Be your own boss today! Starting a business on limited resources

Do you want to work your own hours? Do you have a great business idea? Then it might be time to become your own boss. Being your own boss has benefits and drawbacks. Some key benefits of being your own boss are that you are able to be in control of your business and make decisions on how your business is run. You are in control of your own working style and environment. You can set your own work hours. You are able to decide where you want to work from.

The drawbacks of being your own boss are that your clients and your suppliers become your boss. They are the people who will help you to run your business, but will also ultimately decide how successful your business is. Without customers, your business will struggle. Without good suppliers, your business will struggle. So it is important to focus on these two aspects when you start out on your own.

The next aspect to consider is what resources are available to you. If these are limited, do not let this deter you from reaching for your dreams. By considering the following key criteria, you can create a successful business.

1. Keep a strict account receivables policy

It is important that you stick to a strict accounts receivable policy so that your cash flow does not dry up. By having a 30 or 60-day payment policy, you may attract many clients but you may struggle to maintain your cash flow. Therefore, it is important to set your payment policy according to what will ensure a healthy cash flow and try not to deviate from it. Let your product or service sell your business, not your payment policy.

2. Keep to the core of your business

When you start out it is important to stay true to the core of your business. You need to develop a strong core before you can think of branching out. By sticking to the core of your business you can ensure you make a product or offer a service which is supreme and will be in demand from your clients. Many corporations break away from their core, just to find out in a few years time that they are selling those parts of their business to return to the core in order to become successful again. Stick to what you do best, and do it with great vigor.

3. Spread the word about your business

Do not be shy when it comes to promoting your business. Tell everyone you know and see about the business you run. Be ready with a short elevator pitch which highlights the unique selling point of your business and why people might be interested in it. By spreading the word about your business, you can create leads and get some useful feedback from people you meet. Go out there and promote your business to everyone you meet.

4. Keep your office and staff lean

Though it would be great to have the latest and greatest equipment when you start your business, it is important to only spend money on the crucial pieces of equipment which you need to run your business. Next, only hire the human capital you need to run your business. If you can run the business with just yourself in the beginning, then do it. If you need staff, make sure you only hire the required amount so that you do not have staff standing around your business doing nothing.

By following the above criteria, you will be well on your way to being your own boss on limited funds. So grab the opportunity by the horns and live out your business dreams today.

Proudly brought to you by NSBC.

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How successful entrepreneurs make money: A case study


What do Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey have in common? They are all super wealthy and famous. But how did they come to be like this? Was it luck or hard work? Well, it is a healthy combination of both that has led to the success of these entrepreneurs. Each one of these entrepreneurs have the following traits:

They are problem solvers

When you look at these entrepreneurs, they are people who are looking for a solution to a problem. They identify a need in the market and then think of creative ways to solve it. Through being great problem solvers, they are adaptable and persevere to be successful. They capitalise on the solutions. An example of this trait can be seen in Richard Branson when he was stranded at an airport. Instead of looking at the problem, he tried to figure out a solution. His solution to the problem was to charter a plane and then sell the extra seats to his fellow stranded passengers. Thereby he got a free flight home and made a small profit.

They are passionate

Entrepreneurs have great passion for their chosen field. They are continuously reading and learning about what is going on in their industry so that they can become gurus in their field. In addition, their passion is their driving force for why they are engaged in the work they do. Many entrepreneurs work because they love what they do and not necessarily for the financial reward they will receive in the end.

They are risk takers

Successful entrepreneurs are willing to take big risks which will hopefully pay back great dividends. They hunger for the success of making money. Many successful entrepreneurs come from impoverished backgrounds and understand what it means to struggle. Therefore, they are willing to take great risks because they know they can deal with the outcome should it not be favourable.

They are hard workers

If you seek to be a successful entrepreneur there is no space for laziness. Successful entrepreneurs are constantly looking for opportunities to grow and improve their business. They work hard and work smart.

They are action takers

These entrepreneurs do not talk about the business ideas they have and then return to their day jobs. They take action. They look for ways to achieve the business goals they want. They may have limited funds but they work within their means and grow their business little by little, knowing that the wise investments which they make today will bear fruit for them in the future.

By having this combination of traits, they are able to be successful. You may wonder what this has got to do with making money, but most of these people are not overnight successes. They have worked long and hard to achieve the success that they enjoy today. So go out, be courageous, and you never you know, you may be well on your way to your first million.

