- 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.

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Copy cat competitors, threat or flattery
By SimplyBiz

header image

If you’re the philosophical type it’s easier to accept the proverb: Imitation is the sincerest from of flattery. As a small business owner, however, it is more difficult to accept this line of reasoning when this ‘flattery’ has the potential to disrupt your business.

There are a many examples of business ideas or concepts being copied by newcomers that enter the market, and have done so successfully.

This is especially true of businesses in the online sector where the cost of starting a rival business is comparatively low.

So what to do?

Do you run to the courts, which is expensive without any guarantee you’ll win?

Do you run for the hills and give up the fight?

Or do you use this as an opportunity to take your business to the next level?

Here are three ways in which you can retain your edge over the competition. After all, you developed the idea originally and have a wealth of market insights and experience you should use to your advantage:

Reinvigorate and refocus You can stay a step or two ahead of your imitators by innovating the products or services you already offer. Apart from demonstrating that your business is the go-to source for your particular product or service, your competitors’ attention will be on keeping up rather than building their market share.

Learn from your copycats As easily as your competitors have learnt lessons from your business success, you now have the opportunity to analyse their model and approach to see how you can improve your offering. Do so while innovating around those lessons and improvements you can make to your business.

Leverage the trust in your brand Probably the biggest advantage you have over copycat competitors is the position you’ve built up in the market and the trust showed in you and your brand. Don’t underestimated the value of the reputation and brand equity you have built up in the market - this is something your competitors cannot copy.

Key take-away: Rather than despairing if someone copies your products or business model, use this opportunity to reinvigorate and innovate.

What is your take?


    • Avatar
      672 days ago PhindileXaba started a discussion. 1 0

      My contribution is this - be savvy about how you guard your IP, be on the right side of the law., so as to have recourse should that be necessary.

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      672 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      well, gotta go...

      seems to me that the rules of engagement when it comes to copy cat competition is;

      Dont underestimate a copy cat but avoid legal intervention unless prevention is imperative

      Note the copy cat and improve your own offering

      Keep customers close with good service and appreciation of loyalty

      Do not get tempted to enter into a price war


      Good luck 


    • Avatar
      672 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 2 0


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      672 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 2 0

      3 steps to deal with a cpy cat politely -no lawyers allowed-

      1.Email to - " Dear Copy Cat, it has come to my notice that you have made unauthorised use of my intellectual property. Kindly stop doing so, if you want to continue using my IP we can talk about licensing/royalties". If no response from offender- "move on" 

      2. Identify the area(s) being copied. Strengthen/innovate your own offering in that area(s) as a target strategy.

      3.  market, market, market your unique selling proposition

    • Avatar
      672 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 4 0

      It seems then that the legal route of preventing a competitor from copying is just not worth it...unless of course.... it is a blatant copy of all your IP, branding and marketing strategy. Social Media has the side-effect of empowering others from all over the world to "steal" your ideas. You just cant sue a company in say Mexico, for using your ideas! Live with it "imitation is the sincerest from of flattery"  and dont waste energy in being negative. To be honest we probably all, in one way or the other, "copy" someone.  

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      672 days ago PhindileXaba started a discussion. 3 0

      One of the things I found worked for me is to keep my business plan as a compass, however be prepared to keep the strategy flexible and nimble enough to consistently review milestone markings. These should not be cast in stone, they should allow mobility within your business. Keep your cients updated, directly! This provides dynamism and becomes a challenge to keep up with. So, copy cats will have an exhausting pursuit.  

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        thecashflowguy 672 days ago 3 0

        There seesm to be a trend to "flying by the seat of your pants"  rather than having a business plan..... seriously, I think you need 2 business plans.... one as a practical day to day guide/compass to check yourse business progress or lack thereof as suggested by Phindi. The other is a plan that is more sophisticated and projects to the future.... start with the vision of where you intend to end..... no copy cat will overtake you

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      672 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      I have seen it and made the mistake myself by engaging in a race to the bottom on price. Whoever sells it for the lowest price wins, right? Wrong.

      Competing on price is a tempting option to win over a price sensitive customer. But it can quickly erode your profits, devalue your service/product and set the expectation about price that isn’t easily reversed at best, and can shut you down at worst.

      • Avatar
        thecashflowguy 672 days ago 2 0

        very often we tend to do the price war thing out of desperation or out of a lack of awareness of your value. Looking at yourself and your offering from your customers point of view can encourage self belief. 

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      672 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      ther eis of course one very important concept that no one can copy, try as much as they can...... that is YOU.... use that uniqueness to best advantage!!

