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Renwick Business Brokers: Jim Renwick

A business broker sets itself apart by offering a comprehensive service to buyers and sellers

Juliet Pitman



Jim Renwick of Renwick Business Brokers

In tough competitive environments, serviceis sometimes the only differentiator between winners and losers. This issomething Jim Renwick, founder and CEO of Renwick Business Brokers, understoodwhen he first started Renwick Business Brokers, today an industry player ofsignificant weight.

“Most business brokers take a mandate froma seller, source a buyer who is ready, willing and able to enter into anagreement with the buyer and draw up a memorandum of agreement between the twoparties. At this point, they cut their ties, charge their fee and leave thebuyer and seller to sort things out. Looking at this, I just thought it was arip off. It’s like an estate agent who simply takes you to a house and thencharges you commission for doing so. They’ve basically done nothing,” heexplains.Realising there was money to be made byoffering more, he set up Renwick Business Brokers, offering a full servicebrokerage. Buying a business is a complicated and often risky process and thebuyer is just as much in need of advice as the seller. As Renwick explains: “Wesee the seller and the buyer as our clients. Once the agreement is settled, wetake the buyer through a 21 point documentation sequence, helping them with allaspects of the process. In so many cases, the first-time buyer is three to fourmonths down the line and still no closer to owning the business. They lose interestand the deal falls through but the business broker has long since gone withtheir commission.”

Initially Renwick started the business witha work-from-home operation in mind. “I wanted something that could make moneyfor my retirement,” he recalls, but so great was the demand for the service hewas offering that the business started to take on a life of its own. “It grewso quickly and I found I couldn’t provide all our clients with the full servicethat sets us apart, so I started farming deals out to friends in the industry,”he adds. Recognising that he was sitting on a gold mine, Renwick startedfranchising. Today the business has 34 franchises around the country.As an entrepreneur whose business iscentred on brokering the sale of businesses, it’s not surprising that one ofRenwick’s strongest skills is in sales. He has used this to great effect notonly in placing numerous buyers into very lucrative and viable businesses, butalso to grow his own business. From a marketing point of view, he hascapitalised on the fact that consumer knowledge of business brokering isseverely limited.

“Very few people in South Africa even knowwhat business brokering is because it hasn’t been marketed. But there is anenormous need for it. I have seen people lose their life savings buying abusiness that they weren’t suited to, and the fact is that people needprofessionals to help them through the process,” he comments. To tap into themarket and meet this need, Renwick conducts free seminars throughout SouthAfrica on how to buy and sell a business. Not only do these events educate themarket about the need for business brokering, but they also generate salesleads, establish Renwick as a market expert and drive interest amongprospective franchisees.Today his core focus is on his role as afranchisor and the need to ensure that all franchisees deliver the samecomprehensive service that set Renwick Business Brokers apart in the firstplace. His goal is to establish 100 Renwick franchises nationwide and althoughhe admits that the role is very different from his original one in sales,Renwick is philosophical about the challenges that come with dealing withfranchisees. “Renwick is, at its heart, a family business and franchiseesbuying into it need to understand that. From my perspective, the most importantthing is to be able to deal with people – but then that’s something I’ve beendoing my whole life.” Contact: +27 31 709 0723;

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


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.






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




Vital Stats

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.


“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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