Small Businesses Need A Corporate Social Responsibility Plan

If you are a small-business owner, you may think that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is something that only large corporations have to worry about. While it is true that major multinationals are putting increasing focus on this due to issues such as the escalating global focus on sustainability, CSR is not something that small companies can afford to ignore.

There are a number of reasons for this. Perhaps the most compelling is that as large companies implement their own CSR policies, they need their suppliers to have similar CSR initiatives in place – otherwise these multinational brands cannot claim to be socially responsible. This extends into many different areas, ranging from community engagement through to sustainability – for a broad range of insights, find out more on

SME need corporate social responsibilityThe sooner that you start to create a CSR policy, the sooner you can start to lay a foundation to grow your business. This is not just about making it onto the approved supplier lists of big companies – although that is an important aspect. It is also about being able to attract business partners and other customers who view corporate responsibility as an essential criterion when establishing business relationships. It can also help you to attract employees who think that CSR is important – which you want to do, since these employees are typically more dedicated and diligent than those in the general labor pool. In fact, a study by the Center for Creative Leadership concluded that, “employees’ perceptions of their organizations concern for community and environment is linked to their level of organizational commitment … that is, the higher an employee rates their organization’s corporate citizenship, the more committed they are to the organization.”

Before you embark on putting a CSR program in place, you need to make sure that you are genuinely committed to the principle. Implementing an effective CSR initiative can be a significant effort as it needs to be embedded into the essential DNA of your company. In addition, unless you can demonstrate this genuine commitment, you are not going to see the benefits of your investment – customers, partners and employees will find it easy to pick up on any insincerity.

small business social responsibilityThere are a number of things that you need to keep in mind when implementing your CSR program. First of all, you need results to be measurable, and the yardstick needs to be something that everyone recognizes. Look for an internationally recognized standard that is relevant to your business, and make sure that certification is available. This could cover any one of a number of metrics – including sustainable sourcing, carbon footprint, waste recycling or community engagement. Next, look at your company’s culture and skills, and determine how you can lead in unique ways – this will make your CSR programs stand out, as well as making it easier to implement. Remember that imposing a top down CSR program rarely works – instead, you need to get the buy in and support all of your employees. Finally, only start to reach out once your baseline is in place – this will let you demonstrate to stakeholders that you have already made progress on your own.

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Top 10 Mistakes Made In Business Plans

It’s very important for everyone who’s attending my next Internet Cafe workshop to study this list in great detail. Develop a basic business plan as part of your preparations for this unique training we offer at NETucation that combines the best black business and technology expertise in Southern Africa.

Lenders and investors may see hundreds of business plans in a single day. Make your business plan stand out against the rest, and avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Not proving that you have the management expertise to make it happen. The quality of your people will lend credibility to your ideas and even to your financial projections. If your management team is not as strong as it could be, join forces with a great board of advisor’s.
  2. Not demonstrating where your revenue will come from – what customers pay you and why they pay you. Do not be too aggressive in setting revenue projections or you will undermine your credibility.
  3. Not proving that your business model and long term cost structure is good enough to make a real profit. How will your business make money – what is your margin structure, what are your costs?
  4. Not being clear enough in your product description to allow the reader to quickly see the need and the niche for this product. It may seem obvious to you, but not so to the reader not educated in your business.
  5. Not proving that the market opportunity is big enough to get interested in. How big is your market now and what will it look like in 5 years?
  6. Not adequately acknowledging your competition. Investors know that if there is no perceived competition, there may be no market for what you are offering. The better you can describe your competition, the better you understand your market, and the more likely you will dominate it.
  7. Not writing for the target audience. Although the core is the same, the plan should be written for the perspective of banks, equity investors, and others. Go as far as you can to tailor each plan to the audience’s specific interests to show you have done your homework and know to whom you are talking.
  8. Starting with a boring, unenthusiastic executive summary. This is the first section to be read, and if it is not exciting, the rest may never be seen. Make it fun and be enthusiastic. It should stand-alone and generate interest for more. It deserves all the thought you would put into a professionally done promotional piece for your customers.
  9. Poor presentation. If you have typos and grammatical errors in your business plan, the reader will assume the work you do in your business is sloppy too.
  10. Saying too much. Keep the entire plan to a maximum of 30 pages, with an executive summary of three pages or less. If investors are interested, they will ask for any other information they need. Amateurs talk in the business plan about unimportant details because they do not know what they should say and what they should not. Hire a professional editor to reduce the page count and help you emphasize your strengths.

source Jan B King


Summary of the first Internet Cafe workshop

First Internet Cafe Workshop JohannesburgThank you very much for attending our first workshop on Saturday, 24th March. This e-mail is a summary of what was discussed and some suggestions on the next steps for you to consider.

