Technology for Small Businesses

posted in: General 12

The best thing about technology is that we are able to connect and communicate with people from all over the world, right at our fingertips. Not only do we use this for ourselves but our business as well. Technology is an easy and great way to touch base with employees and clients. This gives your company a competitive edge and puts you in the lead. It is convenient, simple, cost-effective and economical for all companies.

Even something as simple as sending a company newsletter or email to customers can lead to the growth of your business.

Small businesses rely on technology to help them operate on a daily basis. This includes computers, printers, online storage and web-based applications.

10 Ways to Enhance a Small Business using Technology

1) Marketing Tactics

Small businesses would need to look at and compile some marketing techniques for their new business. Technology can assist you in honing in on those techniques/skills and help your company grow.

Simple and easy marketing ideas include the creation of a company website, reviewing and mastering your email skills, use of social media to promote your company etc.

Building your own company website will provide prospective and current clients with an idea of what your company does, where to locate you and how to contact you. A website makes your company look reputable, creditable and well established.

2) Social Media

In my opinion, using social media and digital marketing is the BEST way to grow a small business. Businesses are no longer physically advertised as there is no longer a need. It is more cost-effective and easier to use online technology.

Social media not only allows you to connect with people in your area but the whole world. Anyone is able to easily locate your company online and make contact with you at the click of a button.

With social media platforms, you can advertise and promote your business online. A new small business should create pages on various platforms whereby people can like, share, follow and interact with you. The most used platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Google +

Whatsapp is also fast becoming a way of communication for a small business. Whatsapp has come up with a Business Whatsapp especially for this. Small businesses can track clients queries, orders and payments. You can also have your product list available for viewing or downloading.

Start a Company Blog, like us here at Leads 2 Business, where we relate to our business and clients.

Link all your apps and use your mobile to stay connected while on the go.

3) Remote Working

Thanks to the internet and technology, we are able to work from home and connect with like-minded people. With a new emerging small business, this is fantastic news as you are able to keep your start-up costs down as there is no need to rent a separate office space for you and your team.

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the working remotely trend which has a range of pros including lowered costs, increased flexibility, greater productivity and increased wellbeing.

Technology allows you to connect with your team via Zoom or Teams or any other online platform where you can touch base or assist where need be. Not only with employees but clients and customers as well. You could also make use of a virtual phone number.

4) Productivity Techniques

Time management has always come into play when it comes to a business. There are many tools and apps available for time management/time tracking for small businesses. You can also make use of to-do lists, reminders and online calendars.

5) Technology Security

There are many benefits for a small business owner using technology to benefit and grow their company. One of the other benefits is improved security. The technology could be used to prevent hacking or any breach of security with active passwords and firewalls. It protects small businesses valuable and private information.

6) Cloud features.

A very beneficial tool of technology is the Cloud and Cloud features. This can reduce the number of software and computer applications your company needs in the long run. The Cloud is essential for data storage, backups, collection of documents, spreadsheets and images not only for the individual but for team collaborations/projects as well.

It is easily accessible by a shareable link which can be accessed by yourself and your team at any location on any device such as your mobile, laptop, PC or tablet.

7) Customer Service

I believe that customer service is a lifeline of any business. Clients are the ones who are investing their energy, time and money into your business. It is essential to take care of these clients and make them a priority and follow up with them making sure they are happy with the products and service they are receiving.

You can make contact with your clients via telephone or achieve this by using technology and social media. With Facebook, Linkedin other platforms there is an inbox messaging system that customers can use to enquire about your product. Facebook also is linked to your WhatsApp, so the customer can choose to whatsapp your business directly.

You can also set up a feedback or ticket system to handle customer concerns. Some features allow clients to request appointments online. You can also compile questionnaires & surveys to obtain customer feedback.


8) Emailing

An email is an ongoing form of communication that everyone uses. We need to look at how to control the influx of emails and work on improving our productivity. How to organise, tag, flag and reply to emails. Create a system that is tailor-made to your needs and suits you.

8.1. Turn off email notifications, on both your computer and mobile, after office hours to avoid disruptions and distractions.

8.2. Decide how to use your inbox. Using personalised colour coded tags works for me.

8.3. Update your Whitelists & Blacklists frequently. You can blacklist or block spam addresses as well as list safe addresses to ensure all important messages come through.

8.4. Unsubscribe to unwanted emails. Limit newsletters and automated messages that flood or take up your inbox.

8.5. Set up your email signature. Having a company email signature is super important and makes your company stand out. Start with the basics by including your full name, job title, company address, phone number and link to your website. In here you can add the social media icons of which platforms your company is on. You could also add an image, banner or GIF.

