‘Per­sis­tence key to busi­ness suc­cess’

Sunday Express - - BUSINESS JOURNAL -

ALI­CIA Motšoane’s has been a re­mark­able jour­ney of growth from the young girl that looked up to her busi­ness­man fa­ther, the young woman who sold clothes she im­ported from Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa to Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer ( CEO) at Pres­tige Fur­ni­ture and Sen­te­bale Gap Funeral Ser­vices.

Ms Motšoane (56) teamed up with busi­ness part­ners to start Pres­tige Fur­ni­ture in 1998 and Sen­te­bale Gap Funeral Ser­vices 1999.

“I con­sider him my role model,” Ms Motšoane said of her fa­ther who owned a butch­ery in Mafeteng and also sold other things.

“I have al­ways liked sell­ing and ever since I was a young girl I al­ways wanted to be a busi­ness woman.

“My late fa­ther was my role model who taught me the ba­sics of busi­ness which have al­ways been a part of me. It is what I’m very pas­sion about.

“I started sell­ing clothes from a very young age I would al­ways be in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa where I even­tu­ally met up with my busi­ness part­ner.”

She said Pres­tige was a very small com­pany that used to sell used fur­ni­ture in Mafeteng.

“As for Sen­te­bale it grew out of my de­sire for new chal­lenges in my pro­fes­sional ca­reer and it has been a very fruit­ful part­ner­ship thus far.”

She suf­fered a set­back when the first Pres­tige stores in Maseru burnt down in 2011 but emerged stronger through the sup­port and prayers of the com­mu­nity. She also cred­its the coun­sel­ing she re­ceived for get­ting her through that dif­fi­cult pe­riod.

“I’m a per­son that prays a lot and I’m also for­tu­nate to have the sup­port of the com­mu­nity and pas­tors from var­i­ous churches who came to pray for me. It is very im­por­tant to have a sup­port sys­tem. I had a lot of per­sonal coun­selling and sup­port dur­ing that chal­leng­ing pe­riod.”

She said that be­ing a CEO was about be­ing hands on and do­ing most of the ground work, giv­ing her time and ded­i­ca­tion to day to day run­ning of the busi­nesses.

“I do a lot of the mer­chan­dis­ing, even clean the store and go as far as meet­ing with be­reaved fam­i­lies at Sen­te­bale. I even at- tend some fu­ner­als to give sup­port to the fam­i­lies. I of­ten in­ter­act with my clients and reg­u­larly greet them when they come to col­lect their loved ones for burial.

“The role I play is not an easy one be­cause I dread mak­ing de- ci­sions that af­fect peo­ple’s lives and well­be­ing. As a CEO I carry the liveli­hood of sev­eral fam­i­lies on my shoul­ders; that is why the worst part of my job is hav­ing to dis­ci­pline or dis­miss peo­ple. I wish there was an­other way around it.”

She said the busi­ness world re­quired per­sis­tence and faith in one’s vi­sion to shape the fu­ture.

“Most peo­ple make the mis­take of re­ly­ing on govern­ment yet the govern­ment is only there to fa­cil­i­tate busi­ness.

“You need to take charge of your busi­ness and play your part in pro­vid­ing ser­vices, prod­ucts and creat­ing em­ploy­ment in the coun­try.

She em­pha­sised that for a com­pany to be suc­cess­ful there was a need to con­tin­u­ously train staff.

“The most im­por­tant thing a busi­nessper­son can do is to en­hance the skills of their staff through train­ing. I be­lieve in train­ing; I go for train­ing and it has helped in the day to day run­ning of my com­pa­nies. I en­cour­age other en­trepreneurs to in­vest in it; I be­lieve that it is never too late to learn some­thing new or en­hance one’s skills.”

Her vi­sion for the fu­ture is to ex­pand her busi­nesses and own a lot of prop­erty and land in Le­sotho.

“My goal is to have a mall and own a lot of prop­erty. I first have to ac­quire a lot of land to do that; which I will hope­fully do within the next five years.”

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