Funding Update

SME Loan Scheme

President Ramaphosa announced on Thursday night 23 July 2020 that some requirements to obtain access to the SME’s loan scheme have been relaxed. This scheme is part of the R200 billion that has been allocated to assist SME’s.

The following was confirmed by our bank managers:
– The loan amount is now linked to 6 months qualifying business expenses (previously 3 months)
– Waiting period for first repayment instalments is extended to 12 months (previously 6 months)
– Applicant to be in good standing with creditors and banks as at 31 December 2019 (previously 29 February 2020)
– Turnover cap removed (previously R300 million per annum)

These loans are administered by the banks and you should contact your bank manager for the application documents and process. Please contact us if you need assistance with the completion of the application documents and preparation of supporting documents.

Business Distressed

There is no planning model or tool out there that could have helped us plan for a pandemic. We are all in this season and there is not one organization which has not been impacted. This season does however highlight those areas where the business was not healthy and where we might have made not such good decisions.

It is a time to ask those very hard questions to enable you to position your business for the future. Herewith some considerations to determine why a business is in distress:

1. Business models not feasible (designed for failure)

2. Business cannot sustain the owner’s lifestyle (personal drawings is too high)

3. Respond to changing market too slowly (opportunities / threats)

4. Technically competent, but not financially

5. Insufficient back-office (record keeping, accounting records and reports)

6. Cash flow management (spending wrong time, on wrong stuff)

7. External risk-management (pandemics)

Final Thought

We will continue to monitor the latest developments and provide you, our client, with updates. We are your business partner and together we will get through this.

Take care of yourself, your family and staff.

Yours in business

Frank Fourie

Weekly Newsletter – 02 June 2020


Lockdown Day 68: Everything rises and falls upon leadership. It almost feels like I do not have to go any further with this statement, there is so much weight in it (it is like biltong, can chew on it for a while).

Leaders first see the vision, they just see a little further than the rest. The importance of communicating the vision and the leader surrounding himself/herself with trusted team members, that carry the same values, provides the foundation to ensure that the process is successfully executed.

Many South Africans are questioning some of our country’s leaders logic behind certain decisions, distorted guidelines and moving the “goal post” after decisions have been made. My personal reflection during this season is the importance of clear communication, to make decisive decisions and for accountability to ensure that our teams are able to follow a clear path.

I think it was easier to promulgate lockdown measures than to manage the complex phasedown of an economy to full openess while assessing the pandemic’s impact on business. The government’s main focus is to save lives and livelihoods and we as leaders in business also need to apply this approach to ensure that our teams and families remain safe while being able to earn an income.


Repo rate cut

South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on 21 May 2020 cut the repo rate by an additional 50 basis points to 3.75%.

This marks the fourth interest rate cut this year, bringing the interest rate to levels last seen in the 1970s, as the SARB aims to provide financial relief for households distressed by the economic downturn.

The repo rate is the standard interest rate at which the SARB lends money to other banks. When the repo rate is cut, it cascades down to banks as they, in response, adjust the interest rates they charge for lending money to their clients.

This also reduces the interest that banks pay out on savings and money market accounts.

We explore a few advantages and disadvantages that a repo rate cut has on business owners:


a) If you are paying off debt, such as a home loan, personal loan or business loan, and are already cash-strapped, then a lower interest rate may help to reduce your repayments if you have a loan with a variable interest rate. 

b) A lower interest rate allows you to repay your debt faster, if your cashflow allows you to stay committed to the monthly instalments at higher interest rate levels.


a) For someone living off of savings, then an interest rate cut would not be welcomed as it would directly affect the interest income from their savings. Unless the money was invested under a fixed interest rate.

b) A lower interest rate will make it even less attractive for foreign investors in South Africa to invest in the country or keep their funds here as they can expect lower returns.

While an interest rate cut may help consumers save a bit of money, it will unlikely inspire consumers to borrow more money to spend and help stimulate economic growth as long as uncertainty remains.


Unregistered workers can now claim UIF TERS

The long awaited May applications for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) TERS benefit are open. The UIF announced that employees who were previously not registered with the state entity can now also claim.

This would enable all workers who were put on leave, were laid off temporarily, or whose employers could no longer afford to pay their full salaries due to the coronavirus crisis are entitled to the UIF payouts, regardless if they were previously registered.

The maximum payout a worker will receive is R6,730 a month (if they typically earned more than R17,700) – while the minimum amount is R3,500.