8.6. Email Etiquette can set you apart from the rest. It is simple yet effective.

– Use a simple catchy subject line.

– Use a standard font.

– Address your new customer formally

– Structure your message clearly.

– Always proofread your email carefully and use spell check

– Include your signature

9) Financial

There are many tools that you can use in your small business from helping you to identify wasteful spending within the company as well as provide diverse payment options.

– Credit cards are a great way of conducting money transactions. They are not connected to your bank accounts, making them very safe to use. A small business can apply for a Business Credit Card from their Bank or a preferred credit provider. FNB offers a great Business Credit Card solution with benefits and rewards. If there are any disputed transactions, your card issuer can freeze these transactions. If your card has been compromised, you will be notified via a fraud alert however, chip technology makes it harder to steal your credit card information.

– Online invoice service. This can reduce the costs incurred when collecting payment from customers

– Online budget app. Can help you keep onto of your expenses and see where all your money is going.

– File your taxes online and on time

– Create a new income stream by selling your products online on your website, Facebook and other platforms previously mentioned.

– Download accounting software to streamline your business finances. You can also share digital files with your accountant or bookkeeper.

– Offer your customers an online payment option for ease of payment.

– Use your phone to make payments. FNB offers a Virtual Card option whereby you tap your phone at places of business to make payments.

Close up hand of customer paying with a smartphone. Cashier hand holding credit card reader machine and wearing protective disposable gloves at the bar counter, while client holding the phone for NFC payment. Women wearing a face mask while paying bills with mobile phones during the Covid-19 pandemic.

10) Influencer Marketing

Consumer habits are moving away from the more traditional media like TV and Radio towards online content. The methods of promotion have also shifted and modernised. There are loads of influencers are on Facebook small businesses should take advantage of this opportunity and collaborate with these influencers to promote their company online. Like the comedian Kevin Fraser who promotes Westpack Lifestyle on Facebook.


While some people may not like change and find that this can confuse or be difficult, it also creates opportunities. Small businesses that use new technology have achieved a lot of positive outcomes such as happier clients and employees, efficient and streamlined processes, and lower costs and higher quality content.

Get with the times 😉

The Balance MB
Small Business
Industry Today

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About Michelle Crosby

I started my journey at Leads 2 Business in the Directory Department in 2012. I was then promoted to the Private Projects Department in 2014 and was recently promoted to Projects HOD this year.

How the Global Pandemic changed Business

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On the evening of 23rd March 2020, every South African was planted in front of their TV to listen to the most important Family meeting ever recorded in history. That was the day we knew our lives would change for the good part of forever.

The coronavirus pandemic has reached almost every country in the world. Its spread has left national economies and businesses counting the costs, as governments struggle with new lock-down measures to tackle the spread of the virus. Despite the development of new vaccines, many are still wondering what recovery could look like.

The impact of the pandemic on small businesses has been nothing but devastating. But as always, Give the people a challenge and they will form a solution.

When we walk into any shop now, we are faced with the reality of sanitizing, shields between us and the person on the other side, markings on the floor to ensure social distancing. A mini-panic attack arises when you see a person without a mask, when someone comes too close to you or when the lady at the till touches your bank card.

Companies were forced to start thinking about the pandemic. The way of doing business has changed. A new normal if you will. All of a sudden wifi installations around the country skyrocketed. Every household needed super-fast internet to adhere to the new way of working remotely.  Companies gave up office space as it was no longer needed.

As companies were downsizing or shutting their doors, grocery delivery services experienced a different reality, It grew at a pace no one could ever predict.

The new position everyone wanted to add to their resumes was being an Entrepreneur. People started thinking of innovative ways on how to make a living. From knitting and selling scarfs to baking classes online.  Live Safari drives in the Kruger. The new gym launched in your lounge daily. We saw music concerts happening online. Classes on how to sanitize properly. If the way we work changed surely the way we have fun has to change.

The pandemic has forced us to slow down, to actually see today, to be grateful for what we have. We have formed relationships with family living far away. We enjoyed the company of a stranger in a grocery store waiting in line to pay. The pandemic has forced us to grow emotionally and spiritually.

But as our nation looks to recover from the scourge of COVID-19, are we capitalizing on the strength of digital businesses?

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced an economic recovery plan with bold promises. He said his government would create 800 000 job opportunities in the coming years. The plan covered many sectors including forestry, energy, construction, and farming.

