Being BEE compliant will enable a business to obtain better contracts, in addition, it provides credibility for the company.  Training staff members is beneficial for the company.

 

There are a number of benefits for implementing B-BBEE within a company, but when training has occurred, there are more employable people as training has taken place and staff members have improved their skills competence.  One of the ways a company can improve its B-BBEE scorecard is to implement training, as training and development spend earns 20 points on the BEE scorecard.  In addition to the 20 points, companies are entitled to claim up to 40% on any staff training costs.

 

The general benefits of training are:

  • Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees.
  • Increased employee motivation.
  • Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain.
  • Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods.
  • Increased innovation in strategies and products.
  • Reduced employee turnover.
  • Enhanced company image, e.g., conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!).
  • Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training.

 

The following are typical reasons for employee training and development:

  • When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is needed.
  • To “benchmark” the status of improvement so far in a performance improvement effort.
  • As part of an overall professional development program.
  • As part of succession planning to help an employee be eligible for a planned change in role in the organization.
  • To “pilot”, or test, the operation of a new performance management system.
  • To train about a specific topic (see below):
    • Communications: The increasing diversity of today’s workforce brings a wide variety of languages and customs.
    • Computer skills: Computer skills are becoming a necessity for conducting administrative and office tasks.
    • Customer service: Increased competition in today’s global marketplace makes it critical that employees understand and meet the needs of customers.
    • Diversity: Diversity training usually includes an explanation about how people have different perspectives and views, and includes techniques to value diversity.
    • Ethics: Today’s society has increasing expectations about corporate social responsibility. Also, today’s diverse workforce brings a wide variety of values and morals to the workplace.
    • Human relations: The increased stresses of today’s workplace can include misunderstandings and conflict. Training can people to get along in the workplace.
    • Quality initiatives: Initiatives such as Total Quality Management, Quality Circles, benchmarking, etc., require basic training about quality concepts, guidelines and standards for quality, etc.
    • Safety: Safety training is critical where working with heavy equipment, hazardous chemicals, repetitive activities, etc., but can also be useful with practical advice for avoiding assaults, etc.
    • Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment training usually includes a careful description of the organization’s policies about sexual harassment, especially about what are inappropriate behaviours.

It is imperative though, to ensure that all training is recorded so that it can easily be submitted for the BEE audit.

 

How to benefit from training?

Skills development is one of the easiest elements to gain points.  Succeeding in this element will not only assist with the BEE score, but it will also assist the company with the skills that are required as well as potentially reducing unemployment.

  • 8-points can be earned if the company invests 6% of payroll in the training of black people.
  • An additional 4-points can be earned of 0.3% of the total payroll is spent on learning programmes for disabled black employees.
  • By participating in learnerships, apprenticeships or internships a company can claim and additional 4-points if 2.5% of the employees are enrolled on such programmes, and an additional 4 points if 2.5% of the company’s headcount are black unemployed learners.
  • Additional 5-bonus points can be earned if all the unemployed learners are gainfully employed on the conclusion of the learnership.

 

There are additional benefits under the latest codes that relate to training and development.  These are as follows:

  • The training costs of unemployed learners can be claimed.
  • The salaries of learners enrolled on learnerships, apprenticeships or internships can count towards training expenditure.
  • The cost of the Skills Development Facilitator can be claimed as a training expense.
  • 15% of training spend can consist of internal non-accredited training.
  • There is a R60 000.00 tax-break per participant registered on a learnership.

 

Therefore, to conclude, there are a number of incentives to train employed and non-employed persons.  There are a number of registered qualifications as well as short learning programmes offered by both the private providers as well as public institutions that can assist in meeting the company’s training needs.  The ICB has a number of registered learnerships that can assist companies in addressing the training and development requirements.

 

 

 

 

What is a learnership?

A learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to a qualification that is registered in the National Qualifications Framework.  Learnerships are directly related to an occupation or field of work, for example, bookkeeping or office administration.  The aims of learnerships are to address the challenges of:

  • Decreasing employment;
  • Unequal access to education and training, and employment opportunities;
  • The effects of race, gender and geographical location on educational advancement;
  • and over and above the skills shortages in South Africa.

