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M A G A Z I N E Publishing Editor: Warwick Smith-Chandler Publisher’s Assistant: Cat Robinson Assistant Editor: Jo Kromberg Restaurant Food Opportunity Editor: John Kilian Design and Production: Ikhala Graphics, Shawn Hancock Advertorial Executive: Online Campaign Manager: Cat Robinson Events & Database Admin: Abongile Mapapu Editorial Contributors: Jaqueline Martinez-Smith, David Hartley, Michael Said, Marius Lubbe, 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: Bizassist Technologies (PTY) Ltd PO Box 44214, Claremont, 7735 Tel: (021) 671 1526 Printed by: Tandym Print Distributed by: RNA Distribution

Websites and Newsletters Published by Bizassist


Owning your own knowledge economy The SA Guide to Business Opportunities was conceived and launched in 2004. Back then it all seemed simpler and the proven way to open up a business was to buy a business opportunity. Social media wasn’t around, the Internet was growing but not dominant, South African banks were lending left right and centre and there were even bank managers! The oil price was a fraction of what it is now and sustainability as a business concept was something spoken about in university corridors. And Eskom supplied us with inexpensive electricity! I could keep adding to this list – but I think I have made my point. How things have changed and that includes the availability of knowledge dispensed daily by the Internet and between friends and colleagues via many forms of social media. Bank managers have gone, energy prices are skyrocketing and climate change seems real. Yet there are real positives. Access to information is unprecedented and social media is empowering individuals as never before. Customers have more power and the rise of social media means that it’s almost impossible to live a lie. The ability to change fast is the single biggest asset in a fast-changing world. And by the way the pace of change seems to be accelerating, everybody seems to know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Information is abundant but knowledge and wisdom is scarce. At SA Guide to Business Opportunities it has meant a complete rehash of every thing we have known. We used to be focused on the four pillars of new business startups namely Franchising, Vending, Paid-


for Business Opportunities and Direct Selling. We have had to downgrade that foundation and identify what really matters in the business opportunity world. From our side, journalists have given way to business analysts, who can write. Subject matter has changed from million rand business opportunities to analysis and presentation of business opportunities for everyone – not just those with pots of cash. In a knowledge economy it is possible to start a business with just knowledge. For example, look at ‘Writing from home for profit’ on page 56, and ‘Starting your own online coupon business’ on page 31. These are great articles that take real business opportunities and distill the complex issues around them into real advice. We have added a third subsection called Woman in Business. (This is in addition to our existing Working From Home and Internet Business sections) because the undeniable fact in South African society is that our women are entrepreneurial and often have to start home businesses to supplement income. Throughout this issue, there are business opportunities for women. Our main women focused feature is ‘How to start a mobile nail salon’. Then there is the article on home food deliveries and others that provide real insight into what is possible. It is true that small businesses have been forced to outsource non-core functions such as bookkeeping and HR. Social media and technology support used to be in that mix. We believe differently. With any business technology, social media can never be far away and so we have covered and we will be covering regularly

all forms of technology and social media – but with the central theme of empowering readers to achieve great marketing goals using social media to propagate marketing messages and business brand development at no cost as well as the identification of useful and scalable business technology tools at minimal or no extra cost. Existing social media service companies and IT support companies have too much of a vested interested in keeping your business.You can do it yourself and we aim to prove it and steer you in the right direction. Our first articles on social media in under 20 minutes will save you a fortune in time and money not to mention the benefits which laying a strong social media platform will yield down the line. Our 15 IT saving tips are world class and they have all been tested and implemented by us. South African entrepreneurs are world class and this in spite of archaic government policies from education to telecommunications, entrenched monopolies and tenderpreneurship. Our message to all South African entrepreneurs is quite simple. Seize the moment – do not squander one more day not taking advantage of the greatest set of changes in our lifetime. Invest in your own knowledge to become more successful, invest in your own personal and company brand by building a network of hundreds or thousands via social media platforms. Customers can no longer be force-fed – its time to look, listen, engage and learn and the newly formatted and re-engineered SA Guide to Business Opportunities magazine will be with you all the way. Warwick Smith-Chandler


TIPS AND TRENDS Sourced from South-Africa’s favourite small business website.

What is business going to look like in 10 years’ time?

My answer, which is never popular, is goodbye tough guy! You may as well pack your bags and retire to sheltered living because soon you will not even be able to pay your bills, never-mind have a job or a business.

10 Tips for Web Marketing from Google

Well here is a wakeup call... I am as powerful as they are, in cyberspace. And what matters most is where the consumers and decision makers are, ... in cyberspace. Large parts of business is going to be about service industries like always, but faster, beter and more economical to the consumer. There are and will be a staggering array of service options in every industry and only excellence will prevail. Manipulating data and information to the extreme and presenting your service business in the best possible light will help, but nothing short of 100% customer satisfaction and ‘wow!’ on every shopping visit will keep your markets. We are in the future right now, and nothing except perfection will keep your business alive, I believe. This is where my bias comes in, off course, and I know you will understand it. In order to negotiate this world you need a high level of tech savvy. You need to know Windows and the usual like Office. But more than that, whether you like it or not, you will have to start living at least your professional life online! I know a lot of people who think it is a tough guy stance to say they do not subscribe to such as Facebook and being exposed by it and things like Twitter. Having an e-mail address is a necessary nuisance which the wife or kids will check for them once a week.

7. Work out goals, and market accordingly. Stay focussed on how to reach your customers. Know your ultimate goal – be it increased traffic to your website, conversions, or brand awareness – so that you can measure success. 8. Good marketers measure. Free tools like Google Analytics allow you to track visitor patterns to understand and serve your customers, telling you how they arrived, where they clicked, and how they departed.

By Marius Lubbe CEO and Founder of Creative Minds The problem is that the fluidity of the social/entrepreneurial transformation is happening at such a pace in the background/underground that most people will not see it until it is too late. Like the current transformation in the MiddleEast, the large companies believe that they are safe in their might and size.

them feel they must click on your ad to learn more.

9. Test and adapt. The online advertising environment is dynamic: you can pause, cancel or resume campaigns at the click of a mouse. 1. If you don’t have a website, get one. If you have one, invest in it. It should be easy to read, cleanly designed, and contain all the information your customers might be going online to look for. 2. Make sure people can find you. It makes sense to investigate all of the free business listings available on the web, such as the Local Business Centre on Google Maps. 3. Once you’ve moved to where your customers are, get inside their heads. The internet is the first point of call for many people when they research, compare and ultimately buy. Small business owners can use search marketing to reach customers when they are looking for local services. 4. Manage your ROI. Advertisers can bid to appear against specific users’ search queries, so they can target a relevant and interested audience. Advertisers only pay when a user clicks their ad: the model is fully accountable. 5. Anticipated, personal, relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk. Connect with your customers at the right time – by bidding to have your ad appear when someone searches on a keyword related to your business, you reach someone with a self-expressed interest in what you are selling. 6. Write ‘must-click’ ads. Flashing lights and pop-up ads are outdated! To attract the right kind of customers to your business, write ads that will make


10. Embrace the nature of the web. Don’t miss out on some of the greatest benefits the web has to offer, like its truly global nature. For example, you could create marketing campaigns in different languages, or target particular countries/cities.

9 Trends accelerating the growth of mobile media 1. Mobile is now global and is being accelerated by social media 2. Time sent on the Net is shifting to mobile usage 3. Mobile advertising is growing exponentially 4. Mobile commerce will change shopping behaviour and this will be accelerated by coupons/discount offers, immediate gratification, transparent pricing and location-based services (GPS functionality) 5. New players will emerge – who will bypass existing market leaders 6. Data traffic is the new growth market for MTN and Vodacom. Revenue growth for talk time and SMS’s will come under pressure 7. ‘Gamification’ or the use of gaming elements is the key to success for many mobile apps 8. Mobile Media and Smartphones will empower billions of people far quicker than PCs ever did 9. Tablet usage growth will accelerate demand for a slew of new mobile apps.


EVENTS International Franchise & Entrepreneurs Expo

The Biggest Franchise Expo on the African Continent, the International Franchise Expo (IFE) 2011 Venue: Sandton Convention Centre Date: 26-28 May 2011 011 615 0395 Nedbank small business seminars If you’re an owner of a small business or a franchise, and have been in operation for less than two years, you are invited to our next free business seminars. The topics have been designed to be practical and helpful for this critical stage of your business because, after all, things don’t just happen on their own. Topic: A seven step plan to get your business flying. Speaker: Mike Said, an inspired entrepreneur and international speaker. Topic: Financial Management made easy. Speaker: Thayn Niemand, an expert in business and financial planning. Venue: Various venues – see website for details Dates: 30 May – 22 June 2011 086 076 3000 Mon, 30 May 08:30 to 12:30 Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, East Rand, Gauteng Tue, 31 May 08:30 to 12:30 the Coca-Cola Dome, Randburg, Gauteng   Wed, 1 June 09:00 to 13:00 Southern Sun Grayston Hotel, Sandton, Gauteng   Thur, 2 June 08:30 to 12:30 Gold Reef City Hotel, Convention Centre, Gauteng   Mon, 6 June 08:30 to 12:30 Elangeni Hotel, North Beach, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal   Tue, 7 June 09:00 to 13:00 Savannah Estate, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal   Thur, 9 June 08:30 to 12:30 Protea Marine Hotel, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape   Fri, 10 June 09:30 to 13:30

Johannesburg Country Club, Golf Club, Woodmead, Gauteng Mon, 13 June 09:00 to 13:00 CSIR, Brummeria, Pretoria, Gauteng   Tue, 14 June 09:00 to 13:00 Riverside Estate, Convention Centre, Middleburg, Mpumalanga   Wed, 15 June 08:30 to 12:30 Premier Hotel, Beach Front, East London, Eastern Cape   Mon, 20 June 09:30 to 13:30 Nelson Wine Estate, Agter Paarl (R44), Paarl, Western Cape   Tue, 21 June 08:30 to 12:30 Old Mutual Park, Pinelands, Cape Town, Western Cape   Wed, 22 June 08:30 to 12:30 President Hotel, Bloemfontein, Free State Markex 2011 – allows for preferential sourcing of the latest and best products and services.

Venue: Sandton Convention Centre 7 - 9 June 2011 Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC) 23 - 25 August 2011 011 835 1565 SAITEX 2011 The 18th Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX) is an important/export business and trade fair with exhibitors representing various industry sectors. This is the only multi-sectoral trade event of its kind in Africa. Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre Date: 17 – 19 July 2011 011 783 7250 Tom Sant seminars NFold represents the bid best practices promoted by Tom Sant. Named one of the Top Ten Sales Trainers in the World by Selling Power magazine, Dr. Tom Sant is a world-recognized expert in effective selling and persuasive communication. Tom is the author of “Persuasive Business Proposals”, “The Giants of Sales”, and “The Language of Success”.

Venue: Focus Rooms, the Core, Cnr Kikuyu and Leeuwkop Streets, Sunninghill. Date: 2 August 2011 011 486 2418 The Business Opportunities & Franchise Expo 2011, including the Eskom Small Business Expo.

Venue: Coca Cola Dome, Johannesburg Date: 15 - 18 September 2011 011 549 8300 The LIMPOPO SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT and Expo serves as a global connection to explore business opportunities, establish contacts, enhance import and export, network, exchange views and ideas, promote Intra-Africa trade and an opportunity to display products and services.

The summit is a key initiative that aims to strengthen bilateral links established between NAFCOC, DTI and similar organisations in all the African countries and strengthen co-operation between all developing nations in promoting the small business sector. Venue: Oasis Lodge and Conference Centre, Limpopo Date: 26 - 29 September 2011 021 761 7071 Christian Business Expo A wonderful networking opportunity, packed with powerful information on Industry Trends, Sales & Marketing Strategies and Innovative ideas to motivate the participants. The Christian Business Expo has distinguished itself offering a hallmark of Excellence, Creativity, Professionalism and integrity. Venue: Sandton Convention Centre Date: 8 – 9 October 2011 011 679 3044




An Eagle Eye Opportunity!

WATCH PEOPLE WALK & MAKE MONEY! Simple, effective proven product & cash business. Locally manufactured product. Low risk – good return on investment.

Soda carbonating machines have been sold in South Africa for over 30 years. Millions of South Africans own them and they cost a fortune to refill. Refilling them has always been expensive considering the material cost of the CO2 gas is around 10% of the purchase price in Pick n Pay. Clearly this is a great business opportunity if only because the market is used to paying 10 times the product cost and soda making machine owners like Sodastream need to continuously have their cylinders replaced when empty at what is now clearly a huge cost. Restricted to only 100 refillers in South Africa this alternative method of refilling CO2 cylinders is clearlty a winner. A low entry cost, proven market, guaranteed high profits and a easy refilling procedure means that anyone in the family can be trained quickly and easily to refill CO2 cylinders.

Your investment is only R79 000.00 – we provide the following: • Guaranteed area exclusivity • Turnkey operation • Simple business to operate and manage (even from home) • Full range of stock. • Product advertising material & templates • Full training in Cape Town. (Flights & accommodation included) • Ongoing support • No royalties or additional license fees • Head Office assistance – for corporate / national negotiations and presentations.

Look around any home and you are bound to find a carbonating machine. If it is not been used as often as it should be the reason is bound to be because the refill price seems expensive.

For more information go to or email


The Eagle Eyes Story The origin of Eagle Eyes® began at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where scientists developed groundbreaking technology that would protect human eyesight from the harmful effects of solar radiation light. NASA researchers first looked to nature for a solution - in particular, by studying how eagles and hawks can distinguish their prey from their surroundings with utmost precision. Their findings revealed that eagles have unique oil droplets in their eyes that selectively filter out harmful radiation and permit only specific wavelengths of light to enter their eyes giving them extremely powerful visual clarity, even at great distances. NASA then replicated this discovery into a lens technology that, in turn, resulted in Eagle Eyes® - a leader in high performance eyewear. Own your own Eagle Eyes business today. We offer 2 options as a turn key operation: 1. Eagle Eye Stand-Alone or Mobile Kiosk – R289 000. This includes full set up and training, assistance in finding prime sites in mall etc. Stock is also included to the retail value of R330 000. 2. Franchise distribution area – R149 000. Includes full set and training. Stock is included to the retail value of R50 000.

Clearly South Africa has been waiting for an alternative to the exchange system. The equipment used is compact and can be set up in a clean environment anywhere - home, office or shop. Your clients will love the fact that they can have their cylinders filled at huge discounts and still allow you to make a handsome profit.

Everyone needs to protect their eyes. We see year after year how the UV ratings increase on our sun tanning creams as the atmospherics layers is penetrated more by the suns rays. Protecting our eyes is an investment. Eagle eyes sunglasses offer the best in eyes protection, and now offers you an investment opportunity in form of your own Eagle Eyes business.

Call John today on: 021 979 2410 / 076 509 4590 Email: /

For more detailed information about this business (no obligation), please call John: 021 979 2410 / 076 509 4590. Email



Social media in less than 20 minutes a day By Warwick Smith-Chandler


think by now a lot of small business owners are really beginning to realize they MUST be involved in social media to succeed online. But with new social media outlets emerging and others going in and out of favour at an ever increasing pace, it can be hard to keep up. And many online entrepreneurs find it a real challenge to know where to invest their time and how to leverage social media effectively. If you approach social media with a plan, and focus on providing and sharing useful information while also interacting with your fans, friends, and followers, social media can be an effective and even fun part of your marketing mix – without taking hours a day!

Just by using one of the services discussed below each day, you can achieve social networking in just 15 minutes. Ready? Let’s go!

Facebook If you decide to go the Facebook route, your daily 20-minute to-do list includes the following: • Update your status. Be sure to make it relevant to your audience. (1 minute) • Add new blog posts, videos, photos, etc. to your wall. Note: Many other social media sites like Twitter as well as your blog can be set up to add these updates automatically to your wall. (3 minutes) • Review comments on your wall and respond to them. (4 minutes) • Review your news feed and spend a few minutes commenting on posts and updates from your contacts. (5 minutes) • Respond to invitations and messages in your inbox. (2 minutes) • Add people you’ve met offline or online so you can invite them to your page. Remember, if a person is not currently in your social circle, ALWAYS include a note saying why you’re requesting their friendship! (3 minutes) Total time (18 minutes) This timeframe may seem ambitious, and it is! Depending on how many messages and posts you actually get, and how quickly you want to add new friends, you might choose to be a bit more flexible. Still, the idea is to focus on the most important activities and stop when you’re done. Sure, you could easily spend the whole day puttering around on Facebook, but your goal is to set a time limit and use it to the max. Or you could decide to add more friends or get more involved in a conversation. In the meantime, though, get in, get out, and get connections!



SOCIAL MEDIA Twitter If you’re ready to commit to Twitter, one of the best things you can do is to enlist the help of one of the numerous third-party Twitter applications, such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Seesmic. These services allow you to track conversations according to numerous keywords, post on different profiles, and create tweets to post at a later time or date.

your 15 minutes to connect with people. (2 minutes) Total time (18 minutes). The key to Twitter success is brevity and consistency. Users’ feeds scroll by so quickly that if you’re not in the stream consistently, you’re going to fade into the woodwork. Yet if you’re out there with useful information frequently, you’ll build a loyal following. Total time (18 minutes).


Here’s what you want to do in less than 20 minutes a day: • Post an update. As with Facebook, make your updates applicable to your audience. Provide a link to your latest blog post or an interesting factoid related to your market. (1 minute) • Check out your new followers. If they look like appropriate contacts (i.e., not spammers), follow them back and say hello. (2 minutes) • Respond to DM (Direct messages), private direct messages, and “@” mentions, tweets aimed directly at you but posted publicly. (3 minutes) • Check your keywords and hashtags. Through the services suggested above (Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc.), you can track keywords in your niche. Read what people are talking about and asking about; answer questions where you can, and join in conversations where appropriate. (6 minutes) • Read your feed and see what people are talking about. Some of your followers will be chatting about your area of specialty; others won’t. Spend a minute or two joining a few conversations, even if it’s about last night’s basketball game. It’s okay to throw a bit of non-business related tweets : – ) (2 minutes) • Retweet useful information. Did someone tweet a useful tool or a great blog post you think your market will love? Retweet it! You’ll generate good karma while providing great content for your followers. (2 minutes) • Create a few updates to post to Twitter at a later date. Scheduling tweets (for things like quotes, blog posts, Retweet thank yous, etc.) for later is one of the greatest time savers ever! This way, you can use more of


LinkedIn may not be as flashy as Facebook, but for most people with a business, it’s definitely a must have in the social media world. Once you’ve created your LinkedIn profile, search the groups directory for appropriate groups to join. You can currently join up to 50 groups, but be judicious; just as with social media in general, you’re better off joining just a few groups that you can really participate in, rather than joining dozens you can barely remember you’re part of. Once you’ve identified your groups, here’s your daily to-do: • Post an update to your profile. While profile updates are less critical on LinkedIn as on other sites, they still demonstrate that you’re using the site and are updating regularly. Note: You can shave a minute if you use a third party service to post your update from Twitter! (1 minute) • Respond to invitations to connect. You can arrange for these requests to be sent directly to your email inbox too. Honestly, I personally do these once a week as you can do an “Accept All” in one sitting. Afterwards, you can take a moment to connect with one contact per week and establish a rapport. (1 minute) • Add additional contacts. Each time you approve a request to connect, you’ll automatically be shown other people you may know. Spend a few minutes looking for potential new contacts and requesting to add them to your network. (3 minutes) • Read current updates in your groups, and respond to questions, polls, and conversations. (4 minutes) • Post new threads in your groups with

• •

related topics and points of interest. (3 minutes) Request introductions. Spend a minute asking for introductions to anyone you may want to “meet.” (1 minute) Write a recommendation. LinkedIn allows you to write and receive recommendations from your contacts. Writing one creates good karma and increases the likelihood someone will write one for you in turn. (2 minutes) Total Time (15 minutes)

LinkedIn is a much more serious site than most other social media outlets. While you can still express your personality, realize – and respect – that most people are there for professional networking purposes, not to share their latest exploits at the foosball table. As long as you stick with the vibe, your updates and posts will be welcomed and appreciated.

