Posted in General Articles

How to become a profitable small business in South Africa

Business in Africa is a-buzz and the South African landscape offers many different opportunities to small business owners.

If you are planning on moving to South Africa to start your business you will need business and work permits in order. If you are a South African citizen you must register the company within the first 21 days of it being operational atthe South African Registrar of Companies(foreigners will need to do so once their permits are in order). If your business has to do with food or health you will need to register atyour local authority as well.

Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE)

To be considered a legitimate business in South Africa you need to be B-BBEE approved. This means you must agree to pay a certain percentage of your revenueto the South African Revenue Service which willfund skills and development building in the country. This is to rectify the inequalities that were present in South Africa’s past.

B-BBEE for Start-up, Small Businesses

This Act does take the struggle of starting a business into consideration and are deemed Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs). These businesses are exempt from the BEE scorecard until the business makes R10million or more in turnovers annually.

B-BBEE for Growing Small Businesses

Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) are businesses that make more than R10 million turn-over every yearbut less than R50 million. The B-BBEE is usually introduced by employing and training black staffand buying from BEE certified suppliers in support of black owned businesses and black communities.

With these elements in place your business will be free to grow, further than the R50 million mark. Then you will be given the Generic Enterprises BEE scorecard.

Before your business gets too big for you to handle you may want to consider letting someone else handle the logistics of your B-BBEE requirements for you. All you have to do from there is focus on building a business that will allow South Africa to grow alongside it.…

Posted in General Articles

Top 4 Recommended Hairstyles for Work

In today’s competitive work world, you have to look and act the part. Thus, for the woman who wants it all, a hairstyle that says, “I’m the boss” isn’t the worse thing to have (though it takes a back seat to your skill set — don’t forget that). The office is a magical place. It’s where all sorts of interesting people come together to learn, grow and build better businesses. Oh, who are we kidding? Work is a 9-5 (if we’re lucky) grind that pays the bills so that on weekends we can live our lives with the people we love.

We picked four flawlessly polished, easy-to-do hairstyles that are perfect for your place of work. Hopefully, they’ll give you one less thing to think about as you’re rushing out the door in the am.

  1. The Bun

If you find yourself thinking too much about your work hairstyle just go with a bun. You can never go wrong with it; it is a traditional business look. You can also pin your bun with bobby pins with discreet ornaments, nothing too big or too shiny; bobby pins with small flowers the same colour as your shirt will do perfectly.

  1. The French Roll

The French roll is a sophisticated hairstyle we see on a lot of brides. It also makes one of the best hairstyles for work — especially combined with a strict dress code. It does have a downside though — it’s a bit harder to make, and you’ll need more time for it. Also, it’s easier to make it on shorter than on longer hair. Gather your hair into a ponytail at the nape of your neck. Do not tie it, just take the ponytail and twist it around and upwards. Hold the roll with one hand and pin it with bobby pins with the other. Spray any loose ends with hairspray or pin them with bobby pins as well.

  1. Braids

Why don’t women wear braids anymore? They are a beautiful hairstyle and can look very professional. Furthermore, they are a way better choice than a ponytail if you want your style to last longer without hairsprays and gels. You can also make a bun out of one or more braids that always looks great.

  1. Inverted Ponytail

When ponytail will just not do, try inverted ponytail. It’s very easy to make, and it looks great. Just take a thicker but flexible wire and make a loop. Twist the ends of the wire around the loop so that you don’t have a chance to hurt yourself with it. Make a looser ponytail, so that you can insert the tool between the elastic band and your head. Then pull your hair through the loop and pull the tool downwards. You will pull the whole ponytail through the space between your head and the elastic band and create an interesting and beautiful hairstyle. If you’re feeling creative and would like to try something new, check Emilly Hadrill Hair & Extensions for beautiful styles.…

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How Would Another UK General Election Affect GBP/USD?

One general election in the UK may only just have occurred but there are already murmurs that another one could be on the way later in the year. Mainly due to a majority government not being formed in the UK’s latest general election, it has thrown up a lot of uncertainty and increased the chances of another election being held to try and establish a clear majority. If this does happen, many things will be affected, including the cable (or GBP/USD currency pair).

