16 April 2017
Hansie Britz

Pitch Deck Design



What is a Pitch Deck?

A Pitch Deck (Power Point Presentation) provide your audience (Potential Investors) with a quick overview of your Business Plan. You will usually use your pitch deck during face-to-face meetings with investors, customers etc. Sometimes you will use your “Pitch” to present your business in front of a larger audience or other times, a Investor may ask you to email them your pitch without being accompanied by your verbal delivery..

When do I need a Pitch?

1. Your pitch can serve as an outline for your Business Plan. A “Pitch Deck” is easy to re-arrange, so you can easily experiment with the flow of your story.

2. If you are trying to persuade people to “buy in” to your story and become supporters i.e strategic partners, co-founders, or employees a pich deck is often the best medium to expressing your story.

3. If you are approaching sophisticated investors – like venture capatilists, angel investors etc you will almost certainly need a pitch deck.

4. No matter where you live, there are probably a number of opportunities within driving distance for you to present your opportunity to an audience. These are events organized by universities, angel groups, start-up conferences etc.


1. Length.

There are many experts who will tell you that your pitch deck must have excatly 5 slides, or exactly 10 slides. There are no strict rules about how long your presentation should be, as long as you can deliver it comfortably, without rushing, in the alotted time.

2. Content.

Think from your audience’s perspective. What questions do they need you to answer in order for them to take the desired action.

3. Focus.

Limit each slide to expressing one idea. You want to keep your entire audience on the same page.

4. Aesthetics.

Don’t worry too much about aesthetics until you’ve conquered the structure and flow of the pitch deck first. Then, don’t go wild with artistic flourish: you want your audience to focus on you, not your slides.

5. Delivery.

If your pitch deck is a race car, then you are the driver. The deck is useless without your execution. You should practice your your pitch until you get it perfect – first in front of a mirror, then with people like family, friends etc.


20 March 2017
Hansie Britz

Vertical Farming – Growing Crops without soil or natural light.


The term “Vertical Farming” has not been around very long. It refers to a method of growing crops, usually without soil or natural light, in beds stacked vertically inside a controlled environment building.

Faced with climatic uncertainties, dwingly resources and pressure on land, more and more fresh produce farmers worldwide have turned to undercover farming. Its advantages:-

  • increased yield;
  • a controlled environment;
  • efficient water: and
  • fertilizer use.

More recently, undercover farming techniques have expanded to include so called “vertical farming” which requires an even smaller footprint and uses water and fertilizer even more efficiently.

According to “Dr Dickson Despommer” who is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on vertical farming, our children and grandchildren’s generations could soon facing a worldwide food crises if changes are not made to the current manner in which we farm and grow our food.

Despommer believes that current technology and the relatively new methods of greenhouse food production as well as vertical gardening made famous by the green wall pioneer “Patric Blanc”, could and should be fused in an up-scaled design, where food can be grown year – round, despite the season, and inecologically sound manner.

Vertical Farming (VF) Benefits.

  • year round crop production;
  • no wheather – related crop failures due to droughts, floods or pests;
  • Food is grown organically:no herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers;
  • VF creates new employment opportunities;
  • VF creates sustainable environments for urban centres;
  • VF dramatically reduces fossel fuel use (no tractors, ploughs);
  • VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centres;
  • VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases.

Vertical  Farming – Where to from here:?

The immediate opportunity may simply be to take advantage of the space available on rooftops, says Mr Head, who carried out several studies of the idea. Rooftop gardening is already a common sight in cities and towns around the world, especially in Europe. South Africa has yet to catch on in a big way, as currently the costs of converting roofs into strong enough structures to support the large weight of the needed soil, outweighs the savings of the food costs.


4 December 2016
Hansie Britz

How to Start a Successful Poultry Business.

Many opportunities to start a successful and profitable poultry business exist as long as you start in the right way. How do you start? It is very important to decide upfront which sector of the industry you want to serve. 

The following options are available to suitable farmers:-

Option 1: You can hatch and sell day-old chicks to big producers. You will then only be involved at the first stage of the process and not concerned with the growing of the chicks at all.

Option 2: You can buy day-old chicks and grow them, and then selling them as fully grown chickens.

Option 3: You can become involved in the entire process, including slaughtering.

Option 4: You can build, manage and maintain your own affordable household egg production unit on a small scale. Later on you can increase the size of your unit in order to sell eggs in the community, if the demand for eggs is big enough. Eggs provide a valuable yet affordable source of high quality protein and vitamins required for normal growth, especially for children, when meat is too expensive or unavailable. If you want to start a successful poultry business (small or big) and even if you need money for funding your project or not, the best way is to put all your ideas/plans in a well-structured and bankable farming business plan that any investor can look at. We can help you with this.