 

Who qualifies for a learnership?

Learnerships are available for those who have completed school, college or learning at other training institutions, or for those who are studying part-time.  Unemployed South Africans can participate in a learnership programme if there is an employer who is prepared to provide the required work experience.

 

What are the benefits of learnerships to employers?

As the learnerships are developed by industry for the industry, and in consultation with all stakeholders, the learning programmes and qualifications linked to these learnerships are relevant to the specific occupation.  When learners partake in a learnership there is a greater credibility of the qualifications as the employer has the assurance that the learners can demonstrate not only theory competence but practical competence as well.

 

As learnerships combine both practical a theory outcome of a qualification, they provide skilled people who:

  • tend to work more independently, need less supervision and possess enhanced problem-solving capabilities;
  • are motivated and strive to add value to the business;
  • are less likely to leave a company that takes an interest and invests in their personal and professional development;
  • entering into learning contracts with unemployed people contributes to building up the skills pool, from which employers may recruit relevant skills as needed;
  • have more skills. The more skills gained, the greater the productivity and the more meaningful the individual’s contribution to South Africa’s global competitiveness and to creating an environment conducive to investment.

 

By placing un-employed learners on a learnership, the employer has access to a wider pool of appropriately qualified workers who have developed skills that are relevant to the company’s specific work context.

 

Furthermore, there is an increased return on investment when implementing training initiatives.  Not only are there BEE benefits, but there are:

  • Higher returns from the Skills Levy and investment in training, due to transfer of learning to the job.
  • Increased grant disbursements from Skills Levy contributions. Many SETAs offer Learnership grants ranging from R 4 000 – R 40 000 per learner. However, the grants are subject to availability and are offered on a first come, first serve basis on the condition that the Learnership address a scarce skill in the sector.
  • Tax Incentives: SARS offers companies attractive tax incentives for participating in Learnerships. Tax Incentives are deductions on your taxable income that you can claim for each Learnership candidate that you have in your employment, once at the start of the Learnership, and once again at its completion.
    • For learnerships entered into after 1 October 2016 but before 1 April 2022:
      • The allowance will depend on the NQF (National Qualification Framework) level of the learnership. For NQF level 1-6, the employer can claim a tax allowance of R40,000 (R60,000 for disability) per year and NQF level 7-10, It can claim a tax allowance of R20,000 (R50,000 for disability) per year.
      • The employer can claim a R40,000 “completion allowance” for NQF level 1-6 (R60,000 for disability) and R20,000 for NQF level 7-10 (R50,000 for disability).
      • If the Learnership exceeds 24 months, then the completion allowance is multiplied by the number of consecutive 12-month periods within the duration of that learnership.

 

What are the benefits of learnerships for learners?

The following are the benefits of learnerships for learners:

  • Better employment opportunities afterwards;
  • Fixed-term employment contract for the duration of the Learnership;
  • Learnerships improve on the job performance so they are able to do things relevant to the job;
  • A nationally-recognised qualification that is relevant to the sector;
  • Earning a learner allowance for the duration of the Learnership.

 

What does a learner receive on completion?

During the Learnership, learners will be required to complete assignments, tasks and practical tests and projects. They will be formally assessed in the classroom and the workplace.
If all these assignments are completed successfully, they will be awarded an NQF-registered qualification, which is recognized nationally. They will receive a certificate stating the qualification and the area of skill development.

 

What is required to enter into a Learnership?

If a learner is accepted, he/she will need to sign two legal documents:

  • Learnership Agreement: this is an agreement signed by the learner, the organisation employing the learner, and the education provider offering the theoretical training component of the Learnership. This agreement clearly outlines the rights and responsibilities of all three parties.
  • Employment contract: this is a contract they will sign with the employer, which is only valid for the time period of the Learnership.

 

Can a Learnership be terminated?

An employer can terminate the contract of a Learnership if:

  • The duration specified in the Learnership agreement has expired;
  • The employer and learner have agreed in writing to terminate the Learnership agreement, or if there is no such agreement, the SETA that registered the agreement approves the termination; or
  • The learner is fairly dismissed for a reason related to the learner`s conduct or capacity as an employee.