Proudly brought National Small Businesss Chamber (NSBC).

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Small business equals big potential for South Africa


South African small businesses need the nation to mobilise behind them more than ever before. That’s the word from Mike Anderson, Founder & CEO of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC). The role that small businesses play in job creation, poverty alleviation, service delivery, and wealth creation all mean that small business is big business. “Nearly two thirds of all South African workers are employed by small businesses,” says Anderson. “Small businesses also contribute a significant portion of our country’s gross domestic product, which is why we’re encouraging South Africans to lend their support to the Shop Small Movement, peaking on Small Business Friday, this Friday, 01 September – powered by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC)”

Small businesses are the mainstay of the South African economy and the future of job creation. This all-important sector needs greater support from government, the public sector, and of course ordinary South Africans.

“Making a small change to where we spend our money can have a huge impact on small businesses, our communities and ultimately our economy,” says Anderson. The country’s high unemployment rate is well documented and its effects far-reaching.

“The advantages of supporting small businesses lie not only in making an impact on the economy, but also the positive difference it can make in uplifting local communities. Locally owned businesses help shape strong communities by keeping vital spend within small towns and cities, leading to vibrant local economies that benefit all who live there,” says Anderson. “There are plenty of advantages for consumers too, very often small businesses care deeply about the kind of customer service they deliver; knowing that quality products and personalised service is what keeps their business thriving.”

The Shop Small movement, that peaks on Small Business Friday aims to put small businesses across South Africa firmly in the spotlight, by encouraging individuals to support, visit and spend at a small business all year round, especially on Fridays, and particularly on Small Business Friday falling this year on 01 September 2016 – the first Friday of Spring.

With more support, small businesses have the potential to breathe new life into the South African economy and play an even bigger role in economic growth and job creation. “Small businesses represent countless hours of hard work, commitment, resilience and thousands of jobs. When South Africans shop small, they make a big impact. Providing as much support to small businesses as possible is an investment in our communities and South Africa’s collective economic future,” says Anderson.

“Through a sustained nationwide movement, we want to bring about permanent change in the hearts of all South Africans. We want to encourage everyone in our country to support their local small businesses all day every day throughout the year. So, when you all go out to shop, please make that all-important choice, support your local independent small businesses,” concludes Anderson. 

In the run up to Small Business Friday, the nation is invited to visit to learn more about the movement, how to get involved, as well as how to promote their own small businesses.  South Africans can also pledge their support and stay up to date with all the Shop Small and Small Business Friday happenings via the Facebook page; and on Twitter  using the hashtag #SmallBizFriday.

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Tax Returns: Pay less and save more

They say nothing’s certain in life, but death and taxes. But there’s no reason why you can’t get savvier with your tax returns and apply savings towards a cushy retirement or other smart investments. We’ll help you better understand your tax liability, ways to reduce your tax bill, and how to save tax-efficiently in a retirement annuity.

Who has to pay tax and who has to tell SARS more about it?
We know how it goes: you start your first job, your company kindly deducts your tax and UIF, and you’re left with, well, what you’re left with. No one ever takes you aside to explain how tax works or the control you can have over it.

First off, let’s look at who has to pay tax.
For the 2018 year of assessment, you have to pay tax if:

  • You earn more than R75 750 a year and you’re younger than 65 years.
  • You’re 65 years of age or older – the tax threshold (the amount above which income tax becomes payable) is R117 300, while for those over 75, the threshold is R131 150.

You don’t have to file a tax return…
If your total salary for the year before tax does not exceed R350 000, provided that:

  • You only have one employer. Remember that if you have two employers or income sources (i.e. late spouse/partner pension income, exam markings income, rental income, moonlighting income etc.) you do need to file, even if the total is still under R350 000.
  • You have no car allowance or other income ¬– such as interest or rent, for example.
  • You are not claiming tax-related deductions like medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions, travel expenses, etc.
  • You received interest from a source in South Africa not exceeding:
    • R23 800 if you are below the age of 65 years, or
    • R34 500 if you aged 65 years or older.
  • Dividends were paid to you and you were a non-resident during the year of assessment.

Benefits of filing a tax return
Here’s a clue: tax refund.

Even if you don’t have to file a return, it’s still a good idea to do so in order to maintain a complete tax record, to obtain a tax clearance certificate should you want to take out a mortgage, and to access your retirement fund one day.

What’s more, you could be due a refund. Depending on your situation, something like working two jobs can trigger a tax refund.

