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.
- No business can sell prepared food to the public until they have a health certificate.
- During a health inspection the council will check:-
- Sinks and tables in the food preparation area – these should preferably of stainless steel, which is easy to clean and does not harbor dirt and bacteria.
- Ceilings, walls, and floors (for cracks where bacteria might breed).
- Ventilation and lightning. (to avoid damp and dark).
- Storage facilities like fridges and deep freezers – to ensure everything operates at the right temperature – bacteria thrives between seven and 65 degrees.
- 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.
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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Before you invest in a piece of land, look carefully at the total expenditure you will be incurring and assess your financial requirements. These go beyond the simple purchase price of the land: there will be other costs like transfer fees, legal costs and many other items that will inflate the capital sum needed.
Purchasing the Land:
The first item of mayor expense is the land itself. Before making an “offer to purchase” investigate the prices obtained in recent sales in the same area and compare them with the amounts that sellers were originally asking. Do not base your assessment of the land on the official municipal valuation, as this is used only for purposes of estimating rates and taxes and has no bearing on the actual market value.
The majority of people in South Africa are located in the rural areas, and the majority of them being women and children. Women, especially those in the rural areas, are marginalized in the development process regardless of the new focus on women in development literature. Most women are not involved in the decision-making process, and the few that are involved only appear at the implementation stage where there is need for manpower. Development projects which are geared towards poverty alleviation are planned by men for men and women are very seldom in the planning stage. Women are therefore objects and not subjects of the development process. Most policy makers are not gender sensitive and women often find themselves left behind.
Rural Development projects also seem to be devoid of the attention to local needs and local preferences are therefore sometimes irrelevant. Many rural development projects do not achieve their intended objectives and others even produce unwanted results and perpetuate the existing socio-economic bottlenecks experienced in the rural areas. It is believed that rural development projects will not reach their intended objectives if women continue to be marginalized.
What often intimidates the first-time owner/builder is the very thought of taking the first step and taking sole responsibility for all major projects. But you will not be alone: you will need to assemble a team and work closely with it over a period of time. This is the real challenge. As the head of that team you will have to organize, co-ordinate, control, motivate and, ultimately, success will depend on your personal leadership qualities. Whatever activities you get involved with, some of the basic guidelines that apply are:-
- Prepare or ask a “professional consultant” to prepare a proper business plan that will also include a strong financial plan.
- Be realistic in terms of what you can afford.
- Plan all your projects in as much detail as possible.
- Do not begin construction work until the land has been registered in your name and the building plans have been approved.
- Undertake a thorough cost analysis, or have a computer costing prepared before you start ordering material and building.
- Supervise the construction work closely, or have an experienced person (i.e. project manager) do this on your behalf.
- Be careful not to overpay for work done, or to pay for work that has not been started.
A detailed schedule will help you to plan – indeed, it is essential to – the administration and execution of the planned projects. The more thoroughly and accurately the program is drawn up, the better the chance of minimizing delays. Among the specific advantages of the schedule are that it:-
- Makes you think the job through in a logical manner;
- Helps you schedule the ordering and delivering of materials;
- Helps you co-ordinate labor, subcontractors, plant hire etc.
Order of Work
Begin by listing all the major stages in the entire program, as follows:-
- Procurement of the land.
- Obtaining sketch plans.
- Obtaining detailed drawings & approval.
- Making finance arrangements.
- Fencing, garden etc.
The construction phase will thereafter have to be broken up into various segments, in enough detail to enable you to co-ordinate the work effectively. The precise sequence will differ slightly from project to project according to individual needs and circumstances. Consider having the schedule drawn up with the aid of a computer, using either the Critical Path Method (CPM) or the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). These programs will calculate the “critical path” and identify the critical activities on this path.
REMODELING & RENOVATION
Remodeling and renovation of old homes could be another option but can be expensive and time consuming, but with some perseverance and patience it can be done. If you interested in following this route keep the following in mind:-
- Dream. – Dream simple, recognize your needs and estimate the simplest solution.
- Research – Go to the library/ local bookshop and look at magazines appropriate to your needs.
- Hire an Architect.
- Knew your strengths – and your limitations.
- Don’t delay decisions.
- Don’t change your mind (too much).
