- SimplyBiz -



Welcome to SimplyBiz®

This is a place for you to find mentorship in other business owners and to be a mentor to others by participating in discussions and sharing your insights and experiences. It’s also a platform where you can build a beneficial, like-minded network and promote your business.

As a member of SimplyBiz.co.za I pledge:

To be real (no pseudonyms)
To be open to advice and support
To offer advice and support (and be kind when I do)

SimplyBiz FAQs

Each week the SimplyBiz team receives hundreds of emails from members. Here are our answers to some of the more common questions.

Please read these FAQs carefully. They outline what we consider acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and content. We may update the FAQs from time to time, so please read them regularly.

These FAQs are answered in the spirit of the terms of use of the site.

Can I upload my own articles, guides, tools, videos or podcasts?
In future you may be able to upload your own articles, guides, tools, videos and podcasts too.

Where can I find the question that I asked?
When posing a question, you should select one of the categories. The categories are related to the main headers on the site, namely 'Get More Clients', 'Guidance on Finance', 'Sort Out Admin', 'Manage My staff' and 'Stay Motivated'.

You can look for your questions in the category where you posted your questions under the 'Questions' tab. All the questions and discussions posted under this category will be listed here.

Should your question start to trend on the platform, you may also find your question on the main screen under 'Trending Discussions'.

You will also find your question under 'Username’s Contributions as a Discussion Starter' on your profile page.

How do I start a discussion?
You are able to start a discussion by using the 'Ask a Question' tab.

Select a category for your discussion from one of the main headers, namely 'Get More Clients', 'Guidance on Finance', 'Sort Out Admin', 'Manage My staff' and 'Stay Motivated'.

Depending on the category that you have selected, click on the appropriate header and you will find your new discussion under the 'Questions' tab. All the questions and discussions started under this category will be noted here.

Should your discussion start to trend on the platform, you will find your discussion on the main screen under 'Trending Discussions'.

Where can I find the comment that I posted?
If you made a comment on an article, it will be in the comments section below the article that you have commented on. If you responded to another member's question or discussion, it will be in the category where the question of discussion was started.

For example: If you asked: 'How do I find a reputable accountant' under 'Guidance on Finance', your question will be under the 'Questions' tab.

Why has my comment been deleted?
SimplyBiz welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and assist business owners in growing their business. Comments must be relevant to the business community.

We will not condone the following:
• Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
• Sexism
• Homophobia
• Religious intolerance
• Cyber bullying
• Hate speech
• Derogatory language
• Comments inciting hate or violence

You must not make or encourage comments that are:
• defamatory, false or misleading;
• insulting, threatening or abusive;
• obscene or of a sexual nature; or
• offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups.

We strive to make the SimplyBiz community a safe and welcoming space for all.

SimplyBiz reserves the right to:
• remove any comments that do not meet our requirements; and
• ban users who repeatedly infringe these rules and the agreed terms of use.

Our policy is to remove posts that goes against our terms and conditions and pledge, or that has been reported to us by a member of the site. If you feel a message you posted has been removed without justification, you can reword it and resubmit it on the site. We will also remove replies to, or anything that contains a copy of, the comment that has been removed.

What should I do if I find a comment, person or business profile offensive or inappropriate?
We strongly support the SimplyBiz community in maintaining high standards of participation. If you feel that a comment, question or discussion does not comply with the intent of the site (to be a niche business platform for business owners) or our terms of use, please contact SimplyBiz with full details of where the inappropriate content is located.

The SimplyBiz team also reviews the platform from time to time to maintain an environment conducive to constructive business conversations.

Should you find any comment, person or business profile offensive or inappropriate, you may contact us on:
Tel: 0860 116 400
Twitter: @SimplyBizSA
Email: SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za
The 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of all of our web pages

We will assess your concerns against our terms of use and our pledge at our sole discretion.

Please notify us only of serious complaints, not simply because you disagree with something said.

Can I let other people use my account to make comments?
No. Please keep your login details (username and password) to yourself and do not let others use your account.

Why is there a 1 000-word limit for comments under articles?
We have a word limit to encourage users to make their point concisely.

What is the difference between the questions section of the website and comments under articles or blogs?
The questions section contains message boards where users can start threads about topics and discuss matters. Comments under articles or blogs reflect users' views about the article or blog and the aim is not always to start a discussion.

Does SimplyBiz have any guidelines on how to write comments?
Yes, we do. SimplyBiz members want to receive business advice and guidance from different points of view and experiences. We therefore recommend that you keep the following in mind when writing comments:
• Try to contribute to the thread, rather than just clicking on like or dislike.
• Once your comment is online, everyone with internet access can read it.
• Please make your comment clear to ensure that it is not misunderstood.
• Your comment may be rated by other users and categorised as the best or worst comment.
• Don't forget that you are legally responsible for what you submit. Please consider how your comment could be received by others.
• Please be polite. Do not use swear words or crude or sexual language.
• English is the preferred business engagement language to be used.
• Keep your submissions relevant to the story or topic.
• Do not insult other contributions or discuss the non-appearance or removal of any content on this site or the suspension or termination of any users.

If you would like to discuss the operation of the site with us, please email us on SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za.

Am I legally responsible for what I write?
Yes. Please note our terms of use and make sure you know what is acceptable.

What is the difference between unmoderated comments and comments moderated in advance?
Please note the following types of moderations:
• Unmoderated: This is when your comment is published on the site without being checked in advance.
• Moderated reactively: The SimplyBiz website is generally moderated reactively, in other words based on complaints received and when coming across issues in our engagement with the site. Moderating the site in this way means that many more business owners and members will have the opportunity to contribute to the articles, comments, questions and discussion.
• Fully moderated/Moderated in advance/Automoderated: There are sites that are fully moderated in advance because they are of a contentious nature. In this case your comment will be checked in advance before it appears on the site, based on content that has been automatically flagged.

