The importance of trade secrets in business: Some things are better left unsaid


A key component in a good economy is the existence of competitive marketplaces. The success of a business is largely determined by its strategies and many businesses have ideas which give them a competitive edge but do not fall within the popular categories of intellectual property law comprising of copyright, trade marks, patents and designs. These ideas could potentially qualify as trade secrets, an often-overlooked category of intellectual property law which provides a unique form of protection.

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Why belong to the Franchise Association of South Africa

Every cloud has a silver lining, goes the saying and even in the midst of a pandemic, there are those entrepreneurs that have taken a new idea and forged a new path to business success. The FASA office has been fielding many calls from entrepreneurs asking how they can transform their bright idea into a viable franchise business.

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 companies in the industry and thus see themselves as franchise consultants.

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Leadership lessons learnt in a crisis


Franchise leaders around the world have been sharing their experiences in trying to confront and manage the challenges they face with Covid-19. All agree that the very nature of franchising as a business format calls for not only continual innovation but relies on the combined efforts of both franchisor and franchisee. This, it seems, could be franchising’s saving grace, according to Tony da Fonseca, MD of the OBC Group and immediate past chairman of FASA.

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Franchising adjusting to the new normal


With seemingly no end to the ravages of the corona virus, franchising and businesses across the globe are fighting for their survival and are shifting operations to accommodate an unknown landscape.  Reflecting our own scenario, the Franchise Association in the USA reports that virtually, in every industry, the businesses that survive will have to change the way they operate and interact with consumers.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and Corona virus has undoubtedly forced many businesses around the world to rethink operations. For franchise brands in particular, success will require franchisors to support franchisees and customers by pivoting their business models to better suit the changing marketplace.

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Get your business ready for the peak season

Festive season

The festive season around the corner is a business’ only hope to end off the year on a high note, giving business owners an opportunity to see all the pistons of their business firing and the harvest rolling in. Or, it can turn into a nightmare rather easily if not enough preparation has been done in the run-up to the season. Arnold February, regional investment manager at Business Partners Limited gives us the following tips on getting ready for the peak season. Read More

Can a franchise company invoice its own marketing fund for fund loans?

Law firm working

Can a franchise company invoice its own marketing fund for funds loaned to address a financial shortfall that could hamper marketing activities?

This interesting query came through FASA’s online help-desk and we asked Ian Jacobsberg, Director, Corporate & Commercial, Tabacks for his expert opinion.

In general, the marketing fund is simply a sum of money accumulated by the franchisor from marketing contributions paid by franchisees in terms of their franchise agreements, often augmented by contributions by the franchisor itself.

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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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Understanding the business format of franchising

understanding the business

Franchising is a universally accepted and successful business format that has revolutionized the way small business is run and has contributed extensively to entrepreneurship, skills transfer and job creation. The two most universally accepted forms of franchising are:

  • Business format franchising

    This is defined as a distribution network operating under a shared trademark or trade name with franchisees paying the franchisor for the right to do business under that name for a specified period of time. In exchange, the franchisee is able to use the franchisor’s entire business system or format, including the name, goodwill, product and services, operating manuals and standards, marketing procedures, systems and support facilities. The franchisor, in turn, is obliged to give initial and ongoing services and support.

  • Product and trade name franchising

    Characterised as a sales relationship between a supplier and a dealer, product and trade name franchises can be found most commonly in car dealerships, petrol service stations and cold drink bottles. The dealer is granted the right to sell its products in exchange for fees and royalties and has an obligation to sell only the franchisor’s products.

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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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