Picture: Mags Ponnan, head of the Business Incubator & Customer Value Propositions at FNB Business. (Supplied).

CAPE TOWN - FNB says that you can practically run your business for free, thanks to going digital as it reduces costs of starting and running a business. 

The technological expansion has enabled business to operate online and it is now regarded as a requirement as opposed to an option. 

More than 92% of South African adults own cellphones and 69% of those are smartphones. 

Notably, the average smartphone user is estimated to spend over three hours a day on the internet and an additional two hours on social media. 

This makes online a useful space to meet a consumer. 

“Effectively, the use of digital enables a business to drastically reduce the cost of operating by taking away the administration angst and reaching a greater number of entrepreneurs over  wider geographical area, which in turn frees you up enough to spend time fine tuning your business offering", says head of the Business Incubator & Customer Value Propositions at FNB Business, Mags Ponnan. 

Ponnan shares with us a cost effective toolkit that your business can implement: 

Business registration -  FNB offers business registration which enables entrepreneurs to launch their business through a bank. This can also be accessed in the comfort of your own home.

Website - A domain can be purchased for as little as R79 whilst a site can be hosted for R45. This usually comes with an email linked to the domain. Alternatively, free online websites are also available if you cannot afford to pay a monthly fee. 

Communications -  Social Media platforms are free and enables you to access a number of apps. Social media allows you to message, call and conference call with bare minimum rates which will keep business communication costs at a minimum.

Advertising - The rise in digital has allowed for affordable and targeted advertising at a fraction of what you would pay for TV, radio or print. R500 – R2000 could buy one thousand impressions on a busy website, far less then that could buy you targeted campaigns on platforms such as Facebook too.  The trick is to also allow the customer to be redirected to your home website and ensure that the process for him to take up the product to be really easy.

Online payment gateways - There are a number of payment gateways that can be linked to your website to sell your product online. 

Accounting services - There are accounting platforms such as FNB’s Instant Payroll, Instant Invoicing and Instant accounting solutions which enable businesses to keep professional financial records. This assists entrepreneurs with managing their incomes and expenditure. 

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