Ten financial tips for business owners in hard times

falling on hard times

Financial management naturally tends to slip down the list of priorities for business owners when the economy is booming, finance is cheap and clients are plentiful. But when the tide turns, your ability to control your finances, especially your cash flow, becomes probably the most important survival tool available to the entrepreneur. Veroshen Naidoo, area manager at Business Partners Limited, one of FASA’s members, suggests ten ways for business owners to improve their finances during a downturn:

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Ensure fair play between brands and consumers

Brands and businesses shouldn’t fear the Consumer Protection Act. Instead, they should welcome its drive to promote fairness, openness and good business practices among suppliers of goods and services. Should your brand or business be faced with a consumer complaint, the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud (CGSO) can assist by providing an alternative dispute resolution service.

The Consumer Goods and Services Ombud (CGSO) is established and accredited in terms of section 82(6) of the Consumer Protection Act. This Act empowers the Minister of Trade and Industry to approve and promulgate an Industry Code of Conduct, which allows industry to manage its own disputes instead of allowing each complaint to be investigated by the National Consumer Commission. The Consumer Goods and Services Industry Code of Conduct was promulgated by the Minister of Trade and Industry on 29 April 2015. As a result, it is compulsory for all qualifying businesses to comply with the Code through signing up to the CGSO, paying the participation fees and complying with the dispute resolution process outlined in the Code and the CPA.

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Should you reinvest your business profits, or save them elsewhere?

Invest your profits

Once a business is better established from its start-up days and starts producing profits, the business owner is faced with a not-altogether unpleasant dilemma – is it better to reinvest the surplus back into the business, or take it out and save it elsewhere? FASA member Business Partners’ Jeremy Lang gives his advice.

“Just because it is a nice problem to have, does not make it unimportant”, says Jeremy Lang, regional general manager of Business Partners Limited. The answer to the question can make a huge difference to the wealth and future security that a business owner manages to achieve.

 

It is important to realize that there is no rule of thumb like “take out 20% and reinvest the rest” to guide a business owner in answering the question, says Jeremy. Every business is unique, and the right answer also depends on the risk appetite and investment strategy of the business owner.

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The importance of doing your homework before buying a franchise

The importance of doing your homework before buying a franchise

An exposé on eNCA’s Check Point last week put the spotlight on the plight of franchisees who bought into a franchise that was not accredited by the Franchise Association of South Africa. Irregularities in the franchise contract, lack of support and unhappiness amongst franchisees were highlighted – giving franchising a bad rap.

Often, when FASA deals with enquiries and complaints from unsuspecting franchisees who apparently have been done in by a franchisor that appears to be a fly-by-night, one wonders why or how did it happen that they decided to buy a franchise from a franchise company that is not an accredited member for the Association. Despite the many warnings from the Franchise Association and others in the industry, it is a sad fact that many franchisees blindly buy into franchises without doing a thorough due diligence and fail to have considered the following:-

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Franchises thinking outside the box gain new clients

think-outside-box

There is no question that franchising’s saving grace in a struggling economy is the fact that, by its very nature franchising is entrepreneurial, flexible and forward-thinking. Not only does it continue to be resilient, it offers, largely due to its strong business format and support system, a better chance of surviving the ups and downs.

Thinking outside the box and looking for ways and means to cross-promote and reach new markets is a trait that many of FASA’s members do extremely well. They are the ones who find a ‘niche’ that sets them apart or, by default, thrive on the back of challenging conditions.

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Do your staff ask customers how their experience was as they walk out the door?

customer-experience-retail

Do you remember the days when shopping for clothes was a group effort?  And I’m not just referring to have a number of BFF’s needed to help you decide which outfit to choose.  I’m talking about those engaging sales people who would be constantly at your side, ready to swop sizes, offer an alternate colour-way or simply BE THERE when you needed them? Read More

A warning against being ‘penny wise pound foolish’

ethics-trust

Are you a budding entrepreneur with big ideas? Maybe you’ve started that small business and it’s going well and you think the time is right to take it a step further by maybe franchising it? You’ve made some enquiries and find out that, according to the Regulations of the Consumer Protection Act’s reference to franchise companies, you will need to have a franchise agreement, operations/procedures manual and disclosure document in place before you start franchising. But all this costs a lot of money if you use bona-fide lawyers and accredited franchise consultants and you’re tempted into cutting corners by using someone at a much lower fee who makes themselves out to be a franchise specialist, because they claim to have worked for one or other franchise company in the industry and thus see themselves as franchise consultants. Read More

Looking to buy a franchise?

buying a franchise business

B.rain gives key factors for success that all franchisees should know and implement, in order to build and grow a compliant and profitable business.

Franchises are often (mistakenly) perceived as companies that are well-established and would offer support for entrepreneurs who wish to start their own business, but are wary because of their own inexperience. While good franchisors may offer mentoring and training sessions on the brand and systems a franchise does not teach franchisees how to run a business. Without some basic business skills, novice business owners are bound to struggle. Investing in getting a formal education to understand the details of operating a business is instrumental for franchisees to compete in a complex and ever-changing business environment.

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Top tips for selling a small business

sell small business

Selling any business successfully takes preparation and knowledge in order to get the best result in the shortest time. Every business is different and therefore, deserves a different level of attention. There are several key issues that need to be considered not only to ensure a good sale but also a smooth transition for the new owner.  FASA member B.Rain gives their top tips to selling a business.

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Do you have what it takes to be successful in business?

business-success

As the focus from government, big business and Expo’s like FASA’s recent KZN Franchise Expo is on empowering entrepreneurs, stimulating small business and creating jobs, we look at what does it take to be successful.

Making a success of a business requires total commitment and dedication to realising your own potential and ensuring success. To do that you need to:

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