Bringing down your tax burden
While you can’t evade tax, there are some ways you can lessen your income tax liability. For example:

  • Donations: Support a worthy cause like a local animal shelter. You can donate up to 10% of your taxable income to public benefit organisations (PBOs) and claim a tax deduction on this donation, provided these PBOs are registered with SARS and issue a valid tax certificate for all donations received.
  • Medical Scheme Fees Tax Credit (MTC): A fixed monthly amount, which increases according to the number of dependants you have. For the 2017/2018 tax year, you can deduct:
    • R303 per month if you are the taxpayer paying the medical scheme contributions
    • R303 per month for the first dependant
    • R204 per month for each additional dependant
  • (Indirectly) invest in a local start-up: If you want to back smaller, higher-risk trading companies, you can do so by investing in a venture capital company (VCC). Individual investors are entitled to deduct the full amount of their investment from their taxable income in the tax year. The tax relief is 41% for individuals.
  • Tax-free savings: To encourage South Africans to be better savers, SARS allows taxpayers to save a maximum of R33 000 per year and R500 000 in your lifetime tax-free. These amounts have to be saved in a specially designated fund/account without having to pay any tax on capital gains or on the interest or dividends received on these investments.
  • Pension, provident funds and retirement annuities: If you contribute towards your retirement in one of these savings vehicles, you may deduct up to 27.5% of your gross remuneration or taxable income (whichever is higher) in respect of your total contributions to a pension, provident or RA fund, subject to an annual limit of R350 000.

By Indwe Risk Services

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Hulp wanneer die lewe moeilik raak


Die eerste sin in M. Scott Peck se boek ‘The road less travelled’ (1978) is: Life is difficult… wat later opgevolg word met: Life is a series of problems…. Hierdie probleme ontlok baie gevoelens soos hartseer, woede, angs, vrees, depressie, eensaamheid, skuldgevoelens, frustrasies en dies meer wat verweefd is in ons lewensverhale. Almal van ons het unieke stories om te vertel – stories oor ons self, ons geliefdes, mense naby aan jou, die gemeenskap en selfs die diverse land waarin ons saam met ander mense woon.

In my praktyk luister ek daagliks na mense se stories – lewensverhale waartydens so baie mense verwond is, die omvang en intensiteit daarvan soms uitmergelend. Die trauma in ons land neem skrikwekkende afmetings aan. Gemoedsversteurings soos hoë angsvlakke en bipolariteit kan jouself sowel as interpersoonlike verhoudings beskadig of vernietig. Persoonlikheidsversteurings soos Borderline personality disorder of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder meng in met of beperk geslaagde interpersoonlike verhoudinge.. Mediese siektetoestande soos rumatoïede artritis gaan dikwels gepaard met erge fisiese en eventueel ook emosionele pyn en ongemak. Emosionele en/of seksuele mishandeling veroorsaak letsels wat moeilik hanteerbaar is. Die lys van probleme is soms eindeloos.

Hierdie psigopatologiese stories van die verlede kan ‘n mens so gevange hou dat dit jou gesonde funksionering in die hede belemmer. Dikwels veroorsaak dit dat die toekoms donker en uitsigloos word, sonder hoop op geluk en vrede. Soms word ek gekonfronteer met my eie gevoel van magteloosheid – hoe kan ek iemand wat so geheel en al hoop-loos is, tot hulp wees? Totdat ek weereens besef dat die plant van ‘n saadjie van hoop emosionele energie loslaat – dit help mense om uit hul vasgelopenheid los te kom. Hoop is die begin van ‘n nuwe lewe; dis die wete dat daar roetes of paaie is wat lei na emosionle genesing en heelword; dis die wete dat jy die keuse het om óf vasgevang te bly in die probleem-versadigde storie óf om in beweging te kom sodat jy ‘n alternatiewe storie kan skep. Sodoende beweeg jy weg van jou ‘oorversadigde’ probleem in die rigting van die skep van ‘n alternatiewe storie waarvan jy die lewende skrywer is.

Die kliënt kan nie gemaklik terugsit en vir die sielkundige wag om ‘alles reg te maak’ nie. Die sielkundige kan die pad aandui maar slegs die kliënt kan dit in sy lewe laat realiseer. Soms gebeur dit egter dat die persoon se vordering as’t ware tot niet gemaak word wanneer hy/sy teruggaan na sy/haar gesins-sisteem. Dan word die kliënt sover as moontlik bemagtig om ten spyte hiervan, staande te bly.