    • Avatar
      672 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 2 0

      Confession time.... if you dont have a good administration system, find one to copy :)

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 3 0

        Wena! Look often times we use other people's inventions when it comes administration system. 

        • Avatar
          thecashflowguy 672 days ago 2 0

          nkosi kakulu :)

          not only me

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

      Every day one should be a teacher and a learner.... so I try to learn from others, their good points as well as their bad points [obviously avoiding the possobility of following the bad points]. I also get into trouble sometimes when I  offer "unsolicited advice" to business owners who are making blatant mistakes, they say "we want to be unique" well...unique is good but dont forget the basics of business "you are in business to make money from providing solutions to customer needs" 

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        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 3 0

        Thank you thecashflowguy Keep the unsolicited advice lest you hand over your IP to your competitor. On a silver platter at that. 

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

      Some clever man somewhere once said " all things being equal people will buy from a friend, all things being unequal, people will still buy from a friend" but don ttake them for granted.... make sure they have a "Disney experience" when dealing with you and the competition will get no traction in your space!


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        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 2 0

        I like, I like -  true that we sometimes become too comfortable and forget that loyalty can be lost in seconds if someone, unknown to the market offers a better service. 

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

      Big lesson, dont underestimate a copy cat! I really like the saying "Pioneers get arrows in their back" as long as the pioneer is aware of this fact he can always be prepared to take evasive action!

      Very important startegy when dealing with copy cats is to ensure your customers are loyal!  

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        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 2 0

        Yes, but  we often make a mistake that loyalty is all we need, and not innovate to keep the customer locked in, I believe that loyalty should be accompanied by excellent customer service and value adds. 

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      672 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 2 0

       Agree with Phindi-- price wars dont work...there can only be one "cheapest". I see so many entrpreneurs putting too much on the table when it comes to pricing. There will always be cleitns who look for cheapest rathe rthan concentrating on value. e.g I would rather aim for a t-shirt that costs R100 and lasts 100 washes than buy a t-shirt for R20 that lasts 2 washes

    • Avatar
      672 days ago PhindileXaba started a discussion. 3 0

      I quite liked reading this article on Forbes, in it Paul B. Brown, also writer of best seller Customers for Life, gives very simple solutions, that can be helpful for a small/medium sized entrepreneur.


      • Avatar
        thecashflowguy 672 days ago 3 0

        I like the Forbes articles, they are easy to read, practical and eay to follow :)

        • Avatar
          PhindileXaba 672 days ago 2 0

          I love a couple of publications with easy flow reads -  Financial Times(FT) my all time favourite, of course Forbes, Harvard Review, and Fast Company. Amazing literature for any entrepreneur feeling isolated -  here you will find very encouraging anecdotes that are very invigorating. Also if you join in their conversations you do walk away with a great deal of value. 

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

      Eish, I better slow down with the typing, with all these spelling errors, no-one, but no-one is going to copy me :

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 3 0

        We get you thecashflowguys. 

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

      If you are being copied, it implies you are ahead, so we need to stay ahead. That requires lots of  being "out there", reading, research etc. A copy cat competitor is sometimes just the motivation we need to get out of  our comfort zone! 

      One thing I am concerend about is copy cat pricing.... for exsmple you cant sell a burger for the same price that Steers sells a burger.... cost of goods, overheads, breakevens are all different. This is one area where copying is doen at your peril!

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 3 0

        True that. In terms of pricing, my preference is to offer the consumer absolute good value for money, rather than compete with pricing. 

        The reason any customer goes to Steers is because they have distinct secret in their sauce where their ribs are concerned and just no one can compete with them in that area. Nando's has amazing grilled chicken, they are a bit pricey compared to others in the chicken business, but do we see their queues dwindling?

        So, you do ahve to distiguish yourself in relation to your price.


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      672 days ago thecashflowguy started a discussion. 3 0

      Mooi, @tastychef!! As entrepreneurs we are most qualified to provide solutions!  If we do research in our quest to improve dont we ALL copy others idea's and adapt them to our own circumstances? Provided you are not doing it illegally I dont see why we should also not be copy cats and perhaps use the innovation ina nother industry and apply it to our own  #justsaying


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        TheTastyChef 672 days ago 2 0

        I hear what you are saying, and I do agree that a smart businessman will do just that!  I think anyone awake enough to recognise a great idea and adapt it to their particular business, then I see nothing wrong with that - in fact I think it shows ingenuity!  

    • Avatar
      672 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      When you’re building your brand you’re intently focused on the needs of your clients and customers.