 

What learnerships are offered through the ICB?

The ICB administers the following learnerships on behalf of Fasset:

  • Junior Bookkeeper Learnership
    1. National Certificate Bookkeeping – NQF 3
    2. Duration – 1 year
    3. Entry requirement – 16-years of age or NQF 2 qualification
  • Senior Bookkeeper Learnership
    1. Further Education and Training Certificate: Bookkeeping – NQF 4
    2. Duration – 1 year
    3. Entry requirement – simultaneous completion of Junior Bookkeeper learnership
  • Technical Financial Accountant Learnership
    1. National Diploma Technical Financial Accounting – NQF 5
    2. Duration – 2 years
    3. Entry requirements – simultaneous completion of the Junior and Senior Bookkeeper learnerships
  • Small Business Financial Management Learnership
    1. National Certificate Small Business Financial Management – NQF 4
    2. Duration – 1 year
    3. Entry requirements – NQF 3 qualification
  • Office Administration Learnership
    1. Certificate Office Administration – NQF 5
    2. Duration – 1 year
    3. Entry requirement – NQF 4 qualification
  • Senior Office Administration Learnership
    1. Higher Certificate Office Administration – NQF 5
    2. Duration – 2 years
    3. Entry requirement – simultaneous completion of Office Administration learnership
  • Public Sector Accounting Learnership
    1. National Certificate Public Sector Accounting – NQF 4
    2. Duration – 1 year
    3. Entry requirement – NQF 3 qualification
  • Technical Public Accountant Learnership
    1. National Diploma Public Sector Accounting – NQF 5
    2. Duration – 1 year
    3. Entry requirement – successful completion of Public Sector Accounting Learnership

 

Roles and responsibilities

The following are the roles and responsibilities of each party.

  • ICB
    • Marketing of learnerships which are under the auspices of the ICB.
    • Provide guidance and support to employers implementing ICB learnerships.
    • Apply or give advice on recognition of prior learning.
    • Register learners for theory and practical assessments.
    • Accredit theory skills development providers to offer the theory tuition towards the underpinning learnership qualifications.
    • Accredit workplace providers to offer the structured practical component of the learnership.
    • Conduct national theory assessments of the qualifications.
    • Conduct workplace assessment via the means of a detailed portfolio of evidence.
    • Register learners on the National Learner Records Database via Fasset.
    • Administer the award of the registered qualification.

 

  • SETAs
    • To register learnership agreements.
    • Promote learnerships across all levels and sectors.

 

  • Learners
    • Enter learnership agreement between the employer and skills development provider.
    • Actively participate in induction programmes.
    • Work for the employer form the duration of the learnership agreement.
    • Register with a skills development provider for the theory component of the learnership qualification.
    • Register with the ICB for the theory and practical assessments associated with the relevant qualification and learnership.
    • To be available for and participate in all theory instruction and structured work experience required for the completion of the learnership.
    • Adhere to all workplace policies and procedures.
    • Complete all documentation associated with the learnership and complete and submit a workplace portfolio of evidence for assessment.

 

  • Skills Development Provider
    • Ensure that they are accredited by the ICB to offer tuition towards the relevant qualification that underpins the learnership.
    • Ensure that they meet the quality assurance criteria set by the ICB.
    • Provide tuition in line with the outcomes of the modules of the relevant qualifications.
    • Enquire that learners are registered with the ICB for the national assessments.
    • Ensure that they are registered with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

 

  • Employer as a workplace provider
    • Attain accreditation with the ICB to offer the practical component of the learnership.
    • Appoint a mentor to the learner for the duration of the structured workplace component.
    • Implement a quality management system to manage:
      • Learner induction
      • Learner support
      • Mentoring
      • Performance management
    • Enter learnership agreement with the learner and accredited skills development provider.
    • Enter employment contract with the learner.
    • Comply with all applicable labour legislation.
    • Schedule and provider learner with appropriate training and exposure to the practical outcomes of the learnership as stipulated in the workplace portfolio of evidence available from the ICB.
    • Supervise the learner for the duration of the learnership agreement.
    • Release the learner for training and assessments applicable to the learnership.

