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Starting an Online Shop has never been easier in SA

Online shopping is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, including South Africa. Here’s exactly why and how you should set up an online shop to grow your business in 2017.

Starting an Online Shop has never been easier in SA

It all started 23 years ago with one Sting CD.

A man named Phil bought an album from NetMarket in Philadelphia on the 11th of August 1994, marking which seems like the first online purchase in human history.

The New York Times had the perfect headline, “Attention Shoppers: Internet Is Open”. Almost two decades later and ecommerce business is booming.

By the end of this year, consumers worldwide will spend about $1.9 trillion on online purchases, according to eMarketer.com.

Online Shopping is the Future

The obstacles that stopped multiple online shopping sprees from following that one momentous album sale are problems of yesteryear today.

Almost half of the world’s Internet users will be making online purchases by 2018, says Statista.

More people have access to the internet; internet costs are dropping; reputable brands have online stores; payment are easier and more secure; and online shops can often provide better prices, instant customer reviews and free delivery to your doorstep.

As a result, Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing industries in the world according to Ready Cloud, a company that specialises in e-commerce software.

South Africa’s rapidly growing Ecommerce Industry

In South Africa the current number of online shoppers is not nearly as impressive as the rapid growth rates.

South Africa’s online spending is expected to increase by a whopping 43% by 2018, according to Ipsos’s 3rd annual study on global ecommerce figures (a study commissioned by PayPal). That amounts to a grand total of R53 billion.

“The growth rate in South Africa is still exceptionally high, coming off a very low base”, explains Arthur Goldstuck, the managing director of the World Wide Worx (a research company focused on South African business tech).

“This indicates that there is tremendous potential in this market for new business models and even underexposed product categories,” he reveals in his interview with Moneyweb.

How to make the most of Ecommerce Opportunities in SA

South African entrepreneurs need to up their game in order to meet the level of ecommerce innovation in established Western markets, says Goldstuck.

Company Partner’s Branding expert, Daniel Coetzee, agrees.

“A lack of knowledge, hampers the level of ecommerce in SA,” Coetzee says.

Coetzee is part of a team of experts at Company Partners who assist Start-Ups with legal documentation and business growth.

“Most people have heard of the concept. They’ve heard of the possibility of turning their website into an online store, but they stay away due to lack of know-how.”

How to get started with your Online Shop

Consequently Coetzee recently launched a turnkey ecommerce service at Company Partners to assist struggling SA entrepreneurs with entering the ecommerce market.

“We offer the foundation and education to empower you to start selling your goods online,” says Coetzee.

This cost-effective service includes a website and an online shop setup, 3 hours of support and a series of online video tutorials.

“The opportunities of selling online are limited to yourself.” With an online shop you can cater to clients outside your usual sphere of influence.

“The best part is, it’s a 24 /7 trading platform. Allowing you to generate more revenue in a day without having to keep those extended office hours.”

To learn more about this ecommerce service, simply just click HERE. A whole new generations of shoppers are waiting for you.

3 Simple Steps to Apply for Funding Opportunities in SA

Finding funding for your business and getting all the qualifying documents to apply for one of over 300 funding opportunities can be a very difficult and exhausting task. That’s why we’ve boiled it down to 3 easy steps and tons of help along the way.

business funding, funding, how to get funding

Let me guess, you’ve got a great business, but no funding to apply for Tenders and to grow your business into the success you know it could be?

You have no clue where to start looking for funders or loaner who could be interested in backing a business like yours and you have no idea what legal documentation you need to apply to them.

Don’t worry. You’re not the only one. According to statistic, South African entrepreneurs experience funding, red tape and company documentation as the most difficult challenges in growing their businesses.

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) conducted a study in 2015 that of over 800 small to medium businesses found that growth finance and government-generated red tape was two out of the 5 most challenging obstacles mentioned.

The other three obstacles were B-BBEE codes, labour laws and and tax laws.

Another study shows that multiple businesses may still be struggling as self-funded enterprises, just because alternative funding can’t be found.

