If you blinked at the wrong moment you may have missed it – last issue in our Start-Up Guide we offered readers access to a comprehensive business plan template courtesy of Viljoen Consulting. (To request one email: firstname.lastname@example.org.) The response was heartening – it’s clear that many of our readers, if not already involved in running their own businesses, are planning to make the move soon.
In email conversations with readers it also came to light that many were already quite far down the business ownership path – but had never put together a formal business plan. They may not have committed their industry knowledge and business strategy to paper, but their business success is proof that the plans in their heads were sound. So the question from them was why consider putting together a plan now?
The simple answer is planning. The long-term success of your business relies on your ability to plan and prepare for the challenges and opportunities that come your way. With a business plan in front of you, it is that much easier to see where your decisions will take you.
If you’re about to navigate those critical first months of a new venture, careful planning will improve your chance of success, and reduce the number of potential mistakes. How? By forcing you to consider all aspects of starting a business – from the market forces at play to potential competitors, your customers and the strength and weaknesses of your team.
Tech entrepreneur Tobie van Zyl learnt a valuable lesson in taking his business idea to potential funders for 18 months on the trot; the importance of revision. In this issue he shares some of the highs and lows of his funding journey, he was forced to test new scenarios and redo his numbers after meetings with investors. His plan or pitch was a tool that he used to progress his business, it was a fluid document that moved with the market and as new intelligence came in.
Get reading and get inspired!
The Your Business team
ON THE COVER
Looking for investors? Here’s how to nail your funding pitch
Tobie van Zyl from moneysmart.co.za shares the important lessons learnt on his funding journey.
Adapt or Die
Essential steps for bricks and mortar retailers to survive in the face of the dotcom revolution…
New launch: Join the republic of good taste
Take an iconic South African taste, add a gourmet twist and you have UniWors.
7 Essential low-cost marketing strategies
You don’t have to break the bank when marketing your products or services…
Get results selling over the phone
Cold calling is an effective sales tactic if done properly.
… to customers, your partners and even yourself….
Tell if you’re over- or under-staffed…
Get the numbers right
Use Google+ in your business…
What can it do for you?
Should you move into the cloud?
Some tips might help you decide.
What’s next on the world wide web?
Imagining Web 3.0.
Searching for stimulus
Boosting South Africa’s SME sector is crucial for our economic health.
Are you effectively leveraging the internet?
Stop running and start thinking
Take a step back to evaluate your business and its activities.
Make the most of your business card
Don’t forget about this powerful business tool.
Sales is a team sport
Ensure all team members pull their weight.
Select the right financing partner
Several options are available when it comes to business funding. Choosing the right option for your business is essential…
To fix or not to fix…
Use fixed-term employment contracts while you can, change is on the way.
Get it right
How to develop your employment equity plan.
Start up guide: To register or not?
Should you register a business when you start up, or set out as a sole proprietor?
Start up guide: Tax basics
Get your business off to a sound start.
Special focus: FAST FOOD AND RESTAURANTS
What is happening in the world of food?
There’s always plenty on the go in the food scene with new restaurants, formats and menu items appearing regularly.
Cappuccino’s Café and Pizzeria
Extraordinary food and atmosphere, time-honoured family recipes and the finest quality ingredients…
Food industry snippets
Special focus: HOME AND BUILDING
Pick up your tools and build a home improvement business for profit…
Secure your area with this trusted name in the security industry
Franchise and business opportunities in the home and building sector abound. Find your perfect match here.