Listeriosis- A Typical Real Cost of Corruption!

Why Be Concerned About Corruption?

Many think corruption ends with the person accepting a bribe and that it ends there. They reason that they are not criminals because no one is killed, when in fact, the opposite is true.

There are many examples we can look in order to prove otherwise,  but for now, let’s take this recent outbreak of Listeria in South Africa, where more than 190 people lost their lives. It is alleged that the real source of this bacteria is from chicken Imported from Brazil. These are used by the cold meat manufacturers to make polonies and other stuff as we know it. The question then is, were these imports not checked for such infections at arrival in South Africa? How could they have gone through the system undetected? This cannot be by mistake, since foodstuff security is something health officials should take serious since it has a vital impact on the lives of the citizens. 190 lives were lost as a result of this bacteria, something that could have been prevented, Many more are receiving treatment for it.

With Is The Real Cost of Corruption?

Somebody or a group of people, somewhere up in the value chain, decided to turn a blind eye or not even bother to check these chicken imports and test them as required by law. Somebody up there must have received some ‘incentive’ to let them through the system. At what cost? Lives are lost. The company Enterprise may be shut down, leaving thousands of workers without jobs. Many analysts say that the company may not survive the crisis. Newspapers are reporting on the shut down

Logistics companies contracted to Enterprise will lose out on revenue. Surrounding businesses that depended on the existence of Enterprise will be affected. A bakery owner was crying tears the other day. Trays and trays of his bread that he uses to supply those Mammas selling Kotas are not sold. Schools are barring kids from buying from these mammas. These women, many of whom are sole breadwinners at home, most being single mothers, depend on selling the Kotas to make a living. Supermarkets have had to refund consumers for recalled items. VAT charges has to be reversed. Small business owners who were selling cold meat hampers are sitting with no business, the list goes on.

It all starts with corruption. Somebody gets few thousands in his pockets to let things go through, affecting millions down the value chain. This unfortunately, is the real cost of corruption.

 

CRM And Small Businesses

Customer relationship management or CRM software is no longer just for large companies. In today’s highly competitive world, small and mid-sized businesses everywhere should be looking at gaining an edge ahead of their competition. Leveraging the best solution for small business can help you achieve exactly that.

CRM software was originally designed to help businesses build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers. However, these days this solution can do a lot more. It can drive higher productivity and efficiency by streamlining your sales cycle. It can also organize your data, and allow you to view company performance at the click of a button.

If you’re still not sure whether this is the best option for your business,  consider a few benefits.

 What are the benefits of a CRM Solution?

For starters, a CRM can help you centralize your contacts and interactions, decreasing the time you spend searching for information. With it, you have access to information like email, phone number, notes from your last conversation with a prospect. You can also see their website, LinkedIn profile, and so much more in one centralized location, thus saving you time.

Tired of tracking your sales cycle in a spreadsheet? With a CRM for small business you can create views and dashboards to better manage your prospects. For example, with solutions like Bitrix24,  and Insightly CRM you can create a view that allows you to view your prospects in a specific stage of a sales cycle. A CRM solution will also allow you to have better visibility into where your prospects are in a sales cycle. This will ensure you’re focusing your time on the prospects that matter most.

Another great reason to leverage a CRM solution is its ability to sync with your systems. Today, CRMs are robust tools that can communicate with just about any system you’re already using. Integrating tools like Microsoft Office365 with your CRM can streamline your inbound marketing process. For example, when a lead fills out a form on your company’s landing page made through Office365, it will communicate with your CRM, automatically create a lead in your CRM, and prompt a team member to follow up. This type of configuration drastically increases efficiency and reduces the risk of recording incorrect data.

Leveraging a CRM to serve as a single source of truth will help keep your team on the same page, which fosters better internal communication. Storing information in one place saves everyone time (internally and externally), and improves overall experiences.

Most solutions have features that allow you to build customized templates and send mass emails, allowing you to track both open and response rates so that your marketing efforts become super quick and easy evaluate.

What’s Next?

If you choose to use a CRM solution, make sure it’s a cloud based. Also, make sure to research its mobile platform. Cloud based solutions allow you to access information from anywhere so you can update your records while on the go, waiting at the gate for your next flight, or working remotely.  A solution with good mobile platforms make managing your contacts even more accessible and easier.

Reports generated from CRMs are only as good as the data you put into them. However, a CRM can help small businesses tap into insights on a more granular level such as customer information and correspondence, individual sales performance, trends and more to enable you to make effective decisions to grow your business.

CONCLUSION

Running a successful business is not easy, but leveraging a CRM will help drive your business forward by empowering you and your team to be more productive, efficient, keep your data organized, and give you a more precise view of your business’s overall performance. Our Team at Thoromo Investment are at hand to advise you on the best approach.

Buybrown Mall, our Brainchild!

Why BuyBrown Mall?

Many small businesses find it expensive to afford mainstream media advertising. They rely on Word of mouth, and thankfully, Facebook has made it simple and free to advertise your business. This is well and good, but it has it’s limitations. What has that got to do with BuyBrown Mall?

