Right people key to success of business

2019-07-30 06:00
The staff of Timbacore in Stikland.

The staff of Timbacore in Stikland.

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To be in business for almost 22 years is an achievement in itself but would not be possible without the right employees.

This is how Nathaniel Roberts, owner of Timbacore in Stikland, sums up his success through the years since his company was established in 1998.

To make a success of a business is a miracle and you’ll have to deal with trials and new challenges on the way.

“International statistics show that a very small percentage of companies make it past the 10-year mark. The odds are in my favour as I am celebrating 21 years in business,” he said. If he and any employee make a mistake, he refers to the mistake as ‘paying school fees’ and stepping stones.

“It is difficult to get the right staff. A lot of people start or get chances but not all live up to your expectations.

“I have employees with 21 years or less experience at Timbacore and they eat, sleep and live Timbacore. Staff that I’ve depended on over the years are Theo Gomes from Retreat, Thembinkosi Qhashana from Khayelitsha, Roland Fortuin from Delft and Fikile Damba from Khayelitsha. “Two of my salesmen who started right at the bottom as general workers at Timbacore, Jerome Meintjies from Delft and Shawn Williams from Blue Downs are all advertisements for Timbacore,” he said.

He and Gomes worked together at another company in 1994 and when Roberts started his own in 1998, Gomes joined him.

“Theo is an example to all. He is always at work and the only time I can recall that he took off, was when his parents passed on. The customers love him, he loves his job and he is a very humble person. He cannot stand dishonesty and you know exactly where you stand with him,” Roberts stated.

Timbacore does site installations and when an unforeseen problem arises, the company takes responsibility.

“A brand is very important. I can recall when I started my first business, customers would not necessarily pay a deposit because they didn’t know me. Therefore, trust is important, in the brand and in the person that the customer is dealing with. They usually compare a new brand with established ones and tend to forget that each brand has its own rules.

“Through the years I have made sure that my brand, Timbacore, is advertised on the radio, in magazines, brochures, on the front page of the Yellow Pages and on front pages of various newspapers – all to make the public aware of the brand,” he said.

He also has incentives – performance bonuses and commission – for his employees as an encouragement to work harder.

Roberts started in Maitland in 1998 with four staff members doing installations. He opened the first retail shop in 2001 at premises in Durban Road, Tyger Valley and then moved it to High Street in 2003.

“When I started all properties were barren land and I had to put up structures for offices and storage myself. I only moved to Stikland in 2005 and from 500m² in Durban Road we are now on 9 000m² in Stikland. I also opened my first factory in 2005 which is now situated opposite our main gate.”

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