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M A G A Z I N E Publishing Editor: Warwick Smith-Chandler

Production Assistant: Stephanie Knapp Deputy Editor: Jo Kromberg Restaurant Food Opportunity Editor: John Kilian Design and Production: Ikhala Graphics, Shawn Hancock, Nicholas Cronwright Marketing Assistant and Events Co-ordinator: Lena Raman Events & Database Admin: Abongile Mapapu Media Strategist: Nathi Mxoli Lead Generation Specialist: Myles Hawker Editorial Contributors: Katja Hamilton, Toby Bennett, Nicholas Cronwright Subsciptions: R200 for 1 year (6 issues) R375 for 2 years (12 issues) Address your subscriptions to: PO Box 44214, Claremont, 7735 Published by: BizTech PO Box 44214, Claremont, 7735 Tel: (021) 761 2531 Printed by: Creda Press Distributed by: RNA Distribution

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Starting a new business - this is required reading It’s Not About the Product Start-ups are not about the technology or product or service. The product is the heart of the company, but the product no more makes a company than a heart makes a human being. There are many components to a company that all have to work together harmoniously in order to achieve a success outcome.

is and how the business surrounding the product operates, but it does so mostly through all the assumptions that the business hinges upon. The concept plan is the discovery plan. Once the entrepreneur has worked through the concept phase and has a firm idea of the product and its business, then it’s time to write the detailed business plan.

What does this mean to the entrepreneur just starting his business? A new business should create a minimal product or service — don’t spend extra time adding bells and whistles. Getting the product into the hands of the customers and getting their feedback as soon as possible is worth far more than all those fancy features. Don’t agonize over perfecting the first product.

Along with don’t be afraid to discover is don’t be afraid to admit the product won’t work at all and it’s time for a major change. It takes time to find the right product to market mix.

Entrepreneurs needs to start thinking about those other pieces of a company on day one. You’ve got the product, but what about marketing, sales, distribution, manufacturing, financial planning, funding and so on? It’s not a serial process. You can’t develop the product and then start the marketing. Many of these functions need to overlap. Don’t Be Afraid to Discover The early stage start-up process is a discovery process, not a step-by-step execution process. Many first-time entrepreneurs believe you come up with a great product idea, then they come up with a detailed business plan, and finally they hire the people to execute the steps in the plan. Discovery is simply a starting point from which the product and business with evolve, iterate, and be refined as the concept meets the customers, the market, and the investors. Too often, entrepreneurs write a business plan because some expert told them that’s what they should do. The result is a business plan that is a work of fiction. You will eventually need the business plan, but it doesn’t come first. Entrepreneurs should focus on developing a concept plan in the beginning. This is a shortened version of the business plan. It outlines what the product


Retool and Revise The first product idea is never the final product that makes the company famous. In reality, the worst work you will ever do is the first work you do. Press forward past the first iteration, and make use of the lessons you learn along the way. How do you really iterate? It sounds easy, but it’s not. You’re going to get a lot of conflicting opinions and wants from the customers and marketplace. Once you’ve got the product in the hands of the customer, you’ll find some customers love your product and many don’t. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to please every customer because they feel every initial customer is precious. As a result, they spend a lot of resources adding features and fixing problems for the customers who aren’t truly excited by the product. Don’t do this. Instead, focus on the customers that really love your product. Establish relationships with these customers. If they want new features, add theirs to the baseline. Next, reframe your marketing so that the benefits your thrilled customers experience are the ones featured most prominently in your marketing materials. This will showcase your strengths and attract more customers like those that love your product. This will also help you develop customers who will act as your informal sales force and attract customers willing to provide testimonials. Future prospects are more likely to buy if your customer testimonials and referrals are from others like themselves.

Build Your Team You need a team, but not just any team. You need the right team for that stage of a company’s life. You wouldn’t hire a college professor to teach kindergarten. For that, you need to find early elementary teachers. Ditto for start-ups. Find the right people for the right job, as well as the right attitude and stage of their careers to make them a match for working with a start-up. In the beginning, the two most important people to have on your team are the person who can guide the overall development process and the marketing person who can start creating demand for your product as soon as possible. Your team is not just comprised of the founders, owners, and employees. It is also the outside mentors, advisors, vendors, and consultants. Unless a start-up happens to have a lot of funding on day one, these outsiders are key to a new business thriving. Not many start-ups can afford to hire full time employees to do a specific task, and so it becomes easier to hire short-term people to do these tasks. While founders often question why they should hire someone to do what they could do themselves, remember that building a company takes many people, and you can never do it alone. CEO does not stand for Chief Everything Officer. The future of South Africa lies in the successful creation of new businesses. Innovation and guts make up the foundation of the start-up, and those qualities also happen to be characteristic of the most successful mega-firms ever to hit the market. Let those qualities form the dynamic of your start-up, and you’ll be off to a good start.” Discovery is simply a starting point from which the product and business with evolve, iterate, and be refined as the concept meets the customers, the market, and the investors. Warwick Smith-Chandler


NEWS AND TECH REVIEWS Break into eCommerce with bidorbuy Stores Trying to setup and run a successful and secure online store for your business can be a difficult and costly process. bidorbuy, ‘Africa’s Largest Online Marketplace’, the popular auction site has recently launched bidorbuy

Stores which hopes to make it easier for South African small-medium sized businesses to ‘setup shop’. Primary issues encountered for any SME trying to establish a profitable online store relate to costs, building customer trust, payment security as well as getting actual visitors to your website. This clever move by bidorbuy offers a comprehensive solution to all of these problems in a bundle. As an established name in South African eCommerce bidorbuy immediately offers all stores almost guaranteed traffic. There are 3 options available for opening a bidorbuy Store with monthly fees ranging of R500, R750 and R1000. These all include integrated online payment systems and store hosting and the pricing is very competitive if you consider the established visitors to the bidorbuy domain and therefore enhanced exposure for your store. Along with this there is also an included Buyer Protection Program of up to R 7500. Before spending lots of company time and money on trying to establish a store from scratch, maybe ‘get your feet wet’ from us little as R500 a month by opening a bidorbuy Store. Find out more about bidorbuy Stores at

Do tax returns sound as exciting as watching paint dry? We agree, TaxTim, a new web-based digital tax assistant can change that! TaxTim is the brainchild of entrepreneurs, Marc Sevitz, CA and tax specialist, and Evan Robinson, an inventor and developer, who after being selected for the national Google Umbono programme, created an easy and fast online tax return solution. As Sevitz puts it, “We understand the hassle and grief that comes with completing your tax returns, as well as the necessity and cost too. Doing taxes is now as easy as having a conversation. TaxTim is a fast and simple way of filing your tax returns.” TaxTim asks you simple questions in plain English and then automatically completes your tax return, so that you can send it to SARS, via e-filing, in person or through your tax practitioner. Just visit, register, answer TaxTim’s easy questions and pay a once off fee of R199. Your tax return could be complete in less than ten minutes. Tell your friends about TaxTim on Facebook or Twitter and pay only R169. Continued on page 6


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“TaxTim helps you every step of the way: registering for a tax number, signing up for eFiling, completing your return correctly and finally submitting to SARS. We offer a professional service for all individual taxpayers,” Evan Robinson. TaxTim also offers Employee-Assist, a service allowing employers to help employees become tax compliant. Employees receive prepaid coupons for use of the TaxTim service, year-round email/SMS notifications to ensure compliance and timely filing, a financial welfare program comprising tax tips and financial advice newsletter, a vehicle logbook mobi-site for recording work trips on a mobile phone plus a TaxTim introduction seminar followed up with assistance on their online helpdesk. TaxTim saves time, money and your sanity. Sign up today at or email

Blast Off in Business at RocketLab Based purely on experiential learning (learning through direct experience) the RocketLab aims to turn aspiring entrepreneurs into business people. Opening in September 2012 in Cape Town the Rocket Lab School for Entrepreneurs seeks to help you turn your idea into a potentially viable business under the watchful eye of course directors acting as your mentors. With approximately 9 out of 10 start-ups failing RocketLab takes a different approach to helping you start a business, there are no lectures, and it is rather a ‘Lab’ space where your business idea is brought to life in the 3 month program. Business ideas will be rigorously assessed for viability and need in the market and attendees will receive practical training in everything related to starting and running a business. There are a further 3 courses scheduled in Cape Town for 2013 with plans to expand to major centres in the country in the future. For more information please visit or contact: Charles Bryant: 083 440 4013 Diane de Villiers: 082 901 5049 Glenn Bryant: 083 408 5656

Get Your Project Off The Ground With Kickstarter

Everyone has had a ‘great idea’ sometime in their lives, though how many people go ahead and try to turn their idea into a reality? Financial concerns are a major stumbling block for many new ideas and Kickstarter is here to help. With the rapid increase in social applications and the sharing of media the internet has become an amazing platform to reach many people you would potentially never have any contact with. Kickstarter is a unique take on the rise of social media and serves as a way to fund creative projects. Through the use of the internet and social media platforms to communicate your idea the potential reach of financial backers is wide.


Kickstarter is focused on creative ideas making it an excellent platform for anyone in film, music, art, design, writers and related fields. Using an ‘all-or-nothing’ funding policy, if your project doesn’t reach your goal then no money changes hands, though Kickstarter aims itself at both small and large-scale projects, with the common funding goals for projects being below $5,000 (approximately R41,000 at the time of writing). The range extends all the way to projects seeking over a million dollars in funding so whether your are an individual needing to get a small idea started or a collective looking for a large lump sum Kickstarter has a lot to offer. Not enough cash to get your idea going? Visit

Business Accounting Network (BAN) Do you have a small or medium sized business that needs bookkeeping or accounting services but don’t have the skills or time to do it yourself. If you are not in the position or have the necessity to employ a full/part-time bookkeeper or accountant then the Business Accounting Network is the solution for you. BAN is a franchise of accountants and bookkeepers in Cape Town and the Winelands recommended by top audit firms and offer a range of services including the setup of accounting systems and controls, interim financial reports, completion and submission of statutory returns, payroll administration, budget and cash flow projections and other aligned services. Along with all the accounting and bookkeeping services you would expect, Business Accounting Network also offer Pastel Accounting software sales, support, installation as well as training should you so require. With a competitive fee structure and highly professional, personal service BAN has a lot to offer small and medium sized businesses in need of accounting and bookkeeping services in the Cape Town area.

StartMe Crowdfunding for South African Entrepreneurs Getting any new business idea off the ground can be difficult and often this is linked to issues regarding financing your idea. StartMe is a new South African website that uses the ‘crowdfunding’ model, seeking to raise small amounts of capital from large groups of investors usually online and is derived from the idea of ‘crowdsourcing’, which seeks out individuals for projects as opposed to employing individuals or agencies. To create a project on StartMe you need to set a Target, the amount of finance you would like to raise, and Incentives, what people get in return for investing in your project. The StartMe website integrates social media sharing and allows entrepreneurs from all sectors in South Africa to seek funding to get their idea off the ground. Started by the same group that started the Investors Network StartMe also offers ordinary people the opportunity to invest in exciting new projects. Find out more at



eShop offers businesses simple, feature-rich eCommerce solutions Being in business can be difficult enough without all the extra complications of trying to setup a business online, either as an added feature to your existing physical business premises or as your main store. There are many factors to consider if you are planning on ‘setting up shop’ online including integration of payment services (commonly referred to as payment gateways), delivery of products and security of client information such as credit card details and contact information. If you are a small or medium size business owner, or prospective business owner, it can be a daunting, time-consuming and expensive process. For this reason an integrated, ‘off the shelf’ solution would generally be recommended as all the necessary features and support are inlcuded in the eCommerce package. DiaMatrix, a web solutions enterprise based in Johannesburg, has recently launched eShop and it appears to be a robust, full-featured offering at an attractive price, free! FEATURES The eCommerce service has a lot to offer and will significantly reduce setup costs, time and frustration for any business owner looking to create an eCommerce store. eShop integrates with regular websites as well as Content Management System (CMS) based websites such as Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress and even offers Facebook Page integration, allowing you to sell products or services through your Facebook page.

eShop features don’t stop there, as well as being able to easily integrate into your existing website eShop also offers an automatically created mobile version of your online store. With on device mobile browsing (and hence shopping) becoming more popular in South Africa and around the world, this feature alone makes adding an eShop to your business website an attractive idea. Moving forward in business online in the future, having an easily accessible online store on both desktop PCs and laptops as

well as mobile devices can only serve to improve sales. Payment gateways integrated include PayFast, a South African online payment service, PayPal and Virtual Card Services (VCS). Other features of eShop include SSL security certificates to ensure customer security, Google Analytics statistics for site visitors, inventory tracking, stock notifications, customer order history, discount coupons and even integrates SA courier services. COSTS & PLANS There are a number of plans available for businesses to setup an online store with eShop, including a free option. The various plans all offer the same functionality though the number of product and categories differs, depending on your plan selection. The Free Plan differs and there is reduced functionality, though remains perfectly usable for any small business with easy upgrades if required. The Free Plan offers a maximum of 10 products and 10 categories, eShop logo branding on your store and email support only. The other plans options offer additional features including coupons, protected download links, file attachments with orders, enhanced stock control, API and a custom domain for your mobile store. The Starter Plan is R220pm with 300 products/categories, the Professional Plan is R650pm with 2,000 products/ categories and the Enterprise Plan is R1,600pm with 10,000 products/ categories. This all means that whether you are a small business with a limited range or a much larger company, the eShop eCommerce solution is scalable and will be able to accommodate your needs. SETUP & INTEGRATION The setup integration of your business store on eShop couldn’t be simpler and takes just a few minutes to register with your business details and then you can login to your eShop Control Panel where your widget codes and shop are already created. You just need to add your products and categories and various


other options related to your business. The widget codes are varied and include codes for a Product Browser, Shopping Bag (for Drap-and-Drop functionality), Category Tabs, Category Menu and Product Search. The web-based interface is simple to use, easy to understand and very clear and intuitive meaning that even if your knowledge of computer and the internet is limited it should still be simple to grasp and use with only a small learning curve. If you have a large product list there is an import function from CSV, XCart and LiteCommerce, making it easier to add lots of products at once. The customer dashboard allows for browsing of existing customers, the number orders and the details of the specific items purchased form the eShop. The categories browser allows for creation of product categories with images and related product/service category details. The eShop module even caters for custom colour scheme, fonts and design using CSS. Though novice users would possibly not be able to access this functionality, anyone with web design skills should be able to help and this allows the shop to better integrate with your existing websiste.

To get your free e-shop go to CONCLUSION When considering the time, expense and complication of any business owner trying to setup an online store from ‘scratch’ as opposed to the eShop offerring, there is little doubt that eShop is an attractive proposition. There are a host of features that are integrated and having payment gateways as well as a courier service will definitely make the life of any business owner much simpler. Being simple to setup and use with advanced functionality, eShop will suit everyone from a small, one man business to large companies with a wide range. With a Free Plan available to everyone there is no reason not to setup and test an eShop for your business and the ease of integration into your existing website, as well as the mobile shop make eShop that much more attractive. Definitely a service that any South African existing or prospective business owner should seriously consider adding to their business.


EVENTS Durban Business Fair

EThekwini Municipality’s commitment to the development and support of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the region, has seen it host the Durban Business Fair for the past 13 years. The success of the fair resulted in its extension to the townships, rural areas, and secondary central business district. Date: 21-23 September Venue: ICC Exhibition Centre Durban Tel: 031 266 9937 Website:

Soweto Festival

The Soweto Festival Expo is the principal event in Soweto that draws together business, SMMEs, youth, community organisations, consumers and all the people of Soweto on an annual basis to celebrate Soweto’s richness and diversity. It’s an event not to be missed by organisations wishing to connect directly with the burgeoning Soweto market.

Date: 4-7 October Venue: ICC Exhibition Centre Durban Tel: 031 764 5270 Website:

The CFO Show

The CFO Show Africa is a unique platform that brings together financial leaders across Africa to discuss strategy and innovation and share knowledge on financial best practices. It is a platform where new technologies can be evaluated and new-age business intelligence strategies are explored. The CFO Show Africa is the driving force for financial leadership and innovation in business in Africa. Date: 16 October Venue: Sandton Convention Centre Tel: 011 516 4014 Website:

Photo and film expo

Photo and film expo 2012 is the largest photographic event in Africa. It offers over 100 Free workshops and demonstrations, while a wide variety of photographic equipment is on show.

Date: 21-24 September Venue: JHB Expo Centre Tel: 011 646 5630 Website:

Date: 18-21 October Venue: The coca-cola dome, Northriding Tel: 011 326 2257 Website:

My Business Expo CT

Retirement expo Experience an array of the most powerful and unique solution driven exhibits.The My Business Expo is also host to the “Business Startup Expo”. Date: 27 September Venue: Grand West Casino, Cape Town Tel: 086 172 6722 Website:

Homemakers Fair Expo A gathering of South Africa’s finest home improvement product and service providers, HOMEMAKERS Expo is South Africa’s premier home lifestyle consumer show.

