Sooner or later, all SMMEs arrive at the growth crossroads where tough business decisions face them. Growing is a fine balancing act as flying too close to the sun too soon, can cause you to crash and burn. Here’s how to grow cautiously.

You have successfully negotiated the first few years of running your own business. Now – are you ready to up the ante?

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Ensuring customer satisfaction is the key to increased sales and profitability. The question is, are your daily interactions bulking up your wallet or leaving a hole in your pocket? The easiest sale you can make is to someone who has bought from you before. Treat existing customers well while pulling out all the stops to bring new ones through the door – it’s just smart marketing.

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Teamwork is essential in most businesses. How does an entrepreneur put together the right team, get the best out of them, and grow them as people while growing a business? Nikki Viljoen shares some thoughts on starting out.

Some of us are better team players than others – I know because I have worked in a team and I have worked on my own, and quite frankly, working on my own works for me.

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Having conversations that sell and delivering on your promises are the final keys to marketing success. Nikki Viljoen outlines the last 2 all-important steps in the process.

Following on from the first five marketing tips out of the seven steps to starting out – let’s look at the rest now. The sixth tip is all about the sales process and yes, it is a process. Many people fall flat round about now as they think that because they are sitting in front of someone that they consider a friend, the process is complete and done – don’t you be making that mistake. The deal still needs to be done and the sale needs to be concluded.

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Facebook, Twitter, blogging… A facility for writing and a good working knowledge of social networking is essential for today’s entrepreneur. The aim is to engage with potential clients and be “seen” to be active in the social networking environment.

Following on from the first three marketing tips out of the seven steps to starting out – let’s look at the fourth one: Well, this is my favorite one for sure, but that is because I absolutely love to write – it is a passion that I found rather late in life, and as you can see from my blogs it is one that I am making the most of

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I know that when I started out I had no clue about ‘how to’ or even ‘where to’ market my service. Coming out of a corporate environment ( where the accounts department was down the corridor and to the left and the marketing department was up the corridor and to the right and the art department was somewhere in between) and starting your own business is not as easy as you may think.

Having spent most of my working life just getting on with it in a corporate environment where the assistance that I needed was on tap, and having the disciplines that the company required me to meet very clearly defined, meant that it was a huge ‘wake up to reality’ check when I finally ventured out on my own.

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Last week I touched on some of the requirements that an employer would need to work through in terms of the payroll and the tax year end pertaining to 2010. Here are the rest of the requirements that I came across during my research.
Now you have to get a little technological:

• This is where you have to go to the SARS website at http://www.sars.gov.za and in the middle of the page towards the top you will see the e@syFile logo.

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Last week I touched on some of the requirements that an employer would need to work through in terms of the payroll and the tax year end pertaining to 2010. Here are some more requirements that I came across during my research. The following information needs to be captured for each employee (where possible):
• Employee Surname and First Two Names
• Employee ID Number
• Employee Passport Number and Country where the passport was issued
• Employee Date of Birth
• Employee Tax Reference Number

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