Posted by Hansie Britz on 3 November 2017




1. Conduct a personal evaluation

Begin by taking stock of yourself and your situation:-

  • Why do you want to start a business? Is it money, freedom and flexibility, to solve a problem, or some other reason?
  • What do you like to do? Your passion?
  • What skills do you have?
  • What industries are you familiar with?
  • Will it be a part – time or full-time venture?
  • How much capital do you have to risk.

Your answers to these questions will help you narrow your focus. This step is not to dissuade you from starting your own business. Rather, it will get you thinking and planning. In order to start a successful business, passion alone isn’t enough. You need to plan, set goals, and above all, know yourself. Your strenghts and weaknesses.

As you get started, your business will likely dominate your life so make sure that what you’re doing is stimulating and challenging, but not completely outside of your expertise. Do a SWOT analysis on yourself to think through what you want your life to be like, not just what you want from your business.

2. Analyze your Industry

Once you decide on a business that fits your goals and lifestyle, evaluate your idea. Who will buy your product or service? Who will your competitors be? How much money will you need to get started? There are various ways in getting information i.e performing general GOOGLE searches, speaking to people already working in your target industry, reading books, researching key people, relevant news sites and industry magazines or even taking a class or two (if possible).

3. Evaluate your target audience

Guide your research by thinking of:-

  • How urgently do people need the product you offering or selling?
  • How big is the market? Do you know exactly who your target market is?
  • How much money and effort will it cost to deliver the value you would like to be offering?
  • How long will it take to get to the market? A month? A Year?.
  • How much up-front investment will you need before you can begin?
  • Will your business continue to be relevant as time passes?
  • How easy will it be – and how much will it cost you – to acquire a customer?

If you like, you can even take things a step further and consider all the consumer needs currently not being met by similar businesses in the industry. This is also a good time to take a look at potential competitors. Remember, the presence of competitors is a good sign. It means that the market for your product or service already exists, so you know that have potential customers who are willing to spend money on your product or service. 

4. Set up your business

Realistically, registering your business is the first step toward making it real. However, as take your time to get to know the pros and cons of the different business entities.You will also need to get proper business licenses and permits. This is also the time to check into insurance and to find a good consultant that can help with your business plan and planning if necessary.

5. Start the planning process

If you seeking outside financing, a business plan is a necessity. But, even if you are going to finance the venture yourself, a business plan will help you figure out how much money you will need to get started, whast it will take to make your business profitable, whast needs to be done when, and where you are headed. In the simplest terms, a business plan is a roadmap – some tool to help you chart your progress and that will outline the things you need to do in order to reach your goals. Rather than thinking of a business plan as a hefty document that you’ll only use once (perhaps to obtain a loan from a bank), think of it as a tool to manage how your business grows and achieves its goals.

6. Have a plan for funding

Depending on the size and goals of your venture, you may need to seek financing from  an investor or bank. To stand a realistic chance of getting hold of the funds you need to get started, it will help do a “pitch” as well so that you can get feedback on your potential business from investors. Most investors will need a proper and well constructed business plan backed by strong fiancials also showing how you are going to repay your loan.

7. Set up your space

Your business location will dictate the type of customer you will attract, what type of promotions you can run, and how long it will take you to grow. While a great location won’t necessarily guarantee your success, a bad location can contribute to failure. As you’re thinking about where you want to set up shop, consider the following:-

PriceCan you realistically afford to be where you want to be? If not, or if you’re cutting it fine, keep looking.

Visibility – Will people easily be able to find you? Are you in the center of town or further out? How will this affect you?

Access to parking & public transportation – Can people easily find you from available parking options and transportation routes? If they have to look too hard, they may give up.

Distribution of Competitors – Are there many competitors close to you? If so, this may be a sign that the location is premuim for the clientele you wish to attract. It may also mean that you do no business at all.

Your store’s layout, design and placement of your products will decide not only the overall atmosphere of the store but what products people see and buy. Consider the areas you want well lit; how you will display products (if necessary); what various colors will impress people, and how people will move through your store.

Your choice of products and how you decide to price them will create a reputation. Rather than stock everything of a similar price range from one or two catalogs, consider only choosing those items that will create the feel you want to become known for.

8. Prepare for trial and error

Whether you’re starting or expanding a business, expect to make mistakes. This is natural and so long as you learn from them, also beneficial. If you do not make mistakes, you do not learn what to do less of nd hat to emphasize. Be open – minded and creative, adapt, look for opportunities, and above all, have fun. The great thing about owning your own business is that you get to decide what you want to do and where you’ll grow.






