Salary advice for employers


These days salaries of employees can’t simply be changed when an employer feels like doing so. There are laws which protect employees against wrongful acts against their salary. All of which include unlawfully withholding pay, paying someone below the average wage and not paying someone according to their hours worked. With the implementation of law comes a series of questions an employee may ask their employer. In the interest of your business read up the latest guidelines of corporate finance and employee wages.


Are you underpaying an employee?


There are many reasons why an employee may decide to leave the company. One of the most common reasons is that employees feel they are being underpaid for the amount of work they do. Some employees don’t feel it’s necessary to speak up. They simply assume their employer ought to know what is right. If a person’s financial needs aren’t met by their company, they will soon seek out a new place of work which will meet their needs. Be sure to recognise you employee’s skills and experience in order to adequately pay them a fair wage.


Be wary of overpaying an employee


Employees who are paid more than their worth, could start to feel a sense of entitlement. The last thing any employer wants is for an employee to start slacking. They might not put in the extra effort because they’re already receiving a nifty reward. All employees need to have a goal they work towards. Not only will it increase work productivity, but employees will feel a sense of accomplishment for their efforts.


How to set employee salaries


Before making a decision about the salary of an employee, do the necessary research about various wage scales in their field. Once you’ve compared the current market rate, you will be able to make a sound financial decision regarding the salary of an employee and your company. You will then be sure not overpay or underpay an employee. To avoid any labour law disputes, be sure to follow up on South African Labour Law to keep track of any amendments. Evaluate your employee and give them an increase based on their performance level, as well as annually adjusting their salary, if possible.

The right time to hire a personal secretary


If you’re overwhelmed by your workload and continually forget to complete your admin tasks, you might need a secretary. A secretary should have qualities which will push your business forward. He or she needs to be a people’s person who is a joy to work with. The secretary and the boss of a company will constantly be in each other’s company, so the person you hire needs to be trustworthy and reliable. They should have basic computer literacy skills, be efficient and organised.


Effective at communicating


If you’re too busy to answer calls, or can’t keep track of the sticky notes stating who you need to call back, a secretary should be on your priority list. You need someone who’ll be able to manage your calls, take messages and respond to emails. Having someone who can communicate effectively will be able to concisely report back with meeting minutes and write up reports or executive summaries for you.


Technology is their forte


Being internet savvy is skillset most people should have by now. If you require them to do a fair amount of research, having basic knowledge of e-commerce will be beneficial. Especially if you need to find a product or service, they should be able to assist you.


Great interpersonal skills


If you give your personal secretary a task which might put them off, they should be able to suck it up and do the job at hand. The biggest requirement of the job is to perhaps do unexpected tasks. They are there to assist you and make your life easier. When clients step through the door, they should feel welcomed by your secretary. If something should go wrong or there’s a slip up with a manufacturer, they should be able to think on their feet.


Expectations of a secretary


Your secretary shouldn’t be expected to do your job. Don’t expect them to sit in on conference calls on your behalf. If your secretary happens to have completed human resource management courses, then you may have them assist in the HR department. The secretary is there to make your day lighter. Try your best to only have them do work-related tasks. While some secretaries do take on personal tasks from their employer such as picking up laundry, keep personal tasks to a minimum. The secretary is there to work in the office, not your home.

The right way bank tellers need to address conflict

Angry businessman

It’s not always smooth sailing for bank tellers. They sometimes face clients who lose their temper with the only people who can find a solution for their problem. Bank tellers need to respectfully handle each scenario with care, as they are representatives of the bank and any wrong word from them could cost them their job. This is when they need to learn the art of keeping composure no matter the situation.


Check your tone of voice


Your body may seem relaxed and there may be a smile on your face but your tone of voice can give it all away in an instant. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it. Speak slowly to keep check of your tone of voice when dealing with an unruly client. By not raising your voice and being mindful of your tone of voice you can do wonders to ease a tense situation. In a heated moment, make a conscious decision to speak a little slower than natural to you. Talking fast can make you sound nervous and frustrate the other person and only adds to the chaos.


If you are unable to deal with a difficult client, call your department manager to diffuse the situation. Never tolerate being disrespected for the sake of keeping a client happy.


Respect your client


Respect your client enough not to chase them through the mantrap of the bank, no matter how upset you are. As a representative of the bank and for the sake of your own reputation, never allow yourself to lose control of the situation. Always envision yourself in the same situation as the client. This will help you perhaps understand their grievances.