How can you trust what your friends will say about your business? How about that Customer you had to threaten with legal action to get them to pay you? What they say to others about your business can either make it or break it.

How Social network helps 

It is true that many have made a lot of money through social network marketing. By posting on their Facebook pages or in other business related groups, some had made money. But that also has its limitations. Your post is only visible as when people see it. Once others post after you, it disappears into oblivion. Now how are you going to make sure your potential customers always see you?

We came up with a solution

Thoromo Invesment, a Black owned investment company, came up with an idea of pooling together, as much as possible, all black owned businesses. The aim is to promote them in a formal platform, a Business directory. Their Web Development team had to spend a lot of time and other resources in developing this platform, not knowing how the market will receive it, but they had faith that it will be positively accepted. As they are a small developing business themselves, they understand the challenges facing the small business owners and their needs, so hence this platform, BUYBROWN MALL.

It’s not long that this platform has been launched, but the response from the target market has been so tremendous. Thoromo Investment, as the custodian of the campaign, is looking forward to be of service to you, as a partner.

In it’s offerings, there is a 14 days Free listing, to allow you to list your business, with no obligations, to ‘test drive’ the platform. It is expected that by the end of the trial period, you will then upgrade to a 6 or 12 months subscription. There is a Special introductory price on the paid subscriptions until end of August, thereafter normal subscription fee will be applicable. So we invite you to take advantage of the special price, which is about R3 a day, calculated from the annual subscription fee. So, take action today, subscribe with us!  Subscribe Now

 

It’s like being at a mall.

We want to give you a mall feel, from the comfort of your lounge or office. The difference here is, it’s a black-owned mall, for the black-owned businesses, to promote black-owned businesses. Somewhere along the floors, your shop is waiting for you. Come get your key.

 

Happy to help.

You may have some questions or you want to speak to one of our consultants.  Feel free to call us at 010 534 6002 or email us at listings@buybrownmall.co.za

Reason Why Small Businesses Must Consider Adopting Digital Transformation

Many small business owners think that digital transformation belongs to major corporations.  They seem to ignore that they also need to be rapidly engaging with the transformation process in order to remain competitive. This article would like to asses the trends in the field and enable small businesses to see how they can fit in the process.

 

What Is Digital Transformation?

It is a broad term but in the context of small businesses, it generally refers to the process of adapting  current business processes to incorporate digital strategies and technology. This may include adopting new devices so that employees can work away from the office, using mobile apps to improve internal communication, going paperless through digital data capture, putting more services on-line and allowing  consumers to use on-line payments services and the means to make payments either on-line or directly through no contact payment systems.

We are hereby going to look at a few of the emerging trends and strategies small business can consider adopting.

Automation

 Many small businesses are looking at automation. An example of this is using databases to capture information to make the searching for information faster when the need arise.  The advantages of automation is that it allows employees to focus their attentions on more skilled tasks, and on activities that will bring income or lower operating costs. An example of software that can help lower the administrative burden is Microsoft Bookings an online and mobile app for small businesses who provide services to customers on an appointment basis. Examples of such businesses include hair salons, dental offices, spas, law firms, financial services providers, consultants, and auto shops. Bookings has three primary components:

Virtual office

 Solutions like cloud productivity platforms, including Microsoft Office 365, allow employees to work and collaborate at peak proficiency without wasting time. In addition, documents can be accessed at any time from any working environment. Such cloud solutions also affect the changing world of work. The concept of the workday being 9 to 5 and the office with four walls is no longer the norm.  Many employees want to work at different times and locations. Many businesses, especially those that trade worldwide, want a 24-hours-a-day operation.

 

Meeting customer service expectations

Customers  expect faster services from business, according to Microsoft Business, and are often expecting to engage with businesses digitally, from communication to making payments. Customers also expect faster, round-the-clock services and faster deliveries of goods. It is only through digital platforms that businesses can meet these expectations. Customers are also a rich source of data for the business which many smaller businesses fail to collect and use. Such information can help the business to meet changing customer needs, such as which channels customers want to engage with.  Can they engage on-line, via mobile devices or even accessing services or paying for goods by use of smartwatches)

Small businesses should take care not to rush in and adopt technology for it’s sake; this could lead to inefficiencies. Before adoption, businesses should evaluate technology on the basis of:

 Clarity: The technology should be for a precise reason, answering a direct need.
 Simplicity: The solution should allow for less time to spent on IT management, not more
 Security: The technology should maintain a top level of security.
 Reliability: External service providers must guarantee a specific level of service.

 Sustainability: If the platform becomes obsolete, the data must be able to be removed and used with another system.So a scalable technology needs to be considered at the planning stage

These are important considerations for any small business and may open up new possibilities. Digital technology, to a degree, levels the playing field for small businesses versus larger corporations.  It opens up new possibilities for growth and being competitive.

One immediate driver for small businesses is the adoption of mobile payments, which is fast growing in small enterprises. Companies like Yoco have developed solutions no small business must be without.