 

In conclusion, learnerships are positive programmes that enhance the education and potential of those entering the workforce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a number of learning options available and these are briefly discussed below.

Delivery type Description Advantages Disadvantages
Face-to-face delivery

 

The traditional classroom or face-to-face instruction is when the instructor and the students of an educational institution are in a place devoted to instruction and the teaching and learning take place at the same time.
  • You can ask questions.
  • You can discuss issues with fellow students.
  • There is ample opportunity for social interaction and support.
  • You have access to on-campus student facilities.
  • If you cannot keep up with the rest of the class, you will have to schedule extra classes, which could cost you extra money.
  • Due to time constraints in class, the lecturer cannot answer each and every student’s questions.
  • You will have to carry your textbooks to class every day.
Distance/correspondence

 

Distance learning is a method of studying in which lectures are broadcast or lessons are conducted by correspondence, without the student needing to attend a school or college.
  • You can usually also set your own pace of study.
  • It is your decision as to when and where you study.
  • It doesn’t matter where you live – you can gain a qualification from anywhere in the world.
  • As with a full-time qualification, students may find that they gain useful, transferable skills, such as planning and research.
  • A distance learning course often costs less than a full-time programme.
  • Distance learning requires self-motivation
  • Distance learning does not give you direct access to your instructor.
  • Distance learning is isolated.
  • Distance learning requires you to have constant, reliable access to technology.
  • Distance learning does not offer immediate feedback.
  • Distance learning does not always offer all the necessary courses online.
  • Distance learning may not be acknowledged by a specific employer.
  • Hidden costs.
  • Distance learning must be accredited.
  • Distance learning does not give students the opportunity to work on oral communication skills.
Online/e-learning

 

Online learning is education that takes place over the Internet. It is often referred to as “e- learning” among other terms. However, online learning is just one type of “distance learning” – the umbrella term for any learning that takes place across distance and not in a traditional classroom.
  • No need to travel, saving both time and money.
  • Whenever and wherever you like: early morning, while commuting or eating, during work breaks or in the evening. At home, in coffee shops, or on the train. Take a break anytime to give your mind a short rest.
  • Online learning usually includes pre-recorded videos.
  • No need to buy textbooks although some have optional texts.
  • You can speed up videos during easy parts, and slow them down to understand more difficult concepts.
  • You can pause videos while writing notes or re-watch them as often as necessary. Many courses also provide transcripts for their videos. If an interactive transcript is provided, you can click on a relevant section of the transcript to watch that part of the video.
  • If videos or transcripts can be downloaded to your device you will then have unlimited access to them.
  • In courses with dynamic discussion forums you can discuss issues with fellow students from all around the world.
  • Lack of accreditation and low quality.
  • Little or no face-to-face interaction.
  • More work.
  • Intense requirement for self-discipline.
  • Even more intense requirement for self-direction.
Blended

 

Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace.
  • Round-the-clock access to training resources.
  • A personalized training experience.
  • Better communication and collaborative learning.
  • Track participants’ skill and performance development.
  • Cost-effective training strategy.
  • The technology challenge – Infrastructure.
  • The technology challenge – Mentality.
  • Pace of advancement.
  • Negative impact on teachers – Overwork.
  • Negative impact on students  – Cognitive load.
  • The plagiarism and credibility problem.
Self-study

 

Self-studying, which involves studying without direct supervision or attendance in a classroom, is a valuable way to learn, and is quickly growing in popularity among parents and students.
  • Choose your own pace, materials, methods, everything is up to you.
  • Less stressed about failing in front of another person.
  • You don’t pay the teacher.
  • Its neither location constrained or time-bound.
  • Can take place from the comfort of anywhere.
  • Cheap or free.
  • You set the pace.
  • You can do it at any time.
  • No self-discipline.
  • No face-to-face interaction.
  • Lack of flexibility.
  • Lack of input from trainers.
  • Slow evolution.
  • Good e-learning is difficult to do.
  • Lack of transformational power.
  • No peripheral benefits.

