Showing posts from October, 2017

Cash Converters bucks the economic trend

With its number of stores expanding by almost 15 percent in 2017, Cash Converters’ strong growth has it bucking the uncertain SA economy that particularly bedevils the retail sector.

By the end of November, the company will have opened 11 new stores this year. Representation in Mpumalanga has doubled to four and a third store has been opened in Namibia. New stores are being added both in the company’s strongholds such as Gauteng as well as in more sparsely represented areas, such as the Garden Route and Free State, says Cash Converters CEO Richard Mukheibir.

New franchisees range from Namibian TV personality and Generations star Dalton Ashikoto in Windhoek to business-school graduate Eric Nkosi in Middelburg. Two husband-and-wife teams have taken up the franchising challenge at Germiston and Kempton Park respectively on the East Rand.

“We are well into the company’s expansion plan and aim to add a further 20 stores to the network in 2018 and another 20 in 2019,” says Mukheibir. “Buyi…

New technical assistance programme launched for SA SMEs to drive business success rate

The majority of business failures can be attributed to financial, management and reporting factors that can ordinarily be addressed through mentorship and technical assistance support throughout a business’s life cycle. This is supported by the 2014 Turnaround Management Survey which estimates that as much as 36% of business failures were caused by inadequate financial management.

As such, the launch of a R50 million (US$ 4 million) Technical Assistance Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa by Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) with the support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), aimed at improving the business, labour and environmental performance of SMEs, is sure to be a welcome relief to local SMEs who want to increase the profitability of their businesses.

Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg this afternoon, Ben Bierman, MD of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) – a premier risk finance company for formal …

#SA Franchise Friday featuring FICS, objective quantum & merit investigations

FICS is a newly established group of companies for the forensic, legal, government, insurance and corporate markets, offering South Africa’s first specialised investigations franchise opportunity. The company is in a strong expansion phase with 145 demarcated franchise areas available to appropriately qualified and experienced applicants.

Franchisees enjoy a steady income stream doing paralegal and investigative work on behalf of law firms and corporations, especially in the unclaimed benefit industry. Passive income can also be generated from post-accident data capturing via the FICS app, which enables franchisees to shorten turnaround times and deliver quantifiable data for the processing of claims.

FICS performs investigations for and on behalf of insurance companies, law firms, corporations and other service providers. The opportunities created by the head office are shared amongst the franchise network but franchisees are also required to generate work from…

Zebro’s shows its true colours

Known for its authentic braaied chicken and famous sauce, Zebro’s has revealed a new corporate identity and store look that is as South African and welcoming as a traditional braai.

Zebro’s started in the 90’s and grew from a small store in Caledon to over 54 stores across South Africa. The brand’s claim to fame and popularity rests on its coal-braaied chicken and unique basting sauce.  Zebro’s has chosen to return to its Cape roots to unveil the first of its new look stores in Stellenbosch.

“Every brand goes through a period of reflection that requires business owners to assess their standing in the market,” says Jan de Beer, Managing Executive for Zebro’s “The revamp follows a shift in strategic direction for the brand.”

“There has been a big change in how consumers view brands and perceive value. We asked ourselves the questions: Are we relevant? Are we connecting with consumers? Do we add real value to a consumer, not only in price but in product quality and a differentiated cust…

12 Reasons why you need to consider acquiring a FICS Franchise

A FICS Franchise is one of the most uncomplicated business models in the SA franchise industry.
FICS is the only Investigative Franchise business which will eventually have 145 Franchisees resulting in a national footprint that covers all geographical areas in the country.

Costing: A FICS Franchise is much cheaper than the average franchise opportunities in the market. A FICS Franchise costs R450 000 including working capital. That is less than 40% of the RSA average for franchises.

Stock: A FICS Franchise does not have any stock that has to be stored, carried or secured. So no stock management is required. A FICS Franchise does not have any perishable stock that can result in losses. No fridges, shelves, space or infrastructure is required. No stock to be ordered, stock write offs or insurance is required.

Staff size: A FICS Franchise does not have a large staff contingent. It functions with a small staff that will consist of 2 (Owner Operator & Management Office Coordinator) to a …

MTBPS: Economic growth crucial to SMEs

SME Medium-Term Budget wish-list

While local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have many wishes for the upcoming Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) that will improve the ease of doing business, none of these will be significant unless the ultimate outcome of the speech is improved economic prospects.

