Our Top 10 Small Business Trends for 2022

The small businesses that have survived the initial shock of Covid-19 and its effects on trade, services, manufacture, etc., and that have successfully adapted, will come into 2022 with their ‘guns blazing’. That’s because after nearly two years of “uncertainty” there is some normalcy in the ‘abnormalcy’. Now, at least, business owners know more or less what to expect, and can be better prepared. Here’s what we do know: Consumers spend more time at home browsing the internet and shopping via mobile devices and they want to feel important. Based on this, and everything else the past two years has taught us, these are the 10 things we think will stand out in the year ahead.   1. Flexible working conditions - [...]

Get your New Website Indexed by Google & Bing – Step-by step Guide

Search Engines e.g. Google and Bing , use web crawlers (also known as spiders, or spiderbots). This is software technology that crawls the entire World Wide Web daily, finding new hyperlinks and indexing new content. When search engines index website content, it means that content gets added to their gigantic database. If a website has not been indexed by a Search Engine (SE), it won’t rank on organic searches, because they are unaware of the site’s existence. The SE bots will eventually crawl your website and index it, however, this can take weeks. Every new website owner is excited to get their website live asap and they want it to be seen in search results. Manually submitting a website to a Search Engine can speed up the process. Follow our simple steps [...]

Hosted PBX: Video Web Conferencing Productivity Tips

It seems that ‘Working from Home’ is here to stay! As we head nearer to SA’s next ‘round’ of Covid-19, strong remote-working strategies are a must. Video web conferencing software is helping management and teams stay up to date on what needs to be done on a ‘face-to-face' basis, remotely. While video is an excellent time-saving tool it is still only 2D, and team energy and non-verbal cues may be diminished. As a result employees may leave meetings feeling unfocused and unproductive. Now more than ever, companies need to work and communicate efficiently.   Make the most of video web conferences with these tips: 1. Use the right platform Productive video meetings require reliable, secure, and [...]

Top On-page SEO factors to include when building your website

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is a term that refers to the online tools that a company can implement to assist in increasing its organic (unpaid) ranking on search engines. The purpose of SEO is to help increase your website’s online visibility and attract customers. SEO is divided into three categories: On-page SEO - what can be implemented on the website itself. Off-site SEO – other aspects that you (or others) can do online that links to a page/s on your website, in other words building your credibility. Technical SEO - the items that your hosting company , or website building platform, that can contribute to, i.e. site speed (hosting), mobile readiness and domain trust . If you are using a website builder like Site Builder you [...]

Gearing up for Christmas Online: 3 Things To Do Right Now [Part 2]

By now your Christmas campaigns are already running or lying in wait for the Black Friday hype to die down. In the first part of this series we looked at strategy marketing and ways to build an email marketing list. As there is still enough time, let’s tackle some of the details of your campaign – its tinsel, if you will. Ultimately, if you (and your team) aren’t really excited about your Christmas specials, you’ll have trouble enticing anyone else. So, get psyched! If you haven’t done so already, start thinking about the following 3 things: 1.Packaging This depends entirely on what you sell and how many sales you are expecting this season. Be creative and resourceful. While it is great to design and print bespoke Christmas packaging for [...]

eCommerce Tips & Tricks for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two American-named, major shopping days that have in recent years grown in popularity in South Africa. In fact, many SA stores are now making an entire weekend of it. This year, Black Friday will take place on the 26th of November and Cyber Monday on the 29th. Shoppers can expect to pick up incredible deals in-store and online respectively. Did you know that in-store sales dropped by 30% last year, but the increase in eCommerce jumped by 60% ? Is your eCommerce store ready? Tips & Tricks to increase visibility and boost sales this Black Friday & Cyber Monday 1. Sweeten the deal more to stand-out Competition will be manic this year, as customers will be spoiled for choice and pricing won’t be the only thing [...]

10 Cyber Security Tips for Businesses & WFH Employees

It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month but in truth, recognition of this growing hazard should take precedence every day. South Africa experiences the third highest number of cybercrime attacks in the world, suffering 577 malware attacks every hour. Companies need to intensify their defence strategies. Unfortunately, with most of the attacks focussed on employees, a company’s mitigation protocols are only as strong as their ‘weakest’ link. Here are our top 10 cyber security tips to protect your business and your remote workforce from the digital age’s biggest threat! Cyber Security Tips for Businesses 1. Create and implement a cyber security strategy for in-house and remote-working employees Defend your data assets and [...]

