitations and ascends to new heights. It needn’t even take you more than seven days to create your own new virtual world… Alright e-commerce site, before the metaphor snaps and takes out an eye. So let’s take a brief step by step look at getting your business working on line.

Why do business on line? This is the first question any business owner needs to ask themselves. It seems to be a pretty obvious question but let’s not get caught up in the hype. The fact is that the South African internet market is growing by leaps and bounds, it saw a 40% growth in 2010 and is currently valued at around two billion rand. Any entrepreneur should be able to see the opportunities in this kind of growing market but you need to think long and hard about how these figures might actually apply to you. The


internet provides an ideal platform for selling certain types of merchandise and appeals to a growing variety of customers. If, however, you are selling something perishable or you know that your customers are not in a demographic with high online penetration, you might want to think twice about putting all your eggs in the e-commerce basket.

11 million South Africans participating in the online shopping community, not to mention the host of international customers you could be missing out on if your product can be easily shipped worldwide.

You do have some help deciding if your product would fare well in a virtual environment; South Africa is still behind the curve in terms of internet business, thus we are able to observe the types of product that have done well in the US and European markets (where over five hundred billion dollars was spent just last year!) Typically the top sellers were non perishable products that lent themselves to a digital transfer or were easy to deliver. The top sellers worldwide are products like books/media, hardware, clothing/luggage and tickets. How would your products line up with this sales paradigm?

Even with the lure of new untapped markets and a growing consumer base, it can be very daunting to try and start a company from scratch. Like traditional business models online business carries risk, particularly when embarking on an untried venture. One option that warrants investigation, if you have no firm ideas about the business you want to run, is getting involved in an established online franchise. This could minimise some of your risk and take a lot of the guess work out of your new business. A good franchise should offer you coaching and support that you simply would not have if you started a venture alone, also any franchise worth its salt will demonstrate that it has a healthy customer base for you to tap into. The proven business model of a successful franchise can have many benefits for a first time e-commerce entrepreneur but be sure to check the franchise’s pedigree and that you are happy with your role before parting with any money.

Of course when it comes to any online venture the good news is that costs can usually be kept to a minimum so even if you decide to be cautious, there are still ways of selling online that won’t be prohibitively expensive. It might also help you make your decision if you consider the fact that the strong growth in the market is expected to continue. The World Wide Worx survey of the local market predicts that by 2020 there will be

What pre-existing opportunities are out there?

The number of online franchises available to entrepreneurs will only


increase as the online retail market grows, so keep an eye out to see what’s out there. Check out, www., and for a few existing online franchise options.

If you are running your own online business, how do you go about setting up your site? If you decide to bite the bullet and start from scratch you will have to go through some vital initial steps. First off you will need to secure a URL and adequate hosting for your site, I use the term adequate when it comes to hosting because at least initially, you shouldn’t rush into buying the most expensive hosting package you can find. Many of the higher level packages that hosting companies will offer you may be overly expensive and offer features you don’t need (at least not at the outset); you should regard your site as something that will grow with your business. Your URL should be as simple to remember and as relevant to your business as possible, with so many companies already online you may have to make a few small tweaks to get a URL you are happy with (but that’s only one more reason to get online now before things get really crowded, right?).

For local purposes a ‘’ is affordable and sufficient but if you are planning to sell worldwide you might want to consider shelling out a bit extra for a ‘.com’. Once you have somewhere to upload your site, you are confronted by the question of what to put up there. When it comes to site design you have a few options. There are literally thousands of template sites for free content management systems like Joomla or Wordpress, you can likely get a layout you are happy with for a once off payment or even for nothing if the design is generic enough. Content management systems are useful in that


you can make basic content changes for yourself without recourse to a web designer and they offer a great range of plug-ins to help you set up various basic functions for your website. A visit to plugin or will provide you with literally thousands of pre-coded functions that will add utility to your website. Of course there is a potential down side to using open source content management systems, security. Security is paramount when running an online store so you should be wary of potential vulnerabilities that can creep in with untried templates. It’s a good idea to ensure that any template you adopt has been given the once over by your development team, if you don’t have the expertise within your organisation to vet the template you have chosen then it might be better to look at a different option. Another option you might entertain is renting your website; a rented website frees you of many of the headaches associated with setting up and maintaining your own website for a monthly fee. Companies such as Designerweb (http:// or Shop Master will


simply bundle up all the costs of design, maintenance and hosting and charge you a flat monthly fee. Letting someone more experienced deal with your problems would be a good option for anyone daunted by the technical and operational requirements of setting up their online store alone. It might cost a little extra but the peace of mind that goes along with knowing that you have professional assistance and advice from people with experience in the industry. Your last option when it comes to putting together your website is to have it designed from scratch. This process can be costly, since it will probably require you to pay for a designer but of all the options this is the most customisable. If you don’t want the cookie cutter layouts of a template website or the on-going costs of a rental website, then it might be worth your while to avail yourself of the skills of a professional designer and get exactly what you want. Of course, that will be contingent on having a clear vision and finding someone with the right skill set, therefore if you initially only have basic needs, then it might be better to simply go the template route and save more costly upgrades to the site for the future.

Basics of site structure and monitoring Once you have settled on your means for putting together your site, you need to look seriously at how an e-commerce site needs to be structured to work most efficiently. The primary consideration here is the user experience. Your site should be laid out clearly with clutter kept to a minimum (load time can often be a factor so don’t go crazy with the graphics). Make sure that products are easy to find and well described, customers can’t examine an item as they would in a conventional store so high quality images and detailed specs are vital. Remember any ambiguity could cost you a sale, most internet customers will simply leave your site rather than picking up the phone to resolve anything they might misunderstand. It is not a bad idea to have testimonials from satisfied customers, either throughout your site or on their own separate page. You might even find it useful to point customers to related products (you like X you may also like Y). It is also important not to forget the most important product you are selling: your own business. You wouldn’t buy a luxury item from a corner café so you need to project a high degree of professionalism and class. You’ll also want to tell people why they want to do business with you, an ‘about us’ page allows you to share your vision and to let the customer know who you are. A ‘contact us’ page lets your customer get in touch, you can find out what’s wrong from the horse’s mouth and how else are you going to get those glowing testimonials? A blog might also be a good addition to your site, not only does it keep people updated with facts you want them to know but it adds a dynamic aspect to the site and gives people one more reason to come back. An active site also shows people that you are engaged with them and that there is a real live committed person behind the digital veil. The initial structure of your site should only be a kicking off point in an iterative process.You should constantly be monitoring and refining the site, finding out what works for your customers and what doesn’t. These days you are not solely reliant on customer feedback to do this, each click and every second a customer spends on a page can be monitored. Armed with that information you can keep evolving your site to suit your clients’ preferences and attract more customers. Google Analytics offers free website tracking and monitoring and is a must for anyone serious about building their site. With Analytics you can identify the key words that brought people to your site, track the success of specific campaigns and monitor user activity on the site while filtering out the noise of your own navigation. The information you gather through your website is vital for your businesses continued development you should do your upmost to develop an expansive database that covers both general trends on your website and individual customer’s behaviours, details and preferences. The individual touch helps you to foster the intimacy that will create a loyal customer. Simply adding a personal salutation at the start of an email or offering a client birthday wishes can strengthen


your relationship with customers. When it comes to getting details don’t be too greedy, no one wants to fill in hundreds of form fields, it is a far better strategy to have a signup form that simply asks for basic information and then collect extra data over time. Unlike other aspects of your site, the database operates behind the scenes but this does not mean it has any less need for maintenance; just as you should overhaul the public pages of your site at least once a year to keep it dynamic, so you should remember to ‘cleanse’ your database and ensure that client details are up to date and still relevant.

Social media and marketing your site It’s all very well to monitor users once they get to your site but as with all business, the real trick is getting the customer to come to you in the first place. Like it or not, these days people want to connect with your business on a more personal level, there’s always plenty of competition out there so why should they come to you? Damn it who are you anyway? Far from seeing this new demand as a problem you should be seeing it as an opportunity, if you handle your image correctly you will create a loyal customer base that sees your business as a personal resource. To digress into a brief analogy: if you were running a bricks and mortar business, you’d take the time to chat with your customers when they came in wouldn’t you? Social media is your chance to tell people that you are out there and that you are good people, remember that without marketing you will be all but invisible on the web.

Facebook and Twitter are increasingly lending themselves to business marketing. Facebook even offers its own shopping cart application ‘Payvment’. Payvment is free and allows you to setup virtual store fronts; since its start in November 2009 there are over 50 000 storefronts selling 1.2 million products. Don’t worry about getting lost in there, the new ‘Shopping Mall’ app allows users to browse through the store fronts easily by category. It also shows users what their friends liked, just a few happy customers can turn your store front into a viral hit. Keeping on top of social media is becoming a job in itself and it might well be worth your while appointing a staff member to man the parapets as it were and make sure that your profile on Facebook and Twitter is what you want it to be. Remember your reputation can be made or destroyed on a few words so you need to have a clear vision of how you want to be perceived. Bear in mind that people will respond better to an insight into your business rather than blatant self-promotion or impersonal marketing. You can’t afford to ignore is where your site ranks in general internet searches. If you are prepared to part with some cash you can take advantage of paid searches like those provided by Google AdWords. AdWords will ensure that your site is given special priority in any search but you will have to pay per click. If you’re not sure what pay per click means it simply refers to a quick behind the scene auction that goes on when a potential customer types in a relevant key word. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

The AdWords customer has already set the maximum amount they will pay for a customer’s click and Google simply shunts the highest bidder to the top of the list, not that it is always the highest bidder that wins, relevance to the search is also taken into account (that’s another reason why it’s a good idea to try and make your sites content as unique as possible since if there are fewer people selling or saying the same thing it is likely to increase your site’s organic search rankings.)

Payvment or a rented site.), downloaded (check out http://shopping-cart-review. for some options) or designed from scratch (unless you have something specific in mind this could be a bit like reinventing the wheel! Evaluate what’s out there before hiring a programmer.)

transaction, this is often negotiable so you should shop around and try to bargain for the lowest commission rate you can get.). You will obviously have more luck gaining trust (and a good rate) if you already have a going concern.

Once you have your shopping cart, the next question becomes how are your customers going to pay you? There are two payment mechanisms you could employ, the more old fashioned method would be to simply take the order on line and then have the payment made separately, either before the product is shipped or when it is collected. These days you can also do everything with a click of the mouse. This type of payment has the obvious advantage that the transaction is completed instantly, you have a sale in seconds and the customer knows they have secured their desired product. The extra complexity of having to follow up on payments made after an order is placed makes the online option seem very attractive so the question becomes how can I handle it all online?;;

If you have the money AdWords is a good way to get noticed but only about a quarter of users will actually click on paid for ads with most preferring to trust their natural search results. Given that, it is often better and more cost effective to focus on Search Engine Optimisation. Improving your SEO can be a job for a skilled professional but on a basic level it is simply about ensuring that your site is as relevant as possible to a users search. Let’s face it, if you don’t come up on the first couple of search pages who’ll go on looking for you? You need to ensure that you have chosen appropriate keywords for your site and that the copy for your site is related to those key words. Name images appropriately and use relevant alt text to help search engines judge the relevance of your site. The number of visitors to your site will also increase your rankings so a successful strategy can have a snowball effect.

Affiliate sites and reselling One way to increase traffic to your site and to make some extra income is to resell products on your site or to have your own product available for reselling on another site. This kind of interconnectivity widens your net by potentially exposing customers who might never see your site, to your product or drawing in people who might have been looking for a service that you don’t directly offer. As with any other business another string to your bow can’t be a bad thing and the extra income and potential synergy between online businesses is not something you should ignore. Check out sites like ClickBank ( for some insight onto the kind of online affiliations you can use to boost interest in your own business and earn yourself some passive income.

Ordering and payment So, let’s assume that we’ve got the customer to your site and they are happy to buy. You are going to need to add ‘shopping cart’ functionality. A shopping cart keeps track of a customer’s selections and automates the task of creating an order form and invoice. Shopping cart software can be hosted (for instance on


Options for online payment When it comes to online payment options it’s a case of the more the merrier; not every client will have a credit card so alternative payment methods are always a good way to maximise potential sales. Electronic fund transfers and online vouchers can give an alternative to credit card payments but then you have all the hassle of waiting for funds to clear. Not that there aren’t hoops to jump through if you go the credit card route. Receiving credit card payments has traditionally required that you have a merchant account with one of the country’s major banks and banks are not always keen to give that kind of facility to anyone, particularly unknown internet start ups and the account won’t come free so you will need to be aware of associated bank charges (a monthly fee on top of a commission for each

A merchant account is just the first step in accepting online payments, you will also need to secure a payment gateway to handle the transaction between your client and your merchant account. You may well find that you need a certain amount of in-house knowledge to integrate your gateway with your shopping cart, you might want to think of another payment option if you feel that you are lacking in technical skills. Gateway providers will typically charge their own monthly and transaction fees, therefore you would be well advised to keep a close eye for any hidden costs that might make the service prohibitive. Here are a few sample gateway providers:

Some gateways and banks offer extra payment mechanisms like MiMoney (vouchers) or cell phone payments but these services will come with their own costs and you should be cautious about inviting extra expenses that won’t benefit your business. If this all seems like too much trouble, your other option is to go with a third party provider who will simplify the whole process.You won’t need a merchant account or a gateway, your client may not even need a credit card, instead payments will be made to an account held by your provider. As an added bonus you will not usually incur setup or monthly fees but before you start thinking this all sounds too good to be true, you should take into account that third party payment providers will be making their money out of transaction fees. Payfast (www.payfast. for example charges 4.90% +R2 on a credit card transfer (2% on ETF), Netcash ( home/index.asp) will charge you 5% + R1 (unlike Payfast they also want a setup fee and a monthly payment. ) If you are happy to be paid in US dollars then


FREE Ecommerce Course Lesson 1 Am I ready to sell online? Lesson 2 Choosing the best products for your webstore - Part1 Lesson 3 Choosing the best products for your webstore - Part2 Lesson 4 Choosing the best products for your webstore - Part3 Lesson 5 Budgeting your online store Part1 Lesson 6 Budgeting your online store Part2 Lesson 7 How to choose the best software for your webstore - Part1 Lesson 8 How to choose the best software for your webstore - Part2 Lesson 9 Online Payments made easy Lesson 10 Everything you need to know about merchant accounts Lesson 11 How to avoid loss online - Part1 Lesson 12 How to avoid loss online - Part2 Lesson 13 How to avoid loss online - Part3 Lesson 14 Plan your shipping Lesson 15 Expert tips for easy shipping Lesson 16 The importance of customer care Lesson 17 Keep in touch with customers Lesson 18 Focus on selling - Benefits of free online marketing methods Lesson 19 Focus on selling - Getting started on your free onine marketing campaign Lesson 20 Focus on selling - Auction sites, backlinks and affiliate marketing

international payment options like PayPal ( might also be good options. PayPal clients can pay your PayPal account without a credit card if they have put funds into their PayPal account and should they wish to use their credit cards through PayPal then it is simply a matter of activating their credit cards with PayPal (the client makes a one dollar payment and is given an activation code). The upshot of this is that a merchant account and a customer having a credit card is not necessary for successful online sales, indeed may online purchases are made by customers without credit cards through services like PayPal or electronic fund transfers. The more payment methods you can offer the more customers you will get, but be sure to use only prominent third party providers since your risk of fraud can go up with third party operators. It is also worth looking into cell phone payment options. In Europe and America the expectation is that the customer will have a credit card but in South Africa the chances are that your customer has a cell phone but not a credit card (cell phone penetration in south Africa is over 95% compare that to a credit card penetration of around 17%). Having a cell phone payment option (at least for smaller items) will give you the chance to receive payments from even more customers. Check out POCit ( business/merchants.html) for a local pay by mobile solution.

