Could a data breach ruin your company?
data breach

In this Age of Digital, many Small Medium Businesses (SMB) and larger enterprises have to constantly be on the lookout for potential security and data breach threats. A data breach in an SMB or enterprise is defined as an event where a brand’s name is potentially at risk, either in electronic or paper format. The 2016 Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Breach study identified three main causes of a data breach: a malicious or criminal attack a system glitch human error The cost of a data breach can vary according to the cause, the systems in place to safeguard your company and the amount of lag time hackers have when accessing your systems undetected. The Cost of Data Breach study was based on 383 companies in 12 countries. South Africa’s data breach incidents throughout 2016 were analysed for the first time. Other countries included France, Brazil, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, Australia, the Arabian region (the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia) and Canada. 7 global megatrends in the Cost of Data Breach research Certain ‘megatrends’ have been revealed when studying the data breach experience of over 2,013 organisations in every industry over the years. 1. Cost of data breach has not fluctuated Since inception of this research, the cost of a data breach has not fluctuated significantly. This could indicate that companies have taken on more agile security in line with their data protection strategies. 2. Biggest consequence of data breach The biggest financial consequence […]

5 Things Your eCommerce Website Can’t Be Without
eCommerce website

eCommerce has revolutionised the way we consume products and services. Your customer is no longer wandering aimlessly through the mall, hoping to find their next favourite product or service. They’re now looking for your business from the comfort of their own home. And if you’ve been smart enough to get your business hitched up to the eCommerce bandwagon, you’ll know that your website is your shop front… and that it needs to sell, sell, sell. So, if you want your online business to thrive, there are a number of essentials that your eCommerce website can’t be without.   Does your eCommerce website check these 5 boxes?   1.    Professional look and feel It’s all about your brand. And the way your website looks and feels (and makes your customer feel) will either support or undermine your brand. Your eCommerce website needs to look as good as the mall version of your store – and better. Get hold of a reputable website design company who will take your vision and bring it to life in a way that’s on-trend, functional and most importantly, simple. Simplicity is far more effective than flash, and takes a long time to achieve. Spend time on this part of your website and watch your business reach new heights. 2.    Easy navigation Think about the best shopping experience you’ve ever had. Now consider why it stands out from the rest: because it was rare. Someone took the time to anticipate your every need: Finding parking was a […]

Your Essential 5-Point Checklist for Buying Business Property
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Buying your first business property is an exciting venture – congratulations on taking that next step! Whether you are buying or renting property space for your business, office or factory, it’s important to make sure that you are armed with everything you need for a smooth transaction. The only thing bridging the gap between a good and a bad property sale is this: information.   Our 5-point checklist below will help you make sure your property purchase goes down without a hitch:   1.    Do your research Perhaps the most important phase of all: doing your homework. Thorough research should be conducted into the area where the building is located, as well as the infrastructure surrounding it. As the business owner, you should also take a good look at the building structure to make sure your business will be able to maximise the space and location fully. Some key questions you may want to ask include: How much office space will you need? What sort of facilities will you require? Is the building accessible from major motorways? Is there sufficient parking available for both staff and clients? Which area is the safest and most accessible to public transport routes? Will the premises allow you to scale for growth, should your business need to expand? Are the premises in good condition, or will you need to budget for property renovations? If you ask the right questions you will be able to make the right decisions. Leave no stone unturned in your […]

How you as a business owner can maintain your sanity in tough times
business owner

When Craig Ford first bought into Bugs & Sparks, a well-known Cape Town-based local business, it came with its fair share of difficulties. Having felt the weight of a then struggling business on his shoulders, Craig is all too aware that running a company can take its toll on sole business owners mentally and emotionally. But with the help of his friend and business coach, Ian Brown, Craig is now able to keep his head and relish the highs that also come from running a now growing, thriving business. Together they discuss maintaining your sanity by dealing with failure, learning from 2016 and identifying ways to move forward in business. Dealing with failure When it comes to business, you won’t always get it right the first time, but failure is usually part of the package at some point. “Being the sole owner of a business, it’s often a lonely place to be,” says Craig. “All the decisions rest on your shoulders, good or bad.” Ian agreed and explains how essential it is that failure is dealt with and learnt from in order to move forward. “Running a business is not for the faint of heart. Failure often results in bankruptcy and misery – there are often no retakes allowed,” he says. “But there are always things to implement and change in order to improve the situation. Identifying those things will help you keep your sanity under pressure.” Moving forward Craig believes in the value that a business coach can bring […]

Risk vs Reward – the future of doing business in South Africa
business in South Africa

By now it is no secret. People have spoken about the fork in the road that we as a country find ourselves at, as well as the knife’s edge on which our young democracy is balancing. There is no doubt that now will go down as a pivotal time in South Africa’s history. Economically, our environment is tough. Slow if not stagnant growth is not creating the jobs, wealth and economic opportunities that our people demand. Intense poverty and inequality is causing crises like Fees Must Fall, strikes and our high levels of crime. Politically, we find ourselves in one of the worst states that we have ever been in. A massive leadership chasm and severe corruption among the political elite leave us with our hands in our hair daily. Unfortunately, the international investment community does not care much for excuses. The probability of a downgrade to junk status is already being partially priced into the market, with political power struggles adding oil to the fire. A presidential budget speech and a finance ministry willing to stand up for our country goes a long way, but might not be enough to avoid losing our investment level status in December. The question must then be asked what the future holds for starting and growing businesses in the current chaos and uncertainty. Are there enough opportunities in this market to warrant the risk of building a company and a future here? Let’s look at some of the unique characteristics of RSA from […]

