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Mesa Verde

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  • About
    I work as an investment manager at a business services company assessing deals to see the viability of investments.
  • Location (Town, Postal code, City, Province)
    Loevenstein, 7530, Cape Town
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    English

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  1. Hi @Dean You don't have a lot of resources to start with but your location is good, you have industrial areas and various densely populated residential areas within walking distance. You would need to start a means to and end business: something that you do because it will help you to achieve something else, well maybe two. Firstly you need to find a way to double that R300 on a daily basis, then triple, via a retail business. You can see what there is a market for in your area. But I would suggest something like generic perfume (there are suppliers in Voortrekker Road, Parow), buy 10 for R30 each and sell it for R60 each. Stick to the two most popular brands - one male and one for female, then as you reorder more add another two brands. Don't go with variety and leave people with a choice and choose a brand that is popular has excellent online reviews in case people Google it. Start selling to friends and family and friends of friends and family and even workplaces if people are willing to allow you as well as doing some hyper-local advertising in Facebook and WhatsApp groups in your area. I don't know how effective street selling is going to be selling from bus stops where you can target people going to work. How COVID-19 is going to affect this, I'm not sure but perfume is something that you can smell right through a mask. Then there is safety concerns of course both for you and potential customers, people are cautious of everyone or they might not want to take out money in public. But with startups remembers: friends, family, fools are usually your first clients. Then you use some that money to learn a trade to be able to offer a higher value product/service and to buy the equipment required, I would suggest something like welding. Start a business doing roller shutter installation and repair, approach every landlord on Voortrekker road that does not have a roller shutter door. I have a feeling this is going to be taking off in future. Go and look in Woodstock that is how the whole of South Africa is going to look one day - even residential houses. Burglar bars isn't safe anymore, we need garage doors on our windows. Even if you don't do roller shutters welding skills will allow you to make other things like burglar bars, safety gates and not just custom if you don't have the confidence you can make and sell standard sized products. But that will take you faster to your end-goal and you might even learn more about property from your day-to-day activities.
  2. Are you talking about advanced AppleCheeks type reusable nappies or just normal (R25 at Pep / R50 at Woolies) towelling nappies?
  3. Even profit-driven enterprises will use an in-between solution. Example: keep stock of fast-moving items with long expiry dates and just-in-time slower-moving products with a shorter lifespan as is needed or as the order comes in. But for a national health service, to use JIT when they have no local manufacturer and have to order from another country is problematic bordering on incompetence. Especially for a so-called "highly developed" country considering the small amounts of money involved and the fact that these masks have a long shelf life if properly stored. I know the storage will cost money as well but you can expect this from a corporation and not a public health entity. But even a corporation will have more sense than to get themselves in a similar situation which in this case could have cost lives.
  4. Richwood Bothasig Burgundy Estate Dunoon So lower to lower-middle income areas. With Dunoon on the lower end and Burgundy Estate on the upper end. Bothasig does have its own neighborhood strip mall so does Burgundy Estate.
  5. Richmond Park Development The "convenience centre" is called Richmond Corner. It's only 6500m2 so it's more a neighborhood strip mall. It looks a bit like Plattekloof Village Shopping Centre but just over half the size (Plattekloof Village has a lettable area of around 11000m2, so 60% of the size) to give you an indication how small this centre is. Photo below taken from here (PDF). Apparently it's opening tomorrow:
  6. Mall space is crazy expensive in SA, so a lot of margin ends up in the hands of landlords, then you have staff and other operating expenses, also remember that Ranch Meat tried exactly what you are trying, they are also a wholesaler that added a mall retailer, I don't know why they abandoned that plan but I assume it has to do with the expenses of operating in a mall. But I agree with you our meats are way too expensive in general. Fresh fruit and vegetables face the same problem - the market price compared to retail price is very far apart. There is a dearth of dedicated non-halaal butcheries outside of major retailers. You have to be very cautious with mall retail, you are dealing with a situation in which a substantial amount of money evaporates every month in operating expenses. Systems need to be in place to unsure everything runs smoothly, dot the i's and cross the t's, you need attention to detail, everything needs to be monitored closely, there is little margin for error, your supply and sales needs to be optimised to the max. Most independent bakeries have also left malls for this very reason - expenses are just too high. Another option is to look for space in a residential area, outside of a mall but sufficient foot traffic is not guaranteed to make it sustainable. You will however have the advantage that the premises can be used for wholesale packing operations as well, as unlike malls the space will be cheaper and larger. Mall retail means you won't have any space to do much else but retail as the space is so expensive. I also think, should you decide to cash out one day, a meat processing facility can be sold as a standalone entity and will even demand a higher premium than a retail outlet and is a safer bet than retail (the equipment will also still be quite valuable). But at the end of the day that is ultimately your choice. If I were to do retail in your case it would be absolutely be attached to my wholesale facility which will cut down the need for separate rent and transporting the meat, ultimately giving you better control. As for abattoirs, here is an interesting page I found: Standard design for small-scale modular slaughterhouses (small abattoir and meat market) for you to look into. While at face value retail may appear simple, I think it requires more thought as it can end up being an expensive exercise with little to show for your efforts.