 

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

 

If you have achieved your ICB qualification, congratulations! But this is only the first step. What are you doing to enhance your employability? When recruiting staff, the employer will look at more than just your qualification, they will be trying to see if you have the required competencies to fulfil the role, and also whether you will be a good fit to the company culture and values, how can you show this?

a. Job shadowing/Volunteer experience: `

We understand not everyone will have working experience straight after studying, but what have you done to gain exposure to the working world during or after your studies? In your CV you should list any job shadowing or volunteer experience you have had.

b. Leadership roles during school:

If you were ever a class representative or prefect in school, list this in your CV too! This says a lot about your leadership ability.

c. Extramural activities:

When you are not working or studying, how do you spend your days? What are you passionate about? Are you a nature-lover or book worm? You can note that too!

d. Any additional courses:

What are you doing to improve your professional development? If you have noticed that your admin skills are not very good, why not do a course to learn new skills? There are many online sites which offer short courses to improve skills, such as Linkedin Learning or Udimy, and this shows employers that you are invested in your own development. If you are also a member of our sister company ICBA, then you will have free access to our webinars which you also help your continuous professional development (CPD). Being a part of a membership body such as the ICBA also shows your credibility to employers so if you are not yet a member, check out the website today! https://www.icba.org.za/

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

a. Dress to impress

It is important to look your best on the day of the interview, even if the company does not have a formal dress code, you want to stand out from other candidates. Look professional!

b. Arrive early

Anticipate traffic and the worst-case scenario, ensure that you arrive at least 15 minutes early to the interview. This also gives you a chance to have a look around and get an idea of the company culture, how do the staff interact? How does everyone behave? Being on-time also makes a good first impression.

c. It is ok to be nervous

Nerves are expected at an interview, arriving a bit early and being very well prepares can help a lot. This is why I suggest making all your notes in your notebook, so that even if you are a bit nervous, you can refer to your notes. Take a deep breath, it is ok!

d. Preparation is everything!

Have I mentioned this enough?

e. Remember to smile and show good body language

Again, you want to make a good and lasting impression, ensure that you show good body language and a positive attitude before and during the interview.

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

If a company has requested an interview with you, congratulations! This means that they have seen something in your CV that they like and would like to know more about you. But this is also an opportunity for you to get to know the company!

Preparing for interviews is very important and something that the company will be impressed by, this is something that can set you apart from other candidates. Get a notebook ready to take some notes on the following, and take the notebook with you to the interview! You can refer to the notes you have made during your discussion which will show the company you are well prepared.

Firstly, do your homework on the company:

  • Ensure you have a good understanding of their business: the goods and services they offer (have a look at their website, Facebook and other social media pages and make some notes for yourself)

Secondly, make sure you have a good understanding of the position you are applying for:

  • Ask for a copy of the job description before the interview if possible
  • Go through the job description (or google a job description of a similar position if not available) and make some notes on the duties: if it involves customer service, why would you be good at fulfilling the function? What prior knowledge or skill would help you in the role? It is important to think of this before the interview as you will be more prepared to answer questions relating to why you have the potential for the position.

Thirdly, make sure you prepare some questions to ask your interviewer:

  • This helps to show you are well prepared but also will help you get more information about the company and position.
  • Try to stay away from questions relating to terms and conditions of employment, i.e. salary or working hours, the company will bring this up when the time comes.
  • Have a look at this link for some great questions to ask your interviewer: https://biginterview.com/blog/2011/08/best-questions-to-ask-end-interview.html

Lastly, you need to be prepared to answer a few questions, here are some examples of questions I typically ask candidates:

  • Tell me a bit about yourself?
  • What do you know about our company and why do you want to work here?
  • What do you know about the position and why do you think you have the potential for the position?
  • Tell me about your previous positions and the experience you have gained?

I can go on and on but you get the idea, if you would like to prepare some more questions you can also google some examples, here is a link for more info: https://fitsmallbusiness.com/best-interview-questions-for-employers/

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

This is very important as it is the company’s first impression of you, so you need to make sure it is a good one!

