Friday, December 19, 2008

What are your business goals for 2009?

The holidays are here baby!!! Use this time to relax, rejuvenate and to think of your new years resolutions and when you have a few moments to yourself, also think of what your business goals will be in 2009. It is of paramount importance that you define some kind of structure for the growth of your business and setting goals is the perfect way to do this. Be specific and issue timelines for your goals too. ie Increase turnover by 20% by the 30th June 2009.

We at Limelight Websites go on leave today and will be back in the office on the 12th January 2008. If you would like to advertise your franchise on Franchise Finder or write us an article please email us at info@franchisefinder.co.za and we will attend to your query on our return.

Until the 12th January, take care and have a wonderful festive season!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Should I Franchise My Business?

In today’s world of fierce competition and fast-paced business, franchising is proving to be an increasingly popular method of business expansion. Companies can sprout from local brands to household names in a relatively short period of time whilst still being rewarded financially and being free of massive liabilities that usually accompany traditional growth. Leaving a unique business concept to grow organically can often take too long and this may leave an opportunity for another emerging company to leap frog the market share and nullify all growth plans. Expanding too fast however can also have devastating implications and there should be a solid franchise development plan in place before a company embarks on such a project.

Although many entrepreneurs are aware of the successes that franchising can bring, most business owners are not familiar with the actual process of transforming a concept into a successful franchise chain.

It is without doubt that a successful franchise concept starts with solid foundations, a sound track record and an established business model. However, time and time again we see franchises starting out with titanic-like enthusiasm only to find that these franchises don’t even make it through their first year! Those considering franchising their business need to be enthusiastic yet they also need vision as well as a strong focus on delivering a good quality product/service and looking after franchisees well.

Here is a checklist to help entrepreneurs decide whether they should franchise their business.

1. Do you have one successful business model running already?

• This is one of the most important factors in franchising your business. This is the model on which all your future franchises should be based. Don’t even think of franchising a brand new business – rather let it establish itself, iron out business flaws, create a solid business model and make a profit!! Once the business is running like a well oiled machine, then start considering franchising as a means of growing the business.

2. What are the unique factors that make your company perfect for franchising?


• Ask yourself whether your franchise concept is original and write down 3 unique factors that set it apart from your competition. Potential franchisees want a business that not only works well but something that is different and difficult for competitors to copy.

3. Have you consulted a franchise expert, FASA or a lawyer to discuss a franchise disclosure document and franchise structure?

• A well-written franchise agreement is an absolute must and is worth the expense. Try use legal experts that are familiar with franchising and can give practical advice and guidance. You may even want to consult with a firm that specialises in converting successful businesses into franchises such as Indus Consulting


4. Are there sufficient profit margins for franchisees?


• The success and growth of your franchise is largely dependent on the success and profitability of the franchisees themselves. If a franchisee makes a decent profit for their hard work and investment, they are more likely to stay motivated and run the franchise properly. If the royalty fees are too high and the franchisee does not make a sufficient profit margin, they will soon lose interest and the franchise may very well fail. As the franchisor, you need to ensure that the profit distribution is fair. This is key - try aim for a win-win situation!

5. Can you afford to become a member of FASA (Franchise Association of South Africa)
• Consider franchising your business when you can afford to be a member of the Franchise Association of South Africa! Currently it costs over R12 000 per year to be a member. This adds a significant amount of credibility to your business and if you are serious about franchising this is an absolute must.


Once you have decided that your business concept is suitable for franchising ie. It can be built on solid foundations, then start putting the steps into motion to franchise your business. The franchising process is not an overnight procedure and rushing into it can result in costly mistakes. Plan well and execute plans professionally.

By Louise Sanders

Friday, December 5, 2008

Keep Up to Date with Consumer Trends Using these Cool Websites!







Why are trends important to follow in this day and age? Well, fundamentally, they represent want consumers want, value, appreciate, need and love. They can help guide businesses to move in the right direction, ensuring that they are “talking” to their customers, understanding their needs and wants. Trends can also help businesses evolve by stimulating or inspiring totally new business ideas or concepts.

