Everything you need to know about phishing

Last year, 94% of South African businesses were the target of email phishing attempts. These attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with cybercriminals using demographic data to create more realistic and accurate scams. You could, for example, receive a scam email from your child’s school, SARS, and even your bank that looks convincing enough to fool you.

To help you protect yourself and your business, we’ve put together a guide outlining everything you need to know about phishing, from identifying a phishing attempt to what you need to do if you or an employee has been exposed through a phishing attack.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a form of cyberattack that acts like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Victims are sent a communication from what they think is a trusted source, like an email from their bank, that is actually a clever fake designed to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, pin codes or other personal information. These types of attacks usually come in the form of emails or social media messages that lead to fake websites. A phishing scam is not a data breach. Phishing attacks are most commonly perpetrated by cybercriminals out for financial gain.

Types of phishing attacks include:

  • Email phishing: an email posing as a legitimate entity 
  • Spear phishing: a customised, researched attack that targets specific groups of individuals or businesses 
  • Whaling: targeting executives within an organisation (the big fish)
  • SMS phishing (Smishing): scam attempt sent via a text message
  • Voice phishing (Vishing): voice calls or recorded messages
  • Website phishing: a fake website that looks just like a legitimate one

The goal of phishing is to collect sensitive information. Data stolen through a phishing attack can be used for a number of malicious purposes including identity theft, fraud, ransom, unauthorised financial transactions, sale on the dark web, and even espionage.

How to identify a phishing email?

A phishing email will look like it is from a trusted source, and contain an instruction for you to provide certain sensitive information or click on a link or attachment. Caution and vigilance are key to prevent falling victim to a phishing attack. Always be wary of emails or messages that ask for personal information or urgent requests. 

Giveaways of a potential phishing attack include:

  • Spelling mistakes or bad grammar
  • An unfamiliar or strange sender email address
  • A strange url
  • A sense of urgency

Below is an example of what a phishing email could look like, and what to look out for:

phishing scam

Here is another example of a phishing email disguised as an urgent letter of demand.

Source: SARS

How to protect against phishing attacks in your business

As a business owner, you don’t have eyes on every single email that passes through your server, but there are steps you can take to prevent anyone in your business from being caught in a phishing net.

  • Educate your team on how to identify a phishing email
  • Implement multi-factor authentication for all accounts and systems that store sensitive information
  • Put email spam filters in place to stop phishing emails before they enter your inbox

Speak to your hosting provider about what security measures are already in place – xneelo offers spam filtering on all email addresses associated with your web hosting account, for example. We also recommend using our Cloudbric add-on that detects and blocks malicious traffic to your website. While Cloudbric doesn’t offer direct protection against phishing, it does prevent hackers from intercepting sensitive information or looking for vulnerabilities that could be exploited for phishing attacks. 

A trend that’s becoming increasingly popular among businesses is to implement a Zero Trust policy, that requires verification and authentication for all devices and networks to reduce the risk of external and internal threats. This strict access control process protects sensitive information and makes it easier to respond when they occur.

What to do if you have been affected by phishing

If you have fallen victim to a phishing attack, here are some immediate steps you should take:

  • Change any passwords that were affected.
  • Report the attack to the legitimate business the email pretended to be from and ask them to take action on their side.
  • If your credit card details were compromised, cancel them immediately and call your bank’s fraud support line.
  • Immediately enable two-factor authentication for any accounts that support it as an extra layer of security.
  • Contact the authorities. Cybercrime.org.za is South Africa’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.
  • Review your credit card and bank account statements to check for suspicious or unauthorised charges.

By taking these steps, you can help to minimise the damage caused by a phishing attack and protect your personal and financial information.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3Cfdu4w

This article partly refers to: https://xneelo.co.za/insights/everything-you-need-to-know-about-phishing/

SEO for Small Business: 5 quick tips to getting optimised for success

Pinpointing the beginnings of Search Engine Optimisation, known as SEO is tricky. Some say it dates back to the term’s first usage in 1997, while others argue that full-fledged SEO began only during the Google boom in the 2000s. Either way, SEO has become a buzzword in today’s digital landscape, especially for businesses. Experts even say that 2022 will be the year that Google My Business becomes the most critical driver of search rankings from TechRound. For smaller startups, this makes SEO a powerful set of practices that can help you thrive in the digital age.

The importance of SEO

Nowadays, SEO is everywhere. Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to find any online content that doesn’t make use of it. After all, search engine algorithms favour pages or websites that have amassed large amounts of “link equity”. In layman’s terms, this means having a rich web of digital content and links. For businesses, this means that practicing SEO online can help you reach more people organically for less money than traditional digital marketing. If done well, SEO can help increase engagement, traffic, brand recall, and even conversions.

But SEO is more than just about linking. This is especially the case today that search engines like Goole are becoming stricter with backlink quality. Essentially, if your backlinks are too obvious or lack legitimacy, don’t expect to score rank highly on an online search.

Good linking should be relevant to the overall topic, appear naturally within the text, and use long-tail keywords that lead to relevant pages. For instance, in content about “X Best E-Commerce Tips”, you could add a link to a timely statistic that is hyperlinked under “average online shoppers”. Bonus points, if your links are compatible with alt-readers since this lets those with visual impairments enjoy your links, too. Moreover, you can use SEO to highlight direct payment or checkout links leading to payment apps like ours here at Yoco. This way, you can seamlessly provide a better customer funnel even for first-time visitors, and encourage sales.

