The key to starting a successful business in South Africa – shared

February 3, 2010
2 min read

Normally I spend Mondays investigating some of the things I’ve thought about over the weekend – work and personally related.  This last Monday I did a few searches for what I was looking for and sent off some email inquiries and made a few phone calls. They ranged from looking at internal microblogging platforms which I’m working on at work, to some fittings for the new house – even a mail to Mercedes Benz to inquire about their rentals. Solar Geysers, wooden flooring, Microsoft SharePoint training, software for 1400 users – to name a few.

So rather than being quickly replied to, so that their sales team could get in touch to close a deal – I actually have to forcefully persuade people to do business with me – does the customer have to remind the service provider to follow up on their order or product?  It’s Wednesday morning, and I haven’t had a single call or email back from the 12 odd I sent/called, except one.

So if you want to be successful in South Africa as a small business owner, all you have to do is act the least bit interested in your potential customers. Although there might be competing companies out there, it is not exactly hard to win customers away.

Recession? Tough economic times? Sure. Get off your arse, call your leads back and you’ll make a mint.

By the way – Lindsay Saker Hyde Park must be commended on their exceptional service. My turbo gave me some hassles on Monday night – I was able to book it in the next morning. Julian, the service consultant called back to say the vacuum pipes had holes in them, and he’d replace them. Picking up the car yesterday, he’d done it for free, given my car a great clean, and some tips on how to extend the lifetime on the turbo.

Grant Thornton predicts the World Cup will bring in R55bn over 2 months to our economy. That’s 2.5% of our GDP. If you want a piece of this – or just make a few bucks off another South African, please, lift your game!


Rob Cells

You’re spot on Murray. That’s why does so well – there is so much bad service out there that a guy like him can make money from it all. I have been shaking my head at the lack of customer service across the board – it’s a human thing. I guess 90% of businesses need to behave like that, so that the 10% that actually do what they are supposed to do as the normal course of business can stand out and make more money than the rest!

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