Traditionally, an entrepreneur has been defined as a person who organises and manages any enterprise, specifically a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. Most entrepreneurs will have their own definition of what the word means, however one thing is undoubtably true, entrepreneurship requires some form of craftsmanship.
Craftsmanship is usually associated with the work of artisans, however it has been the foundation that many businesses are based upon today, and the Woodford Reserve brand is no exception. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot about growing their businesses by understanding the importance of craftsmanship in its many forms.
Sitting on the site where whisky crafting began in 1812, the Woodford Reserve distillery is one of Kentucky’s oldest and smallest distilleries. It is the only distillery in Kentucky still making bourbon through the traditional distillation method, using copper pot stills.
Chantal Canning, Brand Manager of Woodford Reserve, unlocks the secret behind the globally recognised small batch American bourbon brand that has successfully sustained itself over the past few decades.
1. The secret to building a foundation of a lasting business brand
1. What reward is there in taking a risk?
Risk-taking is inherent with entrepreneurship and in order to strive for the best results brands need to be open to balancing the need to differentiate themselves through innovation whilst carefully maintaining their heritage and core brand values to ensure longevity.
The ultimate reward is in the end result when you have built up an exceptional brand with a highly loyal following that appreciate the time and effort that has gone into crafting your brand.
2. In today’s modern business environment, is it worth spending extra time and energy crafting a special product?
Craftsmanship is the quality that comes from crafting with care, passion and special attention to detail. There is great value in taking the time and energy to create a brand that is able to offer the consumer a lasting and memorable experience.
It is about the way the brand looks, the way it feels in hand, the way it smells, the way it tastes, its reputation, and the way it makes consumers feel about themselves that will set your brand apart from the rest.
3. Why should craftsmanship, in the sense of spending time on detail, be encouraged?
Quality over quantity is a well-known assertion that speaks volumes to the essence of craftsmanship. Woodford Reserve follows the traditional painstaking method of distillation to produce bourbon of exceptional quality.
It isn’t manufactured it is crafted in small batches and still follows the traditional copper pot still distillation since 1812. The artisanal process allows our master distiller, Chris Morris, to craft using all five sources of flavour – higher rye grain recipe, iron free spring water, 7 day fermentation, copper pot still distillation and one of the oldest steam heated barrel houses for maturation, resulting in an exceptionally high quality product as good today as it was centuries ago.
4. What does it take to build a brand that lasts for over 200 years, and still has such a strong, respected legacy?
Woodford Reserve was inspired by generations of experience and crafted with intentional vision. Woodford is crafted by people and enjoyed by people. We owe our current successes to the people who have stewarded the brand throughout the years.
From the fields to the bottle, Woodford Reserve has a tradition of leadership defined by patience, focus, and an unwavering drive to create. The makers understand that consumers want to trust that their brand will honour their brand values of craftsmanship and authenticity, and at the same time, are curious enough to try new things in order to adjust to ever evolving consumer needs.
Woodford Reserve continues to be celebrated as a versatile, approachable, contemporary yet timeless brand which has quickly become a highly acclaimed award winning bourbon bearing testament to the care that goes into each hand crafted bottle, as one would expect from one of the world’s oldest distillers.
5. How can you identify a person who appreciates the quality and value of craftsmanship?
Craftsmanship can mean different things to different people. The Woodford Reserve connoisseur has the knowledge, expertise and patience to appreciate quality.
6. What comes after you’ve achieved your initial objectives?
Successful brands continuously evolve and redefine their objectives in order to ensure momentum and growth.
Innovation and reinvention is what signifies our respected Woodford Reserve brand with a priority on continuously creating new and different expressions, with an artisan’s touch of love whilst maintaining the essence of Woodford Reserve that everyone knows and loves.
In October, Woodford Reserve will be introducing its first permanent line extension with Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. An innovative approach to twice-barrelled bourbon creating a rich and colourful flavour which is uniquely matured in separate, charred oak barrels – the second barrel is deeply toasted before a light charring which extracts additional amounts of soft, sweet oak character to create an ultra-premium Bourbon of exceptional quality.
With the growing consumer appreciation towards classic and thoughtfully prepared craft bourbon cocktails, Woodford Reserve is the preferred bourbon of choice for South Africa’s top bartenders.
With over 200 identifiable flavours, Woodford Reserve is the only bourbon designed with perfectly proportioned flavours which opens up a wide opportunity to craft unique drinks recipes, such as the inspired creation of the iconic Old Fashioned cocktail.
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2. A modern twist to the Old Fashioned
Leading mixologists are putting a modern twist to the Old Fashioned, Woodford Reserve’s classic American cocktail. The modern version of the Old Fashioned cocktail is tailored to a more distinguished palate, and the choice of bourbon being the backbone of the drink.
