Top business tips for 2014

Our 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® winners share their top business tips

Education is an on-going process and according to Christo Botes, spokesperson for the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, this is especially true for entrepreneurs, who are faced with new challenges on a daily basis. He says that seeking guidance from fellow entrepreneurs is vital for both the business’s and entrepreneur’s growth.

Botes says that a successful entrepreneur should never stop investing in the most powerful, trusted and best business tool at their disposal – themselves. “Running a business can be challenging and it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve success. However, by continuously networking and seeking guidance and advice from fellow seasoned entrepreneurs, one can obtain valuable advice from those who have walked, or are walking, a similar path.”

The 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® winners share their best business tips for entrepreneurial success in 2014 with local entrepreneurs:

2013 Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® and co-founder of The Daily Buzz, Chris Brown:

Employees are a key asset to the success of any business. Ensure you put the correct people in the correct positions and look after them accordingly, as they will then in return take care of your business.

Anton Rossouw, owner of Life Path Health and 2013 Medium Entrepreneur of the Year®:

Conduct a detailed and thorough viability study and research financial projections. Identifying project scenarios will allow business owners to plan for the worst case scenario. While it may never play out in practice, having done these forecasts will proactively prepare the business for the future and will assist in recognising and dealing with any pitfalls that may come about in the future.

Margaret Hirsch, owner of appliance chain group Hirsch’s and the winner of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement award:

Master your trade. Instead of being an all-rounder, find your niche and become the expert that everyone needs – specialised skills are in high demand, so rather remain focused and become a specialist in a specific trade.

Jonathan Pepler, owner of Silverline Group and winner of the 2013 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® award:

Develop a strong business plan. The key to any successful business is to create a firm foundation, which can be achieved by establishing a concrete business strategy. Business owners must have a realistic strategy and action plan with set timelines in place. This will assist entrepreneurs in staying focused on what they want to achieve, when they want to achieve it and provide guidelines on how they going to achieve it.

Tommy Makhatho, owner BiBi Cash ‘n Carry and overall winner of Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® and Job Creator of the Year:

Do not go into business for the sake of money. Business owners should focus on creating wealth that will be built over time. The value in business is not what you get every day, but what you are investing over time.

Botes adds that whether entrepreneurs are already in business, or looking to start a business, it is beneficial to continually network with fellow entrepreneurs. “Top entrepreneurs attend networking seminars and workshops, even if they feel they have already ‘mastered’ the subject. They do this because they realise that the key to being a successful entrepreneur is on-going learning and networking with fellow entrepreneurs, which provides a great opportunity to learn the secrets of success from other established business owners.”

Life Path Health awarded Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award

Anton-RossouwAnton Rossouw, founder and owner of Life Path Health – a network of private hospitals providing mental health inpatient and addiction treatment – was awarded the Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® title in the annual 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® Competition, which was held in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 4 September 2013.

After a long journey within the medical industry which equipped him with a wealth of medical institutional experience, Rossouw established Life Path Health in 2001. The network of treatment facilities offer mental health inpatient treatment, including specialised services in mental health-related illnesses, addiction rehabilitation, Post Traumatic Stress and Anxiety Disorders.

Apart from playing an active commercial role in the healthcare industry, Rossouw also actively participates in the development of awareness surrounding mental health. The business prides itself on regular engagement with industry bodies to negotiate medical aid funding available for the treatment of mental illnesses. “The destigmitisation of mental illness in South Africa is a focal point for our company and our efforts have been a key driver to address the issue,” says Rossouw.

According to Dr Kerrin Myres, a member of the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® judging panel, Rossouw is a role model for aspiring South African entrepreneurs. “In a competitive industry, he has managed to identify an opportunity to establish a sustainable business which employs over 200 people while taking on some sizeable competitors.”

Rossouw says that entering the competition has provided Life Path Health with an effective platform to raise awareness of mental illness and the destigmitisation thereof. “For that we are extremely grateful.”

Successfully establishing six clinics throughout the Western Cape, with a seventh clinic opening in October 2013, Rossouw plans to expand nationally in the next five years. “Being granted the opportunity to have my business assessed by the successful and experienced panel of competition judges, as well as winning this division of the competition, has given my team and I the confidence in our business for both current and future ventures,” concludes Rossouw.

For more information on Life Path Health, please visit

2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® winners named


Following an intense judging process and assessment of the 14 successful entrepreneur finalists, the 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition winners were announced at an awards ceremony held this morning in Johannesburg.

The overall 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year® winner is Tommy Makhatho, owner of BiBi Cash & Carry, a retail group situated in the rural area of Qwa Qwa in the Free State. Makhatho was also awarded with Job Creator of the Year® title due to the significant contribution he has made in the local community by providing jobs to more than 680 employees.

According to Nimo Naidoo, project manager of the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, Makhatho was awarded the overall title because of his ability to build, and grow, a sustainable business despite facing strong competition from established supermarket chains in the area, as well his determination to continuously seek ways to increase his bottom line.

The competition, widely considered to be the pre-eminent of its kind in South Africa and now in its 25th year, celebrates excellence in entrepreneurship and aims to honour, benefit and uplift South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Naidoo says that the competition is committed to playing a crucial role in elevating the standard of entrepreneurial activity in the country, as well as fostering a national entrepreneurial spirit. “Our goal is to promote entrepreneurship as a viable and exciting career path.”

Other 2013 category winners include Jonathan Pepler of Silverline Group, who was awarded the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® award, Andrew and Chris Brown, co-founders of The Daily Buzz, who took the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award home and Anton Rossouw, founder and owner of Life Path Health, who won the Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award.

The Innovator of the Year® title was awarded to Dr. Conrad Smith and pharmacist, Mariaan du Plessis, founders and owners of Medical Nutritional Institute (Pty) Ltd because of their innovative product range for a South African company, and the fact that they are able to compete internationally among other successful products.

The competition provides prizes worth R 1 340 000, which includes cash prizes to the value of R300 000. Naidoo says that beyond the monetary prizes, the winners’ businesses will also benefit significantly from the competitions various networking opportunities and associated marketing and national media exposure.

An additional award that was handed out this year was the Lifetime Achiever Award which was awarded to Margaret Hirsch, Chief Operations Officer of national appliance store, Hirsch’s. “This award serves as recognition for those entrepreneurs who have continually contributed towards the development and growth of South African entrepreneurship,” says Naidoo.

Xolani Meva, a member of the 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® judging panel, says that while the quality of entrants improves each year, this year revealed a significant increase in the quality of businesses entering.

“If we were to compile graphs with statistics of the combined revenues, net profits and the number of jobs created by the entrants annually, this year would reflect a spike in the graphs. In spite of the economic climate they have had to trade in over the past couple of years, SMEs are continuing to make a serious contribution to the economy.”

Meva says that it is vital that the country continues to celebrate these individuals. “Being an entrepreneur is no walk in the park, no matter how long someone has been an entrepreneur. These individuals wake up to a different kind of a challenge every day, and with their never-say-die attitude, they soldier on and continue to make their businesses bigger and better, and the spin-offs to the economy are invaluable. We need these individuals to keep going, so we need to continue celebrating their successes with them,” says Meva.

Naidoo says that not only do entrepreneurs generate much wealth, but they also provide a substantial number of jobs for the citizens of South Africa. “Entrepreneurial excellence should be promoted as the norm and not the exception. By promoting and supporting these entrepreneurs as role models we hope it will serve as an inspiration to others to succeed in the world of business,” concludes Naidoo.