Business funding – it’s easily achievable

Business Funding

So you want to start your own business and haven’t got the slightest idea where to begin. Well, all businesses start with a primary idea which, if tackled in the correct way with the necessary market research and feasibility studies, will form the foundation of a flourishing business. There are three forms of small business and these can be categorized into a new business venture driven by the initial idea, purchasing an existing business or buying a franchise. This article aims to cover some of the methods that starter businesses acquire funding. As Walter Ellis, humorist, writer and entrepreneur puts it, “The Bee Gees started a joke… I started a profitable small business!”

The first method of getting business funding is applying to the banks for a business loan. When approaching the banks for a business loan there are certain important criteria that need to be met before the business loan will be considered. The first requirement is a comprehensive business plan that reflects the workings of the business. The bank will scrutinize the balance sheet, look at cash flow, request collateral where needed and delve into the finer workings of the business to ensure they are confident they will get a return on the money they are offering as a loan.

Prepare thoroughly when approaching the banks for business loans. Inconsistent figures, half-hearted business plans drawn up by outside consultants, low profit margin reflections, lack of commitment from the business owner and the reluctance of the business owner to put his own money into the business are all warning signs for the bank and they respond to most of these situations by declining the loan. Banks don’t like risk!

Other options exist that also require funding but take the form of a franchise. The main difference between a franchise and a start-up business is that the general workings of the franchise are usually already in place and the franchisee (the person purchasing the franchise) concentrates more on maintaining the business, guaranteeing its smooth operation as per the franchise agreement and of course ensuring its profitability. Franchising is widespread in South Africa and is a useful business option for those entrepreneurs wanting to purchase and run a money-generating business.

What do you do if you have a great idea and no money to make an initial capital outlay? Many businesses are started with limited business funding or no funding at all and grow into fully-fledged businesses over time. A simple example of this is the owner of Thundercloud Music. I got to know Terry as he was the only guitar repairman in my area. He worked from home on weekends and slowly but surely built up his customer base. These customers then began purchasing musical accessories, strings and second hand guitars from his home-based business. When Terry had built up enough capital, he rented a shop in the local shopping mall and he now has a thriving business which is stocked with a full complement of musical instruments manufactured by leading brands. It is very possible to start a business with limited business funding or limited personal capital. Just remember to hone in on an aspect of business that you enjoy or utilise a skill that you have to get the business going.

Starting a new business venture need not be the headache that it is perceived to be. Do your homework, get the facts, create a solid business plan and go for it. Expect to work hard, reap great rewards and remember… you will be in charge of your own destiny.

Three SEO Awesome Tools

SEO Tools

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

This is a desktop or a downloadable Search Engine Optimization software trusted by many SEO webmasters and SEO companies around the world. This tool allows you to quickly analyse a website from an on-site SEO perspective by sending it to crawl through the website and giving you a report of downloadable and edible data on an excel spreadsheet. It crawls all the information on the website like the meta data, URLs, heading tags, errors and redirects. It’s good for SEO campaign planning as it gives a clear overview of what you have and what still needs to be done.

SE Ranking

SE Ranking is a great all in one SEO management software that monitors ranking positions on SERPS, back-links and has a comprehensive website analysis feature, giving your SEO campaign a competitive edge against your competitors if you use the analyse and implement system. Analysis plan, building a strategy then implementing changes has always worked like a charm when it comes to Search Engine Optimization and this tool can help you reach the success rate you require for your SEO campaigns.

Web CEO

Another all in one web based SEO management tool. This works better with monitoring existing SEO campaigns, just to make sure that you don’t drop the ball, remember that as an Search Engine Optimization analyst or as an Search Engine Optimization company you should always be on top of your GAME and you should always be in a position to explain and the last thing you want is to mumble in front of a client, so this this tool will help you keep all your ducks in a row.

There’s the content analysis feature with in-depth reporting system and recommendations feature that will take your Search Engine Optimization projects to another level. With Google’s restrictions on back-links, this tool can help you with the back-link quality score to avoid unnecessary penalties. One more feature about this tool that makes it a must have, is the reporting system that can be branded with your own company information and logo, it’s just a matter of click…click and you have a full campaign report with less errors and your company information.

