Internet penetration in South Africa is growing rapidly and this is opening up new opportunities across our economy. One industry under the spotlight is the property market and the role of the traditional estate agent. Property Switch is a company that believes it is time for technology to take centre stage in the real estate industry. Property Switch is an online estate agency startup that focuses on using technology and the internet to conduct property sales transactions across South Africa. They offer a complete estate agency service using online means and charge a reduced commission rate of 2.75%. In an industry where it is common practice for estate agents to charge between 5% and 8% commission they believe that their 2.75% commission rate is an extremely attractive option for sellers. In addition to this, it is the Property Switch's policy to work with an open mandate. This is great as a seller because it doesn't tie you into a restrictive contract, allowing you to sell your property with any number of agents. This is how their process works: 1. Property Switch sends a consultant to visit the seller's property to take photos and collect the relevant information to put an online property profile together 2. Based on this information they assist sellers in determining a realistic selling price 3. The property profile is then uploaded to the Property Switch website as well as other online property portals. Once listed online the property has exposure to thousands of potential buyers 4. Interested online buyers contact Property Switch who then arrange appointments for buyers to view the property. Note that it is the seller who is required to show the property to the buyers. 5. Property Switch will contact the buyer once they have viewed the property and if the buyer is interested they will assist with negotiations via phone and email 6. Where necessary they also provide assistance regarding conveyancing and mortgage financing at no extra . . .
Cape Sun, Southern Sun will play host to this year’s Medical Aid & Insurance Conference on 5-6 February 2014. Hosted by Trade Conferences International, this event will assist medical industry representatives and role players to understand the dynamics behind latest developments and how to confront the challenges and take advantage of opportunities that lie within this particular insurance sector. Attending this conference will ensure interaction and networking with managers and professionals in business development, healthcare services, product development, client services, claims, case administration, risk management, underwriting, compliance, accounts, scheme management, actuarial services and legal advisories. The conference will provide you with a great learning opportunity facilitated by the following speakers: Etienne Dreyer, PwC South Africa Neil Kirby, Werksmans Attorneys Glenn Hickling, Discovery Craig Taylor, Netcare Heidi Kruger, Board of Healthcare Funders Chris McCallum, Zest Life Investment Marine Erasmus, Econex Jodie Hill Jomat Donald Molema, The Principal Dynamic Models Gary Scott, Towers Watson Dr Andrew Good, Lifechoice Prof Jacques Snyman, Agility Global Health Solutions Dr Bernard Brom, The South African Society of Integrative Medicine Japie du Toit, Life Healthcare Group Dr Dominique Stott, PPS Insurance Dr Reinder Nauta, CareCross Health Valter Adao, Deloitte Consulting Join us for yet another top class conference by completing the registration form – download the form and electronically complete it and submit it. Alternatively, contact Naison Chilenge, Project Manager at TCI on 011 803 1553, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Call marketing coordinator, Sian Wirth on 011 803 1553 for information on media partnering, sponsorship or exhibitions. More Info link:: http://financialconferences.co.za/Pages/Event1.html Twitter: www.twitter.co/tcisa Facebook: YouTube: Author: Sian Wirth from Trade Conferences . . .
Bedouin Tents Manufacturer Tentickle SA has announced the increased availability of next generation fire retardant tents in South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa 30 November 2013: Tentickle Bedouin Tents International has announced an increase in the availability of their “hi tech” stretch fabric tents made from organic 3 ply fire retardant tent fabric. Developed, designed and manufactured right here in South Africa, these tents are now available it time for South Africa’s summer festival period and are already being used for a number of top local music and cultural festivals around the country. Available in a range of colours, the fire retardant textile tent fabrics used to manufacture the superior quality Tentickle Bedouin tents have undergone some of the worlds most stringent Fire Retardant tests, and are currently being certified and tested in Germany (B1), Spain (M2), Portugal (M2), UK (BS 7837:1996) and Australia (AS 1530.2-1993). Tentickle Bedouin Tents (http://www.tentickletents.co.za/) International is based in Cape Town, South Africa and has a network of Bedouin tent distributors in Africa, Europe, Australasia and South America. More Info link:: http://www.tentickletents.co.za/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/tentickle Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tentickletents YouTube: Author: Justin Atkins from Tentickle Bedouin Tents. Submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The holidays can be hectic, but a busy social schedule is also fertile ground for business networking. “Between lunches, office parties and other social gatherings, you may come into contact with dozens of people during the month of December alone, “says Karl Smith, author with more than 6 years of social capital coaching and training experience. He adds that whether you have a job or not, networking is important and you should take advantage of every opportunity. So if you're wondering how to get a jump on the competition for jobs consider these tips: 1. Strategically plan to be at parties where you know key decision makers or those who have influence on them will be. If you’re not sure which parties to fill your dance card with, aim for the ones with people who work for the companies you want to work for. If you’re lucky, you might have a friend who works for that company who can invite you to the annual holiday party. But also look at networking groups. 2. Don't make the head honcho your only target. Whether it is the CEO of the company or the chair of an organization, don't think your evening is incomplete if you don't shake their hand and spend the token two minutes with them. Have longer and more meaningful conversation with those who are lower on the totem pole and aren't besieged by everyone else. Top brass seldom gets involved in the day-to-day hiring, promotions and other managerial duties. Make a positive impression on everyone you meet so you will be memorable long after the event is over. 3. Introduce yourself well, be natural and conversational. Practise and perfect the art of introducing yourself. Figuring out your "sound bite" is worth it. It gets that conversational ball rolling! Try to establish a sense of rapport. Mention something or someone you have in common. Listen and ask simple questions to engage general conversation. Above all, try to avoid sounding like you’re reading from a script! 4. Don’t collect/distribute business cards. . . .