Please note:
• The type of moderation used is at the sole discretion of SimplyBiz.
• SimplyBiz has the discretion to remove comments (please see our terms of use).
• Your question, comment or discussion may have been removed because it did not comply with our terms of use, for legal reasons or following a complaint.

Are my comments, questions, discussions checked before they go online?
Yes, they may be. We have an unmoderated and a moderated in advance functionality on the site.

Why do I need to register to make a comment?
As per Seth Godin 'People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic'.

The site is intended to be a niche business community for business owners. To ensure that community members know who you are and what your business does, you must register and agree to our terms of use.

What will you do with my personal or business information such as my email address? Will you share it with external sources?
Personal and business information will be published on the site and becomes available to registered members on the SimplyBiz website so that they can contact you for business and networking.

SimplyBiz will never share your data with anyone. Registered members of the site may share your details with users outside the community without your written consent, but this is not encouraged.

Should this occur, please report it to SimplyBiz immediately.

Your information will be disclosed when we are obliged or permitted by law to do so. Also, if you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on SimplyBiz or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on SimplyBiz, any information SimplyBiz is has about you may be used to stop such behaviour. This may involve informing relevant third parties, such as law enforcement agencies, about the content and your behaviour. For the terms of use please click here.

Please read the terms of use before you accept them as you are giving the members on SimplyBiz access to your personal and business details and permission to contact you.

Registering on SimplyBiz gives Nedbank permission to contact you about products and services that we believe will benefit you and your business.

If you change your mind, you can opt out of receiving marketing material from Nedbank on your profile edit page.

Remember that your comments (with your username) will be placed on the internet and in newsletters, as this is a public forum.

We make every effort to keep your personal data safe.

Will you use my details to send me marketing material?
Registering on SimplyBiz gives Nedbank permission to contact you about products and services that we believe will benefit you and your business.

Registered members on the site can also contact you for business marketing and network purposes. You are able to block a member through the direct-message functionality.

What do I do if I have forgotten my password for my SimplyBiz registration account?
To reset your password please follow this link
. You will receive an email with further instructions. Please check your spam folder if it doesn't arrive in your inbox.

Please note that this email should arrive within a few seconds. If it does not, then it could be because your email provider quarantines automated emails to scan for viruses for a short period before sending them to you, in which case you will need to contact your IT team or email provider. If the registration email does not arrive at all, the most likely reason is that the email address you have entered is not registered on our system.

Remember to change your temporary password on your profile edit page for enhanced security.

How do I change my registered email address/postal address/other personal details?
Please follow this link
to your profile edit page and sign in if you have not already done so. You can then amend the details and click on 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.

How do I unsubscribe from newsletters and direct messages?
Please follow this link
to your profile edit page and select your preference under the 'Newsletter Frequency' tab.

As this site is intended to be a business networking site, you will be able to block any newsletters or emails direct.

How do I register to post comments?
Go to the SimplyBiz site and click on 'Register' on the top bar of the screen. You will be taken to the 'Count Me In' page. If you have registered previously, click on 'Login' to access your account.

How do I add a link to my comment
You have to enter the web address in your comment before you post it. Explain why you are including the link – never post a link without context.

Note that external internet sites may be monitored to ensure that they do not contain any questionable or illegal content.

Any inappropriate content must be reported to SimplyBiz for removal and the member will be blocked in accordance with our terms of use.

Can I delete one of my comments?
Yes, you can. You need to contact the moderation team. You can contact them at simplybiz@nedbank.co.za.

How do I delete my account?
To prevent people from creating multiple accounts for the purposes of abusing others or overrepresenting the support for a cause or position, you would need to register your account through your profile page.

Please note that once you have unregistered, you will have to create a new username and password if you wish to become a member again. Your previous username will be blocked, but previous comments will remain available.

How do I contact SimplyBiz?
Please contact us as follows:
Tel: 0860 116 400
Twitter: @SimplyBizSA
Email: SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za
The 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of all of our web pages

What do I do if I have an idea for an article, tool or guide I believe will benefit the business community?
You will need to pitch your idea to SimplyBiz under the most appropriate section by sending the relevant information to SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za.

The submission will be assessed at the sole discretion of SimplyBiz.

Can I reproduce content from SimplyBiz.co.za?
No portion of this website may be copied or disseminated without Nedbank's prior written consent. Content in the format of articles, guides and discussion comments may, however, be shared. You are not permitted to share the personal contact information or business details beyond this platform, unless you have the written consent of the registered member to do so.

Nedbank takes no responsibility for any personal contact or business information shared without the consent of the individual or business concerned.

How do I find an individual, a business, a question asked or a discussion started?
Search using the SimplyBiz advanced search capabilities available throughout the site.

How secure are my personal details?

Simplybiz takes the security and privacy of your account details very seriously. We will never request your security information such as your password through emails. Passwords are not kept in a readable format and are therefore known only to you, the member.

SimplyBiz will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as you are a registered member of the site, and remove it if you unsubscribe.

For safety reasons, however, SimplyBiz may store messaging transcript data (including message content, member names, times and dates) arising from the use of SimplyBiz.co.za.

You also have the responsibility to avoid unauthorised access. You can secure your personal details by playing according to the rules, never disclosing details of your account, username and password to other people.

Why has my account been suspended?
If you consistently do not comply with the terms of use of the site, your account will be suspended. You will receive an email from the team detailing why your account has been suspended. Moderators will also suspend your account if you have registered with an unsuitable name. If you receive an email requesting a change to your details please make the changes and reregister your account.

