- SimplyBiz -

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Pledge

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

TERMS OF USE AND PRIVACY POLICY

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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How not to get lost in translation
By SimplyBiz

10/6/2015
header image

Small business owners communicate with different types of people every day, using various media for numerous purposes.

Whether it is suppliers, customers, funders or employees the small business owner is interacting with, communicating clearly is essential to avoid misunderstandings that could sour relationships.

Whilst small business owners may take it for granted that their websites, contracts, invoices, business plans, e-mails and verbal instructions are easy to understand, their target audiences may not agree. Common pitfalls include the (over) use of business jargon and technical terms, vague metaphors and similes, unnecessarily complex vocabulary, and the inclusion of too much detail.

Yes, small business owners may find themselves in situations where they need to demonstrate their grasp of technical, financial, legal and other concepts to sophisticated audiences. Yes, small business owners may want to impress customers, or to appear to be in touch with popular culture. Regardless of how well-intentioned the small business owner is, none of that matters if the message is misinterpreted or met with complete incomprehension. Worse, the small business owner may be perceived as pompous or detached from reality for choosing to use inaccessible language.

Keeping it simple and communicating in plain English makes life easier for small business owners and the people around them. So what is plain English? What follows is a slightly modified version of what is stated in the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s ‘Plain English Handbook’ endorsed by Warren Buffet . Plain English means analysing and deciding what information is needed to make informed decisions, before words, sentences, or paragraphs are considered.

Plain English uses words economically and at a level the audience can understand. Its sentence structure is tight. Its tone is welcoming and direct. The handbook also points out that plain English does not mean omitting content in its entirety and completely avoiding certain topics or subjects. Rather, it is about distilling key ideas and concepts, and communicating them simply and concisely.

Communicating in plain English does not mean the small business owner is unintelligent or uneducated or unworldly.

Instead, it shows that the small business owner is interested in meaningful interactions and getting things done. If plain English is good enough for billionaire Warren Buffet, maybe it is worth a try by the humble small business owner?

What is your take?




Comments

    • Avatar
      592 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 2 0

      In a marketing context, the use of plain language in communication and marketing is essential. Consumers need to understand the product or service they receive. Language can hold the key in reaching and impacting your specific target audience. 
      In addition to the general principles for clarity and accessibility in language and layout and design, the local context, profile of the target audience, purpose and use of the document, will ultimately determine to what extent the selected language and information structure will be perceived as clear and accessible by the target audience.

    • Avatar
      592 days ago ShaunAnderson started a discussion. 2 0

      What many people don't know is that this is actually legislated and regulated in South Africa.

      In South Africa, several Acts of government regulate the use of plain language in consumer communication:

      The Short-term Insurance Act, 53 of 1998;

      The Long-term Insurance Act, 52 of 1998;

      The Companies Act, 71 of 2008;

       The South African National Credit Act, 34 of 2005, regulates that “information to consumers must be in plain and understandable language”.

      The South African Consumer Protection Act, 68 of 2008, not only regulates the use of plain language, but also define the concept for a South African context:

      "Right to information in plain and understandable language

      (1) The producer of a notice, document or visual representation that is required, in terms of this Act or any other law, to be produced, provided or displayed to a consumer must produce, provide or display that notice, document or visual representation—

      (a) in the form prescribed in terms of this Act or any other legislation, if any, for that notice, document or visual representation; or

      (b) in plain language, if no form has been prescribed for that notice, document or visual representation. 

      (2) For the purposes of this Act, a notice, document or visual representation is in plain language if it is reasonable to conclude that an ordinary consumer of the class of persons for whom the notice, document or visual representation is intended, with average literacy skills and minimal experience as a consumer of the relevant goods or services, could be expected to understand the content, significance, and import of the notice, document or visual representation without undue effort, having regard to—

      (a) the context, comprehensiveness and consistency of the notice, document or visual representation;

      (b) the organisation, form and style of the notice, document or visual representation;

      (c) the vocabulary, usage and sentence structure of the notice, document or visual representation; and

      (d) the use of any illustrations, examples, headings, or other aids to reading and understanding."

       

      • Avatar
        TheTastyChef 592 days ago 1 0

        South Africa differs in a number of ways from the countries where plain English norms were developed.  Our customers are multilingual, multicultural and cover a broad socioeconomic spectrum. 
        I found some local research that has already indicated that the rules of plain English do not necessarily apply...

        • Avatar
          TheTastyChef 592 days ago 2 0

          Words that English first language speakers use commonly, might not be well known amongst the average African language speaker (Slabbert 2010);

          A communication style that is considered to be brief and to the point in one culture, could be received as rude, condescending or inappropriate in another (Finlayson and Slabbert 2002, Pienaar 2002);

          Higher socioeconomic groups want detailed information – it cultivates trust.  Lower socioeconomic groups find detailed information overwhelming – it inhibits trust. (Telkom research as quoted in Slabbert 2010).

          Interesting findings!  What is your take on this?

