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King of Denim

Premium brand store grows through innovative funding.

Nadine Todd

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The high-end retail business is cash intensive. The unit price of stock is expensive, and import duties range from 25% to 40%. Cash must be paid on delivery, there are cartage fees, and only once all of this has been covered will the customer actually see the product.

When Armani Jamrozinsky launched V+King, a men’s multi-brand high-end retail store in Menlyn Park in 2008, he had a clear goal in mind: He wanted to focus on bringing exceptional brands to a niche local market.

As a start-up with a tight budget, marketing was not an option, and so he focused on getting feet through his door and customers experiencing his products instead.

“I used what marketing budget I had to offer discounts. I wanted my clientele to experience our range for themselves, and change their buying behaviour as a result.”

By 2010 Jamrozinsky was able to launch a second store in the upmarket Hyde Park Corner in Johannesburg. “The cash flow of the first store funded the second, but with Hyde Park I was looking to bring in fewer, more exclusive brands. I manage my stock well — we sell out within a three month cycle, which means we always have new items coming in and cash flow is healthy.”

However, wanting to upgrade the store and purchase additional, higher-end premium brands, Jamrozinsky began looking for a funding vehicle that would support the growth he had in mind.

“I came across a product by Merchant Capital. They evaluated the last 12 months of my business’s transactions, used the average to forecast similar future turnover and gave me a cash advance based on this figure. It was fast and simple – the money was in my account within days. They essentially discount a percentage of future card revenue and advance the cash today, but the full 100% is repaid with no fixed repayment term. These repayments are made through a small percentage on each credit card transaction. The more I sell, the faster the loan is repaid, and in quiet seasons, I’m not bound by fixed repayment terms.”

The product has allowed Jamrozinsky to increase his brand line, including premium denim brands previously unavailable in South Africa.

Vital stats

  • Player: Armani Jamrozinsky
  • Company: V+King
  • Est: 2008
  • Connect: www.vking.co.za • +27 (0)11 325 6301

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Sushi’s Secret Sauce: Vusi Kunene of The Blackanese. Read the interview here

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Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.

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25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton

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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.

CEOwise

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Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect

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It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.

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“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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