Sielkundiges is toegerus om hierdie prosesse te fasilteer. Ongelukkig vind baie mense dit moeilik om vir sielkundige hulp te kom weens, onder andere, die stigma daaraan verbonde, die seer om oop te maak en jou verhaal te vertel, asook die vrees om weer verneder te word. Dikwels gebeur dit dat dat mense jare lank eerder die pyn en ongemak van bv depressie verduur as om ‘n sielkundige te kom sien.

Psigoterapie word beskryf as ‘n healing relationship between a client and psychotherapist, the latter using psychological methods to help a person change and overcome problems. Daar is ‘n magdom verskillende psigoterapie paradigmas. Elke sielkundige maak staat op een of meer psigoterapie-benaderings en tegnieke wat as’t ware ‘n padkaart is: dit begelei ons deur die proses om ons kliënte en hul probleme te verstaan ​​en gesamentlike oplossings te vind en te ontwikkel.

Die goeie nuus is dat elkeen van ons oor innerlike sterktes (inner strengths) beskik wat ons deur die jare in staat gestel het om te oorleef en talle struikelblokke te oorkom. Hierdie innerlike sterktes is steeds tot jou beskikking om vandag se hindernisse en probleme te hanteer, en tot hulp te wees tydens psigoterapie. Benewens jou kennis, insig en begrip van jou situasie, beskik jy ook oor innerlike lewenswysheid soos verkry deur jou jarelange en unieke lewenservarings.

‘n Verdere aangename verassing is dat mens nog ‘n uitstekende hulpbron tot jou beskikking het, naamlik jou brein – ons dra as’t ware die wêreld van neurowetenskap in ons rond. Verskillende areas van die brein is nuttig in psigoterapie. So byvoorbeeld is die amygdala as deel van die limbiese sisteem betrokke by die regulering van ons emosionele lewe. Deur te verstaan hoe die brein funksioneer en hoe jou eie ‘hard-wired’ wyse van dink en doen, bydra tot psigopatologie, verhoudingsprobleme, en dies meer, kan dit bydra tot verandering via die vorming van nuwe denke, gevoelens en gedrag. Die brein is nie gemaak en gelaat staan nie aangesien die brein die vermoë het om deur die hele lewensduur te verander in reaksie op nuwe ondervinding of nuwe leer of psigoterapie. Sodoende word nuwe neuro-paadjies ontwikkel ten opsigte van dit waaraan jy wil werk, soos bv hantering van woede of chroniese pyn.

Ten slotte: Sielkundiges moet registreer by die HPCSA (Health Professions Council of SA) om te kan praktiseer. Ons woon verpligte CPD (Continuing Professional Development)  kursusse by ten einde nie slegs ons professionele kennis en vaardighede op te dateer tot voordeel van ons kliënte nie, maar ook getrou te bly aan die etiese standaarde van ons beroep. Registrasie kategorieë sluit in Kliniese sielkunde, Voorligtingsielkunde en Opvoedkundige sielkunde.

Outeur:  Dr Matrié van Niekerk   082 498 3475   Pretoria

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Junk Status, recession and my debt

2b2c5c4b0f734d0e924d87c7ddf1160dWe are all aware that the volatile political landscape of South Africa has had a dire influence on the credit ratings adjusting our status to junk and we are officially also in recession.   We as ordinary citizens cannot do much about it except to vote in the upcoming National Elections in 2019.  However, what we can do is look after our own income with care.

What to do:

  1. Don’t buy anything new if you can have it repaired or bought second hand
  2. Don’t buy anything you don’t need (make a very clear distinction between want and need)
  3. Look out for coupons, discounts and member points
  4. Don’t buy food on an empty stomach
  5. Take your own lunch to work
  6. Make use of a lift club or do all trips at once or make use of public transport where possible
  7. Don’t use credit for essential living expenses
  8. Pay off your more expensive debt first (even an extra R50 per month will shorten the term of the contract)
  9. Don’t skip payments
  10. Don’t ignore letters from credit providers

If you are in trouble what to do:

  1. Make an arrangement with the particular credit provider before they take legal action ( you will be paying for that and additional interest will be added to the contractual balance remaining)
  2. Make an appointment with a debt counsellor to look at your budget, sometimes a fresh eye is all that is needed to allocate funds more efficiently
  3. If legal action has commenced, appoint a lawyer to assist you in addressing the matter, don’t ignore it, it will cost you
  4. Check your credit report regularly
  5. Check your statements regularly
  6. Ask a debt counsellor to look into reckless credit for you if you suspect that there is a possibility thereof

