This month we focus on saving in your business for an emergency and keeping profitable in difficult times. We also meet Richard Gardner and Rolly Nkawe.
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Almost any business can and must save for an emergency

Most business owners, when they put their minds to it, would agree that their business is always vulnerable to sudden calamity - a big client going broke, a lawsuit out of the blue or any accident that causes disruption and stoppage not covered by insurance.

Yet vanishingly few of them have an emergency fund stashed away somewhere to deal with such events, says Byron Jeacocks, regional general manager of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS).

Given the nature of growing businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them, this is understandable. A growing business is fiendishly cash hungry. Entrepreneurs are more focused on the immediate practicalities of building their businesses than on vague risk assessments. Besides, they tend to be chronically optimistic about the future good luck of their business, even as they throw up their hands saying: “There is no way that I can squeeze cash out of this business for an emergency fund.”


How to stay profitable in difficult times

It is becoming increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs to maintain or increase profitability levels as the South African economy slips in and out of recession and consumer confidence hit one low after another.

But there is a lot that entrepreneurs can do to maintain and even increase their profits during difficult times, says Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited.

With a proactive, entrepreneurial approach, business owners can use the tough periods to streamline their businesses and reach new levels of efficiency.

November 2018 / Vol.9.9


Lighting the way for the revival of SA manufacturing

G Light is an inconspicuous factory in an industrial area called Sebenza near Edenvale in Johannesburg. But behind the face-brick facade and the staff of 32 beavering away at their LED lighting assembly lines, lies an amazing story that encapsulates the arc of manufacturing history in South Africa.

G Light, which finds itself on the forefront of lighting technology today, has its roots in a company started 83 years ago by William Gardner and his son John. Like so many manufacturing businesses in South Africa, the eponymous W Gardner & Son started around the mining industry and transformed itself several times throughout the years as waves of technological changes swept over the world.

It started as an electrical engineering company that serviced and maintained electrical equipment for the mines and municipalities.  In the 1950s and ‘60s it became the only company in Africa manufacturing electrical instruments such as volt meters. Later on the company started manufacturing high-voltage test equipment, mainly for municipalities.


74-year-old pioneering entrepreneur ready for his next venture

Rolly Nkawe’s first job was as a cashier in a municipal bottle store in Soweto at a time when black South Africans were not allowed to hold liquor licenses. The experience gave him the urgent wish to own his own business one day.

Today, the 74-year-old owns his own bottle store, but it is only one of a string of businesses that he managed to build up over a long entrepreneurial career that started at the epicentre of the Soweto riots in the tumultuous seventies.

But perhaps the most remarkable thing about Rolly, who owns The Roadhouse business complex in Dobsonville, Soweto, is that he is still in full swing, not only running all of his existing businesses, but starting new ones. In his latest venture, he is about to build a Sasol service station in Protea Glen, Soweto.

Rolly grew up in Rustenburg but matriculated at Morris Isaacson High School where the Soweto Uprising erupted a few years later. Rolly’s whole life would be disrupted by the tumult of the times, but at the same time his career is a testament to the opportunities that emerged as a result of that struggle for freedom.

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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