Over the next decade the growth in the consumption of chicken meat is projected to outpace the growth for all other types of meat, mainly due to its competitive price related to other proteins. With an increase of 47% (compared to 84% over the period 2002 – 2012) over the next decade the total consumption of chicken meat is projected to reach almost 2.56 million tons by 2022. This implies that the per capita consumption of chicken meat will exceed 48kg by 2022.


A start-up poultry business must comply with health regulations but does not require a permit or license to start a poultry production business. These differ from area to area, and you should check regulations with the local authority or associations in your area.


Abattoirs for broilers.  As the establishment of an abattoir is expensive and complicated to install, it is best for new members to market and sell their broiler chickens live.

Transport Regulations. If you wish to transport slaughtered poultry, you should obtain and study the “Meat Safety Act” No. 40 of 2000 for all the rules. All other regulations including these will be found under the General Regulation of the Public Health Act, 1919.

Animal Welfare. It is essential to ensure that birds are well tended to, that cages are not overloaded and high health standards are maintained. A shower and a disinfectant foot bath is a must before anyone is allowed to enter a broiler house.

Halaal and Kosher Certification. To obtain certification to sell Halaal and Kosher poultry products, your business has to have official certification from the Beth Din (Kosher) and the South African National Halaal Association to produce and sell products for Kosher and Halaal use. Businesses that produce for these religious entities are evaluated and inspected and audits take place regularly.


The Egg Industry comprises of 3 distinct sectors:-

  1. Day old chick production;
  2. Layer replacement hen production;
  3. Egg production.

Some large companies are integrated and involved in all 3 sectors.

Egg Production Process

Production begins with the breeder stock, at the “fertile egg production facilities” . Good quality eggs are sent to the hatchery for incubation. Those eggs that are not good are sold as by-product to consumers or entrepreneurs. The fertile eggs will produce day-old pullets that will be reared at the rearing facilities until they are ready for laying. At the egg laying facility, the pullets will produce eggs that will be packaged and sold to consumers or be sent for processing.

The Marketing Process

The following tasks are involved in the marketing of eggs:-

  • Collection of shell eggs from farms;
  • Transportation to a grading or packing plant;
  • Grading and standardizing of eggs;
  • Processing and packaging into useful forms that are stable and convenient;
  • Provision of storage facilities;
  • Movement of eggs through wholesale and retail channels;
  • Final delivery of products to consumers at a convenient place and time.

Get funding for your poultry farm

Setting up a poultry farm requires a lot of money, as poultry farming requires an expanse of land a hectare or more wide. You would also have to procure a large herd of chickens that are more than hundreds in number in order to generate the proper returns in income. Fortunately, you can avail yourself of loans that are offered to those that are starting or even those that are already in business. The loans can be used to cover aspects of the business like:-

  • Buying the land to farm on;
  • Start-up costs for the farm;
  • Construction expenses;
  • Animal feeds;
  • Vehicles or Trucks;
  • Operational expenses that need to be paid urgently;

It is also easy to apply for these loans, as long as you can provide the investors  with a well-structured and professional farming business plan. Some investors will also offer you advice from experts in the poultry business, aside from the monetary aid that you will be getting.

Getting your Poultry Farm Compliant

Another important preparation is to comply with regulations. If you plan on engaging in free range farming, then you have to make sure that the operations of your farm and the treatment of your chickens comply with regulations that are formulated for businesses like yours. Check with your local government agencies regulating laws and regulations promulgated for poultry farms.

Adequate Medical coverage for your chickens

Chickens are just like your children and other animals. To ensure continuous production of chicken and eggs, your chickens should be regularly checked by veterinarians to ensure their health. Sick chickens will negatively affect your production, so it is important to have adequate medical coverage for your poultry animals.


  1. How much floor space will be required per chicken? – It depends on the chicken type. 3 sq feet needed for light chicken and 4 sq feet required for general purpose chicken.
  2. How many types of chicken sheds are used these days? – Most popular ones are the cage sheds and floor sheds.
  3. What is the shed area required for 10 000 birds? – A 30 000 sq feet house is needed for 10 000 chickens. If you prefer a cage type shed then the built up area should be 4000 sq feet depending on the type of cage you use in your poultry farm.


4 December 2016
Hansie Britz

Hydroponic Crop Production – Tomatoes, Capsicums, Cucumbers, Lettuce.


Tomatoes are one of the major food crops of the Western world, yet breeders are still trying to improve the fruit’s disease resistance, shape flavor and color. The tomato is a member of the Solanaceae family which also includes peppers, capsicums, eggplants, potatoes and tobacco. While many consider the tomato to be a vegetable, it is in fact a berry fruit. There are many varieties and they are used in many different ways. Some are eaten fresh in salads, others used in cooking. Some varieties are firm and have a large amount of fibre (i.e. they have a low solids content). Firm varieties are preferred for salads and sandwiches. Hence selection of the correct variety is important.