Recent Election Results

The fallout from the most recent UK general election saw the pound fall in value, down 0.70 pc against the US dollar to the point that GBP/USD was trading at 1.2650. These represented eight-week lows and saw the cable slump by 2.4% in the four days immediately after the election.

If one election can have such a negative effect on the cable, then it’s not inconceivable that another election would do twice as much damage. It would depend on the outcome of a second election as to how the currency pair is affected though. As it is the ongoing uncertainty and instability surrounding the recent minority government outcome that has resulted in the pound and cable’s slump.

Will There Be Another Election?

There might not even be another election, if the Conservative and DUP coalition works out. That is what Prime Minister Theresa May will be hoping for, making any attempt to avoid another general election so soon.

Another general election remains a strong possibility, though whether it will be this year or later remains to be seen. History has shown that minority coalitions such as the one proposed rarely last too long, with many external pressures. For the cable, another election signals bad news for the pound, though the dollar could benefit, but as a currency pair another slump will be the most likely outcome.

External Factors

Inflation, unemployment, Trump’s actions and many other factors will continue to affect the cable in the time between this latest election and the next. For ETX Capital traders and investors, these will have to be considered alongside the possibility of another UK election as to how they will combine to affect the currency pair.

For instance, should inflation in the US and UK increase then it could strengthen the cable and take some of the heat off from the uncertainty provided by another election. On the other hand, rising unemployment levels may inflict further damage on the cable.

Increasing Uncertainty

Another general election would signify a lot of political uncertainty in the UK, something forex traders actively avoid. This would lead to a lot of traders investing in other, safer currencies such as the yen or Swiss franc, weakening the GBP/USD pair in the lead up to another election.

Depending on the results of another election, the cable may quickly bounce back if there is a clear winner and future stability. Alternatively, another unclear outcome could lead to a further weakening of the cable. Whatever your political views, from a financial viewpoint another UK general election this year is unlikely to do the cable many favours.…

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4 Places You Could Be Saving Money on Your Marketing Strategy

If you are the owner of a small business or company, you know that the hardest part is to strike the right balance between saving money and spending it to grow. Investing in a solid marketing strategy is vital to have a chance of finding new prospects, consolidating new leads, and increasing your revenues. In other words, the more you spend, the more you will earn… up to a certain point, at least.

If you spread too thin, in fact, you will end up spending as much as you earn (if not more), so knowing a few ways to save a little bit of hard-earned gold is definitely a necessity. Let’s check out a few solutions and advice to save precious money when running a business.

  1. Invest on organic SEO marketing

Organic SEO is one of the oldest and most effective online marketing strategies. Many companies often underestimate this approach because of the relatively low amount of conversions and leads it provides. SEO strategies do not work here and now, and require a lot of patience even to show its first results.

However, a careful SEO planning is one of the most efficient long-term strategies you may ever employ, and it’s by far the cheapest. A good organic placement in Google search results will grant you with a steady flow of relevant traffic aimed at your website. If you take into account that SEO marketing only costs a fraction of any PPC approach, it’s easy to understand how high its ROI is.

On top of that, a well-established SEO plan can provide you with a lot of useful info that can be re-used to tune other marketing strategies finely. Just run a full website audit, and you will learn critical info about your customers such as their demographics, their preferred channels, which contents are the most successful ones, etc.

  1. Grow your social networks

Just like SEO, the trick to saving money when you grow your company’s online presence is to invest on the long-term rather than aim for more immediate results. Instead of spending a lot of money to sponsor a single ad, you should tailor it to your specific audience, for example by employing a market segmentation to break down the target to the smallest size possible.

Social media such as Facebook or Instagram are a great place to showcase your content in a quick and simple way, but they can also be used to fill other holes that would require a monetary expense otherwise. For example, Twitter can be used to provide a straightforward answer to a question that a lot of customers keep repeating. Google+ and YouTube can strengthen your organic SEO efforts by creating keyword-optimized videos and post on the respective channels. A Facebook page can be the perfect place to offer customer service, and LinkedIn can be used to connect with other brand influencers and companies.

  1. Spend less money for yourself

That’s quite simple to say, right? Well, we all know that although we constantly try to spend less, we always keep spending more as the cost of living keeps increasing. However, there are a lot of new money-saving apps that can go a long way to making you more shopping-savvy or that can show you the latest deal.

