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How to Prepare for a Business Meeting

Step 1Determine if you are running the meeting or expected to participate in any fashion. If you are in charge of arrangements, be ready to coordinate scheduling, materials and the pacing of the meeting.

Step 2Set a goal for the meeting. Decide if you are trying to make a sale, bring an investor on board, train employees about company policies or brainstorm new product ideas.

Step 3Set an agenda for the meeting. Give participants a heads up if the meeting is expected to be particularly long. Allow time for bathroom or refreshment breaks. Prepare a schedule if there will be multiple speakers or presenters.

Step 4Make arrangements for a meeting room, conference call or online meeting. Book a time that works for all key participants. Call or email the group to make sure that the chosen time works for everyone.

Step 5Send out time and location details to all participants. If you are dealing with employees, let them know if attendance is mandatory or optional. Email conference call-in numbers and codes if you are arranging a phone meeting.

Step 6Prepare for any needed equipment. For example, if you are going to have a computer presentation, be sure that the conference room has a screen and projector. Know how to hook your laptop up to the projector so that you don’t have to waste valuable meeting time dealing with technical details.

Step 7Take your presentation for a test drive before you do it in front of clients. Make sure your sales or investment pitch is professional, concise and interesting. Endless charts projected on a screen don’t make for compelling meetings. Understand your audience, how you can meet their needs and what goals you want to reach.

Step 8Gather materials. Print off handouts. Make sure there are enough chairs for everyone. Prepare refreshments or make catering arrangements if necessary.

Step 9Remind participants 24 hours ahead, or on the morning of, the actual meeting. Aim to start the meeting promptly at the given time.

White-owned business be BEE Complaint

It is entirely a misconception that in order to be BEE compliant a black shareholder needs to be place. While historically the focus of BEE has been on the Ownership element, with the advent of the Codes and Broad-Based BEE or B-BBEE, the Ownership element is just 1 of 7 the BEE elements.

The size of your business will determine the extent to which the Ownership element will be relevant.

If you are an Exempted Micro Enterprise (i.e. an entity with a turnover of below R5 million per annum) then you are exempt from the provisions of BEE, and will deemed to have a Level 4 BEE status, without changing any aspects of your including, including Ownership.

If you are a Qualifying Small Enterprise (i.e. an entity with a turnover of between R5 million – R35 million) then the QSE Scorecard will be applicable. In terms of the QSE Scorecard you may select any 4 of the 7 BEE elements, each of which will count 25 points towards your BEE Scorecard. Accordingly you may validly leave out 3 BEE elements, including the Ownership element, should you so elect, and will still be fully BEE compliant, should you score points under your 4 selected BEE elements.

If you are a Generic Enterprise (i.e. an entity with a turnover of above R35 million per annum) the Generic Scorecard will be applicable. In terms of the Generic Scorecard all 7 of the BEE elements will be used in determining your overall BEE Score, including the Ownership element. The Ownership element counts for 20 out of 100 points. It is not however compulsory to comply with each element, including the ownership element, and therefore should you not wish to secure black shareholding within your business you will simply not earn any points under the Ownership element. Should you score relatively well in relation to the rest of the Scorecard (where the 80 remaining points lie), it is entirely possible to still score well overall and obtain a decent BEE status level.

Benefits of Learnerships to Business:

Learnership Tracking

www.learnershiptracking.co.za

Benefits to Business:

The funding of New Venture Creation learners is a rewarding exercise for business in that:

• The business becomes part of the solution to the unemployment
and skills crisis
• The business scores BEE points via a highly tax effective spend
on training
• There is no disruption to normal business operations
• There is minimal administration and internal HR cost as the
training function is outsourced

Business Communication Protocol

In order to achieve business goals and maintain profitability, companies rely on effective business communication protocol. Interviews, board room meetings, and informal discussions are samples of opportunities to communicate business objectives within an organization.

Protocol Purpose
Establishing a communication protocol incorporates two key factors: the promotion of a meaningful exchange of information and the building of relationships with partners and key stakeholders. Business communication protocol is not only a set of professional rules, but also a code of conduct used to guide business-related behaviors and etiquette.

Verbal Communication Etiquette
Verbal business communication can take place in hallway conversations, shareholder meetings, ceremonial events, interviews, workshops, press conferences, phone calls and even web videos. Verbal comments that are appropriate in hallway conversations may not be appropriate in a board meeting. For example, personal statements about family and hobbies may be acceptable during a lunch meeting with a co-worker, and can build authentic and productive networks. However, sharing intimate stories during a press conference can usurp the authority of the spokesperson delegate.

Written Communication Etiquette

Written communication can include formal newsletters, reports and informal memos that require appropriate etiquette in business settings. Etiquette in business communication can vary in structure depending on the audience size, culture, place and purpose. Written messages should follow the same ideals as verbal communication etiquette; each message should be edited to fit the tone of the audience receiving it.

Verbal Communication Guidelines
Informal verbal communication in business settings can supplement official channels, save time spent on projects and increase productivity. Formal communication delivered as a presentation can reinforce the ethics and culture of an organization. As a chief officer, manager or a field representative, verbal communication in informal and formal settings should include the following guidelines.

First, is the language considerate and courteous? Kindness trumps bluntness, even during disagreements.

Second, does the conversation reflect company values? Even if personal views are not 100 percent in alignment with company directives, an employee should always support the corporate mission.

Next, does the discussion reflect positive characteristics about employee attitudes or the corporate culture? Eliminate gossip and minimize negative comments about company policies.

Finally, will the message incorporate a beneficial truth? Confidential information, while true, may not be appropriate for everyone in the organization.

Written Communication Guidelines
Written communication is generally used to inform, collaborate or persuade. Before drafting any piece of literary collateral, one of these general uses should be identified. Once the purpose is established, the following guidelines can be used for an effective business communication protocol.

First, are all of the contents incorporated into one main idea? Multiple topics in one document can confuse the reader. Separate unrelated subjects into different documents.

Second, is the language clear, familiar and free of slang? Never assume the reader understands industry jargon.

Next, is the message brief, engaging and properly formatted? The appearance should always be professional, but should be easy for anyone to read.

Finally, are necessary facts and details presented? Don’t leave out information that can leave the reader confused.