Delivery Right! You’ve brought in the customer, compiled a list of what they want, taken an order and received payment; the last step is to deliver the product to the client. If your product can be delivered digitally you can simply send it once the payment is processed. If on the other hand you have a physical product, you are going to have to move it from A to B. As usual your best options can change on a case by case basis but you will generally have three ways of getting your product into your client’s hands: • Courier companies – A good option if your product is not oversized and you are

delivering to a city hub, like Cape Town or Johannesburg, 50 Km out from any major centre and your delivery becomes regional, which can significantly up costs. Visit to check out the various courier companies working in your area. • The post office – Speed Services is an autonomous business unit in the South African postal service and unlike conventional post, it can offer overnight delivery. Of course this comes at a cost and can often prove as expensive (if not more) than a private courier company. Speed Services offers door to door delivery or delivery to the customer’s local post office (one advantage here is that goods can be collected on Saturdays). Visit www. to see their offerings. • Collection – If your customer lives within a reasonable travelling distance of one of your brick and mortar outlets, you can arrange to have them collect their own order. This might save on delivery fees but personally I would make it an option the customer may choose, rather than a standard operating procedure. At least let the customer know that you have passed on some of your saving in your price. It feels a lot better to say ‘we eliminated the delivery fee so I got it cheaper’ than, ‘The cheapskates made me go and pick it up!’ Prompt delivery of a working product will go a long way in helping to forge a good client relationship and ensuring repeat business. However you get your product to the customer make sure they get what they ordered and that they are happy with what they received. As daunting as the steps to taking your business online might seem, the process is being streamlined every day; seven days may sound optimistic but if you are serious, it needn’t take any more time than that to plant your flag in the e-commerce market. (Though as any general will tell you planting your flag is just the start of the war). They say that the longest journey starts with a single step, the journey from retail to e-tail starts with a single click.

Useful E-Commerce Reference Sites Company






Netcash site/home/index.asp


Description Setcom is a provider of payment services for Internet websites PayGate is a specialist credit card payment services provider. Offering online, batch and Point of Sale payment services An established financial services and payment solutions company, providing a safe secure platform to switch financial transactions. Payments processing service for South Africa Provides secure online access to a range of services on a single platform which provides you with the ability to exercise control and manage your debtors and creditors The World Leader in Online Payment Solution


South African cellular payment service




What’s APPening here? By Warwick Smith-Chandler


he numbers are astronomical. According to a radio interview with the Chief Executive of Vodacom, Pieter Uys, the figures mentioned for the rate of growth of smart phones in South has been nothing short of phenomenal. Other facts and figures mentioned were that more than four million of the 29 million phones in South Africa are smart phones and that is driving the growth of data usage by 100% per month. Furthermore there are over 1.5 million BlackBerry owners. Another fact about South Africa is that we are the largest downloader of YouTube videos in Africa and recently YouTube was extended to Afrikaans and IsiZulu. But it’s all about making money and that means tapping into the 10,000,000,000 (ten billion) mobile applications (or apps) downloaded in 2010 and the 3,000,000,000 (three billion) YouTube videos watched daily. In fact, mobile app downloads this are forecast to reach 17.5 billion in 2011. And where there are customers there are profitable opportunities! Looking at the figures differently, in 1990 there were 100 million PC’s, in 2000 there were almost 1 billion and by 2010 there were 10 billion mobile devices from iPads to smartphones, car GPS systems, E-Readers and wireless home appliances.

multinational companies seek out online-video makers to make and promote their videos virally thereby bypassing the need for managers, sets, agents and marketers. Industry analysts agree the role of the online video creator is yet to peak because viewers develop an affinity with the originator resulting in a stronger connection with the product or brand. So when you are consistently getting thousands of video views, what’s the next step? How do content creators take their videos to the next level and start making money on YouTube? There are several prerequisites, including requirements that creators must upload original content, get thousands of views and have permission to monetize content. Becoming a part of YouTube’s Partner Program is one of the best ways to make money on YouTube. The Partner Partners share revenue that comes from in-video overlay ads and rentals. Partners also have the opportunity to participate in branded entertainment opportunities as well.

Monetisation of mobile apps andYouTube content is considered the holy grail of the work-from-home-get-rich-quickly brigade by mobile app developers and budding YouTube video producers.

Partners can also take advantage of higher quality video, branded channel options, and insight analytics to help partners learn about their audience and increase their viewership. Partners are also featured on YouTube’s homepage, leading to more views and more opportunities for monetisation.

Is money being made? Absolutely! Just consider that Apple’s share of mobile app downloads was calculated to be 264 million USD. Cellphone companies are starting to get onto the mobile app distribution act. Nokia has launched OVI which records about 10 million downloads a day. Sony Ericsson has launched a competition called ‘Apps for Africa’. Think about this – Mxit, a South-African mobile app with over 43 million subscribers in over 120 countries was rumoured to be have been sold for an eight figure rand amount. That’s more than R100 million...

To become a YouTube Partner, you must meet these minimum requirements: • You must create original videos suitable for online streaming. • You own or have express permission to use and monetize all audio and video content that you upload—no exceptions. • You must regularly upload videos that are viewed by thousands of YouTube users, or you publish popular or commercially successful videos in other ways (such as DVDs sold online).

Monetisation of YouTube

Three challenges remain. The first is, what equipment do you need? Essentially you can record video on digital camera and edit it on numerous software packages. The second is to be accepted into the YouTube partnership program and this needs some hard work and there is a chance you may not be accepted. The third is when to quit your day job? Let me know when you do.

With so much uncertainty in the job market, many young entrepreneurs overseas are cashing in on the opportunities afforded by web video. Since 2007, YouTube has distribute millions of dollars to its top 20 000 video producers. Whilst advertisers pay varying amounts, creators of video content receive about 20 USD per 1000 views (about R160). In fact, according to YouTube, hundreds of video producers earn in excess of 100,000 USD per year and thousands make in excess of 10,000 USD per year. Additional cash is made when large SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

To read all about 10 YouTube stars who make in excess of 100 000 USD (R800 000) per year, go to youtubemillionaires


Monetisation of mobile apps 1. Make stuff easier Think lazy. People don’t like complex processes.We even type company names into Google rather than into a browser. 2. Think simple Desktop software was difficult to use. Mobile app users may well be half asleep, drunk or distracted. Your application will need simplicity to be adopted. 3. Cut out steps As every e-commerce analyst knows, every stage a customer has to go through to buy, loses sales. Amazon’s big leap forward was one-click purchasing. Simplify your process too. 4. Don’t let ‘mobile’ confuse you People use their cell phones for voice calls at home. Don’t let the ‘mobile’ moniker make you think ‘out of home’. 5. Don’t worry about complexity. At R300 a DVD, an Xbox/PS3 game has to be pretty compelling to work. The criteria are much lower for R10 or 1USD apps. In Pocket God you manage an island of primitive people who fall into the sea and get eaten by sharks if you tilt your phone. It’s pretty pointless. But at R10, it’s a hit. 6. Focus on the eternal Language, say evolutionary psychologists, evolved so that humans in the hunter-gatherer environment of 50,000 years ago could better evaluate each other’s suitability for mating. As computing becomes a more of a mainstream human activity, it’s likely that its prime usage will be not spreadsheets and databases, but flirting. 7. Concentrate on the universal When Steve Jobs was thinking about launching a mobile device in 2000, his staff pushed him to launch a Personal Digital Assistant. After all, more and more people were bringing them to meetings. Jobs didn’t think most people needed a PDA. But people had been listening to music since the dawn of mankind. So he launched an MP3 player instead. 8. Focus on the human condition Most people are dissatisfied with search engines; not because they don’t know how to search, but simply because they don’t know what they want if you can work it out for them, you will become rich. 9. Don’t worry about downturns Google’s big growth spurt was in 2001 – 2005.There was a tech bust at the time, so Google never acquired any competitors. Bad economic times give good ideas a clear path. 10. Look for weaknesses It came as a real surprise to the photographic industry that no one wanted to print pictures from their digital camera, and preferred to keep them on Flickr or Facebook instead. lt shouldn’t have. Most thirty-somethings have crates of photos in their attic that they never look at, and can’t easily share. The problems mobile apps can solve are right in front of your nose. 11. Look for problems When postal services went on strike in the 1980s, businesses bought a fax. And once they experienced fax, never went back to postal mail. Spot the problem - and fix it. 12. Feel the power Trucks get jammed on narrow roads because their drivers follow TomTom and Garmin instructions blindly, regardless of road conditions. Expect people to follow life instructions on cell phones just as blindly. Be careful what you ask people to do - because they may well do it. 13. Don’t overburden your user Wii Sports Resort doesn’t unlock 100 pin bowling until you are good at 10-pin bowling. Grand Theft Auto 4 doesn’t unlock Manhattan until you’re familiar with Brooklyn. Apple didn’t let anyone customize buttons on the iPhone for its first six months. Introduce complexity slowly



14. Don’t overburden your partners At its launch, the iPhone was just a phone with a cool new touch interface. Conceptually, it was easy for mobile network operators to offer. If Apple had offered the phone to them with the iTunes and app stores from day one, the lawyers would still be negotiating the launch revenue splits today. Again, introduce complexity slowly. 15. Solve big problems Google ‘solves big problems - like the need for a global visual street map - using solutions with scale. Solutions with scale can make you impossible to copy. 16. Think retro Home dressmaking was dying in the 1990s.Then started offering downloadable dress patterns, alongside this, they created a home dressmaking community, allowing women to share pictures of dresses they’d made online, Home dressmaking is now on the up again. If an idea once fulfilled a need, it could do so again. 17. Recognise what is the NEW news In the past the big news stories were things like the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, celebrity news is big – Beckhams soon-to-arrive 4th child is the an example of the New news, so if you’re designing an information app, think hard what information really matters to people.

What is your next step? Entrepreneurs are faced with four major decisions. The first one is whether to develop new apps or re-invent existing ones. We have face facts here. Most apps have probably been developed in some form or another and whilst there are certainly many potential new apps it may be more prudent to download a few mobile apps, use them and identify how they can be improved. Read the online comments for each app and this will give you a guideline as to what customers are saying, positive and negative. Use the points above to guide you to developing your own app. Secondly, you need to choose the correct payment platform. Apple and Nokia have both launched product download and payment gateways. In addition to that there are many other reseller sites such as Thirdly, you will need to find a developer. As much as I want to support South African developers, I feel we are playing catch-up in terms of technology, turn-around time, and knowledge of operating platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, IPhone, and Windows Mobile. My suggestion is to Google mobile application development and head for India or an Eastern European country. The developers are responsive, their English is superb, they operate 24 hours a day because of the need to service the US market and their rates are low. Fourthly, convert your apps into local languages. The extra cost is marginal and it will certainly get you free press coverage if you Continued on page 34 develop Afrikaans or Xhosa apps. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3



Mobile coupons – getting feet through the store door The massive growth in the value and distribution of mobile coupons and the explosion of the coupon redemption rate over the past year shows that people are keen to save in the current economic climate.

By Wikus Engelbrecht


obile communications has firmly established itself as a key sales channel and the use of mobile coupons now appears to be motivating sales and driving most of the market’s growth. As more than 70% of the world population is in possession of a mobile phone, it is plain to see why the targeted nature of mobile communication is so remunerative and appealing to businesses. Consumers across the globe continue to spend more and more time on their mobile devices and are expecting to receive mobile coupons far more regularly, because these are the easiest coupons to receive, store and use. What makes it even more special is that it encourages the consumer to go into a retail store to redeem it. Many brands are now dedicating a higher percentage of their marketing budgets to engage audiences in this new channel. With more than twice as many mobile subscriptions in the developing world than anywhere else, it is clear that if you want to reach these markets, you have to take your brand onto the mobile platform. At the same time, much of the traditional paper-based coupon practices are now moving to mobile, which is not surprising, considering the increase in efficiency and decrease of costs of having a mobile coupon text message on your cell phone. Add to this QR codes and you bring to life a 3D experience of otherwise flat content. Around one third of smartphone owners use their devices to make mobile purchases and mobile coupons and barcodes are catching on more quickly. Although virtual wallets usage is increasing, more smartphone and tablet owners expect to increase their use of mobile coupons and nearly half of smartphone and tablet owners are planning to scan barcodes more often to get additional information about a product. Mobile coupons are already the 5th most popular mobile marketing method today, and the relatively tiny $90 million 2009 U.S market is projected to grow to $6.5 billion by 2013. Also, in 2009, US businesses issued 367 billion coupons, of which consumers modestly redeemed 3.3 billion. But in less than three years from now, over 200 million Americans are projected to have redeemed a mobile coupon, which would make it a leading sales method. Additionally, Google and Facebook have both thrown their weight behind QR barcodes in promotional campaigns, so mobile coupon usage looks set to electrify digital promotions by a large increase in consumer engagement margins in the days to come. Compete, a consumer behaviour survey panel and digital intelligence agency for top brands, asked mobile users about


their most recent purchase with a coupon and learned that 57% would not have bought the item if they did not have one. In a new study by ReturnPath “The future of mobile messaging” the most popular mobile promotions mentioned were special offers (27%) and vouchers (21%) as being the most preferred email types to receive on mobile. But small businesses are often not equipped or prepared to handle the pressures of coupon-driven traffic, and this volume challenge can prevent otherwise efficiently-run businesses from converting coupon clients into brand patriots. Motivated by the growing market-resonance of coupon-driven campaigns, GraphicMail has launched its mobile coupon program with a free mobile editor that lets you set up your promotions on a mobile page along with images, videos, advertising copy and the option to add direct feedback forms and quick polls; pushing viewers via a link in an SMS to take interest in the retail perks and other benefits of using coupons. It is cheaper and faster to build than a mobile application or an entire mobile site, and consumer engagement can be measured instantly, even before the coupons are redeemed – by receiving open and click through rates per mobile number. Industry representatives have met the innovation with keen interest as it enables small businesses, corporates and organizations alike to enter the mobile communications world with little effort, and at a low cost. Wikus Engelbrecht is a member of the GraphicMail marketing team. He can be reached at SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3


LinkedIn makes business sense

inkedIn is the 17th most visited site on the web. It has over 100 million members worldwide with a 41% female and 59% male split.

