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How To Successfully Obtain Growth Capital For Your Business

February 2020 – David Seinker, CEO of The Business Exchange (TBE), an upmarket and high-end provider of coworking and private office space, is an entrepreneur in his own right. He has successfully negotiated over R100m in venture capital investment deals. He will be sharing insights into his successes, as well as discussing what it takes to successfully raise funding from private investors during an Investment Readiness workshop to be held on the 6thof February in Rosebank.

Reviewing the main reason for the successful conclusion of his deals, Seinker attributed it mostly to the underlying fact that the companies seeking investment  understood all the aspects of a private investment deal and dedicated themselves to becoming fully investor-ready, before approaching potential investors.

Entrepreneurs generally underestimate the amount of preparation that is required before becoming investor-ready” said Seinker. “It is also important to have a strong management team and to follow the investment process precisely achieve your investment outcome.”

Have A Great Business Plan

In addition to having a strong management team with a good understanding of the investment process, Seinker also pointed out the importance of a company having a thorough business plan in place.

Get Buy-In From A Strong Management Team

The primary purpose behind a business plan is to highlight the potential returns that investors can make, should they invest in your business. This plan not only needs to be driven by the business owner, but must also have “buy-in” from the entire management team to meet the challenging, yet achievable goals.

Understand The Entire Investment Process

Seinker added “The investment process consists of twelve steps from making the initial contact through to the finalisation of the deal. Aspects such as Due Diligence Reports and Term Sheet negotiations are included in these important steps.” An investor may also wish to conduct an internal check to ensure that due process and an adequate product/market opportunity evaluation was carried out.

The right financing for your investment needs

Seinker encourages entrepreneurs first to gain an understanding of what the investment process entails as well as what its implications on their business will be, adding that there are some great opportunities in the market.

The Investor Readiness workshop is a valuable precursor to the Investment Presentations Evening, where entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to present their business plan to potential funders, later this month on the 20thof February.

If you are interested in learning more about the Investment Process or would like to attend one of the events, contact rent@tbeafrica.com .

The Business Exchange offers fully furnished and flexible, serviced office space to meet your business requirements.

 

How to end off the year as an entrepreneur

When you’re an entrepreneur and the end of the year comes around, it’s often difficult to switch off and wrap things up. In a conventional office and corporate space you have bosses and an HR team deciding on when the business closes for the holidays and insisting that you take leave. When you’re on your own, you might find this difficult. But it’s imperative that you somehow wind down for the year and take some sort of break so that you can start the new year off with a refreshed mind and new goals. Below David Seinker, founder and CEO of The Business Exchange, shares five questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves in order to wrap up the year.

1. What were the biggest successes?

 Everyone must have a success story or two for the year. Identify what yours was and why these were your biggest successes of the year. Make a note on what you learnt and how you can use this to grow your business in 2020.

2. Where were the failures?

Try to identify about three failures or shortcomings that occurred in 2019. Ask yourself what this taught you and how you can avoid these failures in 2020. Perhaps you had hired someone who turned out to not be a good fit for your team? The lesson here could be that a more thorough interview process is needed going forward. Or perhaps you lost a client due to non- or late-delivery of services? Here the lesson could be that you possibly bit off more than you can chew.

3. Who helped me in my business this year?

Identify the clients, staff, friends and family that helped your businesses this year. Perhaps they helped by supporting you through difficult times or perhaps they stuck with you even when times were rocky. Thank these people and hint at some positive new plans for the business for 2020. If it’s a client, thank them for their business and let them know that you are looking forward to working with them again in the year ahead. This feedback will not only make everyone feel good, but it sets you up for a strong start to 2020 and it makes people want to help you again in the future.

4. What are my goals for next year?

Goal setting is important for business growth. Figure out what your 2020 goals are and work out how you plan to achieve these goals. Every business – big or small – needs focus and goals. Perhaps you want to grow the team? Identify the roles you need and how you want to create these jobs. Or maybe you have your eye on a big contract for 2020? What’s the plan to land it? Have a clear set plan that takes you closer to meeting your goals.

