SOWETO INVESTMENT CORPORATION (PTY) LTD
 
We offer real and permanent good to everyday people



BOLD_INNOVATIVE_INVENTIVE_VISIONARY




SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER
SBDC

                                          Small Business Development Center
The ASBDC’s professional staff of business advisors, trainers, and researchers provides comprehensive, confidential business counseling services at no cost to the client. The ASBDC will be funded in part by the Department of Trade and Industry, and is supported by an extensive network of banks, chambers of commerce, foundations, and other economic development organizations. The ASBDC will initially serve Gauteng. This headoffice will be located in Joburg, and will direct the activities of 10 satellite ASBDCs, located throughout the Province.

Confidential Counseling

We provide confidential business counseling services at no charge to our clients. Our business advisors apply their skills and experience to assist you in making better decisions about your small business.  Key areas of counseling are noted below. 

  • Business Planning
  • Market Research
  • Capital Acquisition
  • Emerging Technology
  • Cash Flow, Financial Analysis
  • Rural Business Development
  • Taxes
  • International Trade
  • Cash Management
  • Human Capital
  • Manufacturing
  • Product Development, Engineering
  • Scalable Businesses
  • Government Contracting
  • Minority Business Development
  • Women's Business Issues
  • Veteran-Owned Businesses
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Information Technology

Research Services

SBDC business advisors can also provide their clients with targeted research assistance through the SBDC National Information Clearinghouse. This program provides research data and analyses and web-based information that enable SBDC clients to make sound business decisions. The Clearinghouse web site also has extensive on-line resources and links that are accessible to users: http://www.sbdcnet.org/

Training for Small Businesses

Meet the challenges of starting, owning, and operating a business by attending SBDC workshops and seminars! Our training events will be offered at a low cost to our clients, and provide a quick and easy way for you and your employees to learn new skills. Seminars and workshops will combine traditional business training with real-world applications that can be readily applied to your business. Classes will range in topic from basic start-up seminars to more advanced business management topics. Business owners and staff who have practical experience in small business management will present our training programs. Our schedule of classes will be updated regularly, so check our website often for new information. A sampling of seminar topics is presented below.

  • Requirements and Resources for Start-Ups
  • Using QuickBooks in Your Business
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Government Contracting
  • Business Planning
  • Human Resources
  • Franchising
  • Basic Financial Principles
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing for Small Businesses
  • Income Taxes
  • Using the Internet 
  • Social Media
 

The SDBC provides training to small business owners and entrepreneurs on a variety of topics from start-up requirements, to tax issues, marketing, loan assistance, and other business related services. Additionally, the SBDC provides research and industry information to help small businesses obtain the necessary information to develop strong business and marketing plans. Finally, the SBDC provides free and confidential one-on-one business consulting. Consulting includes assistance such as business plans, marketing planning, financial analysis, business valuation, and loan proposal assistance.

The session begins with the 5 C’s of credit including character, cash flow, collateral, capitalization and conditions.

  • The right Information you need to make good business decisions
  • Competitive Intelligence about your Industry that is up-to-date and relevant

SBDC small business staff have years of experience helping start-up businesses launch and existing companies expand successfully with our confidential consulting services.

Small Business Consulting Services

 
The Soweto Business Incubation Program

Areas of Assistance for our Clients

  • Advisory Services
  • Eduction & Networking Events
  • Finances & Accounting
  • Intellectual Property & Technology
  • Legal Assistance
  • Office Operations
  • PR & Marketing
  • Sales Assistance
  • University Resources

The goal of the Soweto Business Incubation Program (SBIP) and its community partners is to

facilitate smarter, faster start-up and growth of emerging companies so those companies will become financially successful, high growth companies in the community.

SBIP clients are provided an array of business development services and resources to help accelerate growth. The formal incubation process takes place through a series of strategic and tactical working sessions. The strategic sessions are designed to help define the company business, market and capital strategies and to build the business plan. Expertise and resources are identified for the company to utilize in addressing tactical needs as they are identified through the strategy sessions or through other informal interactions with Incubator staff and advisors.

Regular education and networking programs also are designed to address the shared needs identified among SBIP clients. Graduation takes place when a client has achieved a level of financial and corporate growth that enables them to leave the incubator and enter the second stage of corporate growth.