Why Prioritising Cyber Security is Critical to Your Business

Cyber Security is non-negotiable! Cyber-attacks can affect businesses and individuals in a professional, or personal capacity, with disastrous consequences. While October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month , the seriousness of cyber-crime should always take precedence; particularly in companies where a ‘work-from-anywhere’ culture is the order of the day. Did you know? Malware – It has been estimated, that South African businesses suffer 577 malware attacks every hour via online communications. Malware is malicious software such as a virus, worm, spyware, ransomware etc., which are designed to steal information and disrupt or damage a network. Phishing & Social Engineering – A Mimecast report found that social engineering [...]

Gearing up for Christmas Online: 3 Things to Do Right Now [Part1]

When it comes to Christmas, there is no such thing as starting too early. Brick and mortar shops are getting the decorations out, why shouldn’t online stores follow suit? Gearing up for Christmas means you can better prepare your business for the “silly season” and be one of the first online stores to grab the attention of your specific Christmas shopping market. In retail, Black Friday and Cyber Monday warm up shoppers for the grand finale of the year: Christmas, which is traditionally the busiest and most revenue-generating time of the year. That means everyone with something to sell will be “bringing it” and doing it sooner rather than later. Are you ready?   3 Things to Do Right Now: 1. Strategise Now isn’t the [...]

Cultivating a Culture of Entrepreneurship in South Africa

The unemployment rate in South Africa is currently at a staggering 34.4%. That’s 7.826-million people without jobs. First-world, developed countries that do not have this problem, also have something else we do not have - many entrepreneurs. Why is there such a shortage of entrepreneurs in this country? Could it be that we aren’t encouraging or rewarding entrepreneurial thinking enough? The pandemic may have clipped the wings of many start-ups, but it has also seen many innovators coming to the fore.   Why we need to cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship in SA: 1. It creates jobs and assists in growing the economy Let’s look at the most obvious benefit first. Entrepreneurs create businesses and businesses essentially need three [...]

Time to Spring Clean Your Business

When it comes to change, humans seem to favour two periods on the annual calendar: January (after New Year celebrations) and Springtime. In January we try and form new habits (or break old ones), and in September we tend to clean, throw out and organise. This internal desire to sort out and improve our environment during spring is also great for business. Every “corner” of your business can do with a good “sweep”. Remember, Christmas is only three months away... Give your business a new sense of structure by:   1. Cleaning your website Go through your website page by page. Look for outdated information, old pricing, discontinued product references etc. and update all of these. Is your website hosting still efficient enough or [...]

Top 5 Office Gadgets to Improve Health, Productivity & Fun

Humans are often inspired by the change of seasons (especially winter into spring) to take charge of their work and personal lives. Now is the best time to use that extra motivation to start that business, register the domain name , paint that wall, spring clean the garage and sort out your life in general. If there’s no change on the horizon for you, don’t fear. Domains.co.za has found 5 gadgets that will help you improve your productivity and mental and physical wellness at the office (even if it is your home office).   Gadget 1: Logitech Zone Wired Headset It doesn’t matter where you work, at the office or at home, web conferencing has become a part of business. Looking for the perfect headset to block out noise, whether from [...]

Email for Marketing: Why it is still a great tool for your business!

Using email for marketing is still very much in use. Sceptical? With the floods of spam and junk mail everyone is constantly receiving, it could easily seem like a waste of effort. The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) , requires companies to send emails to an ‘opted-in database’ only, which makes reaching your customers via email even harder. Keeping the above in mind, would you believe it, if we said that 50% of customers actually like receiving brand emails? This means POPIA is actually doing you a favour and helping you separate those that wish to engage with you, from those who don’t. It seems as if email has become the red wine of marketing tools. Instead of fading into the background against the likes of social media and SEO, email has [...]