Final thought

Take care of yourself, your team, your clients and your community. Seek the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise and monitor your finances closely. You have our full support.
Together, we’ll do this!

Newsletter 26 May 2020


Lockdown day 61:

Firstly, I want to apologize to you, our client that we did not email you a newsletter last week. We as a family were moving home (yes you are reading correctly), moving home in this crazy season. Moving home is rated as one of the top three stressful events in a person’s life, like we needed that in this season?  

What is the new normal, is there a new normal? A lot has changed in the weeks since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown. The old way of doing things has in many cases been permanently disrupted, while new business cases and opportunities have appeared.

This season did provide time, time to reflect and in the words of one of my friends: “it is time to uproot and destroy that which is not good, which does not provide fruit in our businesses and personal lives, it is time to plant and implement new ideas”.

In a bid to help you make sense of this changing world, we keep you informed about the latest developments that might have an effect on your business.

VAT Relief – The import of essential goods under Covid-19

At the end of March, SARS announced that imported goods that it defined as “Essential Goods” will be VAT-exempt. This exception is specific to the Covid-19 pandemic.

SARS, however, noted that the VAT-exemption status will only apply on goods which are collected or received by companies themselves at the country’s ports (direct imports), and not on imported goods that first go through warehouses or other third parties before it’s delivered to companies (indirect imports).

The local supply of essential goods or critical supplies will attract VAT at standard rate of 15%.


The UIF sent out letters to claimants around the payment of April 2020 TERS payments. These letters state and clarify the following:
a) UIF TERS benefit payments and what an employer has paid to an employee, may not exceed the basic salary that an employee would have earned in a typical month if they had worked normal hours.
b) The UIF is currently evaluating all the transactions that have been paid out as part of the April TERS benefits to ensure that these transactions were correct and accurate. In the letter, the UIF said employers should inform them of the accuracy of April TERS payments by selecting one of the three options provided in the letter, and sending the response to an email address provided.

The three options are:
1. The monies received from the TERS fund was correct, with no overpayments to employees.
2. The monies received from the TERS fund was in excess of what should have been received, however, the overpayment (or partial overpayment) has already been refunded or will be refunded.
3. The monies received from the TERS fund was in excess of what should have been received, and no refund has been paid to the UIF. The overpayment will be recalculated by the UIF and a debt raised against the employee that will reduce the May 2020 benefit payment.

The UIF warned that if employers do not submit a response to the letter within good timing, May 2020 claims may be affected.

Employers who indicated on their April 2020 submission that employees will not be paid during the lockdown period would not have received such a letter. This is because there cannot be any difference between what the UIF calculated and what was actually paid to employees.

Employers are reminded that the TERS benefit payments cannot be used as a cash flow injection for a business’ operational expenses as it is in direct contravention of the agreement between you, as the employer, and the UIF.  The UIF has previously stated that they will take legal action against any employer who contravenes this agreement. 

OHS Covid-10 Pandemic 
Our people safety is priority number one. 

We have implemented all necessary protocols to comply with the Occupational Health and Saftey (OHS) and are able to serve you with limited staff at our office. The majority of our team will continue to work remotely.

As many businessses return to work under lockdown level 3, it is important for businesses to ensure that they comply with the necessary OHS and legal requirements before returning to the workplace.

Final thought

Our people are probably our biggest casualty during this time, and they are the ones who are going to get us through this. They will remain our biggest asset.

Take care of yourself, your team, your clients and your community. Seek the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise and monitor your finances closely. You have our full support.

Together, we’ll do this!

Newsletter 12 May 2020

During my quite time on Monday morning I reflected again on this season and how we as human beings are able to adapt to changing circumstances. For some of us being outside our comfort zone, comes naturally while for others not so easy.
The wonderful thing about change is that it brings growth. Growth cannot happen without change. Many households now include digital meetings, teaching, connecting with friends and family online, listening to pre-recorded messages, multi tasking by being a teacher, parent, businessperson, etc.

We as human beings are able to adapt.
The world will try to bring us to our knees  and derail us, but at the end of the day it is our choice if we submit to this. I am a man of Faith and the wonderful news is, God has given us free will. Being able to make choices and control our attitudes in any circumstance or event.

Does this mean that we always need to be on a high, that life will be easy, definitely not! We can however choose how to act and learn through painful experiences.