This exhibition will showcase all products, services and lifestyle choices that relate to those planning for, and entering into retirement age. The retirement expo’s focus is exposing to an affluent and lucrative market all the options available for those planning their retirement or looking to add excitement to their current retirement lifestyle. Date: 26-28 October Venue: The coca-cola dome, Northriding Tel: 011 549 8300 Website:



Getting into the home brew for fun and profit In South Africa craft brewing and home brewing is a relative new concept but despite that there are already a number of local microbreweries operating in the country offering South Africans a look into the world of real beer. TOBY BENNETT gives us a peek into a growing trend. and organic home-style goodness, being able to offer your customer a homemade beer, perhaps even to be able to show them where and how it was made, might well be the factor that pushes your pub and restaurant over the top. Who wants to buy bottles of beer that have been industrially brewed and brought to you at great cost on noisy, polluting trucks when you can choose to sip on locally produced, freshly brewed beer made from the best natural ingredients? The future promises an ever-increasing shift in focus to the individual and their needs and tastes; micro brewing represents an opportunity because it allows you to tap into this trend.


here’s little doubt that South Africa is beer country. Even before Anders Ohlsson and Jacob Letterstedt were plying their trade, local brewers were fermenting up a storm. Indeed beer has been known in Africa since time immemorial - a breadlike concoction sustained the builders of the pyramids and working men and women still know the ‘refreshment and reward at the end of the day’. Beer is quite simply part of the fabric of South African life, but how often is that fabric just a little bit too beige? The one downside of Ohlsson and Letterstedt’s success in sowing the seeds for the behemoth that would later become SAB might have been said to be that it robbed us of variety. Sure SAB sells all sorts of beers, but tastes are changing and the industrially produced, rubber-stamped beers of the past are making space at the table for beers that have something a little more to offer. The old SAB staples are all very well, but more and more beer drinkers are crying out for variety and for signature beers brewed with more care and attention. Sure you’ll never be

able to get around the fact that SAB can produce thousands of litres for every one you can, but there’s also no getting round the fact that the turnaround time for the average industrial brew can be measured in hours. These days quality is getting a chance to face off with quantity. If you have an adventurous palate you’ll inevitably want to try something outside your comfort zone. If you have an adventurous spirit you might even be moved to brew something different for yourself. Any beer drinker will be able to tell you what their favourite beer is and why, so it seems fair to say that inside every beer drinker there is a potential brew master just waiting to crack open the first keg of their own beer. The art of microbrewing is an enjoyable hobby that, like any pursuit that evokes passion, has the potential to become a real business opportunity for anyone prepared to put in the time and effort. It represents a synergy for anyone already in the restaurant or pub business since it is a sure-fire way to differentiate your offering from the competition and draw in customers. In an age of green business


So let’s take a very quick look at the market you will be entering if you want to sell your beer commercially. As you would expect, big brands like SAB and Brandhouse still dominate over 95% of the South African market. To be fair to SAB (which might be Goliath to your David), it has been very supportive of up and coming microbreweries, if for no other reason than that a growing beer culture is good for everyone involved in the industry. Thanks to the increasingly favourable market, microbreweries are growing by leaps and bounds, and there are now names like Mitchell’s, Jack Black and Zululand Brewery gracing our drinks’ menus alongside Black Label and Amstel. In the last 12 years the number of local commercial microbreweries has risen from six to more than 35, all


of them taking their respective share of the pie, and while a 4 to 5% slice might not sound that big at the moment, let’s not forget that South Africans consume upwards of 2.6 billion litres of beer a year (or as some estimates would have it, 60 litres per capita, putting us at 24 on the list of the world’s top beer-drinking countries). Demand has certainly been strong enough to support two Mitchell’s breweries (producing the best part of 600 000 litres a year). If one were to make a projection into the future one might look to the American market where 10% of the market share is held by microbreweries. So we’ve established that beer is popular but that’s hardly news to anyone. The real question you are no doubt asking is, “How do I get involved?” It’s a long road from a home brew to setting up your own commercial brewery and you have to be aware that there may be numerous pitfalls along the way. The good news is that, like any journey, this one begins with small steps. The web is literally awash with advice on home brewing, recipes and lists of equipment. I’m not going to attempt to be comprehensive but hopefully I can impart a few good tips.

at South African universities but that the University of Johannesburg may be working towards creating one). Of course getting a full scientific degree and spending years working for someone else may sound a bit extreme to most of us. While the underlying chemistry might be complex people have been brewing beer without the benefit of understanding it on an atomic level for a very long time. There’s no replacing experience though and you’ve got to start somewhere. If you just want a taste of the brewer’s life and you want to start with a few basic pointers then you could do worse than attending a short course on beer making. You might for instance book a course at the Misty Meadows Country Estate in George where they make Buzzard Country Ale. R1000 gets you a threeday course and accommodation where you can get to grips with the basics of brewing and spend valuable time with the brew master honing your skills. Brew experiences are scheduled for June 21-23, July 26-28, August 23-25, September 20-22, October 25-27 and November 22-24. (Call 072 714 2292 for more information).

The Mogallywood restaurant and guesthouse in the Magaliesberg also boasts a microbrewery and practical brewing courses for parties of six. The courses range from R1330 to R2500 per person, depending on how much beer you take home with you (up to 100 litres on the large brewer’s package).Your group can look forward to two nights’ accommodation, some good meals and the chance to sample the local brews along with invaluable hands-on brewing experience. Contact Roeks Griessel on 082 330 0646 or email roeksg@gmail. com if this sounds appealing to you. If you are in the Broederstroom area you could attend a one-day course at the Irish Ale House. The cost for the course is R2000 - a small price to pay for eight years of experience and shortcuts. Contact Dirk at or call 082 464 9387 to make arrangements. The Irish Ale House is particularly worth mentioning since this is the site of the annual Solstice Festival where brewers from across the country, and even from overseas (this year’s festival will include microbrewers from as far afield as America and China) get together with some talented musicians to create a showcase of the brewers’ art and provide an all-round good time. The event will be held on June 2 this year so there is a good chance you will have missed it by the time this article goes to print, but it is well worth pencilling the event in your diary for June next year. Once you’ve got a bit of experience under your belt you’ll probably want to start experimenting with brews of your own, after all it’s that personal touch that is going to set you apart from the competition. Remember to be patient. Bear in mind that finding out what not to do is almost as important as learning what you should do.

So what’s step one when you are embarking on your journey to brewmaster? Well it all depends. If you want to take things to the extreme then you could do a degree in natural sciences or chemistry at a university and then apply to an established brewery to get handson experience (I’m told that as of yet there are no official degrees in brewing



Don’t forget to use the Internet, and network with other aspiring brewers - you never know where you might pick up a new trick. The great thing about more and more people taking brewing up as a hobby is that you will be able to get in contact with other enthusiasts and compare notes (check out or to get in contact with some fellow beer lovers). It may be a process of trial and error but in time you may craft something really special. Whatever your level of expertise is, you are going to need some basic equipment. There are various sources but your basic turnkey system should cost you anywhere from R500 to R1000. The crew at Misty Meadows has a turnkey brewery on offer for R650 excluding VAT. Visit - a great allround brewing site offering the Copper Tun Starter Brewery Kit for R895. It also offers a range of beer-recipe kits. Another website you might want to look at is It has many resources available and recently announced that Brewers & Union will be selling kits at R455, including VAT. (Orders can be placed via email to and can then be collected from Brewers & Union in Cape Town.) That’s a pretty nice-sounding price for an all-in-one kit that includes: • Your choice of everyday IPA, Honey Sage, Bourbon Dubbel, Chestnut Brown or Gingerbread mix • 1 gallon glass fermenter • 3-piece chambered airlock • Screw-top stopper • Thermometer • Plastic tubing • Tubing clamp • Racking cane • Sanitiser All this is at the lower end of the market but it is certainly something to cut your teeth on and a relatively inexpensive start. It’s nevertheless a long way from beer to lip. When working with these turnkey systems you should probably keep your expectations in line with the fact that they are designed for hobbyists rather than commercial brewers. That’s not to say that you can’t brew something very special, only that turnkey kits represent a modest beginning when you compare them to the production values of a commercial brewery system. Indeed it can actually work out relatively expensive to work in these smaller volumes since you are putting in the same time as you would with a larger volume of beer, and obviously getting less out as a result of the kit’s smaller production value. Ideally you should be looking to produce around about 500 litres at a time if you want to most efficiently use your time and resources; most home kits fall short of this production level.

Once you are sure you are on to something then it is possible to ramp up production as has been done by an increasing number of microbrewers, however the cost of equipment can quickly become a bit daunting with most commercial brewers’ set-up costs ranging from a R100 000 up to as much as R5m just to meet the necessary production levels. Of course R100 000 is not all that much to spend on a business, but overheads can mount up fast. Be sure you are ready for the challenge that that kind of increase in production could represent. If you do decide to take your product to market then you should look into getting the advice of a liquor attorney (yes apparently they do exist); liquor laws vary from province to province so it is vital that you get the lay of the legal landscape and the relevant licences before you try to sell your beer (be prepared for a long wait in getting a licence and the fact that it will cost you around R2000 a year). Bear in mind that you will also not be getting any concessions from the tax man so you could be losing more than 20 per cent of your profit to tax. The bottom line is that there is still a large untapped market out there. The selling points for your product are that it’s fresh, eco-friendly, locally produced, customised and, above all, that it is part of an offering that is exciting and different. It is becoming easier and easier to imagine a beer route to match the Cape’s wine route. The demand is growing all the time as South Africans’ palates and expectations change. There is definitely still room in the market for the right brews so you’d have the right to be cautiously optimistic about the chances of converting your hobby into a thriving business. If you are already in the restaurant or hotel industry it seems like an opportunity you would be foolish to miss since a relatively small initial investment is all it would take to set you apart from your competition and broaden your customer base. As more and more people wake up to this idea you don’t want to be the one left behind. While there is room for optimism you should also remember that microbrewing is still catering to a niche market. Like any other business, you need to put in the time to develop your

The value of the turnkey system lies in the fact that it is important to learn to walk before you can run. The brewer’s craft comes with time and practice, and your first priority should be getting your brew to a stage where your friends and family are straining the capacity of your home microbrewery. The location of your business can also be very important. You need to be sure that you are in easy reach of your suppliers in order to keep overheads down. Ideally you are looking for somewhere that offers strong local support along with the possibility of your brew being discovered by a wider audience. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2


product and have a solid business plan. Do your homework, polish your craft and make sure you don’t overextend yourself. If you are currently a novice home brewer then it may take a while until you are brewing up the next Zulu Blonde but in the meantime you’ll be avoiding sin taxes, enjoying a great hobby and almost never be out of beer, which can’t be a bad thing. The difference between a job and a career will always be the level of genuine interest and passion that you can bring to bear. Craft brews have the potential to be the result of more than a hobby or simple job. They offer a connection to a tradition almost as old as human civilisation at a time when the processes and practice of that tradition has never been so well understood. Micro brewing represents a chance to create and have that creation appreciated by others and that’s not just good for the soul, it’s good for the bank account too.

Legal Requirements Micro-brewery’s must be licensed with the Provincial Liquor Authority (PLA). An application is lodged with the Liquor Authority and could take several months to obtain providing the Liquor Authority is satisfied with the completion and the representations filed in support of the application. The process entails verifying that the application is made on correctly zoned premises. It also entails involvement of the Municipality, Designated Police Officer (SAPS Liquor Affairs) and the public. Generally, micro-brewers face few hurdles from the public. As well as a liquor license, you must obtain a business license from the Local Municipality which involves clearance from Land Use, Fire and Health Departments. Finally, a VMS (SARS Manufacturing Warehouse) and Customs Code license must be obtained from SARS to comply with payment of excise duties/tax. Prospective entrepreneurs should ideally utilize the services of experienced consultants to steer the process. Micro-Brewers are limited to 100 million litres per annum. Should the volume increase, a manufacturing license is obtainable from the National Liquor Authority.

Micro-brewing within Restaurants The liquor act provides for the establishment of a micro-brewery within a restaurant. Examples of such establishments are Mitchell’s Brewery and Paulaner Brewery. In this instance, a license for the manufacture and sale of liquor for consumption on the premises must be obtained from the PLA in addition to the other requirements above. Currently the micro-brewing industry in South Africa isn’t over traded, opportunities still exist in this specialized field. The Department of Trade & Industry supports such projects to boost the emergence of the SMME sector and self sustainability. For any further information contact. R Lalu & Associates Telephone : 021 – 6713169 Email:

Some useful websites http://thebeergardensa.wordpress. com/about/


General information

Information and advice for Cape Town’s brewing community

Promotes liquor products on behalf of a number of microbreweries. Get information on microbreweries and events General information and products General information and products


Breaking Ground with South Africa’s Second Traditional Trend! “Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips is reaching for new heights with the introduction of a new chicken brand, Chingos that launched this year into the fast food industry under the new umbrella company Traditional Brands. one of the contributing factors that has seen the “Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips brand opening up over 350 stores to date. Some franchisees have opened up to 10 stores each due to the impressive 8 - 11 month ROI (Return on Investment) and the efficiently structured planning of franchisee growth patterns.


he ever popular and highly successful “Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips franchise opened their first franchised outlet just 5 years ago. Now opening over 350 stores to date and doing so with another 150 outlets on the cards before December 2012 not only brings on the excitement of South Africa’s truelly successful brand but a traditionally South African brand that will take on global waters by storm with a new partnering brand. Chingos Chicken will launch alongside the famous “Old Fashioned” concept under Traditional Brands as a strategic motivation for what the brands stand for…value!

strong family ethos which is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why the franchise has been so successful and will continue to be so in the future. Despite the rapid expansion of the brand, the De Sousa family has been able to retain their personal touch in all aspects of the brand whether it is in the opening of a new store with CEO, Emilia De Sousa alongside the franchisee or introducing a new line into the product range with Marketing Director, Nicolas De Sousa putting the product through traditional trials in his very own kitchen.

Chingos will serve ‘all things chicken’ and promises to build on the core principles that made “Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips the fastest growing franchised brand in South Africa; clinically clean stores, friendly service, great quality, low prices and a sound business model with that “moreish” encouragement to invest! A concept competitiors have attempted to replicate but are yet to deliver the originality that “Old Fashioned” and Chingos have and will do so for many years to come. So how has the “Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips franchise managed to keep on growing in the current economic climate one may ask? The brand operates on a

“Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips has accomplished beyond what any other franchise has achieved. In a one year period alone, “Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips sold a total of 9 408 287 units of hake fish and 56 million kilograms of A Grade potatoes. Sure, these numbers are impressive from an investor’s point of view but what have they done for economic stimulation… how about over 8000 new jobs created to date?! That is almost 10% of new job creation every year in South Africa alone. With the brand trully doing its part for the investor and the economy it would be hard to miss what it could do if it were a cause to cure hunger in South Africa. With the volumes sold in 2011 alone of core product, “Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips has the ability to feed each and every South African, every single day, twice a day for an entire year! Who knows, that may just be their next move, “Old Fashioned” for President. With the comical idea of assisting the government in managing South Africa’s resources and governance it is often highlighted that they are in fact consecutive leaders in getting it right despite the humour of this Family Brand. With every year of operation being an acknowledgement of their achievment and success with various RASA Awards of Excellence and FASA Finalists for Brand of the Year, they most definitely are brands to keep an eye on.

“Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips would not be a success without the brand’s franchisees of course. Repeat investors is


So all that is left to ask is: will you have an “Old Fashioned” Fish and Chips or Chingos Chicken in 2012?


Starting an organic business By Toby Bennett


ess than 10 years ago the world didn’t know its organic assets from its toxic overflow, but the Green Revolution has been gathering momentum and consumers are slowly coming round to the fact that true beauty is more than just cellophane deep. Where once they only looked at the price tag and the smiling faces of the nuclear family on the packaging, today’s customers are increasingly demanding to know what went into the product they are buying, where it came from and what cost it has inflicted on the Earth we all share. As larger companies scramble to break the bad habits of decades past, there is an ever-growing demand for organic and environmentally friendly products. Could your new bestseller be the next Green sensation? Any shift in the marketplace represents opportunity. The big players like Pick n Pay and Woolworths are trying to woo back lost customers with their new organic ranges but to a certain extent the damage has already been done. People ask difficult questions like “How is it you were happy to sell dangerous additives to my child last year but now you’re suddenly green? Are all the ingredients listed or is this just cosmetic change? Can I really trust you now?” Even if they are prepared to take organic claims at face value they might ask “Exactly how environmentally friendly are all those large trucks?” In environmental terms a product that is produced locally and has not been industrially processed or filled with harmful additives may be able to boast qualities that your larger competition simply can’t offer. The big franchises are often hampered by their size and the public’s perception. This has led to the development of a niche market for Green and organic goods. In 2010 the world spent $59bn on organic products and although the South African market is still behind the international curve, organic goods might well represent a great business opportunity for the right person entering the market with the right product. Before you go rooting in the garden for tubers or start eyeing your backyard with an eye to raising free-range chickens, let’s take a quick reality check. You need to make your decisions based on practical considerations rather than hype. We all want to save the planet but it’s better to be cautious than get carried away. It would be a mistake to think that you can just slap a Green sticker on everything and rake in the cash. There is a certain amount of hysteria around environmental and health issues but you should remember that, if anything, this is likely to make potential customers ask more questions not less. All businesses, however well intentioned and ethical, are a risk and even though the Green Revolution is only really about five or six years old in South Africa, it has already seen its share of failures. As Robyn Asti, co-owner of Faithful to Nature puts it, “The golden goose is not as golden as I think many people may believe it is. Stay grounded and do your research before leaping into the industry”. Robyn would certainly know. Her website offers more than 3000 unique organic products and 140 brands. Faithful to Nature started back in 2006 and has been vetting and selling organic products ever since. While other countries have official regulating bodies like the UDSA (food and cosmetics in the US) and NaTrue (organic cosmetics in Europe), South Africa is still relatively lax when it comes to


Robyn Asti, co-owner of Faithful to Nature

establishing who can and who can’t call their product organic. That’s why organisations like Faithful to Nature and others like Organic Choice ( can be so useful to both seller and consumer alike. By ensuring that they have strict criteria for what ingredients can be used in a product, both these websites help to educate customers and to give them access to true organic products. If your product complies with their standards then they might well be a good outlet and an assurance to your customers that you are truly organic. As many of the larger stores jumping on the green bandwagon are finding out, just talking the talk is no longer enough. The new South African food labelling regulations that came into effect on March 1 may make no specific pronouncement on who can call themselves ‘organic’ but it does make it law for all ingredients to be listed and enforces truthful descriptions. As Patrick Holford recently found out, to his cost, the days when you could use terms like ‘intelligent fats’ are gone, which personally comes as a bit of a relief since all that conjures up in my mind is images from the movie ‘The Blob’. So now that the law holds you to the truth, nothing short of the truth will do, and you can also expect your customers to be sharper than ever before when it comes to winkling out the dirty little secrets on the back of the pack, ever more so with products listed on such websites as Organic Choice and Faithful to Nature whose ingredients could be listed as some of the worst offenders. With Google offering a run down on every additive at the touch of a mouse, you’d be a fool to try and slip anything past your consumer. A bleak outlook for those prepared to bend the truth, but an advantage for any business prepared to genuinely embrace Green and organic values. The nature of business and indeed SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

our whole society is shifting as more and more people want to escape the industrial paradigm of the past. Where once the only reason to start a business was to make money, now people are demanding more from the people with whom they do business; nowadays you need to be committed to the ideals that people believe in and your company needs to clearly represent those ideals. Nowhere is the need to stand by a core set of principles more important than in the Green and organic movements that have, in large part, grown out of the dissatisfaction with corporate duplicity and the impersonal nature of the massproduced and environmentally harmful products they offer. The concept of extrinsic cost is permeating society’s consciousness and now it is not enough for the consumer that something is a good price, the consumer also wants to know that it isn’t the planet that is actually footing the bill. Your potential customers are also more aware than ever of what they are putting into or onto their bodies and organic products represent an ethical, healthy option that appeals to a new generation of consumers who want to know more than they ever have before about the products they use. This growing consciousness is much publicised but it is still, in many respects, in its infancy. As the public’s knowledge base grows and it gets more used to asking the right questions, businesses are going to find it harder and harder to obfuscate behind small print and obscure chemistry. In many ways the Green Movement offers the perfect environment for committed entrepreneurs as they can exploit a niche market, can afford to be small and work from home and their personal touch can be the element responsible for initial successes. The flip side of the coin, however, is that their integrity and commitment to Green principles can end up being the underlying basis of their business’s success. So given how important it is to consistently offer organic and environmentally friendly products, if you want to survive in the industry, what does being organic and green actually mean? The terms are used so loosely that it can often be hard to know what people are talking about. To put it simply, an organic product is any product that comprises natural or non-harmful constituents whereas a Green product is not harmful to the environment. So a biodegradable bottle could be regarded as Green, but its contents could still fail to meet the standards of being organic. If you want to know if a product is organic then the first thing to do is obtain a full list of its ingredients. If you see things like ammonia, PPD or Propylene Glycol then that’s a bad sign and your product probably fails outright. If you are in doubt you could do what the people at Organic Choice do and check the Environmental Working Group database at www. The database ranks the health hazards of various ingredients from zero to 10. As a rule of thumb Organic Choice wouldn’t consider anything with a rating over four as acceptable in an organic product. You can be more confident of your product if it has been assured by the USDA, EcoCert, BDIH, NaTrue or the Soil Association. All these organisations are foreign bodies that regulate items like cosmetics and food products. Since laws are stricter on this issue in Europe and the US than in South Africa, any product bearing these seals can safely be assumed to be organic. Let’s assume you decide that you’d like to get into organic merchandise. The chances are that you don’t have a farm to grow organic food, though other less resource-intensive products might be an option. Anything from organic confectionary SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

to organic clothing might be a popular product. The important thing is that you have a solid business plan. The demand for organic produce is unquestionable but that doesn’t exempt you from the risks that any start-up business would face. You are going to have to find financing, develop your customer base and make sure you hire the right people who share your vision. According to Robyn Astl, one of the sectors of the organic market that is lagging behind in South Africa is environmentally friendly packaging. She recommends products made from organic cotton, bamboo or hemp along with nonperishable certified organic foods and organic baby foods. Lilia Simeonova, the owner of Organic Choice says that her site is looking for more locally produced products. One example she gave was their new line of organic hair dyes which at present are imported from Germany. Obviously if a local supplier could provide a comparable product it would be both lucrative and beneficial to the environment. Whatever you decide to adopt as your product, you need to be sure of its demand and desirability. You can do this in several ways. If you decide you want to be involved in selling an already established product then do your homework and look at the product’s track record. If you decide that you are going to be bringing something new to the local organic market then get the opinions of friends and family, try your products out at the various organic markets in order to gauge public response. You might even decide to go the online route. As always this might represent a way of keeping your costs low but the problem with this approach to business is how to get your customers to look for your product in the first place. If you are confident of your product’s organic credentials and its desirability, then it might be a good idea to approach established online businesses like Organic Choice and Faithful to Nature. Throughout this article I have asked you to bear in mind that if you want to start a career in the organic industry then you have to treat it with the same respect and caution as you would any other start-up business. I’d like to end this article by saying that it is also more than a business. By tapping into the organic market you are tapping into a movement, a new way of thinking that you have to truly come to grips with if your organic business is going to grow to its full potential. To quote Lilia Simeonova on this issue, “To start an organic business is not just about making money, it is about changing and preserving the world”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the profit motive, it is after all the driving force behind so many of humanity’s accomplishments but as our cultures and priorities develop, it is vital that business adapts with these growing needs and changing realities. Whether you are planning to join the organic movement today or not, it is probably true to say that in our lifetime we will see a shift in ideology and business practice that means that everyone will have to be more mindful of the ecological and ethical issues that underlie the Green/organic movement. The real question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to take the opportunity to ride the wave or whether you want to be under it when it breaks.


