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April 2024


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Finding new markets

You’re invited! Tushiyah’s Virtual Expert, Lorna Ernst, will treat you to seven weeks of showing you how to access markets for your business. One of the greatest obstacles for SMEs is access to markets and getting the proverbial foot in the door. Companies get sent from pillar to post and there are gatekeepers at every portal (whether in-person, telephonic or email). To learn more about alternatives to cold-calling and unanswered emails, check out Tushiyah‘s website! We have an “Exchange Village” there where we‘ll be sharing "Access to Markets" tips and blogs for the next 7 weeks!


 Tip 1

Navigating the world of corporate procurement can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to get your foot in the door with a big client. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the registration process for major corporations’ RFQs and RFPs. Many of these businesses have a system in place to streamline the process. Rather than relying on traditional cold calls or meetings, many of these corporations have a link on their website where you can register your business.

Once registered, you’ll receive invites to respond to RFQs and RFPs that match the categories your business falls under.

 Tip 2

Last week‘s tip on Access to Markets provided website links to some of the many companies hosting portals where you can register your business to receive RFI, RFQ or RFPs.

This week we are listing a couple of links of companies with free access to their RFQs and RFPs on their portals. Please view our Business Links library on the right to access these links. These portals offer a free registration process, allowing you to sign up and start browsing the available tenders and projects.

 Tip 3

Companies seeking to establish themselves in the market often try to position themselves as a one-stop-shop for all your needs, from construction to catering and everything in between. However, this approach can actually dilute the credibility of the business. Instead, it‘s important to focus on your one or two (related) areas of expertise and build a unique value proposition that sets you apart from the competition. Once you‘ve established yourself as a specialist in your chosen field, you can then work to build trust in your brand and establish yourself as a reliable and trustworthy partner.

To learn more about marketing tools and how to build a unique value proposition for your business, visit our website and take the free online business assessment. Alternatively, you can join our forum today to discuss the topic further with other entrepreneurs and industry experts.

 Tip 4 

Networking is a powerful tool for business growth, but it‘s easy to get caught up in the hype without understanding the true value of building strong relationships. At its core, networking is all about building trust and understanding the needs of others, rather than just trying to sell your products or services.

The key to successful networking is to take the time to do your research, listen to your potential clients, and make genuine connections, and you may be surprised at what you learn.

 Tip 5

In Tip 4 we emphasized the importance of building relationships in business, and the fact that listening is an important skill to get this going. Research is also a key component of establishing connections with current and potential clients. Imagine being able to discuss several pertinent business topics – as these relate specifically to your potential clients - with them at networking events, and asking thoughtful questions based on the research you‘ve completed.

This can be done by utilising Market Intelligence and by following potential clients on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media channels. However, this can be time-consuming. To support businesses, many short-term interns are being hired to help with Market Research. This is a great way to gain valuable experience in the field, while also helping businesses access valuable information and increase their potential for success; and your business will contribute to the skills development of the country!

Tip 6

SMEs find reasons to work with other companies, and not only bigger ones. Indeed, collaboration with other SMEs, even if they are competitors, can be a smart and powerful way to increase your reach, knowledge and potential revenue, as well as help save on costs and shared resources, such as sharing personnel, when practical.

In this uncertain economy, it just makes sense to share resources and pool expertise to stay competitive and deliver high-quality work. Additionally, collaborating with other companies can help you build a more extensive portfolio of work to showcase your abilities and professionalism, which can open up new opportunities and expand your network of clients. Remember, the power of working together is often greater than the sum of its parts.

Tip 7

Testimonials from satisfied customers are a great way to market your business and increase customer engagement. By collecting and sharing positive feedback from your clients, you can build trust and establish yourself as a reliable and trustworthy provider in your industry. It is a good idea to ask your clients to provide customer testimonials about their experience with your product or service.

Testimonials should be part of your marketing strategy, and having a marketing strategy is essential to growing your business, so it is important to consider what resources you have to create one and deciding about what tools you need to track your efforts. By setting up a solid marketing strategy, you can increase your brand awareness and attract new customers to your business.



Truter, Marisa
2023-05-05 05:14:48 | 355 DAYS AGO

Greetings all, yes I suppose the way we work is constantly changing and we need to adapt accordingly. I have a question though. What does this all mean? Do we still reach out to individuals directly and build relationships or attend golf events and networking events. How much does relationships count?

Ernst, Lorna
2023-05-05 07:21:44 | 355 DAYS AGO

We absolutely still have to work on personal relationships. Networking events also play a key role in this. However, there are ways about who you reach out to, when cold-calling/mailing and how to do this, which will be touched on, in the Access to Market tips, in the coming weeks.


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