Flexi-hours: The pros and cons

We live in an age of technology and with it comes greater connectivity. This is something that has undoubtedly fueled the idea of flexible working hours more than ever – gone are the days of people having to stick rigidly to the constraints of a nine-to-five job. Flexi-hours are fast becoming a more viable reality for businesses around the world, one which is allowing employees to have more freedom and control of their working hours than ever before. As with many concepts though, there are both advantages and disadvantages that come with the flexi-hour system for employers and employees alike – read on to discover just what some of these are.

Let’s start with the pros:

  • More motivated: Because employees are no longer “schedule-bound”, they tend to be more enthusiastic about their jobs.
  • Higher levels of productivity: As a result of being more motivated, employees are seen to be more efficient and productive, with absenteeism as well as turnover rate falling significantly.
  • Loyal workforce: Happy, productive employees invariably mean loyal employees – it’s a win-win situation for both sides.
  • Attract and retain top talent: In today’s working world, there is a high value placed on flexibility, so it’s not unheard for prospective employees to seek out specific companies that are known for being more flexible than others. Offering flexi-hours can give a business the power to both attract and retain the top talent in the industry.
  • Garner a reputation: This is one for the employer – offering flexi-hours can position you in an attractive spot to be considered as a friendly and flexible company that people want to work for. It also shows that you are progressive (to a degree) and you’re willing to take your employees’ needs seriously.
  • Maintain a better work/life balance: Flexi-hours can be particularly appealing to working parents who need to be more available for their children. The same can also apply to those who maybe care for a spouse or an elderly parent. Yet even if these don’t apply, flexi-hours can still give you the freedom to meet both family and personal commitments more easily, helping you to master that seemingly elusive work/life balance.
  • Higher quality of work: Because employees are able to work during the hours they find they are the most productive, the chances of producing higher quality work become increased.
  • Goodbye to commuting and peak-hour traffic: With the freedom to choose their working hours, employees may be able to avoid peak-hour traffic and in some cases, a long commute all together. This eliminates the negative effects that sitting in traffic and early wake-up calls can invariably have on mood, attention span and exhaustion levels – all things that can (and do) affect productivity levels on a daily basis.

The other side of the coin: the cons:

  • Lack of control: With people operating on different schedules, there’s always the possibility that managers/business owners will start to lose control and lack awareness when it comes to the work being carried out.
  • Communication break-downs: Without there being set hours in place for all employees, it can become increasingly difficult to get in touch with the right people when you need to, and therefore harder to co-ordinate meetings and presentations.
  • Taking advantage: The flexi-hour system is a trust-based one with employers choosing to believe that delivering flexibility to their employees will not result in a drop in work quality or people taking advantage of a concept that can very often come across as being deceptively laid-back.
  • Lack of supervision: Because employees are not being watched every minute of the day, some can veer off the path and start to show signs of non-compliance with company policies and even tardiness.
  • Hard to build an office culture: With employees not being all together day in and day out, creating an office culture can become difficult, if not impossible. The lack of cohesiveness can lead to people feeling alienated and as if they are not part of a team. For this reason, flexi-hours may not be the best idea to implement within team-based businesses.

Flexi-hours can do wonders for some business, but within others, it can wreak absolute havoc. As a small business owner, it’s vital that you weigh up all the pros and cons before choosing to apply this system to your business. Be sure to consider whether or not it would be beneficial to everyone involved, both now and in the long run.

Just as technology has brought us the ability to introduce more flexible working hours, so too has it brought us reliable and impressive online accounting and payroll productssuch as those available from Sage One.

 

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Cloud Accounting is the key to taking your business to the next level

Talk to any small business owner and they’re bound to tell you how cloud accounting has helped to change their business… and their lives. When people mention “the Cloud”, they are almost always referring to using the Internet as a means of storing, managing and processing data. 

 

Cloud accounting will completely transform how you do business and once you experience how revolutionary it can be, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using it all along. Read on to discover the reasons why cloud accounting is the way forward and what it has to offer that is sure to take your business from good to great.

 

Real time, all the time

 

With cloud accounting, as long as you have Internet access, you are able to see all your data at any time and in real time. Any changes you make are automatically saved meaning that you and others are always working with the latest versions of information. Also, more than one person can work on a single file at the same time, facilitating better communication between you and your financial expert (aka, your accountant) as queries can be answered and issues can be resolved there and then.

