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B2B events important for small business development


Trade fairs and expos are a crucial factor in helping new businesses acquire the leads, networks, information and polish they need to succeed in the business world.

This is according to Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions and chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO), who notes that the exhibition sector generates around R75 billion to the economy in direct, indirect and induced revenue. “The reason exhibitions are such big business is that they are a win-win for visitors, exhibitors and sponsors,” Weaving says.

“AXXO research has found that 95% of trade show exhibitors say they would participate in these shows again; 50% of trade show exhibitors manage to secure sales leads at shows; and that 66% of trade show exhibitors manage to secure deals shortly after the shows as a result of their participation.”

Weaving says that while these figures are impressive, they do not tell the whole story. “Many of the benefits of B2B exhibitions and trade fairs are harder to measure but potentially more important than pure sales leads,” she says. “Reed Exhibitions annual #BuyaBusiness Expo and Small Business Expo, for example, bring together entrepreneurs, franchises, small business owners, enterprise executives and investors for three days of engagement and knowledge sharing. Not only do these events generate millions of rands in deals for exhibitors; they also build the networks that are crucial for sustainable small businesses in South Africa. You cannot measure the long-term value of the contacts and ‘business polish’ acquired by entrepreneurs at events such as these.”

Weaving says exhibition organisers in South Africa and abroad have realised the long-term returns possible through exhibition networking, and are stepping up their efforts to add value to exhibitions. “We see more and more formalised ‘speed networking’, meeting scheduling and business engagement opportunities being built into trade show agendas now,” she says. “This ensures that both trade show visitors and exhibitors get long-term positive impacts from their participation. For new businesses, the polish gained through having to present multiple ‘elevator pitches’ to potential clients and investors during these shows proves invaluable.”

Previous exhibitors at Reed Exhibitions annual small business expos have noted that participation in events such as these also give small businesses an opportunity to conduct quality market research. Madoda Khuzwayo, a ‘serial entrepreneur’ who has participated in several of Reed Exhibitions business expos, said trade shows give small businesses a prime opportunity to engage with their market and carry out research in person. “When you’re operating in isolation as a start-up, you don’t know what you don’t know. When you’re starting a new business, your normal sales cycle doesn’t always give you the opportunity to get feedback. Generally, SMEs can’t afford to do market research, but there’s no better place to do it than an expo, where you can engage face to face with thousands of potential customers.”

Vovo Johnson, MD of VoMayise Holdings, has also benefited from exhibiting at Reed small business expos: “Expos give you access to a broad cross-section of markets, and they are actually better than advertising, because you have three days of meeting people to explain in depth what services you can offer. And participating in an expo can actually be quite cost effective,” he said.

Another advantage of a business-focused event is that it presents practically unlimited opportunities for information-sharing, says Weaving. “We have found there is significant demand for practical advice and insights that help would-be entrepreneurs and small businesses to run their businesses effectively. Trade shows bring together stakeholders from across a niche spectrum and present an ideal platform for workshops, demonstrations and seminars that help participants grow their businesses. #BuyaBusiness Expo and Small Business Expo have steadily increased the number of talks and workshops and B2B service offerings they present, as the demand for these just keeps growing,” she says.

Small Business Expo and #BuyaBusiness 2017 will be staged from 31 August – 2 September 2017. It presents over 250 businesses across a variety of sectors will be on show, where aspirant business owners can discover opportunities, attend workshops on business ownership, and speak to business support services and financers about how to go about getting a business up and running. Nedbank will help entrepreneurs improve their chances of business success when it stages money matters training workshops at the Small Business Expo, co-located with the #BuyaBusiness Expo Small Business Expo is presented in partnership with Eskom. For more information and to secure exhibition space, go to and


Nedbank to support entrepreneur money management at leading business expo


Big four bank Nedbank will help entrepreneurs improve their chances of business success when it stages money matters training workshops at the Small Business Expo, co-located with the #BuyaBusiness Expo,at the TicketPro Dome in Johannesburg from 31 August – 2 September.

As one of a number of business development workshops at the event, the Nedbank Money Matters Theatre will be presented  to help entrepreneurs and small businesses understand all the financial aspects of running a business, giving them  practical tips and tools they can use in their businesses to support financial best practice, capacity building and development.

Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Small Business Expo and #BuyaBusiness Expo organisers Reed Exhibitions, says: “We are delighted to welcome Nedbank as a sponsor of this important information zone. Feedback from the 2016 #BuyABusiness Expo and Small Business Expo indicated that local small and medium business owners wanted more content on finance, funding, managing the finances and cash flow of a business and general money matters. In line with our goal of empowering small businesses, we will present the Nedbank Money Matters Theatrealongside the many other training and workshop areas at Small Business Expo and #BuyaBusiness Expo.”

The event hosts a range of in-depth workshops across a broad range of strategic and practical business topics, as well as facilitating networking between entrepreneurs, business support services and investors, to give businesses access to all the information they need to grow sustainably.

In 2016,  Small Business Expo co-located with the #BuyABusiness Expo brought in millions of rands in deals for exhibitors and attracted around 7,000 visitors – a large proportion of them already business owners and investors seeking to grow their portfolios. In addition to in-depth and targeted information sessions, the expo VIP’ programme, business speed dating, online business matchmaking and networking areas deliver immense value add to exhibitor and local businesses.


Innovating for entrepreneurial success


Innovating for entrepreneurial success

Getting a foothold on the ladder to business success can take little more than a smartphone and the right attitude, as a growing ecosystem of auto spares resellers is proving.

With Jonathan Ngwenya’s chain of auto salvage yards at its hub, a network of panelbeaters, mechanics and middlemen is thriving across Johannesburg’s East Rand. Some of the entrepreneurs in this ecosystem are youths armed with little more than a smartphone. One enterprising reseller was able to resell used spares so successfully that he earned in the region of R16,000 a month for up to a year after his retrenchment, so managing to pay his debts and keep his home, explains Ngwenya’s wife, Sandy.

At the heart of this system is Choc’s Auto Salvage Centre, which opened its first salvage yard in Vosloorus in 2009. The business bought written-off vehicles for scrap, and stripped them down to resell genuine used auto spares. With genuine parts priced out of the range of many, the salvage yard thrived and expanded to Spruitview and Brakpan; and was named the Gauteng Department of Economic Development’s Township Entrepreneur Awards 2016 winner in the Transport, Automotive and Components category.

The company’s flexible and innovative approach to business partnerships has seen it tapping in to an extended distribution network via a WhatsApp group, website and digital newsletters, whereby it advertises what vehicles it has available, and any enterprising reseller with a market can mark up and sell on the available spares. “We have up to 3,000 small businesses buying spares from us; some of them actively looking for end customers,” says Sandy Ngwenya. “We even have informal recyclers coming to pick up small scraps and plastic for recycling.”

The Choc’s success story underlines the view of leading business experts that entrepreneurial success is more about mindset and motivation than significant investment and a formalised business plan. “Some of the small resellers don’t even have a salvage yard or a business premises,” says Sandy Ngwenya. “They just move about buying and selling, using their phones to link up to opportunities.”

Choc’s Auto Salvage Centre is set to participate in the upcoming #BuyaBusiness Expo and the Small Business Expo at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding, Johannesburg, where the Ngwenyas will be on hand to discuss partnering opportunities for entrepreneurial resellers.

The #BuyaBusiness expo and Small Business Expo now also play an active role in relationship brokering and matchmaking – connecting entrepreneurs, investors and service providers. Included in this year’s expos are opportunities in automotive & manufacturing; construction & related services; agriculture, education & training, FMCG retail; food & beverage; services; property; recruitment and renewable energy.

#BuyaBusiness Expo and the Small Business Expo offer one-stop franchise and business opportunities, business tools, information and networking for anyone considering starting their own business, and for those already in business and looking to expand. The expos will be staged at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding Johannesburg from the 8th -10th September 2016. The Small Business Expo is proudly supported by Eskom. Entrance is free if you register online’. Visit #Buyabusiness Expo



Issued by ITP Communications on behalf of Reed Exhibitions. For further information please contact Leigh Angelo at Tel: (011) 869 9153; email:

Reed Exhibitions uncovers SA’s most entrepreneurial sectors


Reed Exhibitions uncovers SA’s most entrepreneurial sectors

Local entrepreneurs see agriculture, services and the automotive industry as some of the sectors with the most growth potential, according to research by Reed Exhibitions.