The fasted growing age segment is the over 35 group and it operates in over 200 countries. More impressive are the figures that over 1 million companies have LinkedIn pages. The growth rates in South-Africa have been astounding and whilst more popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter continue to attract many more South Africans it is LinkedIn that will provide you with crucial business networking leads. The ‘essential differences’ between Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in lay terms are as follows. Facebook is like a Pub — an informal place to talk casually with people and get to know people on a more personal ¨basis. It’s okay to tell a joke in a pub. You can also talk about what you did over the weekend. LinkedIn is like a Trade Show — a slightly more formal place to meet other business professionals and connect with them primarily for business purposes. You don’t tell dirty jokes at a Trade Show. Nor would you do that on LinkedIn. Twitter is like a Cocktail Party — an energetic place where there are many conversations going on at once. If you like the conversation going on in one group, you might share the information with people in the next conversation you have. With a little bit of time and effort, the following guide can help you turn LinkedIn into a lead generation engine and give you the inside track to generating more business with LinkedIn.

Start with your profile

Your profile on LinkedIn is the single most important element on the site. It’s your “enhanced” business card –- a quick and easy way for people to decide if you’re relevant or not to what they care about. LinkedIn provides a rich feature set to make your profile stand out. Use these tips to create a profile that gets your


message across without losing readers along the way. 1. Don’t get clever with your picture No one will recognize you if they can’t see your face. The best pictures have solid color backgrounds with your face taking up as much of the frame as possible. The image upload tool in LinkedIn includes a cropping feature to make this easier. 2. Headlines matter (as always) The Professional Headline that appears below your name is included on every reference about you on the site. Make sure it includes your title and your company. Again, don’t get so caught up in trying to be clever that you’re hard to understand. 3. You are more than your job The biggest mistake people make with their profile is excluding their non-work related experiences. If you belong to a local networking group or other affiliations, add them. The more experiences that you add, the easier it will be for LinkedIn to connect you with others within their network. 4. Create connections that matter Schedule some time every few months to update your contacts within LinkedIn. As general rule of thumb, ask yourself, would you feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling this person? If not, don’t add them to your contacts. Use the People You May Already Know tool. Of course, the “trick” is to make sure you have done a thorough job of adding all of your work and non-work experiences to your profile. By using the “would you call” benchmark, you may find there are a few names to drop. Keep your contact list relevant. 5. Work your recommendations An easy way to enhance your reputation is to obtain as many recommendations as possible. Lots of recommendations add up to social proof that you’re a professional others can depend on. The best way to get recommendations is to ask for them. The Request Recommendations tool is simple to use, but take the time to edit the default message by tailoring it for your audience. For people you know well, a simple subject line could be “I need your help.” For other connections that you may not know quite as well, include a point of reference to jog their memory.

As for the message itself, be short and to the point. A good way to start your message is to acknowledge how much you value their opinion. Vanity is often a great motivator. And if your requests for recommendation fall flat? Start writing recommendations for others you know. You will be pleasantly surprised how many will reciprocate. 6. Don’t waste your summary Don’t waste your summary area with a lot of empty verbiage about your “teamoriented, results-focused goal setting” qualifications. Instead, use the summary as a place to answer a simple question — Why do you do what you do? Think of your summary as the human element of who you are, the history to everything you’ve done so far. 7. Flesh out the details A new feature of LinkedIn is the Add Sections tool — a way to modify your profile with additional details about your qualifications from other online sources as well as the ability to add content from, Twitter, and WordPress. 8. Drag the conversation along Next to every section heading on your profile page is a directional arrow icon that allows you to re-order and emphasize the sections of your profile for viewers. Front-load your page with the most exciting content. For example, if you have great recommendations, drag them to the top so viewers see your most positive details first. 9. Don’t forget SEO benefits If you make your profile page public, search engines like Google will find it. Take the time to optimize your summary, using your full proper name versus “I” or “me.” You might also want to enter links to websites you want to highlight and link your biography page from your company or personal website to your LinkedIn profile page. Now you’re ready to start promoting your business on LinkedIn. Having a solid LinkedIn profile is a crucial ingredient — but it is only the starting point. LinkedIn gives you lots of tools to drive interest and traffic to your business — so use them. 10. Update your email signature line You’ll want to start building awareness of


your LinkedIn Profile. Since many professionals rely on email as their primary digital communication stream, your usual email signature is often a great starting point to connect with others. The Email signature tool provides a series of options to input and style your signature line. Select under Options the “Professional Profile” link and “See who we know in common” link. 11. Explore the rest of the tool kit The LinkedIn Developer site has a rich number of easy-to-use tools to enhance your site. For example, beef up your online Biography or About page with a quick link back to LinkedIn by using the Member Profile plug-in. If you have a business blog, the Share on LinkedIn plug-in is the perfect complement to your Tweet Share button. Don’t forget to also include the Recommend with LinkedIn button. 12. Dominate the All Updates area By default, LinkedIn presents a list of Network Updates when a user logs in. This is a gold mine for the smart content marketing professional. Start building authority and awareness through an ever-present stream of relevant information that appears directly on the LinkedIn home page of your connections. 13. Create your own LinkedIn group LinkedIn contains a vast collection of online groups. For many, joining and participating in a LinkedIn group is an easy way to build authority through comments and discussion postings. But for the savvy professional who is willing to commit the time, creating and nurturing your own online group can pay huge dividends — if you build it right. The real secret of having your own group is the free email broadcast tool included with it. Under the Manage options, you will see a feature to Send An Announcement. While restricted to once every seven days, LinkedIn provides you with a free and easy method to send email broadcasts to your group members. 14. And speaking of email … Did you know you can send out email newsletters to your contacts? The Compose Message feature in your inbox has a unique way to tailor your emails to your LinkedIn Contacts by geography and/or by industry, for up to 50 people at a time. So if you want to share an interesting story or idea with your contacts in the accounting industry, a simple point and click is all it takes. Keep these messages informative and highly relevant. 15. Work your company page Recently, LinkedIn introduced company pages — an easy way to provide additional details about your business. As you update your Products & Services page, consider including special offer for people who visit and recommend your LinkedIn company page. Promote your company page by LinkedIn email, group discussions, group announcements, and updating your status. 16. Manage and mine your data stream With so much activity conducted within LinkedIn, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is where RSS can become your friend. On the Account Settings page, you will see a tab called Account. Enable get Linked In content in an RSS feed and add the link to your favorite RSS reader to receive daily updates from your connections. Once you have everything where you can review it easily, mine the data stream by taking advantage of the built in search features of your newsreader. Alternatively, your reader SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

may have additional options to flag certain items that contain terms you designate. With a little bit of effort, your RSS reader can become a daily source of business opportunities.

The value of LinkedIn is you

LinkedIn gives you plenty of powerful toys to play with that can make your business-to-business marketing more effective. This guide represents just a few of the many things you can do. The tools are there, your customers are there … the only thing that’s missing is you. So start now start creating your own Linked In return on investment for your business.


Continued from page 29

How to make your zillion:

There are five basic ways of monetising apps: 1. Paid Apps The most direct way to monetise an app is to charge for it. Paid-for apps though, compete with a broad variety of free apps and free alternatives. Still, AdMob found that 50% of iPhone owners buy at least one paid app a month and the average iPhone app has sold 101 024 copies over a lifetime of 261 days. So despite a low average price of $2.33 per app, developers can still hope for decent revenue if the content is relevant and offers great value to users. 2. Subscriptions Instead of charging for one-time download, subscription models charge for content within an app. Particularly reasonable apps that offer a lot and fast changing content like magazines or newspapers, virus protection, music streaming and more.

How to get expertise and turn yourself into a profit centre. Today it seems that no matter what industry you’re in, your competition is stronger than ever. How do you stand out and get that sale when people aren’t as loyal to brands as they used to be? How do you get their attention in an ever-growing sea of noise when they’re so often swayed by price rather than quality?

3. In-app payments/sales 14% of the daily revenue on the android market is generated with in-app purchases, including the purchase of virtual goods, unlocking features, promoting oneself in communities, access to content and more. In-app purchases are available for iOS and android and can be implemented in both free and paid apps. 4. In-app advertising If providing interesting contents or offers, in-app advertising is great for apps with high and frequent usage such as news, sport, weather, social networking, etc. Ad space can be sold via ad networks like AdMob, inMobi, iAd (Apple) etc. Customers are paying based on impressions or per click on the ad, so for this model to work, high usage rate is essential in order to generate substantial revenues. GomoNews have published a list of ad networks here mads 5. Sponsored apps Timeout UK, cocktail guides, cookbooks, racing games etc. are some of the most common ways of monetising an app. If a company sponsors or fully pays for an app as a way to promote their brand, there is little risk for the developer, but also little space for unexpected wealth. Some key stats: • Apple has paid out more than $2bn to iOS app developers • 7% of iPhone and iPod touch owners have spent more than $50 on games in the last three months • iOS users have an average of 37 apps on their devices, compared to 22 for android users and 10 BlackBerry users • the average smart phone user downloads 15 apps to their handset, keeps 12 of them, and uses five every day • US iPhone users download 60 apps a year • iPod touch users that purchase paid apps spend $11.39 vs. $9.55 webOS vs. $8.36 Android, vs. $8.18 iPhone So how do you make money from mobile apps then? The answer is simply that you make money from apps through a combination of creativity, hard work and a bit of luck. The key ingredients to success however are: a) Make sure you have a great idea/concept for your app to begin with b) Know who your target audience is and come up with a marketing and PR plan focussed on them c) Try different types of monetising methods depending on the app and target audience d) Experiment, experiment and experiment more with updates, pricing, marketing, etc For the advantages and disadvantages of mobile web-based apps vs. smart phoneresident apps, see the full article on Juliet Prowse Marketing Director Unboxed Consulting



ne answer is to become recognized as an expert in your industry, someone other people seek out for information. The most important part to becoming known as an expert, of course, is that you know a lot about whatever it is you do. That could be construction, public relations, HR, dogs, gardening, furniture restoration — whatever it is, in order to gain the requisite knowledge to be regarded as a thought-leader in your field likely (traditionally) requires years of schooling or real-world practice, or both. In addition, when your goal is to be recognized as an expert you need to always keep learning and to constantly share that expertise. Whilst it is not possible to become an expert overnight, it is possible for anyone to become a knowledge expert and in a much shorter time frame.

Benefits of being an expert.

Being an expert in your field makes you the go-to person for your industry. Being an expert helps you: - Establish yourself as an industry leader - Help others - Become a trusted resource - Get interviews and media coverage - Gain industry acceptance (via conference/speaking invites, etc.) - Convert followers to sales So what is the solution to becoming and remaining an expert? In short, it’s passion, keeping up to date, a willingness to impart knowledge and intentional practice. 1) Passion So how does passion enter this picture? It helps you stay the course. When you’re passionate about something, you don’t want to give up on it. It helps you enjoy the process. When you’re engaged in ‘passion work’, it feels like you’re always having fun. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

When you’re learning stuff related to your passion, it happens faster and easier. Become an expert in something you are passionate about. 2) Keeping up to date Only a fool assumes he knows everything and can’t learn any more. No matter how much you know, content and ideas are changing, especially if you work in a fastmoving industry like social media. News happens, ideas shift, people try new things. It’s important for you to stay on top of the latest updates. The list below is by no means complete but it will get you started: Blogs & News – Blogs in your industry are a great place to find out the latest tools and news. If you’re not already reading blogs, do a web search for [your industry + blogs] - like gardening blogs, for example - to locate some blogs that cover your business niche. Find ones that you like and subscribe to them by RSS so you won’t forget to read them. You can also use Technorati to find blogs in your industry. It’s not a bad idea to set up a Google Alert to search for news about your industry. Paying attention to news headlines is a great way to stay abreast of changes in your field. Online Education – There’s no reason you have to enroll at university to keep learning. There are a variety of online resources at which you can take free or cheap webinars or e-courses to keep the wheels churning. Social Networks – Increasingly, social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, are where people are sharing news and information that matter to them. By following the already established experts in your niche, you’ll gain access to the information they possess, which will in turn increase your knowledge. Conferences & Events – Every industry has conferences, trade shows, and other events, at which other experts in the industry gather to share their knowledge. Attending these meetings can help you in your quest to continually learn new information. 3) Imparting Your Wisdom By sharing your knowledge with others, you’ll quickly become known for your expertise. This can translate into sales, job offers, gigs, or other opportunities, as you build your personal brand as an expert. Here are some ways you can share what you know. Blogs – The easiest way to start sharing is by creating a blog. Blog about what you know. Share quality news, offer advice, give your opinion, and make yourself the

go-to resource for what you do and do it regularly whilst encouraging readers to engage with you. Social Media – Social media sites are designed for experts! By providing free advice on Twitter or Facebook, you will build a base of fans that both trust you and look to you for expert advice. These fans will seek you out and recommend you to others seeking advice and information — in other words, by sharing your knowledge and gaining trust, your network will grow on its own. Create Online Courses or Assessments - Providing free multiple choice assessments and free entry level courses quickly establishes you as an expert and also gives you an ideal selling platform. Google ‘online courseware’ for free course design software.

blog and in your social profiles, and offer phone-in consulting as well. Article marketing - Posting written opinions via article marketing websites rapidly promotes you as a go-to person. See page 36. 4)Intentional practice It isn’t enough to simply “be involved” in something for ‘many years’ to be considered an expert. If that were the case, you’d be an expert at things just by passively being engaged in them for the required period of time. To become an expert requires intentional practice. So what’s that? Take tennis as an example. If you spent two hours daily hitting a tennis ball, you won’t magically turn into Nadal after 5, 10 or even 20 years. That would take “intentional practice”.

