This month we look at why now is the time for a pro-SME budget, offer some tips on planning for the year ahead, and we meet our latest square pegs Martin Gassner and husband-and-wife team, Zeferino and Thelma Franciso.
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'Now is the time for a pro-SME Budget'

In year that promises better economic growth than that of the past few miserable ones, South Africa's business owners are likely to follow this month's tabling of the national Budget with more interest than usual, says Siphethe Dumeko, Chief Financial Officer at Business Partners Limited, the leading local risk financier to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Any measure that can boost the economy beyond the projected 1.1% growth for the year is at the top of the Budget wish-list of South Africa's SMEs, together with the hope that, first, no harm is done by further political turmoil – the number one Budget for SMEs is stability in the economic cluster.

The promise of overall business growth means that the time to enhance specific support measures for South Africa's small businesses in the Budget is now, says Dumeko, as the tweaks and incentives aimed at SMEs that normally spice a Budget also work to stimulate growth in the economy. However, the impact of these schemes is only really effective when they are made at scale.


Ten ways to improve your planning for the year ahead

Each entrepreneur has his or her own style of planning, but not all of them are equally good at it. Anton Roelofse, regional general manager of Business Partners Limited, believes entrepreneurs can and should constantly try to improve their planning process. Here are ten ways in which to become better at planning for the year ahead:

1. Look backwards before you look forwards

Planning is a forward-looking activity, but the best way in which to ground it in reality is to start by looking backwards first. If you plan for the year ahead, begin by looking at the year past. What worked? What went wrong? What were the highlights and the disappointments? Now start looking forward – how can you increase those highlights in the year ahead, and limit the risks of disappointment? Planning not rooted in past experience runs the risk of drifting off into fantasy.

February 2017 / Vol.8.2


Are you a
square peg?

This quiz is not scientific but serves to highlight some of the key attributes of entrepreneurs or “square pegs”, as we at Business Partners affectionately call them. The quiz should give you some idea on whether you “possess” entrepreneurial qualities, or not. However, please remember that a positive outcome/score is not a recipe for success.

Take the quiz

Local manufacturer points the way to world-class opportunities 

Anyone in doubt about South Africa's potential for economic growth and world-class business opportunities needs to look no further than what Martin Gassner has managed to achieve with two small plastic-injection-moulding companies in Cape Town.

No loadshedding, financial crisis, skills crisis nor any of South Africa's other economic travails seem to have curtailed the constant growth of Classic Closures, Gassner's packaging company aimed at the local market, and Classic Medical Moulding, his medical equipment export company.

Asked in which of the two he sees the most potential for future growth, he says without hesitation: “Both”.

One illustration of Martin's growth since he started at the turn of the century, is the increase of factory floor space occupied by his 100 workers, several robots and injection-moulding machines in his factory in Epping, Cape Town. “We have gone from 800 square metres to 1500 to 3 000...


Dream comes true as restaurant gets off to a flying start

To the millions of visitors to the Cape Town Waterfront, the Marina Vista restaurant is a new reason to keep coming back – breath-taking views, a joyful, relaxed atmosphere and a sense of accessible luxury.

And for the two entrepreneurs behind the brand-new Mediterranean seafood restaurant, Marina Vista is the culmination of a life-long dream, and the chance to continue a long family legacy.

Husband-and-wife team Zeferino and Thelma Franciso's feet have barely touched ground since Marina Vista opened next to the Two Oceans Aquarium at the beginning of December, just as hundreds of families descended on the tourist hot-spot for the start of the school holidays.

Opening the restaurant in the busiest time of the year has been a baptism of fire, says Thelma, but they managed to pull off a smooth launch with an ever-growing clientèle and – almost miraculously for these days of instant customer reviews – only positive comments online.

Swartkops Industrial Park, Port Elizabeth
Location: 289 Grahamstown Road, Deal Party, Port Elizabeth. The park is located within 15 minutes drive from the Coega IDZ, 20 minutes drive from the PE CBD and within 1km of the N2 off-ramp.

Description: A 598m² space is available to let (Unit 3), it can be used as a warehousing facility or factories.

Sharon Lines
041 367 1082

Aldo Park,
Port Elizabeth
Location: Greenbushes Industrial Park, Gate 2, Old Cape Road, Port Elizabeth

Description: A 598m² space is available to let (Unit 9). The unit consists of one garage door with access to the factory, an open plan reception, offices, toilets and showers. It includes 24-hour security with guards at the access point and electric fencing.

Rent: R28 800.00 excl. VAT per month (Prepaid 3-phase power & water charged separately)

Sharon Lines
041 367 1082

Buffalo Thorn Business Park, Rustenburg
Location: Buffalo Thorn Business Park, Nr 56, corner of Van Belkum and Kock Streets, Rustenburg.

Description: 3 units of 254m² each are available to let (units 9, 10 and 11). They can be combined for bigger space. The units are road facing and consist of one garage door with access to factory, an open plan reception and office/storage on a mezzanine level. The Business Park has 24-hour security with guards at the access point.

Rent: R13 970.00 excl. VAT per month per unit. Metered electricity, sewerage and water charged separately.

Valencia Tshidi
079 011 9191

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