 

Manual data entry is a thing of the past

 

Gone are the days of having to manually re-enter relevant transaction data from your banking system into your accounting software. Live feeds from your accounts can now be linked to your cloud-based accounting system so that you not only have access to up-to-date, live data, but you also get to say goodbye to lengthy data entry time and slow downloads. In a nutshell: cloud accounting saves you time making it easier for you to focus on the aspects of your business that matter most.

 

Effective business decisions are made faster

 

Being able to access real-time information anywhere using a mobile device means that your business is no longer at a disadvantage because of its accounting data lagging behind reality. When it comes to making important and effective business decisions, it certainly helps to have immediate access to the up-to-date data that is needed to make the best possible decisions. Cloud accounting does just this – it assists business owners with making more informed business decisions more smoothly, and in the fast-paced business industry, this is hugely beneficial.

 

Flexibility with peace of mind

 

The Cloud is able to adapt as your business changes and grows, remaining a valuable business tool that supports the running of your business, rather than restricting it. In this way it allows you to have a great amount of flexibility when it comes to conducting business, something valuable in a world in which the business landscape is continually changing. The necessary security measures are also taken to ensure that all your data remains safe and protected in the Cloud so that you can proceed on a day to day basis without having to worry about the security of your business’s sensitive information. The added bonus is that you never have to be concerned about losing your data due to theft,disaster (such as fire) or even load shedding because the Cloud is not a physical thing. With cloud accounting you have peace of mind so that you can focus on the important things.

 

Cloud accounting software, such as that offered by Sage One, helps you maintain a bird’s-eye view of your business wherever you are, helping you to revolutionise the way you do business. It’s simple to use, hassle free and safe – what more could an on-the-go business person ask for?

 

 

Credit: http://myob.com.au

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Lumkani: Saving South African lives

South Africans are many things, but with the number of start-ups that have been launched in recent years, it’s easy to see how “enterprising” is fast becoming an accurate way of describing them. More and more aspiring entrepreneurs are attempting to make their mark in South Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurial market, many of who are driven by their need to make a difference in society and help their fellow brethren – and Lumkani is one such start-up.

South Africans are many things, but with the number of start-ups that have been launched in recent years, it’s easy to see how “enterprising” is fast becoming an accurate way of describing them. More and more aspiring entrepreneurs are attempting to make their mark in South Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurial market, many of who are driven by their need to make a difference in society and help their fellow brethren – and Lumkani is one such start-up. We take a closer look at this social initiative and how it’s attempting to save lives, not just in South Africa, but in other parts of the world as well.

A harsh reality

While conducting research for his Honours thesis in engineering, co-founder Francois Petousis found the devastating 2013 fire in Khayelitsha (in which more than 4000 people were left homeless) to have an acceleratory effect on his study. The unfortunate reality that many members of urban informal settlements face is that the outbreak of a fire can have devastating effects on the entire community. This is mainly because of how densely packed the settlements tend to be, and as a result, fires spread rapidly and leave a trail of damage in their wake. The 2013 fire further highlighted the great need for a solution that would create a social impact and finally address the challenge of shack fires.

The birth of Lumkani

Together with UCT electrical engineering lecturer Samuel Ginsberg, Petousis founded Lumkani, after which they were soon joined by other team members, including the start-up’s director, David Gluckman. Their mission was to design an affordable product that could function as an early-warning system in the hopes of increasing the chances of safety for informal settlement community members when fires break out. Beyond the issue of safety, there was also the need to help reduce the amount of fire-damage caused.

How does the technology work?

The Lumkani early-warning system is based on heat detection technology, as opposed to the traditional smoke detector. This is because many lighting, cooking and heating methods used by people in informal settlements produce smoke. Lumkani’s rate-of-rise of temperature technology was designed to monitor the temperature within a home, resulting in an alarm being triggered when the temperature becomes alarmingly high. The main goal here is to alert people earlier when a fire breaks out, giving them enough time to get to safety and call for help. Grappling with the core issues surrounding settlement fires, Petousis and his team acknowledged that it went beyond just a single shack and extended to the entire community. In short, in order to tackle this problem, there was a need for a communal alert. The answer: detectors that are networked within a 60 metre radius. This means that when one alarm is triggered, all the subsequent devices within its radius will ring as well, leading to a community-wide response to the danger. This makes for far more rapid detection, as well as faster and more effective responses, all of which mean less damage. The system also stores GPS co-ordinates and when an alarm is triggered, text messages are sent off to the affected members.