Blog Commenting Commenting on other people’s blogs is one of the most overlooked social media strategies, which makes it a great opportunity for you. It’s a highly effective way to increase your visibility. By posting on other people’s blogs, you’ll be able to leverage the other bloggers’ success and audience quickly and efficiently. Each day, spend 15 minutes visiting some of the blogs on your top 10 blog list and reading the day’s posts. Then make comments where appropriate, and provide links back to your own website or blog. Here are some guidelines to make your efforts most effective: • Be a gracious guest. First and foremost, keep in mind that you are a guest on someone else’s blog. That means you need to be supportive,


polite, and kind. You can disagree with what the other blogger has said, but do so in a polite manner. Don’t hijack the conversation or steer every post back to you. Be thoughtful. No one is going to pay much attention to comments that just say, “Great post! Thanks!” In fact, those kinds of posts are generally considered comment spam and are unlikely to be approved. Instead, respond to the post specifically and provide additional insights or context on the topic. Steer people to places online for additional resources. Sometimes those might be on your blog or website, but sometimes they will be on someone else’s site. If you look too self-promotional, don’t be surprised if your posts are deleted.

Commenting on other people’s blogs won’t make you rich or uber-popular overnight, but it’s a great way to build relationships with the movers and shakers – and the customers – in your industry. And those are the types of relationships that last… and can help you grow your business.

Video-Sharing Sites If videos are your thing, you have ample opportunity to build a brand sharing them. With over 2 billion views per day, YouTube – the best-known videosharing site – is a must-visit on every marketer’s list. Add in the other video-sharing sites like Vimeo, Viddler, and, and the number of potential viewers you can reach is astronomical. Video is also a terrific relationship-builder. A good video can really boost the trust factor as a customer or partner “meets” you face-to-face. So if you have any on-camera abilities, video marketing is a must. Hey, even if you’re shy, create at least one personal video anyway; you might surprise yourself Here’s how to spend your 15 minutes most effectively: • Record a short (1-2 minute) video on a topic of interest. This could be an abbreviated howto, an overview of something on your blog, or just a top-of-mind “vlog”-type entry. Don’t worry about creating a broadcast-quality video; be natural and relaxed, and focus on conveying something of value to your viewers. (5 minutes) SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 2



Upload the video to your photo-sharing site. Note: There are some services like and that will distribute your videos automatically to a number of different video-sharing sites. Consider using them for greater impact. (3 minutes) Create a powerful title and description along with appropriate keywords or tags. Make sure to include your main website or blog in the description. (3 minutes) Connect with other users in your industry. Search by keywords in your niche and establish a relationship with fellow video creators. Leave comments, “friend” them, and “like” their videos. (4 minutes) Total time (15 minutes)

Using this method, you could easily create a short video each day. Over the course of a month, that will allow you to have more than two dozen powerful pieces of video out there, earning you new viewers, new partners, and new customers.

HOT OPPORTUNITY Own a Rawsons Franchise and you become part of a very successful business system. With the help of an inspired and enthusiastic team, the Rawson Property Group, as a franchise organisation, has entrenched itself as a market leader in property sales, letting, development, construction and financial services. The Group, which was founded by Bill Rawson in 1982, has established more than 140 franchise offices nationally to date. Rawson Property Group’s growth expansion rate in the last 5 years has earned the Group the title of being “one of the fastest growing property groups in the country”. “We’ve grown by more than 600% in the past 5 years alone, and we don’t plan on slowing down,” says Rawson Properties Managing Director Tony Clarke. The group set up 32 new franchises in 2010 and a target of a further 80 for 2011. Although applications from any area are considered, the main growth this year will be Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Province and the Free State. “In the past years we have diversified the business by including property related services to our offering.The group also comprises of agricultural, commercial, auctioneering and financial services divisions. Divisions such as Rawson Finance (our own-in-house mortgage origination company) and Rawson Auctions have proved to be very successful,” says Clarke. There are plans to sell franchises countrywide for Rawson Finance (the group’s bond origination company), Rawson Rentals, Rawson Auctions (a new diversification just established in the Cape), Rawson Commercial and Rawson Associates (which will enable top producing agents to run their own businesses, without the traditional agency running costs).

Feel Better About Social Networking? Using social media can be overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be. Take a look through all the varieties of sites available, and choose the two or three that best fit your goals, market, and personality. Spending just an hour a day promoting yourself online through social networking can have powerful results, but you have to be consistent, both in your image and your efforts. Think of each tweet, each blog post, and each uploaded video as a brick in the wall that will become your brand. It won’t happen overnight, but it can – and will – happen soon enough if you are diligent and professional in your strategy. I hope this lengthy post has shown you how you can develop your own social media marketing strategy. And if you thought it would swallow up all your time, you now can see how you can easily fit social media into your schedule. If you consistently invest an hour a day, I bet you’ll be amazed at the results.


“Our focus is very much on building a strong reputable brand, by offering a comprehensive support structure to our franchisees” says Louis Taljaard National Franchise Manager, “This, in turn, provides them with the necessary tools to gaurantee service excellence to their clients.” Taljaard says, 25% of those accepted as franchisees are already in the industry, but are ambitious to go it alone. With a dedicated training academy, Rawson Properties makes provision for the franchisee to further improve his or her skills. This includes the keen applicant with valuable non-property experience. These applicants can arrange for a qualified mentor to work with them for the first year. Franchisees rate Rawson management high on its caring and nurturing attitude toward franchisees. The strength of the Rawson franchise system lies in the comprehensive backup and support that it gives to its franchisees. Rawson’s online systems deal with every aspect of the residential real estate business and they genuinely do make the agent’s job far simpler and more efficient, helping the franchisee to keep track daily of every aspect of his business. A particularly useful service is the group’s buyers and sellers referral database (their Business Lead Generator) and active web marketing systems. This gives instant access to information. “It is now widely accepted that the stronger the Rawson presence, the stronger the brand awareness and dominance will be and as a consequence more referrals will take place,” says Taljaard. For further information contact Louis Taljaard National Franchise Manager on 021 658 7100 or email SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 2



Tech & IT savings tips for every business

Business and in particular startups are managing costs like never before. Its time to move towards the principle that unless your IT purchases improves your customer experience directly, don’t invest in it.

By Warwick Smith-Chandler


ith the economy perpetually in flux, businesses are struggling to find ways to keep afloat. When it comes to IT costs, businesses spend large sums on IT staffing, PC hardware and software, Internet service, and networking components. While many of these things are necessary, not all of them require the funds businesses think they need. In fact there is a new buzz term in town and its called ‘zero cost computing’.

should take a look at the productivity suite from OpenOffice. org. The suite has a fully featured word processor, spreadsheet maker, and presentation creator, which are basically clones of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For basic photo editing needs, there’s no need to splash out on Adobe Photoshop when there is GIMP or, which let the user retouch, crop, or enhance photos.

Here are 15 ways your business can use new technologies or think differently about IT and save serious cash in the process.

video conferencing and calls.

3 Use Skype for VOIP, instant messaging and

1 Use Google Apps.

Skype is a great option for free person-to-person voice and video calls using a microphone or webcam attached to your computer. Skype can also be used on the iPhone and Android smartphone platforms. As long as you have high-quality Internet, VoIP is a big opportunity to cut costs. Its not the new technology that is holding back VOIP applications but rather our mindset that won’t release it from our current technology platforms.

4 Consider a cheaper ISP. Why use Microsoft Outlook and Office products when the much-cheaper Google Apps are available for business users? Google’s platform for businesses allows access to excellent e-mail, document editing, and calendar services for $50 per user, per year. Individuals get 25GB of space for Gmail and 1GB of storage for Google Docs, plus the ability to sync with BlackBerry Enterprise Server and 24/7 phone and e-mail support for critical problems. Using Google Apps could also cut down on the level of IT support your business needs because it’s so simple to administrate.

2 Get freeware that works.

Free solutions for word processing, photo editing, and more are available to anyone looking for them. Most notably, companies


Over the years, new Internet providers have popped up, and established players such Axxess, WebAfrica and Mweb are challenging the more established older ISPs. When several companies compete for your business, you have the advantage. Call up your ISP and tell them you are thinking about switching to a competitor and ask if there is anything they can do to make their services cheaper. If your current ISP doesn’t want to work with you, call a competitor and start comparing rates. Axxess currently offeres IGb data for R19 rand and MWeb have excellent unlimited data options.

5 Go with shared hosting or a virtual private server.

If your website isn’t receiving more than 50,000 page views a month, it’s time to get rid of that expensive dedicated server. Hundreds of sites offer consumer-grade shared web hosting, which is a great, less expensive alternative. less expensive than SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 2

TECH & IT a physical dedicated server. In the past hosting could have cost up to R1000 per month- now it is less than R250 per year for small companies. Your ISP will be able to assist you with prices. Prices have plummeted and continue to do so.

all your staff can use anywhere in the world. Not only will you never have to worry about hardware compatibility ever againyou will also not have to worry about virus, theft or damage to the PC where the application is laoded.

6 Learn how to solve technical problems yourself.

12 Set up a wireless network.

Got a virus on your PC, something is not working properly or you just need to upgrade your Netbook with and extra 1GB ram? Go straight to Google and type in the problem and I guarantee you the problem will be solved. My two most recent queries save me about R500 per call-out and about two days delays. My exact Googles were: 1. How to upgrade my Lennova Netbook with 2GB ram and 2. How to get rid of ‘Ask” toolbar. I was spoilt for choice as I was able to choose from You Tube as well as a host of web support sites. I solved the problem myself within five minutes. Why buy cheap equipment now when you’ll have to worry about upgrading later? Notebooks and desktops with higher build qualities will last longer and require less maintenance. Because the cycle is shorter for laptops, it’s better to buy a device that can handle high-level productivity tasks. It saves your company from fiddling with repairs.

For companies with less than 20 employees, a wireless network could be less costly than a wired network. And it means you can skip hiring someone to drill holes in your work stations or lay down Ethernet cables. With a wireless network, employees with Wi-Fienabled laptops and smartphones can be up and running on the Web in a jiffy. For desktops, a wireless card can be installed to get Wi-Fi. Thanks to the enhanced range and speed of 802.11n, your employees should enjoy wired-like performance along with mobility.


13 Cut your energy costs.

7 Avoid upgrade costs later.

Turn down extended warranties.

Almost every PC manufacturer will ask if your company wants extended warranties for those products. In most cases, there’s no need to oblige. Manufacturers’ warranties often cover a product for six months or more--often enough time to identify any serious problems with hardware or software.

It sounds simple, but plugging your expensive electronic devices into surge protectors can protect your investment while lowering energy costs. For real cost saving consider ‘3watt’ slave computer hub that allows a monitor, mouse and keyboard to run directly off another PC in the office.

9 Use the cloud for storage and sending large files.

14 Buy a networked laser printer.

10 Spend less on your website support.

15 Let employees to use their own notebooks and

Microsoft is now offering 25GB storage space on its servers. There is now no excuse not to be able to store important company information on the Net for retrieval anywhere in the world. Backing up important emails and data is straight-forward and will save you a fortune in the event of theft, or a damaged hard drive or a fatal virus. This is one set of charges that you can avoid almost completely. It is no longer necessary to have your website designed for R5000 – with monthly charges for every small change you need to make. With Google free website templates you will be able to choose from literally thousands available. If you want something a bit more professional then download Serifs web design program. The free version is more than adequate and you can always upgrade to the professional version for only 70$.

A high-quality single laser printer that connects to office networks and efficiently handles a high volume of printing can be less expensive than printers for every desk. Look for office printers that are connected via a Ethernet cable . They usually have the letter ‘N” attached to the model number. Which means they are network ready.


Suppose an employee wants to use his or her personal computer or smartphone for work. Instead of having employees use only company-owned assets, businesses should encourage the office to bring in their own equipment. When you don’t have to provide a work PC for an employee, that’s one less machine that you need to invest in.

11 Use a cloudbased software solutions.

Make a decision now to say to yourself that you are NOT going to buy off-the-shelf software again that remains resident on one PC. Instead buy cloud based solutions directly from the Net – for prices ranging from 10$ to 500$ that




All you need to know about starting a restaurant in South Africa Restaurant Doctor, John Kilian, shares his views and insights into the restaurant and food trade in South Africa.

This commodity, handled properly will yield excellent results, but handled poorly and left to their own devices, may yield the opposite – bad fruit, that quickly sours the rest.


ver the next few issues we will focus on and highlight specific areas in the food and franchise industry, but to kick off, we have an overview on certain aspects of these topics. Let’s start off with some basic statistics in the food industry, to be specific, restaurants. A general look at various statistics would show that 60 percent of new businesses that open their doors each year, are restaurants. Sadly, however, up to 90 percent could close down in the same year. Is it due to the fluctuating economic climate, changing trends, inexperience of the investor in the industry, incompetent staff, poor location, greedy landlords and exorbitant rentals or rogue brokers? Does this mean that it is a poor investment risk or a bad business? Absolutely not. In fact, quite the contrary. The investor should clearly understand that even though there may be an abundance of emotion and passion, together with the most creative of ideas as well as memorable association with good times etc, an investment in a restaurant should be no different than it would be


investing in other business opportunities. It must be treated and operated as a business, and not as simply a good idea that should work or an emotional impulse purchase. In my experience as a restauranteur and franchise consultant and turn around specialist, I have found that once the restaurant owner realizes that their business is not producing their expected results, and when asked what it was that prompted them to invest in a restaurant or fast foods franchise, far too often I have been told: “Well I was very successful in my other business, so I figured this should work” or “I spend so much of my time in restaurants I thought I would buy my own” or “my wife is a great cook and I am good with people” or “I thought this would be my retirement lifestyle investment” etc. The fact that running a restaurant or fast foods outlet can be very rewarding, results in so many franchises popping up. It does, however, take a different type of commitment, dedication, time, money and many sacrifices along the way. Remember that you are dealing primarily with a commodity called people - in your staff and in your customers.

So why do so many restaurants close down? The usual excuse is poor location. That may be relevant to a degree, but it is not the only cause of failure. In a nut shell, it is the lack of connection in giving the customer a pleasant total package experience – and exhaustion: exhaustion of time, resources and creative momentum. Of course high rentals, poor systems and controls along with the lack of a clear business plan also plays a part. Then, trying to find the magical remedy by asking advice from friends, family and customers is not a solution. Unlike other industries, the food industry is always under the scrutiny of customers and every one is a food critic. Then one will find that other businesses can adjust their prices as often as they need to, whereas restaurant or fast foods cannot easily increase their prices more than twice a year. Should they increase their prices it is normally only by only a slight percentage. Yet it is directly affected by most increases such as fuel, electricity and other industries shortfalls. So one needs to be creative and forward thinking. The last thing you want to do is join the ranks of the bargain hunter price wars. There is no need for this desperation, if you manage your restaurant creatively, and you keep one step ahead of trends and price hikes. This will meet the needs of your customers and maintain their regular loyalty, and growing your business. So it is not bad news at all. It is a matter of understanding the industry and adapting as required.


RESTAURANT & FOOD OPPORTUNITIES Why is it that internationally a large majority of the successful restaurants are always Italian or Asian? This is due to the fact that they stay with what works. They serve good comfort food and generally healthy food, and generally at affordable prices to the patrons, while allowing them to keep their food costs down, which is naturally, very important. They also do not follow trends. As much as trends may influence people’s emotions, trends tend to come and go. Unless you are in a position to adapt your restaurant to the trends, simply serve what people will pay for. It does not matter how trendy your food is, if people do not want it, it can lead to your business closing down. It does not matter if you are Gordon Ramsay. Does it mean that because his restaurant did not work out in Cape Town that he is a failure or that the restaurant business is risky? No, it means that in this case his formula was not quite right. Although he may have failed in that instance, he has succeeded many other times. Why does he keep doing it? Because he knows that if it is done properly it is a financially viable investment offering a good ROI and reward. Take a look at Gino’s. This restaurant has stood the test of time in more than one province. That in itself is an achievement. It is a common known fact in this industry, just because a food concept works in Johannesburg, it does not mean it will be a success in another province. In the same vein, just because it works in the Southern Suburbs it does not mean it will be a hit in the Northern Suburbs. So what could be the success of Gino’s? They have been around since November 1983. They have had to face what every other food business operators have had to face and weather. Not only did they survive but also did what many others have failed to do. They were able to successfully open up in another province. Is it just luck? I think not. It is good management and controls, a product which people are happy to spend their hard-earned money on. Gino’s has chosen to stay away from trends and fads; they stayed with what worked for them. Their menu has hardly changed over the

years. People will travel long distances to enjoy a meal there to be certain that you can expect good food and good value. People may frequent a place with a fancy menu selection, but how often will the same people return for that meal? You want to build and maintain a customer base. As a restaurant owner, you don’t mind if your regulars try other restaurant, as long as they keep coming back to you. The idea is to have people returning over and over again and bringing others with them. Like any business, there is a formula that one needs to adhere to in this industry in order to enjoy success. A few key points are: understanding your market, as this can be radically different not just in the different provinces but easily in different suburbs too as we have already mentioned; no compromises in service standards - quality and creative, positive management/leadership. You cannot be an effective Jack of all Trades. Just employ and build the right team around you. Remember through good times or tough times, people will always eat out, either to comfort themselves or to celebrate or treat themselves. Your job is to make sure they spend their money with you, regularly. Like any business, whether you invest in a fast food outlet, mobile food stall, kiosk, restaurant or catering, it can be a very rewarding and lucrative business.


However, before making the investment, irrespective if it is your own concept or idea, an existing operation or a franchise opportunity, it is worth your sanity to find a professional from the industry as part of your pre-investment testing. Our motto is Test B4 You Invest! Then seek their advice and professional input. Do not rely on the broker or franchisor alone. Spending trends: If you are an independent operator, never neglect marketing and advertising in good times and in slow times. There are very affordable and competent companies who can help with customer surveys and stats. Also a good indicator of gearing, is to be aware of the successful franchises including the fast foods. You do not have to be cheaper to be successful. You need to be smarter. One if the most successful of fast food franchises, which has also stood the test of time and offer a more up priced menu, is Mivami. What is their secret? Good food and good value meals. Like other top brands such as Steers, Wimpy, KFC, etc, they meet the changing trends in spending whether it is a cash crunch or a seasonal hype, mid month lows or month end highs. They do not offer a cheaper meal - they offer an affordable difference while keeping to their core lines. The restaurant trade should be no different, just as Craig & Nicole from


RESTAURANT & FOOD OPPORTUNITIES on your own ideas, get help from a franchising expert and meet the needs of the eating population. Street stalls and kiosks can also meet the needs in an economic slowdown. Having been involved with mobile kiosk and street stall vending , in reviewing the costs and potential franchisable concepts, I found that it presents itself as an efficient way of doing business almost anywhere. Opening a mobile street stall or kiosk does not require significant amounts of money. This way you can also offer and sell freshness together with having a business that is easy to manage and control.

Chennins Restaurant in the Cape Quarter will tell you. Their key to overcoming constant price hikes was to creatively offer their customers an affordable eating out experience, by simply regularly alternating items on the menu, without compromising quality, price or portion size. Simply put, buy effectively and make it available. Olympia in Kalk bay is much the same. Why are they always full? The décor looks incomplete, tables and chairs do not match. They do not have a set menu. But the ambiance, good food and good value will get you there in time to beat the queues. They purchase fresh quality produce daily at the best prices. Drawing alliances with local farmers and producers is a wise move. Purchase only what you need from the general suppliers, but daily check your variances in pricing from one supplier to another. If you are able to, grow your own herbs and veg. One must always bear in mind that the food is but one part of the total experience for the customer. South Africa as we know, is rich in pioneers, especially when tough times come knocking. This is where the pioneers rise up and start a business, be it even out of desperation at times. This may begin as a humble business for survival, then develop into a success story and even a franchisable concept.