      You do everything for them – to improve their lives, solve their problems and relieve their pain points. Once success hits and the biters start biting, many people turn their attention to the copycats, becoming obsessed and paranoid in the process.

      Don’t do that.

      Stay close to your audience, fans, clients and customers. Make a commitment to understanding their needs and constantly innovating and forcing the copycats to try and keep up.

    • Avatar
      672 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      Raise the bar for yourself, push your limits and set new challenges.

      It can be frustrating to invest time, money and sweat into something just to turn around and find your competitors feasting on it. But, you can’t let the coattail-riders slow you down or stall your progress. You must keep hustling.

      Whoever makes the first version of something is less important than the person who makes the best version, so stay focused on creating great content, products and serving your customers well.

      In the end, that’s what will keep you on top.

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 2 0

        Yep! Love what you are saying there -  who ever makes the  version may not necessarily enjoy the fruits of their sweat. Remember IBM became well known for computers since the days of William Oughtred in 1622 who first invented the abacus, can we even remember  the British mathematician Charles Babbage who between 1833 and 1871 gave the world the first resemblance of what is as close to a computer as possible. IBM reigned for a while. Didn't the disruptors such as Bill Gates arrive with his Microsoft and Steve Jobs with Apple. They all came up with USP. So, who and what is really original? 

    • Avatar
      672 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  When the copycats come out, you know you’re doing something right.

      People who copy your approach to marketing or branding or who offer imitations of your product or service are paying you a compliment. Understand that they are a fan of what you do and take comfort in the tribute they are paying to you by copying your work.

      What about this approach - relax and say thank you.

      Accept the compliment (by calling them out publicly) and get back to work!

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 3 0

        Of course, you must be doing something right. Relaxing is not option though, this is when you want to put your foot on the accelerator! All those plans you had paced out over a longer period strategy may ahve to be brought forward. 

        A compliment is in order, publicly so and yes get back to work. 

        What you may not want to do is posting your trade secrets online but watch what they are doing, monitor it while you work quietly and simply surprising them with a new innovation. 

        • Avatar
          TheTastyChef 672 days ago 2 0

          Sure, I agree that relaxing is not an option...what I meant by that is not to freak out about it and lose focus.

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

      I see it as a motivation to keep improving1



      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 672 days ago 3 0

        There is no sleeping on the job when you are an entrepreneur. 

    • Avatar
      672 days ago PhindileXaba started a discussion. 3 0


      COPY CATS are a permanent feature in business, but do not run for cover or close shop yet. However, know this, guarding against copycat competitors could be very taxing. Three things you can do very successfully:


      PROTECT YOUR IP -  Trademark, Copyright it, Patent it -  anything that will stand you in good stead legally.

      ALWAYS PLAY AHEAD OF THEM -  watch them and further innovate new features , staying ahead of them. This, I promise, can run them down and they would be watching what next step you are taking, to keep up with can prove to be exhausting.

      DO NOT DROP THE BALL -  It is called ENTREPRENEURIAL PARANOIA -  I would rather have that than rest on my laurels and allow them to feast on my hard work.  GAME ON!


      The reality is that while innovating businesses are potentially profitable, copycat businesses are on their tracks and yes they too can be profitable at our expense. Note that they have watched you put in sweat and execute yours successfully. So, copycats are an inevitable in business. You ought to brace yourself - be ready to be fluid and very nimble with your strategy.


      My take is very simple - copycat business, will always be there and the positive thing is that they keep one on one’s toes, one cannot afford to rest on one’s laurels and of course it propels your business to flourish rapidly than it would have been had you had all the luxury of being relaxed. This disruptor is a necessary detour, to help you sharpen your ideas and come back stronger.


      REMEMBER: Because you may be a pioneer, this gives you leverage over the start-ups, because you have already captured the market, which means that you command strong loyalty and this could make life difficult for copycats.

      However, however, if you rested on captured market glory such as Blackberry and Nokia did you will be surpassed by innovative, re-inventions such as Samsung and iPhones and almost be driven to extinction. Well, you will think, why is she mentioning established brands, the same principles apply across the board no matter the size of your enterprise.


      • Avatar
        thecashflowguy 672 days ago 3 0

        Great points, protecting IP has certain requirements of course, But we tend to give up before we start! Provisional  protection via patent application is available quite cheaply. I like the "stay ahead " option if your offering is not "protectable"


        • Avatar
          PhindileXaba 672 days ago 2 0

          Yeah! thecashflowguy, it is true that some offerings are copy cats of copy cats, and therefore may not be copy cat proofable! Staying ahead of the lot means keeping your eyes on the ball, in fact not even on the ball, where the ball is going before it even lands. 



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