This month we see how the festive season could improve the management of your business and meet our square pegs Mark Crawford and Shahnawaz Essop.
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If you won’t take a holiday for yourself, take one for your business

One of the quickest and surest ways for business owners to do a health check on their business is to plan a holiday for themselves, says Kevan Govender, Umhlanga area manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS). “It will show you where the weaknesses are in your operations, even if you just do it as a hypothetical exercise without actually taking the holiday,” says Govender.

Just the act of imagining what is likely to go wrong in your absence and what you will need to put in place to keep things steady while you are gone can produce a handy list of priorities of what you need to work on in your business, adds Govender..  

“Which system will be the first to collapse when I’m not are not there? The answer will point towards the department in your business that needs the most work. Which routine work will start piling up when I’m gone for a week or two? The answer tells you which tasks you should consider delegating. Who among my staff members can I put in charge for a while? Who can take responsibility for certain processes in the business while I am gone? These questions tell you who you can bring into your management team,” he says.


Quiet or busy, the festive season requires careful planning for all businesses

For most businesses, the festive season is either dead quiet or frantically busy. Even for those businesses whose sales remain as steady as an undertaker’s, just the number of public holidays in December is enough to disrupt the normal flow of things.

Byron Jeacocks, regional general manager of Business Partners Limited, says the key to getting through the festive season for almost all entrepreneurs is preparation and planning, with a particular focus on staffing, cash flow, stock, promotions and maintenance. Generally, retailers have to plan for ramping up, and manufacturers for winding down, with service businesses falling in either camp depending on their particular market and location.


When it comes to staffing, typical manufacturers need to ensure that their staff take their leave over the festive season as the business shuts down. Because South African labour law allows the employer to determine the most appropriate time of the year for staff to take leave, it is mostly a straightforward process.

December 2017 / Vol.8.12


Business growth only possible if entrepreneur grows with it

Shahnawaz Essop believes that entrepreneurs cannot grow their business unless they grow their own knowledge and skills and develop themselves personally. If his career so far is anything to go by, he is clearly onto something.

In 1998, Shahnawaz quit his mechanical engineering studies to join his father’s paint manufacturing business, Regal Products in Pietermaritzburg, but he never stopped learning. His father, Abdulrehman Essop, an early computer programmer who became interested in business systems, started the enterprise in 1987 together with a business partner. Shahnawaz grew up in the business, working as a labourer during his holidays to earn pocket money.

When his father’s business partner decided to emigrate in the 1990s, Shahnawaz was faced with a stark choice - either he joins his father in the business so that they could make a go of it together, or the business is sold.

He quit his studies, joined his father’s business to help with paint formulation and product development, and enrolled in part-time industry-based paint manufacturing courses.


Turning an overnight stay into a destination

Running your own business is the ultimate do-it-yourself project at the best of times, but if you are doing it in an isolated region you have to be even more self-reliant, says Mark Crawford, co-owner of the Crawford Beach Lodge, a resort of free-standing cottages set on a stunning stretch of the Wild Coast near the village of Chintsa.

In a city setting, a hotel such as the Crawford Beach Lodge would have been able to rely on other complementary businesses to draw a critical mass of clients looking for accommodation, but if you are situated some 40km outside East London, you are going to have to set up the draw cards yourself. And Mark and his wife Carey, third-generation owners of the hotel, set about doing just that by creating more reasons for coming to the Crawford Beach Lodge and for staying longer. Rather than just providing guest-house type accommodation and expecting guests “to sleep, eat and leave”, they introduced professionally curated holiday activities into the business so as to offer their guests a self-contained family holiday with canoeing, diving, fishing, hiking, horse riding, river boating, swimming and tennis to choose from, among other things.

Unit 22,
Richards Bay CBD Mini Factory
Richards Bay

Property type: Industrial unit

Location: Unit 22, Richards Bay CBD Mini Factory, 5 -7 Rupee Rif

Size: 135.5m²

Rental: R5 420

Availability: Immediately

Features: Armed response, ablution facility, water supply, cleaning, and waste removal.

Feroz Khan
082 821 4305


Unit 27,
Dickswell Building

Property type: Office space

Location: Unit 27, Dickswell Building, 92-96 Josiah Gumede Rd, Pinetown

Size: 120m²

Rental: R4 500

Availability: Immediately

Features: Waste removal.

Rani Veerasamy
079 533 3754


Unit 12,
Eldo Square Shopping Centre

Property type: Retail space

Location: Unit 12, Eldo Square Shopping Centre, Eldoraigne

Size: 175m²

Rental: R31 500

Availability: Immediately

Features: Kitchen, water supply, cleaning, waste removal, air conditioning, geyser (hot water), and receiving area.

Nicole Wannies
076 641 3292

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