Be firm


Being patient and empathetic can only get you so far when dealing with a rude client, but know where to draw the line. Look your client in the eye and firmly tell them their behaviour is unacceptable. There is a right way to tell someone to behave themselves, this is where tone of voice plays a major part in respectfully bringing the message across. Tell the person you’re dealing with if they can’t conduct themselves professionally, you will walk away.


Get going with your transportation business


Starting a brand new business may seem like a tough call to make, but once you have all your figures sorted and your business plan on the go, you can take the final steps into opening up your own business. If only it was as simple as going to the bank and asking, “May I have a loan please?” Your bank will loan you the funds if they know that your business can be an asset to others and if you’re going to make secure financial decisions. They need to ensure you won’t plunder away all the funds. Set up a winning transportation business plan and be confident in yourself.


Protect your credit record


Bad credit will negatively impact your chances of getting a loan from the bank. No matter what your reasons may be, to the bank you’ll be seen as a risk. It’s a tough situation, you want to start your business to get out of debt, but you can’t get a leg up from the bank if you are in debt. Be sure to have the correct documents to apply for a business loan. Contact the bank before hand to inquire what you need to bring along with your application.


Talk about your expertise


The bank would want to know what is your motivation behind starting your own business. They also want to know how you will be able to sustain your transportation company. If you have any expertise in the field of travel logistics then mention this in your proposal. Remember, you’re selling yourself, and need to know what you’re talking about. They are more likely to provide a loan to someone who has background knowledge than to someone who has none. Tell them how you plan to start out, if it’s with one used nissan bakkie, then so be it. It shows determination to start small and work your way up.


If there’s no luck at the bank


If the bank declines your application for a business loan, there’s still hope. Look into government funding for small business operators. There is a range of government funds available for those who are looking to establish new enterprises. Government Funds is an organisation which provides South Africa’s historically disadvantaged people the opportunity to start their own businesses. A helping hand like this could provide you with the leg up you need to get your business going.


5 tips to streamline your business

Every business owner wants a simple business. The type of business which can run itself. The type of business where all the important decisions are made by talented managers with little to no input from you. After all, you’ve done all the hard work of setting up the business and getting it to this point. Why shouldn’t you have a little time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour? Famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein said: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” To help you get to that point, here are five tips to help you simplify your business.


Just like you need a budget to properly plan your personal spending, investing and saving, your business needs one too. This is essential so that you know what you’re spending your business’ money on and understand your long term planning. There are a number of online tools which can automate this aspect of your business.


You need to ensure as much of your processes as possible are automated. From inventory to point of sale systems, you need tools which can do this work for your company. This will save you both time and money in the long run.

Backing up

It’s pointless spending your time worrying about losing information or hard drive failure. Rather, take steps to ensure all of your important data and communication is saved to the cloud immediately. There are a number of solutions available, many of which are available for free.


Sending out your invoices and ensuring they’re paid while keeping track of all of your own expenses and bills can be a laborious process. There are many options available for free or low cost booking programs. Because processes are the same for bigger businesses, these are often the same programmes used by these companies, but scaled down for wider use.

Cancel meetings

The best, and most important, thing you can do to improve company productivity? Cancel meetings. There is growing understanding that these are often a waste of time. How often have you been in a meeting where the entire point is to discuss and plan for the next meeting while catching up on weekend plans and office gossip. It has become increasingly popular to hold standing or walking meetings to encourage workers to keep things short and sharp. Meetings held in this way have been found to be more productive as well as less time consuming. It is a win all around.

5 signs it’s time to promote an employee


To promote employees within the company makes good business. Employees care about being recognised and rewarded, it’s the component for building a lasting company culture. Outsourced hires are paid more than internally promoted employees, according to Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell. This is why it’s imperative for employers to know when an employee has the right requirements for an advancement.


They’ve mastered their job


Almost all employees are competent at their jobs, some may even excel at doing them. These are the employees you need to keep an eye on. Employees are very aware when they go above and beyond, and would hope for management to recognise their efforts. However, you need to bear in mind that you’re not only looking for above average dedication, you’re also looking for talent.


