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Module Four

The economics of building a business online


To give young people an opportunity to build hope in the connected world.


Offer a holistic and unique programme that encourages active engagement ensuring participant’s learn new competencies through implementation and immediate feedback.


Develop competent, confident and self motivated young people who can participate in the economy and work towards achieving their definition of success.

Entrepreneurial Content

Present personal action plan
Perceptions underpin communication
Who are you and how are you an extension of your brand?
Brand comes at a cost; doing the financials: start-up costs/pricing/budgeting

Digital Content

Introduction to coding (HTML and CSS)​
Introduction to E-commerce
Introduction to WooCommerce
Updating your product information
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Belief systems and the ladder of inference

People’s beliefs and the discussions thereof can become very heated, at times to the point of destruction of life and property. We adopt beliefs based on our conclusions which are influenced by our past experiences and perceptions. For us our beliefs are the truth and it is obvious to us. The truth is based on real information that we select from the world around us which then becomes our reality. Use Peter Senge’s ladder of inference to reflect and test with practical daily examples.

Open the Ladder of Inference
  • Communications
    Perceptions underpin communication

    There are four modes of communication:

    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Speaking
    • Listening

    Of the four types, listening represents up to about 40 to 50% - the one we have the least training in. Most of us think we know how to listen because we think we are doing it all the time. But in reality we are more often than not listening within our own frame of reference.

    Our perceptions influence how we engage with the world around us. Our interactions with people, objects, music, food and events all influence the way we feel, think and respond to everyday life, most of the time without even knowing it.

    The way we perceive the world (people, language, culture, nationalities, nature, etc.) influences the way we are going to behave.

    Perceptions are not right or wrong. However, they are going to influence our response and therefore future stimuli.

    Open the Perception Pyramid
  • Divisions
    How perceptions can create divisions and the ‘us and them’ scenarios

    The world around us is full of danger and has been since caveman times. For thousands of years there have been dangers that have wanted to slow us down, prevent our successes and maybe even kill us. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the way it is. Today, these threats to our survival are still very real.

    For us to not only survive but also succeed, we need to build ‘circles of safety’ where we feel we belong; a place where we feel free of danger from one another, where we have a clear set of human values and beliefs; a ‘circle of safety’ where we are free to make decisions that will improve ourselves and others because trust and empathy exist. Only when we feel that we are in a ‘circle of safety’ will we pull together as a unified team and achieve greater success together.

    However, challenges start to exist when people belonging to different circles of safety start fighting with one another or when internal factions start occurring in a circle of safety.

    Reflect on this in your daily life, in the South African context and in business.

  • Who you are
    Who you are and how are you an extension of your brand?

    To help in this discussion, reflect on ‘your why’ using Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle.

    Watch and discuss in groups.

    Tim Leberecht Morgan Spurlock

  • Brand?
    What is your brand?

    Brand comes at a cost!

    To develop your brand and turn it into a sustainable business, you need to get into the numbers and make sure that you become financially savvy or smart enough to understand what you need to outsource! However, have an understanding of the basics of whatever you outsource.

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  • Price
    Target Market, Your Product, Customers

    The pricing of a product affects the chances of the long-term success of a business. The aim of pricing is to sell enough of the product to make a profit. Pricing is one of the four ‘Ps’ of marketing mix (Product, Pricing, Promotion and Place – refer to Module Five). It affects other marketing-mix components and is therefore crucial to producing a profitable bottom line.

    The price of a product plays three roles when marketing it:

    • Can your target market afford the product?
    • How much of the product will the customer buy?
    • Will the profit be enough to sustain the business and allow for future expansion?

    When a customer thinks price, he/she thinks about the benefits of the product and may compare it with other businesses offering the same product or service. A business thinks of the cost of the product, the volume of forecasted sales and the predicted profit from selling the product. When deciding on pricing, consider the following:

    Internal & external Factors
  • Cost plus pricing
    Fixed and Variable

    There are two types of costs involved in making products:

    In order to determine the selling price of the product, the business has to determine the fixed costs and variable costs of the product and then add a percentage to the total. The percentage you add to the total will then be your profit margin.