“The majority of small business owners are self funded, with 63% reporting using personal savings while 20% found investment or a loan from a family member, partner or friend and only 6% turned to business angels or venture capitalists,” reads the World Wide Worx’s study on South Africa’s small businesses.

“It is possible that this is not by choice – 27% of small business owners cited access to funding as the biggest challenge to starting their business.”

Even if you are aware of funding or loan opportunities, it can be really frustrating working through hundreds of opportunities, knowing full well you might be disqualified from half of them, not knowing exactly what they’re looking for.

That’s exactly why we’ve crafted a 3-step plan to guide you through the process of finding the perfect funding opportunities and acing your funding application.

Step 1: Get your basic Company Documentation in order with one call

At the very least, you’ll need a company registration document; a business plan that includes your marketing, sales and financials; and a Tax Clearance Certificate to qualify for financial support.

Simply call our toll FREE number (from landlines) 0800 007 269 for your FREE consultation. Our team of experts can assists you with getting your Company Documentation in order in record time.

Step 2: Sign up and fill out this form in 15 minutes

To address the need for an easy way to search for appropriate funding, Company Partners has teamed up with FinFind, a FREE app that searches databases of funders and loaners for financial support that fits your business. It also informs you of any documentation you still need to qualify for these opportunities.

Simply fill out the FinFind form (it takes about 15 minutes) by clicking HERE to find out what opportunities suit your business and / or what documentation you still need to apply to them.

If you still need documentation, simply refer back to step one and call our experts to sort you out in no time with your outstanding Company documentation.

Step 3: Apply for your personalised list of funding or loan opportunities

After you’ve made sure you’ve all the documents you need to qualify, FinFind searches over 300 funding opportunities to find the best fit for your business.

You’ll receive a list of personalised opportunities with the highest chance of success for your application.

Now it’s up to you to make the most of your nifty list. Apply to all of these opportunities, submitting all your required documents. Keep in mind these applications often take months to be processed by some funders or lenders.

If all goes well, you’ll be on a one way road to getting all the resources you need to grow your business into the Company of your dreams.

Contact Company Partners today if you’d like to set your Business up for success on the following toll-FREE (from landlines), number: 0800 007 269.

A step-by-step guide to getting a Letter of Good Standing (so you can win those Tenders!)

workman’s compensation fund

Do you need a Letter of Good Standing to apply for the thousands Tenders out there? Here’s everything you need to know: what it is, why you need it for Tenders and how to get it in three, simple steps.

A Letter of Good Standing is essentially an official document that proves the Workman’s Compensation Fund (COID) will assist you in paying for any work-related injuries or harm to your employees, because your payments to the fund are up to date.

Why is a Letter of Good Standing required when applying for most Contracts and Tenders?

A Letter of Good Standing is basically a form of security to most clients as they want to make sure they’re not responsible for picking up the medical bill or life cover for anyone hired to work on their premises, in the case of work-related accidents or illnesses.

If you don’t have a Letter of Good Standing, your business probably owes the Workman’s Compensation fund money and more importantly, it means your employees aren’t covered by COID and your clients are not safeguarded in the case of a work-related accident on their property.

What precisely is the Workman’s Compensation Fund (COID) and why do you need to pay them?

Almost every employer (with a few exceptions that you can see by clicking HERE is required by law to register with the Workman’s Compensation Fund (COID).

This government fund helps employers pay medical bills or compensation, in the case of death, related to an injury on the job to any employee. However, there’s a yearly fee connected to this fund.

To find out more about the COID and why it will benefit your business, click HERE to read our article, What is Workman’s Compensation (COID) and why do you need it?

A Letter of Good Standing proves that you are in good standing with COID, with no outstanding yearly payments.

Without registering with COID or without paying your yearly fees, you’re not eligible for a Letter of Good Standing.

Here’s exactly how the process works in three steps:

STEP 1: Register your Company with COID

The first step in getting your Letter of Good Standing is registering your business with COID. During the process, you will have to pay a registration fee.

You can either register directly with the Labour Department or use our COID service, where our team of Experts will complete the process for you.

Our COID process only takes 25 days whereas working directly through the Labour Department can take up to 3 months or more. Plus we’ll send you all the forms and the updates straight to your email inbox.