Looking forwards

The Lumkani team is now working on the next phase, which involves an alarm sending off GPS co-ordinates to emergency services – something which aims to reduce response time and limit the amount of damage by dealing with a fire before it becomes unmanageable. The start-up also has its sights set on the globe, where it hopes to bring about change in areas beyond South Africa.

In the meantime, since November 2014, Lumkani has made its way into many communities and offers close to 2000 households a fighting chance of beating devastating fires. It walked away with the prize for the best start-up in Global Innovation through Science and Technology at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2014, and has recently won the South African leg of Chivas Regal’s Win the Right Way competition. It will now join 20 other entrepreneurs from around the world in Silicon Valley for a mentorship programme later this year, where it stands the chance of winning $1 million. Good things have already been achieved, but great things are yet to come for this amazing South African start-up.

Trust Sage One’s effective software to be by your side as you make your entrepreneurial dreams become a reality.

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Mandela Day: Inspiration for uplifting you and your business

Former President Nelson Mandela spent 67 years fighting for a better world. In light of this, his birthday (18 July), has been declared International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations. For everyone all over the world, but especially for South Africans, this day holds a special place in our hearts. The Mandela Day initiative calls on everyone from all walks of life to devote just 67 minutes of their time to helping improve the lives of others.

Former President Nelson Mandela spent 67 years fighting for a better world. In light of this, his birthday (18 July), has been declared International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations. For everyone all over the world, but especially for South Africans, this day holds a special place in our hearts. The Mandela Day initiative calls on everyone from all walks of life to devote just 67 minutes of their time to helping improve the lives of others. The idea is one that has spread drastically, with individuals, corporations and charities all working together, just as Madiba would have wanted.

So what will you be doing this Mandela Day?

 When it comes to figuring out which project you or your company should participate in on Mandela Day, there certainly isn’t a shortage of amazing things from which to choose. The main aim during those 67 minutes is to do something that has the potential to better someone else’s situation. This could manifest in the form of anything from a beach clean up to helping out at a school or animal shelter. Here are a few ideas for you, your family or your business to participate in this Mandela Day:

  • Reading is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it is one that millions of people around the world are not able to enjoy. Go and read a snippet of your favourite book to someone who can’t, for example, a visually impaired person, a resident in an old age home or young children at a nursery school.
  • Foster a friendship with someone from a different background. This is likely to mean more to both of you than either of you could ever have imagined.
  • Help prepare someone for the working world. Assist them with putting together an impressive CV, or help them prepare for an interview – you could just help change the course of their future.
  • Host a fundrasing event and donate all the money raised to a charity of your choice. This could be done through cake sales, jumble sales or food stalls.
  • Organise a drive or collection of clothing, blankets and non-perishable food. Everything collected can then be given to someone, or even a group of people, in need.

There are plenty of things you can do this Mandela Day and the above just forms the basis from which to kick-start your thinking. Sage One, for example, provides a platform from which small businesses can grow. Their free online accounting trial and online Payroll demo provides a free, month-long service to help get things off the ground. Just as Sage One helps small business owners to grow and manage their businesses more easily and efficiently, so too can you help someone in need grow and feel better about themselves, even if only for a short while. What matters is that you take the time to try and change someone’s world – a little really can go a long way.

Seeking small business heroes

702, CapeTalk and Sage One are recognising and rewarding SA’s best small businesses. The 702/CapeTalk Small Business Awards with Sage One are underway, with more than R1 million in prizes up for grabs for the winners and runners-up in the Western Cape and Gauteng. The annual Awards seek out small businesses with big dreams and enormous potential, recognising their achievements and providing them with the support they need to grow.

702, CapeTalk and Sage One are recognising and rewarding SA’s best small businesses.

The 702/CapeTalk Small Business Awards with Sage One are underway, with more than R1 million in prizes up for grabs for the winners and runners-up in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

The annual Awards seek out small businesses with big dreams and enormous potential, recognising their achievements and providing them with the support they need to grow. The Awards invite 702 and CapeTalk listeners to nominate small businesses that have impressed them over the past 12 months.

The aim is to give recognition to great small businesses that offer exceptional service, and provide them with the necessary exposure to help them grow, and inspire other businesses to follow in their footsteps.