- Think “restore” not “redo“
There is now an expanding market for private, comfortable off-campus student residences. These offer state-of-the-art facilities such as WIFI, Internet access, laundry, gym and entertainment lounge. Thousands of students registered at higher education institutions search for such accommodation to reside for the duration of their studies but can’t find them. The demand for student accommodation with the right facilities in the right areas still outstrip supply.
Before investing in a student housing property certain key factors should be taken into consideration. It is very important to properly evaluate students’ day-to-day essential requirements. Key factors to consider are:-
- Location – Students prefer accommodation that are not too far away from campus.
- Accessibility – Most students do not own cars and rely on public transport to get around. The property where they reside, therefore, needs to be close to main routes for access to public transport.
- Security – A secure property is of utmost importance so that students can be assured of a safe environment.
- Maintenance – Regular maintenance is vital and it is therefore better to have a full-time caretaker on site to handle any minor issues.
- Other Features – Going the extra mile to ensure tenants are taken good care of is critical as this goes a long way towards ensuring that good tenants renew their lease.
If you are going to need funding for your project it is always better to obtain the services from a “professional business plan consultant” to ensure that your chances in getting finance are much better.
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The local motor industry is accepted by all as a cornerstone of the economy as a well-organized sector. It has grown over the years, while general manufacturing has shrunk. Government is committed to ensuring that this sector grows and develops. Starting an automotive business does not necessarily require experience in this field, although it is helpful. Above all, you should have a passion for cars. In some parts of the automotive aftermarket, there is a significant advantage in purchasing a franchise rather than going it alone. There could be a high standard of technological innovation required or benchmark standards for quality, reliability and performance that have taken an established brand many years to work towards. As with all franchising businesses, the greatest benefit is the opportunity to be be your own boss without the risk involved in starting your own business. Bear in mind that most automotive franchise businesses involve a busy atmosphere and a lot of interaction with people, so this kind of environment should suit your personality. Picking the right opportunity comes down to what you want out of the business, so be sure to do thorough research into the options available and also scrutinize the franchise document of the business you are keen to invest in. A successful franchise requires demand from the market, the ability to attract and retain customers and, but not least, a good location.
WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
At some time during the life of a vehicle, various parts are going to wear out and will need replacing or fixing. Operators in the auto aftermarket look to supply the solutions either by targeting consumers directly, or by supplying independent workshops and specialist repairers, garages, fleet operators, or retail and wholesale parts stores.. No matter the client, the focus is always on keeping their vehicles on the road, and finding a quality, cost-effective solution to any problem that arises. The automotive industry is not going anywhere soon. As the trend continue, there will be both old and new business prospects on offer, so it’s worth keeping abreast of the market to spot any gaps. At the end of the day, as long as people drive cars, there will be a demand for maintenance, repairs and body service, and an array of opportunities for potential auto-entrepreneurs.
WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT?
To set your business apart in this highly competitive marketplace, operators should pay special attention to customer needs and provide customer service levels above expectations. The good name of the industry has been tarnished over the years by fly-by-night operators and dodgy dealers looking to cut corners by supplying inferior parts. Know your products so that you can speak knowledgeable to your customers and steer them in the right direction if they ask your advice. Develop clear procedures that all employees must adhere to when dealing with customers – from greeting them to how to handle complaints. This will all help to create and establish relationships with your customers that will hopefully not only result in a purchase, but will see them coming back time and time again. Extra touches can make all the difference and will influence how your customers view your business. So, after the repairs or service has been carried out; return the seats to their correct positions, and make sure that the car is clean. Stock control is important too. By ensuring you have the right parts on hand you will be able to provide a quick and effective service.
HOW TO START YOUR CAR REPAIR BUSINESS
If you’re mechanically inclined and skilled at troubleshooting mechanical malfunctions in automobiles, you may be interested in starting your own small car repair business. By having the knowledge and abilities for car repair work, the most significant needs of such a business are already met. The steps that remain are mainly organizational and administrative tasks.
Determine the scope of your business. Some mechanics specialize in particular types of automobile repair. Consider whether or not you wish to limit your business to what you’re most skilled at or prefer to do and open it up to all types of repairs. For example, some repair businesses specialize only in transmission work or engine rebuilds. Some shops do only oil changes and basic tune-ups. Other shops work exclusively on exhaust issues or brake systems. However, many individual mechanics who own their own businesses choose to work on all types of issues.
