This month we look at an SME sector wishlist for the budget; we feature Breched de Kock of Build-It Atlantis and Armien Salie of Atlantic Shuttle in our success stories; Anton Roelofse shares his ten financial management tips for tough times; and we look at the 2013 forecast for landlords.
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February 2013   |   Volume 5.1

Budget 2013: the South Africa business owner’s wish list

Chances are that when Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan steps in behind the podium to deliver his Budget speech at the end of February, he knows that the only way to promote growth and jobs in the current economic climate is to support South Africa’s business owners.

Of course Mr Gordhan will be addressing not only business owners, but also South Africa’s trade unionists, government employees, the unemployed, investors, the poor, captains of industry,  informal traders – in short, all of South Africa’s wide-ranging constituencies, each with their own interests and convictions of what should be done. The Budget, unfortunately, is too often a short-term political compromise at the expense of long-term economic and jobs growth.

But what would Mr Gordhan’s main budget features  look like if he had a free hand to prime South Africa’s one true growth engine - small and medium businesses?

Success story:
Studying while building a business: hectic but worth it

Breched de Kock wanted to study engineering. He was accepted into university, but like so many South Africans, the family couldn’t afford the fees in the mid 90s, and he joined his father Benjamin’s welding business in Atlantis north of Cape Town.

Today, Breched and Benjamin’s success in building a thriving hardware shop in the town is not just the usual testimony to the strength of family business, but Breched’s story in particular is a powerful example of why business owners should seriously consider formal study.

Success story:
A father’s dream reaches across generations

Growing up, Armien Salie used to urge his father Yusuf, a bus driver, to buy his own bus and work for himself rather than spending his nights and weekends doing double shifts. His response was always that his life’s mission was to work as hard as he could to pay for the education of his children so that they could follow their destiny one day.

Yusuf Salie succeeded, not quite along the trajectory he had in mind, but certainly beyond anything he dared to imagine. His son Armien skipped the education part – he has matric – but ...

Ten financial management tips for tough times

Business Partners Limited data gathered over years of working with South Africa’s business owners tell a fascinating story about business survival.

Figures compiled by Business Partners Limited regional general manager Anton Roelofse show that 34% of businesses failures are caused by poor financial management. Add to that the 12% that fail because of poor record keeping, and it becomes clear that almost half of all business failures could have been avoided had the business owners done something to improve their financial management. In contrast, only 12% of business failures are caused by bad economic conditions. If ever there was a succinct and powerful argument for focussing on your financial management, this is it.

Here are ten ways in which you can survive the tough year ahead through better financial management:

Economists agree on grim 2013 for landlords

Learned economists are well known for directly contradicting one another in their forecasts, but from time to time a strong consensus emerges even among this quarrelsome lot. The outlook for the business property sector in 2013 seems to be one of these occasions. Finding an economist who predicts a good year for landlords is about as elusive as finding an honest winner of the Tour de France.

Some analysts are talking about minimal to zero rental increases for commercial property, while well-known property economist Erwin Rode predicts a real drop in office rentals of between 7% and 14% throughout South Africa. Property giant Growth Point has announced dropping the requirement for deposits from new tenants in order to make a dent in the stubbornly high vacancy rates that has plagued the sector since the start of the economic slump.
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Poll results
Are you confident that your business will grow in 2013?
  • Very confident 83%
  • Unsure 10%
  • Not confident at all 7%
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Enter the 2013 eoy competition
About EOY
The 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® awards, which aims to honour, benefit and uplift South African SMEs, is officially open for entries. This annual competition celebrates excellence in South African entrepreneurship and serves as an inspiration to others to succeed in the world of business.

Entries close on 16 June 2013, so submit your entry today.
SME Index
Congratulations to Belinda Viret our 4th quarter SME Index winner. Belinda wins a Garmin Nuvi, worth R2300. A new draw takes place every quarter, so be sure to look out for our survey emails.
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