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Success story: Father-son team takes business to new heights

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


Benjamin and Breched de Kock are the proud owners of a Build It store in Atlantis, Cape Town. Their combined knowledge and skills has seen this business grow from a welding business to a focused builder's merchant business, supplying building goods to Atlantis, as well as surrounding areas.

In 1995, Mr Benjamin de Kock (father) established a home improvement and welding works business in Atlantis near Cape Town. The business grew to such an extent, that by the year 2000, he was servicing the Atlantis industrial area with engineering supplies. The following year his son, Breched de Kock (son) joined him in the business and took control of the engineering supply side of things.

Due to its rapid growth, the initial welding business was soon overshadowed. This success enabled them to buy the building they were renting from Business Partners.

With the property boom both in Atlantis and elsewhere in Cape Town in 2005, the father and son management team realised that there was scope for a focused builder's merchant business in Atlantis. There were a handful of retailers selling a few builders items but there was no focused builder's merchant. They saw the opportunity to set up a Build It store.

Father and son each own fifty percent of the business. Management between the two is divided, whereby Benjamin is responsible for finance and administration and Breched is responsible for marketing and store operation.

Their clients include the residents and the industries in Atlantis, neighbouring towns such as Darling and Yzerfontein and "bakkie" builders from the area. As respected residents of Atlantis, they have a good rapport with their clients.

The de Kock's have more than 19 years collective experience in running their own business. Despite this they were not able to foresee all the start up problems. It is largely their experience and the discipline of attending to detail that helped them overcome each day's problems during their first year.

Breched has acquired excellent marketing skills over the years; this has enabled him to establish a large customer base. By providing a product range of hardware and industrial supplies matched to the needs of Atlantis he built a reputation for prompt delivery and good customer service.

A charismatic leader, Benjamin stays in full control of his staff and business due to his sound management skills. He enjoys an informal relationship with his staff which he maintains with continuous motivation.

Benjamin is also disciplined when it comes to planning and organising his business activities, which has led to the optimal running of their business. With regard to cash flow management, he has a hands-on approach. He revises budgets for an accurate reflection for future plans and activities, on a regular basis.

This father-son duo has led to a successful business. Learning from his father and contributing his own knowledge has seen this business grow from strength to strength.

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