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RETIREMENT ANNUITY | RETIREMENT PLAN

What’s your plan after Retirement? How are you planning to continue living your comfortable lifestyle even after retirement? 

This is where Retirement Annuities come in. It is a lifetime guaranteed monthly or annual income for a retiree until their death. You might be asking how this is different from a Pension Fund or Provident Fund? Let’s break it down for you before we get any further… 

Different types of retirement vehicles:

Pension fund – You can only join a pension fund, through the company that employs you. Your money is managed by the trustees of the fund and your contributions as well as your employer’s contributions are tax deductible. 

Provident fund – with provident fund, you are able to withdraw the entire savings amount as a lump sum when you retire. 

Retirement annuity fund – a retirement annuity fund is independent of your employer, it allows you to choose what funds you invest this money in and you can also make monthly contributions. 

Retirement Annuity Plan 

Retirement Planning is important because it enables you to invest your money for a time when you will no longer be working but want to continue living comfortably with regular income.

However, this is barely ever enough to guarantee a comfortable retirement, simply because the value of money changes over time due to factors such as inflation and interest rates – which is why it is imperative that one makes additional contributions to their retirement plan, over and above the employer’s contribution. 

For example

Someone who’s been contributing R300 per month with their employer doing the same over the past 10 years, that amounts to R600 total contribution per month. This means that this person has saved R72 000 over the past 10 years. If this person continues to work for more than 30 years, given that nothing changes, a contribution of R600 per month over the next 30 years equals R216 000. Adding this to the R72 000 that was saved equals R288 000. 

Disclaimer: this amount does not take into account inflation and interest rates.

Retirement annuities can be taken up as an additional investment plan for retirement which will guarantee you fixed or variable payments over time during your years of retirement.

Over and above your Retirement Annuities, there’s a few things you can do to ensure you still live a comfortable life even after retirement;

1️⃣ Start saving and investing now.  Try to take up a minimum of 10% of your income and put into your savings and investments and increase this as your income increases over the years. You can also automate this process by creating debit orders so that the money is deducted automatically from your account on payday. It’s a great way to grow your wealth.

2️⃣ Adopt healthy lifestyle choices. Your mind, body and income are wealth-building tools. Don’t destroy them with unhealthy and expensive habits and addictions that are expensive to treat.

3️⃣ NEVER cash out your pension funds when you change jobs, rather transfer it to your new employer’s pension fund.

We have pretty much covered anything, you can look up different companies that offer different Retirement Annuity investment plans, compare and pick one that makes more sense to you.

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All about NPOs in South Africa

We have touched on Public Benefits Organizations not so long ago on one of our #FunFactsWednedays video, let us to continue this chat. 

What is an NPO?

We cannot assume you know, let’s get to understand what an NPO is. An NPO is a Nonprofit Organisation that plays a significant role in society, they take responsibility of the social and development needs of the country.

How to get started: 

Just like any other business/organisation, there must be intent or purpose of starting. Start here: 

1️⃣ Define your goal – before you could even register, you just at least know what your NPO will stand for. Knowing your WHY is important, it will help you navigate things more especially in cases where you need to go back to the drawing board. What exactly do you hope to achieve once you start the organization? Read more: What exactly do you hope to achieve once you start the organization?

2️⃣ Choose your board of Directors – selecting management of the NPO is probably the most fundamental step. Bring in like-minded people on board, it’s even better to get people from different industries who could come in with different perspectives during different situations. 

3️⃣ Draft your memorandum – this is important as it proves your intention to register the organization as a “not-for-profit” company – followed by information about how the organization would be governed, owned, and other important things to note therein.

Lastly, register. 

About registering your NPO

You can submit your non-profit organisation (NPO) application at your nearest provincial  social development office or a local South African Revenue Service (SARS) branch office. 

Benefits of registering is that its certificate:

  • improves your credibility and increases funding opportunities
  • it allows your organisation to open a bank account
  • helps your organisation with tax incentives.

The prerequisites of registering is that you must be one of the following:

  • non-governmental organisation (NGO)
  • community-based organisation (CBO)
  • faith-based organisation (FBO).

Do NPOs pay tax? 

However these organisations are “nonprofit”, they do not automatically qualify for tax exemption, the organisations that meet the requirements set out in the Income Tax Act, 1962 must apply for this exemption. Only IF the exemption application has been approved by SARS, the organisation will then be registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) and allocated a unique PBO reference number. 

