This month we focus on franchising and meet Wian Smith and JW Swanepoel, our latest square pegs.
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Franchising shines in tough times

The resilience and vitality of the franchising industry in South Africa is more apparent than ever. In a year of low overall economic growth, the franchising sector's share of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) has grown by no less than 6% from R465bn to R493bn, says Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS).

Quoting figures from a recent study by the Franchising Association of South Africa (FASA), Lang says franchising is still growing on all fronts: The number of franchise outlets has increased from 31 050 to 35 111, and the number of franchise groups has grown from 625 to 757 in the same year. The sector now employs 329 000 people.

What accounts for franchising's apparent ability to shrug off the economic malaise? For Lang, it is firstly a matter of the strengths of franchising coming into their own when times are tough. The group strength of branding that franchising offers takes a lot of the pain out of convincing customers to buy from an outlet. So where an independent business has to double down on marketing to draw in reluctant customers, franchised outlets have the added advantage of brand strength and market acceptance.


The daunting process of getting a franchise off the ground

Franchising is a great way for an ambitious entrepreneur to expand a business fast through harnessing the energy, hard work and buy-in, quite literally, of lots of smaller-scale entrepreneurs.

But, says Business Partners Limited regional general manager Byron Jeacocks, you are going to need far more than just a profitable business with an operations manual to make it work. “Those things are a given. They just get you into the room to start thinking about franchising. To pull it off, you are going to need a lot more.”

Jeacocks, who through his years at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) has seen some great small businesses built by talented entrepreneurs crash and burn after taking the leap into franchising, warns that franchising a business is too risky and too complicated for a lone entrepreneur to tackle, or even a set of partners.

April 2017 / Vol.8.4


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

Franchise synergy forged in baptism of fire

Like any human relationship, the one between franchisor and franchisee can be fraught with personality clashes and conflicts of interest, but when it works, it is capable of huge business boosting power.

Wian Smith started off his relationship with Boost Juice Bars like all franchisees – full of dreams that the shiny new outlet will exceed all the sales projections that both the franchisee and franchisor had so carefully and conservatively vetted. When none of the projections came true, he turned a potential disaster into an amazing partnership with his franchisor.

At 24, Smith was much younger than the average franchisee when he opened up his Boost Juice Bar outlet in the Wonderpark centre in Pretoria. Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), which financed the bulk of the start-up cost, required added surety from his parents because of his youth, but backed the BCom graduate because of his exceptional entrepreneurial track record.


Love of pioneering drives busy entrepreneur

It is not unusual for entrepreneurs to have somewhat varied careers, mostly starting off as an employee in the business world somewhere before launching a business or two of their own. But very few entrepreneurs show such a remarkable ability to move in and out of corporate employment, academia and entrepreneurship as JW Swanepoel.

Over the course of his career, the 38-year-old Bloemfontein entrepreneur, husband and father has often had to juggle between more than one work- and culture-related activity at once. Studying animal husbandry, farming part time, running a church-based youth camp, a printing business and an abattoir, doing an MBA and starting a college were all activities that have formed his identity, he says.

He is currently a full-time lecturer and researcher at the University of the Free State. He has led a very successful United Nations research project and is about to complete his PhD. 

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

Description: 598m²space is available to let (Unit 3), it can be used as 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: 598m² space is available to let (Unit 9). The unit consists of one garage door with access to 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 (unit 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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