Some CEOs hold a team meetings. Others shout. But Denton Goodford, the head of national insurer Multisure which is based in Port Elizabeth, has chosen to motivate staff to give an extra push for sales at the end of a tough year by vowing to bungee jump 216m off Bloukrans Bridge – if employees somehow manage to exceed last year’s sales. A dismal 2013, thanks to an ailing national and global economy, has forced CEO’s to take extreme measures to motivate staff, Goodford says. In an e-mail to Multisure Corporation’s staff and independent consultants (ICs – marketers of the company’s products who work from home), CEO Denton Goodford announced “The CEO Challenge” – that if staff and consultants reached or broke last year’s sales targets, he would bungee jump off the world’s highest commercial bridge bungee, the 216m high Bloukrans Bridge along the Southern Cape. To sweeten the challenge advocate-turned-entrepreneur Goodford, whose phobia for heights means he has never bungee jumped before, said he would jump dressed as Father Christmas. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, and when I thought about how to motivate staff to act extraordinarily in very dismal circumstances, I thought about a challenge which would make them come together as well as make them laugh,” said Goodford, who in the early 2000s retired his advocate’s cloak and entered the legal insurance industry. Multisure has subsequently also started offering funeral cover. “I feel fairly confident that it won’t come to me having to jump as we are still way off last year’s target, but since I informed staff and ICs of the challenge, there has been a significant surge in new applications (for Multisure products),” said Goodford. “The team has been saying how they’re going to pull out all the stops to beat last year’s sales. They want to see me jump, and now I’m getting rather nervous!” According to Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO Kevin Hustler, the dismal economy in 2013 had forced businesses to . . .
South Africa’s first national business idea competition, aimed specifically at inventors and innovators, has announced its 2013 winners. The winners and runners-up include a unique spray to rapidly detach braids from natural hair, a cattle “breathalyzer” that can diagnose diseases and eliminate the need for lengthy blood tests, and a South African “drone” used for aerial firefighting. The 2013 Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition, which is sponsored by Sasol and the Technology Innovation Agency of the Department of Science and Technology, received close to 400 entries from innovators throughout South Africa. The winners were announced at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria on Thursday, 21 November 2013. Winners and runners-up will benefit from a total of R4.5 million in prizes and benefits, including coaching, mentorship, cash, tablet devices and business support from the Small Enterprise Development Agency. “This has turned out to be the ‘Idols of innovation’ in South Africa,” says Project Director Martin Feinstein, whose company, Traction, runs the programme. “There is enormous innovation talent out there, coming up with concepts that solve real-world problems and have great commercial potential. The programme will assist them to link up with investors, as well as receive mentorship and coaching.” Both Sasol and the Technology Innovation Agency have been closely involved in selecting the winners, and TIA will evaluate them for its funding and technical support programmes to help accelerate their commercial application. Says Feinstein: “We plan for Step-Up to become a channel and clearing house for anyone who has an innovation concept or business and who is looking for the recognition and support that will accelerate its growth. We hope the annual winners will be attractive to investors and large companies alike.” Traction has partnered with a range of venture capital funds and entrepreneur support organisations, as well as . . .
We are a culturally rich country with equally diverse workplaces. I love the spirit of inclusivity we’ve fostered in SA but it doesn’t come without its problems. A big stumbling block that immediately comes to mind is the issue of the lack of effective communication in our companies. Do you recognise these archetypical employees in your organisation who you need to kick back to communication 101? I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your office down! Beware of the arrogant employee who bursts into your office and immediately, with all guns blazing, starts shouting at you, volubly demanding why you’ve taken a particular action when, in previous discussions, you two ‘agreed’ something completely different (more often than not, huffy twists things around to suit himself). Don’t, whatever you do, start shouting at this person with equal velocity or, worse still, break down into tears of frustration. This won’t solve anything as, more than likely, it will encourage huffy to keep on going. Rather, let him say what he needs to say so he runs out of steam and then, when he’s finally winded, state your side of the story. Don’t even attempt to try and play the same underhanded game he’s spent years perfecting – chances are very good that you won’t win. I’m going to stick my feet where they don’t belong There’s another sneaky employee – I like to call her big foot - who will try to manipulate another employee – her non de plume will be Taylor Swift - to do what she wants. However, the tragedy is big foot gets away with her lies and manipulative acts because Taylor believes that big foot is her friend and she is ‘looking out’ for Taylor. The scary part is that when BF has a vendetta against another employee, she will use Taylor against that person. If you’re in the unfortunate position of being on the receiving end of a BF special, don’t react to them emotionally! If needs be, wait until you have calmed down and are able to deal with them unemotionally and . . .