1. CV layout

I like a CV which is concise and to the point. Try to keep it 1 – 3 pages maximum. I do not think that you need to include copies of all your certificates, ID documents, etc. I would suggest stating your qualifications in the CV and that your transcripts or certificates are available on request.
Nowadays, there are many websites where you can download CV layouts for free, simply google free CV templates and choose a template which appeals to you, here is an example: https://www.freesumes.com/free-resume-templates-for-ms-word/
I also like a CV which has a small professional photo of the candidate, take note, professional! I think that a CV stands out when I can see the person who is applying for the position, then you are not just another piece of paper.

2. What to cover

In general, a CV should include the following information:
a. Your personal details, i.e. name, date of birth, nationality, your residential area, drivers license if applicable, languages, and most importantly, contact details!
b. Short bio/introduction of the self, experience and intention. For example, I am an X professional who has recently completed my X qualification. I have experience working in the X industry and am passionate about X.
c. I would then suggest listing your working experience, starting from the most recent. Ensure you include the company details, your title and a breakdown of your duties, the period of service and any achievements while in the position.
d. Next, I would suggest listing your education, starting from your highest qualification down to Matric, where applicable. You should also list the period or dates that you studied and the name of the institution where you obtained your qualifications.
e. Skills: list the soft skills and technical skills which you possess, i.e. do you have great communication skills? Computer skills? If so, which computer programs or platforms? i.e. MS Office and maybe you have been trained on a particular payroll software package T list that here!
f. References: it is important to list contacts which potential employers can contact regarding your experience and performance. Ideally, this would be your direct supervisor at your employer or a leader in your community, i.e. Principal from your school, who can vouch for your character and work ethic. Sometimes school leaders will help by writing you a reference letter to send to prospective employers, this helps to support your credibility.

3. Please, no spelling mistakes!

Spell check, spell check and spell check again. And once you have spell checked for the last time ask someone you trust to read through your CV to ensure your writing is free from any errors. Remember, this is the company’s first impression of you, and you want to make it a good one.

4. The importance of truthfulness and evidence

I believe very strongly about this section, and this is not only about the implications of lying on your CV (which you should not do!) but more specifically, being able to back up statements on your CV with concrete facts and justifications. For example, if you say you have great time management skills, why? If someone asked you why in the interview, would you be able to explain? You should be able to!
For every statement you make on your CV, you need to be able to back it up with a story or explanation as to why you say so. If you cannot, then maybe it should not be on in the first place.
Therefore, if you list multitasking or interpersonal skills on your CV, make sure you make some notes in your notebook about times during your studies or previous work experience which you needed to multitask or demonstrate your interpersonal skills to get the job done. A good way to do this is by explaining what was the situation or problem, what did you do that demonstrates your skill, and what was the outcome.

5. Applying to jobs online

a. You often need to create profiles on these platforms, a (professional) profile picture will make your profile stand out!
b. Ensure the information you insert matches your CV and is kept up to date
c. Make your cover letter personal to the position you are applying for, i.e. if you are applying for a customer service position, rather than stating I am applying for the position stated I the advert (which I see quite often) take two minutes to write that you are interested in the customer service position, and why, from the information you have read in the advert, you believe you are a great candidate for this position. The cover letter needs to catch the recruiter’s eye and I can easily spot the difference between a cover letter which is copy and pasted, vs one which the candidate has personalised to the position.
d. It’s tough out there! You may need to apply for 20 jobs before you get called for an interview, be prepared for this and keep trying. Do not give up!
e. If you have applied for positions online ensure you check your emails daily and keep your phone on you, if a recruiter tries to contact you and you only respond a week later, it may be too late.

Working for yourself or starting a business can be a terrifying idea. The risks, commitment, sacrifices and sheer determination involved could be enough to turn away even the strongest of Entrepreneurs.

 

Out of the top ten people on last year’s Forbes 400 list, seven of them founded and built the businesses that made them as successful and wealthy as they are today. This is where starting a business could take you.