The Awards are sponsored by Sage One – simple, secure and affordable online accounting and payroll for small to medium businesses. “Whether it’s a start-up, or established business, the key to success is passion, persistence, hard work and determination. We want to know about small businesses that are striving for success in everything they do, including customer service,” says Ivan Epstein, CEO of Sage AAMEA (Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia).

“Small businesses are the engines of employment and economic prosperity. We at Sage are passionate about helping them to succeed. We want to highlight the achievements of small businesses that are creating jobs, building the economy, and delivering goods and services that enhance the lives of their customers.

For 702 and CapeTalk, the campaign offers valuable exposure to small businesses. “Since we launched the Small Business Awards we have profiled 420 businesses on our platforms, giving them an opportunity to reach new markets. The feedback from the business owners has been that the interviews have had a direct and immediate impact – their phones start ringing as soon as they come off air,” said Colleen Louw, CapeTalk station manager.

“The Small Business Awards are part of our broader strategy to support small businesses as this sector is critical to the growth in our economy,” added 702 station manager, Pheladi Gwangwa. “As large enterprises downsize and restructure, small businesses have come to play an increasingly important role in creating employment and for that reason they need our support to give a multiplier effect to this role.”

The winning small businesses will be awarded the following:

  • The Winners: In each region, the two winners will receive an advertising package to the value of R250 000 on 702/CapeTalk.
  • The Runner-ups: In each region, the two runner-ups will each receive a R125 000 airtime package on 702/CapeTalk.

Sage will award the winners in both regions a laptop with free access to Sage One Accounting and Sage One Payroll software (including one year of software support) and a training course or seminar of their choice, giving them the freedom they need to run their business anywhere, any time.

Last year’s 702 Small Business Awards winner was Book Express, founded in 2005 as a micro enterprise that provides new and second hand books at an affordable price to the UNISA student market. Leather goods manufacturer Research Unitwon the CapeTalk Small Business Awards.

“We received more than 1 800 nominations last year, showing the diversity and strength of South Africa’s small business sector,” says Epstein. “This year, we hope to receive even more. We’re looking for small businesses with a passion for excellence and achievement.”

If you have received exceptional service from a small business, 702, CapeTalk and Sage One want to recognise it, so be sure to submit your nomination as soon as possible. Finalists will be announced from the week of 10 August. Visit www.sba.702.co.za or www.sba.capetalk.co.za for more information.

 

Press release from 27 July 2015.

Five small business must-haves

In South Africa, small businesses are responsible for creating a large portion of the GDP. From small curio shops to independent convenience stores, the country is home to thousands of independently-owned businesses that have helped the economy along. However, maintaining any business, regardless of its size, can prove to be very challenging

In South Africa, small businesses are responsible for creating a large portion of the GDP. From small curio shops to independent convenience stores, the country is home to thousands of independently-owned businesses that have helped the economy along. However, maintaining any business, regardless of its size, can prove to be very challenging. Small businesses aren’t generally part of a larger brand, which makes penetrating the market slightly more difficult. However, there are ways and means of making the experience of running a small business easier. Below, you will find five must-haves for your growing small business.

Reliable accounting and payroll software

Keeping an eye on the books as well as the payroll within a small business is key in keeping on top of things. Having reliable accounting and payroll software can ensure that this happens, as it will help you ensure that you’re always aware of how the business is doing, as well as where it stands financially. With this information, you can also see whether or not the business can afford to expand and employ more staff, should the demand for your product or service increase.

A great website

In this day and age, it has become incredibly important for businesses to have a good online presence. Make sure your business has a website that not only represents everything you can offer your customers, but is also easy to use and tells visitors exactly what they want to know. Most customers will first do an online search before contacting a business, and the more reliable your site appears to be, the more potential cutomers will view your business as reliable. And, in this day and age there’s no excuse. You can easily create and optimise your website yourself with great template driven platforms like Sage Online Tools that even integrate with your accounting and payroll software.

Professionalism

It doesn’t matter what the size of a business may be, professionalism is key in creating a space in which clients feel they can trust you. If you can show them that you know what you’re doing and you’re good at it, they are likely to return to your business over and over again. A strong sense of professionalism never hurt anyone, and it is even likely to help your business run smoother.

Leadership

One thing a small business definitely cannot do without is leadership. Employees need to have someone to look up to, not only for the growth of the business, but for their own professional growth as well. They need to know that someone is at the forefront, making the best possible decisions for the business and that at the end of the day, the business is being lead from strength to strength. With good leadership, a small business can flourish even in the most challenging of times.