How has the Global Pandemic changed your Business? Comment below

SME South Africa

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Leads 2 Business Weekly Quote

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This week’s quote is from Elon Musk a business magnate, industrial designer, engineer, and philanthropist. Founder, CEO, CTO and chief designer of SpaceX; early investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink; and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI.

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit Leads 2 Business Wiki.
To view more Articles, please visit our Leads 2 Business Blog.

About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life. Remember: If You Fail - Fail Forward

How to make the most of our Tenders?

posted in: Did You Know 0

The Inside Scoop:

Ssssshhh, don’t tell the boss! I wanted to share some insider secrets with you. A brief look behind the scenes and into the research “engine room” of our company. I am hoping that you can use this information to your advantage. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

As you know, Leads 2 Business is keenly focussed on smarter ways to do and create business opportunities.This approach is not just about the information we deliver to you, but an integral part of our business ethos. Each month we capture literally thousands of tenders, yes, you read it correctly, THOUSANDS!

With this much tender information being pumped out on a daily basis, we have to find a smart and effective way to prioritise researching the subsequent tender awards.

How do we know?

Every Tender we send to you has an option to be monitored.
Monitoring a lead allows you to follow it through its life cycle
or assign it for follow-up within your team.

What is not so apparent is that we, in turn, use this monitoring
information as an indicator that this tender is important, creating
a priority flag back to the research team for follow-up.

It then becomes very important for you to monitor a tender!

How to Monitor a Tender

Monitoring a Tender can be done from selecting a recipient from the drop down box “Assigned to” on the tender.
Alternately, it can be done in bulk from the search results page first selecting which tenders you want to monitor, followed by “Actions”, “Monitor selection”. It will then present the same list of recipients as is available from the individual tender view pages.

Ways to get our attention

In the event you have not monitored a tender but still need the award information and the tender is now closed, you can email your request through from the tender page by clicking on “Request Award Information” button and someone from our research team will then follow up with you.

Tools you can use

There are more tools integrated into our tender notifications that we know will help you stay ahead. Specifically, our site inspection, follow-up and closing date reminders, which offer timeous alerts. An area for notes directly relating to the tender or contacts you may have reached out to. Our document collection and/or site attendance on your behalf through Infomessenger. (Gauteng only)

Making the most of your tenders is quite an exhaustive topic…

Here are the common points for consideration :


It may be seemingly obvious, but a valuable subscription to Leads 2 Business is a smart, streamlined approach.
We shoulder the cost of a research team and send you what is important to your business.

The number of filter combinations across categories, industries, geography and keywords creates a uniquely customised solution for your business lead pipeline. If you would like to know more about subscribing or taking a free trial, please send me an email on

Refine Your Profile

Making sure your profile on Leads 2 Business is tailored appropriately to your business requirements so that you get the lead information.

Your Advisory Settings Profile explicitly dictates what is received in the Daily Advisory email.

Steps to Action in Identifying opportunities

Go through the daily Advisory email thoroughly each day.

  • View the full details online.
  • Monitor & Request BoQ/ SI register/ Bidders Lists as soon as possible.
  • Set Reminders.
  • Email the researcher, if there are any discrepancies that you identify or if you need assistance.
  • Make Notes.
  • Download DTAs. (Daily Tender Advisory)
  • Keep a record of DTA numbers, instead of partial descriptions. This helps when searching.
  • Dismiss those unwanted DTAs, that are cluttering up your Search Result. (Be extra careful of dismissing DTAs by mistake)
  • Take advantage of our free online training, live support, telephonic support or in person training. (In person training is availble by appointment and only in selected areas)

Key Vocabulary to Understand:

  • Details Change:The details pertaining to the original tender have changed, please review the new details supplied in our notification.
  • Short Lead: This means there is a very short lead time or a very short time within which you can respond to this tender opportunity.
  • Awards: After the closing date, all the tenders are checked for basic compliance with the tender regulations. Non-compliant tenders are disqualified. The compliance of the products or services offered and the price is considered. Then all compliant tenders are listed in order of price. Those in the lowest price tender list are in the lowest price group. Preference points are given to suppliers on the list of lowest price tenders are first verified. Preference points are only awarded after the most expensive tenders have been excluded, as this makes the process faster and fairer. Those with verifiable information come out with the best preference points and are therefore awarded the contract.
  • Re-tenders: the issue of a second or subsequent request for tenders on a proposed contract.
  • Withdrawals: the contract has been withdrawn and there is no longer an opportunity to tender at this time.
  • Cancellations: the contract has been cancelled and there is no longer an opportunity to tender at this time.