About 15 fledgling entrepreneurs in the Kleinmond area – ranging from upholsterers and furniture-makers to caterers and an electronics company – are benefiting from an innovative small business training project that is helping them to establish or expand their businesses. The Cape Craft & Design Institute (CCDI) is facilitating this training and capacity-building on behalf of Mthimkhulu Community Development. Mthimkhulu is part of the Grail Centre, which offers job training and lifelong learning courses for marginalised communities, among other initiatives. The training takes place in two-hour learning sessions that began on 14 March this year, and will run until 5 December. “Based on methodology developed by the CCDI over the past 12 years, we developed a course that is activity-based and learner-centred, with a business game, practical exercises and group work,” said Eugene Newman, the CCDI Business Development Facilitator. “It covers all aspects of running a successful business. Topics include money management, business vision, consolidating the business idea, developing a business road map, costing and pricing, business identity and life coaching.” One of the participants is the Akker Group craft enterprise, which was set up in 2011 and now has about 10 members. They needed help with turning their hobby into a business and CCDI assisted by facilitating business management skills in the business. The members learnt how to manage their money and keep proper records, and to determine how much they needed to make monthly to break even and what was the best business entity for the group. Another beneficiary is the Swartz family, owners of the Oceans Fisheries and Take-Aways -- a fish and chips outlet in Kleinmond. One-on-one consultations have helped Louise Swartz to address challenges such as working out her production costs, how to reduce costs while still maintaining quality, and establishing the required monthly turnover in order to break even. Also on . . .
Leader in Cloud-Based Loyalty, Mobile and Social CRM Solutions that Help Retailers Drive Sales and Profitability Through Intelligent Customer Engagement forms strategic partnership with Blue Label Telecoms to bring the next generation of Intelligent CRM, Loyalty and Marketing solutions to the South African market JOHANNESBURG, November 19, 2013: Capillary Technologies, a leading provider of cloud software solutions that help businesses to engage intelligently with their customers through mobile, social and in-store channels, has announced its entry into the South African market with new offices in Johannesburg and a strategic new partnership with Blue Label Engage for their turnkey (direct to consumer) retail customer engagement solution. With industry leaders such as Benetton, Jack Wills, Marks & Spencer, Nicole Miller, Nike, Puma, Nokia, Pizza Hut and KFC on its international client roster, Capillary’s cloud platform integrates everything that retail marketers and operators require to engage with their customers, weaving social and mobile experiences into virtually any point of sale device, from legacy terminals to the latest POS devices and mobile tablets. Capillary’s suite of Intelligent Customer Engagement™ solutions offers real-time loyalty, high quality data capture, actionable analytics, instant cross-sell solutions, and instant shopper gratification to generate significant ROI within weeks of implementation. Capillary is already working with South African retailers like Keedos, UMS and Roots to help them drive better customer loyalty, superior sales growth and a definitive competitive advantage. Blue Label Engage is part of the JSE listed, Blue Label Telecoms Limited now in its 12th year of trading and with an annual revenue of over R19 Billion. The Group boasts a distribution footprint of over 150 000 points of presence in South Africa and is a leading distributor of airtime and electricity through physical and virtual pre-paid solutions. Through . . .
What do two Bedouin tents, 16 pairs of gum-boots, 60 beanbags and 50 Pilates balls have in common? They were all part of a state-of-the-art corporate hospitality project at the recent FNB Wines2Whales mountain biking race – a case study in just how high the bar has been raised in customer cosseting at premier sporting events. FNB Wines2Whales MTB consisted of three bike races over 1-10 November. Some 3300 riders set off in the Somerset West winelands and traversed 13 wineries, 26 private farms, six mountains, historic roads, mountain passes and nature conservation areas before finishing in Hermanus, the home of whale-watching. “There are rare opportunities for corporate marketers to reach out to high net worth individuals, in a beautiful and unusual setting,” said Scan Display chairman Alex Hawes, whose company was tasked with implementing the huge, upmarket rider relaxation area. “And when these opportunities do become available, the host company needs to be seen to be supportive, co-operative and understanding of the participants.” Generally in sporting events, sponsors’ marketing activation has focused on the VIPs - private and corporate clients. In top end mountain biking, however, every single participant is a member of the sponsors’ target market. Over 70% of the riders are senior executives or entrepreneurs who own their own businesses. They can afford an expensive bike and the entry fee, apart from other costs. They are driven and passionate individuals who can take time off to pursue their interests. The key is developing an offering that is appropriate for clients who are used to a high standard of personalised service. The brief was to develop a sanctuary for all participants: an area where they could not only recharge from their gruelling exertions, but also power up social media devices and have access to up-to-date news and facilities, said Hawes. The setting was the Oak Valley sports field in Elgin, surrounded by beautiful old trees. The main . . .