This month our focus is on tourism; we also meet our latest square pegs Richard Chennells and Donald Bruins-Lich.
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Despite grim tourism numbers, there is hope for sector

Recent figures stemming from South Africa's tourism industry have been grim when compared to previous years, and even the country's positive entrepreneurs operating in the sector are finding their perennial optimism strained.

This is according to Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) – a specialist risk finance company for formal small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa – whose client base include a range of entrepreneurs in the tourism industry, ranging from tour group operators to accommodation owners and suppliers.

Gerrie van Biljon, executive director at BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says there is much to be hopeful about when looking past the recent storm clouds created by the new regulations that require visitors to South Africa to apply in person for a visa.


The five rules of survival in the tourism industry

The tourism industry, replete with its constant messages and images of laughter, leisure and fun, does a good job of hiding its dark side.

“It is a very, very tough business to be in,” says Byron Jeacocks, Business Partners Limited regional general manager. The tourism industry is a highly competitive jungle in which entrepreneurs, their businesses and their dreams can easily die if the rules of survival are not followed.

Jeacocks identifies the five most basic rules that, if broken, will lead to the demise of any tourism business:

1. Have a passion for people

Tourism entrepreneurs see human beings not only at their best – relaxed, humorous and enthusiastic – but also at their very worst – spoiled, entitled, demanding and hung over. Only those business owners who love and understand people, and who know how to deal with both their ups and their downs, will survive in this industry, says Jeacocks.
September 2015 / Vol.6.7


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

Brewing success at the perseverance hotel

In the tiny rural town of Eshowe in the heart of Zululand, a success story is brewing that has already become something of a legend, even though it is far from over yet.

By now, the amazing story of Zulu Blonde is well known – how the craft beer perfected in a back room of the George Hotel in Eshowe was voted the number-one brew at a major British ale festival.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of litres of Zulu Blonde have been sold internationally by brew master and entrepreneur Richard Chennells, who is still in Eshowe, running a range of projects aimed primarily at drawing tourists to the George Hotel.


Driven by passion for food and entrepreneurship

That Donald Bruins-Lich has a passion for food and customer service is clear. He started working in restaurants at age 16, and 30 years later he is still at it. But in conversation with the 46-year-old restaurateur from Richards Bay his passion for entrepreneurship also becomes apparent.

His thriving restaurant called “Porky's The Don” at the Tuzi Gazi Waterfront Richards Bay provides more than enough opportunity for him to indulge in his first two passions.

He revels in the fact that South Africans are open to a huge variety of cuisines.

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