PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Tiisetso Maloma
 
Comments: 9
Article views: 705
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Tiisetso Maloma's badges.
 

Cry beloved black business

08 November 2012, 10:08

A quick browse in the townships, you will notice a lot of small businesses i.e. spaza-shops, driving schools, internet/printing cafes, pharmacies. Their state of branding hasn’t changed in last 7 or more (of course) years.

This is all observation, you welcome to argue, maybe point areas you have observed as improved. There are those areas that went notches up. There are those that lived up to innovation and taken their businesses to future heights.

Another observation is, a lot of business sites (buildings) in rural areas and townships are old and unmaintained. I’ve observed this in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo: Soweto, Jane Furse, Mamelodi, Alexandra, Globlersdal, Witbank, Middelburg.

I’m describing black business. In other instances, this also applies to white owned businesses, as example I give; Lombardy East, Mayfair (which is Indian), Silverton.

This is not a for-black-only article. Its basis is on the development to prosperity for South Africa.

Most of these businesses are either ran by old men or young adults (you can say youth). It’s probably through inheritance, family responsibility or fresh entrepreneurial venturing.

Given the state of black business in our communities; the lack thereto of progressive maintenance (you have seen old decayed/decaying buildings I’m pointing to); and given the paragraph above. It seems there isn’t any form of conscience towards continual maintenance and upgrade. Worryingly, there isn’t a sense of best-growth-practice-legacy being left for new entrepreneurs by the old generation businessmen.

It’s worrying that most businesses in townships are in decaying shape.

I know some minds are jumping at that I’m bashing black business. Hold those guns playa, I’m not. Reading further will affirm this. It’s all in the spirit of building South Africa.

Maponya Mall, now this is an important benchmark in South African democracy. AN IT shopping mall, owned by a black man, serving a township community, in South Africa! Of course shopping complexes are always being built in townships, but owned by white business.

The truth about apartheid is that it empowered whites at the disempowerment and oppression of blacks. When democracy was realised in 1994, white business already had leverage over black aspiring enterprisers. Which therefore meant/means; Pick N Pay, Shoprite, Edgars etc. were leveraged to move faster in serving black communities fully. So in saying, apartheid was about economics.

We are now post apartheid South Africa, the economic scars of apartheid will take time to vanish, but mostly it depends on us, how fast we swim and innovate. So as black business, its time we pulled our socks up and start respecting money. Let’s start putting value forth in attracting business, and use advanced marketing psychologies. It’s not helpful to cry blame on apartheid whereas our business development is stagnant.

- - -

Threats to black business, any business, and to South African development (prosperity).

A. No formulated conscience towards service, store keeping, marketing, and branding.

I’ve met a lot of small business owners, particularly in black communities, pointing out to problems affecting their business. The number one cry they make is, there isn’t business anymore, number 2 is, big business is taking over (white business) and number 3 is foreigners (Somalis).

Is it that hard for black South African business to overcome and compete, the challenges eluded above?

Baloyi Hair Salon vs. a salon in some mall. A Jet store in Jane Furse vs a Jet store in Eastgate. I bet you in both cases, the latter stores have better service.  Why is it that township (and rural areas) business is not aiming for excellence? Customers are paying in the same currency, which is South African Rands, there isn’t anywhere where it says money is better spent at Eastgate. We have to give forth the best value and service for people’s monies. 

Often it’s easy to point to problems and blame everyone but ourselves.

Have the business people I’m talking of ever questioned their service, store keeping, pricing, marketing etc. Have they owned up to the challenges they face (and it doesn’t include burning foreigners), that is coming up with solutions to internally and externally improve their businesses.

There isn’t a sense of conscience towards sales service. I’ve worked at a retail shop before, , I’ve worked at a call centre, at both at these jobs, training was provided. It’s not difficult for black business to keep a standards book, keep maintaining it (improving it) and always relate it to employees. That’s how skills would be built and installed.

I’m not alluding to that business service in black communities is horrible, but mostly there isn’t a level of conscience towards excellent service.

B. Enslaving our own people

How much does black business pay its employees? Through a quick assessment, someone who works at Pick N Pay versus someone who works at (made up example) Baloyi Bottle Store, you can tell who earns better, works legal working hours, plugged into the banking system.

Whereas it’s commendable that our labour unions and government have launched decent working conditions, sadly some (most) black businesses totally derail from these laws.

There are many workers in the townships that work from 7am in the morning, till 11pm, six days a week.

