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Start-up Industry Specific

How To Start A Clothing Business

The South African clothing industry is a talented one.

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Content in this guide

  1. Create a blueprint for your business
  2. Name your clothing line and company
  3. Register the business
  4. Basic design skills
  5. Production Plan
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Get the pricing right
  8. How to find a clothing manufacturer
  9. Networking is a valuable tool
  10. Market your line
  11. Online marketing
  12. Workshops and training

The South African fashion industry has the talent to develop original products with inspirational style and creative detail to compete very well with popular international brands. However, designers too often fail to deliver through lack of basic planning and business acumen,” says Amanda du Plessis.

Du Plessis launched the retail consultancy Evolution 4 years ago to help top South African brands to realise their potential. A doyenne in the industry, she started her career as a buyer at Truworths, developing in-house ladies wear and accessories ranges.

She joined Stuttafords as a brand manager where she developed three private label ranges – Define, Excursion and Oaktree – and managed six local and international brands. She left Stuttafords to head up retail development at Polo before starting her own consultancy.

Create a blueprint for your business

blueprint

Blueprint advice

There are a number of business matters that must be in place before you can start a clothing line.

  • No matter what kind of business you start, you must have a business plan.
  • In the plan, you must consider all the costs and include your goals. Once you have done this, everything else will fall into place.
  • Start small. Many business ventures begin small; then grow with time, lots of hard work and patience.

Name your clothing line and company

zara-business-name

Naming your business for success

Think of a creative and catchy name that represents you and the product. Once you have worked out a name, you must protect your label by registering the name.

Related: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Naming Your Business (Infographic)

Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in Pretoria is responsible for the registration of companies, trademarks and patents. Contact them to register your brand name and logo. Protect the brand name under trademark law as well, but don’t forget to do a trademark search before you register it.

Register the business

business-registration

Have you registered your business yet?

Set up a business entity by registering the business as a Close Corporation or a Private Company and get all of the necessary licenses and tax registrations that are required by the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

Related: Steps for Registering Your Clothing Business

Basic design skills

clothing-design

If you want to start a clothing line, you should have some design skills such as sketching, sewing, pattern making and textile knowledge.

The Design Process

Before you start a clothing line, you need to understand the design process as a whole. Research current trends to predict what styles, colours, and fabrics will be popular

  • Conceptualise an idea
  • Sketch preliminary designs
  • Select fabrics

“To have a successful business, you need to have items that are more accessible to a greater audience both price and style-wise. This does not mean that you need to create pieces for the mass market. Instead you need to consider a range of pieces and prices within your collections,” explains du Plessis.

Production Plan

Formulate your production plan — that’s going to do what, how much it is going to cost, what needs to be produced. You’ll need to create a sample, or have a sample created for you.

Related: Free Operational Plan Template

You can then use this sample to get orders. Take the sample to fashion shows, trade shows, retailers, craft shows, etc.

Manufacturing

hanging-suits

Clothes manufacturing and production in South Africa

Providing that you have your designs and range set out on paper, that patterns have been cut and fabrics sourced, the next step is to manufacture a range of professional samples.

“In South Africa it is difficult to find a reliable CTM (Clothing and Textile Manufacturer) willing to make a small range. You could employ seamstresses to make the clothing on your premises until you can no longer cope with demand, or better still create a group of seamstresses that work for a few designers and pay them for finished product instead of paying a daily rate.”

“This way you will know your actual cost and your labour component will be more productive. Once your units gets closer to 100/200 units you could approach a CTM to manufacture the line,” advises du Plessis. When dealing with a clothing manufacturer, prepare a list to find one that is the right fit. Find out the following:

  • How much will it cost to get what I need?
  • What are the turnaround times?
  • Do you provide samples before finalising production?
  • How soon will I receive the sample?

The textiles, clothing and footwear industry in South Africa is well established, but has been under siege for some years due to the negative impact of cheap imports. The effect of cheap exports is exacerbated by the reduction of import protection; this stems the flow of illegal imports and the effect of the discontinuation of export incentives.

Related: The Benefits Of Manufacturing Locally

“There are very few mills left in South Africa that produce apparel fabrics, and most of the fabrics are imported thru wholesalers therefore designers will not always have  exclusivity on designs, this however creates an opportunity for designers to create their own look by adding value to basic cloths by printing, embroidery or draping” says du Plessis.

Get the pricing right

Consider everything that goes into making your clothes when deciding on pricing.