Documents you’ll need:

  • Valid South African ID
  • Your Company’s Registration Document
  • COID Registration Form
  • Power of Attorney (this is only necessary when using our COID service, to legally permit us to complete the application on your behalf)
  • Proof of Payment for your registration fees

STEP 2: Submit your employee expenses

In this step you have to submit your Company’s total estimated wage and salary expenses for the year (according to financial years) in order for the Compensation Fund to calculate the amount payable to them.

They work out your fee as a percentage of your yearly total wage and salary expenses. This means you have to submit your wage and salary expenses (in a Return of Earnings document) every year.

The deadline for submitting your Return of Earnings and getting your new or renewed Letter of Good Standing is 30 April.

For first-time registrations, the submission document is included in the COID Registration form, as submitted in step 1.

Renewals, however, require a document called the Return of Earnings.

Once again, you can either work directly through the Department of Labour or you can use our streamlined service, avoiding long queues and confusing admin altogether.

SPECIAL FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL ONLY
Letter of Good standing (new or renewal) from COID at only R490 (SAVE R300).

Documents you’ll need:

  • A Return of Earnings Form (only for renewals)

Step 3: Pay your yearly / monthly fee to COID

In about 3 working days after your Return of Earning document submission, the Department of Labour will send you a Notice of Assessment (NOA) stating the amount payable to COID.

After you’ve paid that amount, you’ll receive a Letter of Good Standing proving your employees are covered for a year.

If you can’t pay the yearly cost in one go, you have a monthly payment option. However, you will still need to put down a 30% deposit.

Unfortunately, this option also means you’re Letter of Good Standing will only be valid from month to month, upon payment.

Whenever you neglect to pay your account or forget to renew your Letter of Good Standing by the end of April, the Compensation Fund will not cover your employees in that time.

Documents you’ll need:

  • Notice of Assessment (sent to you by the Department of Labour)
  • Proof of Payment for your yearly fees

Contact Company Partners today if you’d like to set your Business up for success on the following toll-FREE (from landlines), number: 0800 007 269.

How to create a Professional Company for under R3 000.00 in only two weeks

Company Partners

So, you want to be your own boss, but you don’t know where to start? Here’s how you can set up your very own professional Company in three easy steps in under two weeks. No queues. No drama. Your future starts today.

Whether you want to grow your side hustle into your main source of income or whether you want to turn a great idea into an actual Company, setting up a professional Company for success is much easier than you think.

Thanks to Company Partners, a company that specialises in delivering Company Documentation and Start-up Services within record time, you can register your Company; develop a brand new logo and get a professional website within the next two weeks for only R2 970.00.

All you need is access to the internet, so you can submit the necessary documents via their sophisticated online system, and the determination to do what it takes to grow your Start-up into something spectacular after receiving your registration, logo and your brand new website from Company Partners.

Here’s exactly what you need to do to set up your business:

STEP 1: Get your Company registered (R990.00)

Do you have clear idea of what your product or service is; can you think of 3 to 5 Company names for your business; do you have an ID and a South African home address? Well then that’s all you need for the first step.

Simply sign up for a new Company Registration by clicking right HERE and Company Partners will let you know exactly what you need to submit via their online system in order for them to register your Company at the CIPC.

Then allow about 8 working days for your documentation to be processes and voila, you’ve got yourself a professional, registered Company.

Registering your Company allows you to apply for more Tenders and Contracts; it enables you to get an official business bank account and it minimises risk, because a registered PTY Company is considered a separate entity to an individual. This means there’s a smaller chance of you losing your personal belongings, if your business ever goes bankrupt.

It’s also a necessity to have a registered Company if you’d like to register for a BEE CertificateTAX Clearance or a Letter of Good Standing.

Company Partners’ limited special: get a Shareholder Agreement for only R1890.00 (SAVE R1000) from 15 – 31 March 2017 only! Call our Toll-FREE (from landlines) number, 0800 007 269, today to get your Shareholder Agreement special or click HERE to learn more.

STEP TWO: Get your own Company Logo (R990.00)

In order for you to function like a professional business, you need to look like one. Having a logo is the first step in differentiating your Company from all the other businesses out there.