How To Succeed With a Home Based Business

To be at the helm of a profitable home-based business is far easier than it seems. Don’t get bogged down by too many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ or complex calculations and forecasts, but rather lay out a simple platform of the general workings of the business and its relevance to the market. Without a client base the business will not be able to flourish, so rather focus on your own particular skills that you can incorporate into the business. Ask yourself questions as if you are the customer. Is the product or service being providing satisfying a diverse section of customer wants and needs? Is this product going to sell enough to sustain the home-based business and make a reliable and consistent profit? There are many other questions that can be asked of the home-based business, but the main factors that influence the businesses success are hard work and complete dedication, backed by a good business idea.

Home-based businesses are more often successful when the background skills, interests or hobbies of the business owners are aligned with the business. A great percentage of flourishing home businesses are run by owners who offer a particular skill or service. I am a home-based entrepreneur and write for a glossy magazine, do online assessments, write for a web-based company and undertake freelance work in my spare time. It’s a bit of a juggle at times as I have income coming in from many sources, but the most enjoyable part of my home-based enterprise is that I’m free! Free to come and go as I please. Free to get up late and work until all hours of the morning. I write my own cheque and though it is often less than the average salaried worker, I do not have to contend with hours spent in traffic jams, pushy bosses and the general stress that is common in normal working spheres. Like I said… I’m free!

 

Amazing Growth Of SA Fashion

South African Fashion

The South African Fashion industry has really come a long way and has grown tremendously – from the design, manufacturing, retail, recruitment and to the media – it currently generates an income of several billion rands which is very impressive for our economy, and is currently the fifth largest employment sector in the country today. This country prides itself and has a bold new vision for the fashion industry which is critical for its growth. Giants of the industry and local clothing stores are engaging local designers to give them the support they need and to bring their beautiful work to the public’s eye by supporting the South African Fashion Week and by having some of their clothing collection in-stores.

We all know that in the past few years fashion design in South Africa has grown at a remarkable rate. What we now know as Icons of South African design, such as Darryl Jagga, Kara Janx, Abigail Keats, Hendrik Vermeulen, Nkhensani Manganyi, Lana Marks, Victor Stiebel and Gavin Rajah are making important statements both locally and on an international scale, about what it means to be a local fashion designer and fashionably being South African – the aim is to redefine the African identity through the use of bold, urban, and undeniably proudly South African designs.

A bold statement that says “we are here and here to stay” has been made loud and clear by this industry and it has opened many doors for emerging fashion designers. We now see young designers such as Thula Sindi and Atang Tshikare who are determined to acquire success on the local and on the global scale. South Africans need to support local fashion design talent.

Three Must See Destinations in South Africa

South African wildlife

South Africa has beautiful landscapes and features with legendary Wildlife which  includes the famous Big Five. South Africa is a holiday destination where you can experience the best of Africa. This beautiful country is famous for its former president, Nelson Mandela, the Kruger National Park and it’s diverse culture. When you visit South Africa here are some places you need to see.

The Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park which is in the Limpopo Province is the place for animal and nature lovers. There is a vast array of flora and fauna. You will be able to drive round the park yourself and spot animals or take a safari with a guide who will hopefully find all those glorious animals that you have been longing to see in the wild.

The Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind is just on the outskirts of Johannesburg in Krugersdorp and is limestone caves. In these caves fossils have been discovered that date back to the birth of humankind. The most famous fossil is Mrs Ples which is a skull that is 2.1 million years old. See where we came from and tour through the caves with a guide and discover things that you may not have known.

The Garden Route

The Garden Route stretches from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape all the way to storms River in the Eastern Cape. Here you can see over 300 bird species, coral reefs, seals, dolphins and other creatures of the land. There are reserves dotted all over the Garden Route and Plettenberg Bay is the place to go to spot whales.

 

These are just a few places that South Africa has to offer and each place you go, you will not be disappointed with the nature and the sites. Everything has a story and something to marvel at.