  • Fashion material costs (material, cotton, buttons, zips, etc).
  • Salaries for you and any employees.
  • Advertising and marketing costs.
  • Manufacturing costs.
  • Other expenses, like utilities, supplies and equipment.

Related: Smart Marketing Ideas for Your New Business

Make sure that your target market can afford your clothing range.

How to find a clothing manufacturer

Sewing-machine

How to find a clothing manufacturer

This requires lots of legwork. Start by browsing through the internet. There is a global clothing manufacturer register on clothingregister.com that lists manufactures in South African and around the world.

“Word of mouth is a good way to find a good small manufacturer,” recommends du Plessis. Talk to other designers at fashion shows and industry events and find out who they recommend. It is a good idea when your units become bigger to include a “penalty clause” so that you are protected in the event of a late delivery by the manufacturer. , says du Plessis.

Now you are ready to launch the range

Once the samples are made, you need to contact buyers at stores where you believe your target market would shop. Not only do you show them samples, but you should also show them the different styles, colours and fabric swatches. If they decide to buy, request a written order including the delivery date and payment terms.

Networking is a valuable tool

Never hesitate to network. You never know who you could be discussing your business venture with. It could be a prospective client or even a possible partner.

Market your line

clothing-store-layout

Marketing techniques in South Africa

Spread the word by wearing your own designs and telling anyone who asks you that you made it.

  • Make use of free social networks such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter to raise your clothing line’s visibility.
  • Write press releases and distribute them to newspapers and fashion magazines.
  • You could open your own boutique, but you would have to prove through your business plan that the shop will be profitable. It’s a risky route
  • Sell your line to a retailer; try to set up a plan whereby you sell your clothes through other clothing retailers.
  • You can also take your samples to craft fairs, flea markets, fashion shows and trade shows.

Online marketing

Online sales can be a great addition to your sales plan. Either you can use your own professional website, or you can use online marketplaces such as FashionCircus.net, or LA Showroom on http://www.lashowroom.com/ and for news, events and forums dealing with the South African fashion industry go to ifashion.

Workshops and training

“One of the opportunities for the South African design schools is to address the business side of design and to equip the designers with the correct tools.” says du Plessis.

Many academic intuitions offer Fashion Design courses including Lisof (London International School of Fashion), The University of Pretoria and the Design School of South Africa. Evolution runs regular workshops to help and guide the industry in South Africa. Watch evolution projects for workshop announcements.

Related: Business Plan Format Guide

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ash

    Mar 16, 2016 at 14:47

    Fashion industry is growing at a faster rate than any other industry. and new clothing businesses are emerging every year. From all clothing businesses, Custom clothing is tops the list. As people have become more style conscious and they prefer wearing perfect fit clothes. Ecommerce platforms like Stitch has made it easier for people trying to launch startups based on online clothing business.

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Start-up Industry Specific

Want To Start A Property Business That Buys Property And Rents It Out?

Information on starting a property renting business.

Shawn Theunissen

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Start your property rental business using this guide

I would like to start a property business where I purchase the properties and I rent it out, I already have a paid up property that I am renting out but my taxes are too high on the rental income so I am considering starting up a business. Could you advise me on where I can get more information on the requirements to start this and provide some guidance on whether it would be wise to pursue this business?

Before starting any business, it’s important that you’re absolutely clear about why you’re doing it – and that it’s going to be something that excites you, drives you and challenges you in the long-term.

If you’re only considering starting a property investment and management company to try and reduce your taxable income, then I don’t believe this is an appropriate – or a sustainable – solution.

Related: How The Property Brothers Built Up A Real-Estate And Entertainment Empire One Brick At A Time

You should rather consult a reputable financial adviser about other investment options that would better suit your personal needs.

If owning and managing properties is, however, an opportunity you would like to pursue, I would then recommend that you start off by equipping yourself with a proper understanding of what it actually means to be a landlord.

This will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to start this (ad)venture as an entrepreneur. At a very basic level, here are some of the things you might want to consider to determine if this is the right business for you:

Initial cost

initial-cost-and-property

This is what you need to consider, cost wise, when you start up your business

You need to consider the initial cost that you will be incurring when setting up the business, especially since you have a property in your personal capacity.

You will need to transfer the property from your personal capacity into your business and pay transfer fees and transfer costs.

These costs will be calculated based on the current value of the property.

The work and planning

No matter whether you’re a residential or commercial landlord, property management requires a great deal of work and planning. Remember you will be responsible for all aspects of the property: From purchasing it to maintaining it on a day-to-day basis.