You can develop a unique logo that’ll represent your Company to the world within a week. Company Partners’ logo service allows Start-ups to work with a professional designer at an affordable cost.

Just click HERE to order a logo today and HERE to see some of the logos Company Partners has designed for their clients.

STEP THREE: Get a Professional Website (R990.00)

Nothing conveys how serious you are about your business like a high quality website.

You can send all your potential clients to your website, where they can learn more about your products or services, your pricing and your contact information directly from their smartphones.

Just click HERE to order a website today for only R 990.00.

You can also check out previous examples of websites created by Company Partners by clicking right HERE.

Keep in mind you’ll have a monthly hosting cost of R75.00, but you’ll have your own website address, website design and up to 10 professional email accounts if needs be.

You can even add an online shop, so your clients can order products directly from your website, at an small additional charge.

Contact Company Partners today if you’d like to set your Business up for success on the following toll-FREE (from landlines), number: 0800 007 269.

What is Workman’s Compensation (COID) and why do you need it?

For the sake of unexpected events not costing you your business, we’re giving you all the important info on Workman’s Compensation and why SA Law requires you to protect yourself and your employees.

Leg and yellow helmet of injured lying worker at work.

Imagine this: you’ve employed your first employee. A later, your employee walks up the staircase leading to his office, eyes fixed into his cellphone screen, he trips and ends up with a serious spine injury.

As the injury occurred when your employer was on duty, you’ll probably have to pick up the medical bill, despite it being a little under R100 000.

You probably can’t dish out that kind of money and your employee needs to have the medical attention he deserves, which is exactly why the Department of Labour created Workman’s Compensation.

How does Workman’s Compensation work?

Workman’s Compensation is a type of insurance, instituted by the The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act. It protects employers from dooming civil claims and enables both casual and full-time employees to claim compensation directly from the Fund for work-related injuries and disability.

It even enables the dependents of an employee to claim compensation in the case of a work-related death.

You pay a yearly fee, determined as a percentage of the amount your business spends on salaries, and in turn the fund will help cover all your employees’ medical bills or compensation in the case of death.

However you need to register first. It can take up to months if you sign up via the Labour Department. That’s why using a service provider like Company Partners, is a great idea. Company Partners will assist you in getting registered in under three weeks.

More reasons to sign up for Workman’s Compensation:

  1. It’s the law. The Labour Department requires any employer with one or more employees to register for Workman’s Compensation.
  2. It can save you from bankruptcy. Large, unexpected medical bills can easily sink a small business, as hospital fees or ongoing medical expenses may amount to thousands per year.
  3. It helps with Tender applications. Tender applications usually require a Letter of Good Standing. As the law requires employers to register for Workman’s Compensation, you can only get a Letter of Good standing, if your Workman’s Compensation payments are up to date.

Important info to keep in mind

  • Outdated payments mean no coverage. It’s your responsibility to reregister your company and pay your annual Workman’s Compensation assessment fee. If you don’t the Fund won’t protect you or cover you employees. Company Partners reminds their clients when annual payments are due.
  • You might need more than one registration. Different branches within one company usually require different Workman’s Compensation registrations.
  • There are exceptions. The Compensation Fund won’t cover the following employees, according to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act:
  • workers totally or partially disabled for less than 3 days;
  • domestic workers;
  • anyone receiving military training;
  • members of the South African National Defense Force, or the South African Police Service;
  • any worker guilty of willful misconduct, unless they are seriously disabled or killed;
  • anyone employed outside the RSA for 12 or more continuous months;
  • workers working mainly outside the RSA and only temporarily employed in the RSA

If you’d like to get your Workman’s Compensation registration in order in record time, click right HERE

You can also opt for the COID Package, which includes a Letter of Good standing, by clicking HERE

You can check out the Labour Department’s basic guide to the Act, by clicking HERE

6 Free Services to Grow your Business in one month

Let’s be honest, being an entrepreneur is tough. You need to drive every aspect of your business singlehandedly, like an expert – without having years of experience; truckloads of cash; or prestigious business qualifications. That’s exactly why Company Partners teamed up with South Africa’s leading Brands, in Business Growth, to give you some well-deserved support for FREE.

