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Networking Tips

Networking

 

The following article is an excerpt from our August 2013 newsletter.

Business networking is a marketing method by which business opportunities are created through social networks of like-minded business people. By networking, you are thus creating new business relationships and generating business opportunities at the same time.

Fact: People do business with people they know and trust. Statistics show that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. [Source: July 2009 Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey].

Only 14% trust advertisements [Source: Marketing to the Social Web, Larry Weber, Wiley Publishing 2007].

So, if your client is happy with your products and services, then chances are those referrals will turn into clients.

Tips for developing a referal network strategy:

    1.  Jump onto the social media bandwagon

  • Social media is a great way to leverage your products or services. It is an easy and inexpensive way to connect to people around the world, and an opportunity: to make friends with people who have similar interests, find solutions to problems they might have by collaborating with others, as well as attract clients that might need your products or services.
  • After all, the stats support this strategy – there are over 200,000,000 blogs out there [Source: ChinaInternetInformationCenter, Technorati, Wikipedia]. 43.3% of bloggers recommend websites. 31.7 % of bloggers post opinions about products or brands. [Source: Universal McCann’s Social Media Research Wave 4].
  • Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  The trend is that the use of social media is moving towards the use of multimedia and video.

  2.  Combine this with “name dropping” or personal client referral

  • Combine this with name dropping, or asking your existing clients for referrals to their friends or colleagues, particularly those that they feel would benefit from your services. Ask permission from your client to use his or her name, when you first contact the referral.

3.  Face to face networking with professional bodies and peers in your industry

Face to face networking with professional bodies or peers in your industry has the effect of establishing higher quality relationships, as you personally get to know and meet with your peers. This is commonly known as “rubbing elbows”.

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Core Values – Creating a Company Culture

The following article is an excerpt from our August 2013 newsletter.Core Values

Some growth strategies are obvious and have immediate and tangible results. Others, like creating a culture, have more indirect results, but are still extremely important.

Creating a culture for your company is about cultivating passion in both your team and customer or client base.

Here are some ways you can work to improve your company culture:

1.  Define the company’s core values

What does your business value the most? What does it stand for? Why should your client or customer choose you over your competition? Clarify your corporate identity, values, and beliefs. These are your core values.

2.  Hire the right staff

Make adjustments as to how you evaluate potential employees so that their compatibility with your core values and company culture are reflected in the interview,

Work /life balance has everything to do with whether a person’s own core values and purpose are aligned with the company’s core values and purpose.

Aligning the two can have a significant impact on the productivity and the effectiveness of your team.

3.  Communication

Use regular communication to energise employees. Seek their input on how well the company is living up to its values.

4.  Reward Success

Positive reinforcement motivates and energises.

Implement performance incentives.

A positive employee who feels valued will have the indirect impact of improving customer/client relations, gaining new business, and create a positive perception of your company.

When this core value culture permeates all you do, and all your team does, you’ll find your clients picking up on it and responding. The kind of loyalty it can bring about can lead to significant repeat business and positive word-of-mouth – invaluable to the growth of your venture.

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Converting your CC to a Company

The following article is an excerpt from our August 2013 newsletter:

The concept of the ‘close corporation’, or CC is unique to South Africa. The South African legislature introduced it in the 1980’s in order to ensure that a small business had the advantages of being a registered entity, but with lower costs and simpler administration (no audit was required). Ownership and management were not separated and resided with the members.

The 2008 Companies Act, effective from 1 May 2011, provides the following in regard to CC’s:

*No new CC’s are able to be registered from the effective date *CC’s in existence before the effective date may continue in existence indefinitely * The CC’s Act, 1984, as amended, and certain provisions of the Companies Act apply to CC’s*Existing CC’s may be converted to companies, free of CIPC fees until 1 May 2014.

So why convert?

The Companies Act contains the framework for forming and maintaining small companies, and all the advantages of trading via a CC are now also applicable to companies – the annual return fee is the same, small private companies no longer need to be audited, or produce audited annual financial statements, and there is no need for an AGM in private companies.

For the first ten years from the effective date, the Companies Act will run concurrently with the CC’s Act. The Companies Act applies in some respects to CC’s, such as the provisions relating to business rescue, and the review and auditing of annual financial statements. The annual financial statements of a CC will be required to be audited if its Public Interest Score is 350 or more, or between 100 to 349 – if internally compiled. CC’s are required to prepare financial statements within 6 months and not 9 months after year end.

However, members of CC’s do not have the protection of the business judgement rule (Section 76(4) of the Companies Act), which is only available to directors of companies. The business judgement rule provides that where directors have relied on the professional advice and opinions of accountants, attorneys or other business advisers that influenced their decisions which were not in the best interests of the company, they can rely on Section 76(4) as a possible defence.

The company, as a registered entity, is recognised internationally. The shareholders may be a company, CC or trust. Companies provide for the division of ownership and control- between the board and the shareholders – a key element of good corporate governance. A company thus offers its directors and shareholders protection, while affording the entity the advantages that it had as a CC before. A conversion may afford the members an opportunity to amend the MOI (as long as it is in compliance with the Act).