Related: Real Estate Business Plan Sample

This involves everything from transfer to managing the monthly utility bills, all the way through to replacing the geyser when it bursts and ensuring your tenants behave appropriately in the building. You would also need to source your tenants and ensure that they pay you on time.

All by yourself

business-owner-development

Starting your business alone? You need to know this

From a start-up perspective, you would probably need to do all of this yourself in the beginning. As such, you would need to work to build up your own database of reputable suppliers: Plumbers, electricians and handymen.

It’s important that you find experienced, qualified suppliers that you can trust, and who will be able to deliver on time and cost-effectively.

Related: Handyman Joshua Cox Of Trade-Mark On Thinking Like A Tech Start-Up

This can be a very time consuming process. Also consider that you would need to be on hand to facilitate all of this work: Arranging the call-out with the supplier and the tenant; overseeing the work delivered; paying the supplier etc.

Business owner development

Above and beyond that, you’re then going to need to develop yourself as a business owner. You will need to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge required to lead and manage this business in order to make it both sustainable and profitable.

This will require a significant investment from you: Time, effort and money. The more you commit to this journey of personal and professional development, the better your chances of success.

If you can picture yourself doing – and enjoying – all of the above, it’s then equally important to consider if this is a viable opportunity.

The greatest barrier to entry in this sector for you as an entrepreneur is probably going to be finance.

You need to be conscious of this from the outset.

  • Do you already have access to the funds you need to purchase the properties you are going to rent out?
  • If not, what are your plans to secure this funding? And what are the returns you are expecting?
  • Also consider the funding of the business itself. How will you finance this, especially during the first year?

My recommendation here is to take the time to do your homework – and the maths. While this could be a business opportunity, it might not be something that will be possible for you to do on your own.

Related: What You Need To Know To Become the Next Property Entrepreneur

If you have a feasible plan regarding the above, you then need to start working on developing a model for this business – as well as a strategy and plan. All of these will require research on your behalf: From reading Entrepreneur to accessing websites, possibly visiting walk-in centres etc.

This will include unpacking the actual opportunity itself – and determining if there really is a demand for your service offering.

Please note that the above are thinking or “trigger-points” – listed simply to give you an idea of some of the things you need to consider, as well as the mindset you will potentially need to adopt as an entrepreneur. Your response to them should give you a good sense of if this is the path you wish to walk.

Related: 9 Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Live By

Remember that entrepreneurship is a journey – and every day on this road is a learning opportunity. If it is for you, embrace it whole-heartedly, don’t be afraid of failure and be sure to seek out the assistance available to you.

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Start-up Industry Specific

How To Start A Farming Business

Keep these nine points in mind when launching your new farming business.

Entrepreneur

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Contents in this guide

  1. Business Planning
  2. Location
  3. Equipment and livestock
  4. Training
  5. Market Positioning
  6. Funding
  7. Types of Farming
  8. Planning Stages
  9. Organisations

1. Business Planning

It would be wise to create a business plan for any new venture. There are a few points to keep in mind when planning the business.

Resource: Free Business Plan Template Download

2. Location

farming-location

Choose the right location to farm in business

The location of your farm will have to suit the type of product you wish to produce. The choice is usually determined by space limitations, and the type of farming you wish to undertake.

Related: How do I choose a location for my business?

For example, if you are going to sell Free Range poultry you would have to have enough space for the chickens to roam freely.

On the other hand chickens that are kept indoors are typically housed in rows of cages, called batteries, and this system requires a great deal of equipment and capital outlay.

If you are planning to produce maize you will have to consider the requirements for that product such as location and climate.

3. Equipment and live stock

tractor-equipment

How to pick your farming Equipment and livestock

Capital is required to buy livestock, equipment and land. Funds have to be budgeted for to cover buying or leasing of land on which to house the farm in a suitable area. The Department of Agriculture’s Mafisa scheme has been launched to fund smaller emerging farmers.

4. Training

farm-training

Look at doing some courses before you start

Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (Livestock) Programme is a research, training and small business programme that addresses the basic issues underlying emerging farming systems and SMME Development in product processing and marketing.


This 13 Year Old Chicken Farmer Is Getting Right What Most Adult Entrepreneurs Aren’t

Jarrod’s forever hustling. He made his first sale when he was six years old. He sold his skateboard for more than we had bought it for. But, he’s a wise spender, even from a young age. He turns over his coins several times before buying anything.


