Money Heroes

Money Heroes is an empowering 13-part series that will take you on a journey to applying the power of expert advice in achieving your unique financial goals.

From investments to tax, we've got you covered with empowering advice from industry leaders in South Africa that will accelerate your journey to success.

In this week's episode, we chat to formidable entrepreneurs about how they made a success of their business dreams.

Colin and Aaron Thornton tell us how they went from ordinary brothers to running well-known IT solutions brand Dial-a-Nerd. We also speak to Wanda du Toit, CEO of events company Kamers/Makers.


Did you know, the word 'entrepreneurship' comes from a 13th century French verb that means 'to create or do something'?

You can create things or do things if you own your own company, or even if you work in a big corporate, says deputy CEO of Momentum Metropolitan Jeanette Marais.

"We're always looking for people that can help us renew our thinking, can challenge the norm of how we do things, and bring some creativity into our business," says Marais.

If you're someone wanting to start your own business and go on that exciting journey, it is good to acknowledge that there is risk involved. "Only one in 10 startups will actually survive, and that is a number that is actually quite scary."

Jeanette gives three tips for those thinking of starting a business:

1. Get industry experience: There's so much about running your own business that you actually need to experience from within. You don't have to rush to take the big leap, you can begin your journey while you're earning your salary.

2. Have a solid business plan: It's very easy to make numbers work on a piece of paper, but take your business plan and get expert advice from a financial adviser, an accountant or a business partner.

3. Assurance: Ask a legal expert to check if you have all the contractual and legal things in place, to safeguard you in case something goes wrong.

Marais also believes in supporting women-owned businesses. "If you walk into a business and you see that it is owned by a female, make sure you give all the support that you can, perhaps in the form of feedback, or some ideas on their product."

Momentum Metropolitan also strongly believes in paying small businesses that it partners with, within a maximum period of 30 days.

Business Tips

Theo Vorster, CEO of Galileo Capital, has success tips for budding entrepreneurs.

While there are many reasons to open a business, Theo says his advice is primarily aimed at someone who has a passion for a specific industry and has industry knowledge to go with it.

For those who have had a cash windfall and want to start a business, but do not know much about their desired industry, Theo says they should first acknowledge the risk.

"For that person, my advice is to first spend six months working in that industry: work on a wine farm, work in a restaurant. It's a different prospect than looking in from the outside thinking you can make it work."

Here are Theo's success tips for passionate entrepreneurs who have some industry knowledge.

Success Stories: Dial-a-Nerd

Colin and Aaron Thornton run a well-known IT solutions company called Dial-a-Nerd.

They tell us some of their tips for how they went from ordinary brothers to successful entrepreneurs.

Aaron: "Choose the right partner. Understand the importance of someone partnering with someone who can deliver different things than you can. It's perfectly alright to disagree with them, but it's important to understand that together, that partnership can bring a better sum."

Trust and delegate appropriately - "If you're going to scale your business, you can't be the sole provider of the service or product you're offering. Once you make a decision, delegate and trust that those people are going to be able to deliver something."
Aaron Thornton - CEO, Dial-a-Nerd

Colin: "When I started, I didn't have any financial background at all. For me, finance meant cash flow. For the first three or four years, I kept an eye on the bank account and pretended that, 'if I lost revenue for three months, would I survive?'

"I didn't consider that money mine until I was outside that safety net. If I had enough money, then I could make a decision about buying an asset or growing."

Watch the video for more tips from Colin and Aaron on staying close to your customer and changing technology

Success Stories – Kamers/Makers

Wanda du Toit is the CEO of events company Kamers/Makers. They specialise in events for proudly South African craft and design products. These are her entrepreneurship tips:

Be brave – "Believe in your what you want to do and your vision. If you have hardship along the way, just reset and start again."

Keep an eye on trends – "Look at what’s going on around you in your industry, but stay true to what you are."

Keep your team close – "Have a good relationship with the people you work with, because you are a family. You can experience joy together, but you must also be able to walk through the trenches with your team."

Watch the video for the final few tips from Wanda…