NEW MARKETING IDEAS The recently held MARKEX Expo (12-14 June 2012) held at the Sandton Convention centre attracted over 10,000 visitors. Our editorial team spent 3 days walking around MARKEX searching for innovative and exciting new promotional ideas that could potentially transform your business. These innovative ideas, products and marketing solutions made it to our final list.

A single solution for print & digital promotion

If you are looking for a simple, all-in-one solution for promotion at trade shows, shopping malls, show rooms, casinos and receptions then Tronica have the answer. The digital brochure holder is a vertical stand with a built-in 19” screen for displaying digital videos to promote your brand and below is space for your business brochures. The digital brochure holder is an eye-catching and unique way to get the attention of the passerby and is a great way to increase visibility of your business in any space. The digital brochure holder from Tronica will make promotion simple and whether you use it to promote your own business or as part of a marketing strategy for another business it is an excellent and exciting way to reach potential customers. Tronica has been importing electronic goods into South Africa for over 10 years and will keep you backed up with experience and excellent service. All products have a 6 month warranty and Tronica will supply dealers, businesses and end users. Tel: 011 467 8689

Simplea Candles

Planning an event in the evening or at night and looking for a unique way of lighting? Simplea Candles have the solution with a stunning range of candles that change colour when you light them. Manufactured in Kya Sands and distributed in Kwazulu-Natal, the Free State and the Western Cape by agents as well as at retail outlets Simplea Candles are irresistible and a delight on the eye. Perfect for a romantic occasion, for use at parties or as gifts, once lit the candles change through a rainbow of colours as if by magic. The Simplea Candles range is available as pillar candles, square candles, jar candles, sooth round candles, jar candles and Christmas candles. If you are looking for a unique, eye-catching focal point for your next party or event then browse the range of interesting candles on offer at Simplea Candles. Tel: 011 708 7887

Thermalmate Beez-Balls

Holding a corporate team building sporting or outdoors event soon and looking to inject some fun? Thermalmate Beez-Balls are just what you have been looking for to add a bit of fun. The Thermalmate Beez-Ball is a small plastic ball in the style of a soccer or cricket ball, attached to a lanyard, that acts like a mini Vuvuzela. The Beez-Ball is multi-functional and can double as a cover for your cooldrink bottle and even as a bee protector! The Thermalmate Beez-Ball can be branded with your company logo and kids will love it, making a lasting impression. Thermalmate South Africa is a subsidiary of Duratract Plastic and has a number of other promotional products on offer including insulated bottle coolers which are great for sporting events, vehicle license disks, branded pill counters for pharamaceutical and medical promotions and thermal mugs. If you are looking for unique, durable plastic promotional items for your business then Thermalmate have a range worth considering. Tel: 011 248 8000

Face-Box Portable Branded Photo Booths

Always plan to take your digital camera to an event and never remember? Face-Box has the answer you have been looking for, a completely portable photo booth that is also fully brandable. If you are holing any large event where a large number of people will be attending having a photo booth is an excellent idea everyone attending. The Face-Box photo booth can be used at weddings, product launches, birthdays, Matric dances, end of year functions, Bar Mitzvah, sporting events, parties, shopping centre promotions, music festivals, expo’s and any other event nationwide. The Face-Box booth is supplied with a trained operator who will install, run and remove the booth at your event. The Face-Box booth make use of ultra-fast technology to produce premium quality branded photos almost instantly. It is a great way to help promote your brand with photos branded as well as provide interest for your attendees. Tel: 011 465 6909

Portable Illuminated Branding with Glo Lanterns

If you are looking for a unique method of attracting interest for your next event or show then Glo Lantern Banners offer a simple and effective solution. With an aerodynamic design that allows the lantern to rotate in the wind with 3 sides for branding the Glo Lantern assembles in under a minute using a mechanism similar to an umbrella. The Glo Lantern is supplied in a carry bag and can be used either indoor or outdoor and requires no electricity to operate. The Glo Lantern has 3 sides and can be branded in different ways on each side. The unique design and appearance helps the Glo Lantern be an excellent marketing tool for trade shows, at indoor and outdoor events as well as for promotions at shopping malls. Tel: 031 579 5413



NEW MARKETING IDEAS Impressive Designs

Impressive Designs is passionate about the products that we produce and we strive to make your experience with us a rewarding one. Since 1985, Impressive Designs CC has become a leading fabricator of the highest quality Plexiglas ® and Perspex ® products in South Africa. We function as your business partner assisting you to develop bespoke solutions to maximize your product placement in the market place.  Find us on or e-mail us on Tel: 021 592 1270 Make us your choice today……..if you can imagine it we can make it!

Tali Digital Branding Solutions

Tali Digital Branding Solutions offer a wide range of custom branded promotional products for your business and events marketing. The range on offer from Tali Digital Branding Solutions includes backlit posters, customized wallpaper to cover large surface areas, artist canvases, fascia wraps for glass fronts transforming them into promotional displays, hanging and outdoor PVC banners, screens, scrollers and much more. Tali Digital Branding Solutions offer both indoor and outdoor promotional display solutions as well as striving to be ‘Green’ through the use of eco-friendly ink and recycling whenever possible. They offer the latest in-house printing facilities and are committed to offering all their clients the highest quality product for any application. Before setting off to your next event or if you are looking to update the branded promotional items in use by your company then consider Tali Digital Branding Solutions large range. Tel: 011 786 3147

Holbay International – Bamboo Pens

Looking for quality promotional items for your business that are also unique and create an impact? Holbay International has been in business since 1981 as a wholesaler of imported promotional gifts, of which the featured Unity Bamboo Pen is an example. The bamboo pen is manufactured from sustainable bamboo and features a genuine Schmidt ultra-distance refill from Germany giving it a writing distance of 10,000m. The pen features natural bamboo barrel and upper with polished chrome brass trims and metal clip and is presented in a natural bamboo gift box which can feature laser engraved company branding. The Unity Bamboo Pern is just an example of the many promotional items on the Holbay website which include other pens, rulers, notebooks, bags and more. If you are looking for a unique promotional gift for an event or special date then Holbay will have the solution. Tel: 011 608 3120

Mangomoon Magnetic Promotional Products

Mangomoon offer a range of innovative branded promotional products you are not likely to see anywhere else. Mangomoon offer various magnetic promotional items that are re-usable, longlasting and sure to get your message across. The products on offer at Mangomoon include magnetic bookmarks, which are great for mass distribution as they can be posted and the size and shape can be changed to suit your branding. Magnetic License Disc Holders do away with the issue of residual glue being left on your windscreen when you change license discs as well as providing an opportunity for a high-resolution branding. Magnetic Pack Talkers are great for the fridge door and add value to your existing product packaging by distributing promotional media such as recipe or cocktails booklets with your product. Magnetic White Boards offer the opportunity to expose your brand on a re-usable writing surface which is great for the food, beverage and hospitality industry. Mangomoon have other promotional products available including re-usable fan boards, inpakt booklets, mobile messengers and drink coasters, along with their range of magnetic promotional products. If you are looking for a unique promotional idea for your brand then Mangomoon has a lot to offer. Tel: 021 788 5337

Gecko Media Customised Flash Drives

Whilst you may have seen or used a branded USB flash drive with a company logo, you may not have seen what Gecko Media has to offer, flash drives in custom shapes. The flash drives offer a very unique and appealing way of promoting your business with flash drives in custom shapes to your specifications, depending on the nature of your product. Gecko Media offer a large range of existing custom shapes which you can use with your own branding or alternatively a mould can be created from scratch to the shape you desire. These custom designed flash drives offer the perfect opportunity to provide clients and staff with a memorable, long-lasting and useful promotional gifts. Gecko Media also offer a wide range of other trade items including a wide range of brandable memory sticks, temporary tattoos, digital photo frames and more. Well worth considering before your next promotional event. Tel: 011 234 4501






Market leader offers women new lease on life

If you’re an ambitious, dynamic woman now is the time to stake your claim as a Conni distributor or advisor in your province.


market leader in continence products, Connihas officially launched in South Africa and is fast making inroads in the country. The launch follows a decision by the management of Conni Australia (Galway trading) to appoint Good Hope Technologies as the exclusive distributor for the continent.Without any competition and an untapped market of 12 million people in South Africa, ConniAfrica’s business-package offering is a dream come true for many an aspirant social entrepreneur. Product range Conni’s product range allows clients to live a quality life with dignity and its ethos is one committed to value, reliability and excellent customer service. Its online portal offers an innovative range of reusable continence packages that meet the needs of senior citizens, small children, expectant mothers, the disabled and those in need of palliative care. Conni-Africa sells a wide range of products from bedpads and chairpads to waterproof bedding protectors, undergarments and washable insert pads. More recently, Conni launched a fun range of products specially designed for children who are toilet training or bed wetting. These include the Conni Kids absorbent undergarments and bed pads. There’s no need for parents to completely strip the bed; they simply remove and wash the Conni Kids bed pad. Conni Kids bed pads come with a free toilettraining kit comprising poster, stickers and Conni achievement certificate. All bed and chair pads are Oeko-Tex standard 100 accredited and abide by a uniform, scientifically founded evaluation standard for the human ecological safety of textiles. Free deliveries are made nationally. The Conni Incontinence Care underwear range is Medical Aid approved.

Entrepreneurial opportunities “Incontinence affects people of all ages, many of whom feel too embarrassed to seek professional advice, and become socially isolated and withdrawn from society as a result. Conni’s products enable us to address the care of society’s most vulnerable while giving an entrepreneurial boost to an untapped market of social entrepreneurs - our area distributors and advisors who deliver innovative products to meet the changing needs of our valued customers,” said founder of the company Marilyn Michau. Seventeen areas of distribution have been identified in South Africa, including Namibia and Botswana. The regions will have Conni area distributors placed in strategic locations to service the area’s private and public government hospitals, crèches, nursing agencies, retirement homes, baby clinics and medical practices. Already there are distributors in the country, with a restriction of one distributor per area. Each distributor may either sell directly to the user or through a Conni advisor, and can choose to hire as many full or part-time Conni advisors as they desire to service the area. Distributors receive a margin of 50% on all Conni goods sold. If they sell through a Conni advisor they will make a margin of 25% and the Conni advisor will make a margin of 25%. Claim your area now There is a limited number of area opportunities left waiting to be snapped up. Marilyn insists that area distributor opportunities areavailable exclusively for women: “Conni has taken a corporate decision to only appoint distributorships to women with preference given to women who have experience as medical personnel, home nurses, medical reps, nurses and pre-school teachers. Specialists dealing with the disabled, working in retirement homes, doctors’ homes and frail-care facilities will also be considered.


“This has been well-thought through and we as a company feel very strongly that women - and particularly women with a background in the medical fraternity - share a strong personality profile that is assertive, persuasive, yet incredibly empathetic and compassionate. This makes them not only great leaders in business but ideal candidates to treat customers with the utmost care and discretion. This is of the utmost importance given that incontinence is such a highly personal issue.” How much does it cost? Exclusive areas are available from as little as R30 000 up to R300 000 for multiple areas all in stock of products. Financing options are available. Each distributor is awarded their area and there are no royalties or monthly fees. Each purchaser has recourse to stock at the company’s warehouse with training offered in Johannesburg. Each distributor can rest assured they can actively market their business through their area database comprising 100’s of medical practitioners, clinics, hospitals and old-age homes. At a cost of R3 000, for a sample kit and marketing materials aspirant entrepreneurs also have the option of starting out as Conni advisors and resellers. While Conni’s product roll-out has just begun in South Africa, plans are in the pipeline to move the brand northwards through the major markets in Africa. For licensee inquiries call Marilyn on 011-485-5796 Cell 082 822 2252 or visit (see business opportunitiesTAB)



Introducing the business of business rescue Research material provided by Eric Levenstein, Director of Werksmans Attorneys Eric Levenstein has been a director of Werksmans Attorneys since 1993 and is currently the joint head of the firm’s Business Recovery, Insolvency and Restructuring practice. He specialises in litigation and dispute resolution with a particular focus on banking and finance, forensics and intellectual property in addition to business recovery, insolvency and restructuring. His expertise extends to consumer protection and director liability. He regularly delivers seminars and writes for various publications on these topics, among others. He is a member of the Association of Insolvency Practitioners of South Africa (AIPSA) and of INSOL, a worldwide group of insolvency practitioners and attorneys that specialises in insolvency and restructuring matters. He is named as a recommended lawyer in restructuring and insolvency by PLC Which Lawyer and has BCom and LLB degrees, Higher Diplomas in Company Law and Tax, and a Diploma in Insolvency Law.

The new Companies act No. 71 of 2008 is offering a lifeline to businesses trading under financially distressed circumstances. Rather than launching proceedings for liquidation, the Act enables their owners to file for a formal restructuring process aimed at rehabilitating their enterprises and giving them the impetus to continue trading successfully. Could your business do with business rescue? ERIC LEVENSTEIN, Director of Werksmans Attorneys, lights the way… 2011, fell by 10.8% year on year and when compared to the same period in 2010.


hanks to Chapter 6 of the new Companies Act, which has introduced business rescue as an alternative to liquidation for financially distressed companies, jobs are being saved and unemployment reduced. To this end, a window of opportunity has opened for business-turnaround experts looking for a new career as business rescue practitioners, as well as for accountants, lawyers and business managers seeking to expand their service offering. What is the demand for business rescue practitioners? Business rescue has been available to financially distressed companies since 1 May 2011. Since the date of implementation of the new provisions, there have already been a significant number of filings for business rescue. According to the CIPC, there have been 280 notices to commence Business Rescue since 1 May 2011. The procedure is open to all companies, namely private, companies, public companies and close corporations. So far, private companies have been the majority in respect of business rescue filings. The Commission of Intellectual Property and Companies (CIPC) have indicated that the number of companies that have taken the decision, either through resolution or through a court application, to apply for the commencement of business rescue proceedings remains an ongoing process, and one which demonstrates that business rescue could possibly offer an alternative to liquidation. Recent liquidation statistics (as at December 2011), indicate that the number of liquidations for


What exactly does a business rescue practitioner do? The idea is that rather than sueing a company to extinction, a business rescue manager will rescue it and restore it to solvency enabling it to continue trading successfully rather than have it resort to liquidation. A business rescue practitioner takes over the management of the company’s affairs, business and property for a maximum of three months. He is tasked with the development and implementation of a plan to rescue the company by restructuring its affairs, business, property, debt and other liabilities and equity. He will do so, if approved by creditors and other stakeholders, in a manner that maximizes returns as work in progress is completed; debts are paid in full (or to a greater extent than if the debtor were wound up), investments are protected and most importantly - jobs are saved. During the business rescue period companies are provided with a temporary moratorium on the rights of all creditors to proceed with litigation against them. If solvency cannot be achieved, the business rescue practitioner would provide a plan which would result in a better return for the company’s creditors or shareholders than would result from the immediate liquidation of the company. What can a business rescue practitioner earn? Considering the basic tariffs as prescribed by the Act, the basic remuneration of a business rescue practitioner - to be determined at the time of the appointment of the practitioner by the company, or the court, as the case may be - may not exceed R1250 per hour (R15 625 a day) (incl VAT) for a small company; R1500 per hour (R18 750 a day) (incl VAT) for a medium company or R2000 per hour (R25 000 a day) (incl VAT) for a large or state-owned company. The business rescue practitioner’s fee is therefore commensurate with the time spent on the matter and is capped at a certain amount for a day’s work.

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In addition to the remuneration set out in the tariff, the business practitioner may also conclude a contingency agreement with the company for further remuneration. The company and the practitioner may determine the circumstances under which the practitioner will be entitled to further remuneration (ie if the business rescue plan is adopted, if it is adopted within a certain time or if any particular result is achieved). The contingency agreement will only be binding if it is voted on in accordance with the Act. In addition to remuneration, a practitioner is also entitled to be reimbursed for the actual costs of any disbursements incurred by the practitioner, or expenses incurred by the practitioner, to the extent reasonably necessary to carry out the practitioner’s function and to facilitate the conduct of the company’s business rescue. So how do you know whether you qualify to be a business rescue practitioner? Prior to the promulgation of the Act there was some debate as to whether or not business rescue practitioners should be taken from the ranks of insolvency practitioners. Despite the fact that a business rescue practitioner and an insolvency practitioner require different skill sets, there are many insolvency practitioners who qualify for appointment as business rescue practitioners. Notwithstanding this, a whole new profession was created. The business rescue practitioner profession is regulated and only licensed practitioners may be appointed. To qualify as a business rescue practitioner a person must be a member in good standing of a legal, accounting or business management profession accredited by CIPC and be licensed by CIPC. Regulation 126 of the Act, however, seems to suggest that a person who is part of an accredited profession need not be licensed by CIPC.