So with that here are some useful websites to help you keep track of consumer trends throughout the world.

Trendwatching
PSFK
TrendCentral
TrendHunter
TrendBird
The Cool Hunter
CScout

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Promote your Franchise at Franchise Expos in 2009

Don't forget to book your space at a Franchise Expo in 2009! Here are two to think about for the new year!

South African International Franchise Show

Franchising is considered the cradle of innovative entrepreneurship and visitors to IFE 2009 expect to see the full spectrum of franchise business opportunities. Whether you are an established franchise or a new concept, you need to be on IFE 2009! IFE attracts the most concentrated pool of quality visitors who are looking to invest in a franchise opportunity. If recruitment is your goal, then IFE is the place to be!

Dates: 2 – 4th April 2009
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Exhibition 1
Hours: 10h00 to 18h00

Should be interested in exhibiting, please contact Nishi Naicker at FASA
Tel: (011) 615 0359
Fax: (011) 615 3679
Email: nishi.naicker@fasa.co.za


Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo

The Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo now in it’s15th year, is firmly positioned as the ultimate platform for the franchise, investment and business opportunities market. The showcase which is more that just an Expo, assists aspiring entrepreneurs & small to medium business owners, to change their lifestyle or career paths by owning their own businesses and gives Franchisors and companies offering Business Opportunities the invaluable opportunity to meet face to face with potential new investors.

When: Dates to be confirmed (Friday, 21 August 2009 to Sunday, 23 August 2009)
Where: Cape Town Central
Categories: Exhibitions & Conferences
Venue: CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre)
Hours: 09:00 - 17:00 Daily
Entrance fee: Free Entry

Should be interested in exhibiting, please contact:
Thebe Exhibitions (Pty) LTD
Tel: +27 11 549 8300

Monday, December 1, 2008

Does your franchise need a makeover?

If you have ever watched the TV program Peter Perfect (on DSTV’s Style Network), presented by Peter Ishkahns, you will know that image is everything!! Peter visits businesses in serious need of a makeover and transforms not only the business but in many cases the lives of the owners too. He gives businesses strategies to increase sales, does a full re-design of the client’s shop including a new logo AND gives the employees and owner a complete image makeover. The before and after shots are jaw-dropping and Peter literally exposes how much potential these businesses have. By creating a new image for the business he essentially creates a brand, a visual image of the business for the customers to remember which is key. I am a great fan of this program and Peter, well, he is just hysterical and he is brutally honest too but no Simon Cowell stuff here (Thank God!). The program has made me notice so many businesses in need of “Peter Perfect” and my husband and I will often see shops and say “that shop needs Peter!”. We have said that so many times which has made me beg the question, is your business or franchise in need of a makeover? So often, businesses forget about their image or don’t pay much attention to it and it can be detrimental in the long run when customers are drawn to a more image conscious shop down the road!

I was at a shopping centre yesterday and my eyes nearly dislodged themselves from my head when I saw that a coffee shop, which hasn’t changed its image in a decade, transformed itself! Eureka! Instead of being a dark and somewhat dingy place to go and drink coffee, it was now a warm yet light, fresh and inviting place to go and meet with friends and have a cappuccino. Not to mention that this place was swarming with people - clearly this image makeover was a smart business decision and will have a huge impact on their bottom line.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Take Part in our E-Book Survey

Calling all company owners, entrepreneurs and business savvy individuals!

CLICK HERE TO TAKE PART IN OUR SURVEY

We are currently conducting research on the use of business e-books in South Africa and internationally. With everyone going "green" these days, e-books are a great option for the eco-conscious but they also provide useful content quickly and cost-effectively.

To stand the chance to win a luxury liqueur and chocolate hamper all you have to do is answer seven SHORT questions relating to e-books! Easy Stuff! Help us make Franchise Finder a better website and take part in our survey by Clicking Here

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meet the Team at Limelight Websites

Meet the team behind Franchise Finder and Limelight Websites!

