Business

Great customer service creates obsessive loyalty

Tito didn’t raise the repo rate — hallelujah! To have done so would have been like throwing petrol (costly though it is) on to the fire. South Africa would have had a revolution. Salaries have not matched inflation (unless you’re a politician or corporate executive), which has gone up 10 times since 2006. On average…

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Arts can help business training get a standing ovation

The creative arts and power of today’s multimedia technology are emerging as new tools for achieving business success, particularly in the realm of skills development where it is being applied in inventive and fresh ways to help enhance teamwork, improve decision-making and boost productivity. Using the input of artists, graphic designers, movie makers, cartoonists, theatre…

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When can donors ask for their money back?

I have been following the saga of the donation by Count Natale Labia to the Department of Public works and Iziko Museums of his father’s luxurious Venetian-style residence in Main Road, Muizenberg, which has been known to Cape Town as the Natale Labia Museum. This 20-room building, constructed in 1929-30, was the home of his…

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Failing to train your staff will sabotage your business

What should you spend your money on when you open a business? If you are a retailer you might think that the more stock you have the better. But what if you haven’t trained your staff to deal with, and specifically, sell to your customers? Your stock range is likely to stay just as wide…

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Starbucks, immigration and national identity

The news last week that Starbucks was to close 61 of its Australian stores with immediate effect — leaving just 23 stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane — was greeted with considerable interest beyond the business pages. The American interloper taught a lesson about what it takes to succeed in the land down under: this…

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BEE is stifling entrepreneurial spirit

The dawn of the 19th Century marked the beginning of the process of continuous industrialisation in Europe, America and around the world. The Industrial Revolution signified a momentous occurrence in the epoch of human advancement. Historians battle for the limelight of what the causes of this revolution were and cannot come to an agreeable conclusion….

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Digital marketing: do your homework first

Ten years ago, digital marketing simply meant online marketing, by placing a banner on a website and very little else. Some banners didn’t even click through to a website, as advertisers didn’t have a web presence. Media owners even got away with charging a “loading fee” to have the ad serving on their website, with…

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Now here’s something I don’t miss about South Africa

Those readers who always keep a spare pair of undies handy, should they find it necessary to get their knickers in a knot, will no doubt find this post deliciously offensive. I want to state at the outset that this is not an argument, or a justification, or an excuse. It is merely an observation,…

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Exploiting of new technologies for common good

Alan Greenspan observed that, “… New technologies that evolved from the cumulative innovations of the past half-century have now begun to bring about dramatic changes in the way goods and services are produced and in the way they are distributed to final users. Those innovations, exemplified most recently by the multiplying uses of the Internet,…

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Of irrational apathy and exuberance!

In 1996 Alan Greenspan, then the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, when addressing the American Enterprise Institute enquired, “… But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?” Just over a month…

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