3d human characters making graph of growth, isolated on white

If you sign up for any ‘Registration’ or ‘Empowerment’ Service at Company Partners, you’ll receive a month’s access to 6 helpful Business ‘Growth’ Services, at no additional cost.

This means, while you’re getting your company’s documentation via Company Partners, you’ll also have access to 6 different Specialist Services for an entire month.

 

How to get FREE access to all these services?

Just take your pick from Company Partner’s wide variety of Registration and Empowerment Services, designed to assist you with ALL your business’s legal documentation.

These services all differ in pricing and each of them are tailor-made for everything from Tender Compliance to specific industries. You can check out a full list of offered services by clicking HERE.

 

The low-down on free services and how they can boost your business within a month

 

1. MiOffice’s Landline and Reception Service

Thanks to MiOffice you’ll get your very own landline and receptionist (for incoming calls) for free. You don’t even need an office.

MiOffice assigns a remote receptionist to an area-based telephone number of your choice. Your assigned receptionist will answer and redirect all calls to you. If you’re not available, your receptionist will SMS the caller’s details to you, at no extra cost.

If you can’t live without your new receptionist after your free one-month access, you can continue the service for R 450.00 per month.

Click HERE for more info.

 

2. TradeWorld’s – Business Opportunities Alert

Tenders mean big business, but very few entrepreneurs have the time, resources or money to search through hundreds of newspapers, websites and bulletins to find the right Tenders to apply for.

TradeWorld’s Leads and Tender Notification service will help you find the perfect Tenders, by mailing you on a daily basis of any tender relevant to your business profile and geographical region.

This service also includes unlimited access to tradeworld.sap.com and access to RFQs, which are below formal Tender value. Additionally, you’ll receive weekly Tender How2Tender hints and tips to ace those often complicated and confusing Tender applications.

After your FREE month has expired, you can sign up for as little as R365 (excl vat) per month, that’s an investment in your business of R16.00 a day.

Click HERE for more info.

 

3. Finance Connect via FinFindEasy (a SEDA partner)

Getting the right Loan, Grant or Investor to support your business is definitely one of the most challenging tasks as an entrepreneur. FinFindEasy, in association with Company Partners, will provide you with expert financing options.

You’ll receive access to FinFindEasy’s finance filtering system; a system, which allows you to find relevant financing options from the 300 options out there, based on your company’s location and its setup.

You’ll also have access to Finance Specialists, who will assist you with mapping out your Company’s best options.

Click HERE for more info.

 

4. Invoicing, Payroll and Accounting via Sage

Sales. Suppliers. Invoices. Inventory. Payroll… Things can get pretty complicated in terms of finances when you run your own business.

Which is why Company Partners offers you Sage One, user-friendly and online accounting software, perfect for the entrepreneur.

Using this software, you can instantly create invoices; track your finances and give your accountant access to all this data from one central point. Plus, you and your accountants can access it from almost any device with an Internet Connection.

With Sage One you can track sales, inventory, suppliers and purchases per client. Plus you’ll stay ahead of your payroll and all your due payments.

If you love this nifty software too much to let it go after your month’s complimentary access, you can sign up for R185 per month.

You’ll also have access to Company Partner’s accounting expert, readily available for consultation on monthly accounting services.

Click HERE for more info.

 

5. RaizCorp’s Business Growth Programs

Knowledge is power in the game of Entrepreneurship. Soak up valuable entrepreneurial know-how by using your FREE access to RaizCorp Business Growth programs.

RaizCorp coaches operational entrepreneurs by disclosing advice, motivation and business insights to help you take your business to the next level.

The best part is, you don’t have to pay up after one month. As a client of Company Partners, they sponsor almost all the programs you’d like to attend.

For very specific programs there may be an administration fee of R350, but more often than not these programs won’t cost you a thing.

Click HERE for more info.

 

6. Yellow Page’s online Business Directory

Register your business and its services or products for free on Yellow Pages’s online business directory when using Company Partners for company registration or other documentation services.