Video – Don’t underestimate the power of video. For those who do well in front of a camera, sharing free how-to videos on sites like YouTube can lead to increased awareness. It also demonstrates to television producers how well you do on camera, which means online expert videos can lead to television appearances. Speaking Up – You should already be attending industry conferences, trade shows, and user group meetings, and you should make sure to assert yourself as a knowledgeable voice in the community while at those events. Consider phoning in to radio stations when your topic is being discussed. Mention your name, company and expertise and listeners will take notice.

Intentional practice would mean… • hitting tennis balls for four hours every day with the intention of getting 99% of your shots in a certain court area. • measuring your results to make adjustments and improvements that take you steadily closer to your goals • learning what it takes to make those improvements • practicing the new things you learned, and • getting better at them through repetitive practice

Consulting – Offering consulting services can do two things: it can lead to many referrals and having a list of business owners willing to give you a recommendation can be invaluable. If you plan to offer consulting services, put information about your services on your

It takes a while, but you will see a snowball effect as you build your brand as an expert. More people will come to you for advice or consulting, and more media types will reach out to you for interviews. By leveraging your knowledge, you will convert it to ongoing sales.


Ask any sportsperson how often they practice their shots. Remember the golfer Gary Player’s famous quote: “The harder I practice the luckier I get”.


Article Marketing – part of being an expert Part of becoming an “expert” is the ability to write and submit material to the Internet or Print media. You will simultaneously promote your business and your personal brand. In fact, write a few articles and you are well on the way to becoming an expert.


imply put, to become an expert requires that you put your hand up and be heard. No one is going to give you the title of ‘expert’ unless you claim it. It does of course help if you have qualifications and a reputation in your field but nowadays practically anyone can become and ‘expert’. Even if you only have ideas there are many ‘ghost writers’ who can flesh out your ideas into a well-written article. At www. our entrepreneurial website that we have been running for over 12 years, we have set up a ‘Let us publish your article’ tab because we believe that every entrepreneur has a story or knowledge worth sharing. Use it because it puts you on the road to become an expert. And don’t worry about grammar and style - media companies want your experience and they will ‘clean it up for you’.

How has it helped me? Well writing articles has assisted me in growing my business in tremendous ways and one of those ways is by helping me to attract clients, especially ones that I enjoy working with and this is why… When I write an article, I make sure that I accomplish two things. One is that I am either answering a pressing question or explaining a concept for my ideal client and the other is that I am writing in or using my own unique voice and perspective to do so. Including both of these elements in the articles I write has been crucial to my success as an entrepreneur. So how do you do this if writing is not something you think that you do well? It’s pretty simple actually. Here are my tips for writing articles that your ideal potential clients will devour while using your own authentic, brilliant voice to do so.


Recession-proof success


he world’s leading cash and asset converter is a brand leader in the second hand retail market and recently entered the expansive microlending industry. The Cash Converters model has been developed over 27 years of international experience and is the foundation for the operational success of in excess of 620 stores globally. The franchise was started in Australia, and in 1994, the master license for Southern Africa was acquired. Growing the brand Cash Converters focusing its energy on its marketing and advertising brand strategy, to ensure that two core messages go out to the market: 1) Cash Converters is the world’s leading cash and asset converter, and 2) that it provides customers with instant access to cash through the buying and selling of second hand goods, and through short term cash loans. Becoming a Franchisee Cash Converters hand picks franchisees that have a proactive ‘in-the-business’ attitude. They should display self-motivated energy levels to maintain the pace of this proactively driven business. The Cash Converters franchisee profile is a people’s person, motivated trader, and an entrepreneur who understands the importance of following the Cash Converters model. Franchisee Support Cash Converters franchisees are supported by a national Franchise Support Centre with a fullyfledged marketing department that focuses on national brand advertising, and also supports the stores on a local level. Investment required • Initial franchise fee: R85k • Average set-up cost: R1m to R2m • Initial working capital required: R500k • Management fees: 5%-3% • Marketing fees: 4%-2% SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

1. Get over yourself First you have to get over that term essay you tried to write a million years ago. Let all of that baggage go and put it behind you.Who you are today is an entrepreneur looking to help and/or empower others – and that begins by getting your message out there in a big way. Remember it’s your insight and experience that counts most. 2. Answer a question or need Most of your clients have questions that they don’t have the answers to, which is why they are turning to you. How do you get government tenders and contracts? Dealing with absenteeism. How do I close the sale? How do I find my next speaking engagement? These are the types of questions that BEG for an article to be written to answer them. The key is to make sure that you are answering a “pressing” question or concern of your potential clients. The great thing about answering a question in an article is that you don’t have to wonder what you’re going to write about – you already know the answers AND it doesn’t have to be perfect. People just want quick help; they don’t necessarily need you to deliver a dissertation. Don’t worry about how “smart” you sound. That’s not important. What’s important is that you actually know what you’re talking about and give a good, solid answer in your article – and use simple words and terms! Quickie Template • Introductory paragraph about the question you are answering. • Write out the question. (The best questions are ones by present clients.) • Write 2-3 paragraphs answering the question. • End the article with a paragraph summarizing the Q&A.

When you let go of the misconception that you can’t write, and then begin to write articles that include these two essential elements, you will begin a continuous flow of your ideal clients to your site and your offers. What a great way to make a living or enhance your business success. 4. Article marketing to drive traffic to your website When you publish the article on your site, Google sees it as completely unique and that you are the owner of the content. So when other sites are reposting your content and linking back to it, Google thinks you’re the authorities. Post the article on your domain and optimize it to rank for a certain keyword. Of course, every article you publish must target a specific keyword. For starters always submit your article to EzineArticle (EZA). Other articles sites worth considering include Go Articles and Article Base. There are paid an unpaid article submission websites and it is fair to say that every article marketer needs an article directory submission tool. The net result is that your website will, through all your article submissions, have many back links and that is precisely what Google is looking for. Google’s main algorithm factor is link popularity and with the help of article submissions (automated or manual) hundreds of links can be built. Good luck and happy writing!

Online marketing tips 1. Create one new article, blog post, or piece of content per day. This is the most important! In a very short time, you will out rank almost all of your competition simply by creating more original content. If you can’t do one per day consider paid assistance. Or if you are better at generating a few ideas, outsource it to a ghostwriter who can massage it into shape for you. 2. Create variations of the article and submit it to as many article directories as you possibly can. 3. This dramatically increases Google’s assessment of your unique content driving up your search engine rankings. 4. Create a short, 30-second video of yourself talking about how awesome your article is. Then, use one of the video promotion services out there such as YouTube to broadcast your video all to the Internet. You can also use Traffic Geyser for your video promotion. 5. Bookmark your original piece of content, and your YouTube video using (which is a free social bookmarking service that will submit your original article to 25 or so social bookmarking sites, which gives everything you do additional links and exposure.

3. Write In An Authentic Voice My friends and family have told me that I have very strong opinions and tend to think emotional things through in an analytical way. You don’t have to be the funny talkative person to write. This is also called my “writer’s voice” and you have one too. The key is for you to always use it, because when you do you will naturally attract clients to you that already like your style. Another great thing is that your writer’s voice is totally unique to you and it will establish your individuality in the marketplace.




Planning for profit in your food business By John Kilian The franchise route is not the only way to creating a successful restaurant or fast food outlet. Perhaps the first questions to reflect on are the following:


hy do I want to invest into a restaurant / fast food outlet? How will this impact my family and personal life? What appeals to me about this venture? What type of cuisine will I serve? Where do I source all the suppliers? Will this be my only source of income and how long before it will sustain me? Do I have enough funds and cash flow to carry the business and for how long? How soon will I need to draw earnings from the business? Do I have the personality for the business? Who is going to be the operator of the business? How do I select my team? What are my short, medium and longterm goals? What systems will I require? Where do I prefer to be located? Is that a good location? What am I personally able to do? What am I personally willing to do? What is my budget? How will I finance this? Do I want to buy a going concern, create my own or take on a franchise concept? Do I want partners / syndication? What do I need to draw up a business plan and blue print for the business? Do I have any experience and will I need to employ the skilled staff? Where do I source accurate advice? Once you have reflected on this over and over again and preferably committed these reflections to paper, and assuming your mind is now set to proceed, then the following basic guidelines may further assist you.


Unless this is strictly a business acquisition and the concept or cuisine has no impact on the decision, then it is good to rather decide which cuisine most appeals to you. By this stage you should have an idea as to whether you are going solo, pursuing a franchise option or acquiring an existing business. Your business plan and blue print should be clear in the description of your concept, menu, décor, staff, uniforms / outfits, marketing, trading hours, anticipated costs, income, breakeven and financing options, various suppliers, etc. With combined figures of over 50 000 restaurants and fast food style outlets (that are accounted for), you need to select you target market - such as Italian, steakhouse, Chinese, Greek, pub or bistro. Are you doing an early morning trade, just day trade, or only lunch and dinners? Your business plan should include the following: Costs: Once you have decided on the cuisine, this will more or less dictate the décor or theme. This in turn will lead you to the choice of furnishings and finishes according to the seating, size and layout – including take away trade if applicable, the size of the kitchen and catering equipment required, as well as fridges, deep freezes. Which equipment is best rented and which is best purchased? Service level agreements - is there a service bar or a full bar? If there is a bar are you prepared to take the responsibility that goes with a bar? Will you cater for children? Are you going to lease premises or purchase property? Service costs such

as gas, laundry, health & safety, public liability insurance, marketing, staff, etc. must be considered. These choices will start to define your costs. Location: layout and funding. Where should or where can the premises be located? An inviting concept, good service, attention to detail, consistency, strategic marketing, managing your database and preferably owner operated will allow you to draw the crowds to a “destination restaurant.” With the high rentals most landlords are demanding, one needs to weigh up the option of purchasing premises if this is an option.

Being in a mall or shopping centre does not guarantee you instant success! Chris and Maria, who successfully operate one of the finest restaurant / café franchises in the Western Cape, namely CAFÉ MAGNIFICO in Willowbridge, attest to this fact. What was promised to be a well-promoted and upmarket mall, ended up as nightmare landlords and an incompetent marketing team. This has recently changed. However, at the time it did not aid the high overheads with limited bums in seats. Café Magnifico had some decisions to make as they could not rely on the centre or the location to draw the promised crowds. By quickly changing their gearing toward target marketing and a destination restaurant, accompanied by a consistent and excellent menu choice, good service and personal attention by the operators, Café Magnifo remains one of the original tenants in the centre and business is good.


Funding requires a lot of thought. Repetitive crunching of figures and scenarios must be done. Do you have you own personal resources? Will you require funding from the bank? If so, how much? What will the banks require to consider the funding? You will still need a personal contribution and unencumbered funds not to mention a good credit status. Partnership options: what are the relevant share contributions versus profits and responsibilities?

then you have wasted your time and money. Create and utilize a client database. Landlords and rentals: This is very often the lethal blow that sinks any business - particularly restaurants. For some reason many landlords feel it is their duty to inflate restaurant rentals. Before finalizing a decision on a site, and especially in a mall, speak to other tenants in the centre regarding the landlords and conditions. Find out about marketing, servicing of repairs, etc.

Marketing: Marketing is an everyday process of this business. You can only rely on word of mouth when you have enough mouths to spread the word, to the point where bookings are imperative to secure a table - but until then a clear marketing strategy must be followed. This must always form part of your budget. It may be worth employing the services of a good marketing campaign company. Marketing is a combined effort both internally and externally. It is no good spending a fortune on an ad campaign if your staff are not committed. A good idea is to start with an awareness campaign to your targeted market - then follow this with impact marketing and then regular maintenance marketing.

Then speak to the landlord, get a copy of the agreement and any addendums. Work through the document with a fine tooth comb, get legal advice, list points of concern and points of negotiations; make sure you understand clearly every paragraph with the landlord. Find out if there are to be any future changes or alterations. If so, are there trading concessions? What are the concessions? Will these changes impact you positively or negatively?

Make sure your menu, food and service match your marketing! If your staff drop the ball and your customers leave dissatisfied

Do not be afraid to negotiate, and get everything in writing, especially the promises made before the signing of the lease.

Then go to the local town planner, and find out if there are future plans for changes both in the near future or distant future that may impact you business. Check out any competition in the vicinity.

Public liability and health and safety: This is a vital part of the business too. Make sure that you have public liability insurance. As the Labour Department is now opening a dedicated division to enforce all legislation regarding Occupational Health and Safety in all industries, and with service industries being high on the priority list, do not take any chances. As this is not your core business, recruit an approved and reputable health and safety consultancy. For a small fee each month you can rest assured if the Department of Labour and Health and Safety do their unannounced blitz inspections or if they receive any complaints.

Franchise option / existing business

The franchise option, whether it is a restaurant or a fast food outlet, does certainly carry merit, particularly the name brands known to every household. This option is also generally a safer option if you have limited or no experience in this industry. It certainly offers a better chance of survival in unexpected downturns. You have assistance in finding the best locations and negotiating leverage with landlords. Banks look more favorably upon your business plan if the franchisor is successful. It gives you access to concession assistance in

economic downturns. Franchisors no more want to lose a franchise than you want to lose your investment. But even though one chooses the franchise route, and should you be approved by the franchisor, then due diligence must begin to be employed. If this route is indeed your choice, it is wise to choose more than one brand or franchise that you would like to be associated with. There is no harm in enquiring to more than one at a time. Once the franchisor has approved you as a potential franchisee, then you can apply for financing if this is required. The banks will require a host of documents and business plans, which the franchisor can assist you with. You also require a signed agreement. Make sure it is subject to finance being approved. All the major banks do have a franchise loans division. But even so, still do all with thorough due diligence. Employ the services of outside professionals who understand the industry and preferably not emotionally attached to you in any way. Speak to restaurant professionals, consultants, lawyers, etc. Existing business: Whether it is a franchise or not, once again, thorough due diligence is required.