A positive attitude

This may sound like a cliché, but a positive attitude really can go a long way. If everyone who works at a small business adopts a positive attitude, the environment will become more pleasant to work in, which will, in turn, affect the quality of the work produced. And once clients and customers can see that the work is of a high quality, they will become loyal to your business.

Small businesses are at an exciting place in the South African economy, as they have great potential for growth. With reliable accounting and payroll software, a great website, a sense of professionalism, strong leadership and a positive attitude, an independent little restaurant, convenience store or car wash has the best possible chance of success.

 

 

Featured image: http://elixher.com

Why accountants love sage one accountants edition

At Sage One, we believe in giving small business owners the support they need to manage and run a successful enterprise more easily. With a range of software products available, you’re guaranteed to find the one that works for you and your payroll and accounting needs, which means that you’ll be able to spend less time balancing the books, and more time focusing on growing your company. 

At Sage One, we believe in giving small business owners the support they need to manage and run a successful enterprise more easily. With a range of software products available, you’re guaranteed to find the one that works for you and your payroll and accounting needs, which means that you’ll be able to spend less time balancing the books, and more time focusing on growing your company. What’s more, Sage One is not only committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs, but also those in the business of numbers: yes, that’s you, accountants and bookkeepers! The Sage One Accountants Edition is bound to change the way accountants and bookkeepers operate, and for the better – here’s how.

It’s convenient

As with all of Sage One’s products, as long as you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to access your data quickly and easily. This affords you the ability to work on-the-go, which means you’re able to keep your finger on your client’s pulse from wherever you are.

It’s user-friendly and super easy to navigate

The Sage One Accountants Edition is all about making your life as an accountant or bookkeeper that much easier. The Accountant’s Dashboard (available from the Home menu) displays the following:

  • Your client’s company information
  • A Profit and Loss widget
  • Banking information widget
  • Notes that require action

There is also a Task widget that displays all the tasks associated with your client together with their individual statuses, due dates and how many days remain before each task needs to be completed.

My Client list makes it quick and simple to find the client you’re looking for with the use of a search function. In minutes you’ll be able to access the contact information and other important data relating to a certain client. My Tasks and My Calendar work hand-in-hand so that you can keep track of the various tasks you do for your different clients, create new ones (either single or recurring ones) and have a constant, up-to-date overview of what needs to be completed when.

It’s safe and secure

Because we recognise the need for keeping sensitive and important data protected, various security measures have been put in place to ensure that your client’s information remains safe and secure, 24/7. This gives you the freedom to manage your tasks and deal with confidential data without having to worry about it being accessed by unauthorised people.

It saves time and lowers costs

Because you’re able to access your client’s data remotely, securely and in real-time, you’re not only able to stay on top of their money matters, but you’re able to save a huge amount of time. There’s no longer a need for you to travel back and forth between clients – all you have to do is log in, check the information that’s been inputted and make any necessary adjustments. As an accountant, you will have access to the same functionality as your client, but with added features that will help you manage things efficiently. And with everything you need in one place, nothing could be easier.

On top of this, with more time being freed up with Sage One, you’ll have more time to spend on providing your clients with valuable advice and insights when it comes to other financial areas such as reporting, for example. This will only add value to your customers’ businesses, helping them to further their development and get closer to becoming more successful over time.

Added bonus: Because you have real-time access, you’re able to collaborate with your clients more than ever before, something that will help you to strengthen your relationship with them and hopefully cement a long-lasting one.

And when time is money…

With the Time Tracking feature, you’re able to track the time spent within your practice and bill for it accordingly. This will allow you to stay on top of your overall time usage and subsequently, what it’s actually costing you at the end of the day. A built-in timer tracks every second you spend on a task, while you work, so that you’re able to account for every minute. Find out more about Time Tracking with Sage One here.

If you weren’t convinced before, you’re bound to be now. Contact Sage One to find out more about this and other products.

You may also be interested in reading: Five Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs Sage One Payroll Software

AND

Sage One Accounting Software: How It Can Help You Run Your Business Smoothly

 

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Sage One in search of SA’s best small business

The Talk Radio 702/ 567 Cape Talk Small Business Awards with Sage One, powered by Sage Pastel and VIP, have started and the annual search for small businesses with big dreams, great passion and enormous potential has begun. The Awards give Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk listeners the opportunity to nominate small businesses that have impressed them over the past 12 months.

