This month our focus is on growing a family business and how keeping open communication lines with your family as an entrepreneur can be beneficial; we also meet business partners Jena Ntumba and Marli Hoffman, as well as Beth Baillie, this month's square pegs.
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When family businesses spread their wings

Family businesses have an excellent reputation in the world of entrepreneurs, and for good reason. They are robust and can achieve near miracles of rising from kitchens and back yards into high streets and central business districts, but they also face particular challenges on their growth path.

The firm grip of a family that is so vital to the survival of a business in its early years can easily turn into a stranglehold later on. Or, as the business grows, the family's ability to control the expanding operation slips, and things spin out of control, says Christo Botes, executive director of Business Partners Limited.

Open communication can turn family into a valuable business asset

In a sense, almost all owner-managed businesses are family businesses. The fortunes of even those run by a single entrepreneur without the direct involvement of other family members are heavily influenced by what goes on at home.

Such lone-operating business owners can turn their families into one of their greatest assets – a refuge of emotional support and healing when things are tough at the business, a source of inspiration during tedious times, a sounding board to help with difficult decisions. But like all relationships upon which an enterprise depends, this relationship requires concerted effort and focus, says Jeremy Lang, regional general manager of Business Partners Limited.

April 2015 / Vol.6.3


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

Entrepreneurs set new standard for pre-school education

At first glance, it seems odd that ground breaking innovation in pre-school teaching could take place in South Africa, a country facing many challenges with its education system. But then again, it is perhaps to be expected that when entrepreneurs move in to fill a gap left by the stagnation of traditional institutions, some will do so in ways that set altogether new standards.

Jena Ntumba, a young business management lecturer, was looking for a pre-school in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg but couldn't find one suitable for her three-year-old daughter. She was determined to find a pre-school with the right balance between education and care, and an emphasis on building confidence and creativity in children. “Some were academic, but I didn't want a primary school for my preschooler.


Daunting journey taken one step at a time

The final straw that pushed Beth Baillie into starting her own business was when her boss cancelled her commission structure after she won a huge contract for the company. She angrily declared that she was better off working for herself. “You'll come back crawling in three months,” he said.

“No,” she said. “It is you who will be placing orders with me.”

Today, the giant company she walked away from is indeed one of her clients. Over the past twenty years since that conversation, Baillie has built her own niche plastic packaging company in Wadeville, Germiston that employs almost 50 people and occupies three factories with dozens of extruders, slitter, bag makers and printers.

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Location: 416 Umbilo Road, Durban

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031 240 7761

Maytime House
Location: Corner of Haygarth & Lyngarth Roads, Kloof, Durban

Description: Secure building with parking bays. Adjacent to Maytime Spar.
Three units available:
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Rental: Ground Floor: R100/m2 excl.
First Floor: R90/m² (neg.)
Rani Veerasamy
031 240 7700 or 079 533 3754
Industrial Park
Location: 56 Hunslett Road, Phoenix, Durban
Description: 3 Units to let:
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Unit 17: 150m2
Unit 4: 188m2
Availability: Immediately
Rental: Rent and lease period negotiable.
Nicolene Booyens
031 240 7700 or 072 981 8082

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