Why has my account been banned?
If you register with a username or post inappropriate content as described in the terms of use of the site, your account will be banned. You will receive an email from the team detailing why your account has been banned. Please ensure that that you choose a username that is not vulgar or offensive, and that your comments are appropriate to a business forum. We may also ban your account if you consistently do not comply with the terms of use and have complaints lodged against you.

What about confidentiality, privacy and contempt
Please respect people's privacy. You are not allowed to submit confidential or private information. For example, you must not upload the telephone number, email address or any other contact details of any person without his or her express consent.

You should not write anything that could prejudice pending or ongoing court proceedings of which you are aware. For example, if you have any personal knowledge about someone who has been arrested or charged or isbeing prosecuted for an offence, you must not mention it. If you do, you could be in contempt of court, which is an extremely serious matter.

What should I not do?
• No solicitation or investigations
You must not use our site for:
‒ any sponsorship, petition, campaign, scheme, spamming users or sending a chain message; or
‒ an investigation such as tracing the whereabouts of any person.
• No impersonation and proper disclosure
You must not pretend:
‒ to be someone else (eg an expert, another user or anothermember of our team); or
‒ that you are unconnected to a topic, when in fact you are. If you have a personal connection to a topic, you should disclose your connection or, where appropriate, not comment at all.
• No linking or copyright infringement
You must not insert links to websites (URLs) or submit content that would be an infringement of copyright.

Who can comment on articles, questions and discussion boards?
Only registered members are permitted to make comments on articles, ask questions and respond to questions.

How do I decide what is acceptable?
In deciding what is acceptable, please respect the spirit and tone of the FAQs, the pledge and the terms of use, as well as the best interest of the community.

Why would you suspend or terminate a member's registration?
We reserve the right to suspend or ban an account at our sole discretion. Here are some reasons why we might do so:
• If the terms of use, the pledge and additional notes found in these FAQs are breached.
• If fellow SimplyBiz members are spammed or harassed.
• If the spirit and tone of the community are not respected.
• If the conduct or comments of the member demand a disproportionate amount of our time or that abuse SimplyBiz members.

The length of a suspension and whether or not we ban someone depend on the circumstances. Bans are generally for extreme cases and repeated serious abuse.

If we suspend or ban your registration, you may not reregister or submit content without our permission, for example by using someone else's account.

Contact Request


These terms form a binding agreement between Nedbank Limited ('Nedbank') and any person who uses or accesses the SimplyBiz® site at www.simplybiz.co.za ('site').

1 Interpretation and definitions
1.1 Unless otherwise specified:
1.1.1 the term person refers to natural and legal persons or groups of persons;
1.1.2 the singular includes the plural, and vice versa;
1.1.3 words that have been defined in these terms will have the meaning attributed to them in these terms, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise; and
1.1.4 references to Nedbank, will, where necessary to limit its liability or enforce its rights, include its service providers, agents, clients, officers, shareholders, directors and employees.
1.2 The following words will have the following meanings:
1.2.1 'Use' means any of the following actions: accessing, viewing, sharing or commenting on the content on the site for any reason, and/or creating, posting, copying, editing or otherwise contributing content to the site.
1.2.2 'Content' means material in any form or of any kind, including text, files, documents, software, code, videos, photos, podcasts, member details or other multimedia works.
1.2.3 'Post', read as a verb, means submitting, uploading, creating, transmitting, disseminating, sharing, commenting, storing, copying or otherwise making content available on the site.
1.2.4 'User' is any person who merely visits the site, as well as a person who posts content in his/her capacity as a registered member or otherwise, and includes Nedbank employees.
1.2.5 'Member' is a registered user.

2 Nature and purpose of this site
2.1 This site is meant to enable members to provide guidance and information to one another on business-related topics, to access articles and download tools, to highlight Nedbank services and products, along with other exciting developments in the small-business industry, on a public platform.
2.2 The site allows members to profile themselves and their businesses for networking, document processing and mentoring purposes.
2.3 The content on this site may only be used for the purposes stated above.
2.4 The site contains, among others, the intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks, of Nedbank and its members.
2.5 No portion of this site may be copied or disseminated without Nedbank's prior written consent.
2.6 Once a member has registered on the site, the following will apply:
2.6.1 You will be able to request contact with other members for information or networking purposes.
2.6.2 You can accept, ignore or decline a request to further a business relationship.
2.6.3 You can accept or decline a request Nedbank generated through the site to contact you with discussions, topics, content of interest or information regarding those of its products and services that it believes would be relevant to your business. You will be able to opt out or amend this feature.
2.6.4 Any contact uploaded or shared is done at the risk of members.
2.6.5 Interactions on this platform are classified as social media interactions and are governed by Nedbank's social media policies. Members are encouraged to bring to our attention any incorrect, defamatory or inappropriate content or conduct by sending an email to simplybiz@nedbank.co.za.

3 Prohibited content
3.1 While Nedbank respects and encourages the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, in the interest of all users the content listed below may never be posted on the site. This applies regardless of whether you are posting your own content or using content created by a third party.
3.1.1 Content that in Nedbank's sole opinion is or can generally be considered to be obscene, sexually explicit or pornographic.
3.1.2 Content that is illegal.
3.1.3 Content that you know to be false, or is designed to be misleading.
3.1.4 Content that is defamatory, intimidating, harassing, hateful, injurious, racist, sexist, abusive, malicious or threatening to any person or group of persons.
3.1.5 Content that incites hatred or violence.
3.1.6 Content that is frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or posted in bad faith.
3.1.7 Content that infringes or may infringe the intellectual property rights of any person or legal entity. This includes content that you didn't create or that you do not have permission to post.
3.1.8 Content that constitutes or may constitute an invasion of the privacy rights of any person.
3.1.9 Content that constitutes or may constitute the wrongful or unlawful disclosure or publication of confidential information or trade secrets.
3.1.10 Content that is otherwise injurious to any person.
3.1.11 Content not expressly authorised by Nedbank that endorses, offers or promotes any product or services for commercial purposes.
3.1.12 Content that contains viruses, worms or other destructive code.
3.1.13 Content that may expose Nedbank or any other users to harm or liability.