7 Must-Haves To Help Your Small Business Get Ahead

Do you feel that your small business has lost some of the momentum that it originally had? That’s because word-of-mouth advertising and walk-ins can only get you so far. Now’s the time to take your business to the next-level.   Try implementing the following 7 must-haves one by one to grow your small business:   1. Get a website - build it yourself Now isn’t the time to create unnecessary expenses, we understand. That’s why a website builder is a great way to get online quickly and cost-effectively. Domains.co.za’s Site Builder offers hundreds of templates and Drag & Drop functionality so you can have a professional website live within hours. From just R100 per month (domain name* & monthly hosting included) you can [...]

Ways to Reduce eCommerce Abandonment Rates for Your Online Store

Most shoppers in a brick & mortar store behave conventionally, whilst some are on a mission for something specific, others are casually browsing. However, generally speaking, the majority of items that go into a shopping basket, or trolley, lead to a successful checkout. Rarely do we see abandoned baskets and trolleys in a physical store. Yet, in the world of online shopping nearly 70% of shoppers leave their carts deserted. Why is that? Often: Customers aren’t ready to commit to buying at that moment. They find the full total plus delivery more expensive than they anticipated. The checkout process was too long, or time-consuming. They first need to obtain approval from a spouse, or parent. Added to the above, online shoppers are very [...]

Tips to getting started with a side hustle

Resourceful, go-getting personalities across the country are dipping their little toes into the entrepreneurial pool by starting a side hustle. A side hustle is a start-up someone creates in their spare time in order to make extra money and build their dream idea into a real business. The great thing about a side hustle is that owners can run it on the “side” while still securing a monthly salary through their day jobs. The flip side however, is it requires excellent time management skills, will demand that owners put in nearly all their free time, and sacrifices will have to be made along the way. A side hustle can be as small, or as big, as you want it to be. From selling muffins at busy intersections on weekdays, or before work, to supplying the public with a [...]

7 Ways to keep website visitors interested

The purpose of a business website is to ‘educate’ the site’s visitors and turn them into customers… ideally returning ones. The problem according to Google however, is that 90% of website visitors are easily distracted. So, how can your website keep your visitors’ attention long enough to make a lasting impact? By creating a website that is not only easy on the eyes but engaging as well. Try these tips to increase average visitor sessions, improve your site’s credibility and enhance the chances of a return.   1. Live Chat Live Chat is rapidly increasing in popularity. Statistics show that over the course of the next year this form of add-in software will grow by 87%. People prefer having their questions answered in real-time. It [...]

Site Builder: Website Content Tips to Improve the Success of Your Site

Site Builder is Domains.co.za’s website builder . It assists in creating a professional website easily; and is as simple as “dragging” and “dropping” plugins to work with your content and images. This solution makes it easy and affordable to get a professional website online quickly and easily with well-designed templates for you to add your information and images to. Bear in mind that your website content has to fulfil two purposes. Firstly, it must convince visitors that your product, or service, is the way to go. Secondly, it has to be able to ‘talk’ to search engines, especially Google; so that it is indexed correctly. Therefore, mediocre website content will do more harm than good; so spend some time to do it properly and it will [...]

Why having a mentor could be essential for a new business.

What makes a business successful? There are many variables for this, but at its core a business’s success is predominantly dependent on the quality of the leader behind the steering wheel. While degrees, books, real life experiences, challenges, family, friends, failures and accomplishments all contribute to the making of a great "boss”, there is one essential facet that is often overlooked: A mentor. In light of Youth Month, we would like to unpack the role a mentor can play for start-ups. What is a mentor? A mentor is someone with more business experience than yourself. It is someone with whom you get along, can build a long-term relationship with and someone you respect and admire. A mentor is not a coach, a consultant, an investor or a business [...]

5 Online Trends Your SME Should Know About & Follow

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the adoption of online transacting in South Africa gained considerable traction. In fact, according to Statista there are now 38.13 million active internet users in the country.  Each of these users are using online to work, research products and prices, check social platforms, or buy items for home delivery. Whatever your SME is selling, start rethinking what you are doing online ASAP. If you are not prioritising these online trends just yet now is the time to do so. It is never too late to re-strategise your business’s plan of action.   Online Trend 1: Search Engine Optimisation Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not only still very relevant, it’s constantly improving. There is no such thing as once-off [...]