5. When should I end this year and what’s my first working day of next year?

Set a definite end date to your work life in 2019 and a start date for when you plan to be back in the office in 2020. Once you have these dates, let your clients know (I am sure they will understand) and put your out-of-office on. If there’s an emergency, you can be reached on your cell phone. With some downtime over the holidays, you can start 2020 feeling relaxed and ready for what the year may bring.

 

Best Business Tools for Coworking Entrepreneurs in South Africa

March 2019– As a business owner renting shared office space, it is essential for you not to purely rely on your business network and coworking colleagues for new business, but also to seek out digital platforms and applications that will provide your company with access to information that can be used to optimise its performance.

Although progressive Landlords of rented coworking office spaces, such as The Business Exchange, are providing many options for tenants to increase their number of business opportunities, coworking business owners also need to realise that these activities should only support their own marketing efforts and not be the mainstay for them.

So, where can you find some of the bestbusiness tools for coworking entrepreneurs in South Africa?

For Professionally Designed Websites

In today’s digital age, a website is non-negotiable. This is the first place that potential clients will search for products and services and where you can make an impact withengaging written content and amazing visuals. Both WordPress and Facebook offer easy-to-use platforms with a range of free and paid-for options. If you are unsure about your skills when it comes to putting together a basic website, Conversion Guru can assist you with a professional site.

Engaging Corporate Blog

The purpose of a corporate blog is to inform and solve problems for your clients and potential clients. A well-written blog, containing relevant information will help your website to be properly referenced and ranked by search engines such as Googleand assist your sitein startingto reach the top of the results page when people search for your product or service. This should be done on at least aweekly basis to ensure continuity and consistency. If English is not your first language or you are worried about your grammar or ability to put together professional content, The Write Content Co will help you put together an informative and exciting article or content for your website that is also optimised for search engines.

SMS and Email Marketing Platforms

You can create professional emails, automate communications, personalise bulk messages, and test and track campaigns with online platforms such as Everlytic or MailChimp. If in doubt, The Write Content Co can also assist you in putting together various email marketing campaigns.

Online Competitor Analysis

SEMrush is a complete SEO tool that can be used by both small and big businesses. This online tool will allow you to see how your competitors’ websites are faring with regards to keywords, search engine rankings and other digital metrics. Using this data, you can quickly capitalise on using the right keywords and developing the right content according to information that your clients are searching for.

Online Marketing Using Local Search

One of the first online directories you should register your business for is Google My Business. This will allow your business profile to appear when people search for it and provide them with all your relevant contact details. You can also include photos of your company or products. Once you have done this with Google, you can repeat it on these directories:

  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Facebook
  • Hotfrog
  • Ananzi
  • Cylex

Creating a profile on each of these directories will also provide you with an all-important backlinkto your website which is excellentfor search engine optimisation.

Build Your Online Reputation

As an entrepreneur in a coworking office space, you should have an excellent face-to-face reputation, and a corresponding online reputation. This online reputation is achieved through reviews that your clients leave on the online directories where you have registered your business.

Over 90% of people read online reviews and tend to trust them. You will need to continually audit the reviews left about your business and respond accordingly, whether the reviews are positive or negative.

We also recommended that you send outemails to clients asking them to review your products or services after concluding a transaction. This way you will increase your reviews, keep them current and collect vital information about your clients and services for later analysis. This is a time-consuming process which not all companies are able to manage and can outsource. For further information, contact The Business Exchange’s Digital Team.

Online Stores

E-commerce is experiencing a long-overdue growth in South Africa and platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce, (which both integrate nicely with WordPress), are recommended platforms for you to set up an online store for your clients.

Payments and Billing

WalletDoc is a successful South African start-up for businesses to collect more money and avoid cash flow issues with consumers. PayFast also makes it possible to accept payments online and also integrates well with WordPress, Shopify and WooCommerce.

Cloud Solutions

If you haven’t yet realised it, the “Cloud” is having an immense impact on all types of small businesses. Microsoft 365 allows entrepreneurs to choose from a variety of services and only pay for those they need. Cloud computing also will enableyou to quicklyand securely upgrade and update your business information.

We hope that you will find some of this information useful and should you be looking to rent coworking office space, please visit The Business Exchange to see their extensive range of additional business services on offer.

 

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