2. Business Plan
Write a business plan that not only includes the scope and direction of your business, but also provides detailed information about financing, number of employees, planned operating hours, plans for supply/parts ordering and any other details that show your garage will be a viable business. If you are having trouble with this step, make use of a reliable and competent consultant that can assist.
Be sure to acquire all necessary permits in order to open a shop. These will vary from region to region, so you’ll need to investigate local laws and make sure you’re covered with all the permits you need.
Find a suitable location for your car repair business. If you already have a garage set up that suits your initial purposes for start up, don’t relocate your business. However, if your location doesn’t suit your needs in size, (drive by traffic counts) or any other aspects, consider moving to a new spot. Your new location should be accessible for customers, provide a waiting area and a restroom they may use, and have enough room for you to work and store your tools.
Organize your garage to fit your needs. Create proper storage for your tools and supplies, along with an organized parts room for spare parts. If you need additional tools or new equipment for your new business to function efficiently and effectively, purchase them. Be mindful of your budget and do not exceed it with extravagant and unnecessarily items.
Establish an office for your business. Set it up so that you can keep detailed records about your customers, jobs and billing. Keep in mind that not only do you need a functional accounts receivable bookkeeping system, but you also have to have a reliable accounts payable system. Purchasing accounting software, a computer, telephones, filing cabinets and other office tools that will help you keep things organized.
Create a flyer with your business name, address and contact information. Hang the flyer up around town on free bulletin boards, hand it out at a parade and distribute it as a insert with your newspaper or local free shopper, if your budget allows. Advertise on the radio and in the newspaper. One cost-effective way to advertise is to buy an add in the classified section.
8. Stay Current
Stay current on auto repair. As new makes and models of vehicles come out every year, the technology for them increases more and more. If you stay up to date by attending workshops and reading material abouth the new technology, you help to ensure you are able to work on new vehicles, as well as older ones.
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The basic premise behind mobile vending is that you take your business on the road with you, going to where the people and likely consumers are. Sport events, beaches, flea-markets – these are all popular venues, especially when considering the types of products franchisor’s sell.There’s the summer refreshers, such as frothy juices and flavored ice; the winter warmers, such as pancakes and coffee;and, of course, the all year rounders, such as hot dogs, chicken, pies, french fries and even pizza. Most of these tasty treats are combined with unique sauces to tantalize the taste buds. It doesn’t stop there, however, other products include traditional meals such as Pap ‘n Vleis, or even toasted sandwiches and salads, which enable vendors to widen their scope to the city areas, where business folk may pass their stalls during lunchtime.
As a potential operator, there is a huge variety of rewarding mobile businesses – service or product-oriented – to choose from. You can set up just about anything from an ice cream cart to a car wash, landscaping or vehicle repair service. Container – based businesses are also a growing sector, especially in our informal settlements. Old shipping containers are used to house small businesses – anything from hairdressers to cellphone shops. They’re cheap and sturdy, though not as mobile as the carts mentioned above. While there’s nothing new about operating from a kiosk or cart, those available today can be sophisticated as you want and can come fully kitted with the storage and equipment needed to run just about any type of business.
Many franchisor’s today sell a combination of vending options, to enable the franchisee to earn profits both winter and summer, as well as to offer a wider variety of products. This is why fast food is such a hit as a mobile vending opportunity – the product is in demand and the meals sold are easy to prepare on the move. One of the key aspects to mobile vending is, of course, the customized trailer. Trailers vary in size, depending on the type of business, but most are made from lightweight, but durable materials, to ensure that they are easy to hook up to a car and take on the road. A few companies are concentrating on the design and manufacturing of these customized trailers and caravans for the mobile vending industry. They assist new and established franchises and businesses to enter this market.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR?
If you’re interested in mobile vending it is very important that you look at the trailer’s technical specifications – i.e. whether it is equipped to serve the food you will be selling. For example, do you need a stove, icebox, cooler, generator, fridge, microwave, plug points, grill or storage space? Another key aspect to consider is branding and signage. Branding is very important as it will draw the crowds and create product awareness. Mobile vending is a low -investment option for those looking to enter the fast food market. Many franchisors request a once-off investment payment only, covering the purchase of the trailer, initial stock, use of the brand name, training etc, without expecting any royalties. It’s a cash business, as the money you make goes directly into your pocket. You don’t need office space, employees or have hefty expenses, that would raise the running costs of the business.
WHY GO MOBILE?