Black Hat SEO vs Good SEO Techniques

Black Hat SEO tactics is the use of aggressive or unethical SEO techniques to get higher rankings in a short term which will do more harm than good for any website.  These techniques focus only on getting ranked by search engines and not so much on the usability of the website. In essence, black hat SEO means focusing more on getting ranked by search engine and creating a poor user experience for the web audience. These Black SEO techniques often require search engine guidelines to be violated which is something that has disastrous results like getting your website banned or blacklisted by Google and other major search engines.

One of the advantages of using Black SEO is that your website will get instant visibility on search engines but you better believe that those results are only temporary and might cost you more than you had bargained for so to avoid all the unnecessary drama or negative attention from search engines then you better start off but following good SEO principles and following the right guidelines and patiently waiting for the right traffic to start flowing into your web site.

Practicing good SEO techniques can be a lengthy process but it also gives long term results. Good SEO techniques start right from the website design,  followed by the content layout plan and lastly the link building plan with is the heart and soul of any SEO campaign. Get these processes right and your website will get where it needs to be.

Cape Town Adventure Holiday

Cape Town South Africa

South Africa is the place to visit for those that love adventure, wildlife, nature and breath-taking landscapes. South Africa is a large country and it can be difficult for visitors to know the best places to go especially if you are new to the country. Here is a list of some places that tourists and even locals should look at going for a holiday. This is a travel guide to some of the best that this country has to offer.

Cape Town: The Mother City

In Cape Town you will need to visit Table Mountain, which is a mountain that has a flat top that you will be able to look out from over the city of Cape Town. The climb to the top of the mountain can be strenuous but you are able to get a cable car. The view from the top is magnificent and it will not disappoint and you will be able to feel the sea breeze which will cool you down after your hike.

The Cape Peninsula

The Cape Peninsula in Cape Town is wonderful for those who love a good hike in nature. Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope is in the Table Mountain National Park and has untouched nature that you will fall in love with. During the spring and the summer, you may be lucky enough to see the Southern Right whales and all year you will be able to see the colony of African penguins at Boulders Beach.

The Robben Island

If you are lover of history then a trip to Robben Island is the place to be and was once a prison to political offenders during the Apartheid era and was once the prison of former South African president Nelson Mandela. You will be able to get a true sense of what these people went through on a tour of the prison.

Entrepreneurship in South Africa

Business mentorship for young entreprenuers in South Africa

Africa is full of successful entrepreneurs. We tend to look at the top performing entrepreneurs which include Patrick Ngowi, Lorna Rutto, Rapelang Rabana, Justin Stanford and Jonathan Liebmann as the focus of what an entrepreneur should imbue, but I beg to differ. There are literally millions of entrepreneurs throughout the melting pot of Africa and each deserves an equal measure of credit. Do not let me take anything away from the most successful entrepreneurs mentioned above as they have achieved their success through hard work and positive business acumen. Why I do not want to focus on these top achievers is simply because the chances of achieving this level of success is not as great as the chances of building a business that offers a sustainable living and generates good all-round profit margins.

The common thread that runs through the smaller entrepreneur’s business is the same thread that is found in the top achiever’s business and that is having a marketable idea, clear vision and large amounts of hard work. Bustling and vibrant Africa has an entrepreneur on every corner, at every robot, running every spaza shop and all are winners in their own right. They have found a small niche in the market, outlaid a bit of capital to begin their venture and become valid and contributing entrepreneurs in our society.

How to succeed as a young entrepreneur

How does the entrepreneur overcome stumbling blocks in his new venture? I’ve always been of the view that the more you do something the better you get at it. Often what is perceived to be a huge stumbling block by an entrepreneur will lose its importance when worked through carefully. Another aspect of entrepreneurship that I’d like to touch on is mentor-ship. If the entrepreneur has a mentor with whom they can discuss problems that occur in the business with, this coming together of knowledge will assist in alleviating many of those problems. Find a mentor for your business; it helps.

Saving is another factor that will have greatly influence the fruition and growth of the entrepreneur’s business. By saving a portion of the profits, the entrepreneur is then able to start another small income-generating business. With a few of these micro businesses in place, the entrepreneur will be generating income from a number of sources.