They take responsibility and initiative


Special consideration needs to be taken into regard when promoting an employee to a higher position. The employee needs to show a lot of promise, not only in their work ethic but also their personal capacity. Choose someone who won’t wait for someone else to fix their problems. Employees who receive promotions are the ones who seek project management training without being asked to do so. They take initiative, are assertive in what they want and know how to get it. The ideal candidate up for a promotion seeks solutions instead of complaints. They’ll own up to their mistakes and spread credit instead of blame.


They care about the company


The moment an employee changes their viewpoint from “me” to “we”, they might be ready for more responsibility. This is ultimately what an employer wants to see from their team. The moment an employee grows, everyone will notice their dedication and commitment to the company.


They are natural leaders


An employee doesn’t need a job title to be an effective leader. A good team leader will earn the respect of their colleagues and goes out of their way to share knowledge and uplift those around them. You need someone who is a motivator and can drive needed change. The employee you choose to promote needs to be a good morale leader who provides support where needed.


They know their capabilities


When talking to a promising employee after promotion, they’ll be talking about increased responsibility, not only an increase in salary. It’s only natural for someone ready for such a role to know their worth and capabilities to take on extra responsibilities. A strong employee will be able to tell you that they’re ready to lead.


The best way to organise office space



A productive space is an organised space. A lot of time goes into organising and if done right a lot more tasks can be accomplished in one day. A desk with freed up space looks inviting and instantly clears the mind. Occasionally rearranging and moving piles of unwanted paper and books doesn’t count as “organising”. To organise means to have a system in place that accommodates everyone and results in an efficient workspace.


A clean-up onslaught


Shred, empty, declutter and get the bin. Dispose of anything that’s not of value in the office. Have a look around and decide what hasn’t been used in a while. If it has been sitting in the corner for the past three months, get rid of it. If a printer or monitor is problematic have it repaired or toss it out. The same applies for equipment, furniture, office supplies and decorations.


Gather and redistribute


If office items are not in their designated area, gather them up and put them back where they belongs. Make a strict rule about this. Non-financial managers in the office should only use what is designated to them. If they do borrow something from the finance department, the rule should be that they need to put it back.


Allocate discard dates


Not every piece of paper needs to be kept, unless it’s very important. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded. Ensure you know what the requirements are for keeping important material. Legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time.


Organise drawers and desks


Not only should employees clean and organise the office space, they should also organise their desks. Some may prefer a cluttered space, but for those who want to make a change, they should jump right into organising. Purchase containers for stationery or any other items on their desks. Use trays for papers and containers for smaller items. Anything that is used in conjunction with one another should be placed in the same drawer. Place stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads and staples with a stapler. having all stationery items in close range will make it easier for those who study a management or finance course after hours. A separate drawer should be used for personal items.


How to make your business socially responsible


Does your business use recycled paper products or donate to a homeless shelter? There are many consumers who take these factors into consideration before opting to support your business. A company’s social responsibility can show good business process management. It shows that the company is not only out to make money but to also give back. What employees ultimately want to feel is they’ll have a hospital plan for pensioners in their old age. They should be able to earn enough to invest in policies for their retirement or have the company see to it.

Customers can smell phony social responsibility a mile away, so when running an awareness campaign, be sure not to exploit customers’ concerns to make a profit.


Align your business with the right cause


You need to consider a cause that is in line with your products or services. If your company manufactures women’s clothing you could get involved in funding women’s breast cancer research. The best way to narrow down the search is to not only consider causes you feel strongly about but also what your customers will consider significant.


Choose a nonprofit or other organisation to partner with


You can choose any organisation, but be sure it’s a reputable organisation and geographically convenient for you. The organisation you choose needs to be willing to cooperate when it comes to developing a partnership. They need to be open to negotiation where both parties need to be in agreement with each other, having a clear understanding of what is expect from each other. Ask the organisation what they expect from you before you sit down. It may be that what they need and what you can provide are two different scenarios.


Create your proposal


Presenting a proposal to a non-profit organisation is no different from presenting high-end clients. Your business need to design a programme, plan what you want to accomplish and include indicators that will measure the programme’s success. Be sure to involve your staff. This shouldn’t be a side project that only you’re involved with. If employees aren’t involved from the start, there will be a disconnect when it comes to communicating the campaign to customers.


Involve customers


Don’t start your initiative and tell your customers about it much later on. Get your customers involved from the very start. A fitness equipment store can have customers bring in their used equipment for a children’s shelter and give them a 10% discount on a new purchase. Not only do customers walk out the store feeling good for making a worthy contribution, but they get rewarded for doing so.

