Financial advice from entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs

The 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® winners share the best financial advice they have ever received.

Given the current challenging economic climate with South Africa’s GDP growth expected to remain flat at 0.1% for the year according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it is becoming increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs to ensure the financial sustainability of their businesses.

As there are many factors which contribute to the effective management of cash flow within a business, we asked some of the winners of the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS to provide us with the best financial advice that they have been given while growing their businesses.

“Remember that your business is a long-term investment.” Says Johan Eksteen of Agricon, 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® winner. “Always look at the bigger picture and be aware of how any decision can impact the future. When it comes to short-term solutions, you can’t ‘buy yourself rich’, so rather focus on selling your product or service as this is a sure-fire way to generate a healthy cash flow.”

In the same breath, Meisie Nkosi of Bella Bonni Guest House and 2016 Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® winner goes on to say that finance is the heartbeat of a business. “Keeping an eye on daily expenditure and auditing these periodically will help you manage day-to-day finances. In order to maintain a healthy profit margin, make sure you price your product or service correctly,” she adds.

“Also make sure you find the right investor,” points out Carl Pretorius of Just Trees and 2016 Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® winner, who says that it is important to ensure that whoever invests in your business shares your vision and expectations. “I would also advise finding an investor that is patient as things don’t always go exactly according to plan and they may need to wait for the return,” he explains.

Michael Roberts of Khonology, 2016 Job Creator of the Year winner says that when building a business, you should manage your cash flow as if your life depends on it, because your business does. “My mantra is ‘Revenue is vanity, profit sanity, and cash is reality’,’” he continues.

Vanessa Jacobs of Sow Delicious and 2016 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® winner shares the same sentiment as Michael and recommends running a business on a “cash” basis. “I try to use cash when it comes to making and receiving payments as I find this helps to monitor cash flow and make better decisions for my business while ensuring steady growth,” she concludes.