Growing trends in SA is the move to organic style restaurants, offering excellent variety of organic food as a healthier alternative and focusing on wellness; mobile food street carts and not forgetting the growing business opportunity of the “meals to your door catering” which provide ready cooked meals for the whole family. This is great for working parents, people who lack cooking skills, bachelors, newly-weds and pensioners as it offers a convenience factor. They offer convenience, health considerations, affordable prices and variety. The mobile street food stalls have, to date, lacked diversity. Most of them revolve around one type of sausage or another. Be it a boerewors roll, or the American style hotdog. When will we start a mobile pasta stall? This provides very affordable comfort food, which the majority of people enjoy - it is tasty, healthy, filling and inexpensive. What about mobile stalls, selling a variety of wrap-style fast foods for people who eat while they are driving? Mobile shwarma or curry stalls, healthy alternatives organic variety, salads, Mediterranean style kebabs, soups and ice cream parlour mobile stalls? What about offering decent espresso and a selection of quality pastries, in the mobile potential market? The options are endless, and there are more than enough experts who can tailor design and manufacture the mobile trailer units to meet your needs. Don’t wait for the megatrends from overseas to dominate the market, follow through

Then of course there is the ever competing food retailers, who now no longer find it enough to compete with each other but now also compete with the restaurant trade by enticing the person who may be considering eating out, to rather consider a ready-made self-service meal and have it at home. Survival of the strongest? Naturally this will affect the ailing restaurants and over the next few years we may see more restaurants closing down, unless they rise up to the challenge and draw the money that was originally intended for the restaurant to come back and spend where it was intended. There is something special about dining out, or enjoying a decent take-away, naturally, providing the service and product quality experience is there too. Statistics still show that the majority of South Africans tend to buy on price. This does not mean that one must create a choice for the mealtime bargain hunters. There are many people who plan their eating schedules and frequent restaurants simply because of their low price specials – Stay away from price wars – it prostitutes your business, your food and the industry. So in closing, although the economy is still recovering, the food industry will always be a good industry, whether a franchise, a stand-alone business, a food cart or a total move to organic restaurants. Just remember it is a business, so run it like a business. Look out for our future features. John Kilian – 076 509 4590 / 021 979 2410 Restaurant and franchise doctor.



Back to the dinner table: 11 Restaurant Trends to expect in 2011 By Michael Said Each year I return home from the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago and wonder which of the latest trends I had just witnessed will take South Africa by storm. There’s been the Low-Carb/No-Carb Trend, the Zero Trans Fats, the Organic Trend, The Mini Dessert Portion Trend, the Health Trend and the ‘that looks like another trend’ Trend.


or some reason none of them really seemed to find a place in South African mainstream, and when I was offered the opportunity to research restaurant trends for 2011, I was once again more than a little sceptical about how relevant it is to our market. So here are 11 international predictions for 2011 and how I feel they will be received in South Africa.

their mass-market counterparts, and fastcasual concepts could turn to alcohol as a way to differentiate themselves.

About the only thing restaurant operators can expect for 2011 as they hope for traction in the economy’s recovery is that the industry will continue to look different than it does today.

Beyond bricks and mortar

In forecasting what changes may lie ahead, Chicago-based market research firm Technomic Inc. identified 11 restaurant industry trends for the next year.

Action in adult beverages

Restaurant owners internationally are predicting that as optimism grows in 2011, consumers will want to celebrate with some higher-end alcoholic drinks. As such, retro cocktails and high-end spirits may get more play at fine-dining and independent establishments, craft beers could gain in popularity against

This may be slightly tempered by the AARTO demerit system that is due for implementation and may see a responsible shift towards a greater selection of nonalcoholic cocktails and alternatives for designated drivers. Food trucks are poised to move beyond New York and Los Angeles and Chicago and possibly all the way down south (and I am not referring to Louisiana). This will require a complete mind shift at both operator and customer level and will require the cooperation of the various city councils. In South Africa, a “food truck” is still a caravan without wheels on the side of the road. Who will be brave enough to invest and roll our this concept in South Africa with great success? A restaurant without rent sounds pretty good to me.

Farmers as celebrities The era of the celebrity chef may soon give way to that of the star farmer. American trend watchers are expecting this to start taking off with farmers featured in commercials and television interviews. This one I wouldn’t bet the house on. I am not even certain that the SA public are aware that the food chain extends beyond the supermarket shelves. We are yet to explore home-grown celebrity chefs, and I am not certain Farmer Brown is going to develop a huge Facebook and Twitter following in a hurry.


Social media and technology

Look for more restaurants to gain a competitive edge with new technologies and applications, including kiosks for ordering and displaying nutritional information, iPads containing wine lists, and hand-held devices for tableside payments. Widespread adoption of location-based social media has a lot of room for scale. Hmmm, with the knives and forks,Tabasco and pepper grinders disappearing out the door in customer handbags and pockets, why am I unsure we will be handing out iPads and PDAs at the tables anytime soon? Possible increased usage of behind counter displays with changing information is probably as far as this one will go in SA for a while still. Widespread uses of social media marketing, location based advertising & online reputation management are all sure to grow in SA over the next few years. Do it properly or don’t do it at all. This is not a new way to SPAM everyone. Like all other marketing, it requires strategy, planning and implementation.

Korean and beyond

Internationally there is a very strong trend


MONEY-MAKING FOOD IDEAS How low can you go?

toward “The Korean Influence” but one must realise that this is fuelled through immigration and social adoption. Once again I wouldn’t place too much stock in this one, BUT there may be some home-grown fusion that is just waiting to burst onto the scene. Global Wrapps have been brave enough to introduce the TORTIZZA – a thin crispy Mexican version of a pizza. Debonairs is always pushing the boundaries and there are others dipping their toes at the moment.

On the other hand, customers will continue to demand everyday value when dining out. As part of any balanced-menu strategy, restaurants should have permanent value fixtures available, not just limited-time offers. Everybody understands VALUE, so ensure you are geared up and ready for those still feeling the pinch who would like to at least eat out occasionally.

New competition from C-stores

Some time ago I wrote an article which said “Watch out, Woolworths wants your customers”. Their Eat At Home For R100 campaigns and Valentine offers are aimed at taking customers out of the restaurants and into the aisle. Pick n Pay are investing heavily in high quality meals and products and restaurants need to be aware of this.

Carefully calibrated brand action

Tired of being poor

Expect to see a number of chains introducing new branding and new looks. Many chains have begun on that front already; Mugg & Bean, Dulce Cafe and Bugatti’s to name but a few. Customers re-entering the market won’t settle for the same old same old as they look for new and exciting places to eat out.

Consumers who are able to treat themselves in 2011 will do so – meaning that restaurants with a few indulgent menu items or experiences could see an uptake in orders of high-margin and high-priced dishes. This could spell opportunity for casual-dining chains to entice diners with more premium dishes.

You may not be feeling flush just yet and feel that paying off that mountain of debt is more important than a revamp but don’t get caught with your paints down. As the market recovers, those that have been able to invest in their businesses will be the first to benefit as many scramble to catch up.

The interest rate drop will certainly put a little extra money in the hands of your customers at just the right moment (providing your target market is not pensioners living on interest payments!). Not all your customers will be out to blow the budget, just ensure you can accommodate those who wish to.

I’m not certain that the South African public slowly recovering from pretty lean times really wants to go out and eat what they’ve been eating for the past two years at home, even if you can cook it better. They’re going to be in search of the foods and flavours they have missed. Welcome them back with old favourites, new experiences and plenty of “love”. Remind them of the reason they chose your restaurant.

Healthful versus indulgent

This could get complicated in 2011 when many menu labelling requirements take effect. The Consumer Protection Act will certainly influence this and how restaurants describe their dishes to their customers. Sure a few healthy alternatives on the menu are always a good thing, but eating out is about indulgence. Cover your bases. Healthy starters and decadent desserts is the way to go!

Back to our roots

Consumers will continue to turn to comfort foods, creating demand for traditional South African foods, retro Italian favourites like meatballs, or gourmet updates to nostalgic favourites. There also could be more opportunities for family style service and portions.

THE FRANCHISE DOCTOR South Africa: So many ideas, so many opportunities, and so many investments decisions. One can so easily get caught up in the desire to improve wealth and financial status that we overlook basic fundamental requirements to minimize risk. We all know that money makes money - it takes financial resources to really make things happen. Financial resources mean investment. This is where the rubber hits the road. There is always a level of risk, and


sometimes it is good to take council from risk management specialists. One such company is the Franchise Doctor. Our aim is to minimize your risk rather than risking your investment. Our services range from developing your concept into a business or franchise, to assisting existing undertakings, running due diligence before investment, screening and developing legal documents, training, and turn-around consulting for ailing businesses.

We have forged strong relationships with select clients who have a proven working business opportunity. For these companies we act as a broker for potential investors and aligning ourselves with these companies to minimise risk factors and maximise returns on their investment. Our logo says it all – DON’T INVEST BEFORE WE TEST! For a full range of our services call John on 021 979 2410 / 076 509 4590 – email:



The Gold in Honey By Jaqueline Martinez Smith Hear ye, hear ye, it is not just the hobbits, courtiers and commoners of old who enjoyed a pint of mead, the honey-based alcoholic beverage that still has the bees in the know abuzz with the taste for new business potential.


hat started off as a supplyon-demand business from the home of Dr Garth Cambray, a scientist who hails from the Grahamstown area, has sprouted wings and grown as far afield as the USA, Belgium and Chile.

Interestingly, the San people appear to have been the first to have discovered the drink, simply by mixing honey, water and yeast from the roots of a plant. Thus, says Garth, “the first human experiment in biotechnology.”

With Garth’s mother helping to run the business for five years before retiring, the meadery soon grew and could not be contained at home any longer. They moved it into the old Grahamstown power station. Now, no longer a dark, dingy and foreboding place, the power station is a hive of activity and the powerhouse for further innovations, not only in the beekeeping business but also for renewable energy sources.

Furthermore, it is believed that the technology actually moved north to Europe and became the beverage of choice in medieval times, spurred on by the ever-travelling monks.

Garth’s journey with bees started long before the 20 000 year-old South African honey based beverage, iQhilika, appeared on the world’s shelves. As a biotechnology student at Rhodes University, he became comfortable around bees while measuring bee wings for a research scientist. For extra cash, Garth started to remove unwanted swarms for people in the district and began setting up beehives. To his utter surprise, the hives were being stolen, and on closer investigation he discovered why - he hives were being nabbed by people intent on producing an alcoholic beverage with the honey!

Makana Meadery was founded in 2001 by Garth and a group of friends who were involved in beekeeping and fermentation biotechnology in conjunction with Rhodes University. While there isn’t a huge market back home in South Africa yet, iQhilika is sold in 38 States in the US and there has been huge growth potential for their products in the US market. Says Garth, “When I first looked at the US market in 2002, there were about five commercial brands of mead on sale in the major supermarkets, like Wholefoods Market. Now there are literally hundreds of brands and hundreds of producers.” The Maine Mead Works has joined forces with Makana Meadery and like their sister company in the US, are advancing mead globally using the South African technology. Garth says the biggest challenge for his business is that, as the oldest beverage, people have not necessarily heard of it and marketing can be slow. However, educating people has made a huge difference in creating a market. The internet, of course, plays a key role in marketing the mead products and the US distribution company is owned by Mattheus Niedhart, who did his MBA


at Harvard on niche beverage marketing. He uses a system of introducing a product into key markets where early adopters are exposed to the product, driving product growth on a three to four year cycle. A lot of Makana’s honey is sourced from places where forests are being conserved for carbon capture and beekeeping allows people an income from trees that they would otherwise just have chopped down. His advice to entrepreneurs thinking of pursuing similar ventures: “Don’t expect things to work out the way you thought they would. Be ready to adapt, adjust and even to swallow your pride from time to time.” **Makana Meadery will soon have the Western Cape agog with their grog when they open a branch in Stellenbosch. For more details contact: +27 (0) 46 636 1227       Email: Web:







Adega Restaurants Anat Falafel Antimo Ayobayo Food Baglios Barcelos Flame Grilled Chicken Big Als Biltong Wizz King Consolidated Food Services Bimbos Blacksteer Holdings Boost Juice Bar Braza The Brazen Head The Bread Basket Brooklyn Espresso Buena Vista Social Cafe Coffee at Burgundy's Butcher Block Restaurant Butterfield Bakery Bugatti Taste Cafe Café Fino Café Rossini Café Sociale Cappello Cappuccino Café and Pizzeria Capsicum Culinary Studio Cattle Baron Chicken City Chicken Licken Chip n Dip Ciao Baby Cucina Cinnabon

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Traditional Portuguese restaurants Middle Eastern cuisine such as shwarma and falafel Mediterranean specialities and traditional Italian food Take-away and sit-down restaurants Icecream production Portuguese-style flame-grilled chicken Fast-food hamburgers, fish and chicken Biltong manufacture Fast food restaurant Fast food restaurant Healthy fast food options Portuguese colonial food Irish restaurants and pubs Bakery, patisserie, delicatessen, coffee shop Dining, bistro and bakery Cuban restaurant Licensed casual restaurant Steakhouse restaurant Bakery Café-style restaurant Restaurant coffee shop Cappuccino bar specialising in gourmet coffee Coffee shop Modern light meals and coffee Italian café food and pizza Professional chef school Steakhouse restaurant Deep-fried and grilled chicken take away Quick-service chicken restaurant Fried chip stalls Italian kitchen restaurant Cinnamon rolls

R 2 800 000 - R 3 300 000 From: R 800 000 R 1 700 000 - R 1 900 000 R 700 000 - R 1 200 000 R 789 000 R 750 000 R 650 000 R 235 000 R 500 000 R 650 000 - R1 600 000 R 630 000 From: R 2 500 000 R 2 800 000 R 2 800 000 - R 3 000 000 R 1 600 000 R 2 500 000 - R 3 000 000 R 700 000 - R 1 500 000 R 2 800 000 R 1 162 000 - R 1 388 000 From: R 3 000 000 R 1 700 000 R 1 500 000 - R 2 500 000 R 1 700 000 R 2 800 000 - R 3 000 000 R 3 600 000 R 650 000 R 3 600 000 R 526 500 R 2 400 000 R 28 000 - R 180 000 R 4 500 000 - R 5 000 000 R 1 250 000


In our ever evolving world, sourcing food continues to move into new dimensions. Choices are freely available in our modern age, but how much does convenience and time factor into the equation in our decision of what to eat.. Many will not substitute anything for a home cooked meal. Others are content to eat out often, and then there are those who either cannot cook, do not have the time to cook or simply couldn’t bother. As restaurants more often than not are plagued with high rentals and overheads, being competitive is quite a task.

In the 1970s the founding partners of Mi-Vami introduced the original Shuvarma concept to South Africa. Now generations later they are proud to say, they are still happily serving their loyal and growing customer base, many of whom have become friends. As a brand they have made it their business to shift, grow and successfully meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.

This has given rise to the new acronym HMR – Home Meal Replacement. There are certain restaurants which will offer this service, certainly major chains always have a finger in someone’s pie. Then of course one has caterers such as the “Doorstep Chef.”

and consistency in meals, service, and delivery etc.

They offer the convenience of a homestyle meal delivered to your door. Doorstep Chef was launched in August 2007 by Leonor Abels. Leonor has over 25 years of food experience. Being a mom, she identified a growing need for a convenient and nutritious alternative to take away foods for those people who’s lifestyles’ left them with little option.

Demand grew steadily to the point where she decided to relocate to larger industrial premises. This has led to a fantastic Doorstep Chef franchise opportunity.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY - If you are looking for a way to create new investment opportunities for yourself,

For more information on this prime business opportunity check out our website for more details on –

Leonor rose to the challenge. Initially catering for families, she rapidly grew her business into a success story. Naturally challenges are a part of any new business. Working with food meant health related laws to comply with. There was the challenge of meeting the growing demand of the public, planning menus, quality control, then look no further than the Mi-Vami franchise family. Franchising has for some years been defined as one of the best options for local economic growth and you too can share in that success by choosing a consistently successful and proven brand expanding steadily. There are currently 18 Mi-Vami stores, situated in prime locations around Gauteng. Ballito will be opening soon, and in Eastrand Mall. There are prime locations available in the Western Cape. (Cavendish; Kenilworth Centre; Cape Gate; Thibault Sq; Seapoint, Camps bay; Long street and more). Success breeds success!

Mi-Vami has continued to grow through time and across new generations, with the same original shuvarma recipes, and other mouth watering delicacies, it is little wonder the brand continues to thrive. At Mi-Vami they know it is all about people. This is why they invest substantially in their staff and are always looking for new talent to help live and grow the brand.

A good business plan, management skills, picking the right staff and having an absolute passion for what she does led Leonor to success.

locations to further ensure your success and the success of the brand. The ideal franchisee owner is an individual with an entrepreneurial, outgoing personality and a desire to own their own successful company. They should have an eye for detail and a proactive hands-on approach to business. They should have ability in management and strong communication skills. INVESTMENT for a MI-Vami Fast Food outlet is a minimum of R600 000; and for a grill outlet, a minimum of R800 000 for set up costs. A further R300 000 in unencumbered funds and access to borrow R300 000. R50 000 is required on finalising the franchise agreement. Royalty is 5% of gross turnover monthly and 2% on gross turnover towards marketing and advertising.