A less than ideal link is one that is clearly shoehorned in and adds no value to the copy. Think random contact us links or ambiguous anchor texts that say “article here”. Those aren’t doing you or your readers any service since it doesn’t flesh out your text nor encourage readers to click them. While this may be acceptable a few times, if your site mainly uses this type of linking, then you’re not really taking advantage of SEO.

5 SEO tips for small businesses

Refining your SEO can be quite intimidating, especially if you aren’t confident in your technical expertise and if you lack the budget. But if you have a website with some organic traffic, can run Google Analytics, Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, and others. If these sound totally foreign to you, don’t worry. They’re basically all just tools that you can use online that help you track and monitor your website’s performance whilst also updating you on any trending topics or keywords. If that’s not something you’re comfortable using yet, though, don’t worry. If you’ve claimed or created your Google My Business listing, you’ve already got the basics covered.

1. Improve your website

Prioritize your site’s structure, loading speed, security, as well as user experience. If you’re running your site with WordPress, there are already pre existing SEO plugins that you can use. This allows you to apply SEO even without formal training. If you want to go the extra mile, though, you can also go through free website-making courses.

2. Set your location

For many small-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa, the pandemic caused a clear drop in business location visits, especially with the spread of the new variants. By letting Google know your location, you can appear on more local search results. This lets you take advantage of statistics that show 76% of people looking for a business nearby will visit that business within a day. Of those searchers, about 28% will result in someone making a purchase.

3. Write good content

It goes without saying that SEO relies heavily on the content that you put out on your website. Consider your niche and your target market as well, as you’ll have the best chance of making good business with people who are actually interested in your product or service. If you’re looking for a more targeted approach to content, SEO industry leader Ayima highlights how a boutique approach that marries tech with talent can help your content drive serious growth. To do this, many businesses like British Airways use data to finetune their content’s tone and angle. If, however, you want to keep your content in-house, you can always write it yourself. Do review other sites and keep updated on the latest analytics, though, to keep content relevant.

4. Connect to social media

Online magazine Forbes explains that with the rise of the online era, the least you can do is to make sure you’re utilising your social media platforms to boost your website and get people to visit. It’s great for brand awareness and for social ‘proof’, like ratings and reviews. If you’re new to social media, something you should keep in mind is engagement and transparency. People flock to businesses they can connect with online because it fosters a sense of community. At the same time, social media is a cheap and effective way to get a better understanding of grassroots trends. Just remember that your business’s social media, isn’t your personal one. Customers are following you online for your brand, not necessarily for your hot takes.

5. Stay up to date

Lastly, keep your information updated and make sure everything is running smoothly, and check your analytics from time to time. 

Once you invest in optimising your SEO, you just might surprise yourself with the results.

Wrapping up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3Cfdu4w

This article partly refers to: https://www.yoco.com/za/blog/article/seo-for-small-business/

4 Ways SMEs Can Deal With the Energy Crisis While They Await Relief

South Africa’s escalating energy crisis shows no signs of abating with the implementation of Stage 6 load shedding plummeting many parts of the country into darkness last week.


As the backbone of the country’s economy, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been worst affected by load shedding. Many are just recovering from the pandemic and are now being faced with the devastating effects of having no power for between eight and twelve hours a day.

The government has just announced it is stepping in to take the pressure off SMEs and has instructed the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) to collaborate with various stakeholders and find a solution via an energy relief package. While these talks are ongoing, Eskom announced the devastating news that South Africa will be placed on permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding for the next two years.

In response to Eskom’s latest announcement, small businesses have appealed to the government to consider implementing subsidies on diesel, diesel-powered generators or other alternative energy solutions to help them cope with load-shedding, as many will not be able to survive another two years of constant power cuts.

“The details of the Seda and Sefa-driven packages and how SMEs can claim are not yet available, but relief efforts like this are vital if our SMEs are going to survive the indefinite energy crisis,” says Miguel Da Silva, managing director at Retail Capital.

“We applaud the government for stepping in and hope that the relief package will go some way towards creating alternative sources of energy, recovering some losses, and subsidising existing energy solutions. In the meantime, we encourage SMEs to act now and invest in alternatives if they have the finances available,” he adds.

There are a number of things that small business owners can do to help mitigate the effects of these power outages – the key is to act fast.

Da Silva suggests four ways every SME can and should be dealing with the energy crisis today:

1. Find affordable alternatives

Not all alternative energy solutions are expensive, so do your research and find out which solutions will best suit your business. A small generator or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for example can cost as little as R900 and can be purchased from high street hardware stores or online.

“They’re not a 24-hour solution but, at the very least, these will provide you with an interim source of power until the lights come back on,” says Da Silva.

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

Battery packs and power banks are also cost-effective options that will help keep your electrical items, Wi-Fi and Pos devices running. “Using battery and power banks can be a juggling act though and you need to remember to keep these charged when the power is back on,” says Da Silva.

Investigating gas cooking solutions is another effective way of maintaining business as usual – or as close to it – for restaurants and other hospitality businesses. “Gas alternatives do require professional installation so make sure you factor in the cost of having it installed by a gas safety engineer who can provide you with the right safety certificates,” advises Da Silva.

2. Get funding to go off-grid

For most SMEs and individuals, ordinary savings won’t even cover the costs of getting off the Eskom grid. If your business premises are mortgaged with certain banks, then you may be able to take further financing from the bank to pay for these alternative energy solutions.

Several banks have partnered with renewable/backup energy providers to provide discounts to their customers. Some may also offer improvement loans for business premises, and this could go some way towards financing an alternative source of energy, like solar.