Here is this week’s SMME’s update:
SAFT – Payroll funding
What is SAFT? The Oppenheimer generation representing the global interest of Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer announced the establishment of the SA Future Trust (SAFT) with an initial R1bn contribution by the Oppenheimer family.

The funds are to provide relief to the SMME sector in the form of 5-year, interest-free loans to qualifying businesses, for the purpose of maintaining minimum weekly payments to those employees who are at risk of losing their jobs or suffer loss of income. On approval, SAFT funds will be transferred directly to the employees’ bank accounts.

Summary of the loan:
– The loan has no minimum monthly payments requirements;
– Only needs to be settled in full at the end of the term;
– Employees carry no liability for the repayment of the loan;
– Qualifying SMME’s will get a R750 per qualifying employee per week over a 15 week period;

Qualifying criteria:
Any SMME with less than R25mill annual turnover in good standing:
– Includes sole proprietors, partnerships, operating trusts, CC’s and Pty Ltd;
– Must be trading for 24 months or more;
– Must be in good standing with the bank, statutory creditors and with the bureaus as at the end of February 2020;
– Income has been impacted by Covid-19 and therefore requires assistance to pay their permanent staff salaries.
Please contact us if you require assistance with the application.
VAT Relief
At this stage, SARS has granted no VAT payment relief due to the lockdown and Covid-19. Payment arrangements and other deferral methods for services unable to be rendered are, however, available to businesses with cash flow constraints caused by the pandemic. VAT vendors who are typically in a net refund situation can also fast track their refunds by applying for monthly VAT submissions to be made available to their business.

SDL suspensions
To help improve a business’ cash flow situation, the Government proposed a four-month payment holiday for all Skills Development Levy (SDL) contributions. Businesses will be eligible for the payment holiday between 1 May 2020 – 31 August 2020. This is a payment suspension and no repayment will, therefore, be required after the four-month period.
We will automatically complete the monthly PAYE return with zero SDL for all client’s that we assist on a monthly basis with their EMP201 submissions.
Final thought
As mentioned in previous newsletters, the coronavirus pandemic and the extended national lockdown has forced businesses to be innovative while adapting to the new working environments.

Take care of yourself, your family, your team, your clients and your community. Seek the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise and monitor your finances closely. You have our full support.
Together, we’ll do this!
Yours in business

Frank Fourie

Covid-19 SME’s Loan Scheme

Covid-19 Loan Scheme
President Cyril Rhamaposa announced on 21 April 2020, as per of the government initiative, in partnerships with the banks, to support the SME sector impacted by Covid-19.
The scheme has officially been opened on 04 May 2020 and the local banks are working with National Treasury, the SARB and other participating banks to facilitate the details of the scheme. The scheme offers a five-year loan at the prime lending rate to cover the next three months of business operating expenses.
Herewith a summary of the scheme:
– Term loan (66 months);
– Loan value is equal to maximum of three months qualifying operating expenses;

– Lending interest rate at prime;
– No monthly repayments for the first six months (however interest accrues);
– After six months the loan is to be repaid through equal monthly instalments over a five year period;
– Loan can be repaid earlier in full without penalties.
– Annual turnover must be less than R300 million;
– Operating entity: CC’s, Pty (Ltd), Trusts;
– Business to be registered with SARS;
– Business must be in good standing with the bank;
– Need to demonstrate direct impact by Covid-19;
– Businesses will be prohibited from paying dividends or repaying shareholder loans until the loan has been repaid in full.
You need to contact your bank to apply for the loan and to obtain additional information relating to the terms and conditions.
Final thought

You should only consider to take out the loan if it is a necessity for the survival of your organization. All debt needs to be honored and will influence the profitability of your business.
Take care of yourself, your family, your team, your clients and your community. Seek the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise and monitor your finances closely. You have our full support.

Together, we’ll do this!

Latest Development

Latest Development

We trust that you are doing well and keeping safe during the COVID-19 season.
Over the last few weeks of lockdown we have all had the opportunity to reflect
on our business processes and personal lives.

“Not just going through this season however growing through this season”.
Learning from our mistakes, successes and looking for possibilities and
other opportunities.

We have reviewed and assessed our services, looking at ways to expand them
that will provide you, our client, with that holistic financial service offering.

Our first priority was to look for a partner that is aligned with our values and will
add value to our existing range of quality products and services.  We are
therefore very excited to announce that we have partnered with a short
term service provider that has an international footprint and which has been
trading in the United Kingdom since 2017.

