We recently asked one of our clients a few questions about what inspired their business and what challenges have they faced since starting out with their business. Mamphego Pasha Studios Managing Director Tebello Motlhokoa had this to say about his journey.
What inspired you to go into business?
I came up with my business idea while shackled to my desk at a production company, I wanted the freedom of running my own business, and by starting Mamphego Phasha Studios I could help SMME. More than anything it was a manifestation of my passion. The company was registered in 2016 but only started operating in June 2019. The journey has been tough but like anything, I have learned a lot about myself. It’s rightly said that “Entrepreneurship is not a destination, it’s a journey” and this quote perfectly fits in my life, as it’s been long years and 5 Failed Businesses that have brought me where I am today, Entrepreneurship teaches you what life is exactly is. There’s no certainty in here, you just have to work super hard and chances are super slim that you will ever achieve what you wanted, but then that’s the thrill that compels me to get up every day and work hard on making my vision a reality. With Covid-19 coming into the picture we need to restructure for the future and it was a seriously daunting task.
What are some of the lessons you have learned?
Though failures are a part of the stride, what I have learned from them is:
· Most of us who want to start a business initially concentrate on the differentiation we offer in the product or services. That is not true, offering the same service in the same quality is also acceptable as long as you are good at doing that. E.g. a general store shop offers nothing different and still all of them thrive and make money.
· Don’t assume the entire customer set as customers: a product or service can be profitable if it caters to even 10% of the population those are good enough numbers for a start, so don’t over plan.
· Understand limitations and don’t solve them: there are times we have a limitation and the solution is not practical, but we exceed our limits to solve the limitation, try and create workarounds, and move, solve the limitation as the business matures.
We see ourselves landing repeat clients and having a solid team to create beautiful content. Gaining Authority in the film and television industry. Mamphego Phasha Studios reaching a significant number of sales.
How has S&A Chartered Accountants helped your business?
S&A is playing a big role in my company and I have learned so much from them. My financials have improved because of them.
S&A recently had a chance to ask Corner Dladla Pizzeria founder Kgomotso Motshegoa questions regarding the coronavirus and its impact on his business, here is what he had to say …
What changes has your business experienced since the lockdown?
The coronavirus pandemic interrupted our growth plans. We have seen both upward and downward spirals that came as a result of the different lockdown levels. The business has currently hit a plateau.
Level 5 restrictions made our operations come to a complete halt while level 4 allowed us to hit record numbers. This can be attributed to some of the major outlets remaining shut or not operating at optimum level and thus allowed us as small players to gain a bit more of the market share and absorb that new client base which had missed the experience of takeout meals for some time.
We can also link our partial growth to the introduction of our delivery service that also enabled us to increase our footprint.
Level 3 regulations and resumption of the liquor trade, unfortunately, made us hit a snag in our overall output hence our current plateau.
Where do you see Corner Dladla Pizzeria in the coming years?
As an optimist, one always remains hopeful particularly as a result of the industry we operate in. Our product may not be a staple necessarily, but consumer behavior always shows us that patrons often opt for takeaways as a break from their routine dinner at home or prefer our meals as a result of the demanding careers they have that not necessarily allow them time to prepare meals for themselves and their families.
With scaling prospects and the introduction of new menu items, we do foresee a steady growth phase. The market has up to now responded well to our new brand.
How has S&A helped Corner Dladla ?
S&A has played a pivotal role in our business. They have assisted us in driving business growth by offering advise and perspective at key moments particularly in the milestone of us moving into our first brick and mortar flagship store.
They have become the perfect sounding board on everything finance and accounting related in the business.
We continue seeking insight and advice from the team in our ongoing quest towards business success.
“Woman, an adult female person” is the most just/decent definition of the word ‘woman’ I found as I was surfing through the internet trying to find a better understanding of the word. Among other definitions one specifically stood out to me, it read “a man’s wife, girlfriend or lover” and I was triggered.
It is no secret that growing up black in South Africa has its struggles but growing up as a young black woman is a top tier struggle. You have no sense of freedom; you belong to everyone. Everyone wants to tell you how you should carry yourself, what you should aspire to, and what to wear. In a supposedly free South Africa, women still do not have their freedom. They are bound by the shackles of society, tradition, and patriarchy. Treated like filth by our own brothers and commodified by our own fathers.
Imagine navigating through life with no sense of freedom, men entitled to your body and your entire being, being told how you should feel, what to aspire to and how to avoid getting violated at the comfort of your own home and walking the street of your supposedly safe country being the most dangerous thing for your kind. It does not start with the violence, but it starts with the rape culture that is being perpetuated and normalized amongst men. It starts with courtship and men not realizing how invasive it can be for a woman. It starts with men not having the emotional intelligence to accept rejection. It starts with men having a sense of entitlement and patriarchy still being in the core of our cultures and traditions. Let us be honest, all cultural practices were not designed with a woman in mind, religion was not designed with a woman in mind. Which makes me wonder “where were the women when all the important decisions were being made? Probably in the kitchen where they supposedly belong”. women are consistently being left out of important conversations not because they have nothing to say but because the world has managed to silence them for centuries and men cannot fathom their voice and have gone deaf to their cries.
It is so sad that in 2020 we are still having campaigns of gender-based violence and gender inequality because men refuse to change the status quo. For a while women have been told how to behave so not to attract such atrocities to themselves, we have been told not to dress in a certain way, how to address men politely so as not to provoke them. we have been told to pardon ourselves before we voice out our opinions. Please , thank you and sorry have become a huge part of our vocabulary. We have been told how to be tame and non-sexual, how to be a woman by people who have no business telling women what to be because they are not women. We have tailored ourselves to the “perfect woman” but still, our sisters are being killed, commodified, and tossed around like some football.
Personally, as a woman I am tired, tired of the hashtags and the campaigns, I am tired of having these conversations with men. I am tired of being a woman, tired of belonging to everyone but myself. I am tired of being apologetic, tired of speaking out, tired of being an endangered species in a supposedly free South Africa. So, I am passing the baton to all men, have difficult conversations with yourself and your friends. Call out your rapists, sexist, and abusive friends. CHECK YOURSELF and to quote the late Elie Wiesel “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor never the victim. Silence encouraged the tormentor never the tormented.”