This month Nazeem Martin, Business Partners Limited MD, discusses the upcoming budget and its impact on SMEs; in our Success stories we meet Muzi Nkosi and Aaron Raath; and Jeremy Lang, Business Partners Limited RGM, looks at the importance of businesses having a formal budget.
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February 2014   |   Volume 6.2

SME-friendly Budget will boost job creation, economic growth

Most small and medium business owners know what it's like to put together a budget under difficult circumstances. Many will therefore be sparing a thought for finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who on 26 February will be announcing the national Budget in the face of a yawning deficit, a falling rand, menacing inflation and sluggish growth.

However, the answer to much of these woes lies in the extent to which the minister spares a thought for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in his Budget, says Nazeem Martin, Managing Director of Business Partners Limited.

SMEs are responsible for about  60% of new jobs created annually, and have for a long time been the providers of more than 50% of formal jobs in South Africa, says Martin. One of the surest ways for the finance minister to boost job creation and economic development is to deliver a small-business friendly Budget.

Success story:
Start-up gambles pay off, but not just because of luck

When he tells the story of how he started up his optometry business from scratch, Muzi Nkosi uses the phrase “beginner's luck” more than once.

To an outsider it might indeed seem that there must have been some luck involved in the thriving practice started by Nkosi while he was still in his twenties. For one thing, his Perfect Eyes Optometrist practice overcame the often quoted odds of four out of five start-ups failing within the first five years. Furthermore, while most optometry practices scramble for market share among South Africa's wealthy, Nkosi believed that his venture could be sustained by...

Success story:
Local tech firm on the forefront of Africa opening up

News bulletins and headlines constantly mention the potential benefits for South Africa of the expansion of the African economy, the roll-out of major infrastructure projects in South Africa itself, and even the recent weakening of the rand for exporters. But what is it really like to be on the forefront of all these opportunities?

Exciting, without a doubt, says Aaron Raath, general manager of Cathtect Engineering, a fast-growing Johannesburg based firm specialising in the fascinating field of cathodic protection, the maintenance and integrity of pipelines and other metal infrastructure through electrical flows.

No business is too small for a proper budget

Many business owners mistakenly think their operation is too small for a formal budgeting process. The budget (of sorts) that many business owners keep inside their heads is often more like a basic recipe, and is usually inadequate to deal with the constant change that every business is subject to.

This is according to Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited, who says that no business is too small for the discipline of hammering out a formal budget - which needs to be used daily in the management of a business.  

He says that proper and thorough budgeting is beneficial to a business as it clearly impacts on its long-term growth prospects. “Business owners who compile and use formal budgets know well in advance when cash will run out and can plan for it.  They can also plan properly for business expansion and their financial decisions are often based on carefully thought through facts and figures. In short, budgeting gives them financial control over their businesses.”
Poll results Do you feel your business will grow in 2014?
  • Nothing will change 0%
  • I'm cautious 33%
  • I'm optimistic 67%
View previous polls
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