Support infrastructure - They provide a well supported franchise structure, geared towards your success and providing on-going operational and marketing support. They source prime


Contact John Kilian any Cape Enquiries – 021 9792410 / 076 509 4590 Email: Or Visit our website for more info and other areas:







Coffeeberry Café Cofi Col'Cacchio Pizzeria Cape Town Fish Market Debonairs Pizza Deli Biscotti Die Werf Doppio Zero DoRegos Dros Dulce Café Fego Café House of Coffees Fish and Chips Fish Aways Fisherman's Deli Flavourlicious Foods Flippin Nice Fontana Chicken Foodprint Founders Restaurant & Grill Franki Bananaz Butcher Boys Temperature Engineering Fruit & Veg City Galitos Global Wrapps Gloria Jeans Coffees Goodthings Gourmet Grub Greenfields Cafe Holdings Hops and Beans

033 347-0708 012 346-0749 021 419-4848 021 556-7070 011 315-3000 041 396-1200 012 991-1809 011 486-4119 011 454-4018 012 803-5969 041 396-1200 011 880-0432 011 651-5787 086 133-3433 011 651-5787 011 251-8300 011 425-4771 082 929-0809 011 267-6300 012 460-0202 011 672-3975 031 266-5612 031 266-5612 011 794-8899 021 532-5400 031 312-7211 083 397-2777 021 673-2755 011 974-9590 086 165-6055 079 694-4130 012 940-9999

Coffee shop and pancake bar Restaurant and cocktail bar Sit-down Italian pizzeria specialising in pizza, pasta and salad South African and Japanese seafood Quick-service pizza restaurant Espresso bar and deli Restaurant, ladies bar and indaba room for smaller conferences Bakery, continental cafe and Mediterranean restaurant Fast food restaurant Restaurant and grill Continental coffee shop Modern concept coffee house with traditional Italian bistro Coffee-themed restaurants Old fashioned fish and chips franchise Seafood take away Fish and seafood Chiptwister' and 'Snownice' machines Pancakes, waffles, jaffles and tortillas Chicken fast food Pizzas, toasted sandwiches and grilled meats Grill and traditional favourites restaurant Food and cocktail bar Steak and game restaurant Air-conditioners, ice-machines & generators for the food industry Retail and distribution of fresh produce Flame-grilled chicken restaurant and take-away Healthy fast food alternative wraps Gourmet coffee Something Fishy, Goodthings and Chick 'n Things restaurants Fresh food vending machines Café and light meal restaurant African-spiced coffees and beer

R 1 500 000 - R 1 800 000 R 5 000 000 R 2 200 000 - R 2 600 000 R 4 200 000 - R 5 500 000 R 800 000 - R 1 400 000 R 1 100 000 - R 1 200 000 R 3 500 000 R 3 500 000 - R 4 000 000 R 1 200 000 R 4 000 000 R 1 400 000 - R 1 700 000 R 1 400 000 - R 1 700 000 R 1 400 000 R 450 000 - R 550 000 R 900 000 - R 1 000 000 From: R 3 000 000 From: R 59 950 R 100 000 R 1 100 000 R 3 500 000 R2 000 000 R 2 105 000 R 2 404 000 R 100 000 R 4 000 000 R 1 500 000 R 900 000 R 700 000 - R 1 200 000 R 850 000 R 200 000 R 1 500 000 R 2 500 000






Hot Dog Cafe Hungre Jimmy's Killer Prawns John Dory's Fish & Grill House of Juice Juice Zone Juicy Lucy Kandyland Springbokbillies Kanhym Fresh Meat Deli Kauai KEG Pub and Restaurant Keg King Pie Holdings Rock Candy Lappies Spit Braai King Lattelicious Liquidchefs Mobile Little Cooks Club London Pie Company Manuka Cafe & Fine Wines Maxis Restaurant McDonalds South Africa McGintys Mike's Kitchen Mimmos Franchising MiniMelts Mivami Mobile Butchery Skippers Fish & Chips Bacinis Pizza Max Frangos Chicken Mochachos Chicken Villages Mozart Ice Cream Mr Delivery News Cafe Franchise Nkoti Business Enterprises Ocean Basket O'Hagan's Ola Milky Lane Overland Liquors Panarotti's Pizza Pasta Pantsula Bites Pizza Del Forno Pizza Guys Pizza Parlour Pizza Chicken Perfect Pizza Perfect Café Real Brazilian Rhapsody's Cafe RJ's Roman's Pizza Roosters Sandwich Baron Sausage Saloon Scooters Pizza Simple Simon Pies Simply Asia Kitchen Sinnfull Ice Cream Snoekies Curly Fries Ziggy Spiral Potatoes Soda King Soft Ice Machines Something Fishy

012 664-7213 086 148-6473 011 455-2023 031 267-2174 021 551-5561 021 462-6223 031 583-3600 021 932-9973 021 932-9973 013 249-7897 021 552-0222 011 651-5972 011 886-3228 011 564-9701 011 908-1928 021 852-1612 011 784-2700 011 887-4535 083 556-3434 011 809-5720 021 788-3458 011 608-1999 011 236-2300 011 998-8196 011 463-9269 011 392-4522 011 444-0009 011 026-2020 011 803-3398 011 450-2145 011 450-2145 011 450-2145 011 450-2145 086 110-5724 011 507-2800 011 452-8770 012 361-1152 011 655-1300 086 164-2426 011 706-5005 018 469-1716 021 555-5100 011 793-2415 011 462-4828 041 363-3749 012 346-6147 011 462-4405 011 462-4405 083 632-3771 011 615-2369 012 348-4101 031 702-2691 012 653-8243 082 491-4841 011 907-6237 011 455-1951 011 608-1999 021 873-1501 021 447-4387 021 461-0849 021 790-6688 083 347-2041 083 347-2041 021 510-4416 012 548-2745 011 974-9590

Fast food takeaway Fast food and take-away delivery service Prawns, steaks, ribs and chicken restaurant Fish and grill restaurant Fresh juices Juice, fruit and veg South African-based fresh food and juice store Manufacture sweets and candy products Manufacturing and distribution of biltong and dried wors Fresh meat deli and biltong Health restaurant and smoothies Restaurant and pub Restaurants and pubs Fast food outlets retailing freshly baked pies & similar products African-themed handcrafted sweets Party spitbraai catering equipment, & barbeque sauce distribution Coffee bar and restaurant Mobile bar services Cooking classes for children between the ages of 2 and 14 years Pie and pastry restaurnets Espresso bar and wine boutiques and stand-alone espresso bars Quick-service, sit down restaurants Sit down fast-food restaurants, takeaway & drive-through options Irish-themed restaurants and pubs Family restaurant with a focus on steak, ribs, carvery and salads Italian family restaurant Ice cream manufacture Fast food outlet specialising in shwarmas and grills Mobile meat markets Traditional English fish and chips Italian pastas and traditional pizzas Fried, roasted and grilled chicken and burgers Mexican-flavoured foods and flamed chicken Production and sales of ice cream, yoghurt and sorbet Restaurant food delivery service Café, cocktail bar and entertainment venues Full service catering Seafood restaurants Irish themed pub and grill Ice-cream outlets Liquor stores Pizza and pasta take-aways and deliveries South African cuisine take-aways Italian style pizzeria serving pizza, pasta and salads Pizza stores Pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and other dishes Pizza, chicken and burger stores Pizza outlets Café and cocktail lounge bars Brazilian style restaurants Restaurant and wine bars Steak, rib and burger restaurants Pizza outlet Rotisserie and fried chicken Produces freshly made platters and sandwiches Hotdog restaurants Pizza delivery Pie and pastry restaurnets Thai food and noodle bars Ice cream Fresh seafood and fish and chips store Curly fried potatoes, potato webs and wedges Spiral fries served on a wooden skewer Soft drinks and flavoured waters Soft-serve icecream machines and catering equipment Fish restaurant

R 300 000 - R 480 000 R 145 000 R 1 800 000 - R 2 200 000 R 2 700 000 R 250 000 R 280 000 - R 700 000 R 650 000 - R 1 200 000 R 15 000 R 55 000 R 3 000 000 R 1 300 000 R 200 000 R 2 000 000 R 450 000 - R 550 000 R 20 000 R 70 000 R 1 700 000 - R 2 500 000 R 500 000 - R 800 000 R 52 000 R 450 000 R 1 000 000 R 1 800 000 - R 2 200 000 R 3 000 000 - R 6 000 000 R 1 900 000 R 2 500 000 - R 3 500 000 R 2 200 000 R 17 500 R 850 000 - R 950 000 R 500 000 R 750 000 R 2 000 000 R 350 000 R 967 000 R 700 000 R 285 000 R 4 800 000 - R 5 000 000 R 80 000 R 2 500 000 R 2 500 000 R 500 000 - R 1 200 000 R 1 500 000 - R 3 000 000 R 2 000 000 R 1 300 000 R 800 000 R 1 800 000 - R 2 000 000 R 750 000 R 650 000 R 752 000 R 3 500 000 R 1 200 000 R 4 000 000 R 2 200 000 - R 3 200 000 R 1 300 000 R 1 500 000 R 300 000 - R 630 000 From: R 550 000 R 985 000 - R 1 100 000 R 420 000 - R 485 000 R 1 000 000 R 300 000 R 680 000 R 28 000 R 29 500 R 1 400 000 R 399 000 R 850 000








Sophiatown Bar Lounge Spit-Braai King Spitbraais South Africa Spur Steak Ranches Steers St Elmo's Pizzaway Subway Sweets from Heaven Texies Seafoods The Baron Group The Braai Shack The Coffee Stop Mugg & Bean Franchising Karoo Cattle and Land Café Träumerei Tuscan BBQ Holdings Vetkoek Maleis Vida é Caffe Wickedfood Cooking School Wiesenhof Coffee Shops Wimpy My Brezel Extreme Hospitality, LLC

011 836-5999 021 852-1612 083 571-2699 021 555-5100 011 651-5920 021 510-3009 011 447-7704 011 444-0410 021 422-2463 011 706-0632 011 884-1260 012 664-7213 011 554-4520 011 786-9043 021 876-4542 012 809-0906 012 804-5533 021 461-0424 011 705-2616 011 397-7055 011 847-6301 011 478-3320 012 259-1476

South-African styled restaurants Spit-Braai catering Chicken, lamd and pork spitbraais Family steak restaurants Flame-grilled hamburgers Wood-fired pizza and pasta take-aways Sandwich take-aways Sweet, gift and flower stores Seafod restaurants Fast food restaurants South African cuisine Coffee shop Coffee houses Steak-based restaurants Coffee shops and restaurants Buffet restaurant and conference facilities South African takeaways Coffee shops Cooking schools Coffee machines, consumables and disposables Casual dining restaurant Quick-service German brezel and coffee shops Beverage-dispensing solutions for the hospitality industry

R 2 000 000 - R 3 000 000 R 100 000 R 7 970 R 300 000 - R 600 000 R 1 500 000 - R 2 500 000 R 850 000 R 500 000 - R 90 000 From: R 300 000 R 650 000 R 4 000 000 R 1 400 000 R 800 000 - R 1 200 000 R 2 800 000 R 3 500 000 - R 4 000 000 R 1 130 000 R 3 500 000 R 600 000 R 1 000 000 R 50 000 R 500 000 - R 2 000 000 R 1 900 000 - R 2 500 000 From: R 300 000 R 499 700

Tasting Success Vida e Caffé has certainly distinguished itself as a top coffee house, and while shareholders and execs taste their success, so are staff who work for this exclusive chain of coffee shops. Spreading their wings even further afield, it is clear why, when after a visit for a cuppa and something to eat, your waiter or waitress will do a chant. Says Grant Dutton, MD of this hugely successful chain of European-style coffee bars, with its Afro-Portuguese flavour, “A lot of our regulars and even the media have picked up on and love the fact that when you put a tip in their tip glass, they all do some kind of chant. That’s not taught – it comes from them.” So, what makes Vida e Caffé staff so happy, their brand successful and their presence so attractive, not only in South Africa, but overseas too? Vida e Caffé started out as a 40% joint venture partnership in the Cavendish branch in Cape Town, the third shop opened by founders Brad Armitage and Rui Estevez. “At the time, Vida was really a trendy Kloof Street brand and to be honest we weren’t sure the concept was going to work in the suburbs,” recalls Dutton, “But the Cavendish branch opened to ridiculous figures and it was then that I realised this brand had legs.” After successfully opening the Willowbridge and Greenpoint branches, Dutton pooled his financial resources, approached Tommy Crow and Patrick Hamilton-Russel of Alpha Capital for


extra funding and bought out the original shareholders. “I then got four guys who were willing to put down money in order to take up pivotal roles in the business; some of them borrowed money to do it. I had learnt from running other businesses in the past the importance of empowering people through ownership,” he says. Sean Bond joined as marketing manager; Lloyd Stocks, project manager, built the shops; Paul Osborne took the reins as financial director and Dutton’s brother, William, became operations director.

“They make such a strong team – they all care about the business because they own a piece of it. They live this brand,” says Dutton. Currently, there are 19 outlets, and besides their bright red branding, along with an alluring aroma of coffee, their staff also make a huge difference. Besides a rigorous, yet fun, training process where new staff are called ‘shoes’ because they still need to be ‘worn in’, a compassionate Dutton has even gone as far as to buy a house close to one of the coffee shops to provide staff with a

comfortable home close to work. More houses followed and Dutton explains: “A baker living in the township has to get up at four in the morning to be at the shop at five to bake. He gets home at seven in the evening. No matter what anyone tells you, that doesn’t make for a happy employee.” And, as Dutton has discovered, happy employees are loyal employees. But that’s not all. There appears to be something in it for everyone, and besides staff loyalty being high due to Dutton’s empathy and the potential to earn up to 40% extra on their salary every month, there is also a loyalty programme that gives back to customers 5% of what they have spent towards their in-house magazine, Obrigado. Not only has this coffee shop brand made inroads into the overseas market, but also continues to build its brand by building relationships. You’ll find things like coffee cup sleeves, tags and holders advertising none other than Levi, Look & Listen and more. So, thanks to a man with a love for the coffee business, and for people we can now say ‘Obrigado’, thanks for a brand new lesson in innovation and opportunity. Fast Facts: Vida e Caffé Coffee shop franchise opportunity Number of outlets: 19 High points: Expanding to London UK Cost: R1 million Contact: Tel: 021 461 0424 Fax: 021 461 0505



Coupons are cash cows – follow this plan to the loot


ave you noticed the sudden popularity of coupons in SouthAfrica? Led by Groupon (www. and Zappon (www.; plus at least a half a dozen more; they have made a huge impact on the South-African lifestyle marketing environment. I know some of my friends and colleagues swear by these coupons for the simple reasons that it allows us ordinary folk the opportunity to experience a range of new services, products or restaurants that either we had never heard of or would never have considered because of the prices normally charged. But with discounts of up to 70% - everyone is trying it and having a great time and that it is why you should consider the coupon business - It works.

of the online coupon world recently turned down an offer of 6Billion USD. Clearly somebody at Groupon knows just how large the potential for coupons is! Coupons are an effective tool for businesses to promote their products and customers also look for discounts on products. A coupon site acts as a medium for businesses and customers allowing businesses to offer coupons and providing customers with a listing of available coupons. Traditionally, businesses have been distributing coupons through other mediums such as newspapers, magazines etc. A coupon website site provides another, but, much bigger and cost effective, medium to businesses to distribute their coupons to customers. With daily email alerts webbased coupon systems have become extremely popular. The most recent trend is to deliver special offers directly to smart phones.

Print, Web or Smart Phone Platforms

So what’s the business angle and how can you make money? Let’s start with why companies would want to use coupons.

Why Start a Coupon Site

Consider this nugget of information – Groupon one of the undisputed leaders

Although there is still a market for print based coupon companies it is not where the growth is. The whole point of using web and smart phone applications is because of the following reasons. 1. Once the system is set up maintenance and upgrades are inexpensive. 2. Every aspect of the system is measurable from the popularity of coupons, sales records, time of day the coupon was viewed and bought and above all it can be integrated easily with Facebook and other social media. 3. The system runs in real time and can be ‘drip feed’ specials to clients on a client determined level - which could be weekly or daily. 4. Clients can see in real time how popular the offer is, how many sales are required before a ‘deal’ become valid and exactly when the expiry date is. 5. You can run the business from home and via email. 6. Any help requests from client’s can be


routed via ‘live chat’ technology directly to your pc or cell phone if you are not in the office. 7. It is a relatively straightforward procedure to allow your clients to adapt your coupon offerings to the city they are in or the type interests they have.

Steps to Make a Success of your Coupon Site My analysis of the six or so online coupon businesses in South-Africa shows all the signs of a me-too approach. The steps below are your paths to success.

Look at competitor sites as a departure point. The advantage of being able to look at successful online coupon sites is that you are able to identify exactly what has been working (so far). Have a look at and see what they are doing, then make an appointment with a web developer (your Internet ISP can point you in the right direction) and say to them that you want your coupon site to have the same functionality as xyz. In web language they call that ‘reverse engineering’. Then introduce the variations and improvements that you would like to see. Here are some ideas which I know South-African coupon delivery sites have not implemented yet or though may be about to. 1. YouTube supporting videos from the service provider. 2. Testimonials from recent users of the service offered. 3. Independent confirmation from knowledgeable industry experts about whether the discount of 50% is truly a valid discount. The last thing you want to experience is the debacle when Groupon offered paragliding rides at 50%+ off for R875 plus a picture and a T-shirt when it turned out via their Facebook pages that the going price was R900. That is bad, very bad news and you must make sure it never happens to you. 4. Offer your client the option of highlighting his interests. Most SouthAfrican coupon sites seem to be marketing the same sort of stuff- Restaurant meals


ADVICE AND TIPS and adventure/well being activities and treatments. Become original and offer real deals (There’s a good name for you). Cherry picking well-heeled consumers who want discounted restaurant deals ignores the marketing potential of all those clients who are looking for ways to reduce medical bills or pet food costs. 5. Offer consumers the option to specify in advance they are travelling to another city so that they can buy services to suit their travel needs. 6. As the competition intensifies introduce new personalities or ‘city specialists’ who can add a human touch to the deals you are offering. Much like consumer journalists in the press – your clients will eventually want to have and appreciate extra information, based on a reliable source. It may well be the deciding factor as the number of competing coupon sites increase. 7. Allow your members who register with you to advise you how often they want to receive specials. 8. Collect ‘intention to purchase’ advice such as “I would be prepared to buy a new Mercedes Benz if the price was right.” Just imagine the marketing clout you would have if you aggregated 500 or so potential purchasers of Mercedes Benz and put a call through to their marketing department. 9. Introduce regular updates advising your coupon buyer about their status. This is especially useful if there is a minimum purchase quantity required before the coupon becomes valid. 10. Introduce from the outset coupon viewing and buying via smart cell phones. For this you will need a website enabled for smart phones which is called a ‘mobi’ website and which can be designed at the same time as your main website. Remember the goal is to give your discount-deserving customers an exceptional UX or user experience to go along with their bargains. Your coupon strategy will go a long way to securing an ongoing relationship with you and the service providers.

How do you make money?

The business model is really straightforward. Find a local business that has surplus capacity or wants to accelerate their market share quickly. Design an online email advert and email to you client list. Your client list can come from your Outlook mail list. If it is going to take four weeks to build your web-


based management system then say to yourself I must network with sufficient potential clients to be able to send out 1000 e-mails when you launch. Your revenue comes from a commission from the sale of the coupon which can be as much or as little as you please but will typically be around 25% of the coupon selling price. Take a look at the stats of the sales of Groupon’s deals then take 25% of the sales figure and you get large – very large net revenue figures- for the cost of a banner ad!

Requirements for starting a coupon site

• • • • • • •

Website with online payment processing capabilities Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing skills Computer with Internet connectivity Scanner Printer Telephone Being able to visualize exactly how to differentiate your coupon site.