3. Change the way you work

If an off-grid solution is not financially viable for your SME, then consider investing in a hot desk at a shared office space that’s equipped with a generator.

“The costs can be quite high depending on your location and amount of people working for you, but this could be a worthwhile cost to bear if it means your business won’t be interrupted by outages and ensuring you are still profitable. Smaller teams are also more flexible so consider working schedules that can adapt around load shedding hours,” says Da Silva.f

4. Manage any price fluctuations

“If you are considering the expensive off-grid option, you may need to make realistic price hikes on your goods and services so that you keep yourself in business. However, it is wise to manage any price fluctuations carefully and to be completely transparent with your clients from the get-go. Building in added value for your clients can go a long way towards offsetting any resistance to this,” he advises.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3Cfdu4w

This article partly refers to: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/838/235292.html

The Future Shopper Report 2022

Study shows more than 85% of surveyed South African shoppers say retailers need to get better at giving them the products, service and experience they want.

South Africans surveyed form part of a study of over 30,000 global online consumers from 18 countries.

The research, commissioned by Wunderman Thompson South Africa as part of Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s Future Shopper Report 2022, reinforces how online shopping sites, shopping apps, marketplaces and social media are driving e-commerce.

The survey explores what motivates local South African online shoppers, where they get their ideas from, how they research before they shop, and what factors ultimately drive their appetite for purchasing online. 78% of SA respondents indicate they will be increasing their use of digital shopping channels in the future, albeit 74% of this group say they prefer to shop with a brand that has both a physical and an online store.

Over and above examining common denominators across sectors, the study unpacks detail about different products, from groceries, home furnishings, pharmaceuticals, toys/games and electronics to clothing, accessories and financial products.

For brands and retailers selling their products and services online or through apps, the results offer a departure point for winning over customers and driving online revenues. The insights will help businesses understand the demand, highlight how the pandemic has a fast-tracked appetite for online purchase and usage, and point to critical SA consumer expectations about service, pricing, payment methods, delivery, tracking and returns.

Parusha Partab, Group strategy director at Wunderman Thompson South Africa, says: “Where they buy from, what they’re buying online and how much they are spending is one thing, but understanding how South African consumers react to a range of factors is going to be crucial for retailers going forward. It has implications for business models, marketing strategies, technology investments, the supply chain – a whole range of business dimensions that need to adapt to our new reality.”

The research also asks respondents about the information presented to them on e-commerce platforms. 89% from South Africa indicate a preference for imagery and videos, while more than 90% claim product reviews and discounts are important.

Wunderman Thompson South Africa Group consulting director Kayembe Ilunga adds: “There’s a wealth of valuable insight. Our study also delves into how frequently South Africans buy certain products from different platforms and brands, their propensity to abandon a purchase while it’s in progress, and their likelihood to return products purchased online. Combining these indicators with solid historical data gathered through digital platforms will shape business projections going forward and points to the growing need to accept how the worlds of marketing, technology, data and sales have converged. We believe brands need to revisit their operating models and structures. There’s no longer one department solely responsible for delivering online experiences”.

Driving change

There are distinct differences between the results from South Africa and the rest of the world, so one of the key benefits of the local research is that it helps identify what the local emerging trends are and to what extent brands should be ‘localising’ their response to the growing popularity of online shopping. Social networks have, globally, been one of the key winners, with Facebook and Instagram featuring as leading platforms of choice for South African respondents.

Another key trend that has emerged is the propensity to research online, but still conduct the actual purchase in-store – 80% claim they do this, and there are marked preferences for shopping directly from a brand versus what is called an aggregator platform, depending on the nature of the product. “This insight will help inform business decisions about online product offerings and portfolio expansion going forward,” says Partab, adding that the intention is for Wunderman Thompson South Africa to host a Future Shopper 2022 Online Event in due course to unpack the South African shopper results in more detail.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:  www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

Original: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/19/229159.html


Many new startups fail during the first two years of operation, while those already established do not make it past the fifth year. This is because there are several common mistakes that almost all entrepreneurs make. If you plan on launching a startup, this article will take you through the top startup mistakes to avoid.

Failing to Prepare Before Launching Your Startup

Preparation is essential if you want to succeed in anything you do. It is important to ensure that you have the necessary skills and knowledge about the startup activities you want to undertake. Put everything organized and in place. Apart from working hard and being diligent, good health is also crucial for your startup’s success. You will need to take lots of rest and ensure you are in the right state of mind before embarking on your business journey.

When preparing to launch a startup, it is essential to conduct proper research on the associated risks, government policies, and costs of running the business and be prepared to meet all challenges head on. It is evident that the founders of Efritin (a Nigerian classified ads platform) did not do a good job on this. The startup was founded in 2015 and closed operations in 2017 due to the high costs of doing business in Nigeria and mismanagement of funds.

Skipping to Prepare a Business Plan and Business Model

When you are set out on a journey to an unknown destination, you will need a road map. Similarly, starting a business is like venturing into the unknown, and a business plan should act as your road map. Many entrepreneurs ignore business plans, not knowing that they are essential components of successful businesses. A business plan will outline your goals, how you intend to reach them, how much capital you need, and how you intend to raise it. It also lays out the competition and when to expect profits. On the other hand, business models will outline how you intend to make profits.  Failure to prepare a business plan and business model is preparing to fail.

Wabona was a South African video-on-demand startup founded in 2012 by Simbarashe Mabasha and Simukayi Mukuna. The startup was shut down in 2015 because it failed to find a sustainable business model.