In research conducted among 2,000 visitors pre-registering for the upcoming #BuyaBusiness expo and Small Business Expo taking place at the TicketPro Dome in September, Reed Exhibitions found the largest proportions of respondents were looking for new business opportunities in these sectors.

Among those pre-registering for the Small Business Expo 2016, 33% were interested in investing in services industries, 24% were interested in investing in agriculture businesses and 11% were seeking manufacturing opportunities. Among those registering for the #BuyaBusiness expo, the largest proportion (17.8%) was interested in automotive sector opportunities, followed by fast food and restaurants (13.3%).  Construction and computer and cellular opportunities were also in demand.

Of the would-be entrepreneurs polled, 29% already have capital to invest in a business and 71% would be interested in talking to a financial institution. The majority of entrepreneurs registering to attend the expos already own their own businesses, with 24% in business for three years or more.

Carol Weaving, MD of Reed Exhibitions, says these findings illustrate the fact that business opportunities exist in sectors across the board. “It is also clear from the research that information sharing and networking are crucial for small business,” she says. “We found that 85% of survey respondents were both looking for business opportunities and planning to attend workshops and networking opportunities at these events.”

Weaving notes that this growing need for information, mentoring and networking opportunities has prompted Reed Exhibitions to evolve its small business expo model over the years, to step up information sharing and workshops designed to improve small business sustainability and success. The #BuyaBusiness expo and Small Business Expo now also play an active role in relationship brokering and matchmaking – connecting entrepreneurs, investors and service providers.

“We have also taken into account the potential high growth sectors for franchises and small business opportunities, and included in this year’s expos of opportunities in automotive & manufacturing; construction & related services; education & training, FMCG retail; food & beverage; services; property; recruitment and renewable energy,” says Weaving.

#BuyaBusiness Expo offers one-stop business opportunities, franchise opportunities, business tools, information and networking for anyone considering starting their own business or franchise, and for those already in business and looking to expand.

The Small Business Expo, proudly supported by Eskom is devoted to the development and growth of small and medium enterprises by providing an opportunity for them to market themselves and interact with corporates, investors and buyers. The expos will be staged at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding Johannesburg from the 8th -10th September 2016. Entrance is free if you register online. Visit #BuyaBusiness Expo


Issued by ITP Communication on behalf of Reed Exhibitions

For further information please contact Leigh Angelo or Carol Tinline at ITP Communications

Tel: (011) 869 9153; email:


Get In The Ring Johannesburg City Finals 2016 to be hosted at the #BuyaBusiness Expo


Get In The Ring Johannesburg City Finals 2016 to be hosted at the #BuyaBusiness and Small Busines Expo


01 August 2016 – Johannesburg, South Africa –The global platform that collides incredible ideas, the entrepreneurs who own them and a cross section of fans who include investors, Get In The Ring, will be hosting its Johannesburg City finals on 8th September 2016 at the #Buy a Business Expo. #Buy a Business Expo will be at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding, alongside #BuyABusiness Expo from 8th – 10th September 2016.


Get In The Ring was brought to South Africa by the Real Success Network, an entrepreneurship hub owned and run by successful entrepreneur, Brian Walsh. This is the second season of the competition in South Africa and the stakes continue to increase as the small business landscape expands. The contest is modelled after a 1-on-1 boxing match, where two entrepreneurs at a time battle it out in a series of elevator pitches of 30-second rounds each. The winner of the battle moves on to the next round.


“This is the olympics for start-ups and getting the right energy during battles is very important. The cheering audiences also listen attentively for business opportunities with contestants. This aspect, of profiling one’s business through every step of the contest truly differentiates Get In The Ring,” said Brian Walsh, founder and MD of Real Success Network, and Small Business Expo Advisory Panel member.


