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Black Friday for Business | 2021 | South Africa

Black Friday?  



Just so you know, Black Friday is the biggest international sale that was started in the early 1900s in USA and to date, it is still the biggest last Friday of November where consumers around the world buy necessities to prepare for the holiday and gifting season. It is an annual shopping event that businesses and customers all over the world eagerly anticipate

Small businesses can take advantage of Black Friday, this presents you with an opportunity to win customers and keep them coming back for more. Everyone likes saving and getting discounts.   

Although Black Friday 2020 was a flop for South African retailers – statistics show, with a huge decrease in in-store sales. Shoppers avoided malls and stores due to coronavirus – but also there was a lack of money in their pockets, because of the economic impact of the virus and lockdown. But this year, we’re getting more prepared and focusing on what we can change/improve. 

We had already had a social media post that summarises this, but in this blog we will discuss this in detail. Keep reading! 

Here are 3 things you can do:  

1️⃣ Social listening: Black Friday is on everyone’s lips, tune in your target market’s conversation to find out what kind of deals they hope to find. You can do a keyword research on either Google or Social Media to find out this information, see what people are mostly searching or talking about. 

That is why market research, before anything else is so important so you may know your customers. Know where to find them, how to find them, and how to entice them. 

2️⃣ Start preaching & marketing: customers research in advance, start advertising teasers. Some people already have a budget dedicatedly Black Friday deals, help them make buying decisions. On the day/weekend, people will be going straight where they want specific things and not hop into shop after shop. 

5 Black Friday Marketing Ideas:

  • On-site notifications
  • Popups
  • Email marketing
  • Flash sale
  • Social media ads 

3️⃣ Make the experience smooth: Over the past year, Covid-19 restrictions pushed many traditional stores and customers online. Online transactions increased by more than 60% – more brands selling online means higher competition. More customers, especially those who are new to the digital retail space, means new challenges and demands. 

Now that the restrictions are lifted, it might be quite a mess at physical shops, online shops also get a lot of traffic. Make sure you are prepared for the numbers and offer a variety of payment options. If need be, hire a VA (virtual assistant) if your business is online based and make arrangements with your developers to make sure your e-commerce site can take the traffic. If you have a physical store, prepare your team to be active and on the ground – helping customers. 

Before the launch of your Black Friday marketing campaigns, make sure you didn’t neglect the details that can make or break the customer experience. Take a careful look at your store or website and see if there is any room for improvement.

Do you have any Black Friday deals planned?  

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Bookkeeping Guide

Let’s not assume you know, and take it from the top. 

Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions made by a business, this means keeping track of what your business spends and what you receive. The  transactions would be recorded in daybooks, cashbooks, or journals, you can also use a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel.

Do you need a bookkeeper for your business? 

You can either do this by setting up a software, or hire a bookkeeper to keep your books in check. A Bookkeeper’s responsibility is to record, classify, and organize every financial transaction that is made throughout business operations. 

Amongst other reasons, one of the reasons why some startups fail is due to the poor management of money: sole business owners mostly can relate. It gets a bit challenging to separate business finances form personal finances, making it harder to account for some of the money that comes in, and goes out of the business because no one is holding you accountable for anything. This is where bookkeeping comes in. When studied thoroughly, you can see some of your spending habits which you need to change.

3 reasons why you need bookkeeping:

  1. To reflect on whether you are spending more than you make, vise versa. Moreover, bookkeeping enables you to seamlessly analyze your expenses, and adjust your budget, if need be. You will have a record of all your financial information you may need in a case where you want to plan or budget for the future. 
  2. You can curate accurate tax returns. Tax preparation can be a stressful season for small business owners, this is where bookkeeping comes in. Instead of looking through a pile of documents to get the required information, bookkeeping ensures that this information is well organized beforehand.
  3. We have mentioned before, cashflow is one of the struggles small businesses have. Bookkeeping will help you mitigate that challenge by keeping track of the cash going in and out of your business. Having this kind of information will give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to make financial decisions. 

Bookkeeping: How-To

  1. Record your sales (in a cashbook/spreadsheet).
  2. Note down every business-related purchase (keep proof of purchase).
  3. Regularly cross-referencing your business books against your bank statements to check that the transactions and balances match, A.K.A Reconciliation. 