Evaluation

  • Submit Application
  • Complete Excellence in Entrepreneurship
  • Present to SBIP Selection Committee
  • Admission

Orientation (Month 1- 2)

  • Incubator Orientation
  • Business Development Orientation

Growth (Month 2 - 12)

  • Strategy Series Work Sessions
    1. Company Growth Strategy
      • Elevator Speech
      • Value Proposition
      • Problem Solved
      • Build Revenue Projections
    2. Market Growth Strategy
      • Target Customer
      • Market Segmentation
      • Sustainable Competitive Advantage
    3. Investment/Funding Strategy
      • Government Funding
      • Elevator Speech
      • Term Sheet
      • Power Point Presentation for Investors
  • Participate in Day-to-Day Tactical Meetings

Maturation (Month 6 - 12 )

  • Present Initial Business Plan
  • Present Final Business Plan
  • Revisit Strategy Plan

Graduation (Month 12 - 24)


!

                                                                    Free Small Business Tips

                                                   Survive and Thrive in an Economic Downturn


Solve Any Immediate Cash Crisis

  • Organize financial data in one place

  • r  Make a list of the problem areas
  • r  Set priorities for collections and payables
  • r  Determine next day's tasks each night
  • r  Set time frame and goals for cash management
  • r  Contact the local SBDC for assistance

Collect Accounts Receivable

  • r  Bill customers as soon as possible
  • r  Use aging reports to manage and project cash flow
  • r  Collect everything now
  • m  Call everyone -- Don't wait
  • m  Begin collection for overdue accounts approaching 90 days
  • m  Pick up large checks in person, if possible
  • m What to say?  Contact the SBDC for specific suggestions
  • r  Set firm credit policies
  • m  Require cash payment at time of service
  • m  Make all invoices due within 30 days
  • m  Send collection letters at 30/45/60 days
  • m  Place overdue accounts on COD

Contact Creditors

  • r  Prioritize who to pay first -- for example, IRS, bank, landlord
  • r  Complete a cash flow forecast before setting a payment plan
  • r  Talk to decision makers and keep in constant touch
  • r  Offer partial payments, if possible
  • r  Keep payment promises
  • r  Contact the SBDC for help with projections and negotiation strategies
  • r  Lenders
  • m  Renegotiate existing loan terms
  • m  Consolidate debt
  • m  Request interest only payments
  • r  Past due taxes
  • m  Contact all agencies immediately
  • m  Respond to tax collection letter promptly
  • m  Complete cash flow forecast before agreeing to a payment   schedule

Adjust Prices and Reduce Costs

  • r  Be competitive in pricing and value
  • r  Revise pricing to improve sales and profits
  • r  Charge extra for emergencies, deliveries and other value-added services
  • r  Eliminate discounts and giveaways
  • r  Ask landlord for rent reduction or restructure to allow a short abatement period
  • r  Rent out unused space
  • r  Reduce personnel expenses -- for example, hire part-time, use interns, eliminate overtime
  • r  Ask vendors / suppliers for trade discounts
  • r  Reduce personal expenditures -- for example, travel, entertainment
  • r  Sell unproductive assets

Manage Inventory

  • r  Review inventory levels every month
  • r  Liquidate everything that has been on the shelves over 90 days
  • r  Sell outdated items at cost, if necessary
  • r  Restock shelves with faster-selling items
  • r  Buy using "Just-In-Time" ordering processes, if possible

Require Accurate and Timely Accounting

  • r  Create and interpret financial statements
  • r  Get involved -- bookkeepers and accountants can't do it all for you
  • r  Review financial statements regularly to make timely management decisions
  • r  Forecast short term cash flow
  • r  Contact the SBDC for assistance

Establish Checks and Balances

  • r  Implement financial controls
  • r  Enforce cash handling policies
  • r  Review financial reports every month
  • r  Reconcile daily register close-out with bank deposits and credit card transmittal
  • r  Prevent opportunities for embezzlement
  • m  Divide financial responsibilities and functions
  • m  Require checks to have two signatures, if possible
  • m  Limit check endorsements to the owner
  • m  Examine payroll records for accuracy