Coupon site business operations

To start and run a coupon site you will need to hire a web design and development firm to build the website that will house coupon listings. I would not suggest you try and do it yourself. Whilst you may be able to design the functionality it is unlikely that you will have the design skills to create a truly ‘remarkable user experience’ or what is called in the web industry ‘UX’. You can also develop a website on your own if you have these skills.  The listing feature itself can be developed in two ways; you can either add coupons to the site on behalf of businesses or allow businesses to add coupons on their own.  Ideally you should have a website with the ability for businesses to create and add coupons themselves using a secure account that limits access to them. Another factor to consider while building a website is payment processing. You will

need to decide how you will be collecting payments. If you want to collect payments online then the website will need to have an integrated payment gateway to process payments. My suggestion is that you cross the payment gateway solution first with your bank because South African banks often have this philosophy that you have to have been in business for a year before issuing credit card facilities especially online credit card facilities. Fortunately the banks have experienced the success of existing only coupon businesses and so they know the business model can work. You will also need to decide, as part of the website development, the way in which the coupons will be delivered to the user and how they will be used.  A coupon can be an image that the customer will be able to print and use for offline purchases or a simple alphanumeric coupon code that the customer will be able to use while purchasing products online.  You may develop a website that can work for both types of coupons or either of them. Once you have developed the website, your main task will be to contact businesses for listing their coupons on the site and promoting the site amongst users.  Depending on your skills and availability, you can choose to contact businesses yourself or hire someone for marketing. It is important to understand the geographical limitations of coupons business.  While having a website will allow you access to advertisers from any part of the world, it will be difficult



Appropriate Training: the key to empowerment By Marius Lubbe


raining your staff, or for that matter your-self, in computer skills is an integral part of creating a more efficient workforce, The need to train staff in skills that will be of use to the company has become a focal point, Many employers, however, are mis­guided as to what qualities as appropriate train­ing for their staff. To illustrate this point, let’s take the example of an employer who recognises that a particular employee has more potential than her current job as receptionist allows, but that she lacks the skills for the bookkeeping job he has in mind. The obvious next step would be to send her tor training to a computer training company that can teach her the necessary skills. Talking to his auditors, the employer receives the following advice. “Microsoft Excel is an important program, and furthermore if you send her on a course for an accounting program like Pastel, it will save you a lot of money by allowing you to do your own monthly input, invoices and such, and not having lo pay us a fortune for doing so on your behalf.” The employer gets a few quotes for these two courses and happily forks out a few thousand rand in the belief that once this employee com­pletes these courses, all his problems will be over and she will be productive in her new job, saving the company some money. The employ­er’s misconception of what is appropriate train­ing, is going to cost him money, frustration and a very unhappy employee. This employee is probably going to arrive at the training centre with few computer skills. At best, the training company will give her a one-hour crash course on computer basics, which will confuse her even more. As these centers have to deal with a classroom full of students, personal attention is practically non-existent and our poor intimidated employee will sit quietly, just trying to make it through the course. Alter a horrific eight hours of paging back and forth through her manual, she is thoroughly con­fused, scared and depressed, Even though she may land up owning a certificate of completion, money has been wasted and the employee is terrified that the employer will expect her to cope with

these programs ones she returns to the office. This experience has made the employee feel stupid and worthless, and the employer has paid for the privilege. Sadly this is not a fictional tale, but a reality that many employers and employees face. A small business owner cannot afford this type of wastage of noi only money but employee’s time. What is needed is appropriate training. An employee lacking even the most basic com­puter skills must first learn how a computer works, and how to do basic housekeeping tasks on the computerFrom there, the employee should learn how Windows works and how to organise work within Windows. Once the em­ ployee is secure and happy coping with these tasks, she can progress to word processing - learning what it is and how it works. The same applies to teaching employees about spread­sheets, databases and Internet tasks. Take the employee mentioned earlier, after com­pleting this type of training, she will he far more productive and valuable to the company, not only having learnt how to work with word processing, spreadsheets and databases, but also e-mail and researching on the Internet. The most important point, however, is that this training as defined by Creative Minds® appropriate training - allows the employee to complete a course with a real feel­ing of self-worth and accomplishment.

quite a bit about bookkeeping to come to grips with the Pastel program. The important distinction of appropriate train­ing with Creative Minds® is that the information is not crammed into the students head in long continuous sessions, but at a slower pace of one or two hours per day. Training people in eight or ten hours flat per day is not to the advantage of the .student, but rather to the training company as it pushes through more students and, therefore, makes more money for less effort. Getting appropriate training for your employ­ees means that you need to choose a training company like Creative Minds® which will take the time to get to know your employees on a more personal level, i.e. under­stand their personal needs, progress at a pace that makes sense to the them and, most impor­tant of all, be there when they need advice in the future. Marius Lubbe Managing Director / President Creative Minds® Training Group Telephone: +27 (0)21 939 6344 Fax: +27 (0)21 930 0079 Cellphone: +27 (0)82 785 7763

When it comes to Pastel, the employer from our example, can feel secure in the knowledge that the employee is being taught the rudiments of bookkeeping during the Pastel course. You will be surprised how many people wish to take Pas­tel courses, without understanding why one has to know



OPPORTUNITY to manage business relationship with advertisers from other countries for a small set up. Also, with the differences in currencies and pricing strategies, it is better for a coupon site to focus on a single region or country. The operational effectiveness and success of a coupon website will be measured on: • Site uptime – Make sure that you hire a good web hosting service with guaranteed uptime. • Number of valid new coupons – Users will be looking for the latest and valid coupons that they can use. • Number of users in the targeted market – Businesses will want more and more users from their target market segment to promote their coupons.


The marketing plan for a coupon site needs to have two approaches; one to target the advertisers and one to attract the users. For marketing the site to advertisers, you will need to create an offline marketing plan which will include calling the advertisers and personal meetings with marketing teams to explain the features of your website and potential. Apart from that you can also use email marketing to promote your site amongst advertisers. To market your website to the customers who will use coupons: • Promote the website on search engines through Pay-Per-Click ads for keywords related to the coupons available on the website. • Create an opt-in email marketing system by asking users to subscribe to the mailing list to be notified about the latest coupons on the site. • Develop viral marketing features in your website so that users can share your coupons amongst their friends on social networks such as Facebook or forward the coupons through email. • Create a long-term search engine optimization plan that will bring free traffic from search engines. • Use a catchy name that incorporates a key word such as “deals”, “bargains” and “sale”. • Whilst you are developing your site make a list of all the coupons offered by existing sites and tell them how your site will be different and collect names to email. Keep everyone involved and up to date to build anticipation.


Upfront cost to start

The startup cost will mainly comprise of website design and development fee which will depend on the complexity of the website that you decide to build. Apart from that, there will be regular operational expenses such as website hosting fee and expenses for promoting the site to the users and advertisers. Development time may take up to two months and cost up to R100, 000 depending on the speed, complexity and your input into the project. Small change for a business that could be worth $6 billion dollars or R42 billion.

Africans than Groupon or Zappon. If you have any questions you are welcome to email me. For South-African coupon sites you can get ideas from:

Business model & pricing

There can be several business models for operating a coupons website: • Pay Per Listing – In this model the advertiser will pay a set fee every time a new coupon is added to the site. • Pay Per Coupon Purchase – The advertiser will pay each time a coupon is bought. For coupons that are not image based, the advertiser will pay each time the user clicks the listing to reveal the coupon code. • Monthly or annual subscription plans for businesses – The businesses pays a monthly or annual subscription fee and, depending on the plan, gets the ability to add a fixed number of, or unlimited, coupons and coupon codes. • Free – The site can also be made free for businesses and users both and the revenue can be generated by displaying ads.  This will, however, require a significant traffic to be able to generate decent revenue from the site. • Monthly or annual subscription plans for users – This is a very ambitious model and may not work for everyone; however, if you can manage to get useful and exclusive coupons that are not available anywhere else, you can ask the members to subscribe for access to those coupons. You will need to decide the pricing on the basis of fixed and operational cost of your business and external factors such as the cost for promoting a coupon for a business through alternative mediums. The final tip for you is choosing a great name and registering it now with Uniforum ( Names like realdeals, costsavers, and discountclub mean more to me and I am sure to a lot more South WARWICK SMITH-CHANDLER is editor of SA Guide to Business Opportunities and founder of He has often been at the forefront of new technology in South-Africa. He was the one of the first to see the impact of IBM compatible PCs in the 1980’s and listed his company Computer Warehouse on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in May 1987. He can be contacted at alternatively you can follow him on the official blog:



Plan for business as if it were battle By Allon Raiz, Raizcorp


o you have downloaded a business plan template and you have sharpened your pencils and got out your calculator. If you go ahead and fill in all the boxes, will this plan be the foundation of a great business? “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy,” said Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State under President George W Bush and four-star general in the US Army. Can we say the same of the ubiquitous business plan? And if you are an entrepreneur, can your launch into the market be compared with facing your enemy? The analogy is not that far-fetched. Business plans, like battle plans, last only as long as the first ambush, and then you have to think on your feet. This is a vital skill for entrepreneurs. If you are not flexible and able to react quickly to the challenges that will come your way, you risk being shot down. The importance of a practical, adaptable, “working” plan is in danger of being completely obscured by the rigid business plan formulas that are demanded by banks and financiers, business plan competitions and business plan consultants. New entrepreneurs can be forgiven for believing that once they have a plan that

ticks all the boxes or has been developed by a professional, they are on the high road to success. It is a myth that is perpetuated, in particular, by well-intentioned but ill-advised entrepreneurial support initiatives that measure their own performance by how many candidates they have “trained” to write a business plan. While it is essential to start with a good plan, it is important to adapt the plan to changing circumstances. For example, media mogul Rupert Murdoch planned his company’s strategy with military precision, but based his planning on weekly account statements. A quick review on social media site, Linked In, of what some entrepreneurs think about business plans endorses my view: “Plan, plan, plan again, and keep it sensible – two year max with rolling position and review against actual all the time!” says one commentator. Another uses his business plan as a road map which has to be regularly updated to accommodate changes, the destination may remain the same, but the route keeps changing. These are the views of seasoned entrepreneurs.

Where we run into trouble in South Africa is where emerging entrepreneurs are encouraged to believe that a formal business plan is a ticket to profitability. Not so. Entrepreneurship is a tough battle. While it can result in some of the most rewarding achievements of your life, you have to be aware of the challenges and be prepared to tackle them. You have to really relish the prospect of hidden minefields, obscured visibility, well-concealed snipers and cunning adversaries. A good way to prepare for the onslaught is to start by thinking about how you will drive your cash flow. New entrepreneurs should begin by developing a cash flow plan and drawing up several versions, factor in potential challenges, such as rising interest rates, non-payment by debtors, electricity cuts, theft, declining demand, seasonal variations in supply and demand, and so on. In this way you will start thinking ahead and begin to see how important it is to adapt your plan as you go along. But what happens when you apply for finance? Banks want one optimistic, wellresearched cash flow forecast. Is this when you should go the conventional route and tick the right boxes? Yes, until finance institutions come up with a more practical assessment process. It is short-sighted that the decision-maker allocates finance on the strength of a neatly bound and typed plan, when he should be looking at natural talent for dodging bullets and digging trenches, or for working through the night to come up with a new tactic. The sustainability and success of your business does not depend on your plan; it depends on the quality of your planning. This process must go on through setback and rally, advance and retreat, victory and defeat. Planning does not stop until the war is over. ALLON RAIZ is the author of Lose the Business Plan: What they don’t teach you about being an entrepreneur.




Protect your business from out-of-town small claims By Jaqueline Martinez Smith


e went to see our lawyers, and here’s how it works when somebody from out of town takes you to the small claims court in another city or town. If you receive a summons from a small claims court it works the same way as in any other court (except you cannot use legal representation) and you will have to defend your case in the court where the action is instituted. As for changes to be affected by the Consumer Protection Act, if anything, there will be greater obligations on suppliers. However as the CPA regulates issues such as the right to return goods, defective goods, refund policies and so on, there is clearer guidance as to what the supplier’s obligations are to consumers who are unhappy with products or services. The CPA introduces a whole range of mechanisms by which consumers can enforce their rights and most of these will be at the convenience of the consumer. There is a large focus on mediation however, and where possible the National Consumer Commission will resolve disputes telephonically or in writing to avoid the consumer incurring unnecessary travel costs. Unfortunately, the costs for suppliers, not only in terms of travelling but in settling complaints and in simply complying with other requirements in the CPA, are much more For example where in the past, a supplier had no obligation to provide a warranty or to repair faulty goods, now  everyone in the supply chain  gives the consumer a six month  warranty (this is in the law and cannot be contracted out of) that goods are good quality and free of defects among other requirements. It  the goods do not comply (obviously


this will not apply to consumable items) then the consumer  can return them to anyone in the  supply chain and receive a refund,  replacement or repair at the consumer’s option. This will make business very expensive for suppliers and in all likelihood will ultimately push up prices for consumers. However, it does mean that consumers no longer have to bear the burden of faulty goods. There are remedies, says Rosalind Lake, an Associate at legal firm, Deneys Reitz Inc. “This is really a question regarding which court will have jurisdiction to hear a particular dispute,” she says. “There are several ways that a court can have the authority to decide on a matter and often one or more courts in different regions would have authority to deal with the same matter.” Unfortunately for the company or individual on the receiving end, the person who is instituting the action (in this case the customer) has the right to determine which court to lodge the action in depending on the facts available to support the jurisdiction. “If the business being sued has its premises in a particular region, that can be a basis for using the court in that area. But if the dispute occurred in a region different from where the business is based then the court in that area will also have jurisdiction. For example if the contract was concluded in Cape Town and the supplier is based in Johannesburg, a court in both areas would be in a position to resolve the matter. Unless there are valid grounds to dispute the jurisdiction, or if the customer and supplier agree to move to another court with jurisdiction, if a supplier is called to defend a matter in a particular court they will have to do so at that court,” Lake says. She advises: “If someone receives a summons and they disagree with what

is being alleged and want to defend the matter, they should seek legal advice so that they can see whether there is any basis on which to move the matter to another court. However, this is rarely the case and many people find themselves involved in defending matters in very different regions from where they are based.” Anyone who receives a summons should seek advice on their chances of success and weigh up the costs of defending the matter (including the travel costs associated with attending a court in another region) and consider whether it would be commercially sensible to settle the matter up front and avoid incurring additional cost. For more information and guidelines on lodging in the Small Claims Court, visit: or phone 012 357 8236 / 8258. ROSALIND LAKE Associate - Competition Deneys Reitz Inc Telephone: 011 685 8941 Mobile: 082 807 4429 Fax: +27 11 301 3200 15 Alice Lane, Sandton, 2196 PO Box 784903, Sandton, 2146, South Africa Reg No: 1984/003385/21



Entrepreneurship expo offers ideal business prospects Business prospects will be placed in the limelight this September as the 2011 Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo (BOFE), proudly sponsored by Standard Bank, takes centre stage. Given the phenomenal success of the 2010 Expo, more than 10,000 visitors and 250 exhibitors are expected to attend the 2011 event. BOFE, a member of the South African Black Entrepreneurs Forum is hosted by Southern Africa’s most pioneering and successful exhibition organisers, Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group (TEPG). The four-day expo will kick off on 15 September 2011 at what is known as ‘one of Johannesburg’s most recognised landmarks’, the Coca-Cola dome in North Riding, next to Northgate Shopping Centre, and will run from 09:00 to 17:00 daily. This will be the second time the event will be held at the Coca-Cola dome. More than 9 200 visitors ranging from small to medium business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs had the opportunity to view 232 exhibitions in 2010. While exhibitors were given the opportunity to offer their products and services in a tactile and professional setting, visitors were given the ideal marketing platform to meet with investors looking to increase their portfolio. Entrepreneurs and business owners must be stimulated to grow, and BOFE’s platform ideally provides them with the opportunity to engage with funders and major financial institutions to build strong business relationships. Access to capital will not only give these companies the necessary foundation to become an established entity, but will also underpin new business ventures that will broaden the company’s footprint and create sustainable operations. “For 18 years, BOFE has and continues to drive these visitors to change their


lifestyle or career paths by owning their own businesses. It gives companies offering business opportunities and franchisors the invaluable opportunity to meet face-to-face with potential new investors,” says Glynis Anderson, General Manager, Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group. Research from last year’s event showed that 72% of visitors who attended were interested in buying a business, while 62% of the visitors who attended the show have funds readily available to invest. During 2010, the appetite for investment had been hit by the global economic recession, but as markets emerge from the downturn, the 2011 event can very likely show an increase in the appetite for investment. South Africans were also exposed to numerous job losses following the recession, which is why BOFE continues to value the importance of job creation through the development and maintenance of profitable SMEs. Furthermore, the expo will also feature a Small Business Seminar, a Business Buzz Zone and Interactive Demo areas. The Business Buzz Zone provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn from and directly interact with some of South Africa’s most influential speakers who will host seminars and workshops to provide vital information regarding the successful running of a business. This year, visitors can pre-register online from the 1st July 2011 via for complimentary access or pay R30 per person at the door. They will have access to exhibitors such as Bimbo’s, Fish & Chip Company, Rawsons, DIY Depot, Softline Pastel, SARS, Subway, HP Print Station and Sanlam, just to mention a few. Not only will there be business opportunities, franchise options and business

support service companies offered to an audience of successful entrepreneurs, but this year BOFE has brought Standard Bank to the party after naming it the expo’s first Headline Sponsor. “Standard Bank believes that the small enterprise market plays a critical role in the continued growth of our economy. Therefore, we expend great time, effort and resources into supporting initiatives that accelerate the development of small enterprises. Standard Bank’s association with the BOFE is just one of many platforms the bank uses to empower and enable entrepreneurs,” says Marius Le Roux, Head: Small Enterprises, at Standard Bank. BOFE is not simply an exhibition; it also provides investment opportunities and promotes Black Economic Empowerment. About BOFE The Business Opportunities & Franchise Expo (BOFE) proudly sponsored by Standard Bank is devoted to the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs), providing aspirant entrepreneurs with opportunities to diversify their business portfolios. Visitors to BOFE will have the opportunity to research and explore a variety of investment prospects, franchise options and free workshops as well as networking with successful entrepreneurs. BOFE takes place from 15 – 18 September, 2011, at the Coca-Cola dome. For more information, please visit: BOFE contact: Glynis Anderson Tel: +27 11 549-8300 Website: Issued by: Firehouse Communications Deborah O’Connell Tel: +27 11 447-1805 Email:


Born for business By Jo Kromberg Creative Path to Growth founder Sherry Collier reckons that women were born for business.


n her website, http://www. a-mind-for-business-5-tipsfor-women-to-capitalize-on-braindifferences/, she says that women possess some brain differences that can help them to navigate some of the challenges of starting and growing a business. She goes on to say that that nature’s default setting for fetal brains is female.  “Until eight weeks old, every fetal brain looks female until a huge testosterone surge begins to change the brains of infant boys. This surge of testosterone kills off some of the cells in the communication centres of  the male brain and more cells grow in the sex and aggression centres in the brain.  In the female infant’s brain, the cells grow more connections in the communication centres of her brain and areas that process emotion.” “What are some of the implications of these differences for women in business?  (This can) help a female entrepreneur tend to the important details of her business while tuning in to the relationships that are vital to her business. Women have sometimes struggled against stereotyping (being the weaker sex, being overly sensitive, being too emotional to be able to make good decisions, etc.) that results from misunderstanding differences between the sexes.  I hope that men and women will begin to understand these differences in a new light and that we learn to value the differences in our brains and our strengths.  There have been times when women have been influenced to try to approach business from a male perspective (the old’ boys club) and to suppress her unique feminine strengths in business.  Take heart and strength from the knowledge that the female approach is equally valid and effective.  In fact the female approach to business can give a woman an

advantage simply because she is allowing herself to express her natural feminine gifts and strengths.” And this is where I, as a woman in business, stop agreeing with her wholeheartedly. Just look at the title of her website – “creative path to growth”... like some touchy-feely recipe from Martha Stewart? Yes, it is true that us girls have intuition and better communicative skills than men but it is also true that more often than not we don’t know or understand the rules of business – and unlike Miss Colier’s assertion that we can in fact, approach business with our feminine whiles, it wont get you very far, girlfriend. We need to talk money, not “abundance”. We need to talk strategy and deliverables, not “paint your own Diva life”. The time for euphemisms and girly, emotional talk is over. The Oprah Winfreys, Carly Fiorinas and Maria Ramos’s of the world did not get there by hugging and crying and telling their employees or business partners their inner-most secret boyfriend or diet problems every day. We need to learn to play chess and play golf – and to play poker. We need to understand leverage and not give the game away all in one go. And no, we don’t have to trade in our feminine side – just use it better to understand how business is done – REALLY done... With our upcoming features on Women in Business in SA Guide to Business Opportunities, we are going to give you the skills, means and advice to make your dreams come true as a woman in business. We are going to show you how you can succeed despite the obstacles you face and how you can achieve every single goal you have set for yourself. So stay tuned because from now on, sisters are doing it for themselves!