CIPC has also advised that they are not, at least for the meantime, accrediting certain professions for the purpose of business rescue appointment and instead are appointing and licensing business rescue practitioners on an ad hoc basis in accordance with section 138 (1)(b). In addition, a prospective business rescue practitioner: - Must not be subject to an order of probation; - Must not be disqualified from acting as a director of a company in terms of section 69(8) of the Act; - Must not have any relationship with the company that would lead a reasonable and informed third party to conclude that the integrity, impartiality or objectivity of that person is compromised by such relationship; - Must not be related to a person who has a relationship as contemplated above Although a combination of business, accounting and legal skills will be extremely useful for any business rescue practitioner, a business rescue practitioner does not need to possess all these skills. Instead the Act makes provision for a business rescue practitioner to work with other people who have the requisite skills, for the duration of the business rescue process.

The light at the end of the tunnel The new Companies act No. 71 of 2008 is offering a lifeline to businesses trading under financially distressed circumstances. Rather than launching proceedings for liquidation, the Act enables their owners to file for a formal restructuring process aimed at rehabilitating their enterprises and giving them the impetus to continue trading successfully. Could your business do with business rescue? ERIC LEVENSTEIN, Director of Werksmans Attorneys, lights the way… When should a company commence business rescue? A company should commence business rescue proceedings at the first signs of being financially distressed. That is, either when it is reasonably unlikely that the company will be able to pay its debts when they fall due for payment in the immediate ensuing six months or when it is likely that the company will become insolvent in the immediate ensuing six months.


How does a company commence business rescue? There are two ways in which a company can be placed under business rescue. A company can voluntarily commence business-rescue proceedings by the board of directors resolving that the company voluntarily commence businessrescue proceedings and be placed under the supervision of a business rescue practitioner. The resolution is thereafter filed with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) together with the requisite form and fee. Alternatively, an affected person (shareholder, creditor or employee) may make formal application to court for an order placing the company under supervision and commencing businessrescue proceedings, provided the company has not already been placed under business rescue. An application to court must be on the basis that the company: - is financially distressed - has failed to pay over any amount

in terms of an obligation under or in terms of a public regulation, or contract, with respect to employmentrelated matters - is otherwise just as equitable to do so for financial reasons and there is a reasonable prospect of rescuing the company. Is there any timeframe for a business rescue period? Section 132 provides that businessrescue proceedings are designed to last for a period of three months. The first creditors’ meetings must be held within 10 days after the appointment of the business-rescue practitioner and the creditors must be informed on whether he believes that there is a reasonable prospect of rescuing the company. During this three-month period, the business rescue practitioner is required to hold meetings for all the stakeholders, convene meetings to present and discuss the business-rescue plan and if it is approved, implement the business rescue plan. The plan must be published within


25 days of his appointment. Creditors ultimately decide whether the business will be liquidated or when the plan goes ahead in respect of their voting rights. How does the court review business-rescue progress and can the court rescind business rescue and liquidate the company? Once the business-rescue proceedings commence, whether voluntarily or on application to court, the business-rescue practitioner and not the court, is in control of the process. If business-rescue proceedings have not ended within three months after the start of the proceedings the practitioner must: - Prepare a report on the progress of the business-rescue proceedings, and update it at the end of each subsequent month until the end of the proceedings; - Deliver a report, and each update, in the manner prescribed by the Act to each affected person and to the court (if the proceedings were the subject of a court order); or CIPC, in any other case. The reporting requirements that arise from extending the time frames are burdensome. This therefore provides the business-rescue practitioner with an incentive to complete the process in the shortest possible time, but in any event within the three-month period. Are companies under business rescue allowed to incur more debt? When business-rescue proceedings commence, the company continues to operate as before, but under the supervision of the business-rescue practitioner. The business-rescue practitioner is mandated to investigate the business and affairs of the company and to decide which contracts it wishes to cancel, after application to court, and which contracts it wishes to suspend. Under these circumstances, the company may very well incur more debt if the business-rescue practitioner restructures the affairs of the company in such a way so as to ensure that the company incurs the debt that it needs to incur in order to trade its way out of its financial distress. Do business-rescue practitioners have the right to restructure business contracts/rescind employment contracts? Section 136 (2) provides that the business-rescue practitioner may, during business-rescue proceedings, and despite any provision to the contrary in an agreement: - Entirely, partially or conditionally suspend, for the duration of the business-rescue proceedings, any obligation of the company that (i) arises under an agreement to which the company was a party at the commencement of business-


rescue proceedings, and (ii) would otherwise become due during the proceedings; or - Apply urgently to court to entirely, partially or conditionally cancel, on any terms that are just and reasonable in the circumstances, any obligation of the company contemplated above. The provision to the above is that a business-rescue practitioner must not, and a court may not, suspend or cancel respectively, any provision of an employment contract or an agreement to which section 35A or 35B of the Insolvency Act 24 of 1936 (transactions on exchange and agreements providing for termination and netting) would apply if the company had been liquidated. Further, if a practitioner suspends a provision of an agreement relating to security granted by the company to a creditor, that provision continues to apply. The practitioner has full management and control over the company. He may delegate certain functions to a director on the board of the company or to a person who was part of the pre-existing management of the company. The business-rescue practitioner may also remove any person who formed part of the pre-existing management of the company from its office or appoint a person (who does not have any other relationship with the company that would lead a reasonable and informed third party to conclude that the integrity, impartiality or objectivity of that person is compromised by that relationship, or is related to a person who has such a relationship) as part of the management of the company. Does an approved business-rescue plan absolve directors from personal liability? During business-rescue proceedings, if in existence, the practitioner must notify the company, the court and affected persons that there is evidence, in the dealings of the company before the commencement of business rescue proceedings, of - voidable transactions or a failure by the company or any director to perform any material obligation relating to the company, and the practitioner must direct the management of the company to take steps to rectify the problem; or - reckless trading, fraud or other contraventions of any law relating to the company. The practitioner must forward the evidence to the appropriate authority for further investigation and possible prosecution, and direct the management to take any necessary steps to rectify the matter (including recovering any misappropriated assets of the company). If a business plan is adopted, the directors of the company, prior to, during and after the business rescue remain regulated by the provisions of the Act. Therefore, even if a business-rescue plan is implemented, a director may still be held liable for its conduct prior to, during or after the adoption of business rescue plan, in terms of Section 22 and/or Section 77 of the Act.



New business model gives SA healthcare a boost If you’re a medical or holistic practitioner and are looking to add a competitive edge to your business and to expand your service offering, then you may just want to take a moment to learn about BloodScan - a revolutionary health-franchise opportunity that incorporates unprecedented patented diagnostic technology into its business model. Developed in Australia by internationally acclaimed naturopath Gary Jackson, BloodScan is the only system of its kind anywhere in the world to have been accepted by medical insurers as a legitimate testing modality in its own right. Now it’s available in South Africa. BloodScan makes use of Motic BA310 microscopes and web-based software to see the dynamics of live blood via a small drop of blood from the finger. The technology is capable of identifying small particles in the blood normally not visible under a standard microscope and makes it possible to see what stage of pathological development the body is in. As a result, BloodScan is capable of identifying changes in a person’s blood that might lead to degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes and arthritis. “With BloodScan you can provide your patients with an assessment of their current state of health, detect early warning signs of disease, analyze undesirable cell formation in their blood and identify unique diet and nutritional deficiencies,” said BloodScan Africa CEO, Lewis Khoury. “BloodScan is designed to empower individuals to live a healthier life while at the same time simplifying the work of the practitioner.” BloodScan produces a visual reporting system incorporating coloured horizontal bar graphs. The graphs compare the actual status of the client with optimal scores based on the cumulative results of the three core wellness indicators: cellular fatigue, degenerative processes and nutritional imbalances. At a secondary level, the report assesses, among other factors, the body’s hydration levels, metabolic stress, cardiovascular and digestive health and exposure to environmental toxins. This profile guides the consultation process in terms of recommendations around corrective action and supplementation. For optimum results, practitioners can set a schedule for follow-up scans. “Using BloodScan provides you with a benchmark of a person’s current health status. When clients understand the effects of diet, lifestyle, exposure to pollutants and stress, they are in a position to identify the hidden factors that prevent

them from enjoying optimum wellness and to make the changes required,” said Khoury. “Using the BloodScan profiling system in conjunction with an experienced health practitioner helps patients to rapidly increase recovery rates after strenuous exercise, improve their immune system, speed up their body’s natural detoxification process, increase their energy and vitality and slow down the ageing process.” BloodScan is already being used in health, fitness and wellness centres, hospitals and clinics in the United States, Canada, India, Malaysia and Singapore. It was launched in South Africa in March last year.

“This gives practitioners and franchisees a strong foundation from which to empower and help many people attain a healthier lifestyle,” he said. An accredited Franchise Association South Africa member, each BloodScan franchise is a fully independent operational start-up business that conforms in look and feel to that of the international brand. BloodScanInternational is committed to ensuring that all practitioners receive cutting-edge technology and equipment and are stocked with a full range of supplements and health foods. Practitioners get to buy consumables and supplements from national agents at wholesale prices. Royalties are applicable. As a rule, a BloodScan franchisee is able to tap into an existing national infrastructure of support which covers marketing, promotional and management resources. In addition, each is able to make use of an online management system for consignment orders, inventory- and stock control and financial management. Ongoing workshops and training are provided to franchisees.

“There has been a lot of progress made with trying to raise awareness of BloodScan among SA’s Medical-Aid companies, health departments, SETAs and organisations that would support the initiative going forward,” said Khoury. “We have been told that to be registered with Medical Aids, BloodScan needs to have a national footprint and “White papers” to prove its authenticity. We are in the process of launching a major pilot project with State hospitals that will see us completing more than 38 000 scans over a six-month period while also having independent research companies reporting on various aspects and results of the system. This will give us recourse to attaining our “White papers” and will help us improve our service and what we do.” This, said Khoury, applies to training too as BloodScan training has now been accepted by the National Qualification Framework and is registered with the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA).


If operating within doctors’ rooms, a health shop or pharmacy interested parties can opt for BloodScan Xpress – a business-model add-on to a current business. The Xpress is used to advance and enhance an existing business. BloodScan Xpress conforms to the brand specifications of the existing business. The practitioner, in this case, only pays a set monthly fee for the reports, and no royalties. The BloodScan head office does not consult on the operations of these businesses. “Both business models enable franchisees to get comprehensive theoretical and practical training from BloodScan with all the equipment they need. The scientific patented BloodScan reporting system is installed in both business concerns and both have recourse to international and local support,” said Khoury. By year-end, BloodScan aims to open 98 branches. Each franchise opportunity costs R145,000.00, excluding VAT.




- your opportunity to invest smart


here are many hidden costs in a business, for many companies poor administration systems represent a massive and avoidable extra burden on their bottom line. How many working hours does it take a bookkeeper to manually enter data into their accounting packages? For a busy company we could be talking about hundreds of hours, all wasted time when it’s now possible to import your electronic bank statement directly into your accounting package with SmartBank. SmartBank is the brain child of David Hartley, a professional accountant who began working with Pastel back in 1990, has teamed up with a very bright professional programmer and partner, Sylvain Ntumba, who wrote most of the current version of Turbocash while working in that field 5 years ago.

which is a snitch when you consider what manual bookkeeping can cost a business every moth. The official release date for the latest version will be in early October of this year and will no doubt be a sure-fire hit with anyone serious about keeping their books up to date and their costs low.The good news is that David is also looking for investors to help with marketing and further development expansion.

David Hartley and Sylvain Ntumba

David has considerable experience in the industry and has been responsible for various innovations including, designing and setting up all the Charts of Accounts and Report Writer reports that are used by over 300 000 Pastel users around the world. David was also involved in the designing and setting-up the pastel Auditor package that was launched by Pastel in 2007 in South Africa. David’s appreciation of the bookkeeping environment and his keen eye for the future has lead to the development of a package that finally integrates modern advancements in banking and technology in a way that will save both time and money for his clients. SmartBank works beautifully with all the Pastel versions from V7 (2004) to the new V12 (2012), without having to upgrade to the latest version of Pastel. SmartBank will soon be fully usable with QuickBooks and a whole range of other accounting packages. Along with being compatible with so many other accounting products, SmartBank even offers its own Standalone set of accounts. SmartBank is designed to simplify bookkeeping and offers to save up to eighty percent of the time and cost for bookkeeping by using internet banking and bank statement downloads as a tool to import their monthly bank statements. It’s as simple as downloading your bank statement using standard bank manager software and then using SmartBank’s edit and auto allocate features to import the data straight into your accounting package. SmartBank has been in development for one and a half years and is currently in version 2.1. SmartBank retails for R 1600 per PC,


That represents your chance to get involved in something with real potential. There are an estimated two hundred thousand Pastel users in South Africa, not to mention people using other bookkeeping software. David’s initial objective is to gain between five thousand and ten thousand active users. He also plans to expand internationally once he has managed to sell his first few thousand packages. With the right investor joining the team David anticipates, further development and additional modules. Sales and expansion will also be greatly enhanced and speeded up, a win for everyone involved. As a customer SmartBank represents the answer to your bookkeeping nightmares, as an investor it should represent opportunity. The combination of a strong concept with clear market place application and massive potential both at home and in a wider international market place should already have you chomping at the bit, if you want to know more you can contact David at and check out his website at Editors comment: With the growth of the internet, online and mobile banking is now a part of most people’s lives. SmartBank takes that one step further and offers seamless integration of my electronic bank statements with Pastel or similar Accounting Software. Having been in business for many years, I know the importance of streamlining processes. SmartBank does just that, as well as reducing paperwork in the office and for my personal accounts. It is software that I regularly recommend to both clients and friends, if you use Pastel or similar Accounting Software you should be using SmartBank.


Have you ever tried looking for something on the web, spent hours trying to find every supplier and get the right price and still come away feeling that you might have missed something? The good news is that’s all a thing of the past. AllQuotes has up to date information on thirty thousand South African businesses and is currently processing data for another five hundred thousand. By having access to this wealth of information the site is able to send enquiries from its customers to ALL the local suppliers in their area helping them get the best prices for just about

everything from a set of tyres to a triple by-pass. Customers win because they get fast service and the best prices, and businesses win because they get a constant supply of customers. Soon almost every business in the Country will be listed and All Quotes will become the standard way for anyone to search for products and services online. All businesses join the system free to start with but they only get the enquiries the following day – once they are happy with the service they pay R295 per month and get the enquiries as they happen.

This ensures an income flow and makes sure that no one drops out of the system, ensuring that customers still get comprehensive results while also ensuring you a steady revenue stream. With just 1 new business signing up a day your income is over R100 000 pm by the end of the first year. With South Africans searching online for up to 40 million items a month this might be the opportunity for you, for R188 000 you can become a regional agent for All Quotes, over seeing the incorporation of businesses in your selected area and taking a 50/50 share of the profits generated in your region. The company will help you get the ball rolling with unlimited leads and a call centre that will make the first 5 000 calls to get you started. If you can demonstrate that they have the necessary skills to help the business thrive, either having owned your own business or having at least three years management experience then you can become part of the all Quotes team. To learn more visit - then watch the latest videos at or contact Geoff on 082-3256-889



How to invest in a block of flats


hilst the prospect of investing a block of flats may seem attractive there are a number of factors which any investor must take into consideration before going forward with the purchase. Finding a block of flats for purchase would be the first hurdle as they do not come onto the market frequently and when a block is available the underlying reasons as to why that block is up for sale should be examined closely.

well as have the capacity to weather the interim period where the existing problems are corrected. A further issue added to this would be that law states that if redevelopment of the block is planned, existing leases must be allowed to run their course before being terminated. This could further add to the duration of this interim period as hence increase the costs associated with the purchase and renovation.

“We can always offer investors any number of individual sectional title units in a wide variety of different locations, but very seldom do we get opportunities to sell a complete block,” said Tony Clarke, Managing Director of Rawson Property Group, though going on to say, “Recently, however, John Weston of Bergvliet sold a complete complex”.

Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Durban North and La Lucia comments, “It is very difficult to find a block of flats to purchase, as in most cases, the blocks have already been sectionalised, and hence, each unit is sold individually. In the event of a block being for sale, the purchaser will then be required to take transfer of the block and then apply to have each unit sectionalised and sell off each unit thereafter, unless he wants to retain the block as a buy-to-let investment property. Shareblocks are still in use in some instances, but sectional title is the more popular route to follow, as the banks do not lend on shareblock schemes.”

