- 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

You have clicked the unregister button, are you sure you want to unregister from SimplyBiz?

Reality check for entrepreneurs
By SimplyBiz

header image

So you've started your business, but you're really struggling to come to terms with how difficult it is.

Those sales projections in your business plan are looking increasingly out of touch with the reality of securing orders.

York Zucchi, a Swiss entrepreneur who has built a pan-African business in the primary healthcare sector, offers the following reality checks to budding entrepreneurs: Forget about making a lot of money quickly. The reality is that it is highly unlikely you will. It takes time ... lots of time, lots of hard work, long hours and most probably more tears than you care to shed.

This is the reality, so don’t overdramatise when things are going badly. This is all part of your entrepreneurial adventure. As with any long journey, there are uphills and downhills. Bring perspective to your journey and don’t simply throw in the towel when things aren't going as you intended.

Don't expect to make 'perfect' decisions, which means you shouldn't beat yourself over the head for making mistakes. These are a natural progression of your development as an entrepreneur. Rather make the best decision you can, and roll it with.

Avoid becoming that person with a list of businesses as long as your arm. People tend to not take these jack-of-all-trades very seriously - quality overrides quantity any day of the week. Rather focus on what you're good at, and stick to it.

Realise that people you engage with are equally busy and that you're likely but one meeting/idea on their table. The reality is that you are more than likely not their priority.

Key take-away: When things are not going as you'd expected, the responsibility rests on you to find a way to make things work. Simply sitting back and complaining is not going to solve your problems. Get up, brush yourself off and get on with the business of being an entrepreneur.

What is your take?


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      670 days ago Honeybird started a discussion. 2 0

      that is what i also have in my mind that i should not concentrate on making a lot of money but on getting potential clients.

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 2 0

      If it's going to be, it's up to me! That's reality. 

      But there is an African proverb that we would all be taking note of, goes something like this " if you want to go fast, go alone but if you intend going far, go with a crowd (team)! Cheers

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 2 0

      In a nutshell then to my mind as the owner of a small business the reality checks revolve around the totality of your business. Should not be a negative connotation but even in Boom time! Key aspects to reality evaluation are; 

      cash flow - careful management always critical 

      business operating plan - reference guide to check that that you are on the real path you planned originally for your business (especially areas of sales , marketing, cash management and admin)

      persevere- tough times can offer opportunities to committed entrepreneurs 

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      671 days ago PhindileXaba started a discussion. 3 0

      Just want to share this story of patience from an amazing entrepreneur. 

      I had the pleasure of following the story of an American publication called The Atlantic, which had been hemorrhaging for years.  After 154 years about to fold, its owner Mort Zuckerman finally let go of it, sold  it to a very seasoned entrepreneur David Bradley, for a mere $10 million as far back as in 1999, remember what was happening in 1998? Digital had started to take off, print publications were experiencing serious economic challenges. In its first year, Bradley ran at a loss of $4.5 million (this is in dollars, right?). By the time Bradley relocated The Atlantic's headquarters from Boston to Washington, D.C., in 2005, he had lost so many millions on the venture, with losses soaring as high as $8 million in 2002 alone. He soldiered on. He recruited James Bennet from New York Times in 2006 and Jeffrey Goldberg from New Yorker in 2007, respectively who both brought their corporate expertise into the business, and drove it from a digital first business strategy. And the cherry on top was Justin Smith, who was on the verge of being laid off (retrenched) from a publication The Week, he was an advocate of investing in online products. The long and short of it is that for the first time after 12 years or so, in 2010, the publication made US$1.8million in revenues within four years of implementing the innovative digital strategy.

      The Moral of the Anecdote:






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        MichelaGordon 671 days ago 2 0

        What an amazing story!! Certainly has inspired me this morning...

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          PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

          Michela, I always go back to this story when all chips are down. Sometimes when you know enough about your core business, you need other people's help to accomplish  your dream.  

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Another important reality check is around your time management. As entrepreneurs we delegate badly! ("It's easier just to do it myself"). Delegating is an easy thing to do but very difficult to implement. Need to be aware of the benefits. Delegation does not, however, mean abdication. You still need to maintain checks and balances. It's easy to be busy, reality is that we need to be productively busy (like a bee, not a mosquito). 

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

        True! Points well made. To add to those, I have to say that I prefer self-driven people, and self-starters, these kinds of people are able to take delegated tasks with such ease, otherwise delegating to someone who needs constant supervision is time consuming in itself. I think this places importance at recruiting level. Processes have to be thorough to get the right people. What I have also managed to do because I am really a small outfit, I delegate work through farming it out to other service providers who specialize in expertise I need to support me, and should I have too much on my plate I pass it on to them. Their turn around time is so fast, and they produce good quality work, it makes me look good in turn. Right! 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Reality checks should be scheduled. Very often a business can experience problems during good times! So if things seem to be going well, reality check time. Why going well, can it be improved, is it because of a certain strategy or just being in the in the right place at the right time?