Short Background:

– Byron, the owner and director, holds a Masters Degree from Kings College,
is a UK Lawyer and a Chartered Insurer with the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Byron has been in the financial industry since 2005.

– He has worked for Lloyds of London as a Lloyds Underwriter and directly in
the Prime Minister’s Office, working for the Minster of Transport, on the
UK Government’s Digital Transformation Agenda.

– He was part of the Premier Insurance Consultants and started his own short
term insurance solution in the United Kingdom in 2017 where he decided to
move the 24/7 call centre to Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 2018, supporting
the UK clients.

– Byron registered PEX (SA) as an Authorised Financial Service Provider with
the FSCA (FSP Number: 50056) to expand the service offering to the
South African market.

Please have a look at: and

Our affiliation with Byron and his team has been activated and they are ready
to provide you with product and support. Frank Fourie, senior partner of LEAD,
has also been appointed as the Key Individual of PEX (SA) and is a
non executive director and shareholder of the company.

The following Product Providers contracts have been entered into:

– Hollard
– Santam
– Auto & General
– Frontline Underwriters
– King Price
– MiWay
– Oakhurst Insurance
We are looking at concluding contracts with some of the other leading product providers in the market.
Contact Byron at for a quote.

We are here to serve you and look for opportunities to grow your legacy.

Yours in business.


Life After Lockdown

Life after Lockdown

Lockdown day 28. It feels like 17 years ago, when I started the firm in my spare bedroom. Having to read and listen to the latest changes to regulations, what government and private assistance are available to you our client, meeting job deadlines while leading our team.
Having to perservere and stay committed to my calling in business. Not letting fear take over.

For many, this season has been marked by uncertaintity, as small businesses were forced to close their doors, or change their operating models to adjust to the new reality.

We at LEAD have been working hard to assist our clients, giving advice to help your business survive and even some thrive during this season. We have helped you in staying compliant, implementing and provide training on cloud solution, keeping accounting records up to date, submitting finance applications and claiming UIF benefits.
It is such an honor to continue serving you and guiding you during this season and we are excited about the journey after lockdown. Helping you to implement systems where you can focus on doing what you do best, making your business thrive, and allowing us to take care of the “rest”.

Please keep a look out for our next newsletter that will be released next week, we are going to share some exciting news!
SMME Covid-19 relief funds and other support measures

We will continue to assist our clients with applications. Additional state support for SMMEs:

President Cyril Ramaphosa on the 21st of April 2020 announced a series of additional relief measures for small businesses affected by Covid-19 which include:

  • For businesses who can prove that they’ve been negatively impacted during  this period, SARS will not enforce any penalties on late payments.
  • Individuals and businesses who donate to the Solidarity Fund will be eligible  for a 10% donation tax deduction.
  • All businesses will receive a four-month skills development payment holiday.
  • Pay as your earn (PAYE) deferrals have been increased from 20% to 35%  for the four-month deferral period.
  • The previous turnover threshold for tax deferrals is being increased from  R50 million to R100 million a year.

We will be in touch with all our clients about the additional measures as soon as we have received more information on the initiatives, and how they will be implemented.


The new financial year for individuals started on the first of March 2020.

Therefore, individuals who receive a travel allowance, or have right of use of a company car, are reminded to keep an accurate logbook. Without it, you will not be able to claim any travel expenses from SARS.

Small Business Corporation tax rates

The tax brackets for Small Business Corporations (SBCs) were slightly adjusted for the 20/21 tax year to BENEFIT small businesses.

The SBC tax rate means that businesses with a turnover of less than R20 million a year, and meet certain criteria, do not pay the 28% standard corporate tax rate.

This means small businesses only pay tax on profits exceeding R83 100.

How to qualify for SBC tax rates:

The basic requirements for businesses to qualify for the SBC tax rate are:

  • All shareholders in your company should be natural persons (so no trusts or other companies).
  • The shareholders in your company should not have any shares in other companies.
  • Your company’s gross income for the year should not exceed R20 million.
  • Not more than 20% of your gross income should come from rendering a personal service.
  • Your company should not qualify as a personal services provider.

And if it does, it should employ at least 3 persons, who are not connected persons.

If you do not qualify:

You might still be able to qualify for the SBC tax rate by restructuring your business.

We will guide you on how to implement to meet the minimum requirements.

