Quotes from SA’s Best on their Secrets to Success

Updated on 24 October 2018

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entrepreneurs success quote Businesswoman Johanna Mukoki believes that staying on top of industry trends and being on track of what’s going on in the business are most important, while DJ Zinhle says that doing research and planning are key to her success.

We list quotes from entrepreneurs like DJ Zinhle, Romeo Kumalo, Richard Maponya and the Lazy Makoti on what makes them successful. Here are their words of wisdom:

1. Plan and do your research

“I am a planner, so I like laying out my work items, making sure I have everything I need: my laptop, phone, calculator, journal and ruler. If any of these items are missing, I cannot function properly,” businesswoman DJ Zinhle said to Marie Claire.

2. Nurture relationships

Building solid relationships is the foundation of a successful business, said Romeo Kumalo,venture capitalist and CEO of Washirika Limited.

“You work out later in your career how important it is to establish these in business. In the early stages of your career, you need to establish those. People management becomes so important later on because business is all about people.”

I am always ready and looking for the next opportunity

3. Your network is your net-worth

“To make this venture work, we needed a village. Friends, family, ex-colleagues and bosses were all engaged for support,” said Katlego Maphai, co-founder of fin-tech startup Yoco. According to him, they called in favours which included asking lawyer friends to draft their memorandum of understanding (MOU) with their first payment partners and allowing another to help them put together their structure pro bono.

4. Be open-minded and adaptable

“The industry I am in, like most industries, are fluid and ever changing. I am always ready and looking for the next opportunity,” said Mogau Seshoene, founder of the home cooking brand The Lazy Makoti. She said that one should always be open, give your best at all times because you really never know who is watching and what door they could open.

“Today a chef is not limited to the kitchen at a hotel but [a chef] can go into editorial, TV, food styling, blogging and so on.”

5. Become an expert in your industry

“I think I realised it at the first board meeting I sat in. It’s important (to be expert in your industry) especially when you’re the only woman there, said Johanna Mukoki, group CEO of Travel With Flair. “I had to know my company’s ins and outs, about statistics out there… it’s so that I can be taken seriously.

“People will then realise that every time you open your mouth, you’re going to give valuable input.”

I’ve come to realise that this is the most powerful marketing tool and it has lead us to earning the respect and trust of our clients

6. See your customers as people

“I looked at people as people, not as numbers. When I meet with you, when you come into my business place, I would ask your for your name, if you come again, I will welcome you as Mr So and So,” explained Richard Maponya, a Sowetan business icon and founder of Maponya Group.

7. Keep the client happy

“Being focused on keeping his customers happy,” said Tebogo Ditshego, CEO of Ditshego Investment Group and Ditshego Media. “I have come to realise that this is the most powerful marketing tool and it has lead us to earning the respect and trust of our clients.” Ditshego says he’s been able to increase his customer base and his existing customers keep coming back.

8. Identify and work on your unique skills

Salamina Mosese and Stephina Zwane are the co-founders of production house Sorele Media and Aza TV. Zwane said that she and Mosese focus on their different talents within their business. “While we are both creatives, Sal (Mosese) is better at handling things on the operational level while I am better at handling creative and production related matters.

“This allows us to focus on different things, but with the same goal in mind, which is to grow the business.”

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