Starting a Business

Interested in starting a small business? Looking for training on how to start your own business? Get started right here.

10 tips for start-ups

Most, if not all, entrepreneurs have heard a variation of the statement "75% of start-ups fail within the first year". While this statement is often altered and taken out of context, the fact is that failure within the first year of business isn very likely for many start-ups. These 10 tips will help you better prepare for and navigate the start-up journey.

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10 Uncommon Tips for Starting a Business

Most aspirational or established entrepreneurs will know that there is no shortage of "How To" articles that reiterate the same business tips for starting a business and succeeding as an entrepreneur. This is not one of those articles. This article looks at 10 uncommon business tips that entrepreneurs probably have not come across before.

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A 6-point quality check for your business plan

We all know we should check our cars before travelling. Equally important is the need to check your business plan for faults and potential failures before making it the core of your business, or using it to ask for financing. Ask yourself these six questions to check the quality of your business plan. For example, have you done a sensibility check? Is there really a reason for customers to buy from you? And more.

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Business Unity South Africa

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) was formed in October 2003 and began operating in January 2004. This created the first representative and unified organisation for business in South Africa. Today, through its extensive membership base, BUSA represents the private sector being the largest federation of business organisations in terms of GDP and employment contribution. BUSA is a non-profit company representing cross-cutting organised business interests in South Africa.

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Can I steal from my boss to start my business?

Is it legal and ethical to use one's employer's time and resources to start your own business? No. The law says that all material or product or contacts developed whilst in the employ or under contract by an employer belongs to that business. It cannot be used for profit elsewhere. This includes tools, machinery, equipment, software, contacts, content, intellectual property or anything else that you may think is free to take home. Written permission is required to use any such material.

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Checklist for opening and marketing your business

Before you open for business, make sure that all the elements of your business are in place. In order to do this, we have provided a "Before you start" checklist for you to review and supplement with appropriate items. Through this checklist you will learn how to buy, and how to market, promote, and advertise your business.

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Choosing the right business format for your enterprise

Before you jump right into starting your own business, there are many things to consider. One of these, is choosing the most appropriate legal entity under which to register your company. Choosing the right format is an important part of setting up a business, especially since some forms of enterprise must be registered with the Registrar of Companies, and need to meet certain legal requirements. Your business format will depend very much on the nature and size of your business, and should suit your specific needs. Here is a basic guide to the process.

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Choosing the right name for your business

It's amazing how few entrepreneurs put thought and research into naming their business. There are certain guidelines to follow to ensure you not only choose a good name, but that there won’t be negative consequences for your choice. No matter what type of venture you're setting up, the key is to opt for a name that distinguishes you from other businesses.

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Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)

The CIPC was established by the Companies Act, 2008 (Act No. 71 of 2008) as a juristic person to function as an organ of state within the public administration, but as an institution outside the public service. Its main functions include the registration of Companies, Co-operatives and Intellectual Property Rights (trade marks, patents, designs and copyright) and maintenance thereof as well as the disclosure of Information on its business registers, among others. Find out more in this article.

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Competition law compliance - Q&A

When starting a small business,it's important to ensure that you’re not contravening competition law. Competition law has two sources: the Competition Act, 89 of 1998, and the common law (i.e. law based on case law and old authorities). The Competition Act focuses on two broad areas: (a) harmful competitive practices that existing businesses may not engage in; and (b) the competitive effects of mergers and acquisitions. This article explores how not to contravene competition law.

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Create a business plan – download this book now!

This Business Plan e-book is widely regarded as one of the best preparatory publications on writing a business plan. It deals extensively with the all-important background information required for a business plan – everything that potential financiers may require before considering a business loan. More than just a business-plan writing aid, the Business Plan Book constructively helps the would-be business owner or existing business owner wanting to expand his/her business to identify and deal with potential problems before they arise.

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Creating an effective business plan

This article series will help you create a business plan. It includes a business plan template to guide your business through the start-up or growth phase, a search for capital, or any other endeavour your small business undertakes. We've distilled the typical business plan template into seven key elements. For each and every element you will find a description, instructions for creation and, for many, tips for avoiding common pitfalls.

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Deciding on a business

The most common serious mistake made by entrepreneurs is not choosing the right business from the very beginning. This article will provide you with important evaluation techniques to decide which business is right for you. Use this article and the videos within it to plan how to start your new business. Planning ahead for your business will make it both successful and fulfilling.

