Money & finance

The science and art of valuing a business

The question “What is the value of this business?” is one of those best answered by another question: “Who wants to know?” A seller of the business, who may have spent many years and tears building it, will try to emphasize the most positive aspects, says Gerrie van Biljon, executive director of Business Partners. If he cannot find much to be positive about in the last set of financial statements, he will find it in the future prospects ...
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Avoiding the pitfalls of an uncertain business world

As Youth Month comes and goes every year, the lamentations over South Africa's high youth unemployment reach a crescendo, together with calls on young people to start their own businesses. But somehow not enough is ever said about the serious survival gear needed by anyone venturing into their own business. The business world is an uncertain place, says Byron Jeacocks, Business Partners regional general manager, who, as an experienced financier ...
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Property rewarding for astute investors, but note the warning label

Owen Holland, Business Partners property investment general manager, understands why business owners who find themselves in the harvesting stage of their careers often look to the property industry to invest their surplus income. It is one of the few industries which allows for a certain degree of passive return on investment. Any other business, from a coffee shop to a consultancy, requires a huge amount of blood, sweat and tears before it start...
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It’s a tenant’s market, but not much to smile about

Given the current conditions of the South African business property market, tenants should be smiling, but the underlying cause is the lacklustre economy which tends to spread its misery to both landlord and tenant. Gerrie van Biljon, executive director of Business Partners, describes the South African business property scene as very much a tenant's market: there is a general over-supply of retail, industrial and especially office space on the ma...
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Wrong fit? In franchising, it can be a fatal mistake

“If you're the kind of guy who likes to go to sleep early, don't buy a restaurant franchise,” says Jeremy Lang, regional general manager of Business Partners. Stating the obvious? Perhaps, but you'll be surprised how many first-time franchisees make the mistake of buying a franchise that simply does not fit their lifestyles, he says. In the world of start-up franchising, it can easily be a fatal mistake to make, because there is so little ro...
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Signs of stability, steady growth in franchising sector

Nothing can seem to get the franchising industry down in South Africa – certainly not the sluggish economic growth of the last few years, says Christo Botes, executive director of Business Partners. Now standing at 11% of GDP, it has become a well regulated sector that cannot be ignored. Botes quotes statistics that show signs of stability in its very core. No fewer than 46% of all franchisors in South Africa are older than 12 years and a whopp...
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No business is too small for a proper budget

Many business owners mistakenly think their operation is too small for a formal budgeting process. The budget (of sorts) that many business owners keep inside their heads is often more like a basic recipe, and is usually inadequate to deal with the constant change that every business is subject to. This is according to Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited, who says that no business is too small for the discipline of ...
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SME-friendly Budget will boost job creation, economic growth

Most small and medium business owners know what it's like to put together a budget under difficult circumstances. Many will therefore be sparing a thought for finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who on 26 February will be announcing the national Budget in the face of a yawning deficit, a falling rand, menacing inflation and sluggish growth. However, the answer to much of these woes lies in the extent to which the minister spares a thought for small ...
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Time to start looking at income growth again

2014 looks like the year in which business owners will be shaking themselves out of the mindset of survival through cost cutting to one of expansion through income growth, says Anton Roelofse, regional general manager of Business Partners. His own gut feeling as an experienced SME financier is backed by surveys which suggest improving confidence among business owners. The latest results from the Business Partners Limited SME Index shows a five pe...
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Clear signs of a dawn after five years of gloom

For an owner-manager hunkered down in survival mode on his shop floor after five harrowing years of economic gloom, the signs of a turnaround may not be all that apparent, but Nazeem Martin, CEO of the leading small-business finance house Business Partners, says the evidence is compelling. The US economy is expected to grow at 2.5%, a sturdy rate for the biggest economy of the world; Europe's expected growth of 1% is a decent swing around from a ...
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