How to diversify your small business for growth and not just survival

“It is not a failure to readjust my sails to fit the waters I find myself in.” ― Mackenzi Lee   Life changed, literally overnight for everybody worldwide. The pandemic has changed habits and adapted the way humans think about everyday things like going to the shops or interacting with a service provider. It would therefore be naive to think that companies would survive this pandemic unscathed. As the adage goes: Adapt or die; however, there is an alternative: Adapt and GROW!  Traditionally, businesses diversify in order to grow which we all agree with. Survival-mode is temporary, while the pandemic’s impact on human behaviour could actually be long lasting. It’s time to rethink the way we do business during and after the pandemic.  [...]

9 Myths About A Business Website

It’s 2021, every business should have a professional website. A website is not just a carrier that transports your business to potential customers, it’s also your business’ online hub. The first-place prospects will turn to, to find out more about you. Sadly, less than 64% of small businesses have websites. Don’t let the following myths stand between your business and professional growth: 1. My business is too small, so I don't need it. Are you running more of a side hustle than a “real” business? First off, well done! Many large well-known corporations started out like this. Secondly, get a website. Even if you are baking biscuits or pet-sitting neighbours’ dogs. The only thing standing between your business and [...]

How to attract repeat customers to your eCommerce store

“Get an eCommerce store”, they said. “It will be fun”, they said. But the truth is, more like most of the things in life that are actually worth doing, it is hard work. So, you’ve got a great eCommerce website, you are selling quality goods at reasonable prices, and you are using good marketing strategies to keep your business visible… but, why are you still spending a lot of time (and money) on customer acquisition and your customer retention doesn’t seem successful yet? Repeat customers are loyal customers, you can gain a wealth of insights from them; plus, they will do free word-of-mouth-marketing for your brand. They are your business lifeline!   Here are our top tips to help you to keep those happy shoppers coming back.   [...]

7 eCommerce Trends to Keep in Mind During the Year Ahead

The eCommerce boom is real and, it turns out that lockdown was the little ‘nudge’ that South African consumers needed to develop a crush for online shopping. In fact, eCommerce revenue in SA is estimated to reach R225-billion by 2025.   Here are some interesting trends to keep in mind now that eCommerce is really here: 1. Competition is heating up The competition is now ‘on’ and unlike physical shops that are essentially only competing with their neighbours, online stores have a far wider competitive field. Your Gauteng online store will now be competing with the likes of Cape Town stores, and that funky Vellie shop in White River. Thankfully, the flip side is also true. Your target audience is far bigger and can literally be [...]

8 Productivity Tips for Startups & Small Business Owners

Small business owners and startups have never-ending to-do lists, meetings, networking events, admin etc., and simply not enough time in which to do all of it in. Getting more done seems impossible, but hopefully these productivity tips can help you curb interruptions and make the most of the time that you do have.   1. Create a daily to-do list Take 10 minutes daily to jot down a to-do list; it will allow you to gain perspective on all that has to achieved and assist you to keep on course as much as possible. Prioritise tasks according to urgency, group similar tasks together and endeavour to schedule meeting-free days.   2. Switch off notifications Anything that takes your attention away from the matter at hand is a distraction, [...]

What Domains.co.za’s Site Builder can do for your small business

Does your small business have a website? If not, 2021 could be a great year to consider getting your business online. Statistics show that a large majority of consumers research companies and their competitors before engaging with a few. Not having a website means you are not even in the running. Don’t have a website - why not build your own? There is no question that a website designed and developed by experts does come with a hefty price tag. Unfortunately, this is a price that few startups and small businesses can afford, especially during their early years. But what if you were able to build a great website yourself from as little as R100 per month? With Site Builder you can! Site Builder is Domains.co.za’s website building solution that makes use of hundreds of [...]

2021 Business Trends

Did 2020 turn out like you anticipated 12 months ago? Saying “no” to this would be a gross understatement. Businesses everywhere were forced to change overnight in order to survive, and sadly some did not make it through. Insights after the first COVID-19 wave and foresights into the second, could perhaps allow us to better prepare for the year ahead.   Here’s what businesses across the world will be moving to the top of their agenda going forward:   1. WFH By now, many corporate companies have made Remote Working work for them. Realising that this could perhaps be a requirement for a few months if not years to come, these companies could be relooking the ‘traditional’ office space. Wasted resources are never good for business and we may even see some [...]