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Deciding on the type of organisation you want to establish

Deciding on the type of business organization you should establish? This article will help you understand the business types and help you in your choice. When you have decided which business is right for you, you will have three important decisions to make. Through this article, you will discover: whether to go into business alone or with a partner; the type of business organisation to use; and what professional advisers to select.

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Entrepreneurs Growth Centre

The Entrepreneurs Growth Centre is a support desk for entrepreneurs wishing to start or grow their businesses. The centre provides entrepreneurs with the information needed to run a successful business, addresses the challenges entrepreneurs face and, in doing so, promotes and develops entrepreneurship in South Africa.

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Entrepreneurship courses and programmes

Business Partners Limited has compiled a list of institutions and training providers offering courses in business management and entrepreneurship, which should add value to someone looking to start or grow their small business. This list focuses on accredited courses. Full time, part time, distance learning, and even online programmes are included in this list.

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Everything small business owners need to know

Owning and running a small business is an impressive feat. For some, however, reaching this point can be difficult and confusing. You might not be sure of your business concept or you might still be figuring out how to manage your finances. But, if you follow these simple tricks and tips, you will become the success you have always dreamed of.

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Get better business results when you do what you love

Many, many new entrepreneurs start out with something they are passionate about, something they love doing and are great at. But soon they find that the new business demands that they spend most of their time on things they really do not like to do at all. Those are also the things they mostly are not so good at. They have to force themselves to struggle through the tasks so that the business can survive, but this does not need to be the situation. In fact, you are more likely to succeed if you do something you love.

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Getting expert help to start or run your business

When starting your business, there are certain occasions when it's advisable to get professional advice. A lawyer, for example, can explain the conditions of your loan agreements, contracts and leases. On the other hand, entrepreneurs are at times so intimidated by certain processes that they hire professionals when they can actually do it themselves. So how do you know when it's best to call in an expert and when it's okay to do it yourself?

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Guarding your intellectual property

Theft of confidential information and trade secrets can be just as damaging to your business as embezzlement or other employee fraud. Learn how to protect your intellectual property with tips including utilising paper shredders, having a plan in place for terminated employees, using passwords, as well as having employees sign non-disclosure agreements, among others.

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How to start a B&B or guesthouse

Starting and running a guesthouse or bed and breakfast in an idyllic location is a dream that many people share. It is seen as an attractive alternative to corporate jobs because it is considered to be less stressful, less structured, and more peaceful. However, it is as carefree as it seems. This article looks at three tips to help you start and run a successful guesthouse or B&B.

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How to start a cleaning company in South Africa

In this article, the experts at Pty Company Registration, a local fast-tracked company registration company, touches on all the must-have documentation you need to start a successful cleaning company in South Africa that’s legally registered and eligible to apply for Tenders – whether you’re aiming for private, commercial or government contracts. To simplify the list of South African cleaning company documents you need, we’ve broken this post into two sections – Section 1: General Documentation every South African business needs, and Section 2: Documentation South African cleaning companies need for contracts.

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How to start a construction company in South Africa

Want to know how to start a construction company in South Africa and more specifically what documentation you need for construction tenders and contracts? This article helps you identify the documents you need and where to get them, whether you're an informal business wanting to step it up a notch (by employing staff and applying for RFQs, tenders, and contracts) or an entrepreneur looking to start a new construction company in South Africa.

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Preparing a business idea

Ok, so you have a great idea. In the early hours of the morning this idea has the potential of Google as it floats around in your semi-sleep state. You wake up and write it all down with flow diagrams and income streams all neatly defined. Now what? Taking an idea from concept to reality is what makes us Entrepreneurs. Here are some simple questions to explore when next you have an entrepreneurial epiphany. Knowing the answers to these questions will assist in placing your concept on the road to reality.

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Questions to ask yourself when selecting a business

If you're thinking about starting your own business, there are a number of questions you have to ponder before you can even start the process. These questions range from "Can you afford to start your own business?" and "Do you have the support of your family?" to "Do you have the necessary skills and experience?" and "Will the business yield adequate income?"

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Registering a private company

The Companies Act provides for two categories of companies, namely non-profit and profit companies. Each of the different business entities under these categories has specific requirements in terms of the documentation that is required. There are five types of companies that you can register. However, for the purposes of this article, we will look at how to register a private company (a (Pty) Ltd), which is the most common and simplest form of company to be registered.

