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How do I start an air charter business?

Starting an air charter business is complicated.

Entrepreneur

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How to Get Started

An air charter service does not begin or end when passengers board an aircraft or when cargo is loaded and delivered. Here is a general overview of what you may need to get your feet off the ground. Decide on the size of the charter company you are establishing. Will you be operating a single aircraft and flying locally or will you be running a fleet of aircraft flying globally?

Business Plan

Once the research is complete, you need to write a business plan. A plan for an aircraft charter company needs to include a sales forecast, cash flow forecast and a projected profit and loss account for three years. The figures used must be reasonable – avoid being over optimistic.

Registering the business

The next stage in the process is to set up the company that will be the legal entity for the business, i.e. CC or PTY.

Costs and finance

The costs associated with planes, not to mention skilled pilots to fly them, can be a large investment. It may be possible to obtain a business loan if you have exceptional credit, but business loans are rarely large enough to start a charter business from scratch. It is best to look for partners.

Application Process

Once the business plan and finance is in place, contact the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). You need to make contact with the senior manager of flight operations who will appoint an inspector to help you through the application process.

“Although the Department of Transport is involved, the application process starts with the SACAA. They will guide you in terms of the Department of Transport’s requirements and help you submit the correct documentation to them. This will save a great deal of time,” explains SACAA inspector, Arthur Dowens.

“Once your application is approved you will have to go through a demo stage and an inspection stage. The SACAA will help you through all of this,” says Dowens. “The application process can take anything from six months to over a year to complete.”

Insurance plays a vital role in air charter business; everything and everyone involved should be insured including your passengers, and whatever cargo you are transporting.

Air Charter Regulations

You have to become well versed with all the South Africa Aviation Regulations and know which permits and licenses to secure. Contact the Department of Transport for details. Other organisations which will be able to help you are: The South African Civil Aviation Authority who regulates the civil aviation industry to ensure security and safety by complying with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

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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 Transport Or Logistics Business?

An all in one guide to starting a transport and logistics business.

Entrepreneur

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Thinking about starting a transport business?

Forecasts indicate that the demand for freight transport will grow in South Africa by between 200% and 250% over the 15 to 20 years.

Your Free Cheat Sheet: Transport and Logistics Business Cheat Sheet

Some corridors, (high volume transport routes that connect major centres), such as the corridors between Gauteng and Cape Town (which amount to 50% of all corridor transport) will increase even faster.

The scope in the transport and logistics industry is varied – from a one-man show using a small truck to transport goods and offer services, to a fleet of transport vehicles which travel the length and breadth of South Africa’s roads.

Road transportation includes commuter transport from taxis to bus transportation.

It can be a tough industry and there are many threats facing transport businesses but if you get it right, you can build a successful business.

What is covered in this guide:

  1. How to start your transport and logistics business
  2. How to get funding for your transport business
  3. What are the costs involved
  4. Finding customers and getting transport contracts
  5. Getting onto suppliers lists
  6. Buying trucks and employing drivers
  7. What are the regulations and risks
  8. Where to find guidance to start your business.

Ready to get going? Click the arrow button to learn how to start your own transport business.

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