Many blocks of flats on the market are as a result of take over by banks or debtors due to financial difficulties. These are often controlled by officially appointed administrators, from whom the trustees are obliged by law to take orders. Though these properties may seem attractive, consideration should be taken as almost invariably the financial situation has arisen as a result of the members not paying their levies due and in some cases municipal services may have ceased at the property with the aligned consequences. “To rectify a situation in which an inefficient body corporate and/or an incompetent managing agent have let matters get out of hand is extremely difficult,” said Clarke, “and can take anything up to two years as it probably involves repossessing a fair number of units and possibly also evicting tenants who have fallen well behind on their rent payments.” Clarke continued, “It will also in most cases involve a massive upgrading as the units will have been allowed to deteriorate. This could add significantly to overall cost – which, however, is likely to be low as investors shy away from schemes which require lengthy, no income holding period.” Another issue which will arise when trying to purchase a block in this situation would be the difficulty in financing the investment as banks would in most cases be reluctant. Any potential investor who would be looking at getting finance for purchase of such a block of flats would have to provide the financial statements as


Michael Bauer of IHFM Property Administrators stated that the best returns and most reliable rental returns are found in the R3,000 to R7,000 per month rental portfolios. Though whilst there are many influencing factors and pitfalls to avoid when considering investing in a block of flats, both Bill Rawson, Chairman of Rawson Property Group, and Tony Clarke stated that the rental market is set to increase over the next few years, with banks being reluctant to approve approximately 40% of bond applicants. With annual rental increases of 8% to 10% possible buy-to-rent investments such as a block of flats are a favourable prospect for anyone looking for good returns in future. Whilst even with credit checks there will always be defaulting tenants in an block of flats, investing in units under R1 million could provide good returns in future, as opposed to buying fewer, more expensive units. Buying a block of flats is an investment anyone looking in the property market should be considering at this stage. Though the initial period post acquisition could be expensive and difficult, once the block is acquired and the improvements completed, it could prove to be an excellent future investment for yourself or your business. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

The South African app market: Where are we now? By Toby Bennett


s fast as you could say ‘mobile revolution’ we found ourselves immersed in a brave new world of smartphones, tablets and mobile apps. There are more than half a million android apps in the world. The i-Store, which officially garnered more than 25 billion downloads in March this year, offers 5.5 million downloads, with more than 170 000 apps specifically tailored for your iOS. If your head isn’t spinning with the variety on offer then I’ll hit you with the fact that around 300 000 of those apps were uploaded in the last three years. Talk about an industry developing overnight. All this has been driven by an ever-increasing level and availability of mobile hardware and stable operating platforms and development tools. Given the proliferation of mobile devices around the world (more than 85 per cent of the planet is using them) you might well ask, has South Africa taken advantage of this new outlet for her talent and industry? The answer, unfortunately, is mixed. South Africa has had some amazing advantages when compared with its peers on the continent. Unfortunately we have a track record of sitting on our laurels. We have managed to drop, or at least fumble, the ball when it comes to issues like youth development, the creation of sustainable alternative energies and the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure. So one might well ask are we going to miss the boat on the App boom too? It’s not that I’m saying we’re completely useless, it’s more a case of failing to seize opportunities. South Africa should by right, be one of the strongest players on the continent but let’s look at what we have done with our opportunities. At the turn of this century we had one of the best telecommunications infrastructures on the continent but now our line speeds and data costs are falling far behind the rest of Africa. In 2012 our Internet penetration is less than 14 per cent which puts us ahead of the African average of 13.5% but well behind countries like Kenya (25%), Nigeria (29%) or Morocco (49%). We are above average, sure, but here’s my point: when you consider our potential, is good enough all we should be aiming for? Our poor performance when it comes to education and communications infrastructure might be the single biggest stumbling block in this country’s development. Certainly it is a major factor in our lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to taking advantage of the app market. Here we have a profit-generating industry that anyone should be able to enter, anywhere and at any time, and we are choking ourselves with outdated line speeds and exorbitant costs for bandwidth. Everyone can see how the e-tolling system will be bad for business and commuters. With that in mind would it really surprise anyone to hear that a recent study conducted for the


Business Software Alliance placed us 18th out of 24 countries in our readiness for cloud computing? The report cited our low levels of Internet penetration and low levels of information and communications technology as a problem, and also went on to say that there needs to be better planning for the expansion of our high-speed networks (we are currently lagging behind India in this department). Above all we are going to need to make the Web quicker and more affordable if we are going to be able to compete internationally. With a relatively limited infrastructure and costs that are still prohibitive for many, the penetration of apps is obviously far behind what it should be, but it’s not all bad news. While we have a way to go in ensuring that our countrymen and women get into the habit of downloading apps, in corporate terms we’re actually not so far behind the curve. As Richard Cheary of Afrozaar Apps puts it, “We definitely do follow countries like the US, South Korea and the EU with regards to general consumer new-media apps, but I believe our corporate and business-tobusiness app paradigm is not that far behind.” Indeed in certain industries like banking, South Africa is a world leader since we are often used to piloting and testing business software and systems. Banks like FNB also have a strong offering when it comes to banking apps and have seen the benefits that being able to offer something extra to their customers can bring. On the whole though, we are still struggling to develop a culture of app use for the average South African. We are all familiar with some of the biggies like Facebook, but there remains an untapped market for apps designed for the local market. You’ve got to ask why more of this sort of app isn’t being created. It cannot be said that South Africa is completely lacking in skill


or creativity. Indeed the research group, Gartner rated us as one of the top 30 software-developing destinations back in 2008. The question is what have we done with our potential? Are we letting another opportunity slip by? In 2009 the ITC ranked us first in the sub-categories of ICT security, cyber- and intellectualproperty rights’ laws and contribution of services to gross domestic product. We came in third overall as an outsourcing destination, which only goes to prove my point that we have the talent and expertise in certain areas, but we are often let down by allowing ourselves to lag in others. This varied level of competence and quality seems to imply that instead of coming up with a cohesive plan for how we will improve our ICT and harness the power of our developers, we are at the mercy of conflicting forces each trying to look after its own interests with no interest in the development of our nation’s industries as a whole. A case in point, the more recent ICT figures revealed that we ranked 30th out of 46 African countries when it came to our mobile-data rates. No prizes for guessing who is letting the side down here. The bottom line is that mobile-data rates need to fall if we are not going to miss yet another opportunity. The penetration of mobile devices far exceeds our Internet penetration with nearly 80 per cent of South Africans possessing a mobile device. As smartphones drop in price, more and more people will be using the Android or iOS. That represents a huge market with great potential if we can get people used to using apps. The first step to achieving this is dropping costs so that they are not beyond the means of the consumer. You’ve no doubt noticed that some steps have been taken in this regard and rates are dropping, presuming it’s not a case of too little too late. The inevitable question for the business-minded individual would have to be, “How can I get involved in this?” Local or international 25 billion app downloads sound like a pie you’d want a slice of? If you’re not an aspiring developer yourself there is no need to despair (indeed chances are you’re going to need a team whatever happens). A good idea can be all you need and there are plenty of companies in the South African market that will help you realise your vision. The chances are that you’re


ensuring that an app works stably and as you want it to. If you decide to go with a native app then the chances are that you want to go with Android (unless you are offering a product that you deem more suited to the iPhone market). My thinking here comes down to the fact that cost is likely to be one of the biggest factors in the adoption of mobile devices in this country.

not going to replicate the success of Angry Birds overnight, but Richard Cheary’s passed on a few tips you might want to bear in mind: - Build a team with the right levels of experience and skill sets - Obtain team experience on a number of professional service projects and also put in the time, overtime if necessary, to research and develop existing apps - Try a few apps yourself to fully understand the device platforms being targeted - Focus on building a software component base for reusability and future extensions - Find ways to mature delivery and/or production lines - Then, have your team agree on a product or platform, and commit to building it in stages. This final point can be a bit of a stumbling block. After all do you want to create a web app or an app designed to be native to the device on which it is run? Ideally your app should be able to cope with both scenarios. Certainly you should design any app or website with the restrictions of mobile devices in mind. The varying degrees of penetration between mobile and Internet connections make it clear that you are definitely going to need a mobi site for your business. However, the conflicts and variations between browsers can often be a stumbling block and a native app can often be a way of


Connect Systems Go-Globe

Informationkinetics Infomas

While it is worth noting our weaknesses, it is equally important to acknowledge our strengths. For entrepreneurs, app development represents a vast opportunity and it is one that South Africans, and their counterparts on the rest of the continent, are seizing increasingly. As mobile strategist and AppCircus co-founder, Rudy De Waele recently commented: “Many of the African app developers we met during the AppCircus Africa tour last year were university graduates, but the vast majority have learnt to code via the Internet. They have great entrepreneurial spirit and drive, but lack the business training and mentors needed to take their apps to the next level.” South Africa has talented people who can and will be significant players in the global app market. February of this year saw one of our own app developers, Anne Shongwe elected a finalist in the sixth annual Mobile Premier Awards in Barcelona. We may have a way to go when it comes to catching up with the rest of the world in developing apps, but it is nice to see that we definitely have people who are leading the way and representing South Africa. Hopefully they will not be let down by a lack of support and vision.

Some app-development companies:



Most generic bottom-of-the-range smartphones are likely going to be using one version of the Android OS or another, so it makes sense to make sure your app will be stable on Android.


Social has a value.

(And we can tell you what it is.)


oogle Analytics offers tracking of visitors and their behaviour when they arrive and interact on your website. It is a free web analytics and reporting tool offered by Google and if your business website hasn’t got Analytics (or some other form of tracking) installed it is highly recommended. Tracking allows you to analyse where your existing website visitors (and potential customers) are coming from, referring websites, search engines and social media platforms. The real value comes when you target ‘niche’ keywords or pages that attract a lot of visitors for your website versus competitors. This allows you to plan ahead and expand your website with new pages and content and help you compete effectively. “Social has a value. (And we can tell you what it is.)” is the new tag-line you will see on the updated Google Analytics login page and it relates to new features that allow you to track how many visitors social media is generating for your website. Google makes a point of introducing you to the new features and you can view your social media influence by navigating to Traffic Sources > Social in your Google Analytics dashboard. Traffic is separated by source, such as WordPress blogs, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and Google+ and by date which allows you to determine how well received your social media posts were. In recent internet marketing trends the term ‘social media’ and its seemingly endless applications for promoting your business has become prevalent. The introduction of tracking the value social media platforms offer in relation to traditional traffic sources (search engines, Google AdWords advertising and referring partner websites) is important and something business website owners should be looking at. The new features allows you to realistically monitor the real-world value ‘social’ has for your business. Many business owners will have added a Facebook page or Twitter account to their business website and the new Google Analytics feature allows you to more accurately track results of your social media marketing efforts. If you are a business website owner who is using a social media platform(s) to market your business a good starting point is to monitor Visitors vs. Actions. An example would be if you run a competition on your Facebook page, is there an increase in visitors to your business website (not


your Facebook page) as a result? To do this look at traffic figures from social for the month before and a month after the action (in this case a competition). Whilst you may not see a marked increase there could be slightly improved visitor numbers after the event. If you are actively working social media for your business the new features allow a good way to monitor the outcomes of your efforts. The converse of all this relates to businesses where social media is not working, where it has either been implemented within the business or by an external source offering social media marketing services. The new Traffic Sources > Social reporting allows a business owner to more easily determine the efficacy of their social media efforts. If, when looking at your visitors numbers from ‘social’ versus traditional internet marketing methods and the percentage is minimal consider reducing company time and expense in this marketing channel. Whilst there is definitely value and application for social media it will not apply to all market sectors. Your business may be wasting valuable resources which could be better spent on other marketing channels. Once again visitors numbers is less important than conversions (sales) from your website so spending time looking at the figures and how they relate to help marketing your business effectively can be a worthwhile effort. If your business is making use of social media platforms then the new Analytics feature could be an invaluable tool in helping you to measure and enhance your efforts. New trends, such as social media, often make us lose site of traditional tools like email marketing, search advertising or basic customer relations. The new Google Analytics feature allows you to better understand the real value of social media has for your business and if you haven’t, spend so.

Reduction in ADSL Prices in South Africa Following a reduction in April of Telkom IPConnect costs, ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) across South Africa have made significant changes to their pricing and speeds of their various ADSL products for both businesses and home users in South Africa. IPConnect is the infrastructure which enables ISP’s to provide you with the bandwidth you use when you purchase an ADSL package. This has meant good things for South African internet users, whether at home or in business, price offerings by ISP’s have been reduced and many service providers have also increased their speed offerings, meaning you get more ‘bang for your buck’. We have rounded up some of cheaper options here, though please consult with the ISP’s themselves for their most up to date prices. 384 Kbps Uncapped The entry level uncapped ADSL offering in South Africa there are a number of offerings under R100 per month. ClickWorks Internet for R95, OpenWeb for R98 and AXXESS for R85 all offer a basic uncapped service which is perfect if you need lots of data, though are not too concerned about speeds, and at the price you can’t complain. From there other ISP’s offer various 384 Kbps Uncapped ADSL packages – Afrihost for R177, MWEB for R199 (1 Mbps), WebAfrica for R179 are a few examples, though one wonders if an extra R100+ a month can be justified by the bigger ISP’s when looking at the offerings by smaller providers.

1 Mbps / 4 Mbps Uncapped The more favourable option, 1 Mbps Uncapped, which is thought in the future to slowly replace the 384 Kbps entry-level offering, can be had from OpenWeb for R149, ClickWorks Internet for R199 and AXXESS for R196. For a much faster connection, which is great for games, downloads and multiple users using the same ADSL, a 4 Mbps connection can be purchased from AXXESS for R496, Afrihost for R397, WebAfrica for R599 and OpenWeb for R389 monthly. The above pricing comparison is only a small selection of what is available from numerous Internet Service Providers in the country and as can be seen there can be a significant difference from one ISP to another. Unfortunately it would not be possible to list every ISP and every package offered though it would definitely worth investigating how much you are currently paying. Alternatively if you are a first time ADSL subscriber, to do your research before signing up. Many of the smaller ISP’s offer much cheaper prices for what is essentially the same product, over a 1 year or even 5 year period, this would represent a significant saving for your home or business. For a comprehensive comparative list of ISP prices for Uncapped and Capped ADSL, as well as other wireless and other solutions consult

Your Business Website Speed, Sales & SEO With much of the business world moving more and more into online marketing as a platform to build brand presence through social media channels and drive sales, many business websites are being, or have been upgraded. This keeps your business presence online more in-line with current trends and helps to promote interactivity with customers. Along with enhanced appearance these upgrades also often feature the inclusion of 3rd party applications (widgets) or scripts, such as Twitter Feed or Facebook Wall Stream.

What increases load times?

Whilst in terms of enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the website in terms of the web page load times every additional script, widget and feature will increase the time it takes for your business website to complete loading. Cumulatively, should you have a number of scripts or widgets on your business homepage, it may add a few (or many) seconds to the time it takes for your website to be ‘usable’ or interactive enough that users can complete the action they intended to.

Assessing your website

First off you need to assess your website performance at a speed and accessibility level, disregarding the aesthetic appeal. Whilst a Facebook widget may look great, how many people are using it and how many sales and/or leads is it generating? Remember that whilst you may work in an office with a decent broadband internet connection not everyone accessing your website will have the same speed at hand, making features that negatively effect accessibility for potential customers unnecessary and in fact a hindrance. There are online tools available that allow you to make a free assessment of your website speed as well as gives you a comparative score out of 100 and is a good place to start.

What are the implications?

Why should this be important to you and your business website? Quite simply the slower a website is to load the more likely people are to leave the page, close the window or tab, before the page completes loading. If you are displaying your inventory of products, contact information or news and a percentage of users are not reading it, due to the time it is taking to load, you are losing potential customers. Reducing the time it takes for your website to load can also positively improve your search engine results (ie.Yahoo!, Google and Bing), which in the long term will boost visitors to your website. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

Website load times is a design / code issue and if you have concerns that your business website is not running at an optimal speed then speak to your website designer. There are many issues involved in optimising a website that vary dependant on your on site configuration. Though it may take some time and energy if it means a 5% or even 10% increase in online sales then it is definitely worth pursuing.


Pop-up stores here to stay With the ever-increasing popularity of pop-up stores many young entrepreneurs are using the concept to test the market and expose their products before moving to a new venue, but would this be the right model for your business? KATJA HAMILTON investigates.


market environment. While it may not require as much initial capital expenditure as a traditional shop, it does require significant upfront marketing spend in order to create the initial awareness, so that as soon as the doors of the pop-up store open they have feet in the door and are able to generate sales.”

op-up stores are makeshift stores that open up for a few weeks or months at shopping malls in vacant retail spaces, development sites, or promotional areas. They operate in what would otherwise have remained unused retail and rental space. “The benefit of a pop-up store is to bring something new and fresh to the retail experience and point of interest in a shopping environment, such as trialing a fashion retailer’s new diffusion line, introducing a Christmas décor store in the leadup to the festive season, or showcasing elements of an upcoming exhibition,” said Alex Kabalin, Retail Executive at the V&A Waterfront. While shopping malls and landlords stand to benefit from the rental income which covers the period of time often required to finalise a long-term lease on premises, entrepreneurs too stand to benefit from their product exposure without being tied down, and are in the best position to extend their market by moving from one venue to another. This was the case with Pop Shop – a successful pop-up store which ran during July and August at the V&A Waterfront last year. On sale was a treasure trove of high-quality, local design products. Pop Shop was the physical manifestation of the online Design Indaba shop. “The whole idea was to create a platform for the sale of the products of the small to medium enterprises that exhibit at our expo. The exhibitors are creative, they’re artistic but they don’t necessarily have the funds or the resources to create their own shops, which is where we came in and provided the space for our exhibitors to promote their products. We didn’t charge a rental fee, only a commission on the products sold,” said Kim Terblanche Design Indaba expo floor production manager. “Because we are a reseller of products the pop-up shop was a great success for our exhibitors. We created a lot of awareness of the individuals who sold their products. I think they got a lot of exposure from it and this increased the number of visitors to our online shop,” said Terblanche.


Many of the products customers loved at Pop Shop continue to be available at the online shop.

Red-flag warning

But not all business owners who’ve seen their brands gain exposure in a pop-up store are convinced the model’s all it’s cracked up to be. Alan Tamaris of fashion-label empire Callaghan recently opened a pop-up store at Cavendish Square. While he said he would certainly consider running a pop-up store for Callaghan again once their lease is up or even for respective suppliers, the experience of running a pop-up store in Cavendish Square has, he said, “not been a mad success” and has not been a good way to test the market and their product. “I would not consider extending our lease on a long-term basis, as it’s not sustainable,” he said. He added he is also steering away from opening and managing multiple pop-up stores concurrently in various shopping centres. Doing so, he quipped, would become a business in itself that would draw attention away from his core business focus: fashion. “In South Africa the concept of a popup store is often confused by some retailers and considered to be a store where they can pay little rent, do minimal shop fitting and sell off surplus stock for close of business sales. This perception isn’t true,” says V&A Waterfront’s Alex Kabalin. “The pop-up store concept in its purest form was created to trial a new product, item or a new brand within a select target

The secret to the success of Pop Shop, Terblanche said, lay in the fact that they were able to tap into an existing infrastructure of support, which made setting up, running and marketing their pop-up store seamless. “We were lucky because the space we were allocated was already fitted – thanks to the tenants before us – so we had instant access to working lights, and we had shelving and rails which could otherwise have been a huge expense. “We also had access to resources from our company - a stylist who helped us with our interior design and we made use of exhibitors’ furniture in-store. In addition, we had the Design Indaba’s marketing manager assist us with our communications, and our finance department was completely set up to help us with the invoicing and billing systems.” Novices who come unprepared may fall short. To maximize the benefit of a pop-up shop, think long term rather. “Making a profit takes time,” said Terblanche. “Obviously the longer period of time an entrepreneur is able to rent a space, the more time there is to offset setup costs and the more financially viable his business becomes. “In order to realise the benefit of starting out as a pop-up store, the store should remain open between two to six months,” said Kabalin. This depends on the store, the product offering and time of the year. The key benefit to both landlord and tenant is that the store is a success and can transform into a permanent retail presence at a centre and hopefully expand to other locations.”



Where there is a Will there’s money surrogate, step-children, children from a previous or subsequent marriage or relationship, and the children of a spouse or a partner’s previous relationship? To this end, it is essential that the will be drawn in plain language so that there is no “treasure hunt” for those attending to the administration of an estate in determining, locating and identifying any assets specifically bequeathed.


hile there are many players in the market who provide general fiduciary services such as wills and trusts, they do so as one of a spectrum of legal offerings. With little focus or specialization in this area herein lies a fantastic window of opportunity for intrepid entrepreneurs considering contracting out their services as a specialised will drafter.

But, warns Shapiro, an expert will drafter must have sound knowledge of all the relevant legal principles and practices, a command of language to express correctly the intentions of a testator in words, and the practical experience to merge the legal principles with the testator’s intentions into a workable document which governs the orderly distribution of an estate.

If you have sound knowledge of various pieces of legislation that affect wills such as Common Law, The Marriage Act, Estate Duty Act and Exchange Control Law, and sufficient experience in analyzing whether a simple will suffices, then - for a small consultation fee – you can outsource your services.

“While a valid will is a document that has been drafted, signed and executed in absolute compliance with the requirements of the Wills Act, a good will is one that complies with a testator’s wishes as to the distribution of his estate.” It’s important to note that a good will is not determined by the eloquence of the drafter but by his ability to encapsulate the intention of the testator in a lawful document. The intention of the testator is determined by words. The words used must therefore be correct and appropriate.