These organisations can issue section 18A certificates – which allow for tax deduction to parties who make donations to such organisations. This becomes an attraction to donors because they get to enjoy these tax benefits therein by making donations to your organisation. 

As a member of a Public Benefit Company/Organisation, familiarise yourself with the conditions of the section 18A or contact Accase Solutions and we will gladly assist: 

✉️: info@accasesolutions.co.za

☎: 0615238833

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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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Savings: 5 Ways To Improve Your Financial Health.

Let’s take it back a little, Savings Month is more than just a hashtag or buzz. Everyone was pumped up about it but above the hype, it was to raise awareness. Let’s break it down. 

[Background] What is Savings Month? 

Savings Month is a campaign by the South African Savings Institute (SASI) to raise savings awareness nationally in July annually, and the main objective of the campaign is to bring together financial experts to provide insights on savings through the #waystosave financial education initiative that:

  • Promotes debate around key aspects of saving
  • Raise awareness of the benefits of short, medium and long term planning
  • Build relationships with key partners to leverage future opportunities
  • Get consumers to move from ennui into action


2021 Theme

SASI CEO Gerald Mwandiambira said that in 2021, the focus is on driving awareness around how savings knowledge must be understood and accessible in more South African languages. Everyone can find ways to save in their own language. 

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.“ ~ Nelson Mandela 

Now more than ever – amid the pandemic, it’s critical to be money smart. Report by the SARB Financial Stability Review shows improvement in household savings, but also shows we can save when under pressure. It is important to also note that South Africa still has one of the lowest Household Savings Ratios in the world. 

In our increasingly tough economic environment we need to find ways to save and avoid the credit trap. We looked at saving by cutting costs on our blog on How To Cut Costs In Your Business, now let’s look at how you can use your money wisely to improve your overall financial health. 

5 steps to improve your financial health:

1️⃣ Attach yourself to a savings goal 

Although it’s a good thing to have big goals/dreams, it’s always wise to break it down to smaller bits. It’s motivating as it doesn’t seem far fetched. Set small, medium and long term goals. 

2️⃣ Draw a budget, including savings 

It is said “A budget is telling you where your money goes instead of wondering where it went”. Now the question is, do you know where your money goes? 

Just to add on popular advise that you to save at least 10% of your income towards your savings, we advise it is the first thing you do before spending.

 

3️⃣ Automate your savings

You can discuss this with your bank, or use apps invented to automatically deduct money from your money – into your savings account every month. Apps like 22seven, Moneysmart, My Financial Life, and many more! 

With FNB for instance, you can schedule recurring payments into any of your accounts like savings account, and even your credit card. 

4️⃣ Track to improve your bad spending habits 

There’s a method some/most people use to do this…where you print out your monthly statements to see where most of your money goes. 

This does not only help you navigate where your money goes, but it also helps you see where are you WASTING your money. Like eating take aways a lot, or frequently purchasing airtime via cellphone banking when you can find a reasonable data plan that works for you. 

5️⃣ Live within your means 

There’s nothing more important than this. You may be earning the same salary with your colleagues, but your responsibilities may not be the same and therefore you can’t spend the same… like buying lunch from the cafeteria everyday, or going out for drinks every Friday night. 

It’s important to focus on your budget and financial goals, don’t go where the wind blows or your money will finish just like that.  Focus. 

We hope these help you in some way, we would love to hear how you save money and stay committed. 

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How to avoid paying tax as a small business in South Africa

Taxes? There’s no running away from it! Oh no wait, not only will it catch up with you but the new law says you are liable to jail time! But of course, there are legal ways to reduce taxes. Read on…

Firstly, let’s understand the difference; when you conceal (hide) income or information from tax authorities, it is called Tax Evasion and it’s illegal. Legally reducing your taxable income is called Tax Avoidance.

All business owners have asked themselves this question at some point, “ how can I reduce my taxes?”, if not having to pay tax at all. Look, not registering your business is not a way to run away from paying tax, you are running your business as a sole proprietor and still have to pay taxes, if not more. We’ve covered this before, refer to this blog: https://accasesolutions.co.za/2021/03/16/can-sars-tax-you-even-if-your-business-is-not-registered/

Deliberately understating sales or overstating expenses is also tax evasion so that’s not a strategy. Tax evasion is considered a punishable criminal offence and can have the consequence of penalties. A good tax avoidance strategy is if you use different ways to pay lower rates when it comes to taxes without breaking the law. 