Final thought

Take care of yourself, your family, your team, your clients and your community.
Implement new systems and ideas and monitor your finances

We are here to help and add value to your legacy.

Priority Notice – COVID-19 Funding Instruments for Businesses

Please take note of the different government and funding instruments available. One of our professional bodies (SAIT) has provided us with the list and details below.

  1. Agro-processing Support Scheme
  • The objective of the APSS is to stimulate investment by South African Agro-processing/beneficiation (agri-business) enterprises.
  • Administered by the DTI
  • Maximum funding –R20 million per entity
  • 20 to 30% grant on capital costs
  • Qualifying Criteria
    • Be a registered legal entity
    • Possess a tax clearance certificate
    • Be involved in starting a new Agro-processing operation or in expanding or upgrading an existing Agro-processing operation
    • Submit a valid B-BBEE certificate (minimum level 4)
    • Purchase 30% of supplies from black owned farmers
  1. Black Industrialist Scheme
  • The Black Industrialist Scheme (BIS) incentive offers a grant on a cost sharing basis.
  • Administered by the dti
  • Maximum funding –R50 million per entity
  • 30 to 50% on mainly capital costs –not acquisitions
  • Qualifying Criteria
    • Be a registered legal entity in South Africa
    • Be aligned to the productive sectors of the economy within the identified sectors
    • The applicant must have greater than fifty percent (>50%) shareholding and management control
    • The applicant must be directly involved in the day-to-day running of the operation and must have requisite expertise in the sector.
  1. Procurement from Government
  • Government has prioritised securing essential goods and services from all critical stakeholders nationally
  • The Department of Small Business Development (“DSBD”) is implementing measures to support small businesses that manufacture critical products such as hygiene, medical goods, food items and related support services businesses.
  • Register on
  • The essential goods and services that have identified are required for the South African public including state owned hospitals, clinics, schools and essential place to
  • Reduce the transmission of Covid 19
  • Protect the health of the public, vulnerable members of the society and employees of health institutions
  • Ensure that there is adequate of these products to pharmacies, hospitals and key sectors
  • Qualifying small businesses are encouraged to submit proposals to the DBSD between 27 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 email to –
  1. IDC MCEP Loan COVID Essential Product Manufacturers
  • Administered by the Industrial Development Corporation –from DTIC
  • For working capital and plant & equipment requirements
  • Fund Value –R300 million • Maximum funding –R30 million per entity
  • Cost of finance
    • Priced at a fixed rate of 2.5% per annum
    • Maximum term is 48 months, including moratorium
  • Qualifying Criteria
  1. IDC COVID 19 FUND COVID Essential Product Manufacturers & Suppliers
  • Administered by the Industrial Development Corporation
  • Short term loan for once-off contract finance or import funding, revolving credit, guarantees for imports
  • Cost of finance
    • Loans priced at prime + 1 % per annum
    • Guarantees 2% per annum
    • Maximum term is 3months, including moratorium
  • Qualifying Criteria
    • Track record in manufacture or supply of comparable product –ability to deliver
    • Company should show profitability prior to application
    • Company to be registered as a vendor with Government, Multinationals or retailers
    • Be a registered legal entity in South Africa
    • Company that has been operational for at least a year
    • Company must have a valid contract/purchase order or letter of intent
    • Companies with BBBEE Level 4 will be encouraged
  1. Tourism Fund
  • Administered by Department of Tourism
  • Assist SMMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the Covid 19 travel restrictions.
  • Fund Value –R200 million
  • Maximum grant: unsure
  • Qualifying Criteria
  1. Debt Relief Finance Scheme
  • Administered by Department of Small Business Development
  • To benefit businesses that are negatively affected, directly or indirectly, due to the Coronavirus pandemic to mitigate against job losses and the expected harsh economic impact.
  • Fund Value – R500 000 000
  • Qualifying Criteria
    • Registered with CIPC by at least 28 February 2020
    • Company must be 100% owned by South African Citizens
    • Employees must be 70% South Africans
    • Priority will be given to businesses owned by Women,  Youth and People with Disabilities
    • Applicants must demonstrate direct link of impact or potential impact of Covid-19
    • Complete online Application Form (to be released on Thursday, 02 April 2020)
  1. Business Growth/Resilience Facility
  • Administered by Department of Small Business Development
  • For businesses geared to take advantage of supply opportunities resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic or shortage of goods in the local market.
  • Fund Value –R500 000 000
  • Qualifying Criteria
    • Registered with CIPC by at least 28 February 2020
    • Company must be 100% owned by South African Citizens
    • Employees must be 70% South Africans
    • Priority will be given to businesses owned by Women,  Youth and People with Disabilities
    • Applicants must demonstrate direct link of impact or potential impact of Covid-19
    • Complete online Application Form (to be released on Thursday, 02 April 2020)
  1. NEF Loan
  • Administered by the National Empowerment Fund
  • R200million from the DTIC
  • For black business to purchase machinery, raw materials and other items
  • Fund Value – Loans between R500 000 – R10 000 000
  • Cost of finance
  • Offered at 0% interest in year 1 and fixed at 2.5% thereafter
  • Qualifying Criteria
    • Must produce hand sanitisers, disinfectants, hand soaps, facial masks, gloves, medical protective clothing and steel beds, maize meal, flour, beans, cooking oil among other items
    • Must be registered supplier for retailers or institutions that have agreed to purchase the manufactured products
    • Tax compliance and commercial viability is a pre-requisite
  • Administered by Business Partners (Rupert Foundation & Remgro)
  • For working capital (Salaries, rent, HPs, Loan installments)
  • Fund Size R900mil (R100mil for Sole Prop & Partnerships administered by PWC)
  • Transaction Value – Loans between R250 000 – R1 000 000
  • Cost of finance
    • M1 –M12 0%, payment holiday for first 12 months, no early payment implications
    • M12 -M60 Prime interest, no early payment implications
    • Monthly disbursements
  • Qualifying Criteria
    • Feb 2019 AFS signed (non negotiable)
    • Fully compliant entity
    • Formal registered entity
    • Ownership does not have to be SA Citizens
    • Excludes: Direct agriculture, non-profit organisations, Underground mining, Onlending
  1. Auto Fund
  • Fund Value –R6 Billion
  • The guidelines have not yet been finalised
  1. SAFT – SA Future Trust
  • Support to SMME employees at risk of losing their jobs or who will suffer loss of income due to COVID
  • Fund Size: Openheimer R1bil relief fund
  • Annual turnover below R25mil
  • Trading for min 24 months
  • Sustainable business on 29 February 2020
  • 5year 0% interest free loan
  • Must be an ABSA, FNB, Nedbank or Standard Bank client