“The dynamic Small Business Expo and #BuyABusiness Expo are the perfect platforms for Get In The Ring Johannesburg city finals. There will be an audience of exhibitors and visitors who are small business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, corporate leaders and captains of industry which is key for the hyper-targeted networking we anticipate throughout the expos. This will be absolutely exciting and we will be cheering on the start-up olympians!” said Carol Weaving, MD of Reed Exhibitions.


Get In The Ring complements the Small Business Expo and the #BuyaBusiness Expo perfectly. It connects promising startups to opportunities related to capital, talent and expertise and adds value through capacity building, 1-on-1 meetings and networking opportunities.


From the 3rd – 4th of September, the contestants will go through a pitching and training boot camp, in preparation for the finals on the 8th September 2016. After the Johannesburg City finals, the winners will battle for global dominance in the finals in March 2017. The host country is yet to be announced.


To learn more about and apply to Get In The Ring please go to  


For further information on Get In The Ring, the Small Business Expo and the #BuyABusiness Expo, visit and or contact Rene Staack at Reed Exhibitions at Tel: +27 (0) 11 549 8300 or



Investors to get VIP treatment at #BuyaBusiness expo


Business investors and key franchise players are set to enjoy VIP treatment as members of #THEClub at the upcoming #BuyaBusiness expo in Johannesburg.

#BuyaBusiness expo, presented by Reed Exhibitions from 8 – 10 September 2016 at the Ticketpro Dome at Northgate, will showcase leading franchises and a broad range of business opportunities, bringing franchise operators, investors and would-be entrepreneurs together for knowledge-sharing and networking.

#THEClub, an exclusive community open to selected investors, multi-unit franchisees, master franchisees or entrepreneurs motivated to develop a franchise or business opportunity, offers members multiple benefits at the expo and ongoing exclusive business and networking opportunities. #THECub is affiliated with similar investor clubs in France, Indonesia and South Korea.

Carol Weaving, Managing Director at Reed Exhibitions, says #THEClub is the latest in a series of innovations to keep Reed Exhibitions’ and franchising expos in line with global trends. “It is no longer enough to simply showcase opportunities: now, business expo participants expect real business deliverables. In line with this, #THEClub is designed to maximise the value investors and key franchisors gain from #BuyaBusiness expos.”

#THEClub members will benefit from the following services before, during and after the #BuyaBusiness Expo:

  • Access to the event online diary to schedule appointments at the expo.
  • Invitations to all investor club networking cocktails throughout the year.
  • Tickets to concerts at the Ticketpro Dome as well as tickets to sport suites hosted by Reed Exhibitions throughout the year.
  • Priority Access and VIP Parking at the #BuyaBusiness Expo.
  • Access to the Investors Club Lounge throughout the event with catering and complimentary drinks. (Lounge includes a Cloakroom, internet, and concierge services).
  • Access to business ‘speed dating’.
  • Investors will be reimbursed for any of the paid seminars attended at the expo.
  • Shuttle service to and from the airport.

“Being a member of the #THEClub enhances the expo experience and introduces business investors and franchise key players to an exclusive community where they can develop valuable new business networks,” says Weaving.

Applications for membership of #THEClub close on 5 August 2016. For more information and to apply for membership, click here.

#BuyaBusiness Expo and the Small Business Expo connects entrepreneurs and investors who are looking to grow, diversify or enter into business ownership.The expos present franchise and business opportunities, business tools, services, information and prospective partnership and procurement opportunities. The expos will showcase businesses across a wide range of sectors. Entrance is free if you register online. For more information about the #BuyaBusiness expo and the co-located Small Business Expo, go to and

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is a joint venture agreement between Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organiser and part of RELX Group, and Reed Exhibitions Tourism Group Pty Limited, South Africa’s oldest black-empowered tourism group. Reed Exhibitions brings over 50 years’ experience in developing, marketing, selling and organising exhibitions, events, conferences and meetings.

Become a franchise owner: Get to #BuyaBusiness expo 2016!


If you’re considering entering the potentially lucrative franchise business, get to the Full on Franchising Theatre at #BuyaBusiness expo 2016 find out everything you need to know about franchises.

Buying a franchise is an exciting opportunity to build your new business on the back of an established brand. But not all franchise models are the same, and not all opportunities are all they appear to be.