Posted by Hansie Britz on 12 October 2017



Whether you are starting a new business and require funding for your business venture or seeking capital to grow your business, one thing is certain, any potential investor or bank will require a well-structured “business plan” or farming plan from you.

So, the question is “How do you choose a business plan consultant/writer”? If you decide to hire a consultant, follow these guidelines to get the most for your money:-

Be realistic in your expectations.

The main reason for hiring a consultant is to gain a new perspective, plus access knowledge and expertise that is not readily available. Therefore, it is important that the consultant have the ability and willingness to transfer skills and expertise. A good business plan consultant has experience and qualifications working in and with a broad range of businesses.It is the accumulated business experience of the consultant that makes the consultant valuable.

Remember that you own the business.

You are the only one that can make a decision. The consultant is not there to make decisions for you, but to provide perspective, information, and observations. The consultant is also there to train you.

Give the consultant permission.

Give the consultant permission to speak his or her mind and tell you the truth. You do not need someone who agrees with everything you say. The consultant should have the confidence and communication skills to challenge you.

 Listen to your consultant.

Hear what the consultant has to say – ask questions. Take in the information, ask for guidance on how to apply the information and make your own decision.

Will a business plan guarantee funding?

All investors/banks require a sound and feasible business plan for funding approval, but that doesn’t guarantee funding. They will evaluate a number of criteria when considering a business loan. They usually consider:-

  • the viability of the business model;
  • the entrepreneur’s/management experience and qualifications;
  • market potential;
  • ability to repay the loan;
  • market size;
  • customers/competition;
  • entrepreneur’s personal credit history.

Just like a “job interview” for job, the responsibility remains that of the entrepreneur to “sell” the business plan.

I only have limited cash available to pay for a business plan. How will I afford paying for a plan?

Spending money on making use of a professional business plan writer should not been seen as an expense but rather to invest in your company’s strategic direction and market position. You cannot afford to make many if any mistakes even before starting your business, and by making use of an “expert” and good business/banking background you make sure you start on the right foot.

 Beware of “Generic” “Template” or “Low Cost” business plans.

The business plan consultant should be with you during the entire process. While this approach may take a bit longer, the extra time spent on your project will make a huge difference in the overall quality of your business plan. When someone tells you they can complete your business plan in a day or a few days or merely gives you a “template” and suggesting that all you have to do is to insert some information/figures, what you looking at is money wasted and down the drain.

There is no such thing as a “generic” or “template” business plan, so be extremely cautious to get involved with “generic” or “template” type of business plans. There are companies that operate in a manner as it is easy to make quick money and provide you with sub-standard or low -cost business plans that will not fly with any investor or bank.




Posted by Hansie Britz on 10 October 2017



A Pig Farmer has 2 options:

  1. Intensive farming; or
  2. Free – Range Farming.

Intensive Pigs are kept in a high-density, closed housing system.

Free RangePigs are running in smallish camps, foraging on feed crops such as oats, barley, lucerne and even grass.

Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, but pig farmers should also consider other factors before taking the plunge.

To breed or not :

Do you plan to breed pigs, or to buy young pigs (weaners) to grow and sell? It better to start with weaners, grow them and sell them a few times before attempting to breed them. You will get to understand pigs better and be better able to develop management protocols. Your management skills should be sound when you start breeding, as this process is far more complicated and difficult than rearing pigs.


Pigs are strong animals but are easily stressed by factors such s insufficient feed and water, and severe weather if not housed properly. This will decrease productivity, leading to losses. Pigs need solidly built infrastructure including housing, water troughs and fencing.


  • What feed will you use?
  • Will it be pigswill or leftovers from restaurants or supermarkets?
  • Pigs grow more slowly on a unbalanced diet, or will you feed pigs a commercial balanced pig ration, which is more expensive?

Before buying your first pigs, make sure you can afford to vaccinate and feed them until they are market ready.

Water Availability

Will you have a reliable supply of clean, cool water available? Water is often called the ” forgotten nutrient”, and an unreliable supply can lead to serious loss in productivity, disease and even mortality. A young, growing pig will require at least 10L of water a day while an adult pig can drink 25L – 50L a day.


Buy good pigs; never purchase pigs just because they’re cheap. Poorly bred pigs may carry a disease, be genetically inferior or take longer to grow to a marketable size. They may also have poor body conformation or a poor meat-to-fat ratio. The market may not be satisfied with such pork, and this will affect your good name as a supplier.

Other Information

Other factors to consider include:

  • providing enough shade in a free range set up ( pigs are susceptible to sunburn).
  • access to straw or sawdust for bedding.
  • a reliable market for your pigs.
  • transport available to take pigs to the market.
  • do you see your pig operation as a long-term hobby, or one you plan to grow into a full-time business?


