Chris and Andrew Brown, brothers and joint owner-managers of workplace coffee bar chain, The Daily Buzz, will expand the current chain from six outlets in blue chip companies. Started in 2006, the first coffee bar opened on the trading floor of the investment bank at Standard Bank in Johannesburg.
Andrew, a qualified CA is the financial expert while Chris provides the food and beverage knowledge, having trained at the London School of Coffee.Entrepreneurial advice
The brothers think that South African legislation could increase its support of new businesses. Andrew believes that lighter labour regulations are needed, as well as easier access to capital. There are also many tax issues to be aware of.
"I believe there is over-regulation of smaller businesses. It's difficult to start a business and comply with all the laws when you should be concentrating on sales. The most difficult element about starting a new business is the first contract. Getting someone to believe in you is critical - reputations can be at risk with offering someone a new business contract. Fortunately, in a situation in which our initial capital was my house bond, my financial background meant that I was aware of all the requirements from a legislative and compliance perspective. It took us three years to break even before we made a profit, as we were constantly reinvesting back into the business." Tips
- Be aware of location - it is very important.
- Make sure that you have a marketing strategy.
- Invest some money in a good corporate identity and brand from the very beginning.
- Prepare a proper business plan - it makes you think about all the different aspects that you need to be aware of, including cash flows, supplies, profitability.
- Sales must be decent from the word go to make your business viable
- Bring in quality and experience to make your business stand out.
- Train your staff members appropriately and strive to pass on invaluable experience.
- Watch trends, both local and international, that may be appropriate for your business.
They also advise that it is important to look around you for experts and mentors. In this vein, they make use of a business coach, both for themselves as well as for members of staff who receive promotions.
"We strive to operate at a higher level than other players in the same space. All new staff members have a proper induction and learn about the 16 non-negotiable aspects of our business that are included in our standard code of conduct. We make sure that we operate an ongoing in-house training programme to keep up those essential levels of quality," Chris concludes.