Shopkick and SnipSnap will help you find a lot of coupons and offerings, or to redeem the “bonus points” you earn for gift cards or additional discounts. Others like Digit will monitor your monthly expenditures and provide you with interesting insights on how to spend less, or simply passively save a small percentage of your earning. If you’re looking for the best opportunity to buy that printer you so desperately need for your office, these apps are your best friend to save a couple of dollars.

  1. Focus on winning strategies only

If you found a perfect formula to attract your customers, don’t change it. As simple as this advice may seem, a lot of business owners seem to miss the importance of the part “if it works, don’t fix it.” Running multiple advertisements on multiple platforms can quickly bleed you out, but if a campaign provided you with good results, just run it again.

You will save a lot of money spent on planning and brainstorming, and you will also earn more experience in that particular platform to make your future campaigns even more efficient. For example, instead of running a new ad, you can employ a referral program to the same ad to further enforce customer engagement.

Wisely planning how to keep your expenses low is mandatory to keep your business running smoothly. However, keep also in mind that being too cheap is not going to help you, either. So try to find a good compromise if you can!…

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How to Get Funding For a Business

Not having enough funds to run one’s business is nightmarish for small and new business owners. When it comes to raising capital, more established businesses are in a much better position to secure further money. Smaller business setups are in a shaky space because they sometimes do not have the stability and the ability to fulfill the requirements of traditional moneylenders. That category can comprise banks as well as private lenders. A catch 22 situation is sometimes unavoidable under these conditions. Business stability more often than not demands steady funds and funds are made inaccessible due to the lack of stability.

On the flipside, it’s not all gloomy and dark for small business owners. There are other non-traditional methods that can be explored. Here are a few:

How to Get Funding For a Business

Non-banking financial institutions: As a small business owner, these are your best bet. For the most part, these non-banking institutions are open to the idea of lending money to smaller business even with all their challenges. While they do have some basic eligibility requirements, these are nowhere as stringent as those of banks. This is a big plus because any business that manages to fulfill these criteria stands a good chance to secure a loan.

Talking about these institutions, is one of the premier moneylenders to explore. For starters, their process to sanction a working capital loan is rather quick and this in turn, lessens the unnecessary hassles a company has to go through with traditional lenders. Plus, the entire application process is online. With a new age entrepreneur, this saves a lot of time and is quite the effortless task to complete.

Also at, there are measures in place to help applicants with flexibility in loan amount, tenure as well as repayment methods. One of the reasons why businesses shy away from non-financial banking institutions is because they feel that the interest rate charged is very high. This is true for most cases, but with working capital loans, the shorter tenure and pre-closure option makes interest rates almost a thing of the past.

In addition to the non-financial institutions, there are a few more ways when wondering about how to get funding for a business.

Looking for angel investors is one more such method. Reasonably popular simply because if an angel investor or a group decides to fund the business, they also offer invaluable guidance and their industry experience to further a company. While these investors do expect equity, they are open to the idea of taking risks with smaller businesses, as they tend to get higher returns. One of the most important things to invest in when it comes to angel investors is a killer proposal and business plan. They need to see the vision clearly and the projected growth and profit plan needs to be articulated to the T.

Another method that is gaining popularity but is yet to completely be established as a successful option is crowd funding. In fact, when racking one’s brain on how to get funding for a business, crowd funding is a new-age alternative and if done well can bring in good results. Here’s how it works – the business owner puts up their business plan and details on a crowd-funding platform. All information is up for grabs, the current state of the business, projection, how much money is needed and what is the money going to be used for. Those convinced will invest. It’s as simple as that.…

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Building A Reliable Budget

                Understanding where and what you’re spending your money is an incredibly important way to begin saving money and spending it in the right places. You’ll need to know exactly where you’re spending your money and if you’re spending on the right things that will eventually grow and improve your life. Budgeting also begins a healthy relationship with money, as you’ll be able to save more for your life and improvements.