4 Right of use
4.1 You may not use the site to do any of the following (whether for yourself or on behalf of any other person):
4.1.1 Impersonate any person.
4.1.2 Harass or intimidate any person.
4.1.3 Collect the personal information of any person.
4.1.4 Post spam.
4.1.5 Expose Nedbank or any other users to any harm or liability.
4.2 If you are unsure whether your conduct or content will amount to defamation or infringement or cause any harm you must not post it but obtain legal advice first. Nedbank is not in a position to assess whether this is the case and cannot advise you on this.
4.3 Nedbank reserves the right to remove any prohibited content and suspend or terminate your right to use the site immediately.

5 Desired behaviour
5.1 Make comments, share articles or repost opinions that are true or amount to fair comment and that are in the public interest in the context of the site community. If you fail to do this, you may be held liable for defamation (causing harm to a person or legal entity's reputation).
5.2 By posting content on the site you warrant and represent that you either created, own or otherwise have the right to use or post that content.
5.3 You warrant that any content that you post does not infringe any party's intellectual property or personal rights, including, but not limited to, his/her/its patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy or other personality rights. You also warrant that your use of the content or posting thereof constitutes fair use or fair comment or truth that is in the public interest.

6 Complaints
6.1 Any product or service complaints about non-Nedbank products must be directed to the product or service provider in question to ensure resolution.
6.2 Any product or service complaints about Nedbank should be directed to the correct channels within Nedbank.

7 Licence
7.1 By posting content on the site, you grant Nedbank a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual and worldwide licence to use your content in connection with the operation of the site and compiling information on its products and/or services.
7.2 By posting content on the site, you grant users/members permission to share your comment on social media platforms.

8 Registration
8.1 When you register to use the site (become a member), you must provide information that is true and accurate.
8.2 You must keep this information up to date.
8.3 By registering to use the site you warrant that you are over the age of 18. Alternatively, you confirm that your parent or legal guardian has agreed to your use of the site.
8.4 In the case of business registrations you warrant that you are duly authorised to register the business on the site. Businesses and individuals that register on the site may be vetted with a view to excluding any businesses or individuals deemed to be inappropriate by Nedbank. This will be at the sole discretion of Nedbank.

9 How we protect your user information
9.1 All users must be registered to become members.
9.2 On registration members can choose which of their details are available for other members to view.
9.3 On registration as a member on the site your personal and business information will be available to all registered members of the site.
9.4 Members have the ability to omit information that they do not want to publicise.
9.5 Personal and business information is made available in line with the nature and purpose of the site, and may not be used beyond this framework.

10 Privacy Policy
10.1 Nedbank recognises and respects your right to privacy. Accordingly we are committed to the protection of your personal information and the appropriate use of that information.
10.2 Access to this information is limited to the site, Nedbank and any member.
10.3 The information will be used to communicate with you only if you have selected to receive marketing information in your member registration form or profile.
10.4 Cookies accessed or stored by our site may retain personal information such as your name, email address and contact number, but you have the choice to switch off cookies on your computer.
10.5 No personal information gathered by us about you will be shared with any other person or entity without your prior permission, except as provided in these terms or as required by law.
10.6 Be aware that communication between you and any other member of the site can be accessed by other internet users.
10.7 Please do not use email if you want to share confidential information with us.

11 Your login details and duty to log out
11.1 You agree to keep your login details secret, including your username and your password, which you must select.
11.2 You must not give third parties access to your account or login details.
11.3 You must log out after each session to prevent other persons from accessing your account.
11.4 As we deal with each other in a non-face-to-face environment, we are entitled to assume that any content posted on the site after login with your username and password was posted by you or with your consent.

12 Nedbank's role and responsibilities
12.1 Nedbank merely provides a site for the use and appropriate enjoyment of its users.
12.2 Nedbank reserves the right to screen users after registration.
12.3 Nedbank reserves the right to monitor, delete or modify any of the content posted on the site from time to time, and to perform checks on members.
12.4 Nedbank respects the rights of all persons and requires that its members do the same.
12.5 If you believe that any person is acting inappropriately or performing any of the prohibited acts or posting prohibited content, you may contact Nedbank to report the matter, and Nedbank will take the appropriate action at its sole discretion.
12.6 Complaints that are frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or in bad faith will not be entertained.
12.7 Nedbank reserves the right to monitor, or participate in, any disputes between members.
12.8 Nedbank's publication of any content posted by any member on the site does not amount to an endorsement of any kind.
12.9 Before relying on any product information, opinion, guidance and/or service you should verify that the resource, guidance, content, product and/or service is accurate.
12.10 While Nedbank will regularly back up site data, and endeavour to recover data that may be lost, it is not obligated to do so.
12.11 The availability of the site and its content, including data stored by members, cannot be guaranteed.
12.12 Nedbank reserves the right to discontinue the site at any time.