Left to Right: Elzet Pederson, Candice Wharren, Lauren Webb, Louise Sanders

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Seminar - Consumer Protection Bill

How the New Consumer Protection Bill will affect Franchises.

Date: 13 November 2008

Guest Speakers: Prof. Tanya Woker (Franchise law expert) & Advocate Neville Melville (ex Banking Ombudsman, who was closely involved with the drafting of the Bill)

The Consumer Protection Bill was presented to the National Assembly on Friday 26th September and in response to this there will be a seminar at Gallagher Conference Centre in Midrand on 13 November 2008. The seminar will explain how the bill will affect businesses, clubs and especially franchisors.

Contact Lily Melville - L&N Events 0845824495 /012-8071379 or email her at lily@wol.co.za for more info or to book.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Quality Control at Restaurant Franchises

We were horrified to experience quality control at its worst at a local franchised restaurant recently. Six out of seven of us ordered what sounded like the best item on the menu – pepper encrusted seared tuna and wasabi mash for a not-so-cheap R89. Well, the food itself didn’t look as good as the menu description sounded but nevertheless we were hungry and we all know that looks can be deceiving so we dug in. It didn’t take too long before we made the discovery that our mash potato was in fact the camping convenience version – Smash. Now Smash is all very good and well but when the menu says mash potato then for crying in a bucket serve mash potato! We actually confronted the manager about it and he didn’t try and deny anything and didn’t seem to see anything wrong with it either. His reason was that Smash was much easier to make, well DUH but we are not camping buddy!!

This is where many restaurants fail because if they don’t get it right the first time, many people will never go back. Perhaps a couple of nice, friendly people will give them a second chance but this is really the minority. We will never go back and eat there again! We actually wrote a letter of complaint to the head franchisor and they subsequently gave us a R500 voucher for any of their franchised stores but to be totally honest we don’t really want to go back even if it’s free! The head franchise office mentioned that they had strict quality control (really?) and that serving any mash potato substitute was not acceptable. Their response was much appreciated.

Enforcing these quality control measures is difficult though because the head franchisor will often only find out when there has been a complaint and by that time it is usually too late –the customer has been lost to some other restaurant! So if you own a franchise or have just bought a franchise, the lesson is to serve what’s on the menu, don’t take short cuts!

Friday, October 3, 2008

New development looking for Restaurant Franchisors

The Marketing Manager of an upmarket development in dullstroom is looking for a franchisor or franchisee to open an upmarket restaurant or coffee shop in the development. The development consists of 9 shops and a restaurant and the building will be completed March 2009. If you are interested, please phone Mr Alex Kilbride on
083 443 4350

Franchise India 2008

International franchise shows are always a great place to get business ideas and to meet other franchisors. Franchise India 2008 takes place on the 29th & 30th November in Delhi, India. The flagship International Franchise show held annually is now returning in its 6th edition with Franchise India 2008.

For more info please visit www.franchiseindia.net

Monday, September 15, 2008

Beware of Rogue Franchises

New franchises enter the market on a monthly basis and whilst the majority of them have a sound business and legal framework, there will always be a select few whose business practices are somewhat questionable if not illegal. These franchisors may not be “out to get you” as such but they may not have necessarily invested the time or money into setting up their franchise system properly (consulting lawyers, investors etc) to ensure the longevity of the concept. With no structure for growth, support or development, franchises are bound to fail. In other situations, franchisors may knowingly make false claims and promises about earning potential and various other aspects of the franchise. When considering purchasing a franchise, remember to get everything in writing. If the franchisor makes a claim, then ask for the information that it was based on and check whether it is verifiable. Get your lawyer or accountant to verify the claims, don’t just automatically trust the person because of the way they look or sound as this can be deceiving. If in doubt about a franchise, a great way of getting an honest opinion is to get testimonials from the franchisees themselves. Ask for names and contacts of existing franchisees and get their personal opinion of the franchise. If the franchisor refuses for whatever reason then consider that a red flag and run!! Lastly don’t pay any money over to a franchise without reading and completing an agreement that your lawyer has approved.