When deciding to start growing tomatoes commercially it is very important to find out what your market wants. If you are seeking to establish a new market then you should do some research into the market size. It is also important to produce quality fruit. The tomatoes should have a uniform color, and fruit showing uneven or blotchy areas should be discarded, as well as bruised, split or misshapen fruit.


It is very important to establish the market you are intending to sell to and then produce for that market. While the grower may be proud to produce large prize-winning tomatoes, the normal consumer buys tomatoes that are 65 to 75 mm diameter and weigh 120 to 150 grams. Tomato varieties can be placed in four main categories according to their method of production and market use:

  1. Canning tomatoes.                                                
  2. Greenhouse tomatoes.
  3. Outdoor tomatoes.
  4. Specialty tomatoes. 


Plants should not be crowded. Close planting tends to favor leaf diseases and development of smaller fruit. At the same time there must be room to work along the rows and the plants open enough to allow light to penetrate and air to move through the plants. The optimum space per plant is between three and four plants per sq. metre of growing area, and if rows are 30cm wide then the spacing per plant is 45cm or 23,000 plants per hectare with aisle widths of 900 mm in the greenhouse. The density of planting may be increased in spring to give 30,000 plants per hectare of shed.

Fruit Development

Fruit color development is also temperature sensitive, the best red color forms when the average daily temperatures are 18degrees C to 24degrees C. Yellowness increases as temperatures rises above 26 – 29 degrees C. If the temperature rises above 40degrees C, the mechanism for producing the red pigment is destroyed. The affected areas on these fruit are yellow or sunburnt. When the fruit is maturing it is best to reduce the amount of watering to minimize leaf spot damage, as well as fruit damage such as star cracks. Restricting watering also helps to improve the fruits’ keeping qualities.


All produce should be suitably mature when harvested. Maturity must not be confused with ripeness. Maturation can only take place on the vine, whereas ripening (fruit softening and color development) can continue on or off the vine.During vine ripening, sugars, acids and other flavors move into the fruit and the texture is improved. Tomatoes are ready for harvesting about three months after they are transplanted. Optimal color development for tomatoes occurs between 15 – 21 degrees C.

Tomatoes are harvested for the local market at the “breaker” stage which is when the blossom end shows a pink coloring. If you are supplying distant markets the fruit should be green but mature, i.e. the seeds will be fully developed and surrounded by jelly-like flesh that has just started to color, and the fruit surface is a light green color. In warmer weather fruit will need to be picked about two to three times per week; under cooler conditions fruit my be picked less frequently. The stems should be trimmed flush with the top of the fruit to prevent bruising during storage and transit.


Capsicums also called “peppers and chilies” are a rich source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Green capsicums and red chilies have very high levels of Vitamin A; red capsicums are very high in ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). They are a warm season vegetable, requiring a relatively long frost-free growing period for maximum production and perfect for growing in a “tunnel farming” type of operation.


During the last ten years continental cucumbers have grown in acceptance from being a novelty vegetable to a major vegetable crop in a number of areas. They are ideal for tunnel farming type of operations. The techniques used for hydroponic cucumber production often involve a poly-house – tunnel. This will protects the plants from rain, wind, hail, extreme temperatures etc.


Lettuce is an indispensable part of most salads. It is a summer flowering plant which produces vegetative growth in the cooler months and flowers under conditions of long, warm days. In hot dry weather or when the plant is under stress the plant is inclined to run to seed. The gap between peak maturity and starting to run to seed may be as soon as one week. It is therefore very important to know exactly when to harvest to achieve high quality, well-developed lettuce. We can help in various aspects of setting up a profitable farming operation including farming plans, farming marketing plans etc.


The major factors that influence plant growth are the interaction of the plants genetic makeup and the environment. The grower has very little control over the genetics of the plant but he can exercise some control over the environment. Most growers show no originality when looking to provide protection to their crops. They tend to move from growing outdoors without any protection to poly-houses which fully enclose their crop.


The first stage in protecting crops is the use of a windbreak. The material used should allow air to pass through it and simply reduce the velocity of the wind. The barrier must be high enough and strong enough to do its job effectively. Many lettuce growers build windbreaks 7m or more in height, using commercial wind break fabric meshing. Other growers plant trees and bushes to reduce the effects of the prevailing winds.

Rain and Hail

Thew next stage is providing protection from rain and hail. This allows the grower to work with a degree of comfort and at the same time prevents the nutrient solution from being diluted or changed, resulting in crop damage. Many lettuce growers have installed clear plastic covers 5-6 metres above the crops, in the form of a pitched roof.