Skipping Essential Legal Procedures for Business Registration

It is crucial to follow all legal procedures concerning business registration. Different business types may require different types of licenses and business permits to operate. Skipping this part may result in heavy fines by authorities, which could be a major setback for your business. Apart from costing you heavily on finances, you might need to use a lot of time to correct this mistake in the future.

Failing to Identify and Understand Your Target Market

Every business targets a specific market or audience. Identifying your target market and understanding their needs is one of the most crucial steps of starting a business. This will help you know what they need and how best you can solve their problem. You can have a great product or service, but if you have no one to sell to, then the business becomes pointless. It is also important to identify and focus on a market that you can build a big business in.

Outbox was a mail delivery startup based in San Francisco that closed down its operations because there wasn’t enough customer demand to support the model’s cost.

Wasting Money

Most new startups usually have limited access to capital. In this case, handling money irresponsibly is one sure way to fail. A well-detailed business plan should outline how you use your startup capital. Purchase the things you really need, and when you are just starting, it is best to have a small number of employees. Hiring many employees means you will use a lot of money that you would have otherwise used to grow your business to pay them.

Wala was a South African crypto startup founded in 2017 and closed its operations in 2019. Wala’s founders blamed its failure on Africa’s poor infrastructure and unreliable internet. However, other sources disclosed that the startup failure because its founders spent funds lavishly, therefore wasting most of its resources.

Thinking You Have No Direct Competition

Unless you are introducing a new product on the market, the competition will always be there. Most entrepreneurs are often caught up in the excitement of starting a new business that they begin to think that there is no direct competition. It is best to conduct research about your competition and develop a strategy to stand out in this competition. Failure to do so will lead to frustration in business.

DealDey was a Nigerian daily deals eCommerce platform founded in 2011. It was set to be one of the leading startups in Africa, but it shut down its operations towards the end of 2018. This is because it faced stiff competition from the online marketplace Jumia.

Failure to Create a Marketing Plan

Business marketing is important in driving sales. You need to develop an excellent marketing strategy that will help you get initial users, convert the first users into paying customers, and make these customers bring others along. Although you might have the best products, you will still need to invest heavily in marketing to get the word around about your business. Failing to create a marketing plan means that no customer will know about your business, and you won’t make any sales. Marketing also helps you stand out in the competition.

Everpix was a photo startup founded in 2011 but closed its operations in 2013. Its founders spent too much time on growth and development but began marketing too late. Failure to market their product put it at a disadvantage, and they could not compete effectively with their competitors.

Undervaluing Your Products or Services

The main reason entrepreneurs start businesses is to make profits. However, your price margins should be reasonable and fair. Pricing your products or services too high will make your customers flee. Again, when most businesses start, entrepreneurs tend to lower their prices to gain market share. This is good, but you need to be careful not to overdo it. If your products and services are of good quality, price them accordingly. You shouldn’t incur losses just to retain customers. There are many marketing strategies you can employ to keep customers coming.

Partnering with the Wrong/Unreliable Investors

Your choice of investors will make or break your business. Therefore, it is essential to partner with the right investors from the beginning.

OyaPay was a Nigerian fintech startup founded in 2017. This startup shut down its operations in 2019 due to a family investment that went wrong. Abdulhamid Hassan, the CEO, had taken a seed round from a family member. However, when the need for investors kicked in, the family member backed out.

Expanding Too Quickly

You might start seeing success during the initial stages of business and decide to expand. Do not do that. Give yourself time to see if the period of growth is temporary or permanent. If you expand too quickly and come to realize that the growth was temporary, you might not be able to pay the extra employees you hired, and you might also not be able to clear the new stock you bought. Therefore, if you are to expand your business, it is important to take little but steady steps.

Underestimating Capital Requirements

Your business plan should outline your capital requirements clearly. Many entrepreneurs lack the capital to finance their activities because they did not factor in unknowns, challenges, and setbacks to be expected along the way. Having a positive attitude towards success is important, but it is also entrepreneur-like to plan for the worst-case scenario.

Afrostream, a Cameroonian subscription video-on-demand startup founded in 2014 by Tonje Bakang, ceased its operations in 2017 when they failed to raise funds to finance the content acquisition.

Final Thoughts

You can start up and run a successful business if you follow the right process. You do not have to know it all to succeed. With the help of business mentors and the right attitude, you are sure to build your dream business. Most importantly, do not fear to fail. Failure is a learning point for anyone thirsting for success.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:  www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

original: https://businessideas4africa.com/startup-mistakes


Starting a business comes with lots of challenges. This article is to inspire you with the best lessons from African entrepreneurs. You shouldn’t fail to launch your business idea for any reason, be it a lack of capital, experience, expertise, or any other reason. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. Hence, start by solving the challenges you are facing so that you can then solve the problems facing your potential customers.

Failure is Temporary with A Positive Mindset

One of the first steps to becoming successful is by failing. Failure is not permanent and it is an ingredient of any successful business. Failures will help you to learn and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Most successful entrepreneurs will tell that they failed a couple of times and made financial mistakes before establishing their businesses. They remained positive and believed that the failure wouldn’t last forever. Take it positively and draw lessons from the mistake, rectify it, and have a positive attitude.

Jason Njoku, the co-founder of IrokoTv, which offers paid-for Nigerian films, had failed in his previous business attempts in the UK. He returned to Nigeria in 2010 to start IrokoTv. He got a contribution from his friends to start his business. IrokoTv plans to list in the London Stock Exchange in 2022. His net worth is estimated to be over 40 Million USD.