  • Price Strategy
    Pricing strategy questions to ask that will guide your thinking and establish a pricing strategy:

    Too often we underestimate the start-up costs, so rather overestimate, be on the safe side and don’t open yourself up to a horrible shock down the line! Please click here and work out your start-up costs.

  • Personal budget
    Getting to grips with your own finances

    If you can’t run your personal finances, how are you going to run a business?

  • Business budget and Forecasts
    Knowing and tracking your business budget

    Be in control no matter how scary things look. You don’t want to be an ostrich with your head in the sand! Please click here.

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  • Coding
    Introduction to HTML/CSS

    When writing HTML, you add 'tags' to the text in order to create the structure. These tags tell the browser how to display the text or graphics in the document. For example, the following document has a simple layout (structure). Notice there are three major parts: a heading, two paragraphs and a bulleted list.

    Text editors

    To achieve a similar layout in a browser, you use a text editor. This is where you put all your code and content. For the PC, it’s Notepad; for the MAC it’s TextEdit. Below is the code (in green) and text for this page.

    <title>Why I like to go swimming</title>
    <h1> Why I like to go swimming in the summer. </h1>
    <p> Swimming is my most favourite activity in the summer. When the sun is shining and the air is warm, you will find me dipping into my backyard pool. It’s not an impressive pool, only three feet deep, but it’s mine.</p>
    <p>There are three reasons I like to swim:</p>
    <li>I get lots of exercise</li>
    <li>I enjoy the freedom</li>
    <li>I have an opportunity to be in the sun.</li>

    Workshop Exercise

    Go to the LEARN HTML icon on your desktop and play the game.

  • CSS
    What is CSS?

    Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language for specifying how documents are presented to users. These documents are written in a markup language such as HTML.

    If you want to make the text on the website bold and red, you use a stylesheet to manage it.

    Sample code: strong {color: red;}

    Workshop Exercise

    1. Create a new directory on your computer to save and organise the tutorial exercises.

    2. Open your text editor and create a new text file. This file will contain the document for the next few tutorial exercises.

    3. Copy and paste the HTML shown below.

    <title>Sample document</title>

    4. Save the file using the name doc1.html

    5. Open a new tab or a new window in your browser, then open the file you have just created.

    6. You should see the text with the initial letters bold, like this: Cascading Style Sheets.

    Action: Creating a stylesheet document and linking your HTML document to your stylesheet.

    1. To link your document to your stylesheet, edit your HTML file.

    2. Add the line highlighted here:

    <title>Sample document</title>
    <link rel=”stylesheet” href=”style1.css”>

    3. Save the file and refresh your browser’s display. The stylesheet makes the initial letters red, like this:

    Cascading Style Sheets

  • e-Commerce
    Introduction to e-Commerce

    In its simplest form e-commerce is the buying and selling of products and services by businesses or consumers over the World Wide Web.

    People use the term 'ecommerce' or 'online shopping' to describe the process of searching for and selecting products in online catalogues and then 'checking out' using a credit card and encrypted payment processing. Internet sales are increasing rapidly as consumers take advantage of:

    • lower prices offered by vendors operating with less margin than a bricks and mortar store
    • greater convenience of having a product delivered rather than the cost of going to the store: transport and parking
    • sourcing products more cheaply from overseas vendors
    • great variety and inventory offered by online stores
    • comparison engines that compare and recommend products
    • auction sites, where they bid for goods

    Action: Group discussion

    • Open - the worlds largest online retailer.
    • Open - 18 departments, 9 million products. Fast, reliable delivery to your door. 9 flexible payment methods. Safe, secure, online shopping in South Africa.
    • Open
      What type of e-commerce site are they?
      How do they create revenue?
  • WooCommerce
    Introduction to WooCommerce

    WooCommerce is a free e-commerce plugin that allows you to sell anything through your WordPress website. It allows you to manage stock, and connects to your bank so you can take credit-card payments.

    Action: Overview of WooCommerce

    Introduction to WooCommerce

    • Open your website in a browser //
    • Log in to your CMS -
    • TBA

    Action: Updating your products on your website