#1 Bill Gates – Microsoft

#2 Jeff Bezos – Amazon.com

#3 Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook

#5 Larry Ellison – Oracle

#6 Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg LP

#9 & #10 Larry Page & Sergey Brin – Google

 

The first step to achieving growth as an Entrepreneur is having a unique business concept, but that’s just the start. In order to realise the potential of your startup idea, you’ll need to be able to build an effective, efficient business around you, meaning you need to be a Project Manager, strategist, people manager and business analyst all in one.

 

What are the key responsibilities of an Entrepreneur?

A foolproof way to learn how to be a successful Entrepreneur is to look at the mistakes of startups that have failed before you. Many small businesses fail in their formative years, with almost 45% of companies closing their doors within five years of opening them.

 

Leading causes of startup failure are:

  • Not solving a true market problem
  • Running out of capital
  • Hiring the wrong team
  • Getting outplayed by competitors
  • Pricing your product or service incorrectly

In order to ensure your startup succeeds, you’d need to be confident in your ability to deal with the responsibilities that entrepreneurship requires of you. Your skills and tools would need to evolve to serve your market niche and help you develop a sustainable business plan to fill your gap.

Key responsibilities of an Entrepreneur include making an impact in the following three areas:

Entrepreneurship
  • Generating and identifying new business opportunities to capitalise on
  • Navigating the legal environment with starting a business and planning accordingly
  • Developing an effective marketing plan that is best suited to your organisation

 

Business strategy
  • Defining the overall organisational goals, values and purpose of the business
  • Conducting competitor research, internal and external SWOT analyses to construct a  competitive advantage
  • Implementing, evaluating and adjusting strategies to ensure business sustainability

 

Cost management
  • Compile reliable budgets that can be used to accurately report and estimate costs for inventory management
  • Compare and contrast the costs and benefits of outsourcing investment recovery
  • Apply financial insight and ensure a business has attainable and maintainable goals

 

What is the career path of an Entrepreneur?

When pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, you have the ability to choose your own career path. You could be both the founder and CEO of your company, such as Bill Gates of Microsoft. You could choose to start a business and then find a CEO to run it for you, like Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp did in the early days of Uber. You could also follow in the footsteps of Forbes 400 #3, Warren Buffett, and fund multiple startups with other investors, acting as stakeholders in those companies while their values grow.

The self-made entrepreneurs featured on the Forbes 400 2016 list are worth a total of $1.6 trillion, with 35% of that net worth being found in technology companies and 25% found in finance and investment businesses. Other notable industries include media and entertainment, fashion and retail, real estate and energy.3

The question is: which is the best industry to start a business in?

  • Tech
  • Finance and investments
  • Media and entertainment
  • Fashion and retail
  • Real estate
  • Energy

 

What is the potential salary for an Entrepreneur?

No two entrepreneurs experience the same business process, meaning no two entrepreneurs have comparable salaries. Your salary is entirely up to the decisions you make and how well your startup performs.

To figure out what you should be paying yourself, you need to look at your business’s revenue and your personal needs and make a decision about what you deserve to get paid.

Make use of pay information sites like Salary, Glassdoor and Payscale to compare your pay to people in similar positions and locations to ensure you pay yourself what you deserve. If the business can’t afford to pay you after deducting operating costs, hold off on your salary but consider marking it as a debt the company owes you, to be paid in the future.

What are the education and training requirements for an Entrepreneur?

Depending on the industry you wish to enter into or the type of product you wish to offer, you could require anything from a college certificate or a Bachelor’s Degree to a Doctorate and multiple certifications.

This is why Entrepreneur, Shannon Smuts believes online business courses are the best option for Entrepreneurs looking to achieve real-time business goals.

Jeff Bezos held a Bachelor of Science from Princeton when he started Amazon.com, while Bill Gates didn’t even finish his studies at Harvard before dropping out in his second year to start Microsoft.

No matter your level of education of qualification, there are key skills you need to be a successful entrepreneur:

  • Business strategy
  • Business management
  • Project management
  • Commercial law
  • Business analysis
  • Cost and management accounting

Take a look at the ICB’s Entrepreneurship Programme here.

Source: https://www.getsmarter.com/

Applying for a  job online can be daunting. 