They provide guidance in areas such as milk products for small-scale farmers, fruit and vegetable industry by-products as feed; goat leather production; feasibility studies and business plans for rural entrepreneurs.

5. Market Positioning

Market Positioning

Have you thought about your target market

Market positioning is very important and you must consider carefully if:

  • The idea practical, and will it fill a need?
  • What is the competition?
  • What is your business’s advantage over existing poultry farmers?
  • Will you deliver a better quality service?
  • Can you create a demand for your product?

6. Funding

crop-funding

Farm funding options

Getting Finance

You need to have financial strength to support your routine production cycle. There are different ways to go about it. The Land Bank supports resource-poor farmers to become active participants in mainstream commercial agriculture through Agricultural entrepreneurship.

The Bank offers unsecured loans of up to R25 000. These are usually offered to small-scale farmers.

However, it is imperative for the loans must be used for agricultural purposes only.

Related: How to Write a Funding Proposal

The Land Bank offers short, medium and long term loans as well as Instalment Sale Finance which is a type of medium-term loan where the goods that you buy act as the main security for the loan: the goods belong to the Bank until the loan is paid in full. It enables all farmers, especially those with limited assets to grow their businesses.

Typical uses:

  • Farming equipment
  • Implements
  • Vehicles
  • Livestock

This finance package is available for periods between 3 and 10 years, depending on the expected length of life of the asset. Payments can be made on a monthly, quarterly, six-monthly or annual basis. An individual farmer or a group or any legal entity may access this type of loan.

Funding for farms outside South Africa’s borders

Approach Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA). If they cannot help, they may well be able to guide you to an organisation that can.

AGRA’s programmes and partnerships work to make changes across various agricultural systems. Integrated programs in seeds, soils, market access, policy and partnerships, and innovative finance help to transform various subsistence agri-businesses into sustainable, viable commercial activities.

One example is found in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, where 700 000 smallholder farmers produced a record maize harvest in 2009, helping to feed drought-stricken regions of the country.

7. Types of Farms

Types of Farms

Which farming style would you choose

Small Scale Farming

What kinds of farming are suitable for a 21-hectare plot? Should I farm with cows or grow crops? Small-scale farming can provide a good living

Related: The 8 Lessons Entrepreneurs Could Learn From Farmers

Smaller farms are easier to manage. You need a genuine interest in farming if you want to be successful. A farmer is a businessman first and a farmer second. You should have an entrepreneurial flair, be quality-conscious and self-motivated.

A. Dairy farming

To be a successful dairy farmer one has to have a love of cattle and experience in this field.

A person who wants to become a dairy farmer should spend time working on a dairy farm before striking out on their own. It is important to have an understanding of animal anatomy, cattle health, and milk production.

If you have no experience, take classes in livestock production and business management to help develop the skills needed to run a successful dairy farm. These include:

  • Animal handling
  • Practical skills such as the ability to do fencing and use mechanical tools
  • Mathematical and business skills
  • Communication and organisational skills

Dairy farming is a lifestyle

You have to work long hours every day of the year, and rise early to milk and feed the cows. You have to be detail orientated. Farmers must keep careful records on each cow so they can measure the cost of keeping it against the income produced.

To run a small community farm with 10 head of dairy cows where crops are also grown and sold, you need skills in both disciplines. These include being able to work independently, understand soils, crops and dairy production as well as the ability to observe herd health and behaviour

These are a few of the responsibilities you have to think about:

  • Manage pasture, stock and stock breeding programmes
  • Hire, organise and supervise farm staff
  • Buy feed, machinery and other farm materials
  • Attend stock sales to buy and sell stock
  • Dip cattle to ensure good health and remove parasites
  • Wean calves
  • Manage and prepare stock for slaughter
  • Control pests and weeds
  • Maintain farm buildings, yards and fences

You can make money by selling products produced at the farm to big dairy companies, or sell your own products if you can afford the processing equipment.

B. Crops

In South Africa, only about 12% of the country can be used for crop production. High-potential arable land comprises only 22% of total arable land.

Related: Liz Hurley: From Fembot to Organic Farmer

Therefore you need to find out what crops would be suitable for the farm you have. This depends on soil type, water supply and a host of other considerations. Contact the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for more information.

Legislation

Before you go ahead and start farming check details of any legislation and regulations governing the industry, product and production processes.

Consult with the local municipal authorities to ensure that the land is zoned for farming and that there are no by laws that could affect the farm negatively.