At the #BuyaBusiness expo 2016, prospective entrepreneurs will discover hundreds of business opportunities, including many top franchise opportunities. To help prospective franchise owners understand the various franchise models, important strategic considerations and the laws regulating franchises, SA Franchise Warehouse will present in-depth Franchising 101 Workshop in the Full on Franchise Theatre. These information sessions will run throughout the three days of the expo.

Kobus Oosthuizen, Founder & MD at SA Franchise Warehouse, says: “Many people don’t realise that not all franchise models are the same. There are important questions they need to ask before they sign up for a new franchise opportunity, to ensure they are fully prepared and don’t get their fingers burnt.”

For example, potential franchise owners need to consider whether they need security over and above the 25% own cash contribution when seeking funding, what salary expectations they should have in franchise ownership, and whether their age and health will impact their franchise funding.

To help potential franchise owners make fully informed decisions, the Franchising 101 workshops will outline everything a qualified prospective buyer needs to consider before investing in a franchise opportunity. The sessions will give attendees an overview of a variety of franchising models; an in-depth look at the legalities of franchising by attorney Pieter Swanepoel; and beneficial discussions on how to evaluate and fund a franchise.

“These intensive workshops are designed to get entrepreneurs started, or growing in the world of franchising, without making costly business mistakes,” says Belinda Bradley, Franchise Consultant, SA Franchise Warehouse.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to discuss exciting franchise opportunities with some of South Africa’s best-known brands.

Registration is now open for places at the Full on Franchising Theatre, with a registration fee of R295 per person.

Franchising 101 Workshops will be staged on 8, 9& 10 September 2016 from 10h00 -15h30 daily. The registration fee includes:

  • Access to the one-day workshop
  • Light finger lunch & refreshments
  • Complimentary access to the #BuyaBusiness Expo
  • 1 x Event online matchmaking diary profile to schedule meetings at the event with franchising opportunities

Visit #Buyabusiness Expo or  for more information and to register.

Small business: no single recipe for success


Small business: no single recipe for success

How you achieve business success depends on your appetite for risk and your individual management style, say experts.

Whether you take a high-risk, fast-tracked approach or opt for solid organic growth, building a sustainable small business demands careful planning, hard work and inevitable failures. That’s according to business experts serving on the advisory board of the upcoming #BuyaBusiness Expo and Small Business Expo in Johannesburg.

While small business presents income opportunities for millions of South Africans and Government holds out hope for small business to help curb unemployment, a large proportion of small businesses launched in South Africa fail and many more may not grow to become significant employers. Brian Walsh, a leading authority on entrepreneurship and human behaviour, and founder of The REAL Entrepreneur™ Institute, says more attention should be paid to helping small businesses thrive: “One mistake we make is we spend too much time encouraging people to start businesses and not enough making sure small businesses survive, grow and employ more people,” he says.

According to a study carried out by the Bureau for Economic Research on behalf of the Small Enterprise Development Agency, South Africa has over 2.2 million small, medium and micro enterprises, with around 1.5 million of these informal micro enterprises. However, over the last seven years, the number of SMMEs in South Africa increased by only 3%, from 2.18 million in 2008Q1 to 2.25 million in 2015Q2.

Walsh notes that the global failure rate for startups is in the order of 50% in the first year and 80% in the first five years. This should not be a deterrent to business ownership, however, but might be seen as an inevitable part of the entrepreneurship learning curve. “Studies have found that most entrepreneurs fail before they succeed. We can consider these business failures as part of ‘paying your school fees’ on the road to success. The earlier you start trying, the better,” he says.

However, choosing an appropriate business model for your personality and management style goes a long way toward ensuring business success, he says. A young innovator with an appetite for risk and few family responsibilities is well placed to take a chance on launching a start-up; while an older person who has family responsibilities and is seeking a lower risk business might look to invest in a well-established franchise ownership instead, Walsh says. He cites the Contribution Compass psychometric tests as a good way to determine each individual’s natural energy type – whether they are intuitive innovators or accumulators, for example. Based on this, the would-be entrepreneur can identify his or her personality type and leadership style to determine the business model and support ecosystem offering the best chance of business success.