The Talk Radio 702/ 567 Cape Talk Small Business Awards with Sage One, powered by Sage Pastel and VIP, have started and the annual search for small businesses with big dreams, great passion and enormous potential has begun. The Awards give Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk listeners the opportunity to nominate small businesses that have impressed them over the past 12 months.

The goal of the competition is to give recognition to great small businesses that offer exceptional service, and provide them with the necessary exposure to help them grow, and inspire other entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps. The Awards are sponsored by Sage One – simple, secure and affordable online accounting and payroll for small, growing business. Sage One is powered by Sage Pastel and VIP.

Says Ivan Epstein, CEO of Sage AAMEA: “We have always been passionate about small businesses for two reasons: firstly, we understand their challenges because we started as a small company ourselves, and secondly, because we believe they are the key to creating new jobs and growing South Africa’s economy.”

“We are pleased to sponsor the Small Business Awards again this year. We’ll once again be able to showcase some great small companies that are contributing to the small business sector, and hopefully play a role in helping them take their businesses to the next level.”

Sage One will award both of the winners with a laptop with free access to Sage One Accounting and Sage One Payroll software, including one year’s worth of software support, and a training course or seminar of their choice, giving them the freedom they need to run their business anywhere, anytime. An airtime package to the value of R250 000 on Talk Radio 702/ 567 Cape Talk and one month’s advertising exposure on the Google Display Network to the value of R25 000 will also be awarded to the winners to further promote their businesses.
The 2 runners-up will receive Sage One Accounting and Sage One Payroll software, including a year’s worth of software support. They will also receive a free training course or seminar of their choice as well as an airtime package to the value of R150 000 on Talk Radio 702/ 567 Cape Talk.

Last year’s winner, Roof Rats, clear bats, rats, dust and all the other accumulated mess out of ceilings. “Winning this competition gave our business a real boost,” says Diederik van ‘t Hof, owner of Roof Rats. “The exposure has given us enormous credibility and has helped us to grow our business and attract new customers.”

If you have received exceptional service from a small business, Talk Radio 702, 567 Cape Talk and Sage One want to recognise it, so be sure to submit your nomination before 22 August 2014.

Visit www.sba.702.co.za or www.sba.capetalk.co.za for more information.

Five South African start-ups to watch

It has to be said that South Africans are nothing short of innovative. This is evident more than ever in the number of start-ups that have exploded on to the scene in the last few years. More and more people seem to be taking the plunge into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, much to the delight of their fellow South Africans who luckily get to reap the rewards of some seriously fantastic ideas that are being made into realities.

It has to be said that South Africans are nothing short of innovative. This is evident more than ever in the number of start-ups that have exploded on to the scene in the last few years. More and more people seem to be taking the plunge into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, much to the delight of their fellow South Africans who luckily get to reap the rewards of some seriously fantastic ideas that are being made into realities. Here are just four of the many fledgling South African start-ups worth keeping your eye on.

Mellowcabs

The brainchild of Neil Du Preez and Kobus Breytenbach and inspired by alternative means of transport available in Europe, Mellowcabs is an exciting Franschhoek-based taxi start-up. Tapping into the niche market of “last mile commuters”, Mellowcabs offers an ecofriendly, efficient, urban micro transportation option, and the best part is, it’s free. How do they make money then, you ask? Through banner ads, of course. The ads appear on the sides of the electric mini cabs and give advertisers a unique opportunity to promote their brands. The cherry on top has to be the on-board tablets that utilise geo-location software that trigger location-specific adverts. The taxi industry just took an exciting turn.

GUST Pay

Co-found by Joe Botha, Werner van Zyl and Jan Pool, GUST Pay is essentially a quick and easy mobile payment alternative. The Stellenbosch-based start-up brings the idea of wearable technology to life with its NFC wristband technology, making payments at festivals and other large-scale events quick and painless. The GUST Pay mobile application is available on both iOS and android phones, and transforms a usually lengthy and fairly complicated payment process into a simple and fast one. Ultimately, it means shorter queues, cashless transactions and an overall seamless ticketing experience for both buyers and sellers. In a game where convenience is key, GUST Pay delivers.