Way forward

  • New way of working for government and private sector –speed versus bureaucracy;
  • Expect changes and new funds to be launched;
  • Expect the rules to be unclear, even to people administering the programmes;

Kind regards


_Frank-Fourie-Acountant-and-Financial-Planner-Port Elizabeth

Motivation Gets You Going – Discipline Keeps You Growing

“The hallmark of excellence, the test of greatness, is consistency” – Jim Tressel

I am a believer in motivation. Everyone wants to be encouraged. Everyone enjoys being inspired. But here’s the truth when it comes to growth, it does not matter how talented you are or the number of opportunities you have received. Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.

We have to value the process to achieve our goals. Charlene Armitage, a successful life coach said the following: “Life goals are reached by setting annual goals. Annual goals are reached by reaching daily goals. Daily goals are reached by doing things which may be uncomfortable at first but eventually become habits. Habits are powerful things. Habits turn actions into attitudes, and attitudes into lifestyles.”

We are now on day 6 of lock down. Reflecting back to the first few days, I remember how uncomfortable and out of sorts I felt. Working from home, having our girls playing, fighting, laughing and crying as the day went along. Where is my quiet office where I could just focus on work responsibilities and come home after a long day and be with family. To clearly distinguish between work and play. Quickly I realized that we as a family had to set boundaries between work life and play time in our home environment. Make no mistake, our family are the ones that will support and lift us during this time and probably need us now more than ever, be intentional with your “play” time. If you are at home, make an effort to have breakfast, lunch and dinner together as a family.

The final principle below is a combination of my personal thoughts and tips extracted from the Small Business COVID-19 survival guide compiled by Marnus Broodryk out of input received from over 27,000 other South African entrepreneurs.