Focus on the ROI

Tshepo Phakathi, economist, banker and Group CEO of Phakathi Holdings, points out that the JSE consistently delivers returns in the order of 15% per annum. Any business delivering lower returns than this is effectively a waste of time, since better returns could be achieved by letting the capital work for itself, he notes.

There is no quick buck to be made in small business. The startup on a growth path ploughs all its earnings right back into the business, and aims for steady profits. There is never a good reason for the startup business owner to go out and buy a luxury car for fun, Phakathi cautions. As long as there are opportunities to grow the business, virtually all profits should be ploughed back into the business. “This notion of ridiculously high super profits is seldom possible and definitely not sustainable in business,” says Phakathi. “A short term super profit may be possible thanks to a misallocation of resources. But a super profit quickly attracts competition into that space.” After that, the business must return to savvy, sustainable business practices.

Phakathi says business success rests on clever financial management. “For example, if you can borrow money at prime, it makes good sense to run your business off borrowed funds. You also need a clear financial plan around how often you intend to double your money. If your plan says you will double it every three years, for example, and your investments are not on track to meet these goals, you need to invest elsewhere.”

Phakathi and Walsh will be among the expert speakers delivering business training and workshops at the #BuyaBusiness Expo and the Small Business Expo the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding Johannesburg from the 8th -10th September 2016.

Carol Weaving, award-winning businesswoman and MD of Reed Exhibitions, notes that #BuyaBusiness Expo and the Small Business Expo are designed to present viable business opportunities for everyone from aspirant entrepreneurs looking to start their first ventures, through to business executives aiming to expand their portfolios through investments in well-established franchises. “Because there can be no ‘one size  fits all’ approach to business, the expos address a broad range of skills, sectors and investment levels, so that anyone from an entrepreneurially minded graduate to mid-size business owners and investors will find business and franchise opportunities, information, networking, business tools and more under one roof,” she says.

About the expos

The Small Business Expo, and the #BuyaBusiness Expo offer one-stop franchise and business opportunities, business tools, information and networking for anyone considering starting their own business, and for those already in business and looking to expand. The expos will be staged at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding Johannesburg from the 8th -10th September 2016. The Small Business Expo is proudly supported by Eskom. Entrance is free if you register online here or visit


Issued by ITP Communications on behalf of Reed Exhibitions

For further information or image please contact Leigh Angelo or Lisa Katzke at Tel: (011) 869 9153 or email

Buying a proven business model reduces risk in tough times

Buying a franchise or an existing, proven business model is a good way to reduce risk in tough economic times, say experts participating in the upcoming #BuyaBusiness Expo.

“With unemployment nudging the 25% mark and food prices rocketing, thousands of South Africans are looking to starting their own businesses as a way to survive and thrive. However, securing financing and developing a sure-fire business model are not easy. Business development experts report that the single biggest reason for new businesses failing is a lack of business management expertise on the part of the entrepreneur. The new business owner may be an expert in their field – be it baking, engineering or software development, for example – but if he or she does not know how to market the business, sell the product and manage the business’s finances, their business is immediately at risk.”,  says Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions.

Buying into a proven business model helps to reduce this risk, particularly if the investment comes with support and guidance, say participants in the #BuyaBusiness Expo, to be staged by Reed Exhibitions at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding in September this year.

Before investing in a business, it is important to consider whether there will be a market for the product or service, they advise. And in tough economic times, it is crucial that the product or service is priced right. #BuyaBusiness exhibitor Zhauns Business Opportunities & Engineering has ensured a long list of success stories for its customers, who buy equipment from Zhauns to produce goods their markets want, at affordable prices. Zhauns sells machines for making everything from toilet rolls and envelopes, to pencils, bricks and charcoal briquettes. Its customer success stories include Pabcods Trading in Limpopo, which produces over 5,600 toilet rolls a day to meet local demand; and Big Brand Marketing in Johannesburg, which now employs eight people to keep up with demand for their toilet paper.