About Taryn Duckham

I am a lover of marketing, customer centricity and the art of influence. Being able to effect this through analysis, content and front end design is part of my work, my great love of creatively solving problems that reach across as many parts of Leads 2 Business as I can.

Did you Know #DYK – The Art of Finding Business

posted in: Uncategorized 0

The Art of Finding Business

I think most people like to think of themselves as Artists. Or at least like to feel they are creative in some way (don’t burst my bubble). There are some people who make finding and doing business a work of art. It is done with such eloquence and momentum that it feels seamless. I often wonder what it would feel like to have that skill?


With that in mind, I decided to put some facts together to keep a reminder for myself on how finding business can be an art form I can cultivate….


Without further ado ladies and gentleman, please find your creative notes below :




 The Art of Finding Business


I hope this has been helpful to you. Please feel free to share this to any business groups and please comment on anything you utilised to find business in your industry.  Until next time … 🙂


If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
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About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Tendering Online – Bringing your A Game

Tendering Online – Bringing your A Game


Tendering online in 7 (easy-ish steps)


How do you even begin in this process? It can be fairly daunting right? Perhaps starting with what NOT to do is a good way to go. In order to really learn what not to do when tendering online, you should check out How to stuff up a Tender. South Africa is quite au fait with the term Tenderpreneur. In fact, we actually have a top Ten list. Although it is a tongue in cheek kind of humorous thing to refer to (South Africans love to make fun of themselves in a way the rest of the world is baffled by), it is a serious issue in South Africa. Here are a few news articles on the Topic of Tenderpreneurs for you to browse:


But I reckon the reason you are here reading this post is because you want to do Tendering online as well. So let’s take a look at some steps to help you with tendering online:


Step One

Get yourself a desktop/laptop/tablet or just simply use a smart device.


Step Two

To be online you need to be hooked up to the World Wide Web. Yes, the Internet. The purveyor of many evils and sometimes, a little surprisingly, just as much good.


Step Three

Sharpen your pencil, because here we go….

You need to find Websites that provide tender notices. Or instead, a service provider that will wonderfully just deliver the notices to your email daily (shameless punting I know – but hey – you are reading our blog).

Store this list of websites on a word document (or just open your email inbox if you are subscribed to our services). Check this daily to see whether there are new tenders that match your criteria.


Step Four

Are you registered on the Supplier Database for the particular Municipality putting out the tender? Check with them if this is required. It would be a pity to submit the perfect bid and not meet this criteria.


Step Five

OK, so you have identified what tenders you wish to bid on. Yay! Half way there. If you want to know what procedures you need to follow, I will leave that to the Pro’s to tell you. Check this link out for tender procedures and more steps to help increase your chances of getting your foot in the door.

Making sure you have the correct documentation is important. Check out a comprehensive guide for making sure you have all your ducks in a row (so to speak).


Step Six

Check where the Site Inspection is (if applicable) and whether it is compulsory. Wouldn’t want to miss out on that!


Step Seven

Sharpen your pencils and do your calculations – put your bid together. Make sure you have all the necessary forms to submit with your bid along with the correct place to submit it by the correct date.


So the big questions is…..


How Do I Win A Tender?


Well, listen up close. If you want to win.. you need to be persistent. Its unlikely to happen on the first tender, so keep at it. Some winning tips may help you though. Ultimately, tendering online streamlines some of your processes, but isn’t so much different from doing it old school in that attention to detail, diligence and persistence will take you a long way to earning a winning bid.


So from the desktop….. to you on the other side of the Web, good luck with your tender. I hope to hear of your success.


If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.





About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

How does Load shedding impact your Business?

How does Load shedding impact your Business?



Load shedding impact your Business?


Load shedding, a word we have come to know all too well in SA. So familiar in fact that we have a regular Power Alert Advert that runs daily from 5pm. Load shedding is even used in advertising from the Santam “One-of-a-kind” ad to the SPAR “Better Together” ad which try to highlight the ‘positives’ of Load shedding.

In many ways we have learned to live with the fact that Load shedding is a part of our daily lives even if we haven’t had any recently. You may be celebrating this relief but Load shedding is far from over. Eskom has said it is still monitoring the situation and will implement Load shedding if necessary. Our power grid is fragile and constantly at risk and this will only be alleviated once all pre-existing plants have undergone comprehensive maintenance and new plants have been completed. The future of our energy supply is uncertain and alternative energy although necessary is not an option for immediate relief.

It’s one thing living with Load shedding on a personal level when we can light candles, turn on the gas and order takeout but for a business Load shedding can have serious impacts especially for smaller businesses.

Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprise at Standard Bank, said: “While big companies have the infrastructure, client bases and capital to cope, many small businesses, which have the potential to be active players in the South African economy, do not have the financial muscle and resources to overcome these challenges.”

According to Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, the impact of even short periods without power was greater on SMEs than it would be on larger companies that likely have generators and other fall-back options and due to this there has been a dramatic shift in what SMEs consider to be the biggest external threats to their businesses.

“With power failures cited by 71% of respondents, the issue rates at almost exactly double the importance of crime, which came in a distant second, at 36%. This category is obviously driven to a large extent by those concerns that are highest in the public mind – SMEs have in the past attributed their sleepless nights to crime, the high cost of fuel, or even interest rates. These results came even when power failures were featured in the survey during the first load shedding several years ago, but load shedding still came well below crime at the time,” he says.

Productivity is vital for any business and Load shedding hits productivity hard which impacts profit. Load shedding is estimated to cost our economy between 8 to 10 billion rand a month understandably as Eskom currently provides 95% of our power.


Here are the Top Impacts Load shedding has on Business:

Loss of Production

Stock spoiling

Damage to electronics & machinery

Theft and burglary


Battery life

Loss of Profit


On the positive side there are ways to minimise the impact of Load shedding:

Keep up to date on the Load shedding schedules

Solar Power/Alternative energy solutions


Surge protection

Back up your data

Back-up batteries/UPS


The fact is, there is no way to avoid Load shedding but by thinking smart, creatively and calmly could give your business the power to minimise the impact of Load shedding.


How does Load shedding impact your Business? Do you have tips to share? Leave a comment and let us know.











Sources/Further Reading:


If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.

About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life. Remember: If You Fail - Fail Forward

How to Negotiate a Raise….

posted in: General, How To 0

How to Negotiate a Raise….


So is there a right or wrong way to ask for a raise?

Well to be perfectly honest, I’m not the most rational thinker when it comes to this very delicate situation, and have never personally gone forth and requested a raise let alone negotiated one, but I’m pretty sure my method of blurting everything out in an email to my CEO, closing my eyes while I press send and then cringing until I receive a response is not the best way to go, for one it reeks havoc on your nerves and in some cases provokes sleepless nights and comfort eating.

The one thing I am positive about is this has to be one of the most awkward and uncomfortable situations you can find yourself in at the work place, so I started by finding some useful don’ts to get you on to the fast track to negotiating a salary increase.

Now get this right!
If your company is meeting targets, profit margin is looking good, expansion is viable, then by all means go and


“Risk it for the Biscuit”!


But…..If the talk around the water cooler is retrenchment letters have just gone out and there has been a mail sent out about saving on water and toilet paper then maybe, now is not a good time.

So you’ve decided to buy a house or a new car, or you are now unexpectedly expecting twins….
while this is all very exciting news and I’m sure your boss will be happy you are experiencing any one of these fun filled events… ultimately they have no bearing on whether or not you deserve an increase!

No Guilt Trips
So while trips are fun and we all like going on them, Guilt is not a trip anyone enjoys, so trying to send your boss on one is never a good idea!
And yes I understand divorces are expensive, your spouse losing his or her job is tough and having your 10yr old cat named Whiskers in and out of the vet is heart breaking…..
Once again this is not your bosses troubles, hardship doesn’t warrant an increase, that would be saying that your colleague who’s in a stable relationship, who’s partner is a top earner and who has no pets and who is ultimately a better employee doesn’t deserve an increase as much as you.

Increases are earned and are not handouts!

I’m sure most can agree that the above mentioned circumstances are generally the reason we start scrambling for more cash, so if you can now eliminate these reasons and you actually deserve an increase then go for it.

I suggest speaking to your HR manager first, find out if the timing is right, if it is then be professional with your approach, send an email requesting a meeting to discuss a revision of your salary.

In the meeting, look presentable, speak confidently and directly, have your ducks in a row, have a list of what you are putting into your current position, this would be great if it’s over and above what you were originally being paid for, whether it’s a case of targets being reached and blown out of the water, or overtime you constantly putting in without request or complaint.

If you feel you are truly not paid for your full worth, then sell it!

However, If your company is one that is good at recognizing your achievements and who compensates reasonably in the form of an increase on a yearly basis, then my personal advice would be to sit tight and have faith that once again you will receive the increase you so deserve!

But whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the luck ….. And let’s hope hard work is the winner in the end and you get what you are worth 🙂



About Sherina Shawe

"You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining." from: Silver Linings Playbook.