Purchasing a franchise is an investment in your future so make sure that you take the time and the necessary steps to ensure that your money is well spent. Don’t be rushed into making a decision, ask questions, speak to franchisees and always get everything in ink!

Friday, August 29, 2008

5 Key Factors to Running a Successful Retail Franchise

We all come into contact with businesses every single day. Often we deal with businesses that are mediocre – There is nothing “wrong” with them but there is nothing terribly exciting about them either.

Occasionally we’ll be lucky enough to deal with a business that operates “text book style”. They are refreshing in their professionalism and service and when we come across businesses like this we should take the opportunity to use it as a benchmark for what we’d like our own business to measure up to.

Here are 5 key factors to make sure that your retail business measures up to the best!

1. Offer Exceptional Customer Service:
This should go without saying but so often companies forget that a polite “hello, how can I help you” or a professional and prompt dealing with a customer complaint can actually mean the difference between a repeat customer and one that goes over the road to the competition. Customer service isn’t just about big white smiles and being polite, it’s also about being efficient and going the extra mile for customers. A good example of “going the extra mile” is when a store calls one of their other branches trying to locate a particular product for a customer. In the case of exceptional service, the store would actually orchestrate the transfer of the product to the store closest to the customer and ensure that they received it!

Companies need to foster an environment where all employees have a thorough understanding of what good customer service is. This can be achieved through on-going training sessions of company policies and practical examples.

2. Make Sure that your Business is Well Stocked with Products
How can businesses operate without any stock? The answer is they can’t operate, well not for very long anyway! Investing in too little stock is such a common business mistake that it is surprising that so many people still do it. The downward spiral begins with the decision to invest a small amount in stock (be it lack of funds or fear of investing too much), customers then don’t feel as though they have enough choice, they can’t find the products they are looking for and any request for a product is met with “sorry, we are out of stock”. The shop then loses customers daily which also has a ripple effect because people tell their friends, yes, people talk! Sales drop, in fact they reach an all time low and the cycle repeats itself until the owner is forced to put a closing down sign on the door.

This kind of thing occurs around the world on a daily basis but the good news is that it can be avoided. The key is to invest a significant amount in stock and keep stock levels at an acceptable level. In doing so, businesses give their customers more choice and make more sales at the same time!


3. Keep With The Times
There are always a few stores that get stuck in a time warp and one wonders how they survive. Perhaps their most loyal customers get stuck in the time warp with them!?

Successful retail stores keep up to date with trends, technology and new products. They source different and unique products as well as those in demand by customers and the market in general. Magazines, customer surveys, international trends, blogs and industry websites are great ways for retail stores to keep up to date.


4. Train Your Staff Well
Training staff is an integral part of running a successful retail store. Customers don’t have time to wait at a checkout counter while new staff try and figure out the invoicing software. Staff need to know exactly where groups of products are placed, they need to be able to guide customers to the products they are looking for, give useful advice and be knowledgeable on products. Nothing makes a customer walk out of a shop faster than a sales person who doesn’t know what they are talking about.


5. Offer Seasonal Discounts and Loyalty Programs.
Customers like to feel special and enjoy being rewarded for spending money at a store they visit regularly. Loyalty programs can be implemented in both small and large stores with relative ease. Customers will not only feel as though they are benefitting from shopping at a store that offers an incentive program but they are also likely to become more loyal supporters of the store in the long-run.

Seasonal specials are a great way to clear old stock and to get more feet in the door. Customers might purchase “sale” items but they may very well buy higher priced items not on sale as well. Sales, specials and discounts should be planned for specific times/seasons during the year and marketing campaigns should be put in place to promote these events.