                When you start building your budget, you’ll want to make sure that you have a proper program, app, or paper trackers. It’s best to get something that is easy for you and will work on your schedule, and most importantly, something you’ll remember to keep up with. This is a great way to start budgeting and figuring out your expenses. You’ll need to take a month or two to understand how you spend your money. Once you get a tracker or budgeter, make sure that everything you’re spending is going in on there. Even small things like coffee is important to put into your budget, because it can be a huge reason you’re losing hundreds of dollars every month. It’s vital to know exactly where your money is going is what you’re spending it on.

                If you’re looking to save money, find out where you can feasibly cut costs. Spending less money on fast food, dining out, and coffee on the go, can potentially save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars per month. It all depends on how much you spend on those things right now of course, but they can end up being a lot more money in the long run that you expect. The main reason people spend so much money in restaurants and on-the-go food is because they’re busy. But researching food prepping and other things can make you get everything you want without breaking the bank.

                If you’re looking for a great low-cost way to save money on a delicious treat is to shop M&M for all your favorites for less. Keeping snacks with you is a great way to stave off spending a lot of money when you’re on the go.…

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Smart Ways to Manage your Home Loan

Moving into one’s own house is a feeling of great joy and more than this the home loan is one of the biggest financial commitments. While you cannot expect a high margin of error while repaying your home loan amount, still you need to follow certain ways to make sure that you can manage your home loan efficiently.

  1. Paying higher EMI, if possible

It is one of the finest ways to ensure that you are able to repay your loan sum before the tenure of home loan ends. If you are able to pay a slightly higher EMI like INR 25,000 instead of INR 22,000, then it can make a significant number of months or years to the loan period. For this reason, it is even essential for the home loan investor to invest money to generate enough funds and enhance equity to increase the sum of EMI.

  1. Manage Outflow and Inflow of Funds

The main objective while maintaining investments and loans is to maximize the overall cash flows. You need to compare your monthly expenditure (funds outflow) with the monthly income (funds inflow) on investments. For example, if you realize that there are few investments that are not able to yield adequate returns or have become fruitless, then it is ideal to close them and use such funds to pay your home loan EMI. Also, look for investments that offer higher ROI so that you can generate more income and this can be used to repay your loan.

  1. Opt for partial Pre-payment

The more time you would take to pre-pay the loan sum, the more interest rate you would be charged. It is, therefore, wise to check for the remaining home loan through a home loan EMI calculator and to opt for partial pre-payment to reduce the loan obligation. It is a beneficial way, and you can make such payments through income from a property, matured fixed deposits, rental income, gifts from family or parents and gains on stocks and shares.

  1. Shift to a bank charging lower interest rate

The lenders might lower their lending rates at distinct time intervals because of diversified interest rate settings. You can save on your home loan rate of interest by selecting the banks that have lower interest rates. It can be achieved through Balance Transfer Schemes. Also, you can transfer the entire or major principal of thehome loan to another bank with lower interest rate. But make sure that you don’t make the switch too often,or for small interest rate differential as each time you shift to another bank, you need to go through the entire underwriting, loan appraisal processes, technical, and legal paperwork.

  1. Use Home Loan EMI Calculator

The home loan calculators can assist you get an idea about the amount of home loan you can avail. These are user-friendly tools that are simple to function and can offer you with complete knowledge about monthly home loan payments, interest rate, and cash down payments. With these calculators, you can even identify the loan product or scheme, which is best for you. It also helps you to measure the amount of money that you require to save for the expenses and use as investments other than the monthly loan payments, like daily expenditures.

  1. Don’t Miss Making Monthly Payments

If you skip your monthly installments, then you will not just pull out the abundant cash from the fixed budget, but will also affect your total credit score. Make sure that your loan amount never categorizes as the Special Mentioned Account or SMA. It is because the banks consider such accounts a liability or the payment that remains outstanding for a month to 90 days after the date of due payment.

While you adopt any of these smart ways, you need to be clear of your ultimate goal that whether you require more money, you intend to reduce EMI or you want to diminish the interest rate or close the loan amount faster.The other important variables you need to consider are to keep into consideration the total home loan interest rate. Also, estimate the total cost of buying a housekeeping in consideration the cost of mortgage registration.

Once you are able to repay the entire sum of the home loan, only then you can consider yourself as the real owner of the house. So, try closing the loan as soon as possible as it would not just relieve the mental pressure of carrying debt, but also release more money in the family.…