However in this scenario, you have a bit more “meat” as it were, to work with, and not projected and estimated forecasts. If you are aware of a restaurant or fast food outlet for sale, or perhaps keen to purchase an outlet not advertised for sale, where the owner may consider your advance in this regard, then the following suggestions are useful: If you choose to work through a broker, make sure they are reputable, and that they have an understanding of the industry and even then, still get an outside professional opinion. Step 1: “Stake out” – spend time at different intervals, different days, different times of the day/ night, week, month and gauge the flow and consistency if the business. Casually interact with the permanent waiters, and surrounding tenants. You will very quickly grasp if the business is sound, if the staff has been there for a long time, if they are happy, if they are making good money etc. If you find that there is always new staff or, if the staff is negative, it usually falls into two categories: they are either not earning enough money or there are management issues. Then it could be the food, or the lack of proper management of the business. Evaluate why the business is being sold.

Step 2: Once the owner / agent knows that you are a serious prospective candidate, be prepared to sign a NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT (NDA). You also need to be willing to have your financials available as the owner / agent will be reluctant to give you any information otherwise. Once the process is underway, be thorough, do not rush or be pressurized by sales pressure. Remember this: it is quite common for some businesses to run what is commonly known as the 3-book scenario: * The actual book * The tax mans book * The potential buyers book. Make sure you get audited financials preferably (for bank finance the bank will insist in this anyway). During this time also be aware of how much the restaurant depends and focuses around the current owner’s character. If it is reliant on the current owner for its survival, you need to consider the impact it may have on turnover albeit for a season. Step 3: Once you are totally satisfied with your potential investment, then set out the terms and conditions and make sure that you build in a reasonable HAND OVER PERIOD to suit your needs and your experience. Check all the staff agreements. Through all this time, keep the team focused and motivated. Keep them informed. Most people need time to adjust to change; the way you handle the transition period will impact either positively or negatively. In any good relationship COMMUNICATION is the key!

Going solo or Franchise

There is no right or wrong. Considering the options of innovation or existing formula, one needs to draw up a “for and against” list: Going solo: FOR: • Profits are yours • No royalties • Your own game plan • You control all operations • You choose your systems • You choose your suppliers • No added food markups • Should you sell, it is on your terms AGAINST: • More difficult to get bank finance • Greater personal risk • No support infrastructure • No bulk negation option • Not necessarily a winning formula

FRANCHISE OPTION: FOR: • Proven business model • National marketing and branding • Better negotiating and buying power • Support infrastructures • Easy bank finance approvals • Preferred and select site approvals • Training and procedures updates • Buyout option in the group AGAINST: • Usually a substantial investment • Limited freedom in the operations and systems • Royalties • Veering from any set rules could lead to penalties or defranchising.

Restaurant syndication:

On a similar platform to partnerships, in today’s economy, and if you are looking at launching a new concept – SYNDICATION is worth its weight in gold if properly rolled out and managed. Not only do you have shared investment, shared risk, but structured correctly, you also have a core collection of shared skills. For the right concept, this is the way to go. This type of investment through syndication allows for a business entity in which share owners enjoy the benefits of part ownership from as little as R10 000 to R50 000 per share. A well-managed venture of this nature offers all the benefits of restaurant ownership, without the hassle or running of the restaurant. At the same time this small investment can yield favorable returns on investment and you can recoup and exceed your full investment within the first two to three years. This also allows for a niche and natural marketing platform.

Point of Sale systems (POS)

For any of the above restaurant options, all good restaurants function more efficiently on a professional, userfriendly, point of sale system, which is as important to your restaurants success as it is a part of a winning team. From experience, GAAP offers such a system – It is a powerful business tool, tailored to your requirements, professional, exceptionally easy to use both for front operations and back office operations. Others POS available: Falcon, Pilot, Micros Call Sean or John: on 021 979 2410 / 076 509 4590 Email: /


Where Africa meets

Meetings Africa is South African Tourism’s marketing platform, which aims to expose local and international buyers to the range of services and products in southern Africa’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference, Exhibitions) industry. Meetings Africa targets everyone who travels for business or who books business travel as well as organisers of events, conferences, meetings, team incentive trips or teambuilding activities.

Who can you meet at the conference? • Local and international meeting and event planners • Association buyers who organise • international conventions • Local corporate executives who book business travel • In-house event co-ordinators • Travel agencies specialising in incentive, business and conference travel • Incentive houses • Conference organisers • Sales and promotion agencies • Marketing companies • PR and Advertising agencies If you are in any of the above industries you may wish to consider exhibiting.

Sandton Convention Centre

28 February 2012 – 1 March 2012



Law abiding – are you? By John Kilian

Health and safety in your workplace is your responsibility as a business owner, whether you provide work for a casual gardener or top management. All work places, from construction sites to a home or home office, are regulated by health and safety laws.

What is occupational health and safety management?

Occupational health and safety management is a cross-disciplinary industry concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of employees, employers, customers and communities who are impacted by the workplace environment. All workplace risks, whether physical, chemical or biological in origin, should be properly managed. All workers should be given the information and training they need by law.

SAFE WORKING PRACTICE, a company with a fast growing national franchise footprint, understand and assist businesses to meet the requirements imposed by law regarding the Health and Safety Act in the workplace. A leader in their field, they align themselves with whatever business you have and any requirements enforced on your business by law, offering you an affordable solution. In itself, health and safety is one of the fastest growing industries in the country.

of your specific industry or business in this regard is actually very affordable when the correct procedures are applied.

Everyone who works for you, including self-employed people, needs to know how to work safely and without risks.

SAFE WORKING PRACTICE is the leading provider of these essential services, which are legally enforceable.

As long as there are no incidents, you may remain unseen under the radar as it were, but perhaps not for long. Situations arise when least expected.

Who needs health and safety? You do, whether you are an employer or self-employed, whether you employ the occasional casual worker or have a larger staff compliment. Furthermore, even if you have no staff but you have members of the public sector coming to your premises, you have a public liability to them. Are you aware of your responsibilities and are you up to date with how to identify the hazards and control the risks from your work? Do you know how to get help – from your trade association, your local Chamber of Commerce, or your health and safety enforcing authority? Do you know what you have to do about consulting your employees, or their representatives, on health and safety issues? Your staff, managers and supervisors also need training. Even if you appoint a dedicated health and safety officer, they also need to be audited from time to time. Your employees need to understand your health and safety policy, where they fit in, and how you want health and safety managed. Do not make the mistake of assuming this is only for construction industries. Under the legislation, irrespective of your chosen industry, everyone and every industry need to comply accordingly, even for the domestic work place.

The calculated cost of taking a risk is not worth the penalties that are incurred through the negligence of not being compliant. This is not an expense, rather an investment that is part and parcel of your daily business.

Health and Safety Inspectors

The Occupational Health and Safety Act is administered by the Chief Directorate of Occupational Health and Safety of the Department of Labour. This in itself has become such a core focus that the Department of Labour is implementing a dedicated division to enforce the law. This is one division that acts and reacts very swiftly and with a very heavy hand. In order to ensure the health and safety of workers, provincial offices have been established in all the provinces. To this end, occupational health and safety inspectors from these provincial offices carry out strategic and regular inspections and investigations at all types of workplaces, enforcing the regulations.


There are focused, unannounced planned inspections as well as unplanned unannounced inspections. Planned inspections are regularly carried out on the basis of accident statistics in

With the growing awareness, which is long overdue in South Africa, companies must comply with the legislation either willingly or by force. Naturally the latter creates potentially very uncomfortable circumstances, crisis management and, not forgetting, possible severe financial implication. The cost of being compliant within the regulations governing the requirements



any specific industry or workplace, and strategic zoning in on various industries and work places, due to the presence of hazardous substances, or the use of dangerous equipment in any workplace.

instituted, do not satisfactorily protect the health and safety of the workers or public, the inspector may require the employer to bring about more effective measures. An improvement notice which prescribes the corrective measures is then served on the employer. * Other powers To enable the inspector to carry out his or her duties, he or she may enter any workplace or premises and question or serve a summons on persons to appear before him or her.

Unplanned inspections, on the other hand, usually arise from requests or complaints by workers, employers, or members of the public. Often the unplanned inspections are worse as it now invokes a faultfinding inspection. These inspections are also carried out when it suits the inspectors, not when it suits you. You could be in the middle of serving a very busy lunch trade at your restaurant when the inspectors arrive. You will have to accommodate them.

Powers of Inspectors

If an inspector finds dangerous or adverse conditions in the slightest of ways at the workplace, he or she may set requirements to the employer in the following ways: * Prohibition notices In the case of threatening danger, an inspector may prohibit a particular action, process, or the use of a machine or equipment, by means of a prohibition notice. No person may disregard the contents of such a notice and compliance must take place with immediate effect.

* Contravention notice If a provision of a regulation is contravened, the inspector may serve a contravention notice on the workers or the employer. A contravention of the Act can result in immediate prosecution, but in the case of a contravention of a regulation, the employer may be given the opportunity to correct the contravention within a time limit specified in the notice which is usually 60 days depending on the situation of nature of the industry/ work place. * Improvement notice In cases when the health and safety measures which the employer has


The inspector may request that any documents be submitted to him or her, investigate and make copies of the documents, and demand an explanation about any entries in such documents. The inspector may also inspect any condition or article and take samples of it, and seize any article that may serve as evidence.

Innovative services provided by SAFE WORKING PRACTICE

If you knew there is an affordable required service that offered you protection of loss of assets and investment, not to mention the emotional relief of preventing an accident, you would probably use the service in your company or organisation, wouldn’t you? Even more so if it was required by LAW and in your favour.


Unique - SAFE WORKING PRACTICE SERVICES offers a superior quality, high performance safety innovation, protecting you, your family, business and public in the unfortunate event of dailyrelated accident or catastrophes. The Department of Labour is doing what is known in the industry as “a blitz” where they will randomly target any industry and do spot checks. Should you not be compliant, the operation may be immediately halted until full compliance is met as well as receiving a hefty penalty of R100 000.00 or two years imprisonment. SAFE WORKING PRACTICE has successfully created an award-winning SWP Total Package Compliance Solution and the unique integrated software and online systems, to suit any industry that has to comply with the OHS. Business opportunity – make a profitable difference!

Join the leading provider of essential business services.

By owning your own area SAFE WORKING PRACTICE FRANCHISE, you are in a position to offer this exemplary service, backed up by years of dedicated, committed and passionate people who not only make an outstanding living and lifestyle from this industry, but also all love what they do at the head office. These people are your support structure, and will help you to nurture and expand your own business at a pace you can control and manage.

A service that can save lives and money – while making money!

The SAFE WORKING PRACTICE Management systems and services promote and maintain worker as well as employer safety awareness in all lines of work and all industries within the law of the South African Health and Safety Act.


SWP boasts a company with a growing team and representation nationwide, committed to delivering superior safety solutions in the work environment in southern Africa, while also focusing on future developments and services benefiting this vast and continuously growing industry. SAFE WORKING PRACTICE offers service excellence through intensive market & service research, endorsements, approvals and customer awards, which offers protection in form of prevention of potential loss of income or loss of investment, through implementation of a total compliance services in any industry or business, which come under the Labour and OHS Act. SWP has chosen to expand steadily into this huge and ever expanding market through a franchise network for distribution of its services, who are fully compliant in southern Africa, thereby offering you a sound and proven business opportunity in a growing market and job creation, while offering unsurpassed backup support to the licensee. As SWP endeavours to build relationships with long-term prospects and benefits, they investigated and saw the huge potential, and by investing in this evolving industry. • An industry offering essential services enforced by law – (no money tied up in stock or products) • Affordable and lucrative investment – Fast ROI • Tried and tested operational systems • Good track record • New clients daily – huge customer market • Affordability across the whole industry • Established and working concept – (Government endorsed and approved) • Proven tools for success • Back-up assistance and support • Standards and Quality control • Low risk • Ongoing research and development • Being independent but not alone • National exposure • RECURRING INCOME For an investment of only R300 000.00 (ex Vat) they provide the following: • Turn-key operation – full set up • Area exclusivity • Simple business to operate and manage (even from home) • Product advertising nationally • Brochures and templates and business operations systems – • Operational Software and online systems and access

• Head offices assisted advertising – market awareness, brand awareness, will be assisted by head office and its appointed advertising agents. • Full training – COMPREHENSIVE industry and management approved training both in your area and in Cape Town to professionally facilitate field training and on site training and interaction. • Ongoing support and assistance – shared national leads • Head Office assistance - for National, corporate, high level negotiations, presentations – National customer support 0860 111 540 & customer queries and support. Package included in your franchise is the following: • Operational Software and online systems and access • Initial start up pack and templates • Corporate gear • Hard hat • Safety shoes x (1 Pair) • Business cards • Magnetic vehicle signage • Training & support • Intellectual property

For more information: Business opportunity / Franchise enquiries: John: 021 979 2410 / 076 509 4590 OR Operations and quotes: Mark Winter: 071 603 2213 / 021 712 1643 Website:


SA women in business strut their stuff in global By Jaqueline Martinez Smith business


curious phenomenon, which may be a sign that business in South Africa is finally turning in favour of the fairer sex, is reflected in the most recent Grant Thornton International Business Report. Research from the 2011 Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) reveals that women currently hold 20% of senior management positions globally, down from 24% in 2009, and up just 1% from 2004. In its quarterly survey of privately held businesses (PHBs) Grant Thornton also found that the percentage of PHBs that have no women in their senior management has risen to 38% compared to 35% in 2009. With these statistics reflecting the percentage of women in the boardroom throughout the world, Thailand notably boasts the greatest percentage of women in senior management positions (45%), followed by Georgia (40%), Russia (36%), Hong Kong and the Philippines (both 35%). The countries with the lowest percentages are India, the United Arab Emirates and Japan - where fewer than 10% of senior management positions are held by women. It is interesting to note how many of these figures reflect Asia’s astronomical business growth over the past decade, particularly when women were suppressed for umpteen decades previously, and notwithstanding the fact that women have had to claw their way into a male-dominated world of business since time immemorial. I picked up an article recently where a name was coined for Asian business women making their mark on the continent and most definitely around the world – Iron Butterflies. This absolutely describes how, with charm, dexterity and perseverance that people (no matter their race, creed or gender), can achieve more than they hoped possible. Some countries making less progress in this realm have been accused of marginalising women in the workplace, relegating them to HR and finance positions, and until this mindset changes, these countries will continue to lag behind in all aspects of business, more than likely affecting their economies

and plunging them back into the doldrums of some sort of a recession. Of course, the former comment is a gross exaggeration on my part as a female entrepreneur and writer. Having owned a small non-profit website for some years, as well as dealing with entrepreneurs and business owners from all walks of life, it is my opinion that not only the entrepreneur as an entity, but specifically the woman entrepreneur has a colossal role to play in the building and maintenance of a country’s economy. Women the world over are known to be the decision-makers for survival in the home. This mindset has led to multiple ‘survivalist entrenpreneurs’. Thinking about how women had to hold the fort back home in world war times; and even now when men are called away overseas, it is the women who come up with ingenious methods to keep food on the table, often turning small businesses into huge concerns. Thus it is small wonder that South African women were lauded in the Grant Thornton International Business Report recently. According to media reports South Africa has its emphasis placed by government on gender equality and employment equity to thank for the fact that it holds top honours for women in senior management positions, as opposed to other countries. The survey also shows the percentage of Privately Held Businesses in South Africa that have no women in senior management at all has declined from 27% in 2009 to 23%, in contrast to the global average which has risen to 38% compared to 35% in 2009. Regionally, companies in the Eastern Cape have the highest proportion of women in senior management at 33% followed by Gauteng (28%), Cape Town (27%) with Durban having the lowest proportion at 26%. These figures definitely bode well for women in business in general with spin-off effects for business owners and managers on all platforms. It’s time for the Iron Butterflies of our own SMEs to hatch from the expectant larvae of women in business in South Africa.