Here are 10 quick checks to do before applying for one.

 

1. Is your CV fully up-to-date?

The CV you complete is what employers will ultimately see, so make sure it is comprehensive and up to date.

 

2. Have you written in full sentences with the audience (prospective employers) in mind?

Too many times we see a “one CV fits all” approach from applicants. Tailor your CV to highlight the specific skills the employer/recruiter will be looking for on your CV.

 

3. Have you included enough detail, without being long-winded?

An online CV that you complete is not an abridged version of your full CV. It should contain enough detail to showcase your skills without being so long that the reader loses interest.

 

4. Have you completed all your previous employment history?

There are up to 12 available spaces to complete previous work history on the RecruitMyMom CV. Starting with the most recent, include all relevant work experience in your CV.

 

5. Have you explained the gaps in your CV?

It is okay to have working gaps on your CV provided you can explain why they exist.

 

6. Have you checked for spelling, grammar and upper/lower case errors?

If a job specification asks for “attention to detail” or “excellent in English” these errors can immediately disqualify you. Download a grammar app such as Grammarly to ensure you get it right.

 

7. Are your employment references from previous employers and do they include telephone numbers or contact email addresses?

References should not be colleagues or family unless specifically requested.

 

8. Have you looked at your final CV?

When one looks at the final CV it is easy to spot errors.

 

9. Apply immediately!

Having a completed CV enables you to respond quickly to your perfect job which ensures your CV is at the top of the applicants’ list.

 

10. Have you thought about how to write an excellent motivational letter when applying for the job?

The motivational letter should not be vanilla. It must show that you have read and understood the requirements of the role and taken the time to explain why you should be considered.

 

Source: https://www.recruitmymom.co.za/

Are you currently freelancing as an accountant or thinking of working for yourself? Navigating a freelance career can be stressful and can leave you feeling uncertain, particularly if you don’t know how to market your services and build on your experiences. Here are a few tips to help you accelerate your professional journey and market your skills as a freelance accountant:

 

MARKET TO START-UPS AND SMALL BUSINESSES

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) include start-ups and small companies that can’t always afford the big financial services firms. Think corner shops and fledgling companies. These enterprises need accountants too. As a freelance accountant, this is a great market to tap into. Make yourself visible to younger, smaller businesses and target your service towards this gap. A good start is by offering free assessments to the small businesses. This will help them get a sense of what you are offering and how it can benefit their business.

 

JOIN A FREELANCE NETWORK

It can be hugely beneficial to network with other freelancers, both formally and informally. A popular online freelance network called Upwork (formerly called Elance) matches freelancers with freelance jobs. This site allows you to build a profile, market your skills, and find work online.

 

SIGN UP WITH A RECRUITMENT AGENCY

Given the many recruitment agencies out there, it could be worth your while to sign up with at least one of them. Specify that you’re a freelancer looking for short-term contract work. This will help you build up a portfolio, broaden your experience, and maintain a stream of work. Also, consider BAN (Business Accounting Network), which is a franchise structure of accounting professionals working for themselves.

 

MAKE USE OF DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MARKETING

 

WEBSITE

Build a website for yourself. There are many free platforms available if you don’t want to pay for one, and there’s always the option of outsourcing if you do. Your website should outline your services and let people know how to contact you, at the very least.

 

LINKEDIN

Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and that it reflects the very best of who you are, what your experience entails, and which skills you have to offer. Needless to say, you should fully familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of LinkedIn.

 

FACEBOOK PAGE

A professional Facebook page can be helpful too. This makes you accessible and can go a long way in building up a client base. Be sure to include testimonials from satisfied clients and keep your page professional and updated. It should have a distinctive feel from your personal Facebook profile and should focus solely on marketing your business.

 

BUILD A CONSULTANCY

When your freelance career starts really taking off, you could explore the option of growing it even further. Consider the possibility of elevating your individual freelance business to a small consultancy firm. This would entail building your brand, probably recruiting a small team, formalising your company, and possibly continuing your education through additional bookkeeping and accounting programmes while maintaining business operations.

 

Source: https://www.oxbridgeacademy.edu.za/