Having dropped out of high school and completing a course in Business Administration from False Bay College, the Athlone-born Isaacs, now CEO of Breadcrumb Group, started a ‘one-man’ web design and development company from his bedroom in 2014. With just R100 to his name and an out-dated laptop, he taught himself everything he needed to know about website coding and design. After a short time working for a digital agency to gain some experience in the field, Isaacs realised that there was no time like the present to take after his father and grandfather – both entrepreneurs – and start his own venture.
Isaacs left the agency and rented a small studio space in Woodstock from which to work. His life savings, which amounted to only two months’ cash flow, were all he had to start Breadcrumb Tech. Five days into the new business, Isaacs secured his first London-based client on a one-year contract – boosting his confidence in his ability and business’ potential. After two months, Isaacs had employed his first full-time staff member and landed a further four clients.
With Breadcrumb Tech successfully earning profits, Isaacs re-invested these to start a new company in garment-manufacturing, called Made-in-Salt-River. The textile company provides a CMT (cut, make and trim) service to local fashion designers. Naturally, with a successful, local textile company in the group, adding his own fashion label, Basic® was an obvious progression.
With the future in mind, and an ever-increasing passion for developing a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa, Isaacs started Breadcrumb Investments – to trade equities and forex and offer other aspiring entrepreneurs financial assistance.
Isaacs puts his success down to a mixture of his management style and the hard work of his team. “I try to inspire the people who work with me by actively pushing my own limits,” says Isaacs. “I am always looking for opportunities in growth markets, creating businesses out of services that would initially be rendered to our businesses and taking maximum risk.”
Isaacs notes his greatest achievement so far as simply being successful and having the business grow to its current size after such a short time-span, adding that overcoming his greatest fear – money – was a leading contributing factor to his success. He stresses the importance of doing one’s own accounting and keeping a tight hand on your own books, before employing the skills of an accountant in the business: “Do your own accounting. Watch everything. Be frugal in the way that you spend your money, so that when you do hire an accountant you understand all the processes.”
Isaacs has big goals for his business and believes that with hard work, he will attain these in no time.
This Youth Month, Isaacs urges other like-minded young entrepreneurs to take risks. “Put yourself on the line and be courageous. But, always try to remain analytical and picky about the direction in which you foresee your business heading.”