Putting fire into corporate team building S

Free Diving for Business Success By Jaqueline Martinez Smith

ome say it is the latest ‘hot’, new sport but firewalking has been around since before the middle ages and has proven popular amongst modern business owners and large corporates wanting to bring a new dimension to the motivation of staff members – to make people face-up to their fears and overcome them; ultimately building a fearless team to drive the company’s success.


any new team-building and personal development strategies and concepts are being developed by smart entrepreneurs, who tap into the needs and desires of people who want to develop their personal growth path to success. One such innovative workshop is that of free diving. Once, only seen in movies where the esoteric hero takes to the depths to reach some sort of spiritual enlightenment, by diving further and deeper than the average set of lungs can tolerate. Actually, firewalking is one of the oldest transformational tools in the world, next to prayer, and there are umpteen examples of its uses and benefits in almost every culture worldwide. Many African tribes use firewalking for rituals of purification, healing and worship, while in places such as India, Tibet, China and even Argentina, firewalking forms part of the culture. One can find numerous accounts of firewalking feats on the internet and while you might balk at the thought of walking on a bed of glowing coals with your bare feet, firewalking is said to have changed lives phenomenally. SA Guide to Business Opportunities was privileged to interview Paula van der Merwe of On The Box Marketing and Events, who run a successful and inspirational programme, Firewalking Teambuild. Having commenced in 2007, Paula says the activity is called “The Power of The Mind” simply because, as she says, one’s mind can convince you that you are walking over ice cold snow, while you are actually traversing a bed of hot coals. If this is just one thing the mind is capable of, imagine what else it has the power to do. Paula van der Merwe

Continued on page 51


Free diving has become an appealing sport, as has the strange phenomenon of planking (where daring people lie flat and straight upon all manner of structures from high rise buildings to dangerous feats such as planking atop a moving crane!) Free diving, on the other hand, appears to be the safer option as most people are familiar with holding their breath under water. Achieving this for longer periods has always been a challenge, and it is certain that as a child, almost everyone tried to hold their breath underwater in the bathtub or in the family swimming pool. Free diving seems to have been a sport just about forever, perhaps even a form of meditation for some. The sport of free diving has multiple benefits for business owners and staff members, alike, advocates Hanli Prinsloo, entrepreneur, freelance filmmaker and free diver. “Freediving pushes the ideas of risk, fear, courage and mental strength to the max. When done in groups, freediving demands immense trust and commitment from teammates and buddies. What makes freediving interesting outside of the sports arena is that physical fitness has very little bearing on whether or not someone Continued on page 50

Hanli Prinsloo


Prices for such events differ according to group size and duration but are held year-round at Durban and Cape Town venues and certificates of completion are available on request, says Hanli. Hanli trained as a free diving coach while living overseas and started teaching free diving in South Africa about 5 years ago. She believes that this sport has huge development potential because total submersion in water is something all humans have in common, with the first nine months being spent in a silent watery womb.

Continued from page 49

can hold their breath. It is an incredible mental challenge that levels the playing field between owners, employees, sportsmen and the average Joe,” she says. A free diving programme can be done as a morning breath holding workshop, a full day course with ocean submersion, or

as a 2-5 day retreat bringing in the deeper elements around the philosophy of risk management, fear and freedom.

She says: “Everybody has a relationship to water. Some love it, others hate it, and nobody is left unaffected by the idea of total submersion on one breath. Whether the challenge is to overcome fear, redefine your limits or enjoy being in the water, the experience leaves a lasting expression.”

Free diving equipment consists of masks, fins, and snorkel, as well as weight belt. All of this is supplied, with a programme accommodating eight people at a time.

Hanli Prinsloo personal: trust: email.







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Domestic and commercial cleaning sevices

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Continued from page 49

“If a person could achieve this one feat, would you start questioning the mould parameters of your own thinking,” she asks? The prime benefit of their programme for business owners and managers, confirms Paula, is that individuals gain the strength to overcome a seemingly impossible feat. Along with this, the team as a whole achieves something so profound together that they automatically form a both amongst themselves like not other. While the briefing session lasts one hour, the walk can take anything from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how many times the delegates choose to walk. The cost varies according to the number of delegates and can be done anywhere as long as there is a patch of grass. They bring their own turf, says Paula, and will not damage your grass but delegates will need a grassy patch to walk barefoot on. We asked Paula if customers are optimistic about firewalking? “Yes, we’ve had a phenomenal response to each and every

firewalk, with delegates spurring each other on. They speak about the firewalk teambuild for years to come.” Their statistics show a 99% success rate of walkers and after the briefing, even those who are physically not able to do it (like those in wheelchairs), wish they could. The maximum number of walkers that they have had at one time was 200 but they recommend 100 per coal runway. “If there are more than 100, we simply team up with other facilitators who run their own individual runways,” she says. A ramp is 4 meters long and the temperature is around 250 degrees Celsius, and delegates get a certificate on completion. Paula is so confident of the system and power of the mind that she confesses that even her own children have been able to do the walk. Paula got into the business of firewalking when she used to book the event for some of her clients. The facilitator she was using emigrated and before he left he trained four people to carry on with his work in South Africa. She and the other facilitators went on an extensive course in order to qualify as fire walking instructors. For more information or to book an opportunity, please contact: SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

GET YOUR FREE GOOGLE ADWORDS ACCOUNT WORTH R400 HERE Both users and marketers have been moving online over the past decade, but during the “Great Recession” this behaviour has spiked sharply. When times get tough, it makes sense to move online. Here’s R400 – try it for yourself. Over the years we’ve seen consumers spend an increasing amount of time researching their purchases online. As the recession set in and people started tightening their purses, they spent even more time trawling the web for shopping information and good deals. Online makes a lot of sense when you need to make every penny count. It helps you: Become more targeted: The greatest area of online growth has been search engine marketing (SEM). This means placing your ad next to search results on a search engine such as Google. An advertising tool like Google AdWords lets you target the exact country or region you’re selling your product in. Only pay when you need to: Committing budget upfront is risky. Online is the most flexible form of advertising. Pay-per-click advertising on search engines such as Google means you don’t pay to show your ad, you only pay when someone actually clicks on it – much like pay-as-yougo advertising. Measure, measure, measure: SEM allows you to measure exactly how many people viewed your advertising, how many clicked on your ad, how many read a certain article, bought a certain product or requested a call-back. The recession will ease, but the lessons it has taught us are likely to remain. Here’s R400 – try it for yourself. We’re offering all SA Guide to Business Opportunities readers a free R400 voucher to try advertising on Google AdWords. Claim yours at tinyurl. com/SAGuidesVoucher * First-time AdWords account holders only, resident in SA. One voucher per customer. Not redeemable for cash.

Say goodbye to manually processing your bank statement entries – Let SmartBank do it for you As we all know, sales and marketing our businesses is of prime importance but new start up companies get so excited about the revenue prospects of their new business but they never seem to spend much time or money thinking about and investing in the administrative systems that will keep their business alive and running on a month to month basis. In 2011, all a new business needs these days is: 1) a computer linked to the internet 2) a website or blog as a shop front to advertise your business 3) a customer database to email and stay in contact with you customers and 4) an automated accounting system to invoice your customers, collect your money and pay out your expenses. Yes, it is so simple but there are still lots of people who have not got there yet! Why? Is it fear? Is it money? Computers and the internet now firmly entrenched in our modern living and everyday life! Internet has expanded to social and business networking to include Face Book, LinkedIn and now Smart cell phones and Tablets are far even replacing and substituting computers with all the software and Android platforms that now becoming totally interconnected! When a new business is being setup, we all know how important it is to set-up a good admin accounting package system. For most businesses, the owners most important usage of their accounting packages to invoice clients and receive deposits/cash for the services and products that they sell. The problem is that most small businesses owners have a huge grudge and time constraint over the Bookkeeping administration extras like processing of their Bank Statement and cash book transactions and reconciling their cashbooks in order to complete their monthly vat returns or their yearly accounts etc. Most business owners then call in their bookkeepers in to finish off their Cash

book and reconciliations, which often gets charged out at a healthy fee for their bookkeeping services etc. Internet accounting solutions at our fingertips. For the last few years, with internet banking, there are even better solutions available these days using Online Banking to download your electronic bank statements from your bank website and then importing your Electronic Bank Statement directly into your Accounting package is certainly the way to go right now and even getting better in the near future! Using new accounting software programs or utilities, it is so easy to: 1) import the Bank Statement file 2) to edit the bank file and then to 3) import the whole bank statement straight into your accounting package ....without typing out a single line! Wow, this is amazing that, in future, all the hard work and line by line punching will soon be gone and bookkeeping will soon become a pleasure! Yes....just as easy as 123... An example of a new bank statement downloader tool, that is multi accounting package friendly and very economical to use, is the new Smart Bank, which is usable with Pastel, QuickBooks, TurboCash and more. Smart Bank also has its own Standalone application set of accounts for both the small business and personal accounts. For more information on Smart Bank, go to ph 082 4910178 or email




Creative Minds




021 939 6344

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Pizza, chicken and now burger stores

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Deep fried & grilled chicken take aways

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Retail quality jewelery and allied products

From: R 1 550 000


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Café, cocktail bar and entertainment venue

R 4 500 000


021 556 6398

Wholesale distribution channels to fit different business types


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Lucrative financial services and telecommunications industry opportunity


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012 345 9800

Internationally award winning Rooibos skin care, health and beauty products



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GSS operates through a network of independantly owned Accredited Installers


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011 849 5417

Health Nut Cafe is a health conscious cafe



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WOMEN IN BUSINESS PROFILES Compiled by Jaqueline Martinez Smith

A window to better health and profits There is a keener focus on health nowadays than ever before and this focus on our wellbeing has created entrepreneurial opportunities within the health and wellness industry. Many entrepreneurs and healthcare practitioners are investing in the BloodScan nutritional and metabolic profiling system that is designed to give practitioners the most up to date assessment of patient well-being. The system, created by top medical scientists, has been tried and tested in homeopathic, chiropractic, medi-spa’s, as well as Colleges of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, and is used by Corporate Wellness service providers worldwide. With its popularity growing in South Africa, business opportunities have arisen for healthcare practitioners and entrepreneurs, alike. With the business model being so successful, and BloodScan having opened 48 business units in 2011 alone, with an anticipated 48 further business units planned for launch in 2012, customer satisfaction is testimony to the viability of the business. The business unit fee is R145 000 excluding VAT, which includes training for one on BloodScan as well as all equipment and consumables as mentioned on page 9 of the BloodScan disclosure document. The franchisor has also created an extensive support network for each business unit via closed social media integration and various “jumpstart” packages – a network designed to support, inform and educate, as well as empower and motivate their business partners. Contact information: Lewis Khoury on or 073 170 6263

Sweet-smelling profits SUNBIRD Perfumes is a Direct Selling / Network Marketing Business who believes that perfume is an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe and women understand the finer nuances of selling the product to the end user. More than 2.5 million bottles of perfume are sold every month in South Africa. This offers their distributors an enormous opportunity to start their own business in this market segment. Perfume is a consumable product and the opportunity for repeat sales is great. Sunbird has distributors throughout SA and neighbouring countries. There are no start-up costs to new distributors other than the cost of stock and samples purchased with your 1st order. Whether you have R200 or R20, 000 available with which to start, they will assist you to ensure that the samples and / or stock that you purchase will


Create income with a Create-a-Book franchise opportunity

Personalised storybooks have been popular for over a decade now and the concept remains a money spinner for many people who work from home, or people who require an extra income. Create-a-Book is a business that has been in operations since 1989 in South Africa and has its head office in the USA. Since it is not a franchise, Create-a-Book is a lifetime license, with each dealer that joins growing the national base. With targets set at acquiring 30 new dealers per annum, this opportunity will cost the entrepreneur R13 500.00 with no royalties charged. Licensees will receive all software, assembly equipment (which includes a heavy duty stapler and guillotine), as well as a manual, stationery (such as business cards and letterheads), posters for marketing purposes and opening stock. Training is provided to show new dealers how to operate the programme and to make the books. The manual also provides a detailed training and sales support section for dealers who are unable to attend training at head office. Create-a-Book has, over the years proven to be an extremely rewarding business as the books literally sell themselves and many people in the business find the smiles of the recipients of the books they’ve created the greatest reward. Contact information: Contact person: Nathenia Contact number: 011 465 9062 E-mail address: best assist you to make the most of this business opportunity Distributors only pay for stock purchases on which they can get up to 55% discount. They offer formal training twice a week on the business opportunity and also assist distributors on an individual basis where required. The secrets to success with SUNBIRD are simple yet very rewarding. Repeat sales to satisfied customers and growth of your SUNBIRD business from referrals from your customers, along with the opportunity to reach many more customers by introducing other distributors to SUNBIRD, are the simple cornerstones of success with SUNBIRD. Perseverance and professionalism will always lead to success Contact information: Contact person: Cape Town: Helene / Pretoria: Rebecca Contact number: Cape Town: 0219499661 / Pretoria: 012 3455523 E-mail address: Website address: SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3


Tango with Xango

Cosmetiq E Anti Aging first commenced trading under this name during 2010, however the company has been in existence since 1973. The product is a business opportunity, encompassing skincare products, health products as well as sales training and business building training. This will allow women using the product to get the most out of the product and to learn how to truly look after their skins, their health and their finances. Women will succeed in this opportunity because the product is aimed at women, with beauty and skincare as their main focus. There is incredible potential in this business in terms of growth into Africa. An affiliate system has been set up to refer other distributors that may be interested in distributing their products. This will act as a commission structure. However, commissions will only be earn from persons recruited directly below you. To date there are 7 licensees distributing Cosmetiq E skincare. It costs R600 to join and you receive a starter pack with one of each of our products as well as a tote bag and all literature. This also includes free sales, business and product training for the duration of your membership. Training programmes will be held on a fortnightly basis at a community hall or similar venue. This will be after hours as Cosmetiq E expects that most people will have full time jobs when starting out with our business opportunity.