The story starts in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky at the legendary Pendennis Gentleman’s Club where a barman was inspired to create the first Old Fashioned, a classic American cocktail steeped in rich history of Woodford Reserve. This classic cocktail was a blend created in honour of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller and aristocrat who brought the recipe to internationally acclaimed Waldolf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
3. How to make the classic American Old Fashioned
- 50 ml Woodford Reserve bourbon
- 1tsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Dashes Bitters
- Orange zest garnish
Add sugar, bitters, 25 ml Woodford Reserve into a mixing glass and half fill with ice. Stir well and add 25 ml Woodford Reserve and fill with ice. Stir well and strain into a tumbler glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh orange zest.
We are offering three lucky readers the chance to win a Woodford Reserve cocktail crafting hamper to the value of R1 200.00, to experience the taste of true craftsmanship. The hamper includes a bottle of Woodford Reserve Distillers Select, four whiskey glasses, a mixing jug, a stirrer spoon, a strainer and a jigger.
Send your answers to the three questions listed below to firstname.lastname@example.org. Judges will select three entries at random. Winning entrant’s eligibility for the prize is based on the correct answers provided as well as the required legal drinking age. Judges decision is final. Terms and conditions apply.
Answer and win:
- Where is the Woodford Reserve distillery located?
- What is the name of the classic American cocktail?
- How much Woodford Reserve bourbon goes into this cocktail referred to above?
Crafted Carefully. Drink Responsibly.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – More Than An SUV
The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession.
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Win A Business Makeover With Retail Capital To The Value Of R250 000
Retail Capital is giving SMEs an opportunity to win a makeover to build their brand with an investment of R250,000.
Retail Capital is giving SMEs an opportunity to win a makeover to build their brand with an investment of R250,000. During the summer campaign, SMEs are encouraged to share the vision of how they would like to see their business grow, and led by a team of experts, Retail Capital will work with the winning SME to help make their vision come true.
While South Africa’s economy is not faring well, Retail Capital CEO Karl Westvig remains optimistic about the country’s retail and hospitality sectors. “We are seeing some green shoots, with an increase in turnover in these sectors – starting from the end of September. Economic conditions remain very tough, but businesses seem to be trading well into October and we’re hoping this continues into the festive season trading.”
According to recent statistics from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), South Africa’s retail sales rose by 5.5% year-on-year in August 2017, following a downwardly revised 1.6% gain in the previous month and above market expectations of 2.3%. It is the biggest gain in retail trade since August of 2012.
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“I do believe that these sectors will see an improvement during the summer season. But, key to this will be for small business owners to ensure that they have the right amount of stock, adequate cash flow, as well as other systems in place to meet the ever-changing needs of customers,” says Westvig.
For many small businesses, however, continually adapting to market changes requires cash injections that they don’t often have.
The prize includes the following:
- Business plan/consulting
- Marketing strategy
- Design and branding
- Website and social Media and,
- R50k capital to gear your business.
Westvig explains that the summer campaign tagline ‘Your Vision. Our Belief’ really speaks to why Retail Capital first opened its doors. “Our goal is to see the potential of small businesses and to work with them in making these become a reality.”
He adds that the idea is not to simply help one business during the campaign either. Westvig points out that one of the biggest challenges that small businesses face in the sluggish economy is enough foot traffic through their doors. “Generally, the main hurdle in creating brand awareness and projecting credibility of their establishments boils down to establishing a strong online presence.”
“One of the first ways that South Africans identify a business or service provider that they want to work with is over social media – even in a country where the digital divide has traditionally separated the technological haves from the have-nots,” he says.
He explains that companies that don’t have a social media presence are running the risk of being overlooked entirely. “They may attract customers in their own community with signage or word of mouth, but to grow a business, they need to expand their reach – and that’s where social media comes in.”
But, the reality is that resource and time constraints mean that for many SMEs, social media is not prioritised. “Unfortunately for the average small business owner, they don’t have the time or expertise to get connected.”
Understanding the importance of having an online presence, Retail Capital has also committed to developing the digital presence of all campaign entrants. This would include setting up each entrant’s digital presence on platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tripadvisor, Zomato and any others that may be relevant to their specific market or industry.
“As a partner to many SMEs in South Africa, we are continually looking at new and innovative ways to help provide them with the much-needed support in order for them to realise their visions. SMEs need to be supported with initiatives like targeted education and training, supportive legislation, and funding opportunities that collectively help them grow our national economy,” says Westvig.
Who we are and what we do:
“More than R1.25 billion has been extended to a range of businesses including food trucks, hair salons, restaurants, spas and franchised retail stores. Many of these businesses have not been able to raise funding in any other way, other than to go to unscrupulous lenders,”says Karl Westvig, the CEO Retail Capital, a company that provides working capital with the help of innovative lending technology.