Transform your retail store into one that becomes the benchmark for others to aspire to. Integrate these points into your business policies, mission and vision statements, make them the foundation of your business and communicate them clearly to your staff. Make the decision and take the steps to be an exceptional business and you’ll never look back!

Author: Franchise Finder, Online Directory of Franchises and Business Opportunities in South Africa

Monday, August 25, 2008

Graffiti Removal Services Successfully Removes Largest Graffiti Tag

South African franchise Grafitti Removal Services (GRS) shows its muscle in helping to keep South Africa clean and Graffiti free. Vandals had sprayed a massive Graffiti tag under a bridge at the Riverhorse Valley Business Estate in full view to drivers on the N2 (Durban). Well Done guys!!

















Friday, August 15, 2008

Franchise Lingo

So what is the difference between a Franchise, Franchisor and a Franchisee? What is a Franchise Agreement? All this franchise lingo can get a bit confusing so here is an excerpt from our newly created glossary!


Franchise:
A business concept that offers specific products or services and takes on a certain business identity. The business concept is usually repeated numerous times throughout an area by franchisees purchasing and running their own franchise in a specific area/s as determined by the developer of the concept (franchisor).


Franchisor:
A franchisor is the developer and owner of a franchise concept. The franchisor is responsible for growing the franchise concept whether it be locally, internationally or both and for ensuring the consistency of the brand and service amongst the franchisees.


Franchisee:
A franchisee is the owner of a particular franchise in a particular area/s. A franchisee buys a franchise from the franchisor and is responsible to run that franchise business in that area.


Franchise Agreement:
A document that contains the details of the franchise purchase and agreements between the franchisor and franchisee. It may contain information on initial fees, ongoing fees, obligations of both the franchisor and franchisee with regards to the start-up and running of the business, territorial/ area limitations, legal information and conditions as well as general information, rules and regulations.

Friday, August 8, 2008

New KZN Expo

Entrepreneurs don't forget to visit the new KZN expo at Durban Exhibition Centre on the 15th and 16th August 2008 (Friday and Saturday). You'll find franchise and business opportunities as well as finance providers and business equipment. So if you are an aspiring business owner, existing business owner, franchisee, franchisor or business executive, then this expo is not to be missed! Visit www.businessexpo.co.za for more information.

5 Affordable Marketing Ideas

Promoting a new busines can be an expensive task but it doesn't have to be! With a little creativity and thought you can promote your business without having to spend a fortune. Here are a couple of ways to market your business on a shoestring.

1. Start a Business Blog. You may have heard the word but you may still be wondering what a “blog” actually is! A blog is basically an online communication platform where you can post articles, photos, ideas and thoughts as often as you like. Visitors to the site can then comment on what you have said and you can choose to review the comments before publishing them to the site. Essentially, blogs can be extremely powerful PR tools and a great way to communicate with both colleagues and clients. There are many free blogging platforms out there where you can create your blog and have it hosted for free! Try blogspot.com, WordPress, Blogger or LiveJournal. In order for your blog to be successful in promoting your business you need to ensure that you post regularly (at least once per week) and that you promote your blogs on blog directories or blog carnivals as they are often called.


2. Join a Networking Group . These clubs are a great way to meet people and network within your community. They usually take the form of monthly or weekly business breakfasts or lunches where you have the opportunity to tell others about your product and vice versa. Many networking groups also try and help you to better your business by teaching sound business principles as well as sharing ideas on marketing and business promotion.


3. Offer Freebies. Why not offer free talks or presentations at industry events. Get in touch with the event organizers and ask whether they can fit you into the event schedule as a speaker. Often, these people need speakers and if you can offer your services free of charge then you have a win-win situation. If you are an expert in your field then your knowledge and advice will be valued and appreciated by the attendees and you may find this a great way to get new clients.


