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.”

Photos: 2013 EOY winners

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.

Category winners

Emerging Entrepreneur: Jonathan Pepler, Silverline Group
Small Business Entrepreneur: Andrew & Chris Brown, The Daily Buzz
Medium Business Entrepreneur: Anton Rossouw, Life Path Health
Innovator of the Year: Mariaan du Plessis & Conrad Smith, Medical Nutritional Institute
Job Creator of the Year: Tommy Makhatho, BiBi Cash & Carry

Overall winner

Entrepreneur of the Year® 2013: Tommy Makhatho, BiBi Cash & Carry

Innovative construction company awarded Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® Award

Jonathan-David-PeplerFounder of construction business Silverline Group, Jonathan Pepler, has been recognised for his remarkable accomplishments during the early stages of a business life cycle by being awarded the 2013 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® title in the annual Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® Competition, which was held in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 4 September 2013.

The Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® category which celebrates entrepreneurs who have been in business for less than three years, acknowledges Pepler’s success of becoming one of the largest light frame steel construction companies in South Africa in just a few short years.

In addition to providing conventional construction services, Silverline Group specialises in constructing light frame steel structures, a high-performance environmentally-friendly alternative building solution not widely used in South Africa. Modelled on international best practice used in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, light frame steel structures are fast gaining popularity in South Africa, due to the fact that it offers an effective method of construction that produces no waste and 80% less carbon footprint than conventional building methodology.

This innovative building method also reduces the time needed to construct a building considerably and as a result, more businesses are opting to make use of this method as it allows them to start operating and making a profit much earlier than expected. A recent example of this is the new McDonald’s in Goodwood, Cape Town, which was able to open the outlet four months earlier, compared to the time it would have taken with traditional brick and mortar building techniques.

Due to the growing demand for this product, Pepler made the decision to franchise the company, making it the only franchised construction business in South Africa, and one of very few in the world. The company also provides significant support, mentorship and skills training to its more than 30 franchisees, which Pepler believes is a major factor behind the business’ success.

Pepler says that winning the competition serves as encouragement to further push the envelope to be more efficient, more effective and to make a greater impact on the environment, as well as the people and businesses which benefit from their product.

As a result of Pepler’s achievements, not only has an alternative and sustainable construction practice been created within South Africa, but his company and franchises are a major contributor to job creation and economic growth.

According to Kobus Engelbrecht, a member of the 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® judging panel, Pepler stood out in the Emerging category due to his exceptionally well executed business idea and the enormous growth potential of the business.

“The building method Jonathan uses is not unique internationally, but within South Africa it is not widely used and has he set out to successfully convince the major role players in the local market to accept this building method. Banks, for instance, chose not to finance buildings constructed in this way, but Jonathan managed to convince them otherwise.

“Jonathan also successfully franchised his business, which enabled him to grow it into a business with a national footprint in a short space of time and without the need for a large amount of capital,” concludes Engelbrecht.

For more information on Silverline Group, please visit their website