If you have your deposit and a venue contact Terry to place your order on (011) 8346755 contact Ramon Thomas.

The aim of these workshops is to set the scene for those of you who have considered running and Internet Cafe as a small business. This is not yet a franchise business but we are considering that option. The main points we discussed is as follows:

  1. The infrastructure components of the Internet Cafe
  2. The benefits and advantages of this type of small business
  3. Revenue sources
  4. Background on the Internet industry
  5. Background on Ramon Thomas (NETucation) / Terry Mohlala (Terry Computers)
  6. Basic Costs Breakdown + Income Estimations
  7. Internet Cafe Industry Portal

To download the Powerpoint Presentation click here. If you have problems downloading the presentation please reply to this e-mail and I’ll send it to you. I’ve decided not to attach the presentation to make this e-mail as small as possible.

Get Your Copy of the Workshop DVD

Ramon Thomas explaining Revenue SourcesAs you may know a recording was made of the workshop including the Q&A and this is available on DVD. To purchase this DVD simply call Terry on (011) 8346755.

Business Plan and Financing

The first problem most people face in starting a business is financing the business. The starting point when seeking financing is to have a business plan. So I’m sending you a sample business plan – also attached. This needs some work from your part to rewrite with your own details and work through some of the numbers. Again through the Business Place you can access experts that will help you writing your business plan. Please contact them via their website here: or call them on (011) 836 9000.

Marketing Research

If you have some uncertainties about your market size, your competition and you feel like you need some research to be more sure about setting up an Internet Cafe contact me directly on 082 9407137. I am happy to meet with you at your earliest convenience to take this further…

Some Resources


First Internet Cafe SME workshop and industry portal launched

A black empowered joint venture is hosting the first workshop for people who wish to start an Internet Cafe as a small business this weekend. And a new industry portal is being launched at the same time.

22 March 2007 (Johannesburg): The Internet Cafe industry is set for a boom between now and 2010. In part, this is because of growing demand from the general population, tourists, and students who live outside of major metropolitan areas.

According to Ramon Thomas, Managing Director of NETucation, a leading online research organisation, who has conducted original research into the Internet Cafe industry, “This is an important step to the growing demand for advice on setting up an Internet Cafe as a small business since delivering my iWeek 2004 presentation.”

This workshop is a joint venture between NETucation and Terry Computers and, both black empowered businesses founded by a growing class of young black entrepreneurs who are technology savvy and offer ground breaking contributions in the ICT industry.

“We believe there is huge potential for people to start businesses in the Internet Cafe industry because we see the demand in our offices every day,” says Terrence Mohlala, founder of Terry Computers.

At the Internet Cafe SME workshop, a new industry portal which aims to provide support to the growing number of Cafe’s around the country will be launched. The portal currently lists 145 cafes including those listed in Swaziland and Lesotho. The website allows users to review and rate the cafes they have used and at the same time offers advice for owners of Internet Cafe owners.

The workshop will give cover the following topics:

  • State of the Internet industry in South Africa
  • Business Models
  • Marketing Support
  • Revenue Models
  • Hardware and Software solutions
  • Financial Support, Business Plans and Loans
  • Skills development and Staff Training

Workshop details

  • Date: Saturday, 24 March 2007
  • Time: 9am-11am
  • Venue: 3rd Floor, The Business Place, 58 Marshall Street, Johannesburg
  • Fee: R10 per person (includes drink)
  • RSVP: Call Tel 082 9407137

Media Contacts:

Ramon Thomas
Managing Director, NETucation
Mobile 082 940 7137
Terrence Mohlala
Owner, Terry Computer Services
Tel. 011 834 6755