The Coronavirus scenarios – Much ado about nothing, the Camel’s Straw or Spain again?


Clem Sunter, renowned futurist and scenario strategist in a book published in 2015 entitled Flagwatching, wrote about how important it was to identify the flags changing the world as we know it. One of the flags was the increasing likelihood of a global pandemic due to higher rates of international travel and the growing concentration of people in megacities. Likewise, the transmission of viruses across different species was a major concern as was the appearance of multi-drug resistant varieties of bacteria.

At the time he quoted Louis Pasteur, the remarkable 19th century French microbiologist, who in a moment of pessimism said: “It is the microbes who will have the last word.”

The Coronavirus, alternatively called COVID-19, is now spreading so quickly around the world that, despite the containment measures taken by China where the virus originated, it now exists on every continent other than Antarctica. Clem Sunter spells out three possible scenarios.

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How do I finance my business?

Financing a business, especially a franchise business, goes beyond just having some capital to start – you need to factor in everything from start-up capital to ongoing financing; from hidden costs to expansion funds. The financing of a franchise is always a huge hurdle that needs to be overcome through thorough research and careful planning. This is the one area of your business that needs a level head, clear thinking and to a large extent, a realistic approach. Don’t be afraid to ask your prospective franchisor, your financier and yourself these pertinent questions.
Ask the Franchisor….

How much will my total investment cost me?

This is probably the most important question as not all franchises calculate this cost in the same way. Some include certain costs, while others only add them on later. Knowing what makes up your total investment is important from the outset as this will influence which franchise you choose and whether you are able to afford the business. The total investment is the complete cost of starting up the franchise operation and should include the up-front fees, set-up and establishment costs and start up stock.

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Need funding to grow your business

business growth and funding

Most businesses need capital before they can really get going. As a small business owner, you generally need equipment, materials and stock, as well as money to pay salaries, rent, telephone etc, until your business becomes profitable. But before going into the different ways that you can find finance to grow your business, you need to have thought clearly about what your business will do, how you will do it, what it will cost, and how much money you will make. To obtain finance, a prospective business owner needs to convince the bank or investor that he will be able to pay the money back. Read More

All eyes on the newly appointed minister of small business – will she deliver?

With the shock decline in gross domestic product of 3.2% in the first quarter from a 1.4% expansion in the prior three months, can government live up to its post-election hype and deliver on its promises? This contraction, the highest in a decade, puts South Africa at risk of slipping into a second recession in successive years and has all sectors, including the franchise sector concerned for its future.

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The people behind the Franchise Brand


It is a known fact that, in franchising, you can expect to get the same product or service at every single of the brand’s outlets – no matter where they are. So, you can expect the Big Mac to taste the same whether you bought it in Beijing, Buenos Aires or Bloemfontein. Similarly, the service you get from PostNet or Cash Converters should be the same both here, in their mother country of Australia or anywhere else around the world. Who are the magic elves that ensure that the ethos and systems of a franchise brand are consistent throughout the network?

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Tips to choosing the right franchise


If you are thinking about investing in a franchise you should keep the adage, “if it sounds too good to be true – generally it is” in mind when investigating franchise opportunities.

Statistics often claim, quite rightly so, that when purchasing a franchise, you are more likely to find greater success than going into business as an independent. Whereas independent businesses have a 90% chance of failure in the first five years, franchise failure is under 10%. However, the buyer must remember that there are always risks involved, and that they can reduce them if proper homework is done.

Our advice to prospective franchisees is to make FASA their first port-of-call when shopping around for a franchise. At the very least they will know that FASA members subscribe to a stringent Code of Ethics that promotes ethical business format franchising practices.

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The National Budget – Sowing a seed of renewal and growth


Arriving in Parliament with a succulent plant, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni last week used it to emphasise that ‘it is time for us to sow a seed of renewal and growth… despite our best efforts, ravages and risks such as pests or rot could attack our green shoots, But we must persevere… prune and pluck away at the rot, until there is growth.’

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Don’t let lack of funding stop you achieving your dreams

funding solutions

You can be like Zamile, owner of a well-known restaurant in Kuruman, in the Northern Cape. He was paying close to R5,000 a week to rent a sound and lighting system. Fundrr assisted him in purchasing his own brand-new system, he paid this off after just 6 months and now he owns his equipment, and as a result, no longer has cash flow issues and he is saving +-R220,000 per annum.

Small businesses are the heart and soul of the South African economy. It is estimated that of the 2.8 million SMEs,  small businesses employ over 60% of the local workforce, contribute 35% towards the GDP and collectively have an annual turnover of R727 billion. Unfortunately, according to the NCRs, most small businesses do not last more than 2 years due to inability to access finance. Capital adequacy regulations force banks to lend against fixed assets rather than to lend to businesses. Initially this seems prudent, but eventually this leads to lower economic growth and higher credit risk.

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