Other things to note…

  1. Accounts receivable, i.e. issuing invoices and making sure they’re paid, and accounts payable, i.e.paying bills on time.
  2. Payroll (paying employees). 


Bookkeeping software

There are many small businesses that use online bookkeeping software to speed up the job, this also cuts down on human data-entry errors and saves time. The benefits of these tools include, but not limited to: automatically pay bills, send automated invoice reminders to people who owe you money, and allow you to check cash flow from your phone. 


Here are 3 softwares you can check out:

1️⃣ Sage 

2️⃣ Xero 

3️⃣ QuickBooks


I’m conclusion…

If you are too much of a busy for bookkeeping for your small business, then you can find someone to do it for you; outsource or hire. We have an article on what’s the best option between the two, again this depends on a number of things. If you wish to get a bookkeeper for your business, look no further: Accase Solutions would love to assist! Reach us here: 

 ✉️: info@accasesolutions.co.za

☎: 0615238833

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How to use customers as brand advocates

Ever heard the saying “people believe people, not brand”? This is mostly said in marketing, and that is why lately we see more brands work with Influencers. A campaign with a brand influencer is likely to perform better than an advert of a product without a user, a bonus is that influencer already have a strong community. In this article, we will show you a few ways in which you can use customers as your brand advocates. 



Businesses that market themselves on digital platforms use content to communicate with their customers, attract prospects and retain their current clientele. What we mean when we say your customers are your brand advocates is that they will create the content for you and do the marketing for your, this is called Customer Generated Content in marketing.

User Generated Content is the type of content that is created by users or customers of your brand. This content usually indirectly markets a given brand due to the relationship fans and customers have with the brand. This type of content is given by means of testimonials by customers to market your products or services.

Practical example… here’s a non requested review on Facebook and feedback;

 

Although positive customer feedback is important for brand success, taking proactive measures toward turning these satisfied customers into brand advocates is key to long-term loyalty and attracting new customers in the process. 

“It is harder to acquire a new client than to retain one”. 

Now the to the real question, how can a brand turn satisfied customers into loyal brand advocates? Here are 3 ways to do so:

1️⃣ Build a community  

A community is something a customer can FEEL part of, it gives a sense of belonging – it’s all about common interests and meaningful connections. 

The nice things about investing in an online community is that it is one of the most valuable thing any brand can have for long-term success. Some benefits include your people standing up for you. 

A community is also a great way to acquire feedback, it personalizes people’s experience and make them feel like they are talking to human beings, not brands. This is great because when they are not satisfied with your product, they will be able to talk and not go on to social media to “expose” you, they have a 2 way communication after all. 

2️⃣ Customer service 

More than anything, people remember how you treat them. Ever heard it been said “when your customer comes to you with an inquiry, they already have a competitor in mind”? The best way to win then over is through efficient customer service…and that means responding timely, politely and explaining clearly if need be. 


One of the best things about good customer service is that when things go wrong or they encounter a problem, they will communicate with the same energy, politely. 

3️⃣ After service 

Every relationship needs good communication to work, it’s a good practice to do so with your customers as well. Whether you’re asking for a review or any form if feedback, it’s always good to get feedback from clients. This also helps you know how good is your service, if you’re serving them well or need improvement. 

Some brands give points when you give a review. You don’t necessarily have to do this, however you have have that after sale conversations to make them feel you care.

These are just the 3 ways we wanted to share with you, there are definitely many more. If you have a way of getting your customer be loyal to you, let us know how you do that, we love hearing from you! 

Don’t forget to connect with us on social media for daily updates about the latest news updates, tips and other good content regarding business: @accasesolutions. 

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Common startup failure reasons in South Africa

South Africa has one of the highest business failure rates in the world, with five out of seven of these businesses failing within the first year of operation. This is worth looking into if you are considering starting a business or have a new startup who wants in for a long haul. Read on…

For a country with such a high rate of unemployment, this is very concerning. SMMEs play a crucial role in counteracting the major challenge of unemployment. What’s the gap between SMMEs and acquiring talent/skills from the qualified? 