Focus on Marketing

  • r  Redefine the core target market and think about a "niche focus"
  • r  Look for complementary areas requiring minimum start-up capital
  • r  Reassess your marketing strategy
  • r  Continue to invest marketing dollars
  • m  Understand that carefully invested marketing dollars and active business promotion will only generate more sales
  • r  Keep in touch with current and past customers
  • m  Thank them for their business
  • m  Suggest another specific product or service
  • m  Ask for referrals
  • m  Repackage services to accommodate smaller clients and reduced budgets
  • r  Examine the best and least costly way to contact customers
  • r  Find the "hook" that will trigger a response
  • r  Watch for new trends and look for opportunities to provide solutions

     (These are only interim steps -- not the marketing plan)

Pay Attention to Your Retail Image

  • r  Appearance counts -- clean it and paint it
  • r  Keep window displays fresh
  • r  Add lighting to highlight product displays
  • r  Clean or install new carpet
  • r  Re-merchandise products and shelving
  • r  Install attractive and descriptive signage
  • r  Train employees to deliver top notch customer service

Set Critical Business Policies

  • r  Decide on behavior that is essential for business success
  • r  Set policies for customers and suppliers that will contribute to your success
  • r  Set policies for employee behavior that meet customer expectations
  • r  Hold everyone accountable

Be an Effective Business Owner

  • r  Refine your business skills
  • r  Attend workshops in subject areas where you need support
  • r  Invest time in solving problems
  • r  Make a commitment to improve
  • r  Practice what you preach
  • r  Communicate with customers, employees and suppliers
  • r  Talk with other business owners -- you are not alone
  • r  Contact an SBDC business counselor -- (it's free)

_______________________

Your local SBDC is available to help you: This material is intended to be an easy-to-review checklist with suggestions for surviving an economic downturn. Implementing any of these recommendations requires careful thought and planning. The counselors and staff of your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are available to help you individually with any of the recommended steps.

Visit the nearest SBDC in your township or a city near you and get free business consulting and at-cost training.

IT Consulting Services

ASBDC will offer a full range of solutions on a project basis. We will provide a practical function including technical assistance and advice, create and recommend solutions, and develop implementation plans of IT Projects. Our skilled project managers will oversee projects and teams. We will build teams with experienced IT professionals who have both sound business and strategic skills and extensive implementation and project management experience.

* Applications/Software Development & Support
* Database Management
* Network Administration
* Program/Project Management
* Staff Augmentation

Maximizing competitive advantage across the enterprise is perhaps the number one challenge for senior management. Today, managers need a powerful combination of capabilities to focus on what matters and to cut through the complexity of the challenges faced. SBDC services group will focus on assisting managers throughout Africa to improve their business performance through an ongoing, balanced reading of the business environment in their sectors. With our specialist skills and industry knowledge, we aim to continually add value for our clients across their operations by offering tailored propositions and strategies that meet their specific needs. We will work with our clients in both the public and private sectors.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how they invest it (turn it into more) and how that person donates it to help others. More specifically, it refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources

The priority areas were:

  • New parents
  • Schools (the program will be delivered by Soweto SBDC)
  • Young Adults
  • Workplace
  • Consumer communications
  • Online tools
  • Financial advice

Warning signs
If your business is struggling and you suspect that it may actually be trading insolvent, then analysing the following aspects of your business will assist in shedding light.

• Poor cash flow.
• Increasing debt levels.
• Receiving constant payment of demand letters.
• Struggling to collect debts from late paying customers.
• Escalating taxation and superannuation liabilities.

If your business is struggling to get a handle on any of the above list of items, then seek immediate assistance from your accounting and legal advisors. It does not necessarily mean the end. Some small businesses, especially those that seek help early, are able to trade their way out of their current predicament. This may be as simple as a business turnaround due to good fortune, or good decisive management to reconstruct better business structure and practices.

- See more at: http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/dont-afraid-2/#sthash.OFndNwrU.dpuf
 Warning Signs

If your business is struggling and you suspect that it may actually be trading insolvent, then analyzing the following aspects of your business will assist in shedding light.

• Poor cash flow.
• Increasing debt levels.
• Receiving constant payment of demand letters.
• Struggling to collect debts from late paying customers.
• Escalating taxation and superannuation liabilities.