Temperature Control

In areas where frosts or low temperatures occur, full enclosures such as poly-houses (tunnels)  can be used to help maintain better growing temperatures. However, a problem with poly – houses is that humidity tends to increase and fungal diseases may be encouraged. Moisture condensation inside the poly-house can also lead to water droplets falling on the plants, particularly flowers, as soon as the shed starts to warm up in the morning.



28 November 2015
Hansie Britz

How to start a successful Bakery.

In order to start a successful bakery you need to possess the qualities of an artist, an ingenious financial manager and a marketing wizard. Should any of these qualities be lacking in your make-up, then the only way to succeed is to bring in people who are rich in the areas where you are lacking. This is according to Pierre Malan who heads up the bakery at 7- Eleven’s Head Office in Epping Cape Town. The most essential ingredient in starting a successful bakery is a love and passion for the industry. It is a tough business that has been complicated by the fact that until now there has been nowhere for people to study and qualify for baking in South Africa.

The South African Chamber of Baking is putting together training courses that will be offered in technicon’s around the country. This will give the Industry a much needed boost. Highly qualified people will be more readily available. Therefore, it will be possible to maintain  high standards in the industry. When starting a bakery, like any other business, it is vital to understand exactly who your target market is. Is the focus of your production going to be in up-market confections, mass production of bread or perhaps something in -between. Once you have a clear understanding of the direction you wish to take it is time to profile your market. This will also help in selecting a good location.  

As with any retail outlet the importance of a good location cannot be over-emphasized. In choosing a location, a number of  aspects need to be taken into account. Not only is it essential to have a high level of passing trade, it must also be thew right kind of passing trade. An upmarket confectionery for example, cannot be successful in a low-income area. Common sense must be exercised when selecting a site. No doubt a confectionery store situated between weight loss outlet and a gym will not be very popular. If the focus of your bakery is the mass production of bread then the best location will most likely be in an industrial area, at a railway station or taxi rank or any other position that is close to the population you wish to service and can be seen by them. An excellent location may not be enough. You cannot always rely on passing trade. It is too dependent on the time of the month. You have to look for business elsewhere to supplement your turnover.

Coffee Shops, food factory shops, wine farms, guest houses and tea gardens are all potential clients for an upmarket confectionery. With an active sales drive and one driver it is possible to more than double the turnover of an outlet. This can make the difference between success and failure. If the focus of a bakery is bread production, the turnover could possibly increased by supplying more exotic breads in addition to the standard loaves.” South Africans are becoming more and more adventurous when it comes to bread”, says Malan. People are starting to experiment with some of the continental breads.

Display counters, fridges, and lightning are all critically important. This is the important place to invest your money. If your products look good and are well displayed you will feel the impact on your bank account. Once the bakery is up and running the quickest way to chase all customers away is to try and save money by using low quality ingredients or selling products that have passed their expiry date. Word of mouth can be the best advertising but also has the power to destroy your business. Every single client must be delighted. For people who have always dreamed of starting a bakery, but do not have the necessary experience and knowledge in either baking or business, there is a range of franchise opportunities available.



Generate interest in the “bakery” before opening by putting up a sign and distribute pamphlets as soon as possible. This way you can promote the opening by offering a special offer for opening day and also promote the products you are planning to sell.

Health Requirements

  • No business can sell prepared food to the public until they have a health certificate.
  • During a health inspection the council will check:-
  1. Sinks and tables in the food preparation area – these should preferably of stainless steel, which is easy to clean and does not harbour dirt and bacteria.
  2. Ceilings, walls, and floors (for cracks where bacteria might breed).
  3. Ventilation and lightning. (to avoid damp and dark).
  4. Storage facilities like fridges and deep freezers – to ensure everything operates at the right temperature – bacteria thrives between seven and 65 degrees.
  5. Clothing and equipment – such as headgear, overalls and gloves – to be worn by staff who prepare and handle food.


  • Mixers and ovens depending on what you intend to bake.
  • Wrapping material, bags, boxes etc for customers who buy goods to take home.
  • Cooling racks for the food.
  • Display cases so that your customers can see all of the goods you have available.
  • Baking dishes and pans in different shapes and sizes.
  • Mixing bowls to accommodate any job.
  • Chemical detergents and sanitizers to keep your kitchen clean and safe.
  • Various cutlery and utensils that you will need to make the baked goods.

Buying Ingredients

Look for local Wholesalers for goods such as flour, sugar, eggs, milk, chocolate and other baking ingredients. Once you find a few, give them a call to check prices. You can also set up accounts with the wholesalers or pay cash on delivery. If you want a successful operation, do not compromise on quality. The cheapest ingredients may not have the quality you want.

Setting the right price

Ongoing costs, such as ingredients and raw materials, packaging and promotional expenses must be factored into your budget. Prices should take into account things such as employee labour and the cost of the premises including rent and utilities such as water and electricity in addition to the cost of the goods to make the finished product.






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