Tuluntulu

The high costs of broadband and data connections across Africa is a nagging issue and one to which many South Africans are unfortunately more than familiar. The low data speeds mean lagging video steaming and ultimately, frustrated users. Enter Tuluntulu – a content distribution application for mobile phones. Launched by founder Pierre van der Hoven in 2012, Tuluntulu “is designed to meet the challenges of the developing world’s congested mobile networks and low-bandwidth environments”. Its main aim is to deliver users a viewing experience that is both inexpensive and uninterrupted. It’s built with South Africans in mind with the vision of combining low data speeds with video delivery in a way that allows access to TV anytime, anywhere.

SPOTTM

Wherever you are in South Africa, there tends to be a strong sense of community. SPOTTM is a private social platform created for you and your neighbours that allows you to fight crime as well as connect socially. Think of it as a virtual notice board that can be used to report crime in your area, find your lost pet or invite your neighbours to a neighbourhood gathering. As SPOTTM says: “Our aim is to use technology to create safer and socially engaged neighbourhoods.” It’s an excellent way to connect with your neighbours, help prevent crime and hopefully live in a safer, more close-knit community.

South African talent is manifesting in a number of exciting and innovative small companies that are really going places. There’s no doubt that there will be many more start-ups to follow so watch this space.

SME’s can enjoy simplified online accounting and payroll options with the assistance of Sage One Accounting.

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Sage simplifies online accounting and payroll for SME’s

How to Play Nice at the Office: Tips for how to deal with not seeing eye-to-eye with certain colleagues

In an environment where you tend to see your co-workers more than you do your family, it’s all too often that one or two of you will rub each other up the wrong way. Workplace conflict is inevitable, but if you handle it properly you can make your differences valuable, instead of just frustrating. 

n an environment where you tend to see your co-workers more than you do your family, it’s all too often that one or two of you will rub each other up the wrong way. Workplace conflict is inevitable, but if you handle it properly you can make your differences valuable, instead of just frustrating.

See your co-workers for who they are, not who you want them to be

We often get caught up in how we think others should behave, according to our values and our methods, instead of letting them be themselves. At the end of the day, we need to acknowledge that everyone has their own assets and flaws, and that not everyone is the same. Yes, we know it’s old news, but it’s true. No matter how annoying someone is, if you get to know them you will inevitably find something they can do better than you can.

Change your attitude

If there’s one set of wise words that truly can be applied to every area of life, it is “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes”. Often your viewpoint can drastically alter the context of a situation. If you see a colleague looking at you, then saying something to another colleague and both of them started laughing, you would likely be offended. However, if you heard them talking about the hilarious joke you told yesterday, you wouldn’t. Often the things we are hurt or irritated by are simply a question of our own assumptions and context, and if we can change that, we can drastically reduce our levels of perceived stress.

Learn to listen

Learning to listen is part of changing your attitude. If you understand why someone is doing what they are, it’s easier to know how to react. Many conflicts can be resolved with a simple “when you do [this], you make me feel like [this]” – the person often didn’t ever mean to offend you, and by listening to them, their “shoes” (metaphorically speaking) will be easier to walk in.  In that same sense, it’s highly important to understand your own actions and your reasons for them. A lot of the time we will avoid someone who has the same attributes we dislike about ourselves, or even be completely unaware that we ourselves are acting in a displeasing way to others. Recognise your behaviour and adjust it.

Don’t get personal

If you’ve tried to turn the other cheek, walked a mile in someone else’s uncomfortable shoes, but they’re still a thorn in your side, there isn’t much else you can do besides take a step back. Accept that you cannot change them, and keep it strictly business. Most people manage to do this perfectly, but they forget the other half of the coin: not getting personal means you can’t get personal about that person to someone else, either. You are free to rant as much as you like to your family at home, but any negativity about a co-worker should never be passed on to someone in the office – no matter how great your friendship is.

Make your enemies work in your favour

Abraham Lincoln constructed a cabinet out of his political rivals, because he knew they would push him to do things better. If you can learn to take a closer look at the aspects that other people don’t like about you, you’ll most likely figure out how to change those flaws, too, for the betterment of yourself and your workplace. By pushing yourself to do things the way you want to, you’ll only bump heads with others, but by showing them you’re happy to give their methods a try, you can only improve your own skills as well as your work environment.

At Sage One, we do all we can to make your work life easier. Follow our blog for more workplace tips, or change the way your business does finance by trying out our easy-to-use accounting software.

 

Image credit: http://www.negotiationlawblog.com