If your business is struggling to get a handle on any of the above list of items, then seek immediate assistance from your accounting and legal advisors. It does not necessarily mean the end. Some small businesses, especially those that seek help early, are able to trade their way out of their current predicament. This may be as simple as a business turnaround due to good fortune, or good decisive management to reconstruct better business structure and practices.

Sources of Financing Used by Established SMEs vs. Business Start-ups

Chart 3: Sources of Financing Used by Established SMEs and Business Start-ups


         
 

Warning signs
If your business is struggling and you suspect that it may actually be trading insolvent, then analysing the following aspects of your business will assist in shedding light.

• Poor cash flow.
• Increasing debt levels.
• Receiving constant payment of demand letters.
• Struggling to collect debts from late paying customers.
• Escalating taxation and superannuation liabilities.

If your business is struggling to get a handle on any of the above list of items, then seek immediate assistance from your accounting and legal advisors. It does not necessarily mean the end. Some small businesses, especially those that seek help early, are able to trade their way out of their current predicament. This may be as simple as a business turnaround due to good fortune, or good decisive management to reconstruct better business structure and practices.

- See more at: http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/dont-afraid-2/#sthash.OFndNwrU.dpuf
 

Warning signs
If your business is struggling and you suspect that it may actually be trading insolvent, then analysing the following aspects of your business will assist in shedding light.

• Poor cash flow.
• Increasing debt levels.
• Receiving constant payment of demand letters.
• Struggling to collect debts from late paying customers.
• Escalating taxation and superannuation liabilities.

If your business is struggling to get a handle on any of the above list of items, then seek immediate assistance from your accounting and legal advisors. It does not necessarily mean the end. Some small businesses, especially those that seek help early, are able to trade their way out of their current predicament. This may be as simple as a business turnaround due to good fortune, or good decisive management to reconstruct better business structure and practices.

- See more at: http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/dont-afraid-2/#sthash.OFndNwrU.dpuf

Warning signs
If your business is struggling and you suspect that it may actually be trading insolvent, then analysing the following aspects of your business will assist in shedding light.

• Poor cash flow.
• Increasing debt levels.
• Receiving constant payment of demand letters.
• Struggling to collect debts from late paying customers.
• Escalating taxation and superannuation liabilities.

If your business is struggling to get a handle on any of the above list of items, then seek immediate assistance from your accounting and legal advisors. It does not necessarily mean the end. Some small businesses, especially those that seek help early, are able to trade their way out of their current predicament. This may be as simple as a business turnaround due to good fortune, or good decisive management to reconstruct better business structure and practices.

- See more at: http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/dont-afraid-2/#sthash.OFndNwrU.dpuf

Warning signs
If your business is struggling and you suspect that it may actually be trading insolvent, then analysing the following aspects of your business will assist in shedding light.

• Poor cash flow.
• Increasing debt levels.
• Receiving constant payment of demand letters.
• Struggling to collect debts from late paying customers.
• Escalating taxation and superannuation liabilities.

If your business is struggling to get a handle on any of the above list of items, then seek immediate assistance from your accounting and legal advisors. It does not necessarily mean the end. Some small businesses, especially those that seek help early, are able to trade their way out of their current predicament. This may be as simple as a business turnaround due to good fortune, or good decisive management to reconstruct better business structure and practices.

- See more at: http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/dont-afraid-2/#sthash.OFndNwrU.dpuf

Warning signs
If your business is struggling and you suspect that it may actually be trading insolvent, then analysing the following aspects of your business will assist in shedding light.

• Poor cash flow.
• Increasing debt levels.
• Receiving constant payment of demand letters.
• Struggling to collect debts from late paying customers.
• Escalating taxation and superannuation liabilities.

If your business is struggling to get a handle on any of the above list of items, then seek immediate assistance from your accounting and legal advisors. It does not necessarily mean the end. Some small businesses, especially those that seek help early, are able to trade their way out of their current predicament. This may be as simple as a business turnaround due to good fortune, or good decisive management to reconstruct better business structure and practices.

- See more at: http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/dont-afraid-2/#sthash.OFndNwrU.dpuf

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Financial Literacy - Money Smart

Money Smart is a comprehensive financial education curriculum designed to help low- and moderate-income individuals outside the financial mainstream enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationships.
Financial education fosters financial stability for individuals, families, and entire communities. The more people know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to increase savings, buy homes, and improve their financial health and well-being.