13 Disclaimer of warranties and limitation of liability
13.1 Nothing on the site constitutes an offer.
13.2 You agree that Nedbank will not be liable, under any circumstances and in any way, for any errors or omissions, loss or damage incurred as a result of your use of or reliance on any content posted on this site.
13.3 Nedbank is not liable to any person for any losses or damages that arise, directly or indirectly, from any content appearing on or originating from this site, or the actions or omissions of any members of this site or Nedbank in regard to this site.
13.4 This site is provided as is and as available.
13.5 Nedbank makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the site's operation or the content included on the site.
13.6 Nedbank cannot and does not verify the accuracy, truth, ownership rights or nature of any content its members submit.
13.7 Nedbank will not be liable for any damage of any kind arising from the use of or inability to use the site.
13.8 To the full extent permissible by law Nedbank disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for any particular purpose.
13.9 Information transmitted over the internet or stored for display on the internet is susceptible to unlawful interception and monitoring.
13.10 By using the internet you accept the risks associated with unlawful interception and monitoring.
13.11 Comments on the platform may be shared outside of the platform and Nedbank will not be held responsible or liable for any effects and/or damages that may arise as a result of this.

14 Member indemnity
14.1 You agree to defend and indemnify Nedbank against and hold it harmless from any and all demands, liabilities, losses, costs and claims, including reasonable attorneys' fees that may arise or result from your use of the site, or that was caused directly or indirectly by you or any person whom you allowed to access the site, whether by posting content on the site or otherwise.
14.2 Without derogating from the foregoing, you agree that Nedbank will at its sole discretion have joint control over litigation that arises as a result of your use of the site
14.3 No undertakings, settlements, public communications or statements that refer to or implicate Nedbank, directly or indirectly, will be issued or given without its prior written consent.

15 No responsibility for third-party sites, content and charges
15.1 From time to time Nedbank or members may provide links or access to third-party sites and content.
15.2 Nedbank is not responsible for such third-party sites or content or actions.
15.3 Nedbank does not provide any warranties about such third-party sites or the content or the operators of such sites.
15.4 Nedbank in no way recommends or endorses these parties, their sites or their content, products, opinions, advice (if any), relevance, currency, security or privacy.
15.5 Third parties may levy additional charges for using or accessing any of the content made available on the site, including cellphone or content service providers.
15.6 It is your responsibility to check charges before downloading content onto any device.
15.7 You agree that you must evaluate and assess content independently.
15.8 You will bear all risks associated with the use of any content. If you download any software by means of the site, you will be bound by the relevant software licence agreement.
15.9 You agree to exercise caution when accessing links on the site or links that are emailed to you. The disclaimer in 13.3 above will apply to your accessing any links as stipulated in these terms of use.

16 We may modify these terms
16.1 Nedbank reserves the right to change these terms at any time and at our sole discretion.
16.2 You are responsible for regularly checking whether these terms have changed.
16.3 Any amendments will be binding on all users of the site.
16.4 A certificate issued by the webmaster will serve as prima facie proof of which version of the terms applied at a specific date, or which content was posted on the site on a specific date.

17 General
17.1 Entire agreement
17.1.1 These terms constitute the entire agreement between you and Nedbank regarding the use of the site and replace any previous agreements.
17.1.2 If you download any software from the site, the licence agreement applicable to such software will also apply to you.
17.2 Non-waiver and severability
17.2.1 Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these terms will not constitute a waiver thereof.
17.2.2 If any provision of these terms is held to be invalid, unlawful, void or unenforceable, the remainder of these terms will continue in full force and effect.
17.3 Governing law
17.3.1 The laws of the Republic of South Africa will apply.

Unregister Notice

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10 lessons from the Desiderata
By SimplyBiz

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Ten Lessons from the Desiderata for Business Owners

Poetry isn’t the usual stuff of business articles but sometimes we all need a little soul food. The Desiderata is a poem written in 1927 by American writer Max Ehrmann. It is as relevant today as it was then. Modern day life is pressured, add to this the pressures of running a business and it is enough to put most people in the danger zone. Adopting and practising these simple life rules will help to stay motivated and manage stress overload.

1. “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.”

Day-to-day worries and irritations combined with city traffic and stories of gloom and doom – what a toxic brew!  Stop, breathe and take some time out from the hustle. Instead of using breaks to catch up on social media, rather find a quiet spot in a park or if that’s not possible, simply go for a walk, minus the phone.

2. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason; strong business leaders are usually good listeners who are in tune with the feelings of employees and customers. True listening allows you to learn and to respond intelligently.

3. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Develop a business network of positive people with similar values; other successful business owners have wisdom to share. Be wary of comparing yourself and your business to the “Facebook” image that is portrayed by others… it is just an image.

4. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Having a business plan in place and regularly evaluating progress against that plan, allows us to think strategically and to take corrective action. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come; every little milestone achieved is a reason to celebrate.

5. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

It is prudent to take reasonable precautions to protect against theft but focus on the loyalty and honesty that is the norm. Be the moral and responsible person you would like to employ, especially in your dealings with customers.

6. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

In our digitally connected world, the social media posts that go viral are those to do with real emotions. Authenticity is the “X Factor” that customers and employees recognise instinctively. Being true to yourself is good for business and good for you.

7. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Setbacks are inevitable and often beyond our control, but we can decide how we respond to bad times. A strong, positive network is a vital tool in tackling self-doubt, as is the humility to seek help and advice. Don’t overthink a problem. Assess it rationally, decide on a course of action and monitor progress. You may be wrong, but at least be actively wrong than inert.

8. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

Airlines instruct passengers to first put the oxygen mask on themselves before aiding other passengers in the event of a crisis. In a small business, everybody depends on you, if you do not care for your own needs, your tank will hit empty. Identify what makes you feel good and do more of it. He who works latest and longest does not necessarily win.

9. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

If you have a solid business plan; good financial controls; good products; good people and a strong service ethic, then you have done what you can

10. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Keep learning and encouraging creativity in the workplace. Develop a sense of humour and smile more often. If nothing else, you look better!