Consumers who are looking for convenience and on-site service are your target market. Time-poor consumers opt to purchase from vendors near their workplace, public transport or on their route to or from work, and will even pay a premium for this convenience. You can also target prime consumer locations such as universities, schools, hospitals, parks and trade shows.
IS THIS FOR YOU?
If you’re looking for a full-time operation that offers flexibility, or a part-time venture, mobile vending may just be right for you. Bear in mind that your income is directly dependent on the amount of hours you work. If you don’t go on the road, you won’t make any sales. This opportunity is low risk, affordable and fun!!!
FOOD TRAILER BUSINESS BOOM
For the person who wants to open a restaurant, the brick and mortar issue can make it an impossible dream, with property and rentals being so expensive and risky. For many years, we have seen food trailers that park on street corners, in events grounds and parking lots as well as business parks. These business people run low overhead operations that are less expensive than rent and easily moved where the revenue will be best. It is like embracing a new food culture. The creativity and personal style of cuisine and the design of these rolling restaurants is a lifestyle which appeals to many a family.Some of these are brightly painted to match the food they’re selling. Investing in one of these little mobile restaurants would present a multitude of opportunities.
What may be a great venue this year fade in time but now you are not stuck with rent and overheads. Pack up and move to the next venue and if this fades down the line there’s the venue somewhere else. People willing to work late hours can profit from the nightclubs too. A well-planned coffee trailer can reap many profits through morning peak hour business. The start-up investment for a trailer is around R25 000. It is possible to do it for less. Then you need to get proper licenses and permits where required. Look for auctions where you can find great bargains on catering equipment. Keep it as simple as possible – simple menu and manageable productivity and profits.
Mobile food vending offers everything from hot-dogs, burgers, chicken, Chinese, Thai, Mediterranean as well as coffee-on-the-go from a trailer to a fully equipped van. What about more variety of wraps style mobile stalls, for people who eat while they are driving, mobile curry stalls, healthy alternatives, organic variety, salads, Mediterranean style kebabs, soups and ice cream parlor mobile stalls? What about offering decent espresso and a selection of quality pastries, in the mobile market? The options are endless, and there are more than enough experts who can tailor design and manufacture mobile trailer units. Don’t wait for the mega trends from overseas to dominate the market. Follow through on your own ideas and meet the needs of the eating population.
Where to start? Well, like everything else, it starts with a proper plan. The bigger the outlay the more detailed the business plan should be. Rather ask a professional consultant to assist.
STARTING YOUR MOBILE FOOD BUSINESS
Many people dream of a work style that gives them independence, enjoyment and, at the same time, a decent income. But it still takes effort, careful planning and diligence. A few things to ponder in your planning:-
- What are you selling? (ice cream, candy floss, burgers etc).
- Develop a menu.
- Who is your target market? (general public or business, trading times etc).
- Who will operate the stand?
- Due diligence and evaluate various venues/locations.
- Select the menu (seasonal or general).
- Design the correct trailer and research ides.
- Cooking, serving and storage space requirements?
- What catering equipment will you require?
- Source your regular and reliable suppliers?
- Enquire if you require licenses or permits?.
- Make sure you are costing correctly.
- How much capital do you require before turning a sustainable profit?.
- Do a dummy run.
- Create a operations procedure.
- Make sure you comply to Health & Safety regulations.
- Brand your trailer well.
- Let the community know of your location.
- Will you require seating?.
- Will you require insurance?.
With all this information you should be ready to roll.
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Today’s coffee shops offer a variety of coffee’s from latte’s to espresso’s, mocha’s to Irish coffee’s. Some also offer a variety of light meals, for the breakfast, lunch or late-night crowd. A coffee shop requires a lot of work, as your hours are from early morning to late evening, depending on where your site is located. If in an office block, you’ll probably be open to welcome the earliest of workers who want to enjoy a cup of coffee before starting the day. If you’re in a shopping mall, or near local clubs you’ll probably stay open till late at night to cater for the late-night movie goers or party animals.
Coffee shops could be very rewarding. There is a quick turnaround on tables during the breakfast and lunchtime sessions, though late at night your crowds will be more relaxed. Quick turnaround means that your kitchen staff and waitrons need to be efficient and speedy workers, but it also means that you will have more customers coming through your door per average, than a restaurant. Of course, this all depends on how popular your shop is, so here you need to market and offer the best quality in terms of product and service.