“We have also estimated that for every R160 000 we lend, we create a new job. This means that 625 jobs have been created purely by enabling small businesses to get the funding they need for working capital requirements or expansion opportunities.”
Retail Capital’s system, which enables it to advance funding to small businesses, based on real time information on credit card transactions, is providing a new funding alternative to entrepreneurs who have previously been turned away by banks. Because it is able to get actual sales information, it can approve funding immediately, and allow for flexible repayment options based on sales cycles of the particular businesses it is funding.
“This creates significant opportunity for small business owners to focus on their business and grow volumes or look for expansion opportunities rather than spend their time frantically trying to repay debt or keep the business alive after debt repayments have eaten away at any cash reserves they might have had.”
Retail Capital funding is repaid by it taking a percentage of a business’s recorded credit or debit card sales, with repayments fluctuating in line with their business cycle. This has the effect of ensuring that it isn’t overburdened with debt.
“In the past six years since starting the business, small businesses have had the benefit of R1 billion in funding they would have been unable to get through traditional channels,”says Westvig.
Against the backdrop of recessionary conditions in South Africa, Retail Capital’s client information reveals growth in informal sector turnover across a number of industries.
“We believe that growth in the informal sector is outstripping that of the formal sector,”says Westvig.
As a large proportion of the businesses it funds are women- and black-owned, there is evidence that entrepreneurs who have previously been excluded from access to finance are now enjoying success now that their access to finance problem has been solved.
How Investors Can Take Advantage Of The Rand’s Currency Trading Rates
Negative sentiment is likely to be pervasive with the SA economy, and it will take more than a new figurehead in government to right the wrongs of a mismanaged economy.
The USD/ZAR currency pair is trading in the 13.65 range heading into mid-December 2017. Over the past year, the 52-week low was 12.3126, and the 52-week high was 14.5742. As one of the more volatile currencies in the trading spectrum, the ZAR is closely associated with the political shenanigans taking place in South Africa.
The year to date return for the currency pair is -0.50%, after having started 2017 at 13.7351. Much of the activity taking place with the ZAR is speculative. Futures contracts are largely responsible for the whipsaw movements in prices.
Wilkins Finance strategists stress the importance of credit ratings agencies on currencies:
‘Whenever credit ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Fitch downgrade their assessments of the South African economy, this has a negative impact on the ZAR. The impact is not always predictable however – towards the end of November 2017, the USD/ZAR had appreciated after the recent ratings downgrade of the economy.’
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded South Africa’s economy to a rating of Baa3. This is the lowest rating level for Moody’s. Further ratings will be announced in February next year. Fitch has already downgraded the foreign currency and local currency to BB +, but has offered a stable Outlook for the ZAR.
That S&P also downgraded the South African economy to sub-investment grade is an important decision, and one that will have negative ramifications for the South African bonds market. Now, the Barclays Global Bond Index will no longer feature South African bonds. That South Africa’s bond market will be excluded from the World Government Bond Index will also be a bugbear to any hopes of the ZAR appreciating.
Interest Rates in the South African Economy
The South African interest rate is highly attractive to foreign investors, given that the UK, US, Canada, Japan, and European bank rates are at historic lows. There is little to be gained by investing cash in fixed-interest-bearing securities in these economies. The current interest rate in South Africa is 6.75% (as at November 23, 2017). The interest rate has dropped to expand economic activity in the country.
Overall, South Africa’s inflation rate for the year is expected to remain at 5.3% dropping to 5.2% in 2018 and rising to 5.5% by 2019. Global investors remain concerned about the risk/reward environment in South Africa. The country has experienced significant capital outflows in recent years, driven in large part by uncertainty regarding future prospects. The USD/ZAR was trading at 14.60 in late November, and current ZAR strength is being attributed to USD weakness.
Factors on Both Sides of the Atlantic
One of the major economic events affecting exchange rates will be the reconciliation of the House and Senate bills on US tax legislation. Any major overhaul of the US tax code will invariably result in a dramatically boosted USD, and a weakened ZAR. For traders, it appears to be short-term call options on the local currency and long-term call options on the USD.
It is evident that currency traders are hedging against the ZAR over the long-term. The fundamentals of the economy are structurally unstable. The power grid infrastructure, water supply problems, and political instability at the highest echelons are but a few of the many problems plaguing South African growth prospects.
However, the ZAR will draw strength from the election of a credible leader, and this will be particularly noteworthy with Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment. Overall, negative sentiment is likely to be pervasive with the SA economy, and it will take more than a new figurehead in government to right the wrongs of a mismanaged economy.
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