There’s no need for people to go to banks to have their will drafted, says Arnold Shapiro of Eversheds Attorneys, an accredited FISA member. “A legally valid will may be drafted by anyone in so much that they are 16 years or older, and are mindful that the Wills Act prescribes that the person who handwrites the will of another, or who witnesses a will of another, may be precluded from benefitting. A legally valid will also does not require an attorney to draft or witness it.

So, in the following instances: “I bequeath my estate to my spouse.” Does “spouse” include existing, previous, or a future spouse or spouses, and co-habitees (known as the common law partner)? or “I bequeath my estate to my children.”Does “children” include illegitimate, adopted,


Also take into account the following factors: You will need to: • Take time out to meet face to face with the testator so you can clearly understand his intentions which could otherwise get lost in email or written communication. • Be sensitive to the wishes of the testator, balanced against the hopes and aspirations of the family. • Empower your client with the knowledge on applicable legal consequences of: - Nominating a child to be an executor in preference to other children - Bequeathing an estate with disparity or disinheriting any of his children - Excluding a spouse and children from a will - Not providing for dependent parents, which may result in grandparents claiming against their grandchildren’s share of the estate - Bequeathing agricultural property to two or more beneficiaries - Failing to provide for minors, incapacitated or incompetent persons and beneficiaries with special needs It’s important that throughout the consultation that you: • Handle ethical issues, conflicts of interest and the competency of beneficiaries with sensitivity • Remain objective and not allow the bad behavior of family members to impact on the testator’s conduct Continued on page 42


Continued from page 41

Ensure that the testator’s requirements are recorded in his will and not superimposed on a precedent will Do not include clauses which may be ineffectual by not complying with the terms of the Constitution. These would include clauses which are not only illegal or vague, but which are contrary to public policy and immoral. For example: “I bequeath an amount of R1m to the Boys Town School Choir Bursary Fund for an annual bursary for white males of British descent directing that no females, midgets and gypsies may qualify for any benefit whatsoever from this Fund.”

or • “I bequeath my entire estate to my daughter subject to the condition that she divorces that good-for-nothing SOB whom I have despised from the first moment I set eyes on him.” or • “I bequeath an amount of R1000 to John Bruiser on condition he “sorts out” the class bully Billy Bunter” “If the contents are vague, immoral, legally incorrect or unconstitutional (or against the norms of society), the entire will, may be set aside. Failure to comply with the formal requirements of the Wills



On-site, on demand cash machine

kay, hands up who doesn’t like doughnuts? Right sergeant, take these freaks to the station and have them tested for lizard DNA! For the rest of us we all know that doughnuts are the source of all things sweet and satisfying, the perfect accompaniment to your coffee and the basis of just about every cop show on TV. Everyone who’s not a bit dead inside or gluten intolerant (which is much the same thing) loves doughnuts but have you ever wondered about living the dream and making your own doughnuts? Even better, have you ever wondered about making a living from making your own doughnut’s? I mean how often you heard people say this product will sell like hot cakes well the analogy falls a bit flat this time because, no, they won’t, they’ll sell like doughnuts, no reference to a warm sponge necessary.

Act may result in an expensive High Court application, which, if unsuccessful, will result in the will being declared invalid,” says Shapiro. While our law generally affords one freedom of testation, a will drafter carries a heavy burden to ensure that it is not abused. There are countless examples of badly constructed clauses that have led to conflict, litigation and the break-up of families. An expert will-drafter will, however, ensure that tragedy is limited only to the death of the testator and will aim to only bequeath a legacy of love to his family. A well-drafted will means an estate can – in the hands of a great administrator - be wound up quickly with significantly less costs incurred by heirs. This, therefore, allows families to focus on the grieving and healing process - and that is the way it should be.

Thy Will Be Done The Wills Act prescribes that: • A will must be signed; • The will must be witnessed by two or more competent witnesses • Both the person making the will and the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other; and • If you sign by making a mark or if someone signs on your behalf, a commissioner of oaths, in addition to the two or more witnesses, must certify at the end of the document that he has satisfied himself of your identity and that the will is your will. If you’re considering being an expert will drafter and are looking for a competitive edge, it is highly recommended that you register as a member of FISA (Fiduciary Institute of South Africa). See for details. 42

So, no doubt those of you with vision are asking what do you need to get started on a career that will make you the calorific equivalent of Robin Hood to a grateful public and how much will it cost? Well first I’d say let’s not cheapen this moment with materialism, we’re talking a doughnut making machine here after all! Then when I’d calmed down a bit and realised I was being unreasonable I’d have to say that the costs really aren’t that bad especially when stacked up against potential profits. Zhauns has been selling doughnut machines for over a decade and has showrooms in Johannesburg, Cape Town and KZN and they can offer you everything from a smaller GV-26 Doughnut baking machine capable of making about 240 doughnuts per hour to an Industrial Doughnut Plant capable of making 10 000 doughnuts per hour. Most likely you’d want to cut your teeth on the model HBD doughnut machine which offers the choice of three different doughnut sizes, it produces up to 1200 - 40mm doughnuts, 700 - 60mm doughnuts or 480 - 80mm doughnuts, all for an initial investment of R45 995 on the unit. Zhauns will also provide 25kg of pre-made doughnut mix for R290. Zhauns projects that each doughnut can be made for as little as R0.14 yet as we all know a customer will willingly pay as much as five rand or more per doughnut. They also offer free training and instillation so you don’t have to worry about problems with setting up or operating your new machine. Doughnut making represents a large income opportunity for a relatively low investment, in not time at all you could be supplying Restaurants, Schools, Tuck Shops, Cafes, Guest Houses, Tour Ships, Flea Markets, Parties just about anywhere you can imagine a doughnut might go down well and I can’t think of many places where they don’t. For your chance to tap into lucrative opportunity and incidentally make a lot of people very happy contact Zhauns on +27 (0)21 447 3665, email or check out their website at SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

BOOK REVIEWS Get up to speed with online marketing This straightforward, step-by-step guide to online marketing shows you affordable and effective ways to: create a website, get found on Google and get your email marketing right; create blogs, podcasts, video and images; and promote your business with social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It helps you plan your online marketing, manage the workload and measure your results. Get up to speed with online marketing, and start growing your business today! Author: Jon Reed Price: R189.90 Available at CNA stores nationwide.

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism

Dip into this witty, iconoclastic and uncommonly commonsensical guide to the follies of economics, and, among many other things, you will learn that free market policies rarely make poor countries richer; global companies without national roots belong in the realm of myth; the US does not have the highest living standards in the world; the washing machine changed the world more than the internet; more education does not of itself make countries richer; financial markets need to become less, not more efficient; and – perhaps most shocking to Chang’s colleagues – good economic policy does not require good economists. Each of Chang’s 23 propositions may seem counterintuitive, even contrarian. But every one of them has a basis in fact and logic, and taken together they present a new view of capitalism. Author: Ha – joon Chang Price: R130.95 Available from:


This is the story of the biggest and fastest-growing social network in Africa. A network that took shape in the townships of the Western Cape and has grown to be part of the lives of more than 50 million users in 120 countries, sending more than 23 billion messages a month. This is the story of Mxit. A cultural force, a community of millions, with its own economy, its own infrastructure, its own language and its own traditions. This is the story of Mobinomics, the new economy of mobile, and how it is connecting people and changing lives. Read it and learn. Read it and understand. Read it and be moved by the power of mobile. Author: Alan Knott-Craig Junior & Gus Silber Price: R185.00 Available from:

What to do when you want to give up

What do you do when you just want to give up? Allon Raiz has been there, and has guided countless other entrepreneurs through the ultimate challenge of being an entrepreneur. Using the case study of a real business, Raiz takes us from where we left off in his first book, Lose the Business Plan: What they don’t teach you about being an entrepreneur (which deals with starting a new business) and shows us how to assess whether your business can weather the challenges that face so many small businesses. Author: Allon Raiz with Trevor Waller. Price: R136.00 Available from:

Use Google+ for your Business Whilst getting off to a slow start, Google+ is showing an increased user base and considering the maturity of Google’s own social media network when compared to Twitter and Facebook, growth is impressive. If you are planning on using Google+ for business here are 5 tips to help get you started. 1. Google Places is now Google+ Local Google Places was a service added by Google to allow local businesses to create listings for themselves in search results, whether they had a website or not. If your business was previously listed on Google Places you would have been automatically upgraded to a Google+ Local listing. This move has added a much more social aspect and enhances features such as reviews and recommendations. All businesses, specifically those targeting their local market should be listed on Google+ Local.

2. Add Links and Contact Information Google+ for business allows you to add many links as well as detailed contact information to your profile. Take the time to add as much as you can, this will make it easier for people to find your business in search. If you are selling from your business website, having links will help people find your online store more simply when browsing Google+. 3. Encourage Employees to Participate If you have employees that make use of Google services, encourage them to create a Google+ profile for themselves and participate. This will help to boost the social media presence of your brand online as well as help employees learn social media for business and keep upto-date with your business Google+ page at the same time. 4. Integrate Google+ Google+ allows many options for integration and if your business has a Google+ profile then


make people aware of it using the Google+ button on your website and by sharing your company blog posts, news and other media using the platform. Building relationships with customers and other businesses will enhance your presence on Google+ and increase your reach. 5. Do Some Reading There are a huge number of resources available for free on the internet that will help teach you how to improve your Google+ profile to better serve your business online. Once you have setup a profile and are using it, spend a little time doing some reading and optimise your Google+ profile to attract potential new customers. Ready to get started? Visit Google+ for Business at



Angel investors to the rescue In the US alone, the average internal rate of return on investment funding from angel funding is 29%, assuming diversification and time frames of five to seven years.


lthough South Africa is still a few years behind the US and Europe, it probably has the most developed angel investor culture in Africa with the total value of known local deals for start-up striking about R100m over the past 10 years. This is according to Mike Lebus founder of Angel Investment Network. The highest reflected growth of investment has been in the mobile app sector with a boom reflected inthe enterprises that create applications that help Africans make money and build community.Last year alone investment company World of Avatar- its offices in Stellenbosch - made waves with its numerous investments in technology companies ARC Telecoms and The Daily Maverick. Other World of Avatar investments included a post-production company with close links to Vodacom and a small business in the mobile space. Founded in April 2010, World of Avatar signed an agreement to acquire 90 percent of Stellenbosch based MXit for an undisclosed amount. This was in September last year. Given such high returns in such a short timeframe and that large financing institutions are reluctant to back start-up businesses, it’s no wonder that there is an emerging trend of angel investment networks in South Africa - networks that provide funding for companies in the early stages of development that need R1m to R10m in seed capital. While angel investors are generally required to invest a minimum of R300 000 in funds a year, the idea is that the network’s individuals collectively invest to get businesses going and eventually make a profit by selling their holdings within three to five years. The result has been the revolutionisation of the local entrepreneurial market particularly the mobile app sector. Mike Lebus, founder of Angel Investment Network ( - with 30 000 registered investors worldwide - has set a record with 2000 registered angel investors on his South African network. At the start of 2010 his network, which was receiving around 150 monthly requests for angel investors now has just about tripled that monthly figure. Angelbub ( – founded in September last year by former InVenfin CEO Brett Commaille, has already clinched 15 angel investors. Currently the network is on track to reaching its target of 30 and to concluding three deals in its first year. The rate at which angel investors are growing shows that entrepreneurship – a key ingredient in economic growth - is definitely on the up in South Africa.


As more South Africans are attracted to the high returns of being angel investors, prospective investors are warned, however, to be prudent in choosing this portfolio as an investment model. They are cautioned that such investments over the short term are a high risk because there are businesses that will fail within a year or two. The mobile app sector is particularly vulnerable. This is according to Eric Edelstein founder of Evly. com - a leading South African tech start up that is successfully navigating the crowdsourcing and social media space. “Very few of the success stories that you read about are overnight successes, even if they appear to be. As an example, Rovio launched many games - none of which were that successful – before they became an overnight success with “Angry Birds”,” said Eric Edelstein, founder of Edestein. “Having said that it has become far less expensive to launch a tech business than it was just a few years back, but the competition has also become far more intense. You either need to have a brilliant product that spreads virally so you don’t need to market it, or you need to be clever with your marketing. Most successful businesses have people with both these skill-sets.”

Before signing on the dotted line…..

Be aware that when investing in a start-up that more fail than succeed. It is also quite possible that your initial investmentmight not be sufficient to “launch” the company adequately and that you may have to inject more money than originally anticipated into the business to make it successful. If following serious consideration you, as a prospective angel investor, are prepared to help others reach great heights as part of a balanced investment portfolio, then make sure you’ve answered the following questions for yourself: • What capital are you looking at investing? Angel investors generally invest between R100 000 and R250 000 at a time. • What is the timeline you’re looking at with regards to your investment? • Are you investing for the long haul, earning dividends, SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

• • • •

or are you looking for a fast turnover on your investment and want the business you’re investing in to sell within a few years? What is your attitude towards business growth? How risk-averse are you? What is your history with former similar investments? Will you bring anything else to the table other than funds? Mentorship, expertise, time, knowledge?

Insist on hearing the prospective business owner’s pitch on the business venture. Ensure that he has: • Set out clear objectives and is clear about the problem the business is going to solve • Done his research into the potential market size and who his competitors are • Clearly shown that the business you’re thinking of investing in will have a positive cash-flow in a reasonable period of time with potential for a great return on your investment and that it has the potential for expansion into sustainable and growing markets • Proven his credibility by getting endorsements from his network, especially those who have witnessed his previous success • Shown how he will leverage potential businesses and partnerships with which he might have synergy and that he has a strategy to tapping into his client base and extended networks at a marginal and minimum cost • Shown how you will share in the dividend and profit upside • Protected his intellectual property by having gotten necessary patents and trademarks • Identified from the start how he will put your capital to work • Planned a prototype Before committing your signature to a contract ensure that: • The firm you intend investing in matches your mission and ethos • The management team is experienced and has proven itself – look to invest in a good team!

• • •

• • •

You can negotiate to have your own team members on the board of directors to further protect your investment The business you’re thinking of investing in has a solid, feasible exit option from your investment such as on selling or listing on an exchange You have clarity on what kind of partner you are going to be. Are you going to be actively involved in the business, simply a silent partner or will you be collecting a dividend cheque? It has set out how disagreements will be resolved, and who will make the ultimate call on what You know what your voting rights will be You can negotiate if necessary to invest capital with incremental monthly payments if this is your preferred type of investment

If you’re unclear about something, ask questions and feel free to add your suggestions to the business proposal. Take your time to make your decision. Be prepared to walk away from an opportunity if it doesn’t feel right – there will be other opportunities. Once all of these issues have been discussed, commit your agreement to paper in a partnership or shareholders’ agreement. This will ensure there are no misunderstandings or unpleasant disagreements in future. Insist on having a proper reporting meeting once a month. Remember to be an angel investor you will need to have a resilient mind frame because as mentioned there are businesses that will fail within a year or two, while successful businesses will take some time to yield returns. Nevertheless, while risky, the angel investment model is continuing to boom in South Africa, and the mobile app industry has become the new lucrative playground for the rich. Judging by the R100m total value of known deals struck in SA in 10 years, the promise of hitting a jackpot return is worth both the wait – it seems - and its weight in gold.

Getting the funding for your tech start-up 4Di Capital is an independent early-stage technology venture capital firm based in South Africa’s “Silicon Cape”. Using tried and tested international venture capital best practices, adapted for local use, 4Di Capital believes in agile entrepreneur-friendly finance without frillsl. 4Di Capital Early-Stage Technology Fund 1 targets start-up investment opportunities with high growth potential at the seed- and early-stages in the mobile, enterprise software and web sectors. “We have a few things that we look at, but the most important is probably the team,” said Justin Stanford, a founding partner at 4Di Capital. “Beyond that we look for founder teams with hungry passion, commitment, domain expertise and deep insights into the large market problems they wish to solve with their technology solutions.” SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

4Di Capital provides start-ups venture capital ranging from R500 000 to R3-million and will invest in return for a 15% to 30% share of the business. “Our fund has up to 12 years’ lifetime, so we have a fair amount of flexibility with time. We will try to sell at the optimum point that generates the most value return for our investors,” said Stanford. 4Di will exit the start-up when the company is sold or listed on a stock exchange. Tech start-ups can try other venture capital firms such as eVentures Africa AND HBD, an investment group founded by tech entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.



Starting a business: How can B-BBEE help me? How do I create a scorecard, what about fronting? By KEITH LEVENSTEIN, CEO of EconoBEE – a B-BBEE advisory firm, comments on the lack of understanding of B-BBEE at the grassroots level and how small start-ups and existing SMEs can benefit from the B-BBEE Act.


n South Africa, although B-BBEE (abbreviated to BEE), as a policy is not legally enforced, the need for businesses to comply with BEE requirements is becoming a major determinant in getting or losing business.

assist small businesses financially without them getting anything in return. Thus an opportunity exists for new businesses to use their good BEE status when applying for financial or other forms of assistance to help them grow.

The B-BBEE Codes are intended to make it easy for new and small businesses to comply. Businesses with an annual turnover of less than R5million (depending on industry) or startups are defined as EMEs or Exempt Micro Enterprises and are automatically allocated a very good score of BEE level 4 (if they are majority White owned) or level 3 if they are majority Black owned. They will need to prove their turnover figures or new business status and an auditor’s letter or similar certificate from a verification agency is acceptable.

B-BBEE for Black Businesses In a recently published business article the author commented that while large corporates generally have a good understanding of B-BBEE, people in township and rural areas have very little understanding of B-BBEE issues and how government’s B-BBEE policies can actually assist them when engaging in business.