Innovation and Invention is Necessary for Business Success

One of the entrepreneurial characteristics is to be innovative. Successful entrepreneurs developed new services, products, or improved means of doing business. There is stiff competition in the market and customers are looking for new and improved products.

Most of the successful businessmen are self-made. They have invested in skills, knowledge, and expertise. That is why most of them take part in research and innovation.

Barclay Okari is the founder of Impact Industries, a company that produces reusable sanitary pads. He started the company when he was only 19 after noting that a great number of the girls were missing classes due to their monthly periods as they could not afford sanitary pads. Impact Industries sells hundreds of thousands of pads in Kenya and Uganda.

African Women Can Excel in Business

Many successful African women entrepreneurs have stood out in business. However, African business is still dominated by men. There are many opportunities for African women to launch businesses.

Most of the women focus on beauty, fashion, and food production. This is due to the stereotypes that women can only be successful in such areas. Few women focus on other fields. Most successful women are those who focused on other fields. For instance, Gina Din-Kariuki, a Kenyan entrepreneur woman born in the UK, is a successful public relations consultant.

In 2011, as part of the Gina Din Group, Gina Din-Kariuki received accolades for championing the ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ campaign in response to the famine and deaths in Turkana. The campaign raised more than 700 million Kenya Shillings. In 2013, Gina Din-Kariuki was named New Africa Magazine’s 100 most influential Africans. In 2015, Gina Din-Kariuki was named East Africa Businesswoman of the Year for which she received the CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA).

Having a Role Model is Important to Succeed in Business

Many successful entrepreneurs also admire certain people, using these as an example. They visualize their ideas and think about how they can implement those ideas. Passion is equally critical. Most often it’s a passion that leads them. Although some have started businesses because their parents were business persons, others started a business because of their passion.

Fred Swaniker is a Ghanaian entrepreneur who is passionate about leadership development. He says he desires to develop entrepreneurial development that made his launch two organizations that focus on developing ethical and social entrepreneurs.

African Leadership Network

Fred Swaniker is the chairman and founder of the African Leadership Academy, an institution that is aiming to develop ethical, entrepreneurial, progressive African leaders for over 50 years. He is also the founder of African Leadership Network, Global Leadership Adventures, and African Leadership University which is opening multiple universities across Africa intending to groom 3 million leaders by 2060.

Profitable Business Start Humble and Grow

To start a business, you do not need to have the most substantial startup capital. Most of the successful businessmen were bootstrapped from grassroots. If you have a goal that you want to achieve, there will always be a solution if you have a positive attitude and you are persistent.

At the age of 21, Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, borrowed money from his uncle to import and sell agricultural commodities in Nigeria. His business thrived, and he was able to repay the money within six months.

Winning Awards Accelerates Business Growth

Most of the successful entrepreneurs have won some awards. Customers want to be associated with brands that have received recognition. Winning an award makes a business to gain recognition, making customers want to try their products. Also, having your business mentioned in mass media will help accelerate your business growth.

In 2018, Leroy Mzasaru was named on the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list in the Business category. Leroy founded Greenpact just after completing high school. The company produces innovative biogas digester systems to get bio-gas from both agricultural and human refuse. In 2013, he won the ‘Innovate Kenya’ award. After winning the award, he became an Audi scholar for One Young World and was selected to be part of the Harvard Social Innovation Collaborative Global trailblazers.

You can Start Business at any Age

Most people argue that you need to have experienced or having worked to start a company. It is always the case. As long as you have an idea and you have an excellent business plan, you are ready to get started.

Patrick Ngowi, a Tanzanian businessman, started as an entrepreneur at the tender age of 15. He is the founder and chairman of Helvetic Group of Companies. He founded Helvetic Solar when he was 22 to provide renewable energy solutions. In 2013, Helvetic Solar was awarded the Fastest Growing and Number One in Tanzania’s Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies Survey.

Problems Can Be Turned To Opportunities

One of the sources of business ideas are challenges in the market. If you identify a problem in the market, then you can find a solution to the problem. By so doing, you will have generated a business idea.

For instance, Copia Global in Kenya is addressing a problem in the market. Many people have a problem with buying products online or transporting goods upcountry. Copia Global addresses the problem by allowing customers to purchase products from its agents who place orders on their behalf, take payments, and deliver the goods.

People around You Can Help You Start a Business

Most entrepreneurs didn’t start on their own. Instead, they started as a team. Dominic Mensah, Jesse Arhin Ghansah, and Prince Boakye were in the same college when they started OMG Ghana in 2012. They were providing content for people at the time when smartphones were becoming popular. Today the company has expanded to Nigeria and Kenya.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliveryour orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow yourbusinesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:  www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

Original article: https://businessideas4africa.com/africa-entrepreneurs

5 helpful marketing tools for startups

Incredible products and services are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to taking your startup to the next level. An often overlooked and missing piece for many businesses is its emphasis on its marketing resources from the get-go.

It’s very easy to let marketing fall by the wayside during the initial set-up phase, especially if you don’t think you have the budget to focus time and energy on these efforts. But, when you set a good foundation using an updated and relevant marketing mix, the long-term results can be astounding.

According to Ean Barnard, head of brand at Finch Technologies, getting traction and punching above your weight is a critical outcome for any startup.

“When looking at tools for your startup, remember that you are in a fast-paced world. There is no reason to get married to your marketing stack at this stage, so look for lean, quality tools at the right price that allow your team to punch above their weight, and easily scale up,” says Barnard.