Neethling Gears Up For ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships
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Jeffrey Neethling, cyclist and triathlon enthusiast from Cape Town, recently qualified for his most intense event yet: the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in New South Wales, Australia.   This one day, off-road, action-packed event is a highlight on the international triathlon calendar, and offers a platform for the world’s best to compete head to head for the winning spot.   “The triathlon I am competing in is called an off-road or cross triathlon,” says Neethling. “This means that we do all our swimming in dams or the sea, and the cycling and running off-road through mountains, forests and across rivers.”   Hailing from a sport-loving family, his training and competing in swimming events started at an early age:   “Only when I turned 21 did I get a mountain bike and immediately got hooked,” Jeffrey says. “Then a year later I was challenged by friends to compete with them in my first triathlon, the Xterra Buffelspoort Full. I really suffered that day and had to walk most of the run leg of the event but soon after finishing the race I wanted more,” says Neethling.   Now he is pushing the limits of the sport, having qualified for the ITU Cross Triathlon through his participation at Xterra Grabouw, the South African off road triathlon national championships, where he took first place in his category. He will be taking part in the men’s elite category, competing against the world’s best off road triathletes.   WEBPRINTER, a top printing company in Cape […]

4 Ways to Get Ready to Run Your Business Marathon

Have you ever wondered how to shift your business from a start-up to an SME, or from an SME to a saleable asset? If you’re an avid runner, you know what it takes to get from running your weekly Park Run to competing in the Old Mutual 42km Marathon. Your success, whether it’s in fitness or business, lies in one key factor: your methodology.   These four key methods will help your business go the distance:   1.    Get your health checked Every business owner needs to set a baseline or starting point: What is the current health status of your business?  In other words: how fit or healthy is your business? The importance of knowing this is often missed. If you are currently only able to run or walk 3km and want to get to full marathon status, you are likely to have a very clear understanding of the training required to achieve it. Similarly, if you know where your current risks to success lie or know what your business is currently valued at, you can more than likely identify and articulate the areas that need improvement.   2.    Get a plan Most of us have often set lofty resolutions to get fit, but more often than not have been unable to achieve these goals. Articulating the “why” in our motivation to run a marathon and sharing this with those close to us will often result in a far better success rate. In business this is called your strategy. […]

How to Market Your Business on a Small Budget
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Do you ever feel like you’re throwing money at your market budget and not getting the results you need? Not only is this “spray-and-pray” approach costly, but its unfocussed goals and target market are simply not going to bring you customers and business. A well thought-out and structured marketing plan can go a long way, without breaking the bank. This is even more necessary if you’re a small business owner. You probably have to make sure every spend gets turned over 10 times before it’s allocated, and every spend has to stand up under the scrutiny of ROI: has it brought in more than enough customers to cover the costs of acquiring them? So, to help put your mind at ease, here are our top four tips to stretch your marketing budget and increase sales.   1. Print Advertising Think print media is dead? Think again. Print advertising is incredibly useful and powerful for four important reasons: It’s long-term: Print advertising will often live in people’s homes or offices for several months, which allows for repeated exposure to your advertising campaign. Posters offer this benefit as well as people are reached repeatedly through continuous exposure, bringing in new customers for your business. It’s affordable: Print advertising is a highly cost-effective form of marketing in terms of the sales they bring in per Rand spent. Since a single print ad can reach several viewers several times, it offers a very high return on investment (ROI). It’s tangible: Flyers, posters, magazines and […]

10 Steps to Engineering Financial Success in Business
financial success in business

From working with many companies across sectors, some that are very successful and others that are still a work in process, we have learnt that financial success in business can be engineered. There is a golden thread that can be seen in each success story in our modern business environment. I have sought to break these observations down into ten critical steps. Financial success begins with a change in mind-set (steps 1-6). It’s made efficient by way of automation (steps 7-9). It’s brought to fulfilment through scaling (step 10). Before we get started, I’d like to introduce you to OldCo and NewCo. OldCo and NewCo are both established companies operating in a similar industry to yours. They both earn product and service income and have both been quite successful to date. OldCo subscribes to the old school way of doing business. They believe that if it’s not broken, why fix it. Subsequently they are not very interested in new technology and processes, but instead focus on what they know best. NewCo on the other hand has had a change in mind-set. They believe that technology, innovation and access to the right information gives them a competitive advantage in a fast-paced global business environment. These two companies will serve as our examples in the ten steps below.   STEP 1 – RETHINK FINANCIAL SYSTEMS AND CONTROLS It is no longer the companies who have access to the information that hold power, but rather the ones that are able to sift through, […]

Business Owner: Three Skills You Can’t Fake
Digital daily blog

By Dylan Kohlstadt   As entrepreneurs and business owners, we have to wear many hats: CEO, rain-maker, negotiator, tenant, employer, supplier, and the list goes on. However, as we grow in business, the gaps in our knowledge start to show as our core business strengths begin to shine through, and our ‘wing it on a prayer’ approach to everything else stops being effective. When that starts to happen, and balls start dropping. It’s time to take a long, hard look at yourself and your business and realise that there are some skills you just cannot fake.   1. Get Organised   We’re often so busy being busy that we feel we haven’t got the time to stop and get organised. This limits our growth and ability to scale dramatically. There’s only so much information you can store in your head, and the thought that you’ve forgotten something will keep you up at night and rob your team of much-needed responsibility and accountability.   Here’s what works for us:   1. Systems and Processes: As a growing creative marketing agency we reached a point where running our job tracking, internal comms and invoicing off of emails and ‘say-so’ just wasn’t working anymore. Streamlining your business’s systems and processes is something you should consider if you want to grow.   – Asana is great for task-tracking in our respective creative teams, and integrates well with Toggl, an effective time-tracking tool. Asana also gives you the option to allow a project to be […]