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Start-up costs for an accommodation business

If you are thinking of starting an accommodation business (e.g. a B&B, guesthouse, lodge or similar), here are some of the costs associated with getting started
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Start-up mistakes that are too common

About 75 percent of start-ups and 90 percent of tech start-ups are doomed to fail. Too many wonderful ideas never make it past the initial stage, and many that do lose momentum and die an untimely, soon-forgotten death. Avoid these common mistakes that can lead to a new business closing down soon after it started. Don't become a statistic.

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Start-up vs buying an existing business

Buying a business is an alternative way to get into business with less risk than normally associated with a start-up venture. But there are still many factors you have to consider before signing on the dotted line. This article looks at those factors as well as why buying an existing business may be better for you than going the start-up route. Either way, getting professional advice is essential, as this will help you cover the unknown aspects of the business venture you are pursuing.

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Starting an online business

Many entrepreneurs are starting online businesses and while this can be a great way of getting into business, it's by no means easy to make a success of it.

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Starting costs calculator

Starting costs, or business start-up costs, refer to the expenses entrepreneurs acquire when first starting up their businesses. What is included in your start-up costs as well as how much the costs actually are will depend on the type of business you would like to set up and the industry you want to enter. This start-up costs calculator will help you determine and outline the costs you will need to start your business.

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Steps to follow when buying a company car

As your company expands, there are business assets that you will need. For starters, you might need to purchase an additional vehicle for your business. Having an extra company car can make it easier for your employees to run their business errands without causing delays for anyone else in the business. However, buying a car without financing can leave a dent in your business cash flow. Luckily, with vehicle and asset finance your business should afford a car of your choice. Here are a few helpful tips on financing a business vehicle.

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The "doing skills" vital for business success

An entrepreneur requires both business and technical skills (also referred to as the “doing skills”) to successfully apply for finance. The first relates to the ability to run a business successfully by applying sound business principles. These skills range from formulating and applying a strategy to people management. The evaluation of the “doing skills” focuses on the entrepreneur’s technical competencies and experience relating to the business in question. Find out more about the role these doing skills play in determining business success.

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Tips for choosing the right business partner

It's important to know exactly what you are getting into when choosing a partner to go into business with. There are many things to take into account when choosing a partner for your business, but this article looks at the some of the most important or most common issues people face. In doing so, the article looks at tips on how to find the right business partner, including finding someone with integrity and not wasting your time on anyone who does not share your vision.

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Tips when looking for business premises

One of the things you have to think about carefully when starting or buying a business is where it is or will be housed. The location of your business can either make or break it, depending on all the circumstances involved, so it's not a decision to be made hastily and without some experienced advice. For those of you who have no clue about where to start, here are some points to ponder. There are many factors that will influence your decision, but let's look at the most important issues to get you in the right frame of mind.

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Top 15 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? This article provides a list of the top 15 personal characteristics and qualities of successful entrepreneurs. Do you have them? Check where you feel strong today and where you can improve moving forward. Take into account that while some people are born with certain skills and personality, you can learn and improve through training and practice.

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What is your product or service worth?

In a competitive market environment business owners are prone to sell themselves short, because they do not take the time to determine a fair and justifiable price for their services and products. There are various methods of determining the worth of your product or service. For example, there are so-called "value drivers" that support the charging of a premium for your service or product, if it solves an expensive problem for the client or saves the client money. This article expands on the concept of value drivers as well as other pricing strategies.

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What to consider before starting a property-related business

Whether you’re a seasoned business owner looking to move into the property industry, or an entrepreneur seeking to make your name in property, there are certain important considerations to make before starting a property related business. Here are some of the most important facts to consider and keep in mind when starting your business.

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Writing a business plan

To consider financing, financial institutions require a comprehensive and well-motivated business plan that provides a thorough understanding of your existing or proposed business, your own goals and objectives and your financing requirements. This is merely a guide to writing a business plan. Circumstances vary and you will need to tailor your business plan depending on the type of business. But, the basics remain the same.Here are the sections that every business plan should cover.

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Your complete plan on just one page

By the time you have completed your business plan it may already be out-of-date. That’s why, in the rapid-changing world of today, we need to plan for the next step towards our goals without always knowing the full path of getting to the desired destination. This is pretty scary, since we must acknowledge that we will never know for certain exactly how things will pan out, even after completing our business plan. Use this one-page to go beyond traditional ways of planning for your business.

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