10 New Year Resolutions for Small Business Owners [Part 1]

Running a small business is hard work. Every day brings forth pressing deadlines aimed at meeting the business’ immediate goals. But what about all those other to-dos? Setting New Year Resolutions forces small business owners to identify tasks that will be beneficial over the long-term. Creating this list is the first step to ensuring a better more successful future for your company.   Here are some resolutions we think might inspire your list:   1. Get a website or update your current page A website is incredibly important for the visibility and discoverability of your business. If you don’t have one, building one should be your most important resolution. Domains.co.za’s website building solution Site Builder can help you get [...]

How to be productive despite the holidays

Do companies plan properly for times when resources (man, machine or material) run low? This year, it is safe to say that Lockdown regulations have literally forced every company in the world to adapt to functioning with fewer resources. As we head into the festive season, we look at how companies can better prepare for quieter periods and circumvent production or sales losses as a result.   1. Be proactive Vacation is good for employee energy, creativity and overall morale, which is why managers need to be aware of every school holiday and public holiday that could potentially leave the company short-staffed. In identifying “red” days on which productivity could be affected negatively, managers can plan an appropriate course of action.   [...]

How to attract more traffic to your eCommerce store this festive season

As we head into the festive season, it’s an important time to ramp up marketing initiatives to ensure that your eCommerce store stands out online. In a Covid-19-reality, there will be less feet hitting the shop floors and probably smaller Christmas shopping budgets as well. Yet now, more than ever, it is eCommerce’s time to shine . Make your website “sticky” this Christmas with our top 7 tips to attract more traffic. But before we jump in, we would like to mention two very website must-haves: • mobile responsiveness; • and fast, secure & reliable web hosting . If the above two factors are not in place, any efforts you make could fail, as online shoppers expect nothing less. 1. Provide Great Content Great content [...]

How to Start a Business on a Budget… Must Haves!

Having your own business can be hard but can also be very cool. You can work the hours you want and do the things you love. Contrary to popular belief not all types of businesses need investments of hundreds of thousands of Rands before they hit the ground running. Some, particularly home-based sole proprietorships, can be started within a modest budget. If a large upfront cash flow problem was the only thing standing between you and your own startup... hesitate no more.    Here are some tips to get you started:   1. Find a great idea The pièce de résistance of any successful business is  a great idea . Consider your skills, the tools you have in your [...]

Is Your Small Business Ready for Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is a journey. It differs from company to company because your goals and challenges will dictate the technology you need. For the same reason it is not only about technology but also about the people. The benefits to you, your staff and ultimately your customers will navigate your business in the digital era. In 2020, digital transformation is well underway with large corporations allocating substantial budgets towards their digital investments. Organisations need to transform multiple departments and processes within their current infrastructure. Although transformation needs to be customised, take place over a lengthy period, and is usually expensive, the benefits far outweigh these challenges. By implementing the right digital strategies companies will [...]

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: 10 Work from Home Ideas

A lot can happen over six months. During the first 4 levels of Lockdown many industries have shown agility in their “creative” responses; new ways of doing business have started and employees have adapted to the “new normal”. Unfortunately, there is the other side to this coin, where some industries have just been unable to survive, stores that have closed and employees that have been retrenched, or have had to take less than half their salaries in pay cuts.     What can you do if nobody is hiring in your industry sector and your prospects seem bleak? What may seem like an obstacle, may actually be the [...]

12 Marketing Tips for your Tourism Business

As South Africa celebrates the Tourism industry as well as its Heritage during September, it seems fitting to shine a massive spotlight on local travel. Lockdown restrictions have severely impacted the growth of our tourism businesses. However, under Level 1, and going forward, companies within this industry can bring more travellers to their towns and cities by implementing smart and inexpensive marketing strategies.     Don’t wait for people to come, invite them!     Tips to get your tourism business noticed:    1. List, list, list  Visibility online is critical in getting the word out about what your tourism hotspot has to offer. [...]