This is according to Ben Bierman, managing director at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) – a leading risk financier for SMEs. He says that an emphasis on the creation of a supportive business ecosystem – through an increased budget allocation to the SME sector – will send a strong signal recognising and supporting the role of SMEs in generating the type of inclusive growth that South Africa so desperately needs, but that it will ultimately become a moot issue if the broader policy uncertainty and impasse around a growth imperative is not addressed.

Bierman explains that although the local economy has received some good news over the past couple of months in the form…

No slowing down for The Bed Shop

The end of the year might be in sight, but there’s no slowing down for The Bed Shop. If you’ve been having sleepless nights or dreaming about starting a new venture, they have the answer and mattress for you.

The Bed Shop will be opening a whopping four new stores before the end of year in Savannah Mall (Polokwane), Bushbuck Ridge, Nelspruit and Newcastle. The last three being the first The Bed Shops in each of the respective towns and will offer interested franchisees an exciting opportunity to start a new venture with a competitive edge. You can also look out for their pop up stores in Boitubela, Umtata, Heidedal and Mall of the North over the festive season, where they’ll be testing the viability of the market with the intention of developing stores for a new franchisee early next year.

The Bed Shop in Vryburg not only underwent a revamp, but also relocated and reopened on the 20th of October with Manie and Corné Marx as the proud owners. This is their fourth The Bed Shop that the…

Eight year old Stiaan Scheepers shows why maths matters

With government set on lowering the pass rate and doing away with compulsory maths, it takes an eight-year old to show how important maths is in early childhood development by achieving a top ten place in the international Mental Maths World Cup held in Germany. He will go on to compete in the 17th PAMA Global Abacus & Mental Arithmetic Championships which South Africa is hosting on the 28th December 2017 at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton.

Stiaan Scheepers, who hails from Rustenburg, travelled all the way to Germany to compete as the youngest participant in his category and came in the top ten... despite suffering a mishap when his soda bottle spilt all over his worksheet and he lost valuable time in completing the test.  Up against children from all over the world, Stiaan had to, in the two-hour test, tackle a variety of pure maths problems including square roots, cube roots, squares, cubes, fractions, time, prime factors and much more. Calculations that, given his young age and hi…

Balancing work-life responsibilities as an entrepreneur

Growing a business has often been equated to raising a child – a 24/7 role involving countless sleepless nights and never-ending concerns about the business’ future success. While a work-life balance is always strived for by entrepreneurs, the increasing consumer, economic and societal pressures means finding this desired balance is becoming even more difficult to achieve.

Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that to keep up with these demands and to make ends meet – both at home and in the workplace – many people are working harder and longer, especially small business owners.

“It’s not surprising that with these increased pressures and a skewed focus towards work that stress levels are on the rise. But rather than having a positive outcome and generating increased input from the extra work hours, this could have the opposite intended effect,” says Mjadu.

She adds, “Given the very nature of entrep…

Spring cleaning your business builds team spirit

It’s time to think laterally about spring cleaning your business, says Cash Converters Managing Director Richard Mukheibir – convert this seasonal chore into an opportunity to market your brand internally and externally.

Building greater cohesion and motivation across the Cash Converters franchisee network has been an unexpected spinoff of their first network-wide promotion, the company now realises.

“Like any trader, we find that some goods move fast but other stock lingers so we decided to experiment with our first-ever Spring Clean Sale in early September,” he says. “The idea of clearing some of our inventory quickly at discounted prices is a perennial, of course. But what seems to have made the difference was how we implemented it.”

Franchising typically appeals to owner-operators who want a small business that combines independence and franchisor support, says Mukheibir, so it was not possible to be absolutely sure how franchisees would respond to this first-ever promotion acros…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Flooring Boyz

Team Flooring Boyz is a vibrant family-owned company started by Willie Loots who still believes in doing things right the first time. On retirement, the urge not to sit at home motivated Willie to start another business — and so Flooring Boyz was born.

Team Flooring Boyz operates as a home-based business with its head office located in Waverley, Pretoria. With 12 years of trade experience, Flooring Boyz has emerged as a truly successful business that continues to grow from strength to strength.

