Nikki’s Tip of the Week – week-ending 4th November 2017 & Important Information.

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I was listening to 947 on the radio yesterday as I was coming home from an appointment and one of the presenters said “Do you realize that there are only 7 weeks to Christmas?” I almost drove into the car in front of me! Seriously people, where has this year actually gone to? It seems to have flown past in a matter of mere moments.

Now is actually the time that we should be sitting down to planning our next year. I know that there are many things that we can’t really plan for, but that said, there are many things that we can plan for and the budget is one of them.

The reality is that we are going into a recession of sorts and we are going to have to ensure that we manage our expenses carefully and our income even more carefully to ensure that we don’t get ourselves into a Cash Flow Crisis.

So book the time in your already overflowing diary and just get it done!

Anyway . . . on a lighter note, but still being proactive.

Peter is still doing his introductory webinar’s on a Tuesday evenings, all the details are below this weeks’ article. I sincerely hope that you join him – it is for free at this time

Here’s the deal . . .

Please feel free to engage with me, or not. Please feel free to send me your own snippets of information, early warnings, appropriate funnies and what have you, to share with other like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs and start-ups.

I hope and trust that you will enjoy the journey with me.

This weeks’ Blog:

BUSINESS TIPS – Creating A Budget

By Nikki Viljoen – Viljoen Consulting CC

For many of us who were employees before we became SMME’s or Entrepreneurs, creating a budget was something that we perhaps did on a monthly basis. It was all that we needed because we were assured of a fixed income at the end of each and every month.

As an SMME however, especially when we are starting out, we do not know what to expect. We can always theorize about what we would like to have coming in as income, but we do have quite a bit of control over what will be going out. It is really is a good idea to know exactly how much your need to be coming in to be able to pay the basic bills. So creating a 12 month budget is a good idea.

Having a 12 month budget will allow you to plan and strategize what you need and want to do for the following twelve months. Creating a 12 month budget is not something that you should do when you have some spare time, but rather something that you should allocate time to do. It should be seen as something that is critical to your business, rather than something that is viewed as a waste of time. It will assist you in ensuring that your business has a manageable and sustainable financial plan.

For me the challenge always is just to get started. If you are not sure about what you are doing, it is really easy to procrastinate. So book it in your diary and just get going.

First of all you need to know what your profit/loss format is. Don’t panic – it is not as scary as it sounds. You start with your income – take what you charge for your product or service, less your cost of sale (which is the cost of the goods sold or the cost to you, in order to supply the service), less your overhead expenses. This is your net income (also known as profit).

Don’t forget to list all of your expenses or the expenses that you expect to have during the next 12 months and also your projected income. Then in order to ensure that you don’t overstate your income, it is always a good idea to validate it. So for example if you predict that your income in July is going to be say R20 000.00, you need to list how that R20 000.00 is made up. In other words, what you are going to do in order to bring that money into the company. Be careful that you don’t underestimate your expenses – be realistic about your expectations – it is always better to come in under budget on your expenses and over budget on your income than the other way around.

Remember to compare your actual monthly figures to your predicted theoretical figures. This will be of real value to you, firstly to ensure that you keep your sales figures up and your expenses down and secondly it will assist you in the compilation of the following year’s budget.

As a business owner myself, I am all too aware of the demands on my time and how critical it is to manage my time effectively. That said, I have learnt the hard way, just how costly it is, both financially and also from a time point of view, if the financial side of the business is not managed effectively and properly.

If numbers and the financial side of things is not one of your strengths, I promise you it is in your own best interests to find someone (either an employee or a bookkeeper or better yet an accountant) to assist you or get yourself on some sort of “Financial Literacy” workshop so that you have the basic knowledge of what is happening in the financial side of your company. Believe me without it, you will be lost and that is surely the quickest recipe for disaster.

You are responsible for the financial well-being of your company – at the very least you should be able to have a basic understanding of it.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@nullviljoenconsulting.co.za or www.viljoenconsulting.co.za

Look what is happening in the world of Pete Carruthers.
POPI or POPIA is the acronym for the Protection of Personal Information Act. It’s a new SA law to protect your personal information (and mine).

It’s not a SA Govt conniption. Rather it is the local version of similar laws in more than 80 countries. Our version has a few quirks which we will discuss during this course. SA needs to conform to international practice. If we don’t our IT industry will get strangled.
The Act was passed in 2013. The long lead-in time is to allow corporates to change their ways.

Big firms have thousands of PCs connected to mainframes and thousands of people logging into their systems each day. Those systems, like yours and mine, were designed to cost as little as possible. So they ignored security. Not deliberately, but because it was an expense they did not need to worry about. Just as we ignore security now.

2017 is different. Massive data breaches get lots of airtime. (Equifax in the USA or our current 31 million record scandal.) And famous brands like Pizza Hut or Hyatt Hotels.

It’s tempting to think that they’re the only firms losing data. But we small firms have many more breaches. 95 out of every 100 businesses have fewer than 5 staff. And we too lose laptops and tablets and phones. Or they get stolen. And if we have staff they too steal client lists when they leave.

We don’t report it because we don’t have to. That’s about to change.
The POPI Act demands that we take care of the info we hold about others. Just as we want others to look after info they hold about us.

Understand that single concept and the various facets I discuss in this email series will make sense.

The POPI Act has a big stick to beat us into compliance. I don’t know how you feel, but a R10 million fine (payable from after-tax income) and/or 10 years jail time, is a good reason not to mess around.

Just to be clear, we small players will be held to the same security and compliance standards as corporates. We don’t face the same documentation formalities prior to the deadline. But the day we find we’ve been breached, Govt will want to see that data if we have any hope of proving our innocence.

Until recently Govt was coasting towards announcing a deadline in May 2018. This recent 31 million record breach is probably going to lead to more urgent action.

If it sounds a little overwhelming, it is. You are not alone. There are solutions which take advantage of the common facets we small players share, and these will become obvious as we work through this material together.

If you have specific questions about the issues I raise in any of these emails, simply REPLY with your question. I don’t guarantee an instant response. My desk has become a little crazy since the 31 Million Data Loss scandal. But I will build the answers into this material and offer a FAQ you can access as well.

Thanks for joining me on this POPI journey. I hope the reading of these emails is as much fun for you as the researching and writing is for me. Feel free to REPLY and tell me if something I have written could be presented (or spelled) better.
Finally, my mission is to help as many small-business owners as I can. Please forward this email to someone you know in business like yourself.

To enrol in the POPI email course, please go to:
petercarruthers.teachable.com/p/free-popi-email-course/?preview=logged_out&affcode=82536_6oge46a_

To enrol in the POPI weekly Free Webinar please go to:
petercarruthers.teachable.com/p/free-popiwebinar-small-business/?preview=logged_out&affcode=82536_6oge46a_
It’s FREE folks so you have nothing to lose and some knowledge and wisdom to gain.

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