By: Business Partners Limited
Expanding can be one of the toughest moves a business can make, but it’s crucial to focus on improving and growing, even when competition and economic conditions are tough. This is according to Arnold February, Regional Investment Manager Business Partners Limited – one of Africa’s leading business loan and equity providers – who points to their client, Monaco Panel Beaters, as a great example of a tenacious business that refuses to let up, no matter the challenges they encounter.
Entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team Hesley and Bart de Klerk head up a state-of-the-art panel-beating workshop in Middelburg, called Monaco Panel Beaters; while she does the admin and human resources, he runs the operations and finances. The business, which focuses on Toyota vehicles and employs 15 workers, recently extended its physical workshop space onto the adjacent property, which the couple also owns.
Upon deciding to expand their business, Hesley and Bart initially struggled to secure finance, as the banks they approached were wary of the complicating factor of building on two property sites. It was Business Partners Limited who were more flexible and ultimately assisted with the expansion, which has since seen the two plots successfully consolidated into one.
“Both my husband and I are workaholics; we never stop. We always see more room to expand our business, even though competition is tough,” says Hesley, who hints at the plan to build more spray rooms and workspace in the near future. “Ultimately, we are moving towards becoming a training centre for the industry,” she adds.
Hesley originally established Monaco Panel Beaters in 1995 with her late first husband, Willie Meyer. Today, the Monaco team pride themselves on their modern, sustainable approach to business. As a major structural repairer, they can repair a car that others would write off and build it up like a brand-new car off the factory line.
Bart has helped to boost productivity levels since joining the business. His introduction of modern water-based paints was originally met with some resistance among the old hands who preferred working with the old-school oil-based paints, but he has since built a new, more productive team.
While some entrepreneurs shift in and out of working for other people throughout their careers, Hesley and Bart have always done their own thing, and both have only ever worked for someone else once for a few months before embarking on their entrepreneurial careers. Added to Monaco Panel Beaters, the pair also owns a coffee shop, Boerelicious, as well as Marcello Square, a commercial centre.
Together, this husband-and-wife team are a force to be reckoned with, having achieved great business success with Monaco Panel Beaters and showing no inclination of slowing down any time soon.