Tough as nails By Warwick Smith-Chandler Starting a nail salon business from home or on-themove has become more popular over the past few years.


rior to that, people would tend to take care of their manicures themselves at home and only have a professional salon manicure for special occasions such as weddings and other important social and business gatherings. Then acrylic nail extensions became available and everything changed. As well as acrylic and gel nail extensions, there are nail tips and all kinds of artistic embellishment available. The elegant extended fingernails can be studded with rhinestones, dotted with glitter or painted with seasonal pictures. The days when nail color was the only choice you needed to make when having a manicure are long gone. There is enormous potential for earning money as a self-employed nail technician. Setting up a business at home or as a mobile nail /beauty technician is easily achievable. You only have to pass by a nail salon a few times to see how busy they are at all times of the day and, if you want to try out nail extensions for yourself, you will find there is a long waiting list for appointments. Starting your own home-based business as a nail technician will give you much more control and flexibility in your working hours than you would have if you worked for someone else in their salon. If you offer a nail design service from home, you can offer three things that will put you ahead of the mall-based salons: 1. Flexible hours. You can offer evening and weekend appointments for people who are at work during the day or want to get their nails done when their partner is at home to look after the children. You can also offer an emergency repair service. 2. Discounted rates. Fancy fingernails are not cheap to maintain but your overheads will be far lower than those of a salon owner. You can, therefore, compete with the salons on price and still make a good profit. 3. Mobile service. To put yourself even further ahead of the salons, you


can offer a mobile nail technician service. This will be a valuable service for people such as mothers who don’t want to take young children to a salon, disabled people who find travelling difficult and anyone where transport would be a problem or parking a nuisance. In today’s world, both men and women are increasingly on the lookout for high quality treatments and beauticians that they can rely on, but also that can conveniently fit into their busy schedules. This element of convenience has led the mobile beauty industry as people strive to find reliable and accessible services. General Tips 1) Teaming up with other service providers’ e.g. wedding planners and event organisers is also a good idea – this way you can receive referrals and increased business through other channels. 2) Market research is also very important before starting up your business – find out who your clients are and what will work in your area. Research your competitors and see how you can specialise or stand out from the crowd – offer something unique or make sure you are the best at what you do. In the US, one in four beauty treatments is performed in the home. While the number is much lower in the South Africa, there is enormous scope for this sector to grow. The basic equipment you will need to work from home as a nail technician is not expensive and, due to the popularity of nail extensions, supplies are readily available and can be purchased from many South African suppliers. You should always use the best quality products. Using the services of a nail technician is a luxury and your customers will demand top quality products as part of the experience. Using poorer quality materials would be a false economy because they can result in a poor endproduct. Always remember that the best form of advertising is personal recommendation. Word-of-mouth can make or break your business. You want

your customers to be satisfied with your service so that they will recommend you to their friends. If you make the mistake of using cheap products which give a customer an unsatisfactory experience just once, that will very likely be the last time that customer or any of her friends will use your services. Training is the most expensive part of starting a nail design home business but it is absolutely essential. It is also vital for reasons of safety and the future of your business. Failure to undertake a proper training course is dangerous to you as well as to your customers. Apart from the obvious danger of leaving a customer with a manicure that will disintegrate within a few days, there is the far greater danger that you might cause horrible (and possibly permanent) damage to a customer’s natural nails. For details about where to find the list of South-African training, materials and equipment providers, see the table at the end of this article. Who is it suited to? To establish a mobile beauty business, it goes without saying that you must love the industry. You’ll spend your days providing treatments to customers and so a strong appetite for all things beauty-related is paramount. You’ll need to have a sound knowledge of everything from the treatments you’ll offer to the products you’ll be using. And excellent customer service skills are also crucial, to help you maintain a loyal and satisfied client-base. As a mobile beauty therapist, you’ll spend a good degree of time travelling to and from appointments so reliable transport is vital. Decide on your target area and how far you’re willing to go for appointments and try to stick to it. Good time management skills are also vital because customers will not be pleased if you continuously turn up late to appointments. Being a beauty therapist involves a huge amount of personal interaction as well. There are an abundance of different treatments and services under the


WOMEN IN BUSINESS beauty therapy umbrella, so think about exactly what you want to offer your customers. If you’re planning on practicing yourself, the treatments you provide will depend on what courses you have completed and what qualifications you have obtained. Are you particularly good at providing a specific service? Always play on where your strengths lie. As your business grows you will probably be able to take on more staff to help ease the [hopefully] increasing workload, which may present an opportunity to broaden your service offerings. Once again, it’s worthwhile exploring what others are doing in your area – if there are already a number of nail salons nearby, it would be wise to specialise on another treatment, unless you can offer particularly competitive prices. Once you’ve obtained all the necessary equipment, you’re ready to go. A beauty therapy business is no different from other businesses, in the sense that it requires marketing and promotion in order to get its name in the public domain. There is a vast array of marketing tools at your disposal, from the traditional methods, such as newspaper advertisements and leaflet drops, to the less traditional, such as signage on your car or van. Having a website designed correctly and effectively can have a huge impact on your business. Viewing a good website or a bad website can defnitely affect a site visitor’s opinion of your business and whether they contact you to make a booking or not. By using google adwords correctly and promoting your business correctly on facebook and twitter can also increase your popularity ten fold. Blogs are also a great way to advertise your business. Find wellness-related blogs and get to know the writers of the blogs well. Send them your latest news and information and find out how to advertise on these websites. The money you save from not having to pay for premises can be invested into other areas of the business, and many mobile nail therapists can offer extremely competitive prices. Of course, you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to travel to and from appointments when calculating your expected income. It’s also a good idea to set a minimum treatment charge so that you’re guaranteed to earn a certain amount per home visit. Some beauticians decide on a R200 or R250 minimum charge – so work out what amount best suits you and your business.

How to Start an In-Home Nail Business 1) Evaluate which business format is best for you, such as a mobile, retail business, franchise or in-home business. Depending on your zoning laws and sectional title rules, you may not be able to operate a salon from your home. A mobile option allows you the freedom to run your business without the expensive overhead. Decide what to name the salon. Check with the CIPRO ( to see if the name you want is already registered by someone else. 2) Designate a room or an area of your home for your nail business. Many women go to a nail salon in order to experience some pampering and have a relaxing experience. You will want to provide this experience for your clients. It would be a nice touch if you could have relaxing music, a massage chair and a foot spa for your clients. You will also want to make sure you have shelves to display all your different types of nail polishes for sale or for use in your business.

3) Make sure you are well stocked with a variety of polishes and other handand foot-pampering products. You will not want your clientele to feel shortchanged selection wise because they opted to go to an in-home nail business rather than a traditional one. 4) Decide on your range of services. Determine the services you will offer in addition to nail care, such as tanning, electrolysis, waxing, pedicures, massage, airbrush tanning or services for men. Consider popular nail services such as nail art, acrylic nails, gels, wraps, airbrush nails and nail jewelry 5) Outfit your nail studio with adequate


equipment, fixtures, furniture and décor. Implement ceiling fans to help reduce smells arising from the usage of chemicals. Opt for practical, yet comfy chairs for those waiting on services. If you intend to rein in an upscale clientele, your salon will need to look the part. Consider consulting with an interior designer or friend or family member who is particularly savvy with interior design to help you create a professional look for your salon. Be sure to visit your competition, taking note of their décor, furniture and setup. The nail buisness does not lend itself to a tatty look. 6) Hire licensed, insured and fashionforward technicians who are not only skilled at their specialty, but who also look the part. Clients come to you in order to look and feel better and will notice your technician’s personal style. By investing in your style, you can further set your business apart. 7) Offer complimentary coffee, good music and friendly service. 8) Advertise your in-home or mobile nail business. Having an in-home nail business can be challenging because you do not have a storefront to draw in customers. You will want to go to extra lengths to get the word out about your services such as posting flyers, attending network groups and handing out business cards and using social media. What home-based salon owners say about what works for them: 1. Have a soft opening. Don’t just throw a grand opening party as soon as you service your first paying customer.You’ll still be making personnel and layout tweaks, so wait for those changes before you do an official “grand opening.” 2. Don’t just invest in yourself and your space, also invest in giving your nail techs the proper training before your doors open. Recruit friends and family to volunteer for trial nail services. You can also hold other types of training like customer service skills. 3. Hire techs with experience. Customers notice inexperience and immaturity and its bad for business. 4. Be in the digital age. Go after clients via your website on the net, include e-newsletters, e-mail confirmations, online appointment booking, and social media. 5. Finding the right business partner and manager is trial-and-error. If you’re going into business with a partner, I’d say make sure your partner is right for you. Both partners have to come in on an equal level and be on the same page.


WOMEN IN BUSINESS Other services offered by nail salons in the USA - 2010

6. Diversify your range of services. Women want it all and all at one stop. Continously expand your product range - it makes you and your business interesting. 7. Marketing and follow-up is important. New products, specials and promotions, testimonials are important. If possible take videos of before and after treatments and load them to You Tube. Add those links to your website and social media activities. 8. Especially in this economic environment, go above and beyond to retain customers. 9. Never give up. No matter how bad it gets, don’t throw in the towel. To run a nail business successfully you need to network at industry events and related magazines such as: • The Professional Beauty Expo in CPT, JHB and KZN • (the JHB and CPT expos are particularly popular) • Professional Beauty Magazine • Les Nouvelle Esthetiques Magazine • Nailpro Magazine • Sparkle Magazine Finally, there are smart technology solutions that can come to your rescue and help out with marketing, sales and financial administration.

matic SMS or Email reminders to clients reminding them of their bookings with you on a daily basis. This reduces client no-shows and possible booking cancellations. The SpaGuru web sevices comes free with the software and allows you to link your software to your web page allowing you to receive real-time bookings and product purchase enquiries from your website. Clients will be able to see on what days and times you are available for a specific service and can book the services directly with you online. This is an excellent way of increasing sales and the added convenience of booking online makes it more likely that clients will make booking with your nail salon more frequently. The software sends you reorder alerts when stock is running low. Keep track of client preferences, past bookings and sales history easily. SpaGuru also keeps track of client’s allergies and medical conditions and ensures that you are warned when trying to book a client with a service that could be problematic for them.

Companies like SpaGuru offer both marketing and software services to the wellness industry:

Fully comprehensive reporting makes running your business simple. E.G. Commission reports work out employee commission automatically for you; sales reports can assist you in determining which services are more popular in your business etc.

Their software can send out SMS or Email messages to clients celebrating their birthdays automatically on a daily basis without you having to manually remember to do it. Automated “Thank You” messages can also be sent out to clients who have visited your nail salon. The software can also send out auto-

Provide and keep track of customisable client vouchers and promos with ease. Providing vouchers is a great way to make extra sales. Automate your financial processes and manage invoicing, receipting, tips, petty cash transactions, daily cash balances and more, quickly and easily.


Manicures Pedicures Polish changes Nail art Specialty manicures/pedicures Full acrylics(tip-with-overlay) Pink-and-white acrylics Paraffin dips Full set acrylics (sculpts) Gels/UV light systems Waxing (for hair removal) Eyebrow shaping Colored acrylics UV top coat service/gel overlay Soak-off gels Brush-on gel polish Colored gels Gel toenails’ Acrylic toenails Skin care Hair care Makeup application Eyebrow tinting Massage Wraps (silks or linen) Fiberglas’s wraps Eyelash tinting Eyelash extensions Nail jewelry Reflexology Body wraps Powder/glue extensions Microdermabrasion treatments Tanning Ear piercing Airbrushing Ear coning/candling Airbrush tanning Permanent makeup Non-waxing hair removal Teeth whitening

97% 92% 87% 83% 71% 69% 66% 65% 63% 63% 62% 57% 53% 51% 50% 49% 47% 46% 45% 45% 43% 33% 31% 30% 26% 24% 24% 23% 21% 19% 16% 14% 11% 11% 11% 10% 9% 9% 8% 6% 2%

View a list of all the SpaGuru Software features on their website: SpaGuru operates from Cape Town, and have clients both locally and internationally. Contact them on: +27 021 83 6316 or email them on: for sales and pricing enquiries. A 14 day free software trial is available.



Your website needs an overhaul - This is what you need to consider

Have you ever wondered about the importance of website usability? Imagine a website to be like a boutique or a café, but in our case there will not be any sales assistants. How will you deliver excellent customer service through your website? Are your customers able to find what they seek without the help of service staff?

By Warwick Smith-Chandler


ebsite usability ensures that your customers are able to navigate through your “boutique” on their own, and to enhance their “customer” experience. Try googling “website usability checklist” and I am sure there are 101 search results educating the masses with their notes and reasons of website usability. We asked for their suggestions and solutions.

1. Your company’s LOGO should be prominent Your logo is your identity. It informs the users of who you are. It should be placed at a location where users expect it to be. In this case, it would be the top left hand corner of your website.

2. Navigations are easy to find Navigations are easy to find, navigations SHOULD be easy to find. They are like a map through your “boutique”. Most navigation bars are found at the top of the screen. In cases where a horizontal navigation does not suit your design, your navigation bar should stand out in your homepage. Apart from the above, your navigation should be kept short and straight to the point.

Insert Google Pic – with search results. However, we should also put our web designs into consideration. I will say, as long as there is contrast for your links and it blends in perfectly with your design, you are good to go!

“F”. This also shows us on where the important information should be placed at. Interesting!

4. Layout of your information

Black text against a white background is a popular choice for most web designs. It makes reading easy and comprehensible. Most importantly, it gets your information across.

3. Hyperlinks are easy to find

Let us not be greedy and overwhelm your website with information. Chances are that your users will not be able to absorb the information.

This goes the same for hyperlinks. Well, your links need not be shouting: “Blue is the best color for links”. I will not disagree and Google is a perfect example of that.

User tracking studies have shown that users do not read your content word for word; rather, they would read the first paragraph and scan through your website in the pattern of the letter

5. Black text, White Background – the popular choice

6. Font size and font type “What font type should I use in web design?” I am sure this is and will always be a popular debate. Most designers are of the opinion that “We read best what


ADVICE AND TIPS we read most.” Hence, it is best to stick with common and clear fonts that the users are familiar with. Be it Helvetica, Arial, or Microsoft Sans Serif. As for sizes of fonts, let us not torment our users, nor shall we test their eye sight with text that are meant for ants!

A good font size, I would say, would be 10 points. Comfortable to the eyes and legible.

is essential to run through the website to make sure that there are no broken links. No users will like to be greeted by a 404-not-found-page.

7. Images Have Appropriate ALT Tags

My advice? Check, check and triple check.

Naming your image alt tags is not only helpful for the users, it is also essential for search engines to understand your image.

For an extended 25 point checklist – see the end of this article.

HTML Page Titles should be kept unique, informative and should appeal to the users. This will appear in search engine and will determine if the users will click on your link or move on to the next link.

3. Spice-up your web site’s wording using plenty of adjectives. It gives your visitors a clearer vision of what your explaining or describing to them.

Getting more sales is about increasing and improving the ‘user experience’ your 8. Loading time – By Warwick Smith-Chandler client has with your website. At every step optimizing your website along the way clients have the potential of dropping out and not concluding the Let’s face it. Any website that transaction – Follow these 10 easy steps takes more than 5 minutes to load below to improve access to your site and is unbearable. With the current dramatically improve your online sales. internet speed we are offered, users 1. Persuade visitors to link to your web expect the websites to load quicker. site. Give them a freebie in exchange for Hence, always optimize your website them linking to your web site. It could be to reduce loading time. Even with content, software, etc. Flash and add-ons, your website should not take more time than a 2. Link to web sites that provide useful smoke break to load. information or services for your visitors. If you have many useful links on your 9. HTML Page Titles Are site, they may make it their start page. Explanatory


10. Last but not least, check for broken links

4. Don’t make your banner ads look like ads. Most people ignore banner ads. Design them to look like content and have them click to read the rest.

The feeling of going to a boutique only to be informed that the item is out of stock, is disappointing. The same goes for our websites. It

5. Join affiliate programs that go with the theme of your web site. You’ll just be wasting valuable space and time if your visitors aren’t interested in them. Continued on page 52


PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS The Facebook Era 2nd Edition - Clarah Shih

Google Mapmaker

R8000 this netbook is now available from Sahara Computers nationwide.

Google has launched it as the Wikipedia version of its map tools. Users can browse all the locations they know best, update the results, and make corrections (Yes, Google Maps is not the most accurate thing in the world.) Anything you add is approved and then added to systems like Google Maps and Google Earth.

It is pretty standard as far as specifications go- but there are some unique aspects to this truly portable micro netbook. It comes with a 64 GB solid state drive. If you need extra hard drive space get yourself a USB powered external hard drive. The keys are spaced generously and it is comfortable to use and with a

What Google Map Maker Does

So what can you add? - Photos - Business hours - Contact information - Labels for buildings (Like campus buildings, for example) - Features and details - Correct locations and details

This social networking book is great for business owners or staff members needing a hands on guide to social networking strategies. It is filled to the brim with resources and is remarkably easy to read considering depth of analysis. The Facebook Era is a required textbook for the Global Entrepreneurial Marketing course at Stanford and social media course at Harvard Business School. It is a must buy for any business owner looking to play catchup in the social media arena. • You want to understand how Facebook and Twitter are changing people’s behavior, expectations, and relationships - and what that means for your business. • You use Facebook in your personal life but aren’t quite sure how it fits with your professional life. • You need to create a Facebook presence for your company ASAP, but you don’t know how or what to do. • You want to hear how real companies are succeeding at sourcing leads and engaging customers on Facebook. • Increasingly, you’re being asked to do more with less, and want to leverage the power of your networks to improve productivity The Facebook Era is a required textbook for the Global Entrepreneurial Marketing course at Stanford and social media course at Harvard Business School. Cost R208 Available at Exclusive books.

How Can Businesses Use It? The opportunity to differentiate your business by providing more information is huge. After all, the more users can find out about you and your business the more likely you are to answer their questions and the more likely they are to visit. Take advantage of this to add as much information as you possibly can about your business and neighbourhood. You can also correct information - yes just like Wikipedia.

battery life of almost 8 hours your charger can stay at home. Get used to carrying an adaptor for VGA and Ethernet ports as with the super – slim design all round they need to be connected to an external adaptor. It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, 2GB Ram, Webcam, Bluetooth and 11.6 inch screen. A nice touch is the genuine leather travel pouch included. The weight is 970g It measures 298mm x 186 mm x 17.5 mm and it costs R2899. Phone Sahara 0861 SAHARA.

BlackBerry Tips, Tricks and Apps is just what all BlackBerry With the relentless drive towards improving user experience and participation on the net – Google Mapmaker is a welcome step in the right direction. No business operates in a vacuum. For service businesses like tourism being able to develop and highlight a range of existing attractions within walking distance of your business the benefits will be enormous. Because anyone can update your Google Map – that could also include negative remarks about potholes, vagrants and the like. If it wasn’t bad enough that businesses have to monitor all social media sites – Google Mapmaker has just added itself to your social media monitoring check list.

LG X300 Net book. What is sexy, slim and can last for up 8 hours. Well that’s the LG X300. Launched last year and selling for almost


owners need. As a BlackBerry owner myself, I have always been conscience of my ability to do more with my phone but somehow just never got there. With over 400 tips, tricks and apps it was a pleasure reading this first issue. It’s a bit pricey at R250 (175 pages), but for business owners wanting to boost productivity it is essential. I tried researching apps to buy and support queries over the Net but often found it confusing. I have never found a cell phone shop able to suggest applications other than games and a limited range of ‘tips’ so for me this magazine from the UK is vital. Available from Exclusive books nationwide. Cost R250.