Two (2) guaranteed strategies to legally avoid paying tax: 

1️⃣ Hire young job seekers

When you hire youth (18-35), you get ETI(employment tax incentives) for the first 24 months of the person’s employment (subject to terms).

These incentives you can apply towards PAYE that the company has to pay. For example if your total PAYE payable for the month is R3500 (for every employee in the company), but due to that one young person you hired, say you get ETI worth R1000 every month (this figure differs based on terms, as mentioned above. Then the company will only pay PAYE of 2500 instead of 3500).

2️⃣ Donate to a SARS registered charity 

According to SARS, donation does not have to take the form of money – it can include a physical asset or something that has a deemed value. Donations tax is calculated at a flat rate of 20% on the value of the donation up to R30 million, and at a rate of 25% on donations over and above R30 million. However, Sars makes provision for a donations tax threshold of R100 000 below which no donations tax is payable. Meaning you can make multiple donations throughout the year on a tax-free basis as long as the cumulative total does not exceed the R100 000 threshold.

Although passing your personal expenses through business has very limited personal advantage (since there’s not much you can buy), but you can’t buy what doesn’t make sense to your business. But you may also take advantage of this. For instance; if you are in a type of business where you use your phone to create content, you can buy the latest iPhone 12 and register it through your business. It makes sense because you do make use of a cellphone to deliver your service at best. 

Some key components to remember when planning and avoiding TAX:

❇️Timing 

❇️Gross income

❇️Income or capital 

❇️Deductions 

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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..

Plan to Succeed: finance

Have you heard the saying, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail“? COVID19 is here to prove to us that it’s no cliche! Many are becoming more aware of their financial wellness, and cautious about planning for the future (unforeseen events). Would R10 000, R20 000 have been enough to keep your bakery business amid the national lockdown? It might sound like that’s not a lot, but in difficult economic times/dry seasons, every cent counts.

The first most important step is to set specific short, medium, and long-term financial goals/targets. These goals can include saving up for property, making sure that you are adequately financially provisioned for unforeseen events, and so much more. This process is called financial planning.

A financial plan is obviously different from your financial statements. Here, you make projections for the coming months/years, forecasting income/profits. Hire a qualified and licenced financial planner who will assist you in assessing every aspect of your business finances to help you design and regularly review your financial plan as your business grows.

At Accase Solutions, we offer Financial administrations services, Management Of Cashflow and Budgeting. To get to the bigger goal, you need to hit the smaller targets. Let’s break it down:

Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income, creating a plan to spend your money. This spending plan allows you to determine in advance whether you will have enough money to do the things you need to do or would like to do. 

Cash flow management is basically tracking how much money is coming into and out of your business. This helps you predict how much money will be available to your business in the future.

financial administrator is responsible for managing the accounts receivables and payables of the organization.

…moving right along…

To help you gets started, here are six steps to create your financial plan:

1️⃣ To start off, think about what you want to accomplish and ask yourself… Do I need to expand? Do I need more equipment? Do I need to hire more staff? Do I need other new resources? Most importantly, how will my plan affect my cash flow?

2️⃣ Create monthly financial projections by recording your anticipated income based on sales forecasts and anticipated expenses for labor, supplies, overhead, etc..

3️⃣ Through the year, compare actual results with your projections to see if you’re on target or need to adjust. Monitoring helps you spot financial problems before they get out of hand.

✳ If you don’t have the expertise, consider hiring an expert to help you put together your financial plan.

Accase Solutions is registered with the IAC, Institute of Accounting and Commerce as a Certified Tax Practitioner since registration of Accase Solutions.

Practicing number: PR0100503.
Get in touch with us, a consultant await your call 📲😊

Do you need business insurance?

We can all agree that the global pandemic [COVID19] caught us off guard, no one would have thought we would experience at this specific time. What other reason do you need to have insurance, emergency funds, savings, etc for your business?

In this blog, we will share WHY your business needs insurance and WHAT type of insurance do you need. As a business owner, you may be asking yourself, “Is business insurance really necessary?