XANGOŽ Juice is not the new kid on the block but has recently launched in South Africa. Since Xango juice contains mangosteen, a fruit native to Southeast Asia, and hyped as a miracle food that can address a wide range of ailments, it has become a multilevel marketing product. While Xango remained a single product company in its first 5 years, it has since expanded into natural skin care, high performance nutritional supplementation and personal care, with the aim to launch a weight management system in 2012. It is believed that women are more likely to succeed as owners of this business as they are excellent at face-to-face networking, not to mention the fact that women are also deemed the best relationship-builders in business. Xango is an ideal starter opportunity because it is affordable in that a distributor kit costs as little as R279.30 with an annual renewal fee of R160. A Distributor Kit which includes a training manual and demonstration DVD. The fee also covers the costs for maintaining an online virtual office with shopping cart and database of personally and group recruited customers and distributors. Toll free support center. The right to market and sell XANGO products and earn organizational sales commissions in any of the markets where XANGO operates. If you’re friendly, energetic and an optimistic team-player then this business is right for you.

Contact information: Contact person: Janavi Jardine Contact number: 011 768 0705 Cell: 083 600 6604 E-mail address: Website address:

FasTracKids – a road to success As the world evolves and people look to the younger generation to become the next leaders, accepting a second-rate education is a no-go for many parents and most forward-thinking people are planning the education of their offspring long before these children are even born. An educational foundation is of the utmost importance to these people, thus creating a niche market for service providers in this industry. FasTracKids, a franchiseable concept, was first established in Denver, Colorodo, in 1998 and has now been running in South Africa for almost two years. It was originally established as an enrichment centre but master franchisor, Gary Bekker, found that there was a great need for good early childhood foundation teaching and thus it become a preschool franchise with an international curriculum. With two franchises opened in 2011, FasTracKids plans on opening another four franchises in 2012. The franchise is an international one and starts at about $32 000 (which relates to an approximate R246 000). There is an upfront fee of $1000, upon which the franchisee would attend operations training and then make a decision about whether they are seriously interested in this franchise or not. The franchisor provides assistance with the business plan, forecast and budget, but the purchaser needs to find the finance for this franchise. Operations training, as well as teacher training is provided before the franchise is opened, and this opportunity is well-suited for women entrepreneurs. Important characteristics that one should possess if you are planning on buying a FasTracKids franchise are the values of passion, drive and enthusiasm, while possessing an understanding of business and the availability of financial support in your network. Contact information: Contact person: Candice du Preez Contact number: 011 467 0230 Cell: 078 894 6226 E-mail Website SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

Contact information: Contact person: Werner Kerschbaumer Contact number: 082 926 0091 Cell: 082 926 0091 Fax: 086 554 4885 E-mail address: Website address:

Wellness of body, mind and pocket! JV Wellness Centre is a business opportunity that anyone can start and this business is perfect for women how are looking to start a small business from home or small office. The beauty industry is a great market and everyone always wants to look beautiful and healthy. Non-invasive liposuction is new to the South African market but in Europe it is quite established and it is a great success there. Over the past two years their revenue growth has been about 20% per month. They sold about 15 devices to different parts of the country and some of them managed to get their money back within 2-5 months.The business opportunity sells for R165 000. The price includes liposuction equipment, website development and after-sales support for start-ups. You will also receive a certificate stating that the person completed the training and qualified to use the liposuction equipment. Included is a manual with advice on how to run a liposuction business and how to grow a new start-up. The minimum down payment is 50% of the total amount. They will provide training on how to use the equipment and it only takes one working day at our Johannesburg head office. The beauty industry is one of the biggest growing industries in the market so grab this opportunity! Contact information: Contact person: Jennifer Balan or Vlad Balan Contact number: 011 083 5898 Cell: 0766594004 Fax: 0866057888 E-mail Website address: Business Opportunity Cost: R165 000, Monthly Royalty: No Royalty FEE


Setting up your ideal stay-at-home-business W

hen creating your own stay-athome business, it is important to work in a field that you can remain passionate about for a long time. Chose something you enjoy working with, can profit from and can maintain a workflow through. Think about your passions When you begin to create and plan out your business, look at every detail both with excitement and sincerity. Your excitement may wear off over time, but your commitment must remain strong to ensure your business is successful. Write out the reasons you have discovered for wanting to start your own business, and look through them. If you feel any insecurity about something going wrong on the list, make a plan of action to either avoid or help you through the event if it happens. Stay organized You may want to look into companies that outsource their business to freelancers and telecommuters or start your own business from scratch. Whatever you decide, you are your own supervisor and you need to make sure you stay organized. Decide what needs to be accomplished each day and how and when you would like to work, remembering that you will need to take breaks. Organize your work schedule, keeping your goals in mind, and give yourself deadlines. Make a list of all your home business ideas. Write out how a typical business day will look. Decide where your office will be located in your home, and make a list of supplies will you need to accomplish your work. Consider if you will need to look for outside assistance. Open your business Set up your office in a place where you will not be distracted and will be able to focus on your work. Make it into a place you will want to be during your working shift. Decorate the area with posters or a photograph you enjoy, and make sure the furniture is comfortable. Market your business If you are independently opening a business and not telecommuting, you will need to advertise your product or services. Find a creative way to market your business and execute it. Advertise locally in community newspapers, and at business locations that allow you to advertise at their location such as Pick n Pay supermarkets. Consider creating a website and advertising (and networking) online; a web presence is a must in today’s

business world. Get onto Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. Get feedback from your friends and family on what you could do to make your business more efficient. They will be glad to help you and will remember your products when they are talking to their acquaintances (and give you referrals). Save the pennies from the start Take advantage of special offers. Right now Telkom are offering three months ADSL connectivity free with no contract. There are also special Telkom deals are available or unlimited landline telephone calls for R300 per month. Set up a faxto-email number so that you don’t need a fax machine or second telephone line. Hosting your website should be no more than R300 per year and bandwidth costs from your ISP should not exceed R30 per gigabyte. By your copier/printer paper from Pick n Pay and get to know you’re your local Chinese shop as you will find their stationery prices half that of more prominent retailers. Don’t spend on software for your computer until you have checked what’s free on the internet. Maintain Your Business Always be on time to work, and consider “dressing up” for work. Behave as you would if you were working for an employer and not for yourself. Don’t take personal calls while working, unless you are willing to take a short break. Your business is a real business, and you should treat it as such. At the same time, give yourself time off and benefits so that you do not get worn out. Plan days off in advance, and schedule your workload around them.



Why dating sites are great home businesses

Have you noticed the explosion of websites related to love, sex, matchmaking, relationships, etc.? They’re popping up all over the place. Why the sudden popularity you ask? provide you. Like me, you’re probably looking to change the way you work while retaining a good level of income to allow you to enjoy life a bit more. So don’t limit yourself to a company that only has a single or a couple of countries data bases; people travel and move to other countries looking for jobs these days, so a dating provider that offers members from many countries should be high on your list of dating platform providers to use. Most importantly, you’re going to need help as you grow your online dating business, as you’re new to this after all. The better the partner support, the better the end product will be; the better the help and support, the better chance of making a success.


ell, the reason for this “gold rush” towards online dating & relationship-oriented websites is really quite simple: people are making a lot of money with them... The need to be loved is one of the greatest human needs. In fact, it can trump the need for survival. And this desire for love manifests itself as a need that online dating sites can easily satisfy. So how can you claim your share of this exploding marketplace? There’s a few companies offering dating software for sale, but there are cheaper ways to go about this. This is why I recommend you take a look at Internet companies that offer so-called White Label dating options. With this you can: 1) Design your own system and recruit members from scratch or use a White Label template system and use existing members to attract more members but as part of your online dating business. What this means is that when you launch your dating business your dating site is pre-loaded with thousands of members giving the impression that your site is the one to join! The term ‘white label’ refers to a common set of controls and data but with a set of ‘skins’ that give the impression of a unique site design and with your own uniquely chosen name i.e., for example. So what should you look for in a ‘white label’ dating website provider?


You need to be looking for the following services offered for FREE: • Easy to use and understand dating platform. (no point making it hard work) • Good range of template dating sites to use, along with being able to make changes as you need • Good partner support and help when you need it. • Large active database – a large database means good conversion, which equals MONEY in your pocket.

Money in your pocket

There is a distinct pattern that I have seen time and time again from using all the different dating providers that offer this free dating service and that is it’s all down to the members they hold in their data bases. Simply put, the more members they can populate your dating sites with, the more conversion you will have. Higher conversions mean you earn more revenue each month and high conversions also play a direct part in retention rates. Retention rate means how long your new members stay subscribed members on your new dating site and pay subscriptions each month.

Allow for growth

You need to look at where you want this new business to go and the income it will

Popular sites can have over a million members making a ‘White Label” option very attractive. Online dating is one of the most lucrative home business ideas out there today with an estimated worth of one billion dollars (USD). And with more and more people looking for love each day, there is plenty of room for a specialized service catering to a particular segment of the dating population. When researching how to start a dating website, you may be overwhelmed at how many people are drawn to the larger sites. But if you offer services for a smaller segment of the dating community, you will find higher success. Some areas you could focus on are listed below. These can be further segmented by age groups, interest groups and regions. • Divorcees • Single parents • Senior citizens • Ethnic groups • Handicapped So for instance ‘GautengHorseLovers over50’ is exactly what it sounds like. Each of these groups can face difficulties when trying to enter the mainstream online dating arena. Having a place they can go where all the members are like them will increase their chances of finding what they are looking for in a mate. These singles will also be willing to pay more for this type of specialist member site service. It’s a good idea when starting a dating website to either


purchase a template dating site or hire a web developer to build your site. The better your site looks and works, the more members you will get and retain. Since members pay a monthly fee to have access to your site (and its other members), the more members you have, the more residual income you will get. But once you get a good idea of what type of site you want to run and who your target market will be, you can build and advertise your site accordingly. If your market is seniors, advertise on online publications aimed at seniors and although this is a wonderful online business model that can be run exclusively over the Internet, you can still go after local clients and advertise in area magazines, newspapers and leave fliers around town. With a clear business model, excellent membership services and good prices, you can build an online dating site that gains new members each day.

Starting your online dating site

Nothing could be simpler. If you have an Internet connection and PC/Notebook you can be in business within 10 minutes. Go straight to and fill in your details. Within minutes you will be accepted and your journey to extra bucks can begin. Just choose a name and hey presto! you have your own business. If you require a fancier

or custom designed appearance it will be worth it to consider the R6500 designer option. At least you will have the advantage of a uniquely designed site – which in the long run will attract greater numbers of members and therefore more profits. With free dating software, access to a PC and an Internet connection, your real challenge is getting clients. But with over 33% of all Internet users single and not to mention Internet users who have special interests and tastes, the Internet is a goldmine waiting to be tapped. So how do you summarize the positives and negatives about running your own online dating business? Positives: 1) You can easily run your business from home. 2) Helping people find love is very rewarding. 3) You get regular income every month 4) Set up costs is zero and monthly running costs are limited to your time and bandwidth. 5) Once set up, the business will run itself. 6) The software reporting systems for managing your clients, their profiles and analyzing membership conversions,

lead and commission analysis is usually excellent with large template dating sites. 7) Commissions payable often reach 50% of the monthly member subscription. Negatives: 1) Competition is tough as there are many entrants so establishing a unique niche is important. 2) It may take some time to build up your membership lists. 3) You may have to eventually upgrade to a custom site in order to further differentiate your dating segment. 4) Adult dating personals service the liberated society we live into today. If you are easily offended, rather find another business opportunity. 5) In the short term you will probably have to invest some cash into pay-perclick-advertising to drive traffic to your dating site. If you’re thinking about starting your own online business, check out this fast growing marketplace. It could be right for you. And remember, if you want to make money without risking the large amounts of capital required to compete with the big guys, don’t try to start your own online dating “gold mine”; use the template dating system- its quick to get going, has no start up cost and will give you recurring income for a long time.

Converting bright ideas into perfect opportunities The light bulb moment is something every entrepreneur knows very well. Brooding over the idea and forming it into something manageable is where most of us need some assistance. By Business Plan Whiz


here are many more questions than answers in the first few days after the conscious decision is made to turn that idea into your life passion. How do I go ahead, where do I get the money, will I have a gap in the market, and what am I not thinking about. As the age old saying goes, begin at the beginning. Business Plans SA, a locally born and bred company, now offers you a revolutionary start-up aid in the form of Business Plan Whiz, an all encompassing software solution to get you in front of your investors a lot faster, well-informed and fully compliant with financial institution regulations. Richard Branson, one of the most influential entrepreneurs of our time once said: “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming” , and with this in mind, the quicker you translate your idea into a logical and rock-solid business plan and can present it to investors, the greater the advantage over your competition. Business Plan Whiz was proudly designed in South Africa with entrepreneurs in mind. The revolutionary software solution combines over twenty years worth of business and financial planning expertise as well as support to start-up SME’s in an easy to use business plan package.