Smart companies use SMS to make and save money - you should as well Warwick Smith-Chandler – Editor of SA Guide To Business Opportunities Magazine and founder of asked Dr Piet Streicher – MD of South Africa’s leading SMS messaging service provider for his advice about running SMS marketing campaigns to expand your business, improving your customers experience, save money, and the use of mobile marketing – all using SMS’s as a delivery and execution platform. Dr Piet Streicher


rom the moment we wake up till the moment we go to sleep there is one activity we repeat over a hundred times per day- checking our cell phones for messages. So it’s not surprising that the SMS messaging service provider companies have over the years developed an array of solutions designed to take advantage of the relationship we have with our

1. Marketing options available to small business owners SMS marketing could be ‘push campaigns’ (outbound messaging about new products and service promotions to existing clients with a recent commercial relationship who have opted in for SMS communications) or ‘pull campaigns’ (incoming messaging, where customers respond by sending an SMS to a short code), or a combination of both. Call back campaigns are the most common type of SMS marketing. A business advertises a short code and a keyword to which an interested customer sends an SMS. The sender receives an auto-reply SMS informing them that a company representative will call them back, and includes important contact company information in the SMS. Promotional competitions are used to grab new and existing customers’ attention as either pull or push campaigns. A company could send out an SMS to its customers informing them of a competition. This could also be used to initiate a viral marketing campaign where customers send the SMS on to their friends. A pull campaign advertises a promotional competition using a short code and keyword in the media. Consumers enter the competition by sending an SMS and receive an autoresponse SMS confirming the entry. The SMS line should not exceed R1 and


cell phones. SMS marketing has become a very accessible way for small businesses to build relationships with new and existing customers. It is the marketing medium of choice for businesses seeking to maximise their exposure while minimising their cost as it places product or service messages directly in the hands of targeted customers.

compliance with industry regulations is vital and these can be found on the WASPA website @ Conversational marketing campaigns offer an interactive experience by providing free information (tips, tricks and insights) as a way of giving value to customers. These sound bytes of information can be made available using push or pull campaigns as a way of initiating a conversation with customers and gaining valuable feedback on their needs. 2. How to get started Most small business owners do not have the in-house skills available and so these need to be outsourced to a competent web developer. Often the SMS provider will have a host of do-it-yourself solutions and these should be tried first. Mobile messaging providers have self-service messaging services that allow a company

to quickly and easily put a campaign in place, set-up an auto-response message, manage customer contact details, send and receive promotional messages, and provide reports on campaigns. With these tools available, SMS marketing is really made easy. As your business gets more advanced – SMS enabling some of your website functionality will be the next step – which is where a developer may be required. SMS enabling your business and website has many other benefits. These include the increased frequency of higher volume sends, the need to create internal operational efficiencies, to streamline your external communications to suppliers, to improve your management of customer relationships, or manage time sensitive mobile marketing campaign interactions. The automation of SMS messaging processes is a simple integration with a website or an existing business application. The main development work is in connecting your current systems to an SMS gateway using an Application Programming Interface (API). Ask your web developer or internet service provider to assist you. 3. Sending one SMS or sending 50,000 SMSes SMS messaging is ideally suited to allowing a business to better manage customer expectations. With SMS, you can interact quickly and easily


MOBILE MEDIA SOLUTIONS with customers by sending them short, informative and relevant messages. This provides you with way of enhancing how customers experience your brand, product or service. There are some quick-wins in using SMS messaging for managing customer expectations. In each of the three cases noted below, the SMS is sent from an Internet enabled mobile messaging service that allows you to send messages from a computer to the cell phone number of one or many of your customers. Customers can also reply to any of these messages, if necessary. 4. Benefits of sending customer service SMSes Scheduling appointment reminders goes far in ensuring that business meeting appointments are not missed. This becomes an important cost saving for small business owners who are then best able to maximise their time for revenue generating activities. Future dated SMSes reminding the client and yourself about a scheduled meeting is extremely useful. Keeping customers updated on the status of their order. Using SMS takes all the hassle out of order fulfilment and best manages customers’ expectations of when an order is to be delivered at their home or ready for collection at the store. The main benefit is that customers do not need to contact the business to check up on their order. Instead of spending time and money taking or making calls from customers querying the status of an order, a business can now send out regular SMS updates to keep customers abreast of when they can expect their order. With large order volumes, a business may SMS enable their automated order fulfilment process. Providing them with a reference number after they made a call to your help desk. This provides an efficient way of keeping customers satisfied by sending them an SMS with a reference number, name of the person they spoke to, and contact details. Customers also reply to this same SMS to provide feedback or rate the quality of service experienced as part of a firm’s drive for customer service excellence. Not only is SMS a cost-effective channel for delivering short notifications, alerts or reminders as well as receiving replies from customers, it also provides a way of reducing telephony costs, a major business overhead. The use of a pre-paid application-toperson SMS messaging service offers

your business at least two ways of setting up a cost-effective SMS communication channel. You manage messaging by using a self-service desktop or Web application to send and receive SMS messages via your computer connected to the Internet. System managed messaging where your website or systems are automated to trigger SMS notifications and manage replies during a business process. It is as easy for developers to automate this functionality. How then do these SMS solutions help you reduce overheads? Take for example a firm where a customer has placed an order and the order is now ready for collection. A single SMS sent to the customer notifying that the order is ready for collection will save several calls from the company. Instead, this SMS message provides all the collection details. If the company requires confirmation of receipt of the message, this can be gained by either keeping a record of the message delivery status or request the customer to reply to the SMS they received. Repeated to many clients and the savings are extensive. In an effort to save further costs and increase its productivity, the firm could create additional business efficiencies by introducing SMS to all customerfacing stages of the order process – from order confirmation, status updates and collection. These SMS enabled steps would go far in helping reduce unnecessary use of time and resource and so save the firm money.

that specialises in mobile marketing. Depending on your needs, going the agency route allows you to outsource your campaign. If you wish to control all aspects of the campaign, then securing a dedicated or shared short code from an SMS messaging provider is the best choice. The difference between a dedicated and shared short code is that with a shared number you are limited to a specific keyword which may be campaign or brand specific while with a dedicated short code you have the option of running multiple campaigns, each with a different keyword on the same short code. b) Know the advertising rules Now you are ready to get the advertising creative polished to maximise your SMS call to action. Without taking away from your advertising copy, it is important to know what the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) advertising rules say for the media you will be advertising in. These industry regulations can be found on WASPA’s website

Short codes are SMS codes to which consumers send an SMS, and where a once-off cost per SMS applies. Examples of this call to action are an SMS promotional competition or an offer to claim a discount when making a purchase.

Essentially there are three key things to check on for adverts in print and digital media. The first is that the onceoff cost of the SMS must be shown immediately below, or above, or adjacent to the advertised short code. This is the case even if a standard rated short code is promoted. The second is that in the different media the applicable font size and format for SMS pricing must be adhered to. Lastly, the terms and conditions of the campaign need to be clearly visible in the promotional material. For example, when displayed on packaging for FMCG products, the short code, the cost per SMS, and the terms and conditions for the promotion must be placed as close together.

a) How to get a short code A short code is sourced from an SMS messaging provider or an agency

Taken together, these two steps will ensure that you get your mobile marketing campaigns started on the right foot.

5. Mobile marketing solutions using short codes A successful mobile marketing campaign needs to have advertising creative that appeals to your target market and is in line with industry rules. Adverts adhering to these fundamentals will give consumers the confidence to engage with your brand using their cell phone.



ADVICE AND TIPS Continued from page 48

6. Market your web site as a free club instead of a web site. This’ll increase your repeat visitors and sales because people enjoy belonging to groups. 7. Interact with your online customers on a regular basis. This’ll show them you care about them. You could use a chat room, forum or message system. 8. Check your web site links regularly. After people click on one link, and it doesn’t work, they usually won’t risk wasting their time clicking on another one. 9. Give visitors a positive experience when they’re at your web site. Provide them with original content and free stuff. They’ll tell all of their friends about it. 10. Share customers with other businesses that have the same target audience. Offer their product to your customers if, in exchange, they do the same for you. At the very least take the checklist below and systematically assess your website. The net result will be to isolate exactly what areas of your site will need improvement. Just think of the concept of ‘Total User Experience’ and you will begin to appreciate that competition doesn’t just come from competing product websites – but from the potential distractions faced by all online customers. Time is a scarce commodity and an unsatisfying users experience is a lost customer-for ever.

25-point Website Usability Checklist Accessibility, Rating, Comments 1. Site load-time is reasonable

2. Adequate text-to-background contrast 3. Font size/spacing is to read

4. Flash & add-ons are used sparingly 5. Images have appropriate ALT tags

6. Site has custom not-found/404 page Identity 7. Company logo is prominently placed

8. Tagline makes company’s purpose clear 9. Home-page is digestible in 5 seconds 10. Clear path to company information 11. Clear path to contact information Navigation 12. Main navigation is easily identifiable

13. Navigation labels are clear & concise

14. Number of buttons/links is reasonable

15. Company logo is linked to home-page 16. Links are consistent & easy to identify 17. Site search is easy to access Content 18. Major headings are clear & descriptive 19. Critical content is above the “fold” 20. Styles & colours are consistent

21. Emphasis (bold, etc.) is used sparingly 22. Ads & pop-ups are unobtrusive

23. Main copy is concise & explanatory

24. URLs are meaningful & user-friendly 25. HTML page titles are explanatory



Working from home is now a serious option. Here’s why. By Jaqueline Martinez Smith New toll fees and toll roads in Gauteng are making companies and individuals take a second look at the ‘once taboo’ or too radical option of working from home. In the past, working from home was reserved for an elite group of people. Either you were extremely indispensable, or could literally call the shots and claim you needed your own space in which to work. Then, it became something of a norm for highly skilled people in technical and consulting positions to do part, or most of their work, from home ‘around the family’. Once again, this was reserved to the indispensable staff member or executive in a company. The high cost of fuel, company overheads and now toll charges, and more toll points being created on our roads, is making it a priority for companies to relook their travel policies for staff. Of course with the continual growth of internet and mobile technology, working from home has turned into something of a ‘cool’ and new innovation for some forward-thinking companies, and is no longer reserved for housewives filling envelopes. The latter has long since fallen away as a home working option. With the advent of the new toll points in Gauteng, and the announcement of the charges, you could expect to pay R250 per month for travelling 500 km, for example. These toll points will have a significant impact on people who commute between Johannesburg and Pretoria for work. A further costs saving incentive to work from home is that Telkom have a host of ‘Closer calling Plan’ packages which results in large savings because they are priced cheaper than business line rentals. The best one is the Closer Calling Plan 4 option which offers 1300 free anytime minutes, a land line and ADSL as well as per second cell billing for R499 inc Vat. Deloitte’s National Remuneration Guide, released in September 2010,

indicated that a mere 22% of organizations had actually considered the impact of toll roads on employees’ monthly travel expenses between home and work. On the other hand, 37 % of organizations stated that they would not reimburse employees for the extra cost involved. Since working from home is a concept that has been around for some time and grown in popularity in this country in the past ten years or so, the likelihood of companies allowing staff to work from home is somewhat higher, as is the restructuring of commissions and reward systems within companies. There are so many more reasons why working from home makes sense from a business owner’s perspective, and it does not just cover logistics and costs. Obviously, working from home is a benefit to your family as you are there without actually being there, if I can put it that way. Not only is this an advantage to you, but to your employer in that you save hours by not having to travel long distances. In most cases it will be possible to get an extra hour or two per days productivity per home based employee. With all things IT going towards electronic, mobile and social media, working from home may well become the norm rather than the exception. There are however quite large differences between a tele-worker (working for someone else from your home) and running a home office/business or a home-based business. Whilst the same cost and productivity benefits accrue to all forms of home-based work there are some essential challenges for you to understand fully before launching your home-based office. (Please see the article on five reasons why home businesses fail on the next page.)



Mistakes home busineses often make


tarting a home business allows you to design a career you love to fit a lifestyle that suits your family. But it is not without its challenges. Failure to plan and learn the activities required to build a profitable business can hinder your success. Here are five mistakes many budding home-based entrepreneurs make and how you can avoid them.

1. Not running the numbers.

Many people believe that their home business needs to earn the same amount they earned at their job. This is not necessarily true. Working at home can come with many cost savings that can result in your need to earn less. On the other hand, running a business has expenses. Budgeting and accounting can be boring, but if you don’t know exactly what you need to live on and how much

it will cost to run your business, you could end up in financial trouble. Start by determining how much money you need to survive. Calculate the expenses you foresee in running your business and add any additional profit you hope to earn. Then add 10% more just to be safe. Finally, track your home and business expenses regularly so you can determine your actual costs.

2. Not charging enough for your time.

Whether you have a service or product based business, you need to make sure that you charge enough to cover your expenses and the value of your time. In an effort to enter the marketplace, many new business owners undercut their prices.The problem with this is that if you

undervalue your work, your customers will too. Further, with lower prices, you may not be charging enough to maintain your business. To price properly you need to take into consideration the amount of time needed to deliver your service or create your product, and your overhead expenses. If you charge R500 for a service that takes you five hours to deliver, it seems like you are earning R100 an hour. But that R100 an hour needs to pay for your business expenses such as Internet connection and communication costs, materials, advertising and other costs associated with doing business.

3. Working without a contract.

Always develop a contract for servicebased businesses and terms of service for product-based business to protect you and your customer. These not only help ensure you are paid and avoid legal hassles, but it ensures that everyone is on the same page about what you provide and at what cost. A service contract should define the scope of your work, a deadline for delivery, payment information (i.e. deposits and rates) and recourse for your client if he is not satisfied such as additional edits or refunds. In a product oriented business, have a terms of service that outlines product warranties and refund options.

4. Not maintaining a professional attitude or image.

The customer isn’t always right, but he should always be treated with respect. On more than one occasion, I’ve had people request a refund — sometimes using harsh language — on products I don’t sell. I get annoyed and want to express that annoyance. But I am in business and I know that one bad customer encounter can do more damage than ten good ones. So I am always respectful and helpful. You should be too. A professional image is not just how you treat people, but how you are seen in the world. Before doing business with you, a potential client



WORKING FROM HOME might do a search on your name. If he finds party pictures from you eating sushi off women’s bodies on Facebook, he might think twice about hiring you. Separate your personal and professional online profiles by making your personal ones private for your friends only. You can share personal information on your business profiles, but avoid anything that might offend potential clients and customers.

5. Not marketing and engaging with social media.

Without marketing, you don’t have a business. Period. The money comes from the marketing. Start by identifying your target market and the triggers that will cause them to buy. A trigger isn’t how great you or your business is, but how you or your business will make your customer’s life better. Next, determine where your target market hangs out and create marketing materials to put in front of them. Develop a marketing plan that involves doing at least one marketing task, if not more, every day. This must definitely include at least three social media websites and monitoring your own companies website. Get into the habit immediately by seeing social media as an ally – there is a reason that Google, Facebook and You Tube account for around 75% of all searches and time spent on the internet.




Business owners who write make more money


o, you want to write and make some money? Writing for profit could be as easy as it sounds- or not.

Don’t take this as a negative statement. On the contrary, the early realization that your topic or subject may need a target market is very important. If you like yellow roses, do not assume that everybody and anybody would too. Also, do not assume that, with your own brand of poetic licence, you will attract readers. The reality is that you need to identify a need and an interest and carefully craft your story around that. You want to SELL it, don’t you? Thus, churning out garbage you’ve dreamt up while in a dark, deep depression or while you were madly in love may inspire you, it may not inspire the next person, bringing one back to the basics of writing for profit – interest your readers in your work. This is easier said than done, and while you could read this preamble in the context of creative writing, there are many other forms of writing for profit. You do not need to bare your soul with poetry or write some kind of tantric novel in order to get people to buy from you in order to make money. Many commercial writers write anything from media briefs to articles for online magazines and websites. You may have had the bad experience of joining an online service that expects you to write a minimum of 500 words for a pittance (usually about R1 an article)? With that, they expect you to research the topic and churn out up to 20 of these a day in the hopes of your article being accepted, only to find that 50 % of what you wrote for them was ‘not the standard for this website’ and after spending a whole day trying to earn a measly few bucks you are left exhausted and frustrated. Writing for profit need really not be a challenge, but it is one because there are just so many writers out there doing the same thing. Business owners who need writers have such a wide variety


to choose from that it is imperative that a writer who wants to practice his or her craft commercially find a new and creative angle. That is the true challenge. Churning out the same old nonsense we’ve been hearing in the news, using somebody else’s so-called tried and tested style, or God forbid, plagiarizing another writer, is really just not going to cut it. If you are considering learning how to write for profit, there are tons of resources on the internet. The Writer’s Bureau offers a distance course in commercial writing that guides you through the realities of becoming a writer for profit (such as how much you are likely to get paid, where to look for profitable writing opportunities, whether you need an agent, etc). Amanda Patterson of Writers Write in South Africa gives this advice about making it into the ‘big time’ as a writer: “If you want to become a published author who is paid to write books, you may have to learn to let go. As writers, we all have a story, or an idea, we hang onto. This applies to fiction, memoirs and non-fiction. When I teach, I suggest these writers visit their nearest good bookshop and look at new releases. Browsing internet book sites is also a must. Once they’ve done this, you should be painfully honest. Ask yourself if your story would fit anywhere that actually sells books. Family sagas written by authors like Barbara Taylor Bradford in the 1980s no longer sell. Neither do cosy mysteries a la Agatha Christie, nor do historical adventures like those written by Wilbur Smith – unless you are Wilbur Smith. The Secret is no longer a secret. The Invitation was sent a while ago. 7/8/9 Habits from Life Coaches / angels are so last decade. And please spare us yet another cooking/yoga-themed self-help memoir.

Sometimes writers have to learn to let go, do some research and write books that tomorrow’s readers will buy. Fortunately there are other ways that you can use publishing to make money-lots of money. Consider the options below.

1. Become a ghost writer

Believe it or not, most executives battle to speak coherently, let alone write a business document or article for publication. In past it was only speech writers that were employed to assist executives or politicians and this practice is now common place for business writing as well. People with enough money and a story to tell and not enough discipline to finish the task will use a ghost writer. To be successful you will need to be able to listen well and ask the write questions in a way that doesn’t affect the flow of information.

2. Write for professional reasons

Business owners are writing books for a host of secondary reasons the most important being that business owners who are authors make more money! Here are the eight reasons why business owners who are authors have the leading edge: 1. It increases your credibility: Writing a book demonstrates your expertise in your subject matter. It is a form of mastery that can elevate your status in the eyes of your potential clients, peers, the media, and many other key contacts. The potential is, truly unlimited. 2. It sharpens your competitive edge: Just as in the personal trainer example, there is nothing like a book to impress prospects and close deals. Give away books like you hand out business cards and your business is sure to grow. 3. You earn higher fees: If you are a service provider, such as a consultant, coach, graphic artist, doctor, therapist, financial advisor, or other service professional, your book gives you a license to charge higher rates. It


WORKING FROM HOME all comes back to that credibility factor. You are not just an average expert in your field; you are a published expert Of course your rates are higher than everyone else’s. 4. You can capture hard-to-get appointments: Want to speak with the CEO, the head of human resources, a political leader, or some other unreachable contact? Send them a copy of your book along with a personal note. Odds are much better that your next call will go through. “This is Annie Author calling ....” 5. It generates referrals: Several years ago, a family law attorney sent copies of her book to marriage therapists all over town. Because therapists were often talking to her potential clients, she took a chance that the book might make an impression. Her practice quickly became the largest of its kind in her city. 6. Increased media attention: Open any newspaper or magazine and notice how each article includes quotes and advice from experts. Most often, these quotes come from authors. Tune in to any talk radio show, the Today Show, or even your local news programs. Authors are constantly in the spotlight In fact, media professionals from print, radio, and television frequently search Amazon. com for authors of books related to their needed subject matter. 7. Get known online: If you want to develop celebrity status and build a following of fans, there is no faster or more effective way to do that then by showcasing your author platform online. Share tips and resources through your Website, blog, and social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Host webinars and promote videos on YouTube. The Internet is an ideal place to capitalize on your author status and reach a global audience. 8. Make money from speaking engagements: Commanding the attention of a room is a phenomenal way to grow your business.

Authors are often invited to speak at trade association meetings, the local chamber of commerce, non-profit organizations, corporate functions, conferences, and events. Once you have captivated an audience, wrap up your presentation with a special offer for consulting services, training programs, or other package offering. Also, be sure to sell and autograph copies at the back of the room.