Here are five helpful marketing tools that will make it easier to get the word out about your brand – regularly, affordably and creatively.

1. Canva – image creation

Talking about your business to friends and family might come naturally, but how do you communicate your brand message in a creative way to your customers? A social media post without an attractive design angle will just get lost in the heaps of posts on anyone’s newsfeed. In contrast, a well-thought-out post with an engaging on-brand image can see much better results.

According to HubSpot, Facebook posts with images receive 2.3X more engagement than those without images.

Canva is a suitable app for startups because its free package offers so much value, and scales well for teams when you get a paid subscription. The app is available both on mobile and desktop. If you don’t consider yourself a design guru, don’t stress, they have thousands of templates for you to choose from.

2. Keyword planner – SEO tools

Search engine optimisation (SEO) might be a foreign concept if your startup is not directly digital in nature, but it can be one of the most valuable tactics to ensure you stand out in a crowd. If you need some guidance, there are great starter courses through platforms like Udemy and Clickminded that will help you get started.

The next step is to optimise your keywords, a good starting point is using Google Adwords keyword planner, it’s a shortcut around paid tools like Mangools (which is far more in-depth). Although the main intention of Google’s keyword planner is for paid adverts, it also allows you to search keywords, evaluate the competition and decide which ones you should include in content pieces going forward. When you can set aside a bit more moola towards SEO, then Mangools is a level up with deeper insights on keywords.

3. Rytr – Content writing

Don’t consider yourself the next J.K Rowling? If writing doesn’t come naturally to you, but you know what you want to say, then it might be time to invest in an AI contenting writing tool.

Rytr is one of the best tools for those faced with writer’s block, whether it’s writing a blog post for your website, an email newsletter, a Facebook advert, or a product description. Select your tone, section keywords, and creativity level and let Rytr do their magic. Their results don’t always come out perfectly, but use what’s relevant or try different keywords to see what works best. If you are unsure about using this paid-for service, then try out their free plan and see whether it’s going to be a tool that takes some of the workload off.

4. Buffer – Social media scheduling

You’ve created authentic, engaging and creative content, but you’ve lost track when it comes to posting your content regularly on each platform. Scheduling is a crucial part of social media management, you want your content to go out regularly, on the right platform and at the right time.

If you’ve outgrown Facebook business manager and require a more dynamic social media scheduling tool, then Buffer is an affordable go-to app for startups in South Africa. The app is easy to use and assists with streamlining content all in one place. On the app, you are able to plan, collaborate and publish posts, as well as analyse social media performance.

5. MailChimp – newsletter

We’ve all been there – sending out email newsletters manually. So let’s kick that archaic process to the curb and set up a brilliant email campaign strategy for your startup.

According to Smart Insights, on average newsletters have an open rate of 29%, which is fairly high in comparison to organic social media engagement. There are several email marketing platforms to choose from, but the two key features South African startups should look out for are pricing and usability.

According to Dominique Sandwith, co-founder of Cape Town-based marketing agency Yellow Door Collective, your most valuable asset is your network and building up a database of people you can share your product or service with is a key marketing function. With MailChimp, you can easily connect your account to your website and collect subscribers as well as promote it via your social networks.

The newsletter platform is excellent for beginners, with easy-to-navigate tools, and constant reminders on best practices e.g. when creating a subject line, a sidebar reminds you of character count and emoji use. The app has several different pricing points, each with added features.

As Tiësto says: “let’s get down to business” and transform your startup marketing strategy with these helpful tools.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:  www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

Original link: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/837/229034.html

Essential Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Have

Becoming an entrepreneur is an incredibly attractive prospect for many ambitious individuals. The pull starts with a great business idea, and the desire to design your own life and be your own boss. Most successful businesses and brands we see and know today were created by entrepreneurs. However, starting a business is no easy feat to undertake. Before embarking on your new venture, we put together a comprehensive list of the seven skills you should have as an entrepreneur to set yourself up to succeed. 

1. Adaptability

This may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to skills an entrepreneur would need, but when you dive headfirst into your business venture, not everything is going to go according to plan. Though it is important to have a clear idea of what you want, entrepreneurs need to plan for the unexpected. You need to be able to decisively shift to the next best and most effective option. This is sometimes referred to as strategic adaptability

The simplest way you can practice this is to plan with a thought-out margin of change, and to learn from past mistakes and experiences. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control, and what people will be watching out for will be how quickly you can react and pick yourself back up.

2. Analytical Skills

Inevitably, at one point you are going to encounter a big task or challenge that may initially seem too daunting to handle. Good analytical skills allow you to break down and classify them into consumable pieces of information. Three interconnected sub-skills support your analytical abilities:

Critical Thinking 

This is the process in which we rationally synthesize and evaluate a given situation or piece of information before making a judgment or a logical connection between ideas or solutions. 


Research is a fundamental aspect of analysis that you can never use too liberally. This is where we fact check, assess credibility, and back up our ideas with proof and data. You cannot correctly determine a solution to a problem if your understanding of it is not sound in the first place.

Problem Solving  

This is where the critical thinking, research and analysis of an entrepreneur culminates. To effectively problem solve, one many also need to consider the various angles—even the least obvious—and assess if this targets the root of the problem and handles it most efficiently.