A level 4 or level 3 EME should be able to “open doors” by using its BEE status. In addition, Government tenders are awarded by taking into account the BEE compliance of the tender applicant. Although having proof of BEE status is no guarantee that the company will win business, it enhances the chances over those companies without. How can a small business take advantage of BEE? 1) Procurement To best answer this, it is necessary to explain how B-BBEE works: BEE is measured by means of a points system and companies can earn points via a variety of activities such as ownership equity, management control, employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement, enterprise development and socio-economic development. When dealing with potential suppliers, preferential procurement comes into play. Companies earn points on their own BEE preferential procurement scorecards by purchasing from companies that are BEE compliant.The level of compliancy of their supplier can make a big difference to the


scorecard. In addition, large companies earn additional points by purchasing from EMEs. Large companies therefore look for suitable EMEs with a formal auditor’s certificate stating they are level 4 or level 3. A small level 3 or 4 business should always be aware that their larger customers are trying to improve their own score. New businesses should take a proactive approach and market themselves using their BEE status. This can be achieved by including the BEE level on all or some of their marketing material such as receipts, invoices and letterheads. We even suggest that EMEs draft a BEE statement to their potential customers clearly explaining the BEE benefits their customers will gain via preferential procurement by supporting them. 2) Enterprise Development Certain businesses can qualify for Enterprise Development support (ED). ED is worth 15 points to large businesses, who are always on the lookout for ED beneficiaries. If your business is an ED beneficiary then you can source additional support in the form of loans, grants, financing, mentorship and extended credit terms. An ED beneficiary is one that needs assistance to become sustainable and financially viable, and is at least 25,1% black owned, but ideally more than 50% black owned. Those companies that qualify as an ED Beneficiary need to inform their customers or suppliers of their status in order to potentially receive benefits. In the current economic environment corporates will likely be reluctant to

BEE is a government economic policy that encourages economic growth and redresses the inequalities inherent in the economy. As a policy, it has the broad intention of improving all our lives and the economy. It is a macro-economic policy, not a micro-economic policy, aimed at assisting a specific person. What some business people want to see is a direct link between, for example, being black and business flowing their way. B-BBEE is not a recipe for everyone to become hugely successful. However it does contain policies that encourage South African businesses and government to support certain businesses over others. The seven elements that go into building up the BEE scorecard. 1) Ownership: This refers to the ownership of the organisation. The BEE codes encourage black ownership of up to 25%, and especially favour black women. The codes award extra points for fulfilling the sale of the shares and paying for them in full. 2) Management: The codes encourage the appointment of black directors, especially black women. 3) Employment equity: This refers to all other employees in the organisation, and has no real impact on a


approved by IRBA. Many unscrupulous unaccredited agencies offer to produce genuine looking certificates without following any verification procedures. Often companies will call in these con artists because they know they will not perform verification checks.

black-owned company that wishes to go into business. 4) Skills development: This refers to training of existing staff and any business that specialises in training of staff could raise their BEE status due to the extra emphasis placed by the codes on skills development. 5) Preferential procurement: This refers to all spend by companies on procurement of goods and services. Businesses earn points by purchasing from other businesses that have a good BEE score. It must be noted that blackowned business do not necessarily earn more points than say white-owned business, or that black-owned businesses are exempt from all forms of BEE. The requirement to produce a scorecard only kicks-in once turnover exceeds R5-million per annum. So, being a blackowned start-up business will benefit your customer’s own procurement score substantially. In addition, the procurement calculation offers additional points to companies that purchases from black owned (50%), and especially black women-owned (30%) businesses. 6) Enterprise Development This BEE element encourages large companies to spend 3% of their net profit after tax supporting small black-owned businesses. This is closely aligned with element 5 – Procurement. Many blackowned businesses have benefited by the support of larger businesses that have assisted them in various ways – cash grants, discounts on products purchased, loans and loans with preferential terms, shorter payment periods to suppliers, coaching and mentoring, professional services provided, even encouraging investments in the smaller black-owned business. 7) Social economic development This BEE element refers to contributions towards socio economic development and has no direct benefit to a blackowned business. B-BBEE Fraud and Fronting Fraud and fronting are quite prevalent in the B-BBEE environment. The expectation initially was that it would be self-regulating, but the B-BBEE act and codes do not make sufficient allowance for legal regulation. Anyone who issues an invalid B-BBEE certificate or misrepresents their B-BEE position would be guilty of fronting. The dti and National Treasury have threatened to create a blacklist of such

companies, but this has not worked to any great extent. There is no doubt that B-BBEE fronting is fraud. A company that deliberately issues an incorrect BEE status can be charged with fraud, or even in terms of the corruption act, if they intended to use their BEE certificate in an illegal manner to make profits. If a BEE certificate is presented to a company, it is usually accepted without question. In some cases companies check the information, and may reject the certificate. Few however bother to investigate and report this to the dti. The proposed B-BBEE Amendment Bill, expected to be passed in parliament shortly, does indeed criminalise fronting. The bill establishes the office of a B-BBEE Commissioner who is empowered to investigate and prosecute offenders. Types of fronting - Companies are guilty of many types of fronting: Ownership: Shares are sold/given to a black partner who is unaware of their duties/rights or even that they are shareholders. In some cases the black partner has been forced to sign a sale agreement to enable the company to “take back” the shares when they wish. General misrepresentation: Companies give incorrect information to the verification agency about turnover, management and employees. Exempt Micro Enterprise (EME) fraud: An EME is one that has a turnover of less than R5-million (depending on industry) and is automatically allocated level 4. Many companies deliberately understate their turnover in order to qualify as an EME. Qualifying small enterprise fraud (QSE): A QSE is one that has a turnover of between R5-million and R35-million (depending on industry). Companies use the same fraudulent mechanism as for EMEs above. Unaccredited verification agencies: A certificate is only valid if produced by an accredited verification agency. Agencies are accredited by SANAS or


Responsibility to report Fronting The dti Code obligates companies and verification agencies to report fronting. Reporting is towards SANAS (who do try to take action where the offense is related to SANAS), IRBA (who are new in the arena and tend to take less action) , the sector councils (who seem to feel they have little power to investigate or take action), and the dti (who also feels that they have too little power). The reality is that the current B-BBEE act requires that government “take into account and where possible apply” a BEE certificate when awarding tenders, concessions, licenses or similar activities. For more information on benefitting from the BEE Act as a an SMME or SME contact EconoBEE on (011) 483 1190 or

About EconoBEE BEE is a complex business task which consumes a considerable amount of time and resources. It needs a strategy planned with commercial logic, which is then properly implemented and monitored in a way that makes complete business sense. Choosing the appropriate competitive B-BBEE strategy is a sophisticated endeavor requiring knowledge and familiarity with the minute intricacies of the B-BBEE Act and Codes of Good practice. The lack of expertise in many companies countrywide hampers the successful implementation of the B-BBEE Codes in their operations. Issued by: Sha-Izwe/CharlesSmithAssoc On behalf of Econo BEE

FURTHER INFORMATION: Charles Smith TEL: (011) 781-6190 FAX: (011) 326-4760 Email: OR At Econo BEE: Keith Levenstein TEL: (011) 483-1190 FAX: (011) 483-1195 Email :


How 3D printing will change the world Transformative technologies are the stuff of history. The steam engine, the light bulb, atomic energy, the microchip, to name a few, each changed our world. Such breakthroughs often take decades from initial invention to changing the way we do things and their potential impact can be nearly unimaginable early in the process.


t is doubtful that even Tim Berners-Lee in his wildest dreams imagined what the World Wide Web would do to our global “operating system” when he invented it 20 years ago. Now another new technology is gaining traction that may change the world. 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a revolutionary emerging technology that could up-end the last two centuries of approaches to design and manufacturing with profound geopolitical, economic, social, demographic, environmental, and security implications.

If you missed the internet dot com boom then you had better not miss this one. So what is AM or 3D printing. AM builds products layer-by-layer, additively rather than by subtracting material from a larger piece of material like cutting out a landing gear from a block of titanium-that is, “subtractive” manufacturing. This seemingly small distinction adding rather than subtracting means everything. So what will the impact of this mean on industrial processes we have taken for granted? • Assembly lines and supply chains can be reduced or eliminated for many products. The final product or large pieces of a final product like a car can be produced by AM in one process unlike conventional manufacturing in which hundreds or thousands of parts are assembled. Those parts are often shipped from dozens of factories from around the world, factories which may have in turn assembled their parts from parts supplied by other factories. • Designs, not products, would move around the world as digital files to be printed anywhere by any printer that can meet the design parameters. The internet first eliminated distance as a factor in moving information and AM eliminates it for the material world. • Products could be printed on demand without the need to build-up inventories of new products and spare parts. • A given manufacturing facility would be capable of printing a huge range of types of products without additional cost. • Production and distribution of material products could begin to be de-globalized as production is brought closer to the consumer.


• Manufacturing could be pulled away from “manufacturing platforms” like China back to the countries where the products are consumed, reducing global economic imbalances as export countries’ surpluses are reduced and importing countries’ reliance on imports shrink. • The carbon footprint of manufacturing and transport as well as overall energy use in manufacturing could be reduced substantially and thus global “resource productivity” greatly enhanced and carbon emissions reduced. • Reduced need for labour in manufacturing could be politically destabilizing in some economies while others, especially aging societies, might benefit from the ability to produce more goods with fewer people while reducing reliance on imports. • The United States, the current leader in AM technology, could experience a renaissance in innovation, design, IP (Intellectual Property) exports, and manufacturing, enhancing its relative economic strength and geopolitical influence. Possible Fundamental Shift in the Global Economy The widespread use of AM could profoundly affect the global economy. Production and distribution of material products could begin to be de-globalized with manufacturing of many goods closer to the consumer and on-demand. This localization of production could potentially reduce global economic imbalances as export countries’ surpluses are reduced and importing countries’ reliance on imports shrink with a new form of “import substitution” taking hold. AM will create new industries and professions. Production of printers of all kinds and sophistication is likely to be a new industry with a growing customer base from individual home printers to creation of manufacturing centres, printers in local stores, and government agencies. The shift in global manufacturing to AM processes could potentially involve trillions of dollars in business over the coming decades, including the value of products produced, the value of printers and supplies, and the value of professional services, including product engineering and design and lawyer fees earned in intellectual property (IP) protection and dispute settlements. Protection of AM IP will likely be a challenge as designs for products potentially can be widely disseminated and identical products produced by compatible printers replicating the


problem with software piracy. Moreover, product design for printing could be a new industry following the pattern of development of the software industry over the last several decades as enthusiastic young engineers and entrepreneurs look to “change the world� and make their fortunes by seizing the potential of this new industry. Finally, production and distribution of printer cartridges of all sizes with a wide variety of materials will also likely be a growing industry and perhaps a major source of profits as it has been in the 2D printing world for Hewlett-Packard and other printer makers. The developing world could be a major beneficiary of AM production, but also a loser in manufacturing jobs for export industries. Since AM allows products to be designed and printed that are more appropriate for local consumption with local materials, including recycled materials, the developing world could reduce reliance on expensive imports as well as make its own, more appropriate products and reap the profits from this production. But there would also likely be a significant shift in work force requirements, especially a significant reduction in manufacturing and associated jobs, aging societies especially in the developed world and for imported products as production. This could substantially increase overall productivity of these societies which would otherwise fall as the ratio of employed to retired shifted toward fewer workers to support more elderly. Some of the health benefits from AM might also lower the cost of health care for the elderly which along with pensions, is expected to be a major drag on economic growth in coming decades. The trend toward increasing competition for resources and even a zero-sum global economy could be slowed or reversed. In addition, international efforts to address environmental challenges, especially climate change, could receive a boost as the cost to take ameliorative or mitigating actions could be reduced.

The impact of AM on manufacturing, the environment, the global economy and geopolitics is likely to occur gradually over several decades. This has been the case with the internet and personal computers. As noted, the impact of AM could go beyond transforming the manufacturing process and rebalancing the global economy, especially if it contributed to changing the trajectories of some of the most worrisome trends in environmental degradation, resource scarcity and climate change. Perhaps this could be the most important geopolitical impact of additive manufacturing. The future AM is on track to move beyond a mere emerging technology into a truly transformative technology.The ability to locally print almost any designable object would have strong repercussions across our society. It is thus crucial that technologists and policy makers begin a significant dialogue in anticipation of these challenges to our current global economic status quo. While the future is certainly hard to predict, prescience and advanced planning are necessary in preparation for the disruptive technology of Additive Manufacturing.

Benefits of 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) • Reduces material waste and scrap • Limits the amount of energy used • More efficient use of raw materials • Minimal harmful (e.g., etching) chemicals needed • Environmentally friendly product designs possible • Changes to design streamlined • Carbon footprint of a given product reduced (via reduced waste and need for global shipping). How 3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) will change industry for ever Localization of economies through AM could: • Reduce global economic imbalances • Use local materials that are more appropriate for local consumption, including recycled materials • Force relative decline in powerhouse production nations such as China, Japan and Germany that have built their prosperity and political power on export-led growth. Innovation-based Manufacturing through AM could: • Shift work-force requirements, with likely reduction in traditional manufacturing jobs • Change economic power centres’ toward leaders in design and production of AM systems and in design of products to be printed • Fuel a renaissance in innovation, design, IP exports, and manufacturing in the U.S., Europe and OECD countries • Drive developing countries more rapidly toward becoming developed and less dependent on others • Be a $5.2 billion market by 2020. 3D labs in Cape Town have a range of 3Dprinters from DIY kits to fully assembled machines which are used by: • Design educators to teach design concepts by allowing students to turn their ideas quickly into real objects • Electronic and software educators to teach advanced robotics and machine automation • Engineers, Designers, Architects in their daily work • Hobby engineers to have fun as they explore additive manufacturing technologies • Inventors to quickly test idea and win sales • Entrepreneurs who buy our kits to build and sell 3D printers for profit in their neighbourhood • Parents as Xmas and Birthday gifts For more information email




The silk connection Naturalist and conservationist Sue Godding has come a long way since she first founded her own company in 2002. Here she speaks to KATJA HAMILTON about Godding&Godding and what drives sales at the end of the day.


nspired by nature’s bounty Sue Godding’s enterprise, formerly known as Silk Collections, has evolved from a small, family-run silk farm – specializing in fine silk linen and silk products – to an international company, well known and respected for its original silk and fragrances of Africa, luxurious skin care products, the finest bedding and bed clothes – and gifts for those who enjoy a truly sophisticated lifestyle. “Its sublime skin-care products are made with pure silk, and African flower and plant essences, among them aloe, marula, fynbos and aloe. Godding&Godding’s flagship product, however, remains its silk bedding range which is hugely popular because it’s completely hypoallergenic, 100% natural and offers clients a completely enhanced sleep experience,” said Sue. Godding&Godding comprises four stores. There is the showroom, factory and shop in Limpopo’s Hoedspruit where all the products are manufactured. There is an additional smaller retail outlet in Hoedspruit and one at Perries Bridge in Hazyview, Mpumalanga. More recently a store was opened in Gabarone, Botswana. Godding&Godding also has a thriving online store. Of the Godding&Godding business suite, it is the showroom and open factory that has proved the most popular with more than 1000 international and local visitors passing through these facilities a month - and even more over the holiday season. Visitors get to see how the imported cocoons are worked as a raw material, how the silk threads are stretched out and made into batting for bedding and - on the skincare side - how the silk - comprising 18 amino acids - is hydrolyzed, carefully ground into a fine soluble powder and blended into skincare products that nourish the skin. Visitors also get to interact with the team of 25 ladies. Product education and client-staff interaction are keys to the success of the business, says Sue. “This personal touch is a huge selling point and is all the more accentuated because we can custommake a duvet within two to three hours according to specific sizing requirements (as bedding sizes differ from country to country). Clients can have lunch in the restaurant or garden and we’ll have a duvet made up for them to take home when they’re


finished, or we’ll deliver it to their home or safari lodge later in the day. Customers love the fact that they’ve had something made especially for them by the women here. In a world which is fast paced and where we can so easily feel neglected - they are made to feel special.” But for Sue, her greatest pride lies in the fact that she is employing and empowering a team of ladies who are able to provide for and sustain their families. “That’s why I’d never consider relocating to Johannesburg, although it would be much more convenient. For me, this area needs employment and I have such a lovely team. They get so proud when they know something they’ve made is going to Europe or America, or when they get an export order from Seychelles or Germany. This is not an area where I would want to compromise because I desperately want to stay here and make it work.” And making it work, Sue is, having relaunched her new Godding&Godding brand in January. In the lead-up to this, she consolidated her three silk companies, repackaged her merchandise and revamped her store interiors and merchandise packaging. This has given Godding&Godding the impetus it needed through tough economic times. “The product has always been good, but its dressing didn’t do it justice. Now it looks fantastic on the shelf,” said Sue “The brand has got a new energy. We’re going forward with one force and something that we can really believe in and of which we can be proud.” In the near future, Sue says there is the possibility that the company may set up a Godding&Godding store in Johannesburg and Cape Town with the right partners. “We’re also busy talking to people in Holland and Reunion Continued on page 57



A healthy business


ealth has become one of the hot button issues of the twenty first century, these days you only have to read a headline to hear that you’re getting too little of something or too much of something else. We all want to ensure that we get the right type of nutrition and Vemma offers you the chance to tap into the growing health market. Vemma offers a whole range of nutritional supplements and products designed to counter act the low level of nutrition that has become all to common in the modern diet and to help people to achieve their goal of adopting a healthier lifestyle. Vemma might also just be your chance to get involved in the health industry by making direct or online sales and help you break out of the eight to five rut.

that can virtually double every month if you understand the leverage abilities available through MLM.”

Vemma was Founded by BK Boreyko in Phoenix, Arizona back in 1994. In Mr. Boreyko’s own words, he wants, “To make a positive difference with you and your family.” Mr. Boreyko has personal experience of how poor health can affect an individual’s life and the lives of those around them, having lost both his parents to cancer and heart disease.

Of course if you want to reach further afield Vemma lets you use the internet as your business platform and gives you access to customers in about fifty countries. The company provides visual training manuals both on line and in hard copy. Vemma has won several International awards like the Stevie Award in 2011. The latest award was for its innovative Mobile App developments and its Android integrations for note pads. Though the product may be new to south Africa it has received endorsements from international figures, Dr Oz, for instance recommends Vemma as his first choice in energy drinks.

It was this loss that spurred him on to set up Vemma, in a bid to ensure that people could avoid making the nutritional mistakes that contributed to his own family’s suffering. Since the company’s inception its guiding principle has been that it is a ‘people helping people business’. Vemma is an International licensed operation that allows for ownership in new countries. Africa is run and operated by Elite Team Inc and Vemma began trading in South Africa just under two years ago. The company has brought its principles and multi-level marketing model with it and the company has been able to boast a growth of eleven and a half percent in sales in the last twelve months. There’s still a long way to go though when it comes to raising awareness and making the product available to the South African public, which means that there remains a lot of room for growth, that might be where you come in.

So that’s the backdrop but what’s the bottom line? Well with more and more people worrying about their family’s health and many customers still unaware of Vemma’s existence we are talking about your chance to sell an internationally proven product in a new and steadily growing market. One only needs to look to the fact that Sekunjalo Health Care, one of South Africa’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, have noticed a growth of more than eight hundred percent in the self medication market over the last five years, to know that South African’s are following the world’s growing health trend.

There you have it then, if you think that you have what it takes to sell people their own good health and let’s face it that’s a concept that practically sells itself then this might be the business opportunity for you. I’ll let Mr. Gous sum this one up, “If you are adventurous, love people and enjoy selling yourself, Vemma will be a super company to make a career off. The leaders in Vemma are people that have mastered great skills on their way to earn millions every year from merely helping others to be successful. You too can give it a try! You can only become healthier and a better person in doing so.”

To start your Vemma Business will cost you as little as R678.00, with no annual license fees. Vemma also offers you a product money back guarantee so if you’re not entirely satisfied that doesn’t mean that you will have lost all of your investment. As with many sales opportunities your success is only really limited by your own ingenuity and how much you are prepared to commit, as Danté Gous, owner at Vemma puts it, “The more you put into it the more you will get out.” He adds, “The key to success in today’s challenging business world is to find an opportunity that will grant you the ability to increase your income whilst working less hours every day. Multi-level marketing opportunities like Vemma are the only business systems in the world that gives one the chance to grow an income SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2


Do your Social Media Marketing in just 25 minutes a day! Whilst there is much buzz about ‘social media’ and many businesses have integrated it into their business websites and online presence, it can become overwhelming trying to maintain. Setting a routine for keeping your social media presence(s) will help ensure your business reflects positively online. It also helps you to focus on more important aspects of your business. Here we cover the most popular social media platforms and how to divide your time between them.