Registering on Online Yellow Pages might even help your company feature on the first pages of Google (locally) when potential clients search for your company.

Marketing Consultants from Online Yellow Pages will contact you after your free month has expired to advise you on your company’s marketing needs. Thereafter you can choose a package that suits you, if you’d like to continue this service.

Click HERE for more info.

 

What are you waiting for?

Contact us to place your order – and don’t forget to mention which FREE Services you want included in your package.

Email our support desk at support@companypartners.co.za or call our Toll Free number (from landlines) during business hours, at 0800 007 269, for free consultation. Terms and Conditions apply.

A training platform for entrepreneurs

The one thing that nobody can take away from you is knowledge and as we all know, knowledge is power. In South Africa, not everybody has access to the funds needed to pay for further education and training. In the past, this had to effect that a lot of great ideas and potential entrepreneurs did not see the light.

Training

 

Luckily, there are a few organizations in South Arica that provides free training to entrepreneurs. This is done to ensure that these entrepreneurs are equipped with the essential skills to successfully start and run their own businesses.

One of these organizations is The Seed Academy. The Seed Academy provides practical training for entrepreneurs. The best thing about this Academy, is that the training is provided by real entrepreneurs. This enables the Academy to provide the best possible training by having real life experience in entrepreneurship.

They are aimed at providing assistance and training to entrepreneurs from the very start. They take the trainee entrepreneurs through all the steps, from finding the idea right through to the realization of the idea. Everything that needs to happen in between these two milestones is covered.

The Academy has recently announced that they are in possession of R2,4 million of sponsored training that they will be making available to entrepreneurs. This will mean that a number of potential entrepreneurs will have the chance to better their skills and that they will be able to open and run a business successfully.

At the moment, the Seed Academy offers four courses for entrepreneurs. These courses include basic training, marketing and financial training, as well as a course that is aimed at educating the trainees on the key aspects of building a successful business. The only downfall to this training is that it is only presented in Johannesburg and in Cape Town.

These courses are all structured in such a way that it incorporates personal and leadership development. Developing these elements into the courses will give the entrepreneurs a solid foundation to build their new business on.

The course also includes practical sessions where the entrepreneurs will be actively involved. The Academy determined that when they make use of practical lessons, what the entrepreneurs learn more from the experience in relation to only reading all the information. These practical sessions are presented once a week over the span of 10 weeks from 18:00 till 21:00.

The Seed Academy has also made it easy to apply for admission. You can log onto their website and go to the ‘Apply Now’ link, where you will be asked to complete a short form with your details. All you then need to do is to submit your application.

The best thing about these courses is that you do not need a certain qualification or achievement behind your name in order to enroll for these courses. All that you need is a brilliant idea and an entrepreneurial spirit. When you have these two, and completed the training, nothing will be able to stop you.

If you would like to get into contact with the Seed Academy, you can do so by logging onto their website at www.seedacademy.co.za, you can drop them an email at info@seedacademy.co.za or you can give them a call at 011 262 6858.

FIND MORE ARTICLES ON OUR BLOG – click here

Why register a 2015 Pty?

CIPC is allowing the Last 2015 Pty Registrations

In South Africa’s economy the registration number of your Company is a massive factor of TRUST. When applying for contracts and Tenders, the number with which your Company’s Registration Number starts indicates how long your Company has been active.  For example, Company Partners was registered in 2006 (Reg Nr 2006/087669/23), but only started trading in 2007. As we had a 2006 Registration Number our clients could see that we’ve been active for more than a year – which won over their TRUST.

What does this mean for me?

IF you want to start a Company next year (2016) it would be in your favor to register a Pty Company at CIPC in the next two WEEKS – as CIPC will give your Company a 2015 Registration Number. Apply now for a FULL Pty with a new name; or start at only R250 through our Payment Plan option.

As a Christmas Gift, we are giving ALL clients who register a new Pty Company during the holiday season a FREE Database Listing valued @ R299 where you can reach 100’s of clients (the order needs to be placed and paid for before 11 December 2015. Read more about the database listing. 

Click the button below to Apply for your own 2015 Pty Company with a new name @ only R895:

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