  7. They still work in areas (outside of malls) where rent is cheap as well as in densely populated areas (outside of malls), even when there are malls in the area. For example, if you are familiar with Cape Town's northern suburbs, it still works in Parow (outside of malls) but it didn't work in N1 City, even the one in the strip mall opposite of the N1 City mall didn't last. Malls pose various challenges for independent butcheries: floor space is expensive and gets more expensive the smaller size you let. This creates two challenges: if you compete on price, you won't survive as your margins will be too thin (some people will still buy from bigger retailers butcheries out of convenience), if you increase your margins to stay in business then you are too close to what major retailers butcheries charge and have little to no advantage. Major retailers get around the halaal issue simply by keeping the meat in separate fridges (I assume if they do processing, they process one type there and bring the other pre-packed). In most big malls you will usually have the following tenants: Checkers + PicknPay, or Shoprite + Fruit & Veg City all have their own butcheries. Ranch Meat attempted the independent butchery in mall model, they had butcheries in N1 City mall and Canal Walk now they operating from a big space in an industrial area where they sell wholesale to other retailers, to the food service industry as well as to the public through a retail store on the premises. While I see they have recently opened a retail outlet in Somerset West I think the former strategy is probably the safer option: have your processing facilities where you sell wholesale from and add a shop if you like, like what manufacturers do with "factory shops". In certain industries it is very tempting to move up the supply chain from wholesale to retail but retail is a different game, due to the challenging macro trading environment in SA (high costs, plenty of competition) which all eats into your profits you might be better off moving down the value chain, now I am not saying buy a farm and rear the animals, but I would personally opt for adding an abattoir to a wholesale operation rather than go retail. A smaller sized abattoir is an option, here is a interesting mobile abattoir model to give you an idea. @Claude embed PDF please. If you don't want to slaughter animals, expanding processing capacity and ability (more meats, cuts and packaging) might be a better option than to turn a space into a retail store and hire shop assistants and cashiers. I think an investment in tangible assets such as processing equipment is better than an expensive retail strategy that will burn through cash with no guarantee on things like branding, shopfitting, POS systems and other shop equipment.
  8. @Boy I see you placed an ad looking for sheepskin, try placing one in the international trade section as well to put out feelers in the rest of Africa maybe there are sellers with SA connections. Try Lesotho they had some wool drama last year.
  9. My understanding is that Gumtree holds significant market share in the Western Cape, particularly Cape Town where it has been entrenched for a long time despite OLX's and their Daddy Warbucks (Naspers) attempts to topple them (they are now trying to buy Gumtree's holding company). So while on a national level, maybe in smaller towns their rivals may be closer to Gumtree in popularity, in Cape Town it is significantly more popular than the others. Junk Mail used to have publications in Pretoria and KwaZulu-Natal so they might be more familiar to users in those areas (and they dropped the Cape Ads brand which was familiar to Capetonians whereas Gumtree was only in Cape Town and Johannesburg when they started.
  10. My first thought was do we really need this product? This small cake in a mug that hardly feeds one person. Who is the target market and what problem does it solve? Its kind of a novelty product, muffin and cake cake premix I get, instant pudding I get, it's a cheap family dessert. According to this page this product follows a "international trend for bite-size snacking" and quotes a Moir's press release: I don't watch television so I don't know if there has been a marketing campaign but I would love to see how it is being marketed. Is it aimed at professionals, busy parents or latchkey kids wanting to make a quick snack like they would 2 minute noodles. I also think it's way too expensive, for what is essentially a cupcake, although a freshly baked one. I also think it's quite bland. But if you can produce a cheaper, tastier version that can be made with water, then maybe you can target it at lower-income buyers who make up the vast majority of South Africans. If you can produce it at a low cost, and get it into those channels, then you might have a chance. You need to conduct some market research with your target audience (made up of strangers), gauge their reaction to taste, price-point and convenience (let them prepare it themselves).