You also may wish to investigate ” Franchised Coffee Shops” first because you will have the benefit of an established brand, concept and support structure. You can visit their shops and see how busy they are, on average, as it will give you an indicator of what you can expect in a similar location in your area. Also find out how many other competing coffee shops are located in your area and what you will be providing that they don’t in order to pull in the customers.
If you bare doing it on your own, remember to use only the best in terms of equipment and, more importantly, coffee beans. There is nothing as horrid as a bad, cold cup of coffee when you have been longing for it all day. Thin, overheated, flavorless or bitter – these are all unacceptable. Why not take a sip from each new pot, to ensure quality every time. If held in machines , ensure that coffee is replenished, as it’s rather frustrating for customers to try and pour their favorable blend, only to find the machine empty. Your first cup should make them want to come back for more. Coffee shops have a certain vibe that enable customers to relax and enjoy, even when grabbing a quick cup or coming in alone for a working lunch. They are not as pricey as restaurants, even when ordering a meal, and provide quick and speedy service. The coffee sector is taking off in South Africa and is being greatly influenced by overseas coffee concepts, and this could be a great business opportunity for you.
“Nestle” dominates the South African coffee market, followed by National Brands with its House of Coffees brand which is the leading brand within fresh coffee. Other coffee brands are Kenna and Ciro (Swiss Brands) and Jacobs (Kraft Foods). Convenience as well as value for money will continue to be key drivers of growth in South African coffee. The trend towards more premium instant coffee among the upper income groups will continue. There may also be a move towards organic coffee among these consumers as the health and wellness trends takes hold. We are seeing a change in the local coffee culture as South African consumers become more adventurous in trying out new options. More and more coffee drinkers have “bean- grinders” at home, indicating a growing shift away from drinking instant coffee. A number of new independent coffee shops with their own in-house coffee roasters have appeared in the past few years.
The Coffee Shop is determined to become a daily necessity for local coffee addicts, a place to dream of as you try to escape the daily stresses of life and just a comfortable place to meet your friends or to read a book all in one. Based on recent experience good coffee is finally become the norm in offices and boardrooms across the country heralding the dawn of a blue chip, coffee culture that appreciates the best life has to offer. This means that coffee has come a long way from the instant, chicory-laden coffee types of old which has seen South Africa going through something of a caffeine revolution in the last few years which has seen a definite move from over-roasted, milky “cappuccinos” topped with mountains of cream and chocolate sprinkles, to cinnamon roasts of flat-whites and cortados.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER
Determine whether owing your own business is for you. Most coffee shop owners are driven by a passion for what they do. This carries them through the hard times and the risk of failure that accompany all small business ventures. In addition to having a passion for your business, you should make sure that your personality is a good fit for the uncertainties of business ownership.
The environment in which you open your coffee shop has a significant effect on it’s success. It is very important to consider factors such as the location, how fast you can grow the business, and what makes your business different from your competitors.
Talk to other small business owners in the area. Networking with other owners of coffee shops will help you understand more about the process from a first-hand source:-
- It is a good idea to ask about the challenges and difficulties they face as well as what strategies they use to overcome these challenges;
- Remember that networking is a two – way street. Make sure you thank all the people who talk with you for their time and input.
4. The Market
You need to decide exactly who your target audience is. Even though most people drink coffee on a regular basis there is no way that you will appeal to everyone. Trying to do so is actually a recipe for failure. Focus on the niche that your coffee shop can appeal to.
5. Set – Up Decision
Determine whether you want to start from scratch or by buying an existing business. Owners of coffee shops frequently look for a new owner to hand the business to. If the business is already fairly successful, taking over an existing business could be a good idea. Another option to consider is franchising.
Starting a coffee shop requires start up capital. How much money you’ll need can vary dramatically, depending on your location, the scale of your venture, and how much investment your property requires.
7. Write a Business Plan
A fully developed business plan will make sure there are no nasty surprises once you begin the process of opening your coffee shop. A Business Plan has many elements. Make sure you have a very clear idea of your shops identity, including what products it will serve, the location and the short term/long term goals.
8. Secure Funding
Once you have a solid business plan in place, you’ll need to secure funding. Starting a coffee shop can be done with just a few thousand rand or it can require several hundred thousand Rands. Don’t borrow or spend more than you need. Speak to a professional consultant.
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