E-Book opportunity – Nazeem Dollie’s

and knowledge on the subject you wish to write about. It can be anything that you’re

you’d like to share with them

Self-published South-African Author, Nazeem Dollie, on his e-Book, “Ripped Dad, Fat Dad” is the world’s largest online affiliate marketing websites. ClickBank charges vendors a once-off registration fee of only $50 US Dollars. They have at least 110,000 seasoned internet affiliate marketers (resellers) that sell digital products on behalf of vendors in exchange for a commission split

Once your e-book has been approved, your product is available to the affiliates to market globally. It is recommended have your e-book translated into different languages so as to attract a greater global market.”

online book on fitness

“Writing and selling an e-book is probably one of the single highest leveraged business assets one can invest into in today’s digital age of technology. When one considers an information product such as an e-book, there are many advantages one can cite in its favour: Not much capital is needed as an initial investment. The only investment is your time


If publishing books seems like too much effort then start off first by writing ‘white papers’ or articles. White papers can be distributed via free download from your website, handed out at trade events, or given to clients. They can be an excellent way to demonstrate credibility in your industry. For added mileage, announce new papers in press releases and online forums. Don’t forget to title it White Paper – followed by the topic and a short resume of your relevant skills. Publishing articles establishes credibility in your field and can bring exposure to a broad audience. For exaample, a career coach could write articles about job hunting, effective interview skills, negotiating salaries, and dressing for success. A financial planner could write articles about retirement planning, investing in stocks, college funds, and rental property Once you write an article, add a short bio at the end-no more than a paragraph-that briefly explains who you are, along with a brief description of your business and a link to your website. Once your article is complete, a good goal is to get as much mileage as you can from your effort. Start by making your article available for free reprint. To make contact, send the editor an e-mail with the article pasted into the body of the message along with the following note:

As a vendor of your own information product, you get to decide the retail selling price as well as the commission split. Commission splits to the affiliate (reseller) ranges from 25% - 75% in their favour, depending on what commission

‘You are welcome to reprint this article provided the author bio is included.’ Many websites operate on a limited budget and will gladly reprint articles written by experts. Start by looking for websites that reach your target audience. From trade associations to information portals, you should be able to locate numerous places to pitch your content. Many sites will provide a page with article submission guidelines. If you can’t find guidelines posted, send an e-mail to the site editor to inquire. For international exposure submit your articles to, www. and Whether you write for print or online publications, you can expect to generate plenty of website traffic from your efforts. And the more articles you publish, the more your traffic and fan base will grow. You will also find that the quality of your articles will improve the more you write, so keep at it This is an excellent opportunity for any business owner who enjoys writing and wants to demonstrate expertise in his/her field. Money will follow credibility. Try it! The sky is truly the limit when it comes to leveraging your own book to grow your business. If you have ever considered putting your thoughts on paper, stop thinking and start writing. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can reap the rewards. References ; Amanda Patterson is the creator of Writers Write and author of The Plain Language Programme To contact Amanda, mail amanda@ Join Amanda on Facebook View her profile on LinkedIn & follow her on Twitter amandaonwriting Other sources:

For more info about Nazeem’s book, visit:



Publish or perish By Warwick Smith-Chandler Acquiring and redeveloping the Greyton Sentinel monthly newspaper was a dream come true for Carol Viljoen. Taking her design skills and Apple Mac, Carol upped and left Cape Town early in 2011 after acquiring ownership of the local newspaper. Having never been involved in any form of publishing, Carol says the scariest part was the realization that three weeks after moving to Greyton the next issue had to be out. That was five months back and the rest, as they say, is history.

So what were the secrets to success, taking the Sentinel and growing the page size and circulation? Having an aboveaverage command of English, layout and design skills learnt painstakingly over 10years in the ad design industry was a great help, but ultimately it was a commitment to make a new life for herself and her son Chris as well as an overwhelming desire to make a meaningful contribution to the community that she now lives in. It was by no means all plane sailing. Greyton is largely a retirement and weekender-getaway community where the week-time population can rise from a mid week number of 250 to well over a 1000 on weekends and holidays. Greyton is about 120 kilometres from Cape Town where it seems everyone is an expert in current affairs, the goings-on of the town and they can spot a spelling mistake from a distance of 10 metres looking over the shoulders of a coffee shop full of locals. Publishing a magazine or newspaper is a complex affair and involves journalists, photographers, a layout designer, printing company, sales staff, sub editors and administration. Added to this were the practical issues surrounding deadlines, printing and distribution and that it had to be published monthly. Getting the first issue out was the hardest part. Carol soon realized that outsourcing the printing to a copy shop 50 kilometres away was both time-consuming and expensive. So the first decision was to purchase a second-hand Canon multifunction printer that could print A3 size sheets. This was a great time-saver and gave Carol and Chris the extra time as well as cost saving to concentrate their efforts full time meeting the community’s needs. Other challenges that had to be overcome included ‘ becoming known in the community’ and giving the Sentinel - which was looking a bit tired after more than 10 years of the same management - a new focus and energy on a very limited budget. Today the Greyton Sentinel is thriving; Carol and Chris have added extra pages and increased the print run quantity. As a by-product to rejuvenating the design, Carol now does extra work designing brochures, advertising material and business cards for the community. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 9, # 2

From home business to retail success Deep in the heart of Plumstead in the Western Cape, you’ll find a gathering of bears that is more than a picnic – you’ll find biker bears that belong to Hazel Smith and Rod Versfeld, biking enthusiasts themselves. Rod and his partner, Hazel, decided to open their own plush toy and gift shop in the hub of their local community when the demand for toys became to great to service from their home and they were finding they were spending more and more time with the manufacturers helping with the manufacturing process. With these teddies in so much demand, and their own passion for bears, the couple took their dream one step further, opening their shop, Bear Necessities. The decision to move out of home wasn’t taken lightly but with the growth of their branded bear range it was inevitable that the business could no longer be run from home. Their flagship bear is a biker with leather jacket and all, and soon they’ll be selling ‘branded’ biker bears too. “Your location is very important,” says Rod. “We had to do careful research of the area and the sorts of people who visit the mall we are located in. Once we felt comfortable that we would have traffic through the mall and to our shop, we made the decision to move in there.” The average rental for shop space in the area is around R75 per square meter per month, excluding other overheads such as electricity and municipal services. Rod and Hazel say that getting people to the shop can be tricky and the cost of advertising in the local papers and magazines is extremely high. Their best source of advertising is via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others. They make and distribute their own fliers. “The internet has proven priceless,” says Rod, who used to run a hardware store in Pinelands. Partner, Hazel, has always been in the clothing and toy-making business and used to work for the family business, Merlyn Toys, before joining forces with Rod to open Bear Necessities. Their dream is to have companies order their bears for their various marketing campaigns, charities and events. Concludes Hazel, “When you own your own shop, you have to be prepared to put in many hours of overtime. In our business, we are actively involved with manufacturing our bears too, and while we sell other artistic gifts and things like ‘memory boxes’ which are all the rage now, we still need to be in the shop front, serving our customers. It’s a hard but rewarding career choice.” Contact details: Email: Website…







Go Mushroom

011 955-9100

Online shop

R 50

Sportron International

011 317-8300

Health and wellness supplements

R 50

083 270-5440

Online network marketing

R 75

The Aim Companies

011 675-0477

Suppliers of BarleyLife and other health care products

R 85

Barco Moulds

021 715-3929

Produce moulds for chocolates

R 100


086 177-8800

Prepaid airtime sales

R 100

Annique Rooibos Skincare

012 345-9800

Skin care and health-food products

R 170

Reddot Minigeza

082 921-9585

Miniature geysers

R 180


011 256-8118

Network marketing of health and beauty products

R 225

Canyon Organics

011 789-1348

Vitamin supplementation marketing

R 250


086 130-4050

Designer jewelery

R 275


041 363-1450

Multi-Level legal & funeral cover

R 298


012 349-1704

Skin and health care

R 299


021 783-5738

Soy products

R 300

VOX Telepreneur

087 808-6014

Vox ADSL phones offering call savings

R 300

World Books

031 705-2960

Educational solutions

R 300

Justine Skincare

011 245-7000

Skincare and beauty products

R 350

Smile SA

011 477-1013

Children's educational products

R 350


082 926-0091

Health beverages

R 350

KMI Oral Spray Vitamins

011 740-5465

Vitamins, minerals and herbs

R 390

Cash Return premium

021 852-5664

Lifestyle products and returns on short term insurance

R 395


082 921-9585

Referral marketing of share investments

R 450

Household Products

083 571-2699

Ingredients and formulae for everyday household products

R 499

Sunbird Perfume

012 345-5523


R 500


031 717-7535


R 500

Honey Fashion Accessories

011 392-7878

Fashion accessories

R 500


011 680-8605

Perfume factory shop

R 750

Spirit Of Africa Cosmetics

012 347-4463

Perfumes and cosmetics

R 750

Badge It

031 205-5074

Button badges

R 895

Phuza Health

011 792-4638

Colloidal Silver health products

R 907


011 615-5345

Health and wellness

R 1,032

Cele Cosmetics

011 975-7326


R 1,100

Strand Hardware

041 585-6996

Picture framing

R 1,234

strong man Metal and tools

083 327-9988

Metal-working machines

R 1,359

Superslim agents East London

043 743-3608

Superslim products

R 1,370

Forever Living Products

011 615-0300

Health, nutrition and beauty products

R 1,752

Saski Distribution

021 671-5924

Smart Sealer

R 1,900

Soap Crafters

011 613-6569

Silicone moulds & glycerine soap

R 2,000

AC Therapy

015 781-0022

Diet and health clinic

R 2,500

Life Masters Team Building

011 467-1763

Team building marketing and sales

R 2,500

Business Card Warehouse

086 100-0299

Business card printing

R 3,000

Tupperware Southern Africa

011 344-8000

Tupperware sales

R 3,000

Roland DG

011 466-1551

Digital production solutions - engravers, printers, scanners etc

R 3,495


011 763-3373

Removing scratches from discs

R 3,500

Ink & Media

043 736-1018

Ink and media products

R 3,500


021 671-1526


R 3,500








Amusement Warehouse

031 304-7137

Coin-operated gaming machines

R 5,000


012 329-3190

Household cleaning services

R 5,000

No Betr Windscreen Repairs

053 861-1350

Windscreen repairs

R 5,000

Reeva Beauty and Health

011 482-1570

Cosmetics and nutritional products

R 5,000

Smart Start

086 110-1841

Children's stimulation programmes distribution

R 5,000


011 740-5465

Gifts in cans

R 5,500

Tony Miller Promotions

031 205-2074

Candy floss manufacturing and sales

R 5,500

ALC Lasers

012 460-3355

Cosmetic and medical lasers

R 6,000

Fun Factory

031 205-2074

Jumping castles and other inflatables

R 6,000

Action Ball

031 709-1022

Teaching children physical activities

R 6,000

Best SA Personalised Children's Books

021 696-2723

Personalised story books

R 7,000

Zoec Costumes

011 791-5726


R 7,500

Dragon Glass

011 849-6430

Chain Maille jewellery

R 8,000

Spitbraais South Africa

083 300-8678


R 8,700

Zoe Cakes 4 Fun

073 046-8460

Birthday cakes and party planning

R 9,500

Gold Effects

021 671-1526

Mobile gold plating

R 9,995

Studder Promotional

011 622-9214

Heat transfer media

R 9,995

Bear & Bug

021 788-2325

Picture framing equipment & hardware

R 10,000


082 422-7872

Money boxes

R 10,000

MJN Consultants & Coffin Manufactures

081 415-6728

Coffin manufactures

R 10,000

Oodles of Doodles

021 979-1776

Childrens gifts and linen

R 10,000


012 807-4560

Marketing and promotional opportunities

R 10,000

Vendtec cc

082 805-0996

Snack and can vending machines

R 12,000

Window Gleam Solutions

011 465-2740

Window cleaning equipment

R 13,500


011 465-9062

Personalised story books

R 13,500

Buddy Bear

031 764-2196

Teddy bears

R 15,000


021 948-2453


R 15,000


021 671-2421

Locating device

R 15,000

JG Electronics

011 789-6033

Transfers and novelty printing systems

R 16,995


+258844 182828

Internet terminals

R 18,000

The Mad Hatter

083 554-3650

Kids party business

R 18,500


021 531-1270

Publishing and bookshops

R 20,000

Bug Zoo

021 447-8540

Childrens clothing

R 20,000

Diverse Group

021 761-0733

User-friendly machinery manufacturing

R 20,000

Kids Clay

083 703-4694

Education and training

R 20,000

Pro Vending

021 448-2299

Vending machines

R 20,000

Rock Candy

011 908-1928

Handcrafted and african sweets

R 20,000


011 475-0022

Pre-school physical development programmes

R 20,000

Bead Fun

083 312-5360

Glass, beads and crystals

R 22,000

Adventure Boot Camp for Women

021 447-2746

Adventure boot camp

R 25,000

Battery Clinic

082 653-9999

Battery life extention

R 25,000

Leather Loft

032 551-1769

Leather clothing , accessories & biker gear

R 25,000

Medals Unlimited

031 205-2074

Medals & accessories

R 25,000

Power Gate

011 679-5402

Fax2E-mail, VOIP, and business training

R 25,000


041 366-1011

Skin balms

R 25,000

Ziggy Spiral Potatoes

083 347-2041

Potato snacks

R 25,000

Word Numbers

086 196-7368

Word based telephone numbers

R 25,000




Stark Realities Every week I have coffee or lunch with a few entrepreneurs. I get to hear about their so-called revolutionary business idea, how great their team is, and how much more money they need to take their business to the next level. So for all of you entrepreneurs out there, here are the seven stark realities that you need to know if you want to be successful.

Stark Reality #1: Starting a business is like a roller coaster There isn’t a ton of glamour in creating a company; instead it’s like a roller coaster. And it’s not like one of those kid roller coasters at Ratanga Junction it is more like Rantanga Junction without seat belts! Sometimes things move really slowly, while other times things move really fast. There will be moments in which you will really enjoy what you are doing and then there will be moments where you aren’t too pleased. And to make things even worse, sometimes things will look really good, but just around the corner will be something that will make you howl at the moon. Sadly, you probably won’t know what to do other than to cry.

Stark Reality #2: Owning a business isn’t easier than working at a 9 to 5 job. If you start a business you get to be your own boss and set your own hours, right? Although that is what most entrepreneurs believe, it is very inaccurate. Instead of having just one boss, you now have hundreds of bosses. Just think about all of your customers because essentially each one of them is your boss. If you still aren’t a believer, remember you have your own business because you are here to make money. And if you don’t do what each of your bosses (customers) want, your business will go bankrupt. In addition to that, when you work at a 9 to 5 job all you have to do is work from 9 to 5. When you have your own business you usually end up working 10 to 14 hour days and in many cases 7 days a week. Even after you start making money, things don’t always change. Sadly, money didn’t change how little I work.

your target customer thinks you are solving a problem. As a business owner you get so wrapped up in your company that you fail to see what’s right in front of you. And just because you think you are different doesn’t mean that you are solving a problem. To solve a problem you ideally need to know what pain the customer is experiencing. Get closer to your potential customers. Only then can you find out what trheir problems are. Stark Reality #4: You have to make money If you are creating a business you have to make money! I don’t care if you don’t care about money; the fact of the matter is not only do you need it to keep on moving forward in the business world but you personally need to survive.

boring. If you don’t believe me, just look at Twitter. Although it is the hottest company out there, they probably will never even make what SASOL makes in a day..

Before you put in a lot of time and effort into a business idea, ask yourself how are you going to make money. If you don’t have a solid answer, don’t get into that business. And if you are already into that non-revenue generating business, get out ASAP.

Or just look at Facebook. Unlike Twitter they are making money, but they can never be as profitable as SASOL. We need oil to survive… we don’t need Facebook to survive.

Stark Reality #5: You have to give a lot to get a little

Stark Reality #7: Time is worth more than money

The world has changed and it is no longer easy to build a successful business. Unlike the old days, you can’t just pop up a website, point some ads at it, and build a big company. In today’s world you have to give a lot. Whether it is free information or samples of your product, you have to do something to build trust from your customers. If they don’t trust you, they won’t spend money with you.

The companies that tend to succeed over time aren’t the ones that create the perfect business out the gate. Instead they are the ones that get their company out in the public as soon as possible.

The sad reality of building trust with your customers is that it isn’t something that is easy to do or cheap. You could lose a lot of money before you gain people’s trust.

Stark Reality #3: Consumers have to believe you are solving a problem

Stark Reality #6: Coolness is inversely correlated to success

It doesn’t matter if you think you are solving a problem, all that matters it that

The most successful companies out there aren’t cool or hip, they are actually dull and


Once you get your company out there you can find out what people are saying, make modifications, and then get more feedback. By being in a constant stream of iteration, you’ll have a higher chance of success because you will be modifying your company to meet your customer’s demands. If you take your time and release your company when you think it’s perfect, you’ll be in for a big surprise. You will never be able to please everyone and you will always run into things that you never thought about.



Moving onwards and upwards Every entrepreneur has made a series of mistakes or been subject to failures along his or her entrepreneurial journey. These setbacks, though painful, will teach you more about business than any textbook, lecture, or mentor ever could. Plus, they are great fodder for conversations at cocktail receptions and on panel discussions.

10. No revenue, no business. Period. Build a sustainable business for yourself, and not one based on hypothetical acquisitions or imaginary investment capital. Bottom line: Stop thinking about many tomorrows from now, and focus on today. Cash flow, or die.

9. You are not special, a winner, or guaranteed squat (and neither is your business). If you are human, guess what?You are still bound by the rules of Darwin’s theory of evolution or, at the very least, Murphy’s Law. The worst thing you can do is fall for your own b.s., so stay focused, stop thinking you are a winner because you’re excited and think your idea is brilliant, and go kick some real ass. 

8. How many things can you do perfectly? If your answer is anything other than one, and you are a small start-up on a shoe-string, guess what? You are an idiot. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was Google. Both were built brick by brick, scaled and then, and only then, did they diversify. Keep your business plan simple, because if it’s not simple, you’re dead.

7. Traditional business plans will bankrupt you. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis! Business planning is not a revenue generating exercise. Execution is where the money is at. Write something short, sweet and to the point and get on with it. I always preach about my One Paragraph Start Up Plan as the best way to get started.

6. The worst case scenario is the only scenario. If you project 100 customers, you might get 10. If you predict a deal to close within 2 months, it might close in 12. The point is, you always need to be thinking about back up plans—and sometimes—backup plans to your back-up plans. Don’t


rely on one way to do something, think about multiple paths. Cover yourself by thinking about alternatives at every turn and you’ll become a much stronger decision maker.

5. Divide your “lowest” financial assumptions or expectations by 4. Anything you think you will earn before you execute, well, probably won’t happen. Financial forecasts are like little gremlins that sit on your shoulders whispering sweet nothings in your ear about upward climbing bell curves. Don’t get stuck on a grandiose financial milestone. Focus on growing organically and covering your basic life expenses before you worry about a six-figure salary or ten-digit company revenues.

4. Strategic partners are not always good ideas. Before you bring on anyone as a business partner, determine if truly “partnering” is the best option. Decide if alternatives such as sharing revenue or doing a joint venture are a better fit. Make sure you know everything about the person you wish to partner with, from their political backgrounds to their business ethics. And if you decide to go ahead and bring on a partner, be sure to create an operating agreement that clearly states what happens in every possible outcome—from a partner leaving to a partner dying.

3. Proof of concept isn’t optional. No one is going to hand you a wad of cash and say, “Here, go follow your dreams and build the next big company.” Banks rarely—if ever anymore—lend to start ups. Angels , Venture Capitalists and other financiers won’t give you a second look. Bottom line: money people don’t care if you are alive or dead until you are in the marketplace—and thriving. Do not waste a second on an idea that you truly cannot get off the ground in some way without someone else’s resources. Think smaller before you try to go bigger. Get

rid of the “phase 3” aspects of your idea before you can get “phase one” out the door.

2. Business growth happens in real time. You may want to get past all of the startup crap, but you can’t get to B until you get past A—and A takes time. There are no 6-minute start-up tricks or ways to get to your first million any faster. It takes time to build traction, brand awareness and a consumer base. Trying to get to B faster will only lead you to a weak A, and a weak A can take down the whole business.

1. No matter how successful you are, accept that you will fail again. Failure is good. It will be your guide to smarter, better decisions. The faster you realize that your business will never be perfect and there is no such thing as smooth sailing, you’ll grow as a leader as a result. 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. (


SA Guide to Business Opportunities vol.9.2  

SA Guide to Business Opportunities

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