To ensure that their clients receive the best laminate floors possible, and in order to uphold their promise of superior workmanship while honourig their quality guarantee, Flooring Boyz only installs laminate flooring that conforms to the standards prescribed by The Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF).

While their focus is primarily the domestic market, for franchisees willing to take the initiative there is scope to grow in the commercial proje…

MTBPS: Economic growth crucial to SMEs

SME Medium-Term Budget wish-list

While local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have many wishes for the upcoming Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) that will improve the ease of doing business, none of these will be significant unless the ultimate outcome of the speech is improved economic prospects.

This is according to Ben Bierman, managing director at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) – a leading risk financier for SMEs. He says that an emphasis on the creation of a supportive business ecosystem – through an increased budget allocation to the SME sector – will send a strong signal recognising and supporting the role of SMEs in generating the type of inclusive growth that South Africa so desperately needs, but that it will ultimately become a moot issue if the broader policy uncertainty and impasse around a growth imperative is not addressed.

Bierman explains that although the local economy has received some good news over the past couple of months in the form…

Fuel franchising continues to be resilient as economic indicators remain subdued

By: James Noble, Business Development Manager: Fuel Industry, Absa Business Banking

The South African fuel retail industry has grown considerably in recent years. In fact, it is one of the few sectors to weather the downgrading, rand volatility and negative growth rates recently experienced.

Fuel retail specifically is a highly specialised sector, with operating margins that are affected by a multitude of factors such as oil prices, labour costs, exchange rates and regulations, to mention a few.

In the current economy, only a small number of industries can claim to be recession proof. The fuel retail sector has proven to be just that; showing healthy profits in times of slow growth cycles.

Growth Indicators

Service stations in South Africa have a combined annual turnover in excess of R200 billion. The country remains the biggest consumer of fuel on the continent, claiming more than 20% of the market share. Satellite sectors create multi-channels of employment that generate economic opp…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Body20 Studio

Body20 Studio is a rapidly growing franchise within the fitness industry. The combination of state-of-the-art Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology, modern personal training and rapid fitness makes Body20 one of the most exciting franchise opportunities in fitness this decade. Courtesy of its streamlined operations and strong unit economics, the Body20 franchise delivers a high return on investment.

With their strong emphasis on professionalism, transparency and consistent quality service, they aim to assert their position as South Africa’s premier EMS Studio and to establish a network of 100 franchises in the coming years. In addition to a successful career as a body builder and fitness athlete both on the national and international arenas, founder Bertus Albertse worked in the health and fitness industry for eight years before establishing the Body20 brand, ensuring a thorough understanding of the industry.

Local support is available and provided by Body…

Asset rich but cash poor? Maybe it's time to rethink pawn

It’s no secret that small businesses – and the individuals behind them – are cash-strapped in the current environment. Finding the liquidity to fund growth and operations is increasingly tricky as access to credit becomes tighter – but the answer may be sitting in the garage or around your wrist.

Charles Meyerowitz, co-founder, and CEO of Lamna, a specialty asset-backed financier, says that in many cases people hold valuable assets but experience temporary liquidity problems in their business or personal capacity. “People simply have money tied up in luxury assets like cars or watches,” says Meyerowitz. “Collateralised lenders, like Lamna, focus on creating quick, discreet cash injections for people by exchanging high valued assets for loans, all facilitated in a secure online environment.”

“This, amongst other factors, is what sets Lamna apart from the traditional pawn shop industry and it has revolutionised the way that individuals think of the funding method,” says Meyerowitz. “We…

Tourism sparkles amongst SA’s economic gloom

Through the storm clouds of a distressed economy, the South African tourism industry stands out as a ray of sunshine. And, with travel and tourism expected to contribute 9.4% to the GDP of South Africa in 2017 – according to the PwC’s Hospitality outlook: 2017-2021 – small business owners operating in the sector need to be taking heed of the sector’s gaps and opportunities if this goal is to be realised, and exceeded in years to come.

This is according to Anton Roelofse, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited, speaking in light of National Tourism Month. He points to the latest Tourism and Migration report from Statistics SA, which reveals that the number of overseas visiting South Africa was up 12,4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017.

