Buying your way into entrepreneurship can be an appealing option and mitigate many of the risks of “growing your own” when it comes to launching any business. Sticking your neck out to secure the startup capital, hiring the right employees, and establishing cash flow are just a few of the risks that send would-be entrepreneurs running away from the idea of starting their own business.
Buying an established business, on the other hand, comes with the potential benefit of instant growth and the ability to avoid the initial growing pains that often plaque startups. Furthermore, taking the reins of an already established and stable business can offer more personal freedom as opposed to the seemingly never-ending time and personal commitment that starting from scratch typically requires.
Should you acquire a Business instead of building it from scratch?
Here are some things you’ll want to consider before jumping into the role of business owner and operator
1.What type of business do you want to own?
Narrowing down the exact type of business you want to acquire is the first step. By identifying the business you think you want to be in doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a good fit for you. It’s imporant to be realistic and honest with yourself about the personal attributes, strengths, and weaknesses you bring to the table. We can help you doing a SWOT Analysis on yourself to identify those if you have trouble identifying them at first.
When evaluating specific businesses, it’s a good idea to consider the following important factors:-
- Is the business established and is there an existing customer/client base?
- Is the business profitable with healthy revenues and cash flow?
- Are the ownership and business demands a good fit for your lifestyle?
If these 3 criteria aren’t in place, you may not end up reaping the benefits you envisioned.
2. Are you ready to learn and devote adequate time?
In your role as CEO, you’ll need to develop expertise in many areas of the business. You’ll have to seek knowledge and recognize what areas you need to dive deeper into in order to learn more. You’ll also need to recognize professional weaknesses in order to quickly hire positions to bolster these areas where you maybe lacking.
3. Are you ready to be in charge?
Acquisition entrepreneurship means you’ll hit the ground running. This is a stark difference from traditional entrepreneurship where owners tend to “grow up” with their business, easing into its nuances and demands along the way, and bringning on team members one at a time. In the acquisition scenario, you’re immediately in charge. This means running the business and managing any existing employees from day one.
4. How to set yourself apart from other potential buyers?
If you’ve found a business that is truly successful, a good fit for your skills and lifestyle. and that is for sale, you won’t be the only interested buyer. It’s also important to remember that a successful business owner probably doesn’t need the sale. So if its not a numbers game, how will you set yourself apart as the best buyer for this successful business? You’ll need to persuade the seller that you’re the right buyer.
Often this comes down to showing that you care about and believe in the business itself. If it comes down to you, someone who believes in the culture and values of the existing business and infrastructure, and another buyer that is immediately looking to overhaul the business and change its culture, you may have an advantage. This, of course, depends on the mindset of the seller.
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Beef farming slots in well with other agriculture enterprises, especially grain. Cattle can feed on resources that have little other use, such as crop residue and land not suitable for crops.
Before entering the cattle business, though, you should consider your resources, the land available and your level of interest and skill. You should know why you want to rear cattle, and be able to set yourself goals to achieve the most constant economic return or personal satisfaction.
A small-scale cattle enterprise can involve a growing and feeding system (calves or weaners are either raised or bought and then fattened for slaughter), breeding herds, or a combination of growing, feeding and breeding herds.
In a weaner operation you acquire calves after weaning at 10 to 15 months of age. They can then be fed and marketed in less than a year from the time of purchase. Thus, the investment on each calf is returned within a comparitively short time. This type of operation not require much land, but you will need adequate facilities to keep the animals cpomfortable and under control. Working with calves requires a good deal of patience, as they are easily excited and stressed, and a health programme should be discussed with a vet.
Commercial or Registered?
Establishing a breeding herd is a long-term objective. You need to decide whether to run commercial cattle or registerd purebred cattle. Income from a commercial beef herd comes mainly from the sale of calves and old or cull animals, whereas income from registered cattle comes mostly from sale of breeding stock.
Breeding registered cattle to supply breeding animals to other cattle producers usually needs a large capital investment in stock. You also will have to keep accurate records and register the purebred calves retained for breeding stock.