Zhauns Director Riad Ahmed says the company, with over 15 years’ experience in Africa, has identified a number of FMCG products ideal for entrepreneurs to sell into their local markets. “A lot of it is based on common sense. There are products everyone uses and needs, and there are opportunities for entrepreneurs to challenge major manufacturers by producing these products for sale in their local communities.” Toilet paper is a case in point. Ahmed notes that until a few years ago, there were only a handful of major manufacturers in South Africa. Now, entrepreneurs buying machines to make toilet paper are able to work out of small premises with only three or four staff members, reducing the overheads and transport costs involved in the making of toilet paper. This allows the entrepreneurs to produce toilet paper for their communities at a very competitive price.

While this increases their chances of success, it does not assure success, however. Ahmed notes: “We provide the tools, teach them to operate the equipment, and ensure they have a marketable product. We can even refer them to business management training courses. But at end of day it’s the jockey riding the horse, so the entrepreneur is responsible for the company’s success.”

Through many years of working closely with entrepreneurs, Zhauns has pinpointed funding and financial management as the biggest hurdles in the way of the new business’s success. “Securing financing is very difficult. And often we see new business owners failing to reinvest all the money they make in the first year or so. They look at cash flow and treat it all like profit, which is a mistake.”

At the #BuyaBusiness Expo, Zhauns will showcase business opportunities priced as low as R5,000, for machines for key cutting or juicing.

Debbie Martins, Area Development Manager- Sub Sahara and Southern Africa at fast food franchise SUBWAY, says times are tough for business owners and consumers alike. “Fortunately, people always need to eat, so food businesses tend to survive better than companies in many other sectors when the economy is under pressure,” she says.

SUBWAY has an international model that drives traffic to stores through ongoing special offers. “We are constantly aware of the need to offer a discounted item in store for those who are cash strapped.  These offerings are normally through a ‘Sub of the day’ or ‘wow’ campaign which discounts subs drastically to increase feet and get customers through the front door. These same customers will come back and spend money on items at full price when they have extra income to spend. It’s vital to reward brand loyalty, and therefore we also offer a loyalty programme called the Sub Club card.”

SUBWAY’s years of international experience in what works to keep customers streaming in benefits the franchise’s new franchisees, and reduces the challenges involved in launching a new fast food business. However, Martins warns: “Just because you’re buying into an established franchise doesn’t guarantee you a successful business. Success is up to the individual at the end of the day.  If you’re not well suited to the brand, the business won’t succeed. You have to have an aptitude for the kind of business you are buying, and you must be willing to put in the long hours needed to make it succeed.” SUBWAY, which will showcase opportunities for the resale of established stores at the # BuyaBusiness expo, conducts extensive aptitude and personality tests with potential franchisees, to ensure they are a good match for the brand, and so increase the franchisee’s chances of success.

Another business opportunity at the expo will be Sherpa Kids childcare and education franchises, with start-up costs of under R200 000, which includes the franchise, training and working capital for equipment.

Genevieve Allen, Managing Director of Sherpa Kids, says global statistics show that parents are spending money on their kids and educational and entertainment markets are growing at a consistent rate despite ongoing financial instability. “This is certainly the case in South Africa’s booming education and childcare franchise sectors. The continued success of franchises in this industry proves that even in these difficult times, parents consider their children’s needs as a priority and will cut back on other expenses to provide for them.”

Sherpa Kids will also sponsor a grand prize of a Sherpa Kids franchise, in partnership with #BuyaBusiness.

The #BuyaBusiness Expo and Small Business Expo will be staged at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding Johannesburg from the 8th -10th September 2016.

Among the highlights of the Small Business Expo will be:

  • Business Speed Dating sessions
  • An all-new Investors club for high profile investors and business partners
  • Networking Circles
  • Development Den workshops on business trends and strategy, management, financial and digital
  • Online Business Matchmaking
  • Business Bootcamp workshops for early stage start-ups
  • Techpreneur Pavilion for tech-based small business and entrepreneurs
  • The fast-growing international Get In The Ring entrepreneurship challenge
  • Wealth Masterclasses
  • The Chat Room networking lounge and internet café

The Small Business Expo and #BuyaBusiness Expo will take place concurrently at the TicketPro dome from 8-10 September 2016.