Roelofse believes that the continued increase in overseas tourism remains largely driven by the favourable exchange rates that keep the country’s tourism experience affordable, but adds that South Africa is also increasingly bec…

White River gets a Cash Converters store

Nelspruit Cash Converters franchisee Graham Gillespie has great expectations of his new venture – a second Cash Converters franchise store. This one opened on 28 September 2017 in White River Square Shopping Centre in White River.

“I experimented with my first franchise in 1994 and became a Cash Converters franchisee in 2013 at Nelspruit’s Riverside Junction Mall,” says Gillespie. “Franchising really appeals to me because I enjoy being my own boss – facing the challenges and enjoying the rewards.”

Gillespie bought out his partner in Cash Converters Nelspruit in 2015 and has now expanded his portfolio further with the opening of his White River franchise store.

“I chose the location of the White River story very carefully,” he says. “White River Square is the busiest shopping centre in White River, with fantastic foot traffic and feeder shops. We intend to serve the community with integrity and respect and aim to be the go to franchise for quality goods and financial assistance.”


Franchising holds growth opportunities for SMEs

Trends in the franchising industry for SMEs to take heed of

The resilience and vitality of the franchising industry in South Africa is more apparent than ever, and increasingly becoming a notable asset to the country.

Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), says that the franchising sector continues to grow on all fronts, and is increasingly offering business opportunities for local entrepreneurs and enabling the creation of jobs – something that the country desperately requires as the economy continues to shed jobs.

He points to recent Franchise Association of South Africa’s (FASA’s) statistics which show that, in a year of low overall economic growth, the franchising sector's share of the country's GDP in 2017 is reported at R587-million and accounts for 13.3% - an increase from the 11.6% of GDP recorded in 2016. The number of outlets (franchisees) reportedly increased from 31 111 to 40 528, and the number of franchise groups (…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Sorbet

The Sorbet beauty salon and nail bar concept was created in response to a need for an up-market chain of branded beauty salons. The concept was brought to fruition in 2005 with the opening of the first Sorbet salon in Johannesburg. The offering has since been extended to include five different concepts, namely, Sorbet Salons, Sorbet Nail Bars, Sorbet Drybars, Candi & Co, and Sorbet Man. Today, with close to 190 salons in major city centres across the country, as well as four stores in the UK, the brand is well-established and popular.

Sorbet salons deliver an updated version of the traditional beauty salon. Catering to today’s busy lifestyle, price, quality and efficient convenience are embraced as vital elements of product and service delivery. Sorbet guests enjoy the ‘Total Guest Experience’ that goes beyond mere service delivery and forms the crux of the unique Sorbet culture and philosophy — The Soul of Sorbet.

Facials, massages, grooming, waxing, and ha…

Cash Converters franchise opens in Elgin Mall

Husband and wife Clifford and Caela de Witt are thrilled to be making their dream of a family business come true with the opening of their new Cash Converters store at Elgin Mall in Birchleigh, Kempton Park.

Clifford is deeply rooted in Kempton Park, having lived his whole life there. Caela moved to the area from KwaZulu-Natal when the couple married 14 years ago.

“We believe this is a perfect area for our first adventure in franchising,” says Clifford, whose career so far has been concentrated in the financial sector, particularly insurance and banking. “We are finding that running your own business is a hectic, major learning curve. That is made easier for us because we chose Cash Converters for its countrywide network, well-known and trusted name and well-developed business model and support structure. Our research showed how much more you would struggle to get a business off the ground without that.”

The couple has planned carefully for success, choosing a 200-square metre site i…

Gender equity drives SA entrepreneur to success

There is still a misconception in South Africa that certain sectors are reserved for specific genders, however, Lola Robertson, owner of Armadillo Concepts – a Kempton Park-based manufacturer of high quality automotive roll-top covers – was not deterred by her male counterparts’ misgivings when she started out as a junior buyer at the company, 17 years ago.

Instead, she worked her way up the corporate ladder, initially taking over as general manager and has since become the owner. Along this path she also led the way in shifting misconceptions and today, Armadillo Concepts can proudly say that half of its staff, from senior managers to factory-floor workers, comprise of women.

Gugu Mjadu, executive general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) says that successful women-owned businesses are especially important in order to inspire South Africa’s younger female generation and showcase entrepreneurship as a viable career path. “The recently released Global Entreprene…