Sheep husbandry is mainly practiced in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga, with the other provinces having smaller numbers. The domestic sheep is produced for its wool, meat and milk. Other byproducts are:-
- Clothes, footwear, rugs, and other productsare made from sheepskin.
- Sheep tallow can be used in candle and soap making.
- Sheep droppings, which are high in cellulose, have even been sterilized and mixed with traditional pulp materials to make paper.
- Of all sheep byproducts, the most valuable is lanolin: the water proof, fatty substance found naturally in sheep’s wool and use as a base for innumerable cosmetics and other products.
Small can be profitable
A small sheep farming operation calls for dedication, discipline and a genuine concern for the animals. Sheep farming is not simply about numbers. A small number of well-managed, productive animals may make you more money than a larger number of animals on poor condition.
It is crucial to follow a proper inoculation and dosing programme. Keep record of the dates of dosing or inoculation and the quantity used on each sheep.
Trim the animal’s hooves regularly, especially if they have to walk long distances to and from grazing.
To ensure good clip prices, keep the wool on the sheep free from thorns and grass seed.
In addition to keeping records of inoculations, newborn lambs, the sale odf ewes and so on, it is extremely important to keep proper records of expenses and income to determine the profitability of the operation. Without this, you cannot run a business successfully.
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Pecan Nut production is a lucrative industry. “Income harvested from 2 pecan nut trees is equivalent to that from 1t of maize” says Phillip Antrobus pecan nut farmer. Pecan nut trees are fast growers and can become very tall. The nut has a high nutritional value because it is rich in protein, vitamins, carvbohydrates and nut oil.
- The pecan nut tree is well adapted to subtropical areas.
- It also grows well in areas with short, cold winters and long very hot summers.
- Low temperatures and even frost during June to August are required for successful budding and flower formation.
- During the summer months (October to April) the tree requires high temperatures for fruit growth.
- Trees are successfully established in valleys and along rivers where the winter temperature is low and frost occurs.
Examine the soil regarding depth, drainage and compacted layers.
* The soil should be at least 2m deep.
* The physical suitability of a soil can only be evaluated by digging holes in the ground and examining the soil profile.
* The soil should be prepared carefully and well in advance of planting.
The pecan nut tree is deciduous and can therefore only be transplanted during winter. The best results are obtained when estblishing orchards with trees planted during July and August.
Planting in Orchards
- Loosen the topsoil to a depth of 1m before planting.
- The depth of the hole must be deeper than 1m, or at least 200mm deeper than the length of the tap root.
- Some loose soil should be replaced, so that the cut end of the tap root is in loose soil. This promotes vertical root growth during the first season of establishment.
- Well-rotted compost (plant material) can be added to the hole.
- Zinc fertilizer (22%Zn) should be added and mixed well with the topsoil. No other fertiliser should be applied at planting.
- Newly planted trees must be irrigated immediately.There after, irrigation should be applied carefully because too much water given before the tree start growing, may cause the roots to rot.
- They should be treated against possible termite attacks by timeously destroying all termite nests in the vicinity.
- The trees should be white-washed to prevent sunburn damage. It is advisable to put a straw mulch around the base of the young tree for better moisture conservation and to protect the roots against high temperatures. After planting , the trees must be topped to encourage branching to form a framework. A height of 1m is recommended.
- Inspect young trees regularly during the first season after planting.
To set up a successful pecan nut farming operation you’ll need a professional and well- written farming business plan.
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A start-up business is usually on a constant look out for capital from outside investors. Investors include banks, venture capatalists, private investors, government, foundations and even familiy members.
Although “pitching” plays a major role when you are trying to raise capital, the realities of your organization are so much more important. You need to offer a product or service that is meaningful and long lasting.
Here are some tips you can use when raising capital:-
1. Build a Business.
The best way to get investors is to build a business immediately.