  11. Hi @CakeCup, I am familiar with this product, Golden Cloud has a variety as well called "Cake in a Mug". I don't think that this is a popular product in SA and I don't think it is doing too well sales-wise to sustain a single product company especially not one with existing, well established competition unless you have something really special. I have seen a lot of these (as in pallets) end up in the clearance supermarkets that are not short-dated at far below retail price. I often monitor clearance channels (Giant Hyper et al) to see what products end up there and whether they are expired, short-dated, rejects or overproduced in order to gather information as part of broader market intelligence to guide my decision making in similar markets. I think these products were overproduced as in orders did not match expectations and I also think it did not meet sales expectations on a retail level to be end up selling for what is essentially salvage value. You could get a "fresh" box of 4 for as low as R10 each then later I saw two boxes of short dated for R10. So basically R5 for a box of 2 (8 packets in total). I have seen Moir's at Giants and Golden Cloud at smaller stores selling goods from clearance channels, I don't think that bodes well for your ambitions. However let it be noted that my experience is anecdotal so I would suggest you do some market research on your target market. Tread carefully and don't bet the farm on this venture. Bear in mind any food retail venture requires some "R&D" investment into food consulting testing (safety, shelf life, labelling) as well as your design and branding, packaging, kitchen facilities etc.
  12. @Boy based on what you and @Material Boy are saying it appears that you do not have optimal conditions to adopt a low-cost strategy and might want to reassess your thinking. Your cost advantage must be "durable" (constant and consistent) to have an edge. While it can be argued that you will have less overheads than rivals with staff and premises your cumulative costs need to remain consistent. Sustainable low-cost strategies require economies of scale you mentioned that you don't have enough to buy in bulk. Low-cost models also benefit from the "experience curve effect" as you said just starting out. What the experience curve means is as you become more experienced you become more efficient and develop labour efficiency: "become mentally more confident and spend less time hesitating, learning, experimenting, or making mistakes. Over time you will learn short-cuts and improvements". What this means is if you are just starting out and you can only make 2 pairs a day and you only making R100 a pair then you only have a minimum wage job and maximum frustration while still getting experience. Less suppliers mean the suppliers have bargaining power, lower cost models are favoured by the opposite situation when there are a lot of suppliers to bargain with. Read that page I linked to. I think you might want to reevaluate your business model and strategy. You might not be in a position yet to wholesale and might be better off selling retail - direct to consumer and put the whole R200 in your pocket or even better make a more expensive slipper and make even more. But first you need to asses how many pairs you can produce in a day and I don't mean if a pair takes 1 hour to make and you working 10 hours a day you can produce 10 pairs. You need to sit and make those 10 pairs and see what inefficiencies and distractions you have to deal with. Even if you can produce 1 pair in 1 hour that does not translate to 10 pairs in 10 hours we are human and not robots and when doing monotonous work some people tend to daydream or procrastinate. This is where experience comes in as well - the ability to focus on doing a task in a consistent manner over and over again. That being said I don't think your product falls into a low-cost category, maybe what you's are calling "grandpa" slippers with fake fur would, but sheepskin is a premium product and developing a cheaper product would be considered a "best-cost provider" where your product has comparative attributes than rival but at a lower cost, so don't box yourself into thinking in terms of low-cost and you have to be cheaper than the cheapest out there. If you can find a very soft synthetic backing for sheepwool you might get close to replicating the feel of a sheepskin slipper and you can claim "no sheep was harmed" when making this slipper as shearing is like a haircut rather than the sheepskin which is the hair attached to the skin. Sit down and think about all the scenarios selling wholesale vs. retail, low-cost vs. premium. If you can source a constant supply of sheepskin at a consistent price and produce enough in a day and you have wholesaler(s) lined up with proper sales channels that can move your product then you might be on the right track.
  13. The main challenge is that this is a residential area and you would be limited in what you can build, guest houses aren't really our thing as it is labour and capital intensive to operate but in built-up areas in good locations vacant land in Cape Town is hard to find. A fifteen bedroom guest house will be expensive to build and the nice finishes people are accustomed to in guest houses will add to the cost. Then there's the management, cooking, cleaning, gardening and maintenance and the time it takes to become established (although this can be cut down by listing on popular accommodation portals). And as you say it is by no means a passive investment, even if you hire a manager to run it you might still have to closely monitor the situation and pay the manager, cutting into profits and decreasing your ROI. Self-catering accommodation is another option but each unit requires more space as you need kitchen facilities meaning less rooms. This is a better location for commercial property (offices in particular), it's not central but that is not necessarily a bad thing, considering how Cape Town CBD has decayed in recent years with many businesses opting for Century City or Tyger Valley which is walking distance from this plot. I don't know what "rezoning of the area is in progress" but that neighbourhood still has its residential character, Yes, there is mixed development around Old Oak road, but Ridgeworth is south of Old Oak (the northern part of Old Oak is not Ridgeworth) a brief look on Google maps show very little business activity there with a few guest houses with the exception of the OK Mini Mart and Mountain View Office Park which is situated on the southern part of Ridgeworth. For residential living it won't cost much more to buy a house on a large plot in that area, I reckon the potential rests on successful rezoning for commercial purposes and that is not guaranteed.
  14. Temporary clinic, Dunoon, Cape Town by Revel Fox & Partners (the guys who designed the Joseph Stone Auditorium in 1969). All images copyright Revel Fox & Partners
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