Workshop Kits for Unique Audiences

The people we serve face unique financial circumstances and challenges. With this in mind, we’ve created customizable workshop kits that are focused on varied—yet specific—audiences. Use the ten main topic areas below to find the resources that would be most useful to our clients based on the income level, stage of life, or unique situations for your community audience.

Special Situations

Help people deal with unique life circumstances involving unexpected loss or frequent moves.

AddictionDomestic ViolenceAdoption

Human Services

Help varied underserved audiences take control of their finances and move toward a stable future.

Transitional HousingFamily Money Skills

Low Income

Help low-income individuals become financially empowered by maximizing their limited assets.

Income, Savings, and AssetsSaving Through Tax RefundsGear Up

General Financial Education

Help people build financial capability through a basic approach to money management.

40 Money Management TipsFamily Money SkillsHabitat for Humanity

Workplace

Help employees improve their knowledge and financial security through workplace financial education.

Military PersonnelLiving with MSWorking Women

Health and Disability

Help people affected by health and disability issues navigate their finances

Children with DisabilitiesAddiction

Aging

Help older adults prepare for and navigate the financial issues that occur later in life.

Family Money Skills

Youth

Help young people gain money management skills and financially prepare for college and their future.

Dealing with Debt40 Money Management TipsGear Up

Diversity

Help people with diverse backgrounds and unique challenges build financial capability.

Children With DisabilitiesWorking Women

College Series

Help students and recent graduates manage their money during college and beyond.

Dealing with DebtBudgeting: Track Your Money


Budgeting

A budget is a plan for your future income and expenditures that you can use as a guideline for spending and saving. Although many Americans already use a budget to plan their spending, the majority of Americans also routinely spend more than they can afford. 

The key to spending within your means is to know your expenses and to spend less than you make.
A
good monthly budget can help ensure
you pay your bills on time, have funds to cover unexpected emergencies, and reach your financial goals.

calculators below to budget for certain specific purchases or events

Download Budget Worksheet (pdf)




Money Smart for Small Business 


Money Smart for Small Business
 consists of 10 modules, each with an instructor guide, participant guide and PowerPoint slides.  Each module can be taught in approximately one hour.  The modules present an introduction to these topics, providing an overview, basic concepts and key points. 

Organization Types
pros and cons of business structures


After completing this module, the participants will become familiar with the common types of business formations, including:
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • C-corporation
  • S-corporation

Time Management
tips to make you more efficient


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Improve their time management skills.
  • Apply some common time management practices, such as:
    • ABC Analysis
    • Pareto Analysis
    • Eisenhower Method
    • POSEC Method

Financial Management
understanding this critical practice


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Understand the essentials of financial management.
  • Apply financial management practices, rules, and tools most relevant for small businesses.
  • Prepare for common business financing needs: start-up finance, working capital, and fixed asset loans.

Recordkeeping
as a managerial tool


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Improve their overall recordkeeping practices.
  • Apply tricks and tools relevant to their business.
  • Choose among various software to support their recordkeeping.

Banking Services
designed for small businesses


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Recognize the most common banking services for small businesses, including merchant services, payroll processing, business credit and others.
  • Understand how other small business owners decide which banking services to use.
  • Evaluate the applicability of each of banking service to their business needs.

Credit Reporting
demystified


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Understand how credit reports are used in the underwriting of business loans.
  • Apply common business practices and tools to help in proper credit reporting.
  • Develop strategies to build or improve their business’ credit.
  • Protect themselves from credit-related scams and know what to do if their business becomes a victim.

Risk Management
planning for what you can and cannot control


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Understand the external and internal factors which affect risk for a small business.
  • Recognize the common warning signs of risk for a small business.
  • Implement, monitor, and evaluate a risk management plan for their business.

Insurance
choices for businesses


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Understand their business’ insurance needs.
  • Choose the insurance products that are best for their business.

Tax Planning
and Reporting


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Predict their businesses’ federal, state and local tax liabilities.
  • Prepare for tax obligations and establish proper accounts.
  • Obtain the proper licenses for their business and meet reporting requirements.

Selling Your Business
and Succession Planning


After completing this module, the participants will be able to:
  • Incorporate life-cycle issues into their management planning.
  • Decide the best option for them to exit their business.
  • Prepare for retirement.