Register the business with SARS so that you are compliant with tax and labour legislation.

8. Planning Stages

farm-irrigation

Farm planning

Business plan

To start any business, whether it is a farm or a factory, you must prepare a business plan. Information in each section of the business plan should be concise and include an evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that may apply.


Agriculture Business Plan Sample

Use this Agriculture Business Plan Sample to start your farming business off on the right footing. The right information and formatting in a business plan can also help with funding, use this sample business plan and get it right.


Production plan

Every farm is unique, in terms of location, soil quality, labour requirements and so on. The business plan must therefore include a “production plan”. This encompasses all the details explaining how your farm operates and what products it will produce for market.

The production plan includes such things as land, buildings, equipment, supplies and processes, as well as laws and regulations that influence the business. Production is the core income-producer for a farm, so this section must be very detailed.

You will need to do extensive research into the capabilities of your land, the type of farming you choose, market requirements and the buyers in your area.

Equipment

Within the business plan, you must include the cost of equipment and storage facilities. These are needed for storing feed and the plants that are produced. For example, cow manure is a good fertiliser for crops but needs to be stored.

Related: How To Finance The Equipment That Will Build Your Business

If you run a dairy farm, you can milk the cows by hand. However, having automated milking equipment can cut the time required to produce milk.

Finance

Commercial banks offer a wide range of finance, investment and risk management solutions across a diverse range of agribusiness products and services for the agricultural value chain.

The Land Bank of South Africa is an agricultural development finance institution that supports economic growth through the provision of retail, wholesale, project and micro-financial services to agriculture and related rural services.

It offers long, medium and short-term loans. Alternatively, click here to find out more about the various financing options available to you.

Training

For training in agriculture ARC (Agricultural Research Council) offers a number of courses which include: Pig production, beef cattle management, small stock management, poultry production and meat processing.

Other courses offered by other institutions of ARC are:

  • Grain Crops Institute – Maize and dry beans
  • Plant Protection Institute – Bee keeping.
  • Vegetable and Ornamental Plants -Vegetable hydroponics.
  • Fruit, Vine and Wine Institute – Preserving of fruit

Other sources to contact:

9. Organisations

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

  • Postal: Private Bag x250, Pretoria, 0001
  • Tel: +27 12 319 6000

SA Poultry Association

Poultry Reference Laboratory

  • University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110
  • Tel: +27 12 529 8224
  • E-mail: ademeil@op.upp.ac.za

KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute

Irene Animal Improvement Institute, Advisory Services

Agricultural sites

These websites can help regarding agriculture:

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Start-up Industry Specific

How Do I Start A Security Company?

There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both.

Entrepreneur

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The Security Sector

To start a security service company in South Africa you must register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (SIRA).

Related: More than 50 free sample business plans here

There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both. It is estimated that the private security industry in South Africa employs over 400 000 individuals.

You need a lot of capital

South-African-rands

Capital for starting a business

Starting a security business requires a good deal of capital outlay and it’s highly recommended that one should have a background in this field.


How To Start A Business With No Money

Want to start a business but don’t have the funds? Take a look at How To Start A Business With No Money for tips and advice.


Decide what kind of company you want to start

There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both. Each sector falls under its own regulatory body.

Security Services

Greg Margolis is the CEO of NYPD Security, a niche security company that has operated for the last five years in the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg.

“To run your own security service company I think that you have to be well rounded in terms of not just being a good business person, but you also have to be a people person, a marketing person and know a good deal about the business.

There’s tough competition, but I love what I do and wouldn’t sell my business even if I was offered triple what its worth. I am passionate about what I do”, says Margolis.

Starting a Security Services Business

Security Services Business

ADT Security Services Business

To start a security service company in South Africa you must register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSIRA). This includes paying a registration fee of R2 280 and writing an exam.

Once you have passed the exam, proved that you do not have a criminal record, SIRA will conduct an inspection to establish whether or not your business meets the infrastructure requirements. A further fee of R1 710 is charged for the assessment.

Each year the business is re-accessed which costs a further R500 plus the annual renewal fee or R520.