4. Write Articles for Relevant Websites and Publications . Websites, community newspapers and magazines are always looking for fresh content to publish. Your article should be interesting and newsworthy otherwise it’ll never be published so ask friends and colleagues to read the article and get their feedback before submitting it. Also make sure that the spelling and grammar is correct and perhaps consider submitting a photo with the article as this may improve your chances of getting published. Always include an author by-line at the end of the article that includes your name as well as your contact details so that readers can contact you if necessary.


5. Send Out a Monthly Newsletter to Clients. It is important to remind your clients that your business is alive and well and ready to do business. Remind them about your product or service through an e-newsletter but make sure to also supply them with useful information that will be valuable to them. If you just punt your business and supply promotional messages, your e-newsletter will soon be seen as spam and will get deleted faster than you can say “Junk Mail”.

Send your newsletters out consistently ie. If you decide to send out newsletters every month then make sure that you do that. This type of business promotion will never work if you send out one newsletter and then another one a couple of months later and then another one a year later. You get the drift? Build up an email database of all the clients that you have ever dealt and keep the list up to date, adding new clients every month. Try and keep your newsletters short, simple and easy to read and you’ll find your subscriber base will grow and hopefully your clientele too!


With those affordable marketing ideas in mind, try and think of a few more ideas and start to implement them. Remember, it is all about thinking smart and promoting smart. You don’t always need to have an enormous budget to get your name out there!

Author: Franchise Finder, Online Directory of Franchises and Business Opportunities in South Africa

Friday, July 25, 2008

Different Types of Business Opportunities

When searching for business opportunities, one should be open-minded about the different types of business opportunities available. This article takes a look at the various options to consider before launching into the world of entrepreneurship.

Business for Sale
Buying an existing business is a great way to enter the world of business ownership because a lot of the risk has been eliminated. If it is an established business and is being sold for legitimate reasons, you can be confident knowing that you will be dealing with an established customer base and proven business systems.

Although buying a business and finding the right one can take some time, it’s something you cannot and should not rush.

Franchise
Buying a franchise is also a relatively low risk entry into the world of business ownership, especially if it is a well known franchise. Most franchise packages provide ongoing support as well training of franchisees. It’s also usually a lot easier to secure financing for a franchise than a new business concept because of its proven business success.

Agency
Becoming an agent for a particular product or a series of products can be quite lucrative especially if:

You can secure a particular area / location

You are good at sales.

Your product is unique, imported or difficult to find

Direct Selling
This is a little more difficult than owning an agency because usually there are no exclusive area rights so there could be a lot of people in one area selling the same thing. This however can be a great business opportunity if you are passionate about the product and can network well. In order to start up in Direct Selling, one usually purchases a starter-kit with a couple of products which could be topped up once sales start to increase. Direct Sellers that order a lot of stock would usually qualify for a discount and therefore make a higher profit margin. Direct selling is something that one could do part time or full time.

Partnership
Sometimes business owners look for a partner to join their existing business, be it to help them manage and grow the business, to share the work load and responsibility or to inject capital. Although becoming a partner in a business is a great opportunity, it’s not the type of thing that is publicly advertised but rather an opportunity that comes looking for you, through word of mouth, friends, family or previous colleagues.

Start your Own Business
The fact that anyone can start a business is an opportunity in itself. Business tools and guides are freely available and opportunities are everywhere (you just need to be receptive to them!). People often generate business ideas through identifying a need, hence the saying "necessity breeds invention". Sometimes this can take ages to come about naturally but entrepreneurs are also known to brainstorm in order to generate novel ideas. Once you have identified a business idea, research it and develop a business plan. You will need business savvy, motivation and drive to get your concept off the ground but it could land up being the best decision you have ever made. This is definitely a business option that can have one of the biggest risks but also one of the biggest pay-offs, not only financially but also in terms of self-fulfillment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Entrepreneurs: How to Keep Your Motivation Alive

You had the most amazing business idea, you conceptualized it, researched it, developed it, spent hours dreaming about it, analyzing it, calculating how much profit you would make and then when you finally started the business you found that your interest waned faster than you could say “one fell swoop”! Why? You didn’t get the response you had expected? You didn’t make the profit you thought you were going to make? Or, you simply got bored with the idea?