Take care of yourself, your business and your employees and remember while this may be your life’s work, it is not your life.


Author: Janet Askew

What is your take?


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      707 days ago kubang@nedbank.co.za started a discussion. 1 0

      Very interesting

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      734 days ago SylvesterFalata started a discussion. 3 0

      I also appreciate the mention that other successsful besiness owners have wisdom too. so often we isolate ourselves and arent open to engaging with other business people assuming they will not have time, or that they arent interested. but im finding that a lot of succesful business peole are more that happy to share their wisdom. and are interested in seeing other business people grow and succeed.  

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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 3 0

      Sylvester, that's such an important point you make about when we invest in ourselves, the ROI  in our health and well being is reflected in the business. 

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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 3 0

      I am hard pressed to say what lesson strikes me the most. The more I read Desiderata, the more I feel that it is the central theme of strength and the need to feed that with strong beliefs, positive people and a healthy attitude to mind, body and soul. 

      We may be small business owners but we are part of the world, our communities and our families. 

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        TheTastyChef 734 days ago 3 0

        I will never forget what one of my mentors said to me in the first year of culinary school, 15 years ago.  He told us the most important thing we needed to cultivate now, before even going into the industry was balance.  Get a hobby, make sure you don't do work on your day off, have fun often... Although I remember it clearly, I only recenly learnt to put it into practice, and it has made such a difference in my capabilities in business...I can't stress the importance of this enough to new business owners! 

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          SylvesterFalata 734 days ago 3 0

          Im Totally with you. I always thought to myself, 'I dont have time to' or 'i cant afford to'. Its changed to 'i cant afford not to.' the value it adds is absolutely incredible. im totally we are part of a whole. we have so much more to give when we remeber that. in service( business) and in our personal lives. and the shift in perpective results in one being more innovative in problem solving. and being open to opportunities. 

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      734 days ago SylvesterFalata started a discussion. 6 0

      8. You cannot pour from an empty cup. We are of little service to our businesses and customers if we do not take care of ourselves. This took me a while to learn, and get. im still figuring it out. and i find that we so often overlook our wellbeing. Mind, body and Soul. and if one is lacking we dont fully show up to be of service.

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        StrategistKingNdlovu 734 days ago 1 0

        Hi Sylvester. I happen to be an upcoming designer myself, I admire your work, and more especially the latest garment that i saw on Khanyisa's Book Launch, that she was wearing. Just one look at a Sylvester Falata dress, one can pick up the love and grace in the details of your dress and sense just how much the designer loves what he does. I want to know how long it took you to perfect such detail in stitches and how you balance and deal with clients that give you a headache...? 

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          SylvesterFalata 734 days ago 0 0

          It was created over a period of a month. with fittings and editing in between. The quality of the product is something we dont compromise on. so its always being improved on. luckily there isnt much of a headache from our clients, so its a breeze.  

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 3 0

        Sylvester you are so right. I don't think there is such a thing as the perfect work/life balance but the bottom line is that time spent on one is time taken from the other. While long hours and hard work are part of the job description, we have to still live and live fully, otherwise what is it all for?

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        SimplyBiz 734 days ago 1 0

        Hi Sylvester, do you make a conscious effort to take care of yourself as an entrepreneur (e.g. diarise a time of the day/week) or is it only when you have extra time to spare?

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          SylvesterFalata 734 days ago 5 0

          I have to schedule it otherwise it never happens. i realised that im more productive when i've taken tie to do so. but i have to be honest, sometimes there's so much to be done that i dont follow the schedule, but i can always feel the difference and even in the resultsof what im doing. im more on top of my game when i have taken the time to 'Recharge'.


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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 1 0

      Patience is a virtue, or so I'm told... it is so easy to chase a quick gain or to divert one's focus because something else seems shinier. Learning to see the little wins and the inch by inch progress is essential if we are to stay the course. "Strive tobe happy."

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        SylvesterFalata 734 days ago 2 0

        Costistency is key when one in building anything sustainable and long term. 

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 5 0

      Like the Desdirata poem, we all need to understand that everything in life has so many meanings, and that we can find opportunities in the smallest interactions or the biggest engagements ... its all about how we look at things, for both ourselves as business owners and as people

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        SimplyBiz 734 days ago 2 0

        There's a time and a season for everything..for business owners and their businesses too

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          SylvesterFalata 734 days ago 1 0

          indeed. Patience does pay off.


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      734 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 5 0

      9. "And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be."

      Once you learn to stop worrying about things out of your control and focus rather on what you can control, you will be much happier, in life and in business.  If you have done all you can to ensure your plans are on track, you need to have faith...in yourself, in your ideas and in the universe.

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        SylvesterFalata 734 days ago 2 0

        I Like that. One of the ,first lessons i learned from a mentor was that my business is an extention of who i am. It reinfirced the importance of building a business that stood for Values and morals that i stood for. and i set an intention to build a business that will serve my customers. 

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 2 0

        Trump may be building walls ,Britain brextiting and Parliament brawling, but all that we can control is what we do in and for our business every day.

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 1 0

      Business lessons can be learnt from all places - your clients will tell you how you need to improve your business, your suppliers can help you with innovation, and your collaborators can help you look at growth potential of your business and the direction you need to take it in, but its important to hear what they are saying and translate it into actionable items

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 2 0

        I have to give all credit to still being in business to my business partner. I was dismayed and overwhelmed at the leaking sieve and I was ready to throw in the towel. Her steadiness and determination to constantly tweak what we were doing in line with feedback from customers and suppliers, carried us through. 

        Listen - think - act - evaluate is the way to keep moving forward.

