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Mesa Verde

Honourable Member
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  • About You/Your Business (Bio section)
    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. If your goal is to help unemployed people then you should start an NPO / NGO / Section 21 like Habitat for Humanity and approach donors, if you don't want to be dependent on donors, draw up a plan mentioning you intent to become self-sufficient by selling properties that they fund at a profit (not sure what will happen while properties are still on the market). Then you draw yourself a handsome salary as directors of these organisations do. You should know the answer to that building is already expensive and time consuming and will be challenging to add more uncertainty by training people along the way. That being said, your plan from the get-go wasn't a viable one, you need a plot, building materials, expertise and labour to build a house. Even if you get someone with a plot to partner with, how does that help with money for building materials if you only bringing expertise to the party? And who is gong to pay the staff? You can't expect the plot owner to fund it, or put up his plot as collateral, you could but then you going to have a very small percentage of the project when done. Even smaller that if you had just gone out there as a building contractor and built houses. Your plan will only work if you start or partner with an NGO.
  2. The short answer is probably yes unless you have a lot of money, to launch a national brand will be expensive with no guarantee of success you will need deep pocketed and patient investors. Safest is to move up your existing value chain - roasting, buy the green beans and roast it. The natural progression would be to optimize value chain and work up your current value chain to roast the beans instead of entering a new category based on *potential* profits. You are essentially going from a packing operation to a instant coffee brand, manufacturing, marketing etc. I assume you looked at roasting and assumed that is was not as profitable but you are entering a new product category based on speculation the question is how much more can you make from roasting your own vs this potential new business considering you are going up against old, large and aggressive market leaders who have major brand cachet? While roasting beans not as glamorous as owning a coffee brand, you have to be careful with falling in love with an idea. It will be far easier to compete with a brand like Peacock who has their own roastery in the Cape than go up against the Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders of the coffee world. And even if you do decide to launch a brand a more premium fair trade ethical brand would probably be a better idea then to compete will well-known brands with loyal consumers.
  3. Is the goal of this business to make a profit or helping unemployed people with work and gain skills?
  4. Why not roast? Not profitable enough? Not as glamorous as owning a retail brand?
  5. What is your current business model? Buying beans in big backs and reselling them in smaller bags? Who roasts the beans?
  6. I think firstly you need to establish what a complete kit will measure and weigh with all packaging (and also what the packaging will cost). Then you look at: What is your cost price (including packaging). What is your selling price. Is that selling price including or excluding delivery? If included in price, before you start to get quotes, you need to know how much of the nett profit you can spend on delivery? (If you are not willing to share anything then you have to add the delivery fee on top of the selling price). Regardless of whether delivery is included in price or not I think traditional couriers will be too expensive, those ice packs will add significant weight coupled with the expense of the ice packs may makes this business's logistics cost prohibitive unless you can maybe find these new on demand platforms or a reliable private person with a vehicle to hire as a freelancer.
  7. Are you going to make prepared meals which will be more time sensitive (unless its reheatable food) or will it be those meal kits where there is just enough ingredients to complete the accompanying recipe (where you have to keep fresh the ingredients cool as well)?
  8. 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.
  9. Are you talking about advanced AppleCheeks type reusable nappies or just normal (R25 at Pep / R50 at Woolies) towelling nappies?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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:
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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