Posted by Hansie Britz on 10 October 2017




If you’re a small farmer who wants to start a farming operation of any kind, you might wonder if you really need a farm business plan. Maybe you just wants to sell a few eggs on the sideline or plan to grow or sell some vegetables for an income. Do you still need a farm business plan?

If you plan to start a farming operation where you grow produce on your farm, you really do need a business plan in some form. If you need money and want to apply for a loan or grant of some kind, you will surely need a farming business plan.

A Business Plan can be thought of as a process, not just a product. Even if you don’t intend to apply for loans or grants (which often requires a business plan as part of the application), writing a business plan for your farm venture can help you to plan properly. That’s the purpose: to get you thinking about where you want your farm to go, what you envision for the future – and how, specifically, you plan to get there.

A good portion of the business planning process  is spent gathering information on markets. This is an extremely important part of making any farm dream a reality. You may want to grow a particular product or work with a particular animal, which is also something to consider. Matching your strengths and resources with the opportunities that exist in the real world is the key to writing a really effective, powerful business plan.

A Business Plan is a roadmap for your farm operation. It is both process and product. During the writing of a farm business plan, you’ll develop an overall vision and mission for your business. You will think about your short-term and long-term goals. You’ll define the steps needed to achieve those goals, and you’ll set the direction for your business to develop over the next five years. If you’re already have an established business, your new business plan will show where you’re going.

CONTACT THE FARM BUSINESS PLAN EXPERTS – 084 583 3143- or email us:


Posted by Hansie Britz on 2 June 2017



Before you create any slides, think about  what you want to communicate to your audience. Your goal isn’t to dazzle the audience with your Power Point skills, but to communicate something – a company policy, the merits of a product or the virtues of a strategic plan. Your goal is to bring the audience to your side. To that end, here is some practical advice to build your presentations:


Start by writing text in Word.

Start in Microsoft Word, not Power Point, so that you can focus on the words. In Word, you can clearly see how the presentation develops. You can make sure that your presentation builds to its rightful conclusion. Power Point has a special command for getting headings from a Word file.

When choosing a design, consider the audience.

A presentation calls for a mute, quiet design;or something bright and splashy. Select a slide design that sets the tone for your presentation and wins the sympathy of the audience.

Keep it simple.

To make sure that Power Point doesn’t upstage you, keep it simple. Make use of the Power Point features, but do so judiciously. An animation in the right place at the right time can serve a valuable purpose. It can highlight an important part of a presentation and grab the audience’s attention. But stuffing a presentation with too many gizmos turns a presentation into a carnival sideshow and distracts from your message.


Follow the one- slide – per minute rule.

At the very minimum, a slide should stay on-screen for at least one minute. If you have 15 minutes to speak, you’re allotted no more than 15 slides for your presentation, according to the rule.

Beware the bullet point.

Bullet points have their place in a presentation, but if you put them there strictly to remind yourself what to say next, you’re doing your audience a disfavor. Bullet points can cause drowsiness. They can be a distraction. The audience skims the bullets when it should be attending to your voice and the argument you’re making. When you tempted to use a bulleted list, consider using a table, chart, or diagram instead.

Take Control from the start.

Spend the first minute introducing yourself to the audience without running PowerPoint (or, if you do run PowerPoint, put a simple slide with your company name or logo on screen). Make eye contact with the audience. This way, you establish your credibility. You give the audience a chance to get to know you.

Make clear what you’re about.

In the early going, state very clearly what your presentation is about and what you intend to prove with your presentation.. In other words, state the conclusion at the beginning as well as the end. This way, your audience knows exactly what you’re driving at and can judge your presentation according to how well you build your case.

Personalize the presentation.

Make the presentation a personal one. Tell the audience what your personal reason for being there or why you work for the company you work for. Knowing that you have a personal stake in the presentation, the audience is more likely to trust you. The audience understands that you’re not a spoke person, but a speaker – someone who has come before them to make a case for something that you believe in.

Tell a story.

Include an anecdote in the presentation. Everybody loves a pertinent and well-delivered story. This piece of advice is akin to the previous one about personalizing your presentation. Typically, a story illustrates a problem for people and how people solve the problem. Even if your presentation concerns technology or an abstract subject, make it about people.

Use visuals, not only words, to make your point.

You really owe it to your audience to take advantage of the table, chart, diagram, and picture capabilities of PowerPoint. People understand more from words and pictures than they do from words alone. It’s up to you – not the slides – as the speaker to describe topics in detail with words.


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