Get your business OFF THE GROUND
Themba Mkandla gives you tips to help you succeed
Send your questions to Themba Mkandla at tmkconsult@ gmail.com, SMS +27 79070 4395 or tweet him at @tmkconsult Q HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BE REGISTERED ON THE CENTRAL SUPPLIER DATABASE TO BE ABLE TO BECOME A SUPPLIER TO GOVERNMENT AND THE MUNICIPALITY IN MY AREA?
YVONNE MOTHUSI, RANDFONTEIN
A Register your company on the central supplier database on https://secure.csd.gov.za. As soon as you have captured your information on the system and submitted it online, your account should be activated within 24 hours.
To get municipal work in your area, you need to register on their supplier database on and build relationships with people who work in the supply chain department. Keep in touch with their office by visiting them regularly to check on what is available. Check their notice boards where they post tenders. Register on their website to receive notifications of new tenders. Q
I WOULD LIKE TO OPEN A CLEANING COMPANY BUT I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START.
LINDOKUHLE NKOSI, SPRINGS
A Start by talking to people who work for cleaning companies and hear what they do, the challenges they face everyday and how they solve them. Talk to businesses that use cleaning services companies. Ask them what they like most about the cleaning companies they use, what they don’t like and what improvements they would like to see happening. Use that information to develop a service package that talks specifically to what they want to see improved. Write down 10 companies that you want to work with, approach them with your package and maybe offer them a trial service at a discounted price. Q I'M INTERESTED IN OPENING A PRESCHOOL IN MY COMMUNITY. WHAT STEPS DO I NEED TO FOLLOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING?
KGOTHATSO MOTAUNG, KOMATIPOORT A Entrepreneurs normally use the resources that they have to start their businesses. Use your home to see if there is demand for your services. If you don’t have space, look for a homeowner who has space and see if you can partner with them. Partnering will save you from paying rent.
If you have some money, you can rent a house and use it for your business. Sell your service to parents. When you start, talking to parents works better than just advertising.
Early childhood development centres are sensitive because children are involved. Register your centre with the Department of Social Development. Visit their offices and ask for the department that deals with early childhood development.
The Department of Social Development also subsidises early childhood development centres in low-income areas. Find out how you can apply for a subsidy for your centre. Q I WOULD LIKE TO OPEN A BAKING BUSINESS IN MY AREA AND I NEED HELP WITH DRAFTING A BUSINESS PLAN AND APPLYING FOR FUNDING.
TEBOGO MOTHAPO, VAAL
A Where do people buy their bread right now? Why would they buy your bread? It could be fresher, maybe they don’t have to travel to buy their bread, your bread could be made from quality ingredients or it could taste better.
Hustle and get a stove to make your first samples of bread. Get info on used stoves from newspaper classifieds and auctions. Alternatively, look for someone with a good stove and partner with them in the business. If you can’t partner with them, you could ask to use their stove for a fee.
Make samples of your bread. When you are happy with the samples, tell your neighbours and friends. Give them your samples on consignment, meaning ask the shop owners to give you shelf space. When people buy your product, the store owners can subtract their commission. This should help you test your market to see if they love your bread. If they do like your bread, register your business, get someone to help you put together a good business plan and take it to funders to get money to buy better and bigger stoves.