How to create a powerful brand

Quick shot of the sign of a small Lloyds TSB b...

Brand guru Stephen King famously once said: “A product can be quickly outdated, but a successful brand is timeless.” For a business to be recognised, grow and succeed it needs a defined identity: a brand. This is a promise of what customers can expect from your business, and what your enterprise stands for.

Who are you?

While the branding process is not complex in itself, it calls for strategic thinking about what you want to achieve from your business. In many ways, defining your brand values as early as possible in your business journey can actually help to define your business plan and long-term goals. For example, to create a brand that resonates with your target customers, you’ll first need to define who you are targeting and why. This will require thorough market research and competitor analysis.

According to Stephen Cheliotis, chief executive of The Centre for Brand Analysis: “This research should also help you to identify any gaps in the market. It’s not always who you are targeting, or even what you are producing that is the most important thing when it comes to successful branding. It’s about standing for something recognisably different.”

via Brand new thinking: how to create a powerful brand | Small business network partner zone Lloyds TSB | Guardian Professional.

eCC – PtyInstant can assist you with a trademark application – see Products and services above.

Access to credit still easy in South Africa

Woman in small shop Ghana

According to the World Bank‘s 2013 Doing Business Report, South Africa has been joint-ranked, along with Malaysia and the United Kingdom, as the easiest country in the world for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access credit.

Gerrie van Biljon, executive director of Business Partners Limited, says that this will be the third year in a row that South Africa has achieved the ranking and that that it is a very encouraging sign for small business owners locally.

He says that there is however evidence that a lack of SME financing still exists, despite the reported easy credit access. “Access to finance remains the number one hindrance for SMEs, regardless of this high rating. This is most likely due to the fact that SMEs are unsure of how to apply for finance, or that they do not qualify for the type of financing that is available. It is therefore of utmost importance that SMEs understand the stringent credit conditions that need to be fulfilled to obtain financing.”

via Access to credit still easy in South Africa – World Bank report.

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An entrepreneur become a business person

It all starts with an idea.

Over time, your idea gathers momentum, causing a cascade of emotions in the process that very few non-entrepreneurs will ever get to experience. Anticipation, excitement and even terror are just some of the words that immediately come to mind; it’s a veritable (self-inflicted) emotional rollercoaster. But deep down you know, your idea will be a success.

My idea for Tourism Radio started in 2005 – probably before then actually, as I had been involved in the tourist industry for some time already. Today, my idea operates on three continents and works with some of the world’s leading brands; creating location-based audio experiences for their clients. I’ve been both financially and emotionally invested in the company for seven years.

But am I still an entrepreneur, or have I crossed over to the realm of a real businessman? A little bit of both I think.

via When does an entrepreneur become a business person? | ventureburn.

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Hope for small business

Anna Phosa's workers

Port Elizabeth small business owners were given a boost on Wednesday following a gathering where up and coming local entrepreneurs got the opportunity to grow their firms.

The Hope Factory, a hub for entrepreneurs in the city, hosted two events at North End in a bid to strengthen entrepreneurs’ capacity in growing and sustaining their enterprises.

Sipho Ntlangu, one of The Hope Hub entrepreneurs, said the programme had made a positive impact in terms of business growth.

The Hope Factory launched The Hope Hub a year ago with the purpose of helping small business owners to showcase their products.

“It also provided me with more exposure for business, as many people are now aware of the whereabouts of my business. There is a great potential to increase sales and to make profits,” said Ntlangu.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study, there are few South Africans who try their hand at entrepreneurship and only 2.6% survive through the three-and-a-half year mark.

“Some of the reasons for this failure rate include a lack of skills, limited access to markets, no seed capital, a lack of work experience and a lack of confidence.

via Hope for small business | The New Age Online.

Small-business ministry coming

Greenhouse tomatoes

The development of small businesses — which industry players say is retarded by unnecessary red tape and lack of access to finance — is seen as key to reducing the country’s unemployment.

Official statistics put South Africa’s unemployment at about 25%. If people who have given up looking for work are included goes up to more than 40%.

via Small-business ministry ‘a step closer’ | Business | BDlive.

Small business owners innovate to stay ahead

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 22:  Junior Minister for ...

Small business owners are increasingly diversifying and innovating as they look to capitalise on the busy summer of events in the UK and improve their bottom line, according to Avivas bi-annual SME Pulse.

The numbers of SMEs putting on sales and discounts, diversifying into new areas or reducing overall prices have all increased in the last six months, with the desire to capitalise on the busy summer of sporting and other events likely to be one reason for this.

via Small business owners innovate to stay ahead in tough environment | Easier.

SA business owners look and learn.

Saica welcomes Companies Act

South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

The SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) on Thursday welcomed the new Companies Act as good for small business.

Small and medium-sized companies which had previously been obliged to bear the cost of an audit might now be exempted as the act introduced new criteria, said Saica.

The decision would depend on a newly-introduced public interest score.

“Under this system, a company is allocated points according to the number of its employees, its annual turnover, its stakeholders and the level of third party liabilities at the end of the financial year,” Saica spokesman Ashley Vandiar said.

Points are given for the average number of employees throughout the year, one point per million rand of debt financing, one point for each million rand of turnover, and one point for every individual with a beneficial interest, including shareholders.

Companies with 350 points or more must be audited.

Any company, regardless of point scores, with more than R5 million held for a client in a fiduciary capacity also had to be audited.

Companies scoring between 100 and 350 points must have an independent review conducted by a registered auditor or a chartered accountant.

Those scoring less than 100 are required to have an independent review conducted by anyone who qualifies as an accounting officer, unless circumstances indicate otherwise.

Close corporations are treated the same way as companies.

The cost savings for companies exempted from an audit should be ploughed back into the business or used to reduce debt, said Vandiar. – Sapa

via Saica welcomes Companies Act – Business News | IOL Business | IOL.co.za.

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