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          SimplyBiz 734 days ago 1 0

          A great comment Janet. In a partnership  "like-minded" does not necessarily mean "like-temperament".  The character balance is essential.

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 5 0

      Make an effort every few weeks or months to connect with other small business owners (create a network yourself if there is not one you can join), to talk about your challenges and successes. We can learn a lot from each other and help each other. Allow yourself to be helped and don't forget to pass on to others your learnings

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 1 0

        Yavi, your point about passing on learning is really important. Networks are a two way street and as with anything in life, the more you put in...

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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 5 0

      Listen to others. Employees and customers are providing valuable snippets of information all the time - if we would just pay attention. If more than one customer gripes about the same thing, then you can bet it has affected and irritated many more. Do something and quickly!

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      Never ever underestimate the power of positivity. What is on the inside reflects on the outside. We have to work on ourselves as much as we work on the business, and its growth. Investing in our own EQ development is key, and that results in a strong and positive mindset, which ultimately positions our businesses positively in the minds of customers and potential customers

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 2 0

        That is why surrounding yourself with positive people who build others is so important. There is never a shortage of the "ït's impossible" mindset. Those who are optimistic and solution orientated are rare and should be valued.

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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 4 0

      Beyond a wholesome discipline - I find that most small business owners battle with this one. It is very easy to fall into the trap of working late all day and every day. There is always so much to do, but if we are not careful, we can literally lose ourselves in the business.

      Being an online business, there is literally no off button, but we advertise our "contact availablity" hours and where practical, we try to stick to those for customer and supplier contact. Back end and admin work does take place after hours but we do need to protect our private time and space. Diarising time to do sport or have a coffee or attend a seminar is vital to stay sane and functioning. I also firmly believe in switching off the laptop and social media in the evening to avoid temptation.

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 1 0

      Networks - so, how do you network and get access to 'communities' ?

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 1 0

        Networking requires effort, but boy does it pay off. Whether it's attending formal business functions and seminars or joining online industry platforms or becoming an active part of your community - there is an opportunity to meet new people.

        I think the key is be open to finding out about people. I met a  major supplier of ours while standing at the side of the school hockey field. South Africans can learn from Americans - they seem to network instinctively, whereas we are often more reticent.

        A tip I developed in the days when people still exchanged business cards (and dinosaurs still roamed the earth) was to write the crux of the conversation on the back of the card & then load onto a database. The same principle applies today. Noting the context and reason for the contact allows for personal follow up later.  Newsletters and social media can be tweaked accordingly to make them resonate with that person.

        It is important to distinguish between polite and meaningful follow up on a conversation vs spam. e.g.  A quick acknowledgement of the person and the conversation with a link to a relevant article or an introduction will generally be well received and may stimulate a business relationship.


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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 1 0

      One of my favourite things to say about business is that we are not a B2B which stands for Building to Building to me, because thats how we sometimes think we need to behave (cold and heartless), we are H2H, human to human, because even the most senior, most powerful people in business are still just people, and remembering to appeal to both hearts and minds are very important in business

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 1 0

      Being gentle on yourself is a very hard lesson to learn to all of us. as we spend so much time building resilience in this thing called entrepreneurship that it is almost something we have to remember.

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      Another line I constantly use for myself in the face of adversity is : "this too shall pass" !

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      Discipline and procrastination - the 2 most hated words in my artillery of being a business owner, simply because it is the 2 words that I have to constantly deal with in my life as a business owner. I have too much to do on a daily basis so I'm always tempted to procrastinate, and I have to be disciplined about 'not working' all the time

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        TheTastyChef 734 days ago 1 0

        Funnily enough, I find I do my best work under pressure or on a really tight deadline.  I often find myself procrastinating when I have plenty of time to get things done and end up working under pressure anyway towards the end of the time.  So this has lead me to simply give myself shorter time to complete tasks, carving out more time for other things, like relaxing or spending time with family.  Shorter but more focused work is the solution to my productivity.  

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          trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 1 0

          I like that idea beacuse I am also a procrastinator. I also try to use the odd carrot to get a task finished. If I do this by X, then I can have that cappucino!

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 1 0

      Developing a sense of humour and a sense of 'calmness' in the face of a storm is definitely a skill I had to learn and use on a regular basis

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        TheTastyChef 734 days ago 1 0

        Yavi, you are so right!  Nothing beats a good sense of humour when the proverbial hits the fan, being a stressed Eric doesn't help anyone and often magnifyies the current problem...Deep breath and a good laugh definately helps me through touch situations!

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          trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 2 0

          Being able to laugh at ourselves is also important. Tasty Chef - I'm sure you've had some amusing experiences in your industry! I remember my partner and I collapsing in giggles when we realised that we had completely stuffed up two orders with two clients. We decided that humour and humility would be the only way out of explaining why the gent received products for menopause and the lady received beard oil!

          Fortunately, they also had a sense of humour!

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 1 0

      There have been so many times that I wanted to throw in the towel, but its some of the lessons above in the article that have kept me going, month to month, year to year !

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        TheTastyChef 734 days ago 1 0

        I find it so important to have a network of other business owners to lean on, chat to, vent and bounce ideas off of.  Sometimes just the act of talking about how you feel with someone in the same or who has been in the same situation provides clarity and motivation to carry on.

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          trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 1 0

          Totally! It doesn't have to be people in the same industry. At the end of the day, we all face similar challenges and the opportunity to share and learn is invaluable.

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 1 0

      Managing clients, suppliers, staff, projects, and potential clients, potential projects, pipeline business, etc, etc can be quite daunting for any business owner, so equipping ourselves with the right skills is terribly important in the bigger scheme of things.