3. Communication Skills

Whether you work with a large team, or all on your own, communication is a key skill that successful entrepreneurs need to get their messages across. Good negotiation skills are often even more persuasive than a good idea that an entrepreneur delivers badly. The way you communicate is important both in person and in the way you conduct yourself online. Your online presence, including your email address and social media handles, are indicators of your professionalism. For an entrepreneur, these can make or break business relationships. 

Business connections are all about building trust and rapport, and some people make their living off of it. In the case of business consultants, their jobs require them to be excellent communicators (and have high emotional intelligence). If you have a natural knack for this, you may want to consider business consultancy as a profession. 

Knowing how to communicate effectively also eradicates small miscommunications or errors that may lead to bigger problems down the line. It is always good practice to keep an atmosphere of open communication among your employees so they can voice any issues they have. That way, any issues can be resolved as soon as possible. 

4. Financial Management Skills

By definition, an entrepreneur sets out to make a profit. To do this, entrepreneurs need to know how to handle money in a business. This often involves taking risks with capital, or securing the right investors and investments. Though it is possible to hire other professionals to handle this task, it is still best that the entrepreneur at least has basic financial knowledge in order to ensure their business is making the right monetary decisions. If you are completely new to finance or business, we have a comprehensive guide that provides all the fundamental information you need to get started. 

5. Leadership Skills

Having good leadership skills is vital when you are putting together a team to launch a new business or if you are hired to lead an existing one. Leaders must be able to inspire and command respect in order to motivate their workers to strive for the same goals. We can consider this an umbrella topic for a core subset of skills you need in a leadership position. You can find a detailed breakdown of these skills here. 

It is often a good idea, especially when working with a new group, to plan sessions for team building. This allows you to get to know everyone, and for them to get to know one another. By doing so, you can discover their strengths and be able to delegate tasks more effectively. 

Delegation is another underrated and important skill to have as a successful entrepreneur and leader. Studies have shown that knowing when to delegate tasks is paramount to growth in a business. This is harder than it looks, however. It takes maturity to understand when others are able to carry out a task better than you can. You can check out our in-depth look into the practice of delegation

6. Marketing Skills

It’s one thing to develop a fantastic product, but that will not mean anything for your business if you do not target and maximize your audience. Brilliant marketing is a way to connect with the people who will be consuming your product or service. This also promotes and ensures buyer loyalty. 

Marketing in this day and age has never been easier. With the advent of social media, businesses can keep their customers constantly informed about new releases and make personal engagements. This even allows people to share your brand content with others on their own. 

The reach of digital marketing is endless. What you need is the skill and creativity to utilize it to your advantage. Key aspects of good marketing include a clear vision and appropriate branding. This means setting a look and tone that befits your target audience. 

7. Strategic Planning Skills

In essence, strategic planning involves organization. It’s one of the skills entrepreneurs use to manage and align priorities, set goals and streamline operations. One way to practice this is to put everything into visuals like strategy maps or frameworks. This forces you to condense plans in a way that will let everyone in your company know what page you are on. 

Planning this way is also considered a management activity. You can apply this regularly in scheduled segments, which also serves as documentation of your company’s progress. This way, the company can take a step back to see how far they have come and assess where they need to go.

New companies also set business milestones for themselves as a feature of their strategic planning. Milestones create concrete goals to strive for year by year. Creating structures that plan for growth and obstacles will provide a path that you can monitor. That way you can make sure you do not fall off track and can provide safeguards against any bumps along the way.

Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

New business owners need to be willing to take real risks before achieving profit. Statistics show that half of new businesses fail after five years, and a large percentage is due to the lack of proper preparation. This means that by equipping yourself properly, you are already setting yourself up with much higher chances of success.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:  www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

Original article link: https://www.freshbooks.com/hub/startup/essential-skills-every-entrepreneur-should-have


#StartupStory: How online grocery store Kuloola is simplifying rural life

South Africa’s rural areas are often overlooked when it comes to innovative services like grocery delivery apps. Spotting this unmet need, Siyanda Mthethwa founded mobile app Kuloola to improve the lives of people in rural areas and create employment opportunities for youth.

Siyanda Mthethwa, Kuloola founder. Source: Supplied

Kuloola is South Africa’s first online rural grocery store with a sophisticated navigation app that maps rural households and provides delivery services to households and tuckshops in underserved rural areas. Households, tuckshops, churches and other groups can order groceries online, SMS, WhatsApp or phone call. Groceries are delivered within 24 hours.

Prices are competitive and delivery fees are five times lower than the cost most pay for transportation to the city.

In recognition of his work, Mthethwa made it onto the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2020 list, he was an Accenture Rising Star Award winner, and most recently scooped the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Award.

Find out more about the Kuloola mobile app and the entrepreneur’s journey below through the conversation between Siyanda Mthethwa and BIZCOMMUNITY:

What led to the creation of the Kuloola app?

I grew up in a rural community where my grandmother owned the village spaza shop. I noticed from a young age how expensive and challenging it was for her to get stock from the nearest town. Secondly, we lived opposite a bus stop and I would always see community members, especially elderly women carrying heavy bags of maize meal, rice, potatoes on their heads after being dropped off by taxis.

I guess it never sat right with me, and it has always stayed in my subconscious. My grandmother and many members of her community represent millions of rural South Africans who, for decades, have been grossly underserved. These challenges inspired us to bring about the necessary solution, which is Kuloola.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced since starting out?

Pioneering a new type of innovation without a benchmark is extremely difficult. There has been a serious amount of learnings, adaptations and pivots. Creating a great workplace culture is perhaps the hardest and most important challenge, as we have a team from different walks of life and getting that right has been difficult.

How has winning the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Award impacted your business?