As said by the specialist advisory service, access to finance is a major stumbling block,  with only 6% of SMMEs report to have received government support. Although there are government programmes and initiatives, some still find it relatively difficult to get funding due to criterion and/ or requirements.

Although there are many different reasons why start ups fail, we can’t narrow it down to 1 thing. This is worth looking into. In this blog, we will look at only 3 reasons why…

3️⃣ common reasons why South African startups fail:

1️⃣ Liquidation

In finance and economics, liquidation refers to the closing of a business when liabilities exceed assets and it can be resolved by voluntary action or by an order of the court. “216 companies were liquidated in March 2021, compared to the 178 the month before – a 21% jump. Voluntary liquidations increased by 61 cases and compulsory liquidations increased by 10 cases. This is 49% higher than the total liquidations registered in March 2020.”

Sourcewww.businesstech.co.za/news

2️⃣ Lack of skills and knowledge

They say “illiteracy in business is another reason for small business failure.although it is worth noting that finding skills/talent is not limited to finding a good cashier for example, but finding the skills + right attitude. This means finding a person with people skills (attitude towards customers), and functional skills (e.g., planning, organizing, leading and controlling). Find a team with both technical skills and people skills to keep customers coming back.

3️⃣ Poor sales and marketing

Sales is the heart of a business and marketing keeps it alive. Nothing’s more important than brand awareness. No matter how great your product/service might be, your business will take a dip if no one knows about it. Sometimes you don’t need a 20 page business plan, you need proper marketing! 

It is by far more costly to to win a new market than to preserve an existing one. It takes time to raise brand awareness, build up sales, build a new team, etc. If you can, save your small business. 

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How to pick the best accountant/tax personnel for your business

Picking the right accountant is important for your business’s financial future. An accountant manages your finances and plays a significant role on the direction of your business. So it’s important to do thorough research before you hire an accountant. 

An accountant can acts as your business’s financial guide by overseeing and/ or forecasting your company’s financial planning and recordkeeping. They can handle your bookkeeping, as well as help with tax planning and tax returns. 

A question that may arise as you read this may be, how do I CHOOSE the right accountant/tax personnel for my business?

Avoid being scammed and learn by reading on 🧠📚🤓👇

If you follow us on our social media, you would remember us touching a bit on this subject. Just to recap, as per Tax Administration Act no. 28 of 2011, every person who provides advice to another with respect to application of tax principles or assistists with any tax matters for a fee must:

✅ Be registered with Recognized Controlling Body that’s registered with SARS.  

✅ Be qualified.

✅ Undergo examination to evaluate their ability to competently perform functions of a tax practitioner

✅ Engage in continuing professional development.

1️⃣ Just to save you a bit of time, accountants in South Africa could belong to one of the other main South African accounting bodies:

Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (www.irba.co.za)

South African Institute of Professional Accountants (www.saipa.co.za)

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (www.acca.org.za)

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (www.cimaglobal.com)

The South African Institute of Business Accountants (www.saiba.org.za)

Institute of Administration and Commerce (www.iacsa.co.za)

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (www.icb.org.za)

If your accountant belongs to one of these organizations, then that’s security for you! If there is an issue, you will be able to lodge a complaint with the respective organization. 

Accase Solutions is a company of Certified Tax Practitionership with accountants, tax and personnel involved in our tax accounting practice.

With all that said, we would like to top it off with a word that we are registered with the IAC, Institute of Accounting and Commerce as Certified Tax Practitioner since registration of Accase Solutions.

2️⃣ Your accountant needs to keep up with the ever changing technologies and should be using recent and relevant software solutions. Be it Sage Accounting Software, for instance, it’s important that they have the training and experience working with that tool. 

3️⃣ What evidence is there to support that you can trust them to manage your finances? Are they even real? Do they have references? What important information is there on their website? You might wanna call and check with the references if need be. 


Here are 3 reasons why you can trust Accase Solutions with your taxes and accounting:

✅ We are Certified Tax Practitioners, qualified and registered with Recognized Controlling Body.

✅ We are competent and can perform the functions of a tax practitioner & Accountants. 

✅ We are professional.