Should you require any further information, or advice about converting your CC to a company, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.

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Taxation Amendment Bills

The following article is an excerpt from our August 2013 newsletter:South Africa Finance Minister

On 4 July 2013, The National Treasury published the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill for public comment.

The draft legislation gives effect to most of the tax proposals announced in the 2013 Budget Review.

The Treasury said certain proposals including trust reforms, pre-retirement preservation and taxation of long-term insurers, which require more consultation, would be dealt with later this year or as part of the next year’s process.

The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill seeks to regulate tax practitioners more strictly and gives customs officers powers to search and enter a premises on the authority of a warrant. Warrantless search and seizure could only occur on “prescribed narrow circumstances”.

The TLAB deals with some of the following issues:

  • Proposals to revitalise the maritime sector in South Africa by implementing an attractive shipping tax regime (qualifying shipping companies would be exempted from income tax, CGT, dividends tax and withholding tax on interest).
  • A beneficial tax regime for companies located in special economic zones approved by the Finance Minister.
  • Taxation of dividends received for services rendered under normal income tax rules (e.g no dividends tax). The company paying the dividend will, subject to certain conditions, be entitled to an income tax deduction.
  • Employers will in future be able to assist their low-income employees to acquire houses at below market value without tax being payable by the employee. There would be no tax payable if an employee earning a total salary of not more than R200,000 acquired property with a cost to the employer of not more than R350,000.
  • As from 1 March 2015, most individuals will be able to qualify for a higher deduction in respect contributions made to South African retirement funds. The new regime will be fair and excess contributions will not be deductible.

Written comments on the bills are due by 5 August 2013. Thereafter workshops and meetings will be held between stakeholders to review the commentary. Thereafter National Treasury and SARS will revise the Bills, and introduce them in Parliament for the more formal parliamentary process.

For other interesting articles, please see our monthly newsletter:

http://newsletters.profmark-mail.com/public/messages/view-online/b1Ng6H1p0RhxwjIv/lJVUMSFg62mgFpgO/GZFHcxWfq2g8MNUA

 

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July 2013 Newsletter

Read our monthly newsletter for more on the following topics:

  • The Important Role of the Public Officer In a Company
  • Tax Matters
  • Three Tips to Shake up Sales
  • Are You Your Own Worst Boss?

http://newsletters.profmark-mail.com/public/messages/view-online/b1Ng6H1p0RhxwjIv/UfjJOVimCvv73oq1/GZFHcxWfq2g8MNUA

SARS

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2013 Tax Filing Season

The 2013 tax filing season commences on Monday, 1st July.Tax Time

The good news this Tax Season is that the annual income threshold for submitting a tax return has been raised from R120,000 to R250,000.

This means that any taxpayer earning R250,000 or less during a tax year (1 March to the end February the next year) may not need to submit an income tax return as long as they also meet the requirements listed below.

  • You earn a salary from one employer (i.e. you get only one IRP5 or IT3A certificate)
  • You don’t have any other form of income (e.g. interest or rental income)
  • You don’t want to claim any tax deductions (e.g. medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions or business travel expenses).

The deadline for the submission of the return is 22nd November 2013. However, if you are a provisional taxpayer you have until 31st January 2014 to submit.

To avoid incurring any penalties and/or being audited, it is important that the return is submitted on time and the information is correct. SARS have become very adept at cross-checking/verifying information and will audit you if any discrepancies are noted.

Now is the time to ensure that you have the following documents on file:

  • IRP5 certificates
  • Medical aid certificates
  • Retirement annuity fund certificates
  • Income protection certificates
  • Interest received certificates
  • Certificates for dividends received
  • Certificates for donations made
  • Certificates for any capital gain on Investments
  • Motor vehicle logbook if you have a Travel Allowance or Company car

Please feel free to contact us if you need assistance with the completion of your tax return or have any tax related questions.

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B-BBEE Certification for Exempt Micro Enterprises

 

B-BBEE ComplianceAs we all know, B-BBEE legislation is a significant piece of legislation affecting South African businesses today.

Although enterprises with an annual turnover of less than R5 million are exempt from applying for B-BBEE verification, these EME’s (Exempt Micro Enterprises) are more frequently being asked to produce such verification to suppliers, customers and government departments when applying for tenders and contracts.

We at M.J. Minter & Co are pleased to inform you that, in terms of the Codes of Good Practice on Broad-Based BEE issued in accordance with the B-BBEE Act 53 of 2003, we are authorised to issue BEE certificates for EME’s.

Our fee for the completion of this B-BBEE certificate is R500.00, excluding VAT.

Please feel free to contact us should you wish to apply for such a certificate. You may also apply for one directly online at http://www.bqsystems.co.za/Index.aspx?site=AXT.

Should you have any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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