Proper purchasing saves you money

No one wants to spend more than they have to. This applies to anything, but this has greater impact on more expensive items. We don’t want to end up giving more than we have to, especially on those items we may end up spending years paying back. We are already dealing with plenty of debt issues. The more we can do to lower our expenses, the better.

Forming financial goals

What does it mean to spend wisely? Ideally, we do not want to be paying out more than we get in. This leads us into serious financial trouble. A good way to plan this is to create a budget. Taking into account our monthly income and expenses, we can start attempting to achieve the goal of retaining more than we earn. This allows us to save.

Saving and planning all help to form financial goals. These fall into two categories. As Consumer Action notes:

“Financial goals often fall into short-term and long-term categories. Short-term goals may be ones you want to achieve in one or two years, such as finishing your education or getting married. Long-term goals may take more time to reach — five years or more to be in the position to buy a home, and much longer if you’re talking about a secure retirement or paying for your children’s college education.”

Our money must be managed properly, so we can lead our lives better.

How proper spending can lead to better saving

A good purchasing decision is choosing good pre owned cars over brand new ones. As Consumer Reports noted, buying used cars the right way “saves” a great deal of money.

While new cars tend to remain at a fixed price, used cars usually offer wiggle room in a number of areas. According to their research, Consumer Reports notes a high success rate when it came to price haggling.

Mark Rechtin, Chief Cars Editor for Consumer Reports noted:  “Most of our survey respondents who asked for a lower price on the used cars they bought were successful 80 percent of the time. The median savings was about $900 [about R13,200].”

They also note that we should buy the most recent model year we can afford, which will have the best safety and technology features. We don’t want to be caught out, so they also suggest we have cars inspected by a mechanic.

Also, we should always try for vehicles with less than 50,000 miles (or 80,500 kilometres) on them. All of this means less chance of the car being a lemon, breaking down and costing us more in the long run. This is what saves us a great deal of money and means we made the best purchasing choice.

How to protect your money during a crisis

No one can predict what will happen in the world. And uncertainty is often death for financial investment and security. We can only speculate so far and sometimes great events happen without anyone predicting it, with no way to prepare. What we need to think about is how we, as ordinary people and business owners, can take measures to protect ourselves. No solution is perfect, but that doesn’t mean improvement is impossible.

Consider “Brexit”

The United Kingdom is considered one of the most important parts of the world. It’s a financial powerhouse, central to various economies. It bridges gaps between America and the Asian markets, takes in the Southern hemisphere’s trade and is home to several leading institutions.

Recently, the British voters participated in a referendum, where the majority of voters found in favour of leaving the European Union (EU). This became known as “Brexit”, short for “British exit”.

Within the EU, its members and their citizens are provided with a number of advantages. Primarily, it allows citizens of member countries to move and work freely in different countries who are part of the EU. The BBC highlights an important relation of EU to Britain.

“The EU is Britain’s biggest trading partner… EU funding is spent on supporting farmers, boosting jobs in the UK, redeveloping rundown areas, and grants for university research.”

Vox notes the economic fallout:

“the Leave vote is causing economic turmoil… the value of the British pound fell by 10 percent to $1.35, its lowest level against the dollar since 1985. Stock markets around the world fell in Friday trading.”

Despite being a British decision, the rest of the world still felt the repercussions. The question is how do we prevent such enormous events from destroying our investments and financial security.

How to protect ourselves

One of the best ways to reduce our concern is to focus on those areas we can reduce expenses. This is why we should shop around for the lowest in investment costs. Financial Finesse suggests some important thoughts.

We should never ignore fees and trading costs. Knowing what these are means we can look elsewhere and find better deals.

They also note that “Ongoing fees usually cost more in the long run than one-time upfront fees.” They also suggest considering discount brokers “if you’re just looking for help putting together your portfolio. They can often help you select low cost investments like index funds without additional fees.”

This gives us cover if we need to focus on things like property finance or other forms of loans, if the time comes. We will have enough stability to be able to negotiate, even if the market is chaotic.

We should also consider ways to protect our retirement. According to US News, this is similar to other forms of protection. The only major difference is that retirement tends to work differently, in some small ways we might not consider. We should speak with financial advisors before we make any sudden changes.

(Image credit: moerschy / Pixabay)