If you would like to consult with us, reach out to us here:

✉️: info@accasesolutions.co.za

☎: 0615238833 

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Cashflow Management

Let’s talk money!

Have you ever heard it being said “if you can’t manage R1000, you won’t manage R100 000”?

Yup, that’s it! Managing your cash flow is basically tracking how much money is coming into, and out of your business. However, profit does not equal to cashflow. Cash flow is one of the most important components that makes the business successful, like many say…it is the blood that keeps the heart of the kingdom pumping! 

Businesses that have more cash going out more than it comes in completely die or get into debt they could have avoided. 

Back to Basics. 

You should be tracking your cash flow either weekly, monthly or quarterly. There are essentially two kinds of cash flows:

1️⃣Positive cash flow: when money coming into the business through sales for instance, is bigger than the money leaving business by means of salaries, expenses, etc.

2️⃣Negative cash flow: when money leaving the business account is greater than the money coming in. This screams TROUBLE for the business. 

Understanding cashflow 

Simple example: company x renders your services in May, and you invoice them on the 31st of May. Company x only monetise the invoice in around June-July, whilst you had salaries to pay. Thus cash outflow exceeded cash inflow in May. If many other customers continue to do this, you can almost see how your company could run into cash flow issues.

The cash flow statement basically records all of the organization’s cash inflows and outflows, and includes cash from operating activities. The cash flow statement is divided into three parts: investing, financing, and operating activities. Failure to manage this cash can lead to problems. 

We have mentioned the poor cash management may lead to cashflow problems or bankruptcy, but here are some of the causes:

1️⃣Poor understanding of the cash flow cycle – not having a clear understanding/ timing of cash inflows and outflows from the business. E.g. when to pay for accounts payable (what you owe to suppliers),etc.

2️⃣ Lack of understanding of profit versus cash – a business can be generating profits on its income statement and be burning cash on the cash flow statement.

3️⃣ Lack of cash management skills – it is important to acquire the necessary skills to manage your finance. If you are looking for this service, do get in touch with us! 

As they would say, successful financial management involves balancing 3️⃣ elements:

accounts receivable (what you are owed by the customer), accounts payable (what you owe to suppliers), and shortfalls (the amount of money you owe that exceeds your available funds). Make sure  one element doesn’t overtake the others. 

If you can’t afford to pay someone to do this for you, you can do it by yourself. Here are 7️⃣ tips to manage cashflow:

1️⃣Have an emergency fund 

2️⃣Encourage early payment from clients 

3️⃣Put cashflow over profit 

4️⃣Assign someone to monitor your cashflow 

5️⃣Drive and/ or boost sales 

6️⃣Reduce expenses where possible 

7️⃣Finance purchase orders 

An example..

To hire employees or outsource?

At some point as an entrepreneur growing a small business, this is a decision you will have to make. You cannot do everything by yourself (forever), the more clients you get, the more hands and brains you will need. firstly, what does hiring mean, what responsibility does it leave you with, and even the pros/cons of bringing in independent contractors? This blog will contrast.

According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, an employee is a person who works in the service of another person under a contract of hire, which gives the employer the right to control the details of work performance, while a self-employed (herein Independent Contractor) is a person or entity contracted to perform work for—or provide services to—another entity as a nonemployee.

Now the question is, flexibility or responsibility?

Both contracts have their own Pros and Cons, which we discussed below:

Pros and Cons of hiring an employee:

Before bringing onboarding anyone, you need to understand that extra manpower comes with an array of legal obligations, liabilities, expenses, and paperwork. It’s important to consider hiring when your business is ready for this step, as it comes with responsibility: high turnover, absenteeism, higher healthcare costs, workplace violence, theft, etc.

ProsCons
You get the advantage of being able to completely control and direct that person’s work during work timeEmployees come laws and regulations from the federal government and your state regulate the payment of wages or salaries, overtime, etc
Train the person in the way you want the job done.You must also comply with payroll tax requirements.
Require that person to work only for you.And other responsibilities such as payment of unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.

fig.1. Pros and Cons:

Pros and Cons of outsourcing independent contractors

This means you will have less time dictating on training, management, and supervision so that you can focus on other tasks and demands of the business.