Facebook: 5 minutes

Check your Facebook page and respond to any comments or questions, that may be there. If you find any links or other posts on your page do not reflect positively, remove these and address these via email, as opposed to your page. Once done, try and post something relevant and interesting, at least one post a day, to keep your page active and draw interest.

Twitter: 5 minutes

Search for news relevant to your industry using a free tool such as Google News. Tweet a relevant article and mark a couple more to tweet during the course of the day, either manually or using software or services that allow you to schedule tweets.


Pinterest: 5 minutes

During the course of your day on the internet, any images that are relevant to your brand or industry and you find inspirational, pin to your boards on Pinterest. Try and add relevant details so they can be found using searches or alternatively upload photos or other business media.

Blog Comments: 5 minutes

Keeping track of, reading and commenting on popular blogs related to your business sector can help to establish and build your brand online. Using RSS feeds makes finding interesting posts easier though be sure to read the blog post and ensure your comment relates to the topic so both the author and other readers will find it interesting. Also take the time to use either your business login with links or your website address when commenting as this provides a useful link back to your business and helps to build interest and visitors.

Reply: 5 minutes

During the course of the day you may receive replies to your posts, mentions or re-tweets. Take the time to reply to each and thank the user or customer and add some interest to your reply. This helps to build social media interaction as well as customer loyalty and trust on these platforms. Whilst this is not a set time frame, keeping a schedule for your social media activities helps to make them more efficient and productive. Actively maintaining your social media presence will, in the long term, definitely benefit your business and enhance your online presence. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2


Women first C

onni – the leading re-usable continence brand in Australia – has been launched in South Africa. The management of Conni Australia (Galway trading) decidedto launch Conni in Africa this year, by appointing Good Hope Technologies as the exclusive distributor for the continent.There are a limited number of area opportunities left waiting to be snapped up. “We are sensitive about continence and deliver innovative products to meet the changing needs of our valued customers,” said Marilyn Michau founder of Conni-Africa, who stressed thatConniarea-distributor opportunities areavailable exclusively for women. She said that women’s inherent ability to intuit the needs of clients was a perfect match for Conni’s distributorship and advisory model which went hand in hand with the organisation’s consultative selling process. A definitive move away from the traditional acrossthe-counter selling approach –Conni aims for consultants to not only demonstrate the application of Conni’s range of products, but to build a rapport with clients - many of whom are looking for a trusted confidante. Women fit this profile perfectly. More importantly, Marilyn added that women looking to work from home would also be able to capitalize on Conni’s great business opportunity that encourages nesting– a sales approach that persuades sales consultants to concentrate on selling in their immediate surroundings and to entrench themselves in their communities. “The advantage of nesting is that the travel costs of distributors and advisors are significantly lowered which ensures that not only are customers getting their products at the lowest prices, but that they are able to visit their clients more frequently. This ensures they are immediately made aware of changes in their client’s situation and are able to source the best solution to address their needs. Their reliability and consistency with clients will inevitably boost sales,” she said. For more information on how to become a Conni area distributor or advisor see their article on page 20. Continued from page 52

and are looking to grow the brand internationally. This is what we considered when we revamped our company’s design and look. We wanted a brand that was uniquely African but that could hold its own in New York, for example.” Sue does add one precaution, however: she intends keeping the number of Godding&Godding stores rolled out low. “The brand is quite selective and the product unique and this, coupled with online selling, can work really well for us.” For inquiries contact Sue at or visit SUE’S QUICK TIPS FOR SUCCESS:

• Believe in your product. You’ve got to believe in what you’re making, what you’re selling, what you’re doing. • Employ the right staff. If you’ve got the right staff working for you they will help look after your company. • Boost your marketing spend. Exposure in the market is essential. • Ask for help. It’s really hard to be able to do everything yourself so you’ve got to realise when you have a weakness and to draw on the right person who could bring that component as a strength to your business. Don’t try and do everything yourself because very few of us are Superwoman or Superman. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

Simplea Candles L

ea Kassner is the owner of a business unlike any other you have encountered before, Simplea Candles makes candles, but not just any ordinary candles. Simplea Candles manufacture a range of stunning colour changing candles that cycle through a rainbow of hues when alight and make exceptional centre pieces at parties and events as well as being interesting gifts. As a women in business, Lea and Simplea Candles are going from strength-to-strength and there is plenty of opportunity for the business in the future. Based in Kya Sands in Johannesburg, with a new branch opening in Durban in September this year as well as agent distribution in Cape Town, Simplea Candles are slowly expanding the business. Lea bought the business from the owner, after working parttime to supplement her income selling Simplea Candles, and has been in business for 3 years. Simplea Candles currently employs 7 people as well as temps to keep up during the busier October to December Christmas season. Whilst there is a Simplea Candles website Lea maintains that “Word of mouth is by far my best form of advertising!” with many customers coming back after receiving the candles as gifts from friends, colleagues and relatives. Though the range of candles on offer at Simplea is far more pleasing than any normal off the shelf option, the pricing remains competitive. Online ordering has recently been added to the website and couriers deliver orders countrywide, though wholesale pricing may differ. Simplea Candles are also available at various outlets, Crafters Market Stores in Clearwater Mall, The Glen Shopping Centre, Mall @ Carnival and Woodlands Mall, Kollonade and Atterbury Mall. “Also a retail shop at Heritage Market in Hillcrest – opening 1st September!,”says Lea. The business markets itself at many events and shows and often when people have seen the candles they seek out Simplea Candles specifically. Lots of potential exists for the business in South Africa as many people have not encountered the candles before and the unique candles almost sell themselves. Lea still has to go into the office for an 8 hour day and though the candles may be easy to sell, according to Lea “all the other stuff that make it hard – getting the right computer systems in for stock control – knowing everything from importing to books to staff – it can be quite challenging and intimidating most of the time for me!”. It has taken about 3 years for Lea Kassner to recover her R100,000 investment and is thinking of expanding though says, “its hard as I like to control and to give it to someone else is very hard for my personality!”. You can browse the range of candles on offer at Simplea Candles online at which includes small, medium and large ball candles, small and medium pillar candles as well as candles in glass jars. Simplea Candles make unforgettable gifts and are a ‘star attraction’ at events, weddings, parties or just to have at home. You can visit Simplea Candles at Trinity Shop 15a, Village Shopping Centre, Knoppiesdoring Street, Randpark Ridge which is just opposite Trinity School and can contact the Kya Sands office at (011) 708 7887 for more information and ordering.







Acutts Estate Agents

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Making work at home work

A new study reveals what people really do when they work from home. By Matthew Yglesias


igital technology – email and smartphones most of all – have vastly improved workers’ capacity to be productive outside of a traditional office. Even so, most white-collar work still happens in an office. In practice, modern communications technology is used just as much to link physical workplaces together – as at Slate, which maintains two offices, one in New York and one in D.C. – as to disperse them. One reason is that, according to a new survey of office workers conducted by Wakefield Research for the IT consulting company Citrix, most bosses are dubious about the telecommuting. Half of workers say their boss disapproves of remote working, and only 35 percent say it’s tolerated. Skeptical bosses will likely have their doubts re-enforced by the same survey, which shows that 43 percent of workers say they’ve watched TV or a movie while “working” remotely, while 35 percent have done household chores, and 28 percent have cooked dinner. Physical proximity might not be necessary for much work, but it does remain a hard-to-replace deterrent against The Price Is Right while on the clock. My experience working primarily from home for an extended period several years back was that it’s a surprisingly efficient way to drive yourself insane. The need to make petty decisions – where to work, which chair to sit in, should I even bother to get out of bed, do I need to be wearing shoes right now – became overwhelming. I’d spend completely unreasonable amounts of time wondering what to do for lunch, and while working on a book dedicated a surprising amount of energy to meeting my self-imposed daily word quota in time to catch movie matinees. But there is also a compelling case to make that working at home makes people much more efficient, because it allows workers to take care of annoying little chores while still getting their jobs done. Remote working—at least occasional remote working—can be great precisely because of the opportunity it affords to get a certain amount of non-work stuff done. It’s much faster to shop for groceries at a quarter to three than to stand in line during the after-work rush. Far too many people work similar schedules and want to eat dinner at dinnertime. My neighborhood supermarket turns into a nightmare from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday late

afternoon, another popular shopping time, is even worse, with the aisles often featuring Soviet-style shortages of key commodities. If you just start working a bit earlier (no commute, after all) and pop by the store during a lull when lines are short, you can get both more work and more shopping done in a fixed amount of time. Even better, if more people did that, then shift workers with genuinely inflexible schedules might also be spared some line pain. And telecommuting allows you to tackle household tasks that take up a lot of time but don’t actually involve much work. Watching laundry spin in your washer or dryer is perfectly compatible with productive work. But between the washing step and the drying step comes a time-sensitive “put the wet clothing in the drier” phase. Taking just a few minutes off from work to do the swap lets you get the chore done efficiently, and leaves your actual leisure time free for exciting activities like leaving the house. Many recipes, similarly, involve considerable periods of simmering or roasting during which it’s good to be around the house but you don’t actually have to do anything. In a “work-thenshop-then-cook-then-eat” paradigm, it’s challenging to eat anything that can’t be made quickly. But if you can simmer while you work, then a lot of household labor can be accomplished with minimal reduction in professional output. The fact that such practices remain officially taboo reflects how far we haven’t come as a society from the days when we expected every full-time professional to be backstopped by a fulltime homemaker. More broadly the Wakefield survey suggests that employers may be missing a low-cost way to give workers something of value. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents who haven’t worked remotely “identify at least one extremely popular perk or pleasure they’d be willing to give up in order to work from home just one day a week.” The fundamental fact of the modern economy is that no matter how much technology advances or society’s wealth improves, we don’t add more hours to the day and we still need to sleep. Under the circumstances, tactics that help people save time are not only valuable but increasingly so with every passing year. Smart firms need to find ways to acknowledge that and let their employees have enough flexibility to manage their time effectively. – The Washington Post



Work at home in the travel industry with Lekker International W

orking at home is a prospect that many people consider, though setting up a business from scratch takes time, energy and the financial capacity to make it a success. Peter Tuchten decided against setting up his business from scratch and when looking for an additional source of income through a part-time home based opportunity he found Lekker International. With the rise of the internet and social media marketing, online travel has become big business with more and more people searching for and booking flights, car hire and hotels online. Lekker International looks to capitalise on this trend and offers people the opportunity to join an associates only travel and rewards benefits program. By being an Independent Business Owner (IBO) with Lekker International Peter supplements his regular income, without the risk of losing his ‘day job’. The benefits of modern technology make operating a homebased business as a Lekker International associate easy and there is huge potential for the business model. With low initial investment costs it was ideal for his needs and there is a support structure provided that helps him with marketing the business, including a personal marketing website, PDFs, flyers and other promotional materials, online videos and resources, business management resources, a personal international MasterCard debit card and more. This all helps makes marketing the Lekker International product even easier and the business model is such that it is entirely scalable to your schedule. Lekker International can be a part-time, permanent source of additional income or, if you are willing to exert the time and energy, could potentially become a full-time career. Along with the support provided to Independent Business Owners there is also the opportunity to travel with Lekker as well as earn investments and shares in the companies global turnover should you pursue the business. Having only been working with Lekker International for a short period Peter Tuchten is very pleased with the results he is already seeing from his home-based Lekker International business and says he is always, “Finding people who are serious about wanting a better life and prepared to take the action to get involved.” With huge potential in online travel in South Africa and worldwide Peter would recommend the business model to anyone considering starting their own business, “It is definitely worth looking into”. If you would like to find out more about what working with Lekker International as an Independent Business Owner then you can contact Peter Tuchten using the details provided below.

Contact Peter Mobile. 079 897 0205 Email. Web. SA GUIDE TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES VOL 10, # 2

SA’s Shiitake bounty hunter If you’re a gastronomic fundi with a hunger for exotic mushrooms, you’ll absolutely love what entrepreneur extraordinaire, Gary Goldman has cooked up for you. KATJA HAMILTON reports.


urning a happy pastime of wild mushroom collecting into a passionate hobby, and later a thriving business, Gary Goldman of The Mushroom Factory has done wonders with his fantastic new product – shiitake logs. Embedded with shitake mushroom spawn, each log can produce mushrooms for up to five years depending on the thickness of the log – keeping foodies in stock with a fresh supply of exotic fungi right Gary Goldman at their fingertips. All they have to do is immerse the log in water for 24 hours, stand it in the shade for five days, and mushrooms start magically appearing.

The science behind the magic It begins with the cultivation of a mushroom’s mycelium – the mass of fine branching tubes that forms the main growing structure of a fungus. “If you pick a mushroom out of the ground you will see this white network of fine threads – like a spider’s web - at its base. These white threads network off the roots of a tree and can stretch for miles beneath the forest floor. The mycelium is the mushroom body while the visible structures are the fruiting body,” explains Gary.

Gary cultivates this mycelium on to wooden dowels which otherwise look like wooden plugs. He then inoculates oak logs with the dowels, which encourages the mycelium to colonise throughout the hard wood. This process primes the log to sprout mushrooms and can take anything from six to 18 months before the log is ready to sell. When first publicised three years ago, the shiitake logs shot to fame within days when Gary received orders for 150 logs. Today he has a backlog of 400 orders and is focusing his business in the bulk sale of inoculated dowels to select representatives in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal. Gary also gives weekly guided mushroom walks through Newlands Forest during the mushroom season. Continued on page 62


Continued from page 61

Sowing the first spores Gary’s passion first sprouted when he fervently took up walking as part of a healthy lifestyle. The choice was sparked by a heart attack he had eight years ago.

“I walked along Rondebosch Common with my son, who was staying at home at the time. One day we found some mushrooms which they say are mushroom hunters’ delights. We brought them home and ate them, and they were delicious. That hooked me – I wanted to find out more about them. While walking my dogs in Newlands Forest I saw mushrooms and I wondered if I could eat them or whether they were poisonous. Every mushroom looked the same,” said Gary. Keen to learn whether the mushrooms in the forest were edible he began researching mushroom identities and looking for books on mushrooms in libraries, second-hand bookstores and overseas, amassing a collection of 200 books. “One by one I started to identify mushrooms. I was very lucky when I first started going up the mountain in Cecilia Forest. The first mushroom I found was a big porcini.” Later, he supplied his bounty to cafes and top restaurants. It’s mushrooms, he says, that have helped nurse him back to health since his heart attack. “I went to the cardiologist and he said I don’t have scar tissue. I’m 100 per cent; you can’t even see I’ve had a heart attack. I still take medication for my heart, but I put it down to mushrooms because I’ve watched my diet and consumed a lot of mushrooms over the years. My hobby has become not so much about collecting mushrooms as collecting – and growing – medicine.”

From hobbyist to entrepreneur With wild mushroom hunting being seasonal, Gary was looking for a way of enjoying the delicacy of exotic mushrooms year round. “You only get wild mushrooms six weeks in a year and the rest of the time there’s nothing. Occasionally there are mushrooms but not in the same quantities. I wanted to grow exotic mushrooms from the East particularly the Shiitake and Oyster mushroom which is so good for you, and I had seen people grow them.” Three years into enjoying collecting mushrooms, Gary began experimenting with cultivating his own mushrooms on old wooden stumps. His inspiration: author, Paul Stamets who has been a dedicated mycologist for over 30 years. Over this time, Stamets has discovered and co-authored four new mushroom books and numerous papers, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. To date Gary has cultivated nine species of culinary mushrooms as well as the medicinal Reishi mushroom. Order your shiitake log for R250; call 021 686 7188. You’ll find Gary’s bounty at Funky Fungi at the Neighbour Goods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill.






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The Recession and your business


he recession is still lingering on. Many of us involved in business had hoped that the Eurodebt crisis as well as the previous Sub prime interest rate bubble of the USA and Europe would have a very limited contagion effect on us far down here in Africa. But the reality is, Africa is primarily a commodities export market and South Africa in particular, is very well wedged in the Global economy not only because of the resources it supplies, but also because of its strong financial sector that relies on global trends. The phenomena of the recession is nothing new to our world. It has happened before, and will again. But the question for us is what do we do. We are finding it increasingly difficult to meet our expenses such as wages, rent, fuel etc. It is in these lean times that one needs to ensure that their business accounts and taxes are in order. In all likelihood, most of our businesses will need a bit of help via overdrafts or medium term loans from the banks and other financial institutions. And what do they ask for first? Your management accounts and tax clearance. When times are good, we tend to focus less on these issues. Not to say that one needs not worry about their accounting and tax issues when things are good. Far from that. Every business must at all times ensure that it is properly reported on every trading period. But when things are rough, and when you need a bit of help, that’s when we tend to wake up from our comfortable slumber and start sorting things out. How does one keep their books in order? Firstly, it is extremely important that you have a strong dependable accounting system on which to record your business performance. Accounts are vital to the growth and sustainability of your business. A strong back office accounting system that has full stock, job card, banking and integrated ledger system is a must for any business. A back office accounting system is one where all your numbers are finally recorded from your front Sales office. These are the numbers that you need to study in order to know how your business is performing. On the market, you will find several accounting systems but one needs to first make sure they are integrated. If it is not, then you will not be able to produce the financial reports that allow you to analyse the performance of your business. Some packages are sold as modules. The POS is sold separately and one has to purchase a separate accounting system.. This sounds cheaper when you buy the module that you think you need. But once you start using it and you realise it doesn’t do all you want it to do, you find yourself buying more and more add ons which eventually cost you more. That is why I would recommend a full solution which has all the capabilities. I use the IQ Enterprise software. It has no


annual licence fees. Once you buy it its yours for life. It fully integrates the POS to the back office. So once my cashier scans and processes a sale, it immediately updates the stock, cash, and sales accounts. I can also view each till from any location in the world via remote access. At any point in time I can run a sales report and it will show me exactly what the sales and stock levels are per department and category. I can at the click of a few buttons run my profit and loss report or balance sheet and the numbers are accurate. This is just one good example of what a good accounting package should be able to do. IQ Enterprise business and accounting software is so easy to use for the less accounting literate. Best of all, you can have multi branches that integrate and consolidate into your head office or central office. You can then run your creditors, debtors, stock, bank etc centrally!! Another thing one must do to keep their books in order is to have an experienced person go through the numbers regularly. A different viewpoint from yours often provides great insights into your business. Having an experienced person cast an eye over your accounts will assist in ensuring that your numbers are correct. Finally, the books of accounts are ultimately the business owners responsibility. Take time to go through your numbers and be as objective as possible. Even when the numbers don’t look pretty, eyeball them, confront them and interrogate them. Only that way, will you be able to make great business decisions that will sustain your business even through tough trying times like the ones we are currently going through. Until next time when I give you another article on business based on mine and other peoples’ experiences. Happy trading!!!! Visit our website at to see more on the accounting system I use and retail, or call me on 0827760413 or 011 051 9650. Blueivy Business Solutions is a business that retails the IQ Retail and accounting software and also provides bookkeeping and tax advisory services. Farai is the Managing Director. He has a BCompt from Unisa and was trained by Ernst and Young Chartered Accountants. Farai has gained vast experience working across several sectors in the economy, in Africa and Europe.


SA Guide to Business Opportunities Vol 10.2  

SA Guide to Business Opportunities

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