How easy is it for SMEs to get Business Loans from Commercial Banks?

Commercial banks hate giving business loans to small businesses. Indeed, it’s almost impossible for a start-ups and micro businesses to get funded by commercial banks. That’s because banks avoid giving money to what they perceive as ‘risky’ business…

How so? Dr. Paul Smith, Lead Researcher of the “Inaugural South African SMME Access to Finance Report 2017”, found that startups and micro businesses are the most undeserved in the formal business market and therefore represent the largest funding gap.

Start-ups and small businesses mostly do not need large amounts of money to get their business going. Sadly, this may be a major obstacle for them to get funded…

In fact, according to Dr. Smith’s report, is the appetite of funders to loan smaller amounts significantly less than the appetite for them to approve larger loan sizes. Yet 44% of the total SMEs funding requests are for amounts less than R250 000. As a result, whilst many funders claim to offer funding for requests under R1 million, most SMEs battle to raise funding in this range Dr. Smith concludes.

So, what can SMEs do to get business loans from commercial banks?

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Being Self-Employed – One of the Consequences of the Digital Disruption

We should ready ourselves to be self-employed. Most alarmingly, the digitization of the businesses has obsoleted millions of jobs. In fact, this is happening right now in the financial sector of South Africa. As a result, a couple weeks ago, one of the four universal banks in South Africa announced that it will close 91 branches. That will leave about 1200 employees without a job.

The bank can hardly be blamed for closing its branches. I mean, when last did you visit your bank? If you’re looking for something to blame, you need to look no further than the digitization of the banking sector. Also, the entry of new digital players has challenged the status quo in the market, said Jorge Camarate, Strategy& Partner in PwC’s financial services division recently in ITWeb.

The digital disruption in the banking sector will sadly continue to cause more job losses. And this is happening across industries. So, 1200 bank employees will soon face the reality of surviving without their salaries.

As a result, the retrenched employees, especially the breadwinners, may have no other option to be self-employed.

What does it mean to be self-employed?

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The Future of Marketing – taking care of the Needs, Wants and Desires of 150 Year Olds

So, you think that the future of marketing is nothing but digital? Also, that artificial intelligence, big data, augmented reality and social media marketing are the big trends? Maybe for now they are, but the future of marketing is about a century and a half away. At that time, marketing will also be about satisfying the needs, wants and desires of 150 year olds…

Of course you should think by now I’m busy losing my marbles! I mean – we’ll be considered fortunate (or unfortunate for some) if we reach our 100th birthday. However, Jeff Glor reporting for CBS, recently suggests that some of the babies that are born today may well live to enjoy their 150th birthday.

To illustrate: In 1850, the average human lifespan was 43 years. Now it’s closer to 80. Indeed, the mortality of older populations has sharply decreased during recent years in most western countries 1. But what is the highest that our lifespan can go?

In fact, the longevity record is held by Jeanne Calment of France, who was 122 years old when she died in 1997…

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Get Your Online Content Going Viral

When something, like a blog, a video or other content is going viral on the net, it is big news. Why? Because everyone is sharing it and talking about it. And, when it’s huge, there’s no stopping of it. But, as with everything that becomes huge, it has a good side and a bad side.

So, it must be the dream of every professional publisher of online content that his or her content goes viral. Just think of all the page views, the back-links and subsequent money, monies from Google Ads and other affiliates… Wow!

Then it’s just about creating something to going viral. Easy, really? Not so…

What does it mean if something is going viral?

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Innovation in Companies is an Unavoidable Reality

Innovation in companies, almost like income tax and death, is unavoidable. Indeed, companies that neglected or failed to innovate are sadly no longer with us. Or, for those not innovating, well, it’s just a matter of time…

In fact, innovation is part of our DNA. After all, we were, since we’ve started using shelters and tools, inventors and innovators. Indeed it took some extraordinary innovations, starting way back many millennial ago, that brought us where we’re now.

