Trade secrets

Jonathan Pepler, director of Silverline Group

Silverline Group, South Africa’s only franchise construction company and 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® winner, was recently named the Franchisor of the Year by Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) due to the groundbreaking progress and growth the business has experienced.

According to Jonathan Pepler, director of Silverline Group, his participation in the Entrepreneur of the Year® competition propelled his business into the public eye, and as a result it has since seen international interest and recognition.

Pepler says that the EOY platform presented the group with an opportunity to share its success story and journey with various stakeholders, and thus created interest in the need for new construction technology in South Africa, which was at the time rather unknown. He says that Silverline Group, which has become one of the largest light frame steel construction companies in South Africa in just a few short years, received extensive attention as a result of the awards platform, and in turn assisted it in becoming the FASA Franchisor of the Year. Previous businesses which FASA has recognised in the past include include Pick n Pay, Remax, Wimpy and KFC, to name a few.

According to Christo Botes, spokesperson for the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition, receiving acknowledgment by trusted brands will assist a business to grow to new levels of success. “Entering competitions allow entrepreneurs the opportunity to earn a credible image, which can potentially be magnified by media exposure, thus building the entrepreneur’s profile within the community.”

Pepler believes that Silverline Group being the only franchised construction business in South Africa, and one of the very few in the world, has been a driver in the interest it has been receiving from clients, employees and potential franchisors and that the recent accolades have aided in growing this interest. “Earlier this year, we signed agreements with two large international companies and formed a global joint venture. This puts us in a position to expand the franchise model exponentially and partake in construction projects in various countries.”

The Silverline Group, whose number of new franchisees is growing at a rate of 25% annually, has 30 outlets around South Africa, and offers franchise investment opportunities with exceptional return-on-investment (ROI) along with a unique offering. Pepler explains that the business provides significant support, mentorship and skills training to its franchisees, which he believes is a major factor behind the business’ success.

“The business model is built around our franchisees and contractors that we make use of on projects. We involve the smaller industry players and build up a large workforce across the country, which effectively gives us a national footprint of trained and accredited contractors and suppliers, each one being a disciple for the Silverline Group brand.”

Pepler recommends that entrepreneurs should enter competitions because the exposure a business can receive is incredible. “Competitions, such as the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® awards, are one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways for entrepreneurs to promote and share their success stories with not only the public, but fellow entrepreneurs, and thereby create a positive culture and connotation around entrepreneurship.

“Our business is definitely in a better place than before the competition, and we believe that a large percentage of the continuous support, interest and sales which have been generated in 2013 / 2014 can be attributed to the accolades obtained. This type of recognition proves to potential clients that the business offers good service and a reliable product,” concludes Pepler.

Bianca Carls



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