2. Get an Intro.
Have current investors, lawyers, consultants, accountants and other entrepreneurs introduce you to investors. This way, they will learn about you from sources they respect.
3. Clean up your act.
Get rid of obvious flaws in your system. Flaws often occur in your intellectual property, capital structure, management team and stock offerings.
4. Disclose Everything.
Don’t attempt to hide problems that can not be cleaned up immediately. Do not allowanything to damage your credibility.
5. Acknowledge, or Create an Enemy.
Believe it or not, investors do not want to hear that your business has no existing competitors. This only tells them that there is no existing market out there for your product or service, or that you are too stupid to use GOOGLE.
6. Don’t use old Lies.
Here are some examples of lies start-up’s tell Investors. Refrain from using them and be prepared to come up with new ones:-
- Our projection is conservative.
- All we have to do is to get 1% of the total market.
- Several investors are already in due diligence.
- Key employees will join as soon as we get funded.
Potatoes are recognised as an important foodstuff worldwide and is seen as a key component in the worldwide fight against hunger and malnutrition and the creation of food security. Potatoes are packed with votamin B3, B5, B6, C and fibre. They are ranked after rice, wheat and maize as the world’s 4th largest food crop.
Mid August to mid October (depending on the area) is the ideal time to plant sprouted potatoes in the open ground. Late varieties can be planted during December. Plant maincrop potatoes about 35cm apart, in rows which are 75cm apart. Where you are planting more than one row, the rows should (ideally) run from North to South to allow each plant its full share of sun.
Frost damage is the first concern during the early stages. If shoots emerge above the soil level and frost threatens, draw a little soil from the bed edges over them. After the plants have grown to about 20cm, rake up some soil from in between the rows and cover the plants with it, leaving only a few cm of the top of the plant still showing. Repeat this exercise again in 2-3 weeks time.
During the growing season, ensure that the weeds are removed regularly. A month or so after planting, the dense foliage of the plant should then block out sufficient light to deter all but the most vigorous weeds.
Harvesting & Storage
Potatoes are ready for harvest when the foliage first starts to die and turn yellow. Early (new) potatoes can be lifted earlier to get the very tastiest potatoes. In this case, harvest them about a week after the potatoe plant flowers first appear. New potatoes only produce a couple of handfuls of potatoes per plant, so dig up the whole plant.
If you don’t need all the potatoes from a plant at one time or if you want a few early in the season, simply burrow around the roots with your hands and remove the potatoes you need. The remaining potatoes will continue to grow. Store potatoes in boxes or sacks, checking them every few days, removing all but those in good condition. Damaged or blemished potatoes should be eaten immediately.
Onions are part of the Allium family which also includes garlic and shallots. They are grown world-wide and form an important part of many national diets. Onions have been cultivated since ancient times and are a commercially significant crop on all continents.
Although onions are essentially a cool season crop and in South Africa they are planted virtually all year round. In the Northern regions of the country sowing is normally from February to April. In the Central region from April to July and the Southern regions transplanted from July to October.
It is essential that soil is well-prepared for an onion crop. It should be loose to a depth of at least 75cm and if heavy rain is expected in the early stages of growth, raised beds will reduce the effect of any waterlogging. Where seed is to be direct-sown a fine even seed bed is vital in order to produce an acceptable stand.
The soil profile should be wet to a depth of 50-60cm. The amount of water applied will vary according to soil type, irrigation system temperature and growth stage of the crop. Many growers now make use of monitoring systems in order to make the best use of available water. Dryland production of onions is not recommended.
Harvesting & Marketing
Once the onions have fallen they are lifted and left to dry in windrows or heaps until cured. The curing process allows for development of scale leaf colour and firming of the bulbs. The bulbs are then either cleaned by hand or machine and sized, sorted, graded, and packed. Most onions are marketed in 7 or 10kg bags through municipal or other markets. A medium size bulb is preferred but there is also demand for smaller and larger bulb sizes. The largest demand in South Africa is for yellow or brown onions but there is a small market for red and pink varieties.
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