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 2 0

        That is very clever thecashflowguy, Scheduling reminders is IT!. Use technology to set up reminders -  well in this case reality checks. these can be done in many different ways. One of the ways I enjoy is a morning check - in and going home check out. It is amazing what you can achieve in terms of measuring your reality on the basis of your team's input. 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Another reality check may be to segregate clients. I have often said "no deal is better than a bad deal". I have in the past checked whether the 80/20 rule applies in my business...and it does..I.e 20% of clients generate 80% of business. Yet I was using 80% of my time in the clients that generated 20% of business. #rethink


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        MichelaGordon 671 days ago 1 0

        I agree but when business is tough, then you're tempted to want to turn "no deal is better than a bad deal" into "any deal is better than no deal". I've found that sometimes you have to apply the 80/20 principle the "wrong" way with a particular client with the view to getting a bigger piece of business from them that can then be more profitable and less time consuming for your business - a bit like agreeing to do the invitations for a function and then getting the entire event management of their next function, if you're in the event management business... 

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          thecashflowguy 671 days ago 2 0

          It is tempting and I know of businesses that take work st "cost" just to keep doors open. But then is that a bad deal? I think a bad defl is one when you do a deal that costs you without any possibility of a recovering those costs in one way or another 

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

        I support #rethink. I really do. 80/20 rule must work to the benefit of the business. 

        I would rather have 20% solid clients, reliable etc. generating 80% of the business. It will be built on string pillars. 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Talking about cash flow :)

      Another thing that may happen during a reality check is an entrepreneur may be tempted to/or need funding to establish or expand..... be careful of giving away too much equity in your busienss in the quest for cash. Very often it is difficult to buy that equity back from the investor. Try othe roptions first, e.g bartering, loans, preferred terms, extension of creditor payment periods, factoring etc etc

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        thecashflowguy 671 days ago 3 0

        othe roptions ??? ...other options..... aka non-traditional sources - funding from friends, family, fools..

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          PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

          This is a brilliant idea. Try to make a loan the very last source of capital injection. Go through all sorts of alternative funding sources before getting into anything that requires you to pay interest at the very outset, which can be crippling. You know thecashflowguy, in my previous life when I was part of the team that founded the Women's Club, which was a women's economic empowerment project for a publication I once was one of its executive editors. We gave small loans, at very very low interest. We had a bright spark in one a young lady whose business plan was amazing to perfection. She had already taken out a loan with one of the commercial banks to open a restaurant. Six months down the line she was on the verge of folding. We came in to attempt a rescue plan but it was a bit too late to try and correct something that could have been prevented. The young lady did not know nearly enough about the industry and the very small margins in profit. Even if one may have wanted to rescue it one would have taken majority equity, and put too much capital into marketing - the place was not in the right address, the menu was not properly priced etc. She still had to pay back the money with interest. The business died before it took off. 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Reality check#2 - Check your terms with suppliers. Important to maintain/establish good relationships with competent product providers. They may be your key to improving cash flow or surviving cash flow problems

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

        True that! Good relations with suppliers is very important, they will advance you the goods you do your business, work out a COD with your client, pay your supplier, and keep what is due to your business. Voila! You realize that you didn’t have to incur any capital outlay upfront. This reminds of a story of a 20 year old (he was that old when I first met him some three years ago). He made arrangements with a supplier of off-season trendy sneakers, which were very much in season in South Africa, they advanced him the consignment and he had 30 days to pay off. The consignment didn't even have a warehouse, it went straight to his client who ran a retail store, paid COD, he then paid his supplier and he was in business. He now builds skateboarding parks, and continues to do the same with skateboards and skateboarding apparel. 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Back to the staff reality thing.... one of the matters that we as entrepreneurs seem to battle with is the finding of good staff. You are only as good as your support staff, the engine room of the business. As good as you may be at marketing and selling and manufacturing if your admin is not up to speed you will create hassles for yourself of biblical proportions.... reality check #1- get your admin up to speed

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

        Admin is everything. A well rounded skilled administrator, who is trainable to undertsnad the core of your business, is a gift because your business can run optimally even when you are off site. 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      an owner of one of the smaller now succesful succesful companies was evicted from his house due to non-payment of rent, lived in his business premises and used a dishwasher and hosepipe to bathe! 

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        thecashflowguy 671 days ago 2 0

        Just wondering though.... how did he afford a dishwasher.??..., probably part of the business equipment :)

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          PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

          Most probably part of the business equipment. Or may have have moved with his/her belongings because eviction doesn't mean leave your stuff behind. Rights?!? 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Checking out the big boys doing retrenchments may make an entrepreneur a bit nervous but on the upside.... there will be a lot more staff to choose from ??Reality checks need not necessarily from a negative perspective 

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

        Thecashflowguy, agreed, the upside is that one may have a more experienced pool of potential staff to pull from once retrenched. And another way to look at it is that there may be more entrepreneurs contesting to capture the same market you are in.

        These are people who have had the experience in a corporation and may have a sense of being responsible in a work place. Their disposition is that of being self driven, meeting deadlines, working to schedule etc. I often say to young people who want to start businesses - there are two ways you can do this and both ways are not easy - the first is to gain as much expertise in the chosen industry as possible, which means work for somebody else and earn the necessary experience, and identify the gap. Go start you thing. The second way is to just jump into it and learn on the job. None is easy, it requires the same amount of courage, resilience, and perseverance. 