It leads to say, in this fashion, black business isn’t contributing to the growth of the greater society, therefore black intellect is deprived growth. As black business we shouldn’t only enrich our pockets. Its selfish not to train, pay and treat people decently, it takes away development potential of the country.

When you pay people crappy salaries, they will give crappy service, probably act crappy and affect your business greatly (no good way). All it says is you are a crappy selfish business person. These won’t add any value to your business knowledge and development.

C. No growth conscience

Yet with so many bottles stores, hair salons; we have seen very few black businesses venture into growth models like franchising, outlets, sister stores.

Yet Tops (Spar) and Pick n Pay Liquor venture into our townships. Some of these franchises are black owned, it is still not enough. We need to sprout out and franchise out stores that we own.

D. Corruption and government tenders

BEE is meant to plug in black people into business ownership, as of course previously we were scientifically singled out from owning any wealth like legacies. Fair enough.

Now government tenders. This means money produced in the private sector, which now is tax, is used to empower the previously disadvantaged. The intention is vey noble and necessary. This is where black business is favoured when government needs certain services or products. Very necessary I must say.

Now, government tenders have become a plague to entrepreneurship.

The truth of the matter and mathematical logic is that, tax money should be used for administration and development. Using public funds for affirmative empowerments, if there isn’t any private sector growth, is highly dangerous.

Can someone calculate this: how many cents in every Rand paid as tax is lost to corruption and wastage spending?

Government tenders have taken a lot of black entrepreneurs’ attention, its hurting new product developments. It seems the skill which is needed to conquer government tenders is not economic value based, but rather connections and kick backs.

The older generation businessmen have neglected efforts in their old businesses, in chase of government tenders.

VITAL TO TRIUMPH OF BLACK BUSINESSES, ANY BUSINESS ACTUALLY.

Let’s own up. We are losing business because we do not give our customers reasons to buy from us again. Nothing stays the same. People grow in taste; our businesses should grow as well.

As an entrepreneur, always find solutions to make people buy from your business. 

Our business services should be attractive. Therefore there should be service training. This is important even for spaza-shops, hair salons or bottle stores.

People should know of your wonderful store (if its indeed wonderful), therefore they should be marketing. I think important for shops in townships to be visible. You do not want to miss out on chance buyers.

It is recipe for stagnant or even falling profits if your business doesn’t always measure it self against competition, but importantly take the lead in venturing into new opportunities.

When one walk into black businesses in township and rural areas, they should experience: excellent and informed customer service, competitive pricing; and a well cleaned, merchandised and maintained store. We must strive to be the very best. 

How can we be competitive, add economic value and add development value?

BEST WISHES!

-   -   -

Through an entrepreneur organisation (non profit company) that we recently registered, called AfriBizCulture, we have programmes that we will be rolling out, to give training to business people in townships regarding marketing, branding, store-keeping, service and factors necessary for growth. For further information, email me here tiisetsomalomablog@gmail.com.

Tiisetso tags; entrepreneur, start-ups, business models (product architecture, penetrative marketing and distribution), development & culture economics. Follow on twitter @TiisetsoMaloma

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
JohnDough
Not voting is stupid!

By not voting you are saying to the current political party in power “Well done, you are doing a great job.” Read more...

2 comments 51 views
Submitted by
ruffieb
Go Gauteng,Go!

Allister Sparks published an article in the Cape Times (09.04.2014) covering the proposals that the DA rising star in Gauteng Mmusi Maimane, made before a packed audience of 8000 people. Read more...

3 comments 324 views
Submitted by
Johan Kruger
To vote or not to vote - that is ...

The right to vote is one of the most basic and fundamental rights in a democracy, but to vote or not to vote (with apology to Shakespeare), seems to be the question. Read more...

1 comments 101 views
Submitted by
The Last Contrarian
Mystery: Spontaneous Human Combus...

There are nights, indeed entire days, where I willingly become a candidate for spontaneous human combustion.  Read more...

5 comments 705 views
Submitted by
Tyronehster
The Greatest?

There are always debates about who the greatest batsman is, the greatest golfer, the greatest footballer and so on and I think, with one exception, that of Don Bradman, the jury will remain perpetually hung. Read more...

13 comments 237 views
Submitted by
MAVERICK
Why even the Constitutional Court...

On Monday the Con Court knocked back the application by the Africa Unite Party to challenge the IEC on the right to stand for public office, section 19. Read more...

15 comments 1104 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Digital Media & Marketing Association
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.