Mastering the art of Netiquette

A lot of our interaction online is often “faceless”, which could create a sense of anonymity or “distance” when we communicate with others. Irrespective of this, online etiquette always applies. In fact, as we grow more dependent on the internet for work and play, it is essential to sharpen our network/internet etiquette (Netiquette) skills and kill off bad habits in the process.   Why Netiquette matters In real life and in the virtual world, manners matter. Netiquette is nothing other than a polite, favourable online behavioural protocol. Companies are strict about the reputation they wish to build and uphold and therefore employees need to conduct themselves online accordingly. Practicing good Netiquette is invaluable on all digital [...]

Adopting a culture of online safety & cyber security in the workplace

The matter of online safety and cyber security has made its way up the ranks of ExCo agendas across the globe. Companies both big and small not only realise the importance of safeguarding personal and company data, but also their responsibility towards protecting the data of their customers. Obtaining and maintaining the best and most secure networks, hosting and operating systems needed to limit risk come at a cost. Sadly, unless your workforce is properly trained on online safety, your company cannot be fully protected.   The role of online security awareness and training in your business The Why? A Kapersky Lab report identified that 46% of cyber incidents were related to human error. Every employee with access to the company's network opens [...]

How to turn your small business idea into a reality

You’ve got a great business idea, researched the market and found that there is a demand for what you want to sell. After some additional research and lots of conversations with experts in the field, you’ve come to a decision: you are going to do it! You are going to start your own small business. Congratulations! Now the real fun can begin. Get ready, you are about to embark on one of the most challenging yet rewarding journeys of your life. Step 1: Get the Domain Name This is not only a tactical move but also a highly practical one. When registering your domain name you’ve literally purchased your own virtual real estate . The place your business will reside online once your company is up and running. It is liberating and an inexpensive way [...]

Grow your small business despite Lockdown restrictions 

Lockdown restrictions and Covid-19 regulations are placing immense pressure on businesses across the world. Whether your business is currently unable to run normally, or at all, aim to use this forced “pause” in pace to reflect, adapt and find new ways to grow your company and sell your products or services. 1. Register a domain & build a company website A company website is an absolute must in the digital age. Yet, 40% of small businesses don’t have one. In 702 Radio’s #TheMoneyShow successful entrepreneur and businessman Pavlo Phitidis expresses that he has been urging businesses to digitize for a couple of years because of the value it could add to your business. Being too busy, not having the funds, or perhaps not realising its true value, could be behind [...]

Tips to starting a business of your own

There are many reasons to start a business. Perhaps you’ve got a great idea... Maybe you are looking for more flexibility with your time... But most probably you would like to create true wealth, right? But there is another influencer behind business innovation: Necessity! In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and SA’s downgrade into Junk status, many South Africans might not have a job to return to after all this has blown over. Now is the best time to start your small business. Here’s how: Tip #1: Research the market: Having an idea is all good and well, but is there a market for it? And what does your competition look like? Before deciding on a business venture to pursue, make sure there will be a gap in the market [...]

Keywords in domain names: How important are they?

The right domain name can do a lot for your business behind the scenes, and should by no means be chosen lightly. While there are many that favour the branded domain name (i.e. your business name), others again believe a keyword domain name (i.e. what your business does) could be more effective in more ways than one. Is this still the case? To answer this, let’s take a step back and look at what the right domain name should do. The right domain name should: • Be memorable: A domain name that is easy to remember makes it easier for potential customers to recall and search it later. It is a cost-effective marketing tool that could help you get more traffic as a result. Just think about www.webuycars.co.za or www.wesellcars.co.za . They are hard to [...]

What the right domain name can do for you

Choosing the right domain name is just as important as choosing the name of your company. It is not just as simple as taking your company’s name and adding a.co.za extension to it.   Why not? Because you first need to know what the options are and what a domain name can do for you, before you can make an informed decision.   1. A domain name lets your company stand out Your website will form part of the billion plus websites out there. While Search Engine Optimisation, Google Adwords and other forms of online marketing will surely improve your awareness, a carefully chosen domain can make you more memorable, help build your brand and make it easy to find you online without having to spend extra.   [...]