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Stor-Age: Steven Horton, Gavin Lucas, Stephen Lucas

Providing people with access to their stuff in a clean and secure space is good business.

Monique Verduyn

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Gavin Lucas was 24 and completing his accounting articles when he and his dad Les Lucas decided to start a self-storage business in Cape Town. “In between working for KPMG and studying for my board exams, I would wake up at 5:30am, have planning meetings with my dad at 6:15am, and then head off to work.

I would duck out of the office during the day to have meetings with council officials, lawyers, bankers and our professional team. At night, I would start working on the business again. When I let a few of my colleagues know that we had been planning a 7 500m2 property development and that we had already made the bank’s required pre-sales and obtained planning consent, they didn’t believe me.”

Learn to differentiate

Stor-Age provides short-term space for domestic and commercial customers on a flexible lease basis. Lucas says the business sets itself apart from other self-storage companies through the quality of its convenient locations, its purpose-built storage centres, and the best service offering in the industry.

“Our staff are trained to sell space and to give customers a positive experience. Storing goods is usually something people do because of a life changing event like death, divorce, moving or renovating, or because their business has a need. We ensure that they have a light, bright, clean and secure space,“ Lucas says.

Dedication is key

Lucas’s commitment has been rewarded. Stor-Age is growing fast in South Africa and the world. After starting the business with a loan of R1 million in 2006, the company has a property portfolio of more than R750 million, which is expected to grow to R1 billion within the next year. Having started with four stores, Lucas aims to have 20 in operation by the end of 2013.

Know what matters

He says he has learnt a few key things. “Being able to communicate clearly is critically important. You must be able to set out clearly what the business is aiming to achieve and communicate it to the entire organisation at all levels. This becomes a challenge as the business grows.”

He says success is not all about money. “To be truly successful, you need to be able to motivate staff to become passionate about what the business is doing. The market will reward this handsomely. I also believe in employing people who are smarter and have more experience than me in specific areas. This can unlock tremendous value. In this country there are large numbers of people who have retired early. Many of them would love to sink their teeth into SMEs. They’ve certainly proved to be a great addition to our team.”

Vital stats

Company: Stor-Age

Players: Steven Horton, Gavin Lucas, Stephen Lucas

Est: 2006

Contact: 0861 181 818,
www.stor-age.co.za

Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.

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27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton

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Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
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Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton

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Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

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Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton

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Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
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