According to Discovery Insure CEO Anton Ossip, businesses generally need cover for:

  1. Business assets, tangible or intangible.
  2. Theft (including theft by employees).
  3. Loss of profits or revenues.
  4. Legal liabilities, including liabilities arising from social media interactions.
  5. Losses to the business and liability to third parties following a cyber-attack on business computers (which we covered on our previous blog)

There is a variety of business insurance coverages available to business owners to choose from, you can tailor your insurance protection to address the specific risks facing your business. Some of the aspects of your operation that need protection include (but not limited to): 

  • The type of work you do
  • Your physical premises
  • Property and equipment
  • Intellectual property
  • Employees and customers

Bear in mind though, businesses in different industries need different business insurance coverages to help meet their unique needs.

What insurance does a small business need?

If there’s one policy you’re legally required to have as a small business, is employers’ liability insurance (EL).

EL covers your business in the event that one of your employees claims they’ve suffered an illness or injury as a result of working for you. It covers any legal and compensation costs involved in defending the case. If you don’t have EL, your business can be liable to pay a fine.

Does your tech need insurance?

Technology has definitely changed business insurance needs. Without a doubt, it can do wonders for your business…especially now more than ever, COVID 19 has enforced the revolution by going virtual to communicate with each other, including clients.

However, we did mention in our previous blog post that technology like computers and the internet can be vulnerable and/ or exposed to risks. If you don’t have insurance or security of some sort, your business may face a large financial and operational loss.

What you need to understand is that every business has its unique needs; which is why it’s important to consult with an insurance broker or financial adviser on the type of cover that’s right for your business. Some of which are:

How to buy business insurance that’s right for you in 4 easy steps:

  1. Assess your risks – think about what kind of accidents, natural disasters, or lawsuits could damage your business.
  2. Find a reputable licensed agent – commercial insurance agents can help you find policies that match your business needs. They sell company policies, so it’s important to find a licensed agent.
  3. Shop around – you should compare rates, terms, and benefits for insurance offers from several different agents, as they vary.
  4. Re-assess every year – as your business grows, so do your liabilities. If you have purchased or replaced equipment or expanded operations, you should contact your insurance agent to discuss changes in your business and how they affect your coverage.

If you want a starting point, check this comparison of Small Business Insurance Companies in South Africa: https://comparenreview.co.za/top-10-insurance-companies-south-africa/

You may assist us by adding what you know, we would love to hear from you!

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.

5 Ways Of How To Cut Costs In Your Business

Saving money is one of the prerequisites for business success. Cut costs by any means, don’t wait for your ship to sink!

Robust savings give your business the ability to grow. “It is smart to put back to push forward.”

Saving money is critical for the survival of your business, the global pandemic couldn’t be a better example – it took a toll on many businesses. Are you budgeting and making necessary adjustments for your business?

Now lets to the HOW:

1️⃣ Cut on traditional marketing. and explore the lucrative digital platforms.

Digital marketing is more affordable and much more lucrative, there are no limitations. It enables you to reach a bigger audience and when utilizing the right tools, you can reach a more specific target.

The first thing would be to find a team of experts, or outsource a freelancer while you focus on other parts of the business.

2️⃣ Outsource if you can – employees are essential to getting work done but they’re costly.

Having employees means having fixed costs. Although it’s great to have an internal team, you can always outsource freelancers. This 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.

3️⃣ Have more virtual meetings if on-site meetings are not a MUST.

There’s a lot of costs that go into one meeting: transport (worse if you are far apart), meal/drinks, plus a lot more time is lost in between. A virtual meeting only requires an internet connection.

If is it not necessary to meet in person, opt for virtual. It’s an even bigger loss if the deal is not sealed.

4️⃣ Explore partnerships and collaborations.

It’s not a cliché or a buzzword, collaboration is very necessary for growth. On the contrary, it makes teamwork successful.

The benefits include: networking and opening up new channels for communication, learning from others (especially how they do business), and boosts the morale of your business.

5️⃣ Get interns – they are more social and effortlessly improve your search engine optimization.

Most young people are generally social and like to talk about things they are proud of. Now imagine the FREE Word of Mouth you would get when they tell everybody about the great company they work for?

Did you know that hiring interns help you save on taxes?

The Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) is an incentive put in place by the government to encourage employers to hire individuals who are young and qualified but inexperienced, by reducing the cost of employing them. You just might want to think about it!

Those are just a few ways of going about it, for obvious reasons it differs from industry to industry. How are you saving and cutting off costs in your business?