Principle Three (Last Principle): Finances

Cash is the difference between life and death for a business. Here are some ideas and how to increase sales and manage cashflow better:

Increase Sales:

  1. Offer discounted vouchers that can be bought and paid for now and redeemed later;
  2. Give the option of free delivery to boost online sales. Rather lose the delivery cost than a customer;
  3. If you are not selling online, now is the time to start;
  4. Many people are losing their jobs, which means there is a lot of talent that needs a home. See if you can employ them on a commission only basis;
  5. Advertise on social media. People are spending more time there now, especially as they’re stuck at home, and not much else is going on elsewhere;
  6. If you exclusively catered for international visitors, drop your prices and let locals experience your products and services;
  7. If you sell services, make sure your website can facilitate online interactions;
  8. Contact your clients and understand their current needs in this environment and see if you can offer a new product to meet that need. Create the opportunities;
  9. Offer paid-up clients a free service with your existing service offering or a discounted rate if they sign up to longer periods;

Manage Cashflow:

  1. Negotiate with your landlord the possibility of discounting rent or holding off on increases;
  2. Offer settlement discounts for early payment to your clients;
  3. Offer customers the option of paying their bills by means of their AMEX or Diners Card, if done before certain date (of your choosing);
  4. Check in with your business banker to see what additional facilities you qualify for or what assistance the banks are offering during the lockdown period;
  5. Ask clients to advance fee payments where you have fixed fee engagements;
  6. Be extra diligent on procurement. Every penny saved is a penny earned;
  7. Consider incentivising staff to help save you money, they have great ideas;
  8. Delay salary increases and bonus payouts to keep cash in the business to secure business sustainability first. (Make sure your people understand this, it’s hard time for them too);
  9. Review current processes and procedures to see how efficient they really are;
  10. Review your data costs, and see if there are better options out there.

Apply and explore government COVID-19 allowances and bank relief programs for this period.

Final thought

Take care of yourself, your family, your team, your clients and your community. Seek the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise and monitor your finances closely.

Together, we’ll do this!

_Frank-Fourie-Acountant-and-Financial-Planner-Port Elizabeth

“Every Problem Introduces a Person to Himself” – John McDonnell

How do you usually respond to bad experiences. Do you explode in anger? Do you shrink into yourself emotionally? Do you detach yourself from the experience as much as possible? Do you ignore it?

Pain prompts us to face who we are and where we are. What we do with that experience defines who we become. One of my bad experiences was my car accident in November 2010. I was on my way home from playing golf in a small town just outside Port Elizabeth. It was a great day out with friends, full of laughs and banter. The weather turned for the worse driving back, making the roads very slippery and water logged. It happened in a bend on the national road, where I hit a puddle of water and lost control over my bakkie. The vehicle slid into the road barriers and rolled a few times where the airbags deployed and hit me unconscious for some time. My friend escaped the accident with a few bruises. I unfortunately was trapped and had to be cut out with the jaws of life. After a week in hospital I was bed bound and not able to work for 2 months.

My accident forced me to examine who I was, to face myself in many ways that I never had to before. As a man of faith: To ask ‘what does God want from me?’, who am I, what is my purpose, what are my dreams? I truly believe that, during this COVID-19 lockdown, it’s a great opportunity to again reflect on the progress made and assess if I am still living inside that purpose and dream.

The principles below are a combination of my personal thoughts and tips extracted from the Small Business COVID-19 survival guide compiled by Marnus Broodryk out of input received from over 27,000 other South African entrepreneurs.

Principle Two: Attitude

Sometimes it’s about more than what we do, it’s about what we think and fill our mind with.

  1. Embrace new ways of doing things, now is a great time to implement software that is cloud based that can help you to work remotely with ease;
  2. Some cloud solutions
    1. Xero for accounting software;
    2. Hubdoc collaboration and documentation storage solution that help get information from clients and integrate with ease into Xero;
    3. Trello for literally ANY admin tasks and super easy team task-sharing;
    4. Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp for monthly free video conferencing solutions to meet clients virtually and other staff members;
  3. In chaos there are always opportunities;
  4. Things are changing and you need to adapt;
  5. Connect with your inner circle, people you can trust and confide in – people need one another more than ever;
  6. Don’t get too caught up in the chaos. Review your plan, make changes where necessary and stick with it;
  7. Do not downplay reality. Rather confront it and deal with it;
  8. Always follow the advice given to us by our NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases) and the WHO (World Health Organisation);
  9. Help an NPO (Non-Profit Organisation), they sometimes need it more than you do.

Final thought

Take care of yourself, your family, your team, your clients and your community. Seek the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise and monitor your finances closely.

Together, we’ll do this!