For further information visit or contact Rene Staack at Reed Exhibitions at Tel: +27 (0) 11 549 8300 or



Growing small business in an economic downturn

With the right business strategies and support, small businesses can still start up and thrive despite an economic crunch, say experts ahead of the Small Business Expo to be held at the Ticketpro dome in Northriding, Johannesburg, from 8-10 September.

While South Africa has pinned its hopes on small business development to address unemployment, an increasingly gloomy economic outlook may seem set to undermine these hopes. “There’s an economic malaise coming,” says Tshepo Phakathi, Group CEO of Phakathi Holdings. “We can expect more pressure on emerging markets, exacerbated by a spike in food prices as a result of the sub-Saharan African drought.” However, tough times ahead do not necessarily mean bad news for small businesses, he says. With the right strategies and innovation, entrepreneurs can take advantage of a changing market to build their businesses and thrive, he says.

Learn to meet next gen customer demands

Phakathi, whose KAELLO initiative promotes entrepreneurship and mentors thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs, and who serves as an advisor and ambassador for the expo, says small business owners who change their business strategies now stand to benefit in an uncertain market.

“In the five or more years that I have been involved in the expo, we have seen significant changes in the market,” he says. “In addition to slowing economic growth, a key change has been the advent of high speed internet access and social media, which has completely changed customer expectations.” Customisation and instant gratification are the keys to meeting customer demands today, he notes. However, local small businesses have been slow to change accordingly. Phakathi says: “Consumers have become more discerning. It’s a consumer market now, and people expect more of what they want, where and when they want it.”

To survive and thrive in this new environment, Phakathi says: “We need to batten down the hatches, tighten our belts, and take care not to be over consumptive as a business. Businesses also need to be more innovative and more deliberate about customer satisfaction, and they need to ‘stick to their knitting’. This is not the time to dabble and over-diversify: the more competitive a market becomes, the more niche it becomes,” he says.

Phakathi, who will speak at the #Buy-A-Business Expo & Small Business Expo on strategies for thriving in the current economic environment, believes small businesses need support in changing their strategies and understanding how to harness IT to meet new customer expectations.

Embrace structure and order

Brian Walsh, CEO of the Real Success Network and member of the Small Business Expo advisory board, says structure and order are key components of business success. “For small businesses to thrive, they need to learn to create systems that run the businesses,” says Walsh. “A new business is always chaotic at first, but the chaos is supposed to abate after a few years. With the help of the right service providers, businesses can get organized faster.”

Walsh believes having access to a network of service providers goes a long way toward supporting small business growth. “The problem is that many new and small business owners need assistance with marketing, web site development and accounting, for example, but they are often uninformed about the support and opportunities open to them, and frequently spend too much time trying to source service providers or carry out functions that are not core to their business.”

Walsh says these challenges informed the Small Business Expo’s stepped up focus on service providers. “The expos will include seminars on business management and structure, but will also showcase service providers and interventions that will help business owners take their businesses to the next level,” he says.

Exposure and networking

On the back of decades of hosting South Africa’s top expos in South Africa, Small Business Expo organisers Reed Exhibitions believes that networking and exposure are crucial for small business growth. “Opportunities for small businesses to meet a broad range of investors, partners and service providers are important, but rare,” says Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions.

“In our years of experience in supporting small business development, our research has found that networking opportunities are invaluable for business growth. Therefore, the Small Business Expo delivers optimal opportunities for small business owners, service providers, funder and partners to engage, learn and expand business relationships.”

Among the highlights of the Small Business Expo will be:

  • Business Speed Dating sessions
  • An all-new Investors club for high profile investors and business partners
  • Networking Circles
  • Development Den workshops on business trends and strategy, management, financial and digital
  • Online Business Matchmaking
  • Business Bootcamp workshops for early stage start-ups
  • Techpreneur Pavilion for tech-based small business and entrepreneurs
  • The fast-growing international Get In The Ring entrepreneurship challenge
  • Wealth Masterclasses
  • The Chat Room networking lounge and internet café

The Small Business Expo and #BuyaBusiness Expo will take place concurrently at the TicketPro dome from 8-10 September 2016.