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          MichelaGordon 671 days ago 3 0

          So agree with you PhindileXaba!! I did exactly that - came from a big corporate and joined my current business partner on a 6 month contract nearly 11 years ago, and I've never looked back... He is a great mentor to me which definitely helps, and we have navigated the ups and downs of this business journey together, which has not always been easy but it has been infinitely rewarding!

          So, go for it guys!!  

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          thecashflowguy 671 days ago 3 0

          I was in a discussion yesterday where I mentioned that there seems to be a trend to diss business plans and just go out and start the business. I sincerely believe in the second option[no more analysis paralysis please] BUT with a properly thought out business plan. Doesnt have to be a 50 page document but should address the basics such as marketing and sales strategy, cash flow needs and a basic admin process  

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          thecashflowguy 671 days ago 3 0

          also, maybe we can negotiate better deals from suppliers, better interest rates from financial institutions, maybe companie sare getting of redundant equipment that we can pick up for cheaper than normal?

    • Avatar
      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Reading a book about businesses that started in times of hardship. Walt Disney's first company went bankrupt and Penguun books achieved record sales during world war 2!

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

        Thecashflowguy, please share the title of the book and its author, as it would be helpful to look it up. Having said that, I just need to add that reading stories of other entrepreneurs can be very helpful. Finding their autobiographies, biographies and even watching their documentaries are all part of immersing oneself in knowledge necessary to inspire you when the chips are down. This thing called entrepreneurship requires patience. 

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          thecashflowguy 671 days ago 2 0

          Found it... book title is "How they started in tough times" author is David Lester. I probably bought my copy at Exclusive Books

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          MichelaGordon 671 days ago 2 0

          Yes, please share the name. I find that reading books like that give me a different perspective and inspire me to look at my business challenges more clearly - it really helps sometimes to take a "helicopter view" although it's difficult to take a step back and look into your business as though you were a 3rd party. Any thoughts?

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          thecashflowguy 671 days ago 3 0

          okey dokey, will have to go dig it out ...

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      On the upside, if we accept that "Rome was not built in a day" and we have a viable and sustainable business, committed business owners will realize that they will have less competition as the current reality in RSA seems to be daunting for the non-committed entrepreneur 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 2 0

      I suppose this whole junkstatus thing, interest rate and fuel price increases will force all of us entrepreneurs into a reality check as far as the way we do business is concerned. I mean, we pride ourselves on being flexible, resilient, and able to persevere in the face of all hardships, now we have an extra challenge. 

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        MichelaGordon 671 days ago 3 0

        We also need to be creative in how we do business and treat this as just another challenge in our businesses. There is always another way around a challenge - you just have to think harder and work harder.

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          PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

          You know MichelaGordon, spot on! Innovation is the mother of all solutions, coupled with implementation and follow throughs will go a long way in making a difference in the business. This may mean sleepless nights and all sweat and tears. It is worth it if you are to make it in this hard world of entrepreneurship. 

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      671 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 2 0

      We all have to hustle for business, why does the government want to make it more difficult for entrepreneurs?

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 3 0

        Agreed thecashflowguy. I hear you from a national point of view, I think everything is really perplexing. The political environment and economic climate are not favourable to SMMEs, and there don't seem to be supportive public policy to small entreprises. I believe that we need people who understand entrepreneurship  to be at the helm, as you say it doesn't help to have a minister who only has something to say when there is a crisis, and hadn't initiated much of anything to support the SMMEs. I do have to say that Gauteng as a province, especially the office of MEC for Economic Development Lebogang Maile, has not only pushed the conversation forward on then role small businesses have in the economy. He engaged SMMEs in a public discourse that is slowly bearing fruits -  township economy is becoming not only a conversation point, but a reality and it is gaining traction. All of this to ensure that we can have inclusive economic roles, and that we do not have to move out of our spaces when there is potential for running our businesses where we are. There are  economic hubs in most townships. There is a Gauteng Economic Propellor, which helps SMMEs with connecting them with providing some financial or non-financial support, with cheaper office spaces, or no cost office spaces, internet resource centres etc.   Here is what I think they need, good PR!

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          thecashflowguy 671 days ago 0 0


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          MichelaGordon 671 days ago 2 0

          Absolutely they need good PR, because I think this is a fantastic initiative and had never heard of it until now, PhindileXaba!! Thanks for sharing that :)

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        PhindileXaba 671 days ago 2 0

        What do you mean by this thecashflowguy? 

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          thecashflowguy 671 days ago 2 0

          apart from all the red tape, small business has to comply with in order to be "clear" , certain politicians do things that make the rest of the world doubt RSA Inc. This leads to downgrading of the country, leads to ncertainty and probable interest rate hikes, increase in fuel price, retrenchments etc etc.

          We have a Small Business Minister (I think) but I dont seem to hear of or notice much change of attitude to entrpreneurs. Maybe I am missing something?

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