What is reckless credit:

Reckless credit is granted by a credit provider to a consumer who can actually not afford to repay the debt.  If a credit provider has not done an affordability assessment that is reasonable, checked your repayment history with the credit bureaus, asked for 3 months banking statements from you that could be reckless.   If the credit provider did this but it will make it difficult for you to make the payments to all your debt and pay for essential living costs, that might be reckless also.   You can also directly refer reckless credit allegations to the NCR to investigate: on form 29 emailed to or phone them on 0860 627 627.

The court and/or National Consumer Tribunal can make findings regarding reckless credit.  It can be either set aside, interest and costs set aside and you only pay back what actual money you owed or post pone payments to a future date for example.  If you want more information regarding reckless credit, contact a reputable debt counsellor to assist you with this.  Not all debt counsellors are experts in reckless credit, ask to see their court findings re reckless credit before appointing them to assist you with this.  It is your right to ensure that the person assisting you knows what they are doing.  It is time consuming and expert work.

If you are interested in requiring my services as a debt counsellor or to do a motivational talk about debt and the National Credit Act please feel free to contact me on (012) 330 0428, 078 031 4264,, skype:  reneemarais, Facebook:  Debt Problems Solved and twitter: ReneeNCRDC1780

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Wat mense regtig koop


Daar word gesê dat die perfekte tydsberekening vir ʼn verkoopstransaksie is wanneer die kliënt ʼn behoefte het en ons besigheid van hierdie behoeftes bewus is en ons ons produk/diens gereed het om ʼn oplossing te bied. Dit is alles goed en wel in teorie, maar hoe laat ons dit in die praktyk gebeur?

Ek vermoed dat die persoon wat hierdie gelaaide vraag kan beantwoord, onmiddellik sukses sal geniet. My voorbehoud is dus dat ek nie voorgee om die antwoord te hê nie, maar wel ʼn paar voorstelle bied om nader aan die antwoord te beweeg.

Mense koop enige produk of diens om hoofsaaklik twee redes:

  • Die behoefte om pyn of verlies te vermy
  • Die behoefte aan genot

As dit waar is, hoe besluit hulle dan om ʼn spesifieke produk of diens te oorweeg en te koop? Dit kom neer op die voordeel/voordele wat hulle sal ontvang en of hierdie voordele die rede(s) waarom hulle in die eerste plek na ʼn oplossing op soek was, sal aanspreek.

Kom ons beskou ʼn paar voorbeelde om die boodskap tuis te bring:

Voorbeeld 1: Jy besit ʼn matbesigheid. Dit is dalk beter om jou produk as iets wat mense help om hulle huise te verfraai, aan te bied; d.w.s. jy verkoop skoonheid, nie matte nie.

Voorbeeld 2: Jy is ʼn besigheidsadviseur. Jy verkoop nie konsultasiemetodes nie, maar eerder verbeterde besigheidsprestasie en verhoogde omset of wins; d.w.s. verbeterde winsgewendheid.

Voorbeeld 3: Jy besit ʼn deli wat op organiese produkte fokus. Jy verkoop nie groente, of organiese kosse nie, maar eerder gesondheid.

Voorbeeld 4: Jy verkoop nie finansiëlebeplanningsprodukte, -dienste of -advies nie, maar eerder welvaart of gemoedsrus.

Hoe om hierdie kennis in ons besighede toe te pas:

Stel ʼn lys saam met al die voordele wat jou teikenkliënt sal ontvang wanneer hy of sy jou produk of diens koop. Kies dan een of twee voordele met die sterkste kliëntewaarde (dit spreek dikwels tot die emosies van mense) en gebruik dit in al jou bemarkings- en verkoopsbedrywighede.

Die antwoord op waarom mense enige produk of diens koop, is dalk ver verwyder van ons perspektief op die besigheid wat ons besit of bedryf.

“Weet wat jou kliënte die meeste begeer en wat jou besigheid die beste doen. Fokus op waar hierdie twee ontmoet.” – Kevin Stirtz, besigheidskrywer en strategiebestuurder (vryvertaling)

Artikel geskryf deur Jannie Rossouw, Hoof: Sanlam Besigheidsmark
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