We have said this previously, having employees means having fixed costs. This particular contract gives you a great competitive advantage, controlled costs, and increased reach. You can get access to capabilities and facilities otherwise not accessible or affordable while saving costs.

fig.2. Pros and Cons:

ProsCons
You have few reporting or tax responsibilities.You can assign duties and impose a deadline but you cannot tell them how to get the job done.
You must report the amount you have paid them each year, but you don’t have to pay FICA taxes. They can work for others and often set his or her hours of work.
Their payroll responsibilities are significantly less than for an employee.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to at what level is your business, hiring is quite a big responsibility. We have talked about this on a blog before that hiring interns helps too. Before you make that decision, you need to have honest money conversations with yourself, the extra time for supervision, etc.

It’s not a train smash if you cannot afford to hire a recruiter to help you find the right talent, you can conduct the interviews yourself, but you also need to prepare yourself to make sure you get as much information as possible and ensure the interviewee is culture fit. All the best if you are about to make that decision, we hope that you found this insightful and that it helps you make an informed decision.

Guide to hitting Online Sales.

Landing here, our assumption is that you’ve read our previous blog on “Going Digital”!? If you haven’t, you can catch up ⏪ this blog article is more of a continuation ⏩



We believe in continuous learning, hence we are consistent in adding to your knowledge with our weekly blog posts. If there’s any specific topic you would like us to cover, feel free to drop us a comment or shoot us a DM on our socials @accasesolutions. Ok, let’s get to it!

Now that you know what does “Going Digital” means, WHY go digital, and HOW to go digital, let’s help you get started with a proven strategy that has helped marketers sell through digital platforms. In this blog, we will focus a bit on marketing and making sales online.

Rule number 1: Don’t ignore what people want, give it to them. DO NOT neglect customer needs! Second to that is knowing how to communicate your value by teaching your customers about your products/services and sticking to the mission!

Developing a digital marketing strategy
1️⃣ Define your goal.


There are 2️⃣ types of goals
☑ Ongoing – overall focus on marketing (long term)
☑ Campaign goals – specific initiative and short term

The common include:
• Improving customer engagement
• Generating more leads
• Growing sales
• Increase traffic
• Expand reach
• Enhancing brand perception


Choosing the right channels
“You need to be active on every social media platform” is a myth and bad advice. Invest in a smart mix of channels. Choose the ones that make sense for your audience.

A business should be centered around your ideal client avatar. You need a comprehensive customized strategy that’s proven to work in your industry.

Try the following:
• Research the channel’s audience
• Review research studies – source: business insider, social media today, etc.
• Discover how channels affect distinct

Facebook – 2.4 billion active users offer a lot of business features.
Instagram – 500 million active users, visually based. The online mall
Twitter – top messaging platform. Ideal for trending conversations
LinkedIn
• Top professional networking site
• Ideal for connecting with industry experts
• Great for B2B marketing
YouTube- top video sharing site. Business & influencers can create channels & monetize.

Creating content
Crafting messaging – Identify valuable content
Choosing topics – relevant topics that aren’t always marketing but also entertaining, educational, and value-driven, also align with your business goals


Selling on social media


“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around, so it’s built through sales and that means getting an experience with you.”

Stories sell!! To get to people’s wallets, you first need to get them to their feelings. That’s the hook!

> Customers trust people over brands
63% of customers trust influencers vs brands…reaching customers that trust opinions of that person
> Influencer partnerships (sponsored) – Paid endorsement of product or service
> REVIEWS – sending free products for reviews
> Co-branded – Influencer & company cooperate on product marketing, then share resulting sales
> Paid advertising – purchasing exposure to certain audiences & preferred placements. Start with a test campaign – AB Testing


When it comes to Customer Service, give INSTANT RESPONSES. Use platforms like Keyhole and Mention, be sure to make your message sounds humane. Turn on notifications, or look through manual searches.


To conclude, we leave you with the following tips:
• Algorithms change every 1 or 2 months, stay up to date.
• Customer service is important!! When people enquire from you, they already have other options. Be the best option!
• Take things personally instead of seeing them as a problem-solution equation.