Winning the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Award is not only a great validation of our work, but has also led to companies in the FMCG space taking us very seriously. We have received numerous requests for collaboration and partnerships over the past three months.

We plan to use the R1.3m that we were awarded in grant funding to optimise our tech navigation app and online store so that we can expand into more areas. We will also create five additional jobs.

How many people have gained employment through this app?

We currently employ 18 people – 11 females and seven males. All of our team members are from rural areas and the average age group at Kuloola is 32 years old.

As someone from a rural area, what efforts are you making to ensure that the local youth are aware of technology and the many career possibilities in this field?

Rural youth are relatively tech-savvy and we already see a 90% smartphone penetration rate amongst those between the ages of 18-35 years. As data costs continue to decrease, our efforts are directed at creating ‘enablers’. For example, a mobile application that can enable access to products and services for rural youth.

What qualities do you believe entrepreneurs must possess in order to succeed?

I believe that anyone who fully commits to entrepreneurship can be an entrepreneur. Many aspects of entrepreneurship can be learned and anyone who is willing and flexible enough can adapt. Many qualities like focus, understanding numbers and persistence can be learned along the way.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be an entrepreneur?

Be persistent. Entrepreneurship can be a difficult and lonely journey. Rejection and disappointment are something you will often experience. Stay the course and remain focused. Never give up!

How do you envision Kuloola five years from now?

We want to see Kuloola as Southern Africa’s most preferred last-mile delivery solution for rural and township communities in both FMCG and e-commerce.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:  www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

5 tips to avoid brand hijacking when Amazon launches in SA

With news out that Amazon online shopping will be available to South Africans in February 2023, what should local CMOs be doing?

Supplied. Tim van der Bilt, founder and CEO of Incubeta Maze-One gives 5 tips to local CMOs in preparation of the launch of Amazon in SA

They should be acting to avoid risking their brands and their intellectual property (IP), as opportunistic resellers will look to take advantage of the new commercial opportunity.

Most people were already dabbling with online shopping, but Covid fast-tracked those plans, with Amazon seeing significant growth over the last two years. While this offers local brands a huge opportunity, many marketing leaders will be understandably nervous of unscrupulous resellers taking advantage of all their hard work.

Looking at what companies can do to mitigate the risk of bad actors selling counterfeit or similar versions of their products, there are practical actions local CMOs can take as soon as the local service goes live – and before.

  1. Stake your claim or risk losing brand control The first and most urgent action is to claim your brand. If you haven’t claimed your brand you can’t register to trade and you are not able to stop others from misusing your intellectual property. And, if you think that this is an unlikely scenario, Amazon shared that they had stopped four million bad actors from fraudulently using brands in 2021 alone.

    So, even if you don’t want to sell on Amazon, or simply want to bide your time before beginning, at least you know your brand and your IP is protected.
  2. Get the legwork done upfront, even if you choose not to trade Understand that there are a good few steps involved in setting up a seller account as well as a fair amount of documentation that needs to be completed.

    Once you have gone through the legwork, companies are able to control all elements of their brand, including the titles, descriptions, images and videos etc. of their branded products.

    This means resellers are only able to compete for the prices at which they sell those products. Brands must understand that they can’t control who sells products on Amazon.

    What’s more, the platform is designed to drive prices down. While brands can get frustrated by that, they have to accept that this is a worldwide supply network and you can’t control that. However, you can control your brand and how it is experienced – just as you would across every other physical and digital channel. You either get in early and control your brand, or you will be in a world of pain a few months down the line.
  3. Check your pricing models to inform your strategy Although not available just yet, local brands will soon be able to check how profitable it will be to use the global network by checking out the FBA fee calculator, although I believe the logistics and last-mile delivery in South Africa may make it a little more expensive for local sellers than the more mature markets which have robust postal services.
  4. Amazon’s not the only game in town When CMOs look at how to deal with the Amazon launch they should also use the opportunity to explore a broader marketplace strategy.

    The niched vertical marketplaces are very strong and should be included as part of your bigger marketplace strategy. No matter where your customers find themselves they should have the same brand experience, whether on Amazon, Zalando or ASOS. Brands must also control the prices on each platform.

    Just as a brand would have a branding and pricing strategy across all supermarkets, they need to take ownership of their global marketplace strategies as well.
  5. It’s not nearly as painful as you might think If South African companies have products they want to sell and distribute globally they should not feel overwhelmed. The fifth piece of advice is to keep calm. When we onboard a new client we would set up an Amazon account locally and, if they want to trade globally, in all EU markets as well as the US, we would build relevant product content in seven languages, ship the product to one central fulfilment centre and then distribute it globally from there. Our work with enterprise clients around the world has shown us the efficacy of Amazon. With the right content and the right partners, you can easily take advantage of the biggest digital marketplace in the world.

Pay attention to your content strategy

Finally, one aspect that will need close attention is a company’s content strategy, and this is something that marketing leaders should waste no time in actioning.

My colleague Roan Mackintosh, Incubeta MD, Middle East and Africa imparts a final tip: “With one account and one backend integration, you can sell your products across the globe without any further infrastructure or personnel investment, making an Amazon play a no-brainer for many consumer brands.

“However, within a very high density, high competition marketplace environment, if a brand has not properly invested in their images, product descriptions and all the rich media associated with their product, they are wasting their time and money as they will get lost in the noise as consumers gravitate to higher quality and enticing content.”

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliveryour orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow yourbusinesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:  www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M

See the original article here: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/16/229803.html