      • Avatar
        Marang 592 days ago 1 0

        Thanks for this, Shaun - it's of huge importance in a country that has 11 official languages - that's another layer to this issue of accessible language! As we provide services to a very diverse population, what is our responsibility to ensure that the very language itself is inaccessible? It's widely understood that English is 'business' language, with Afrikaans a close second, but as the prioritization of African languages continues apace, will we will soon be seeing some kind of legislation around this for businesses? I notice that some banks already provide paperwork and ATM's language options in all the languages... 

    • Avatar
      592 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 2 0

      In most companies and financial institutions, each customer document has different owners: business, legal, marketing (corporate identity, brand identity), IT and the CUSTOMER. Each owner has its own needs and requirements for a particular document. If the CUSTOMER experiences the document as clear, relevant, informative, “exactly what I would expect of this institution", or “exactly what I need for this product”, the document has served the business. 

      The customer perspective is also central to the definition of plain language in the Consumer Protection Act. According to section 22(2) of the Act, a document is in plain language if, and only if, it is clear and understandable for the target audience.

      • Avatar
        Marang 592 days ago 2 0

        That's really clear and straightforward. The intent of these documents should not be to leave the customer confused about their rights & responsibilities. This ambituity serves no one, really - and since we're on the topic of buidling up client bases and fostering positive interaction with customers, shouldn't the intent be to demonstrate goodwill while delineating rights and responsibilities?  

        • Avatar
          trainers@netactive.co.za 591 days ago 0 0

          @marang I agree. I think the emphasis on plain talk (in whichever language) & not legal speak or 'false news' is the way to better communcation & greater trust. If the message sent is clear and simple, there is less likelihood of misunderstandings and better chances of positive business relationships.

    • Avatar
      592 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 2 0

      For many years we’ve struggled to influence the language of the courts. Legal language is still very much how it’s always been – largely archaic, Latin-heavy and pretty much impenetrable to non-experts.

      There’s never been a justifiable excuse for this – just as there’s absolutely no reason why barristers and solicitors don’t use plain English rather than language very few can understand.  But there's hope that this may be changing...

      At the end of last year, we awarded Mr Justice Peter Jackson for his unprecedented, much-shortened plain-English summary, featuring emojis, for a case involving children. This was widely applauded, largely due to nobody having seen anything quite like it.

      In truth, Mr Jackson’s admirable example was overdue, and we were hoping his efforts, and the overwhelmingly positive coverage his summary received, might lead to more examples.

      • Avatar
        Marang 592 days ago 1 0

        I need to look that case up, i'd never heard of it! Wonderful!  Truth be told, i almost feel like the complex language of the law is set up to exclude the "unwashed masses", and leave a very lucrative industry in the hands of those who've attended very expensive schools to gain the expertise. there's no reason why the law we're all so dependent on is so inaccessible to the average citizen.  And as a client, i would certainly have much more trust in a lawyer or advocate who could break down the complexities for me in an accessible fashion.

        • Avatar
          TheTastyChef 592 days ago 1 0

          Completely agreed Marang!

    • Avatar
      592 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 2 0

      We regularly bang on about lengthy terms and conditions, in the hope that they’ll eventually disappear. But instead, they seem to be getting longer and more and more absurd.

      Amazon is the latest culprit. Their Kindle terms and conditions are 73,198 words long. Were you to want to read them, it would take you about 9 hours – but why would you, or anyone, bother?

      So this leaves the question of the validity of the terms and conditions if they make it a ridiculous length, that no reasonable person would read, can they hold up?  

      • Avatar
        Marang 592 days ago 1 0

        Don't get me started on those! such an obvious attempt to obfuscate - and it begs the question - why is so much fine print even necessary? what's buried in there that they don't want us to know? creates an inherent suspicion of the offering...

        • Avatar
          ShaunAnderson 592 days ago 2 0

          Exactly!  Why is this still allowed and not regulated?

    • Avatar
      592 days ago Marang started a discussion. 2 0

      https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2013/04/the-emperor-has-no-clothes/ - On the flip side, complicated jargon-laden internal communications can also hamper a company's relationship with it's most important stakeholders - their employees and shareholders.... This article provides two case studies - Coca-Cola and Enron, about how plain-speak denotes authentic leadership, while clever-sounding gobldygook is covering for some serious leadership fails....

    • Avatar
      592 days ago Marang started a discussion. 2 0

      This is important - for us, being in the communications field, it holds especial resonance.  No client wants to feel that they've been manipulated into doing something they would have otherwise declined by complicated jargon. We all have a healthy fear of 'the fine print', and this is essentially what this is. It erodes trust and goodwill, compromising your relationship with customers and clients. Speak plainly and honestly.

      • Avatar
        TheTastyChef 592 days ago 2 0

        Agreed, use the simplest and most direct method of getting what you are trying to say across.  I find that when people start using flowery and unnecessary language, I tend to either stop listening and start thinking about what they are hiding behind the language...I also feel that the more you know about the topic/product, the less you have to hide behind jargon. 

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