The following documentation is required for registration:

  1. An authenticated copy of the CM1, CM2, CM27, CM29, CM31 and CM 46 (apply at Registrar of Companies or Attorneys), if the applicant is a company;
  2. An authenticated copy of the Partnership Agreement if the applicant is a partnership;
  3. An authenticated copy of the trust deed and the letter of authorisation to the trustees from the Master of the High Court if the applicant is a business trust

Related:Steps for Setting the Right Prices for Your Security Business

Also required:

  1. The Suretyship form (SIRA 4) to be signed by the natural person who has taken full responsibility of the security business
  2. Every director, member, partner (as the case may be) applying for registration as a security business must have successfully completed, at a training establishment accredited in terms of law, at least, the training courses Grade E to B
  3. An authenticated copy of the Tax Clearance Certificate from the South African Revenue Service (SARS)
  4. An authenticated copy of the VAT Registration Number from SARS.
  5. An authenticated copy of the PAYE number from SARS
  6. An authenticated copy of the COID number (Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases) from the Department of Labour
  7. Sufficient information in writing to enable the Authority to ascertain that the applicant security business meets the requirements with regard to the infrastructure and capacity necessary to render a security service;

Related: Get going with a One Page Business Plan

This include, inter alia, the following:

  1. Submit a business plan to the Authority including the location and activities
  2. A resolution by the applicant security business stating that it will be able to operate for the next year
  3. The applicant proves that it has an administrative office that is accessible to the inspectors of the SIRA
  4. The applicant must have equipment which is necessary for the management and administration of the security business, e.g. fixed telephone, fax machine, a hard copy or electronic filing system for the orderly keeping of all records and documentation
  5. Show that the affairs of the applicant security business are managed and controlled by appropriately experienced, trained and skilled persons
  6. The applicant security business has at its disposal a sufficient number of registered and appropriately trained and skilled security officers for the rendering of a security service for which it has contracted or is likely to contract
  7. The security officers must be properly controlled and supervised
  8. The applicant security officer has at its disposal sufficient and adequately skilled administrative staff members for the administration of the affairs of the applicant
  9. The business must have has all the necessary equipment, including vehicles,  uniforms, clothing and equipment that must be issued to its security officers
  10. The applicant security business is in lawful possession of the firearms and other weapons that are necessary offer security services in respect of which it has contracted

Landing contracts

contracts

Get your security contracts signed today

The most important thing you can do to start and operate your own business is to develop a good business plan.

It’s invaluable because the business plan forces you to come to terms with your business. Selling the business concept seems to the problem, said Margolis. These are his five tips that will help to get the business going.

“The security industry in South Africa is very competitive. You have to get out there and you have to keep knocking on doors, there isn’t an easy solution”, explains Margolis.

Top Tips

1. Look at your business plan and decide if you have a competitive advantage. If not, work out how you can make the market understand the unique value your small business has to offer.

2. It is important to make yourself known. It isn’t difficult or expensive to increase awareness about the business. Attend ratepayer meetings, spend time at the local police stations, and attend meetings the police have with residents and businesses in the area. This way people get to know you and respect you and half the battle is won. Networking is the way to go.

3. It’s my experience that bigger companies are reluctant to give security contracts to a company that is a one-man show. Make sure that you have a structure in place. Clients need to know if something happens to you, the business will not fall apart, and the services they have paid for and you have agreed to supply, will not cease. Clients need to understand that besides experience, that you are credible and that all the checks and balances are in place. This must be one of the key selling points.

4. Consider taking on a partner. Choose a partner who has the attributes that you lack. The ideal partner would be one with strong links and contacts in the community that you want to work with. Let your partner control the selling side while you handle areas you’re strong in, such as expertise and service delivery. The other option is to employ sales staff.

5. Stay abreast of new trends in the field, and update your skills. This is something that I strongly believe in. You have to be well rounded in terms of not just being a good businessperson, but you also have to be a people person, a marketing and sales manager and know a good deal about the neighbourhoods you work.

Contact PSIRA:

For more information contact Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSIRA)


15 Things Every Newbie Needs to Know About Starting a Business

Are you new to starting a business? Read 15 Things Every Newbie Needs to Know About Starting a Business


Security products

Security-system

Security products

What are the requirements to start a security product supplier business?

If you are starting a security company that sells electronic alarm systems and other security products it’s wise to become a member of SAIDSA in order to provide your business with the credibility it needs to be taken seriously by the public and security service providers.

The objective of SAIDSA is to upgrade the quality and standards of electronic security and to protect the public from unscrupulous, “fly-by-night” operators. When a security system is purchased, an ongoing relationship is entered into between the purchaser and the security service company concerned.

The security service product supplier must have the infrastructure and the required expertise to support the relationship continuously.

Security Sector Regulatory Bodies

The security industry has established a number of bodies to regulate itself. Membership in these bodies is voluntary. They include:


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