Innovation is something we must keep doing – especially in companies – where the stakes are high.

What is innovation?

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Grow your Business with Referral Marketing

One of the oldest and most effective forms of communication that can lead to customer acquisition is word of mouth (WOM) marketing 1.  For this reason, referral marketing, which makes use of WOM, is getting to the forefront again.

Numerous studies have proven that referrals are the most trusted form of advertisement. To add to that, referrals are created by happy customers, who are usually willing to spread word-of-mouth about your business for free, according to Megan Mosley in G2Crowd.com.

In the previous marketing regime of mass marketing communication, cold calls and mass mailing have lost their efficiency. Also, now in the age of digital marketing, companies are interacting more directly with their customers, not really giving them a chance to speak good about your business…

But are your loyal and satisfied customers communicating their patronage with their community and so helping you to get new customers? There is a real opportunity for businesses to invest in referral marketing campaigns.

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How to Buy an Existing Business

Looking to start your own business? Sometimes it’s better to buy an existing business rather than to start one from scratch. Besides, there are many legitimate reasons that individuals, families or partnerships are inclined to sell an existing business. Unfortunately, the majority of businesses are for sale because they’re not performing…

Therefore taking over an existing business demands evaluation, research and in-grown interest. So why should you consider buying an existing business?

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Buyer Personas help you to Target the Right Customer Segments

Astute website owners are using buyer personas for some time now to help them understand their target customer segments better. Indeed, buyer personas are the cornerstone of the inbound marketing methodology, says Stormie Andrews in Forbes.

Shuchi Sankhyayan in GoodmenProject  concurs: “Marketing can’t be based on guesswork. You need to define your buyer personas to better understand who your ideal customers are, what they value, what their pain points are and what it takes to motivate them.”

This blog post will touch on the following points:

  • What are buyer personas?
  • How do buyer personas work?
  • How do you develop buyer personas?
  • Big data to construct buyer personas.

By channeling the buyer’s voice — clearly, accurately and persuasively — the buyer persona gives marketing the confidence to say, “This is what really matters to our buyers. So here’s the plan.”

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WordPress.org is my Best Business Partner

Technology is best when it brings people together – Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress.org”

In my business I can operate without many things, but not without my WordPress.org. WordPress.org has introduced me to the wonders of the online world. It gives me freedom to easily develop my website for my customers to value and enjoy.

Indeed, WordPress brings me closer to my customers…

In this post I’m going to investigate why WordPress is so popular. I’ll also look at Joomla and Drupal, the alternative content management systems for WordPress.

But first let’s look at WordPress.

What is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is an open source (free) Content Management System (CMS). In fact, with WordPress many types of content can be organized and published. Furthermore, the layout, appearance and structure of the site can be changed easily and quickly, since it’s based on templates. As a result, content is separate from presentation – unlike a normal hard-coded site 1.

“The idea behind a CMS, and by extension, WordPress, is to facilitate a simplified management of a website that’s secure, optimized, and able to handle the influx of anywhere from hundreds, to millions of regular visitors”, explains Jon Martindale recently in Digital Trends.

WordPress.org is currently powering 30 percent of all websites (Kaya Ismail, CMS Wire). Indeed, Jon Martindale (Digital Trends) quantified the popularity of WordPress: “Around two billion websites at the time of writing (2018) — run WordPress, which works out to just below 60 percent of the entire CMS market.”

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Good Store Atmospherics Helps Getting More Customers to your Retail Store

Store atmospherics that is prepared correctly and for your customers to enjoy will help to keep your store’s door open. Indeed, it may give you a competitive advantage over your nearest rivals. Furthermore, a customer that enjoyed a great experience while visiting your shop may return, and tell her friends about you.

After all, businesses have long recognized that humans as consumers are susceptible to all sorts of urges and emotions which guide them toward decisions to buy things they don’t need or didn’t previously recognize they needed, concurs Rob Duboff in the Harvard Business Review.

So, why not using store atmospherics?

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