Putting yourself in charge of your business plan allows you to combine your knowledge with the experience used to create Business Plan Whiz. It also gives you the opportunity to enhance and personalise your plan while maintaining an extremely efficient and professional format. Visually pleasing full colour charts and narratives, complete marketing plans as well as dynamic fiveyear financial forecasts are just some of the exceptional features. Another unique characteristic of the software is the viability check of business objectives and plans, as well as easy access to Business Plan SA’s range of additional business planning tools and guides. Business Plan Whiz dramatically cuts down on development costs by automating the writing of your business plan, allowing you to edit, customise, save or print it any time you wish. Assisting you in the planning process, it increases the effectiveness and quality, allowing you to achieve a better return on investment and business success from the start. Being there for you every step of the way, Business Plan SA also includes email and live support as well as a large range of sample business plans and templates to assist your venture planning. For further information on this and other business tools please visit our website at


Too scared to fail: barriers to small business growth By Allon Raiz


e know that more than half of all new businesses in South Africa fail within the first 12 months and that by the end of 10 years 96% of them will have closed their doors – but how many of these re-enter the market? And how many more don’t even try to start up because of this high risk of failure? We don’t know because those statistics don’t exist. However, we can be fairly certain that our re-entry rate is low since entrepreneurs made up only 7.8% of economically active people in South Africa in 2008 and that dropped down to 5% when the recession hit in 2009. When we look at what is restricting enterprise development in South Africa, it appears that a major constraint is that we are too scared to fail. A pronounced stigma of failure is often blamed for hampering entrepreneurship, innovation and growth. This emerges clearly when we compare attitudes to failure in different societies. One comparison is between the United States and Japan: for individuals in the US failure is often regarded as a precursor to success, while in the Japanese culture it is a matter of deep shame to ‘lose face’. Shame and fear are culprits because they affect our motivation to be entrepreneurial. Diane Francis, a prominent Canadian economic commentator ( once mentioned that attitudes to entrepreneurship are affected by whether a society is shame-based or fear-based. In fear-based societies the fear of losing money or of not earning enough is an incentive for taking risks and being entrepreneurial. This is typical of a society where individuals are expected to be self-reliant and take care of themselves. However, in a shamebased society, the failure of an individual brings shame to the entire peer group, so entrepreneurship tends to be stifled. And this is certainly not confined to non-western countries – in fact in many European countries, as in South Africa, failure in business is even penalised. In South Africa, if your business fails it becomes even harder to re-enter the small business sector: black-listing is hard to shake off, it is much more difficulty to borrow money the second time around and individuals who have entered into debt agreements may be banned from getting further credit. It seems that the

old commonwealth norm of contempt for what is perceived as ‘weakness’ has distorted the judgement of our decision makers. We need to rethink how our social attitudes to failure have infiltrated and are undermining all our best efforts to support enterprise development. Emerging entrepreneurs who approach small business support institutions for assistance in setting up their businesses will not be given the time of day until they have registered their companies – often an intimidating process for the uninitiated. Banks won’t lend to someone whose credit record doesn’t look good. Woe betide the entrepreneur who has a judgement against his name – even when the debt has been repaid, it will take a costly legal procedure to have this blot of failure rescinded from his credit record. Individuals who hope to consolidate their debt by means of a loan have to prove that they can afford the loan – but if they could afford it they would not need it! The result is that those individuals who pick themselves up after they have failed and have the passion and commitment to try again do not receive recognition. The risk-reward ratio for entrepreneurs in South Africa is not appropriate; it inhibits initiative and it contributes directly to our low re-entry rate. We also have to consider how our cultural inclinations affect our service levels. When a specific job is assigned to an individual who is held accountable for its completion, the result is likely to be efficient delivery. In a collectivist environment where responsibility is assigned to a group the result is more likely to be delays and lack of accountability. It is a factor that certainly impedes and even cripples the effectiveness of those state institutions that are tasked with supporting enterprise development in South Africa. While we have significant small business support initiatives in place, their impact appears to be negligible at best. Yet government hopes that the business sector will help to create 5 million new jobs by 2020, in particular via small business growth. At the same time there are repeated calls from the private sector for an enabling environment for entrepreneurship. If we are to achieve any of this, both government and business


will need to devise measures that are sensitive to the cultural impediments to entrepreneurship. It is not enough just to provide support structures; we urgently need to look at how we can change the prevailing mindsets that stand in our way, starting at school level. In conclusion, it is worth quoting a finding from a round-table discussion hosted by South Africa’s Small Business Project (the SBP) in September 2009. The subject was the disturbing lack of progress in small business growth in South Africa and the participants included stakeholders from all sectors engaged in small business development, from the private sector up to the presidency: “The international experience is that very large numbers of businesses – up to 80% and more – fail in their first ten years.Where the environment favours entrepreneurs, for example in the USA, it is relatively easy to re-enter the market. If the environment is too punitive (as with those credit black-listing, for instance) re-entry is much harder, and we lose the learning that failed entrepreneurs have gained, which could equip them to be better business people the second time around. The issue of credit history needs to be dealt with more sensitively in South Africa. The USA also has better coping mechanisms to support re-entry, including much greater labour flexibility. These are important considerations in a competitive globalised economy.” That discussion took place two years ago. Has anyone been listening? Allon Raiz is the CEO of Raizcorp, the only privatelyowned small business ‘prosperator’ in South Africa and the only Enterprise Development faculty with CHE accreditation. In 2008 Raiz was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. For more information visit



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What are the best days of the week to send email campaigns? One of the most commonly asked questions about email marketing is, “What are the best days to send out emails?” But studies designed to answer this question have proven inconclusive. No two email campaigns are the same. As such, what might work for one test audience will not necessarily apply equally for another, due to different campaign objectives or target audiences. With that in mind, we took a look at each day of the week and analysed the positives and negatives that might help you determine which days will work best for your needs. Monday Positive: Office work has not filled inboxes yet Negative: Consumers are in work mode and won’t be focused on non-work tasks Best Practice: Send emails late Monday morning, after consumers have cleaned the weekend spam from their inboxes Tuesday Positive: People have organized their week, and can find personal time for emails Negative: Emails poised for a weekend response may be too early Best Practice: Use Tuesday for emails that request action during the workweek Wednesday/Thursday Positive: Consumers are planning their weekends and gearing up for personal time Negative: Time during the workweek is running short, and requested action may be pushed back to the following week, or even forgotten about Best Practice: Focus leisure and weekend notifications during these key weekend planning days Friday Positive: Studies indicate fewer total emails sent compared to the rest of the week, increasing visibility among the myriad of other messages Negative: Consumers hurry to leave the office early, and may not take time to view non-work related emails Best Practice: Send emails early in the day to give consumers more time to take action. An unopened email from Friday will sort to the bottom of an inbox on Monday, and is often discarded Weekends Positive: People check emails on weekends, too, so weekends may have untapped potential Negative: A weekend email may seem overlyintrusive to some people Best Practice: If possible, try to avoid Sundays and focus on Saturdays, which may have a better response rate The most important point to keep in mind for an email campaign is a proper and thorough evaluation of a test group. By making a practice of consistently testing your email campaigns, you’ll be sure to get the most bang for your marketing buck. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

5 Tips for Marketing your Small Business in the Festive Season By Robyn Young business growth As much as we love the festive season for the opportunity to spread cheer and share special moments with family and friends, as small business owners we can’t deny that remaining engaged and connected with our customer base is still essential.


ne way to overcome this tension is to embrace the holiday season as part of our marketing strategy. Tip 1: Get into the spirit Nothing gets us more into the mood of the holiday season than tinseled windows, gift shopping and Boney M. Get into the spirit and do the same with your marketing: • Decorate your logo - add a festive twist and remember to add it to your Facebook logo • Decorate your website – apply a seasonal colour-scheme, or add a ‘gift ideas’ tab • Customise your Twitter page • Include a festive graphic in your newsletter • Create themed subject lines for your emails What you’re going for here is the cheery mood that will have a positive impact on you and your brand. Tip 2: ‘Tis the season for giving Why not give your loyal customers a festive gift? This can be anything from • An actual gift – try and make it something relevant to your brand if you can. For example, if you’re a dietician why not give a fruit and nut basket, or a torch from a camping store – you get the picture. If this works out to be too expensive, then what about a promotional item - a pen, or calendar? • A free delivery/special offer/discount • Or you can invite your customers to a holiday event, for example a cocktail party. And if arranging one yourself if too much trouble, there are plenty of organised events at this time of year that are begging for your custom, so invite your clients to one of those. If none of the above appeal to you, and even if they do: Tip 3: Give thanks It’s the time to give thanks, and one of the most effective methods for creating and keeping loyal customers is expressing an appreciation for their business. This can be achieved through something as simple

as sending a thank you email or even a postcard. If you send an email, don’t forget the three rules: • Keep the email short and sweet • Clearly state the intent of the email in the subject line • Only send this to people you’ve had regular contact with – don’t use this as an opportunity to send unsolicited emails You might want to attach your special offer to this. And of course you can personalise it and be festive in your design. Tip 4: Speak holidays Create holiday specific content relevant to your industry through articles, blog posts, videos, social media updates. For example • Our dietician might write a post on how you can eat healthily and still enjoy yourself this festive season • Your pharmacist could tell you about which supplements to take when you’ve overindulged • The insurance guy might advise on how to make sure you’re medically covered while on your overseas holiday. Bulk-write them now and then post-date them according to your well-prepared marketing content plan, so that you are still creating awareness during the season and positively affecting conversion rates, even while you’re sitting on the beach. Tip 5: Keep sharing Let you customers know well in advance what your holiday plans are, i.e. when your office will be closing (lucky you), who to contact in your place, how to get hold of you in an emergency and when you’ll be back at your desk. Nothing is more debilitating for your brand than a client emailing you with urgent business only to be surprised by an out of office auto-responder, or worse still, no response at all. Bonus Tip 6: Take a break Research has shown that not taking a holiday is bad for your brain. Happy holidays!



The ten best tips you will ever need before launching your start-up Whenever possible, I encourage up-and-comers and established entrepreneurs to mentor the next generation of dream-seekers; for it is this insight and insider education that will provide the foundation for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. I believe there are far too few resources directly addressing the nonacademic trials and tribulations young entrepreneurs face along their journey. Here are 10 pieces of advice that I wish someone had given to me before I launched my first venture.

1. Focus. Focus. Focus.

5. Act like a startup.

Many first-time entrepreneurs feel the need to jump at every “opportunity” they come across. Opportunities are often wolves in sheep’s clothing. Avoid getting side-tracked. Juggling multiple ventures will spread you thin and limit both your effectiveness and productivity. Do one thing perfectly, not 10 things poorly. If you feel the need to jump onto another project, that might mean something about your original concept.

Forget about fancy offices, fast cars and fat expense accounts. Your wallet is your company’s life-blood. Practice and perfect the art of being frugal. Watch every dollar and triple-check every expense. Maintain a low overhead and manage your cash flow effectively.

2. Know what you do. Do what you know. Don’t start a business simply because it seems sexy or boasts large hypothetical profit margins and returns. Do what you love. Businesses built around your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success. It’s not only important to create a profitable business, it’s also important that you’re happy managing and growing it day in and day out. If your heart isn’t in it, you will not be successful.

3. Say it in 30 seconds or don’t say it at all. From a chance encounter with an investor to a curious customer, always be ready to pitch your business. State your mission, service and goals in a clear and concise manner. Fit the pitch to the person. Less is always more.

4. Know what you know, what you don’t know and who knows what you don’t. No one knows everything, so don’t come off as a know-it-all. Surround yourself with advisors and mentors who will nurture you to become a better leader and businessman. Find successful, knowledgeable individuals with whom you share common interests and mutual business goals that see value in working with you for the long-term.


6. Learn under fire. No business book or business plan can predict the future or fully prepare you to become a successful entrepreneur. There is no such thing as the perfect plan. There is no perfect road or one less traveled. Never jump right into a new business without any thought or planning, but don’t spend months or years waiting to execute. You will become a well-rounded entrepreneur when tested under fire. The most important thing you can do is learn from your mistakes--and never make the same mistake twice.

9. Don’t fall victim to your own B.S. Don’t talk the talk unless you can walk the walk. Impress with action not conversation. Endorse your business enthusiastically, yet tastefully. Avoid exaggerating truths and touting far reaching goals as certainties. In short, put up or shut up.

10. Know when to call it quits. Contrary to popular belief, a smart captain does not go down with the ship. Don’t go on a fool’s errand for the sake of ego. Know when it’s time to walk away. If your idea doesn’t pan out, reflect on what went wrong and the mistakes that were made. Assess what you would have done differently. Determine how you will utilize these hard-learned lessons to better yourself and your future entrepreneurial endeavors. Failure is inevitable, but a true entrepreneur will prevail over adversity.

7. No one will give you money. There, I said it. No one will invest in you. If you need large sums of capital to launch your venture, go back to the drawing board. Find a starting point instead of an end point. Scale down pricey plans and grandiose expenditures. Simplify the idea until it’s manageable as an early stage venture. Find ways to prove your business model on a shoestring budget. Demonstrate your worth before seeking investment. If your concept is successful, your chances of raising capital from investors will dramatically improve.

8. Be healthy.

Scott Gerber is the founder of Sizzle It! ( a New York based sizzle reel production company specializing in promotional videos for PR and marketing professionals, and the Young Entrepreneur Council. He is a serial entrepreneur, internationally syndicated columnist, angel investor, public speaker and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job: How To Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke. (

No, I’m not your mother. However, I promise that you will be much more productive when you take better care of yourself. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, not a 9-to-5 profession. Working to the point of exhaustion will burn you out and make you less productive. Don’t make excuses. Eat right, exercise and find time for yourself. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 3

SA Guide to Business Opportunities Vol. 9 No. 3  

SA Guide to Business Opportunities