Owning your own business has many advantages but one of the keys to a successful start-up and business venture is to maintain your motivation as the business grows and to stay positive through the tough times, which most businesses will face at some point or another. Here are a few points to help you remain positive and motivated as a business owner:

Keep things fresh.
Coming up with new challenges, projects, ideas and strategies are bound to keep you on your toes and to keep your motivation alive. Make a point of having regular brainstorming sessions with your staff and try to encourage everyone to tap into their creative side. This often leaves people feeling inspired and energized.

Keep your staff motivated with incentives or rewards.
It is difficult to stay motivated if your employees and those around you are unexcited and uninterested in work in general. Cash incentives and rewards are a great way to get staff feeling passionate about their work as is giving your staff enough autonomy in the workplace – no one wants to be micro-managed. Encourage people to generate new business ideas and make sure to give credit to those people when and if those ideas are implemented. Making your employees feel as though they are an integral part of the business is a sure fire way to keep them motivated.

Visualise growth and think positive.
Try and maintain positive thought processes and a positive business outlook. Thinking negatively and doubting yourself can be draining, unproductive and can rub off onto your employees (which ultimately affects your business). Concentrate on channeling your thoughts in a positive light and visualize your success and the things that motivate you.

Alternate your routine.
Most business people have a routine, for some it is a structured one and for others it’s a haphazard one but a routine nonetheless! Doing the same thing day in and day out is like starring in your own real-life version of Groundhog Day and what a sad thought that is! So whatever your routine, perhaps try and change it slightly so that you can still look forward to something different each day. If for example you always schedule meetings for the afternoons, perhaps schedule some for the mornings on certain days of the week and take care of admin in the afternoons. Leave work early one day a week, this can be one or two hours earlier than you would usually leave and schedule that as “me” time.

Have breaks from the office.
If you are at your office or in front of a computer for most of the day then make sure to have regular breaks. Go out for lunch, have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper, go for a 30min massage, read your book, get some fresh air, you get the drift! After a break, you’ll be able to concentrate a lot better and will be significantly more productive, not to mention happier.

Take Leave.
Owning your own business doesn’t mean that you should be a prisoner of your own office! Schedule time off at least twice a year and enjoy a good holiday. After some time off you’ll feel refreshed and motivated for another 6 months of hard work. Even just taking a week off can do you the world of good. Your office can still contact you if they desperately need you but try and avoid this if possible and leave a manager to take care of queries. Leave an auto-responder on your email so that people are aware that you are away and that you are not just ignoring them.

Keep decent working hours, especially if you work from home.
This is really important and something that often needs self-discipline. It is so easy to quickly nip into the office to “just check some emails” but the next thing you know, you’re writing proposal letters and doing admin. Lock the office if you can after staff have left and only open it again the next morning when work starts. Being strict with this will ensure that you have a balance between work and play and that your mind can also rest.

Define what motivates you.
Be clear as to what gets you out of bed in the morning and what motivates you to run your own business. Is it the money, the control, the independence, a new challenge, the flexibility or a combination of factors? Identifying what makes you tick means that you can focus more of your energy on those factors. If the idea of a new challenge or concept motivates you, then spend more time brainstorming and developing the idea. If money motivates you then concentrate on how to improve your profit margins or creating new profit centres.

Make time for exercise, friends, family or social events.
Monday to Friday is a typical working week for most companies so try and keep it that way. Let your weekends be a time for family and friends, events or sporting activities. After all providing for your family, enjoying overseas holidays and local trips is often a huge motivating factor for business success so try and make the time to actually enjoy these things!

Set realistic goals and targets. Setting too many goals at once can be a little overwhelming if they are not structured in any way. Rather try and break the goals down into short and long term goals, ones that you would like to achieve this month, next month, by the end of this year and by the end of the following year. Distributing all of this into smaller chunks will help to keep you motivated and focused on one thing at a time.

