The Big Five – the 5 best blogs to follow for your small business

kazang-talk-360-a-guy-making-a-call-on-a-phone-international-callingSmall and medium enterprise (SME) owners contribute roughly 10% to the annual South African GDP. This figure amounts to well over R500-billion. And they do so by working outside of standard industry working hours.

According to a global SME survey by Sage, 51% of South African survey participants work more than 40 hours each week and 22% work over 50 hours a week.

Part of working such long hours means making tough decisions. Survey results revealed that 44% of local business owners have chosen work over family and a quarter admitted that their personal relationships have suffered because of their work. Half of the respondents opted to forgo a holiday in an effort to make their business successful and about 26% took just five days off in the last year.

What do these findings tell us? Well, for starters, they reveal that starting a business, and making that business a success, is tough. It requires a great deal of passion, hard work and dedication. Especially when you consider that close to 40% of SMEs in South Africa are unprofitable, according to a 2014 World Wide Worx survey. In many instances, these business failures are due to a lack of skills, poor money management and an unrealistic, or non-existent, business plan.

The research findings also tell us that entrepreneurs and small business owners could probably do with a helping hand. In an effort to do just that we take a look at five blogs, which offer small business owners great insights around the latest local business trends and news.

1. iDEATE

iDEATE is a media platform that aims to advance entrepreneurship through information. Run by a team of seasoned entrepreneurs, the curators of the site share their experiences working in different sectors of the economy. The website publishes business success and failure stories, research findings, business opportunity news and information about business events.

2. Ventureburn

Ventureburn focuses on sharing the latest small business and entrepreneurship news from emerging markets. The site covers everything from innovative new business ideas and market developments to helpful tips for aspirant entrepreneurs. And because funding is always an issue, the website also features a venture capital tab, which showcases the latest happenings in the funding space.

3. BusinessTech

The aim of BusinessTech is to serve the local business technology community and provide them with the most up-to-date business technology news and views. What makes BusinessTech a valuable resource for new and small business owners is the fact that it covers a wide range of industries, so chances are there’ll be something that is relevant to your unique business proposition.

4. Techfinancials

Techfinancials is an online technology, business and news platform. This website offers a nice mix of content – from harder news stories to more relaxed human interest content.

5. TechLoy

Many local businesses hope to one day expand their footprint across Africa. TechLoy brings together all of the latest news about the African startup space. And if you’re keen to focus your efforts on a specific country, this site has an option to search for news by region.

If you’re looking to make your small business a big success these business blogs really do offer some great inspiration. And while you’re online, why not subscribe to the Paycorp blog to find out more about how startups and SMEs can make it easier to accept and process payments. Click here to find out more.