      I have found that 2 things have assisted me in growing myself and my business : collaboration and trade exchanges (both for work and skills gaps - share work projects, share knowledge and cross functional services). You will never look back

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 1 0

        For sure! Even a one man business cannot do it alone. I once joined hands with two other consultants to land a large project with a multi-national corporation. Individually we could not do the work, but pooling skills and resources we could pull it off. I learned so much during that project and I was able to share my own knowledge and skill. We all came away richer and I don't just mean financially.

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 4 0

      The world of business is not for the faint-hearted that is for sure, and the 10 points above resonate deeply in terms of our daily challenges and our successes. 

      For a business owner, our business is on our minds 24-7. There is no 'knock-off' time, or going on leave, or even sick leave for that matter. It is the choice we make every single day, for better or worse.

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 4 0

        I agree Yavi... it's a bit like being the parent of a young child. There is no off button and it's exhausting but the reward is in watching the 'baby'grow

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          YaviMadurai 734 days ago 2 0

          Too true! Challenges and rewards of being a business owner I suppose.

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      While there is a lot to be said about face to face and personal interaction, we must not forget that we need to utilise all that that the internet can allow us to do to connect with potential clients, suppliers, collaborators and mentors

      As a business owner, I look for clients all over the world, and especially in R.o.A (Rest Of Africa), through my laptop using the world of social, digital and online media. I have a mentor in New York and mentees from the Phillipines  and Brazil. My suppliers and collaborators are sometimes freelancers from India and Silicone Valley in the U.S, so it is critical for us as business owners and entrepreneurs to know how to navigate and optimise the digital world.

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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 3 0

        I think that the benefit of social media is that business conversations can be held with people across the globe, without needing that face to face interaction. In our online business, we have found that the key is to be direct and personal and to speak frankly to that person... whatever the medium.

        Any face to face time is a precious opportunity to make the contact positive and memorable.


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          YaviMadurai 734 days ago 2 0

          Exactly, so many times, we think its important to meet with a person, when actually the beginning of a professional working relationship can be started online. Even the search for possible new markets and clients can be done from the comfort of your home or office, even your PJ's at 11pm at night, if you allow yourself to think differently about your potential clients and target markets. 

          As a business we have registered on databases of the United Nations, the World Bank, etc a few years ago, and the projects have been across the world and Africa. Because most of our work is digital, we have very rarely had to leave SA. 

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      734 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 1 0

      The world of technology and its daily advancements have allowed us as business owners so much access that entrepreneurs before us did not have, and it is about tapping into these resources that will give you and your business competitive edge


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        trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 1 0

        I think being able to navigate the digital world is becoming a key competency for the business world, but you have highlighted the underlying imperative, which is to change our mindsets - especially those of us with grey hair! 

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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 2 0

      Those dark moments when there is no money to show for 25 hour days and stomach ulcers. It is important to step back and believe in the Plan.

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        YaviMadurai 734 days ago 2 0

        This has happened too many times to mention, and you are spot-on. Every single time, the calmness and resolution has come from stepping back and 'taking another look'.

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          TheTastyChef 734 days ago 1 0

          It is so, so hard to see through the fog of a zero balance bank account and sleepless nights when you are in the middle of it, do you have any techniqes or ideas in seeing through this fog and moving forward?   

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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 2 0

      "Be yourself." We have found that in our social media posts, the more we just talk to our customers, as opposed to at them, the more they respond. I really believe that the human touch is priceless.

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        TheTastyChef 734 days ago 1 0

        I absolutely agree,  and I find this the most satisfying part of my work, second to the actual creative release of my work.  I love connecting on a personal level with my clients, getting to know them and finding out what drives them and moves them.  This naturally lead to you being better equipped to serve them as you have a deeper understanding of their needs. 

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          trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 1 0

          Yes, it is about that personal connection. I find nothing more irritating than receiving a reply to a request or question that is standard -form & company- speak. 

          Because our business promotes a natural and healthy lifestyle, we receive many personal questions. Customers share their stories and we try to respond genuinely and personally to each one.

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        YaviMadurai 734 days ago 2 0

        I loved this the most of all the 10 points - AUTHENTICITY !!!

        This is the loudest noise I will make when giving entrepreneurs advice on lessons learnt thus far. My journey as an entrepreneur is far from over or even what I would deem successful, but I have found that too many times when people are not themselves, especially when marketing or selling their business services people are 'turned off' or ' get a bad vibe' from them. These are comments I hear from clients all the time about other people that have come to sell them something. 

        But, it was my no 1 lesson way back from a mentor early in my career. I saw the benefits of that lesson throughout my corporate career, and even more so now as I hustle everyday being an entrepreneur in SA.

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          trainers@netactive.co.za 734 days ago 1 0

          I so agree - my first lesson in this was also in the corportate world. I thought I had to wear a mask and play the game. All that happened was that I became ill and increasingly disnechanted with my job. Once I had the courage to be me, my stress levels reduced and re-found my enjoyment in my career.

          I think it's important as an entrepreneur to remember why they started the business in the first place. What was exciting? What was important? What was the Áha'moment? 

          Essentially Natural was started as a family business as a direct response to my husband dying of cancer. My journey with him led me to believe that we are literally killing the planet and ourselves with our reliance on harmful chemicals. It is this belief and those scars that shaped the business ethos and the products we offer.

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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 4 0

      Strength of spirit is essential for any small business owner to withstand the toll of constant pressure, self-doubt and long hours

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      734 days ago trainers@netactive.co.za started a discussion. 4 0

      Morning Johannesburg traffic and the "Go placidly amid the noise and the haste"" really resonated with me today. It is so hard to put aside all the 'stuff'' that is irritating and external and to focus on the task at hand. Take a deep breath and concentrate on the business.

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