‘Never Go Into Business Just For The Sake Of It’ – Ntsoaki Phali

Updated on 15 January 2015

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'Never go into business just for the sake of it' - Ntsoaki Phali 'Never go into business just for the sake of it' - Ntsoaki Phali
Ntsoaki Phali

Company Profile
Name of companyBeyond Ability Talent Solutions
Years in existence: 5 Years
Position: Managing Director/Chief believer in people’s talents

Can you tell us a little bit about your background – personal, educational and professional? 
I have been in the human resources industry for the past 12 years. My human resources diploma and various education, training and development qualifications have prepared me for running this vision.

Can you tell us a little bit about your company and what you do? 
We recruit and place people with disabilities into formal employment and this is through graduate programs, permanent employment and learnership opportunities.

We also ensure that the work environments that our candidates are placed in are also safe and accessible for people with disabilities by conducting disability audits. Furthermore we train teams and managers on how to relate to people with disabilities through sensitivity and diversity training.

How did your journey begin and how have you achieved success so far?
My journey began when I was still in corporate and couldn’t meet my employment equity key performance indicators of employing 3 people with disabilities in the 3 positions I serviced as a HR coordinator.

Through research I realised that there was not a lack of talent with disabilities, but rather a lack of facilitators to facilitate the relationship between employers and talented people with disabilities in this sensitive and legislative environment.

 “The overall vision is to TRULY diversify our work environments so our companies reflect the diversity of our country”

What were some of the obstacles you faced starting out, and how did you overcome them?
You would remember that this was then a new concept, and it takes educating your clients before they buy into the concept. The biggest obstacle I faced was not being able to pull an invoice for the business for more than 8 months during the first year. I was forced to be creative with income strategies and I consulted for SMMEs on HR for SMMEs, and that kept the ship afloat during that period.

How many people does your company employ?
I currently employ two people, however I supply the rest of my services through outsourced teams.

What is your overall vision for your business?
The overall vision is to TRULY diversify our work environments so our companies reflect the diversity of our country, and that this will automatically translate into economically emancipating people with disabilities.

What do you think it takes to establish and run a successful business in South Africa? 
South Africa is a country faced with the three ills of poverty, unemployment and inequality and it takes this one word,”innovation” to take us out of this trap.

We need more inventors and innovators to respond to some of the challenges and the market needs that South Africa is faced with.

How did you finance your business, how difficult or easy was the process?
I self funded the business from my savings and it wasn’t an easy process since I was no longer pulling a salary. In terms of other business income needs, I leveraged on the support offered through enterprise development agencies and I also read more on the benefits of the BEE Act to grow my business, hence it was easy to approach companies for certain financial support.

“When in business, don’t deal with generalities”

What are the three things you attribute your business success to? 
Passion, understanding that I have a God destined assignment, and networks

When did you know that you were an entrepreneur?
When I first received payment from my first big corporate client. It somewhat confirmed that I am also a player in the game.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe in the goal motivation theory whereby as a leader you would set goals for yourself, the company and the team, and encourage everyone to understand their role in terms of attaining that goal.

I believe I lead by inspiration and my leadership style always encourages team members to provide innovative solutions for any business challenges we come across.

What three pieces of advice would you offer young entrepreneurs starting out today?
Never go into business for the sake of going into business, go into business because you have identified a dire market need within your community and are keen on presenting the solution.

Secondly, once you’re in business let the crowd follow you. Be the best or the rock star of your sector. Be unique, lead and stand out and this can be either through your offering, your services and relations.

Thirdly when in business, don’t deal with generalities, try to measure and track everything that happens in your business by putting systems that measure and track every activity.

What’s the worst and best business advice you’ve ever received? 
The worst advise I’ve ever received was when a mentor advised me to charge candidates during the period when I wasn’t pulling in any income. This is unethical and goes against my personal beliefs, industry and ethos. I believe in ethical business practices.

The best advise I’ve ever received was one from one of my ex bosses on the day I wanted to resign from the company. He said to me: “Ntsoaki always finish what you started”. I’ve applied this theory in almost every aspect of my life.

And finally, do you believe in luck, hard work or both?
I don’t know what luck is because I don’t remember experiencing luck, but I know that hard work ALWAYS pays.

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