So in essence staying motivated is really about identifying what motivates you and your staff, thinking positive, achieving a balance between work and play and setting realistic goals for yourself and your company. Staying motivated in business is an integral part of your success and being able to identify when your motivation is dropping, is crucial. Remember that there are ways and means to motivate yourself but sometimes it can take a little effort, thought and discipline!

Author:
Franchise Finder, Online Directory of Franchises and Business Opportunities in South Africa

Friday, July 4, 2008

Franchise Success Story: Active English

Antoinette Slabbert is the founder and owner of Active English, a South African franchise that promotes intellectual, social and cultural development by using the English language as an extra-mural activity. This exciting and popular franchise was born out of Antoinettes desire to teach her children a second language. Unable to find someone who gave these lessons, she decided to teach them herself and set about studying for a Montessori Diploma.

Antoinette developed a teaching programme that was not only educationally sound but something that was also entertaining for children. Starting off with a class of just 10 pre-schoolers, Active English has now grown into a thriving business with over 215 students and 10 franchisees countrywide!

Active English is a great work from home business opportunity and offers flexible working hours. The minimum investment for a franchise is R80 000.

What is Antoinettes advice to other people wanting to open their own business?
  • Use a reputable auditor
  • Register your business, logo and trademarks with lawyers who specialise in franchise registrations
  • Become a member of FASA (Franchise Association of South Africa)
  • Be organized, resilient, and be prepared to continually adapt and absorb new ideas and methods.
Antionettes motto is " Work hard, go the extra mile, offer something special. Deliver on your promises and do each task with energy and perfection. Remember that actions do speak louder than words.'

Well done Antoinette, an amazing success story which I'm sure will inspire many other women to open their own businesses!

Franchise Expo in Durban

Well hallelujah, Durban will be having a Franchise and Business Opportunities expo after all!


Citex Exhibitions are organising and Promoting BUSINESS EXPO 2008, in Durban from 15 to 16 August 2008, at the Durban Exhibition Centre. BUSINESS EXPO 2008 is a multi-dimensional Business event promoting Franchising and Business Opportunities together with Business Products and Office Equipment.

Visit their website www.businessexpo.co.za or call Cedric on 082 898 3039 or e-mail cedric@netactive.co.za for more information, whether you wish to be an Exhibitor or Visitor. S

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Article: The Basics of Starting a Business

You have an ingenious business idea, something that you can really relate to, a concept that you feel so passionate about that the mere thought sends your heart racing! The only problem, however, is that you haven’t the foggiest idea on earth as to how you will actually go about starting this business. Not to worry, “cluelessness” is part of the process, think of it as the starting point – you can’t get anymore clueless than you are already. In a couple of easy steps we’ll show you how to get your business up and running – the right way! Read full article

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Market for Traditional South African Meals

I have noticed a couple of restaurant/ take-away franchises recently that sell South African meals! What a great concept - Boerewors, pap, tomato and onion relish, corn on the cob, mash, simple food but food that is loved by South Africans (Im getting hungry just thinking about all of that!).

Ayobayo and Pantsula Bites are two new franchises focussing on this exciting niche and we're confident they will do well! Keep a lookout for new outlets opening around the country and be sure to let us know your thoughts. If you are interested in owning one of these franchises, log on to FranchiseFinder.co.za

Friday, June 13, 2008

Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo

Guys, dont forget to make plans to visit the upcoming Franchise & Business Opportunities expo in August and September. The Cape Town dates are from the 21-23rd August (9am-5pm daily) at the CTICC and the Johannesburg dates are from the 12-14th September 2008 at Gallagher Estate, 10am-5pm daily. Clearly Durban doesn't crack the nod!! Check out www.fboe.co.za for more info.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Welcome to the official blog for FranchiseFinder.co.za! Check back frequently for new posts about franchises , business opportunities, business ideas as well as our opinions and thoughts!