All the entrepreneurial activities of Marc Rogatschnig, managing director of Tidal, have been associated with developing human relations.
"I haven't had a boss for over a decade. I choose the work I do and earn my own living, so perhaps I can classify myself as an entrepreneur," he tells Fin24.
Rogatschnig is a Cape Town-based clinical and consulting psychologist. He is currently completing his PhD in consulting psychology.
He describes Tidal as a collective of people development specialists focusing on work in organisations across the globe.
"We are firmly footed in Africa but offer our unique skills and experience across the world," he explains.
"We fill a niche in the people development space – that of behaviour change. Our pool of consultants are experts and skilled in changing human behaviour, and thereby increasing success and productivity in the workplace."
Rogatschnig says he always enjoyed building businesses.
"In the last decade, I have taken advantage of a solid reputation, decent experience and a supportive network to venture beyond being an individual consultant to building an alternative model with a group of consultants," he says.
"A model that didn't rely on offices and employing a bunch of high value partners. So, my business partner Ross Orwin and I decided to give it a crack."
They built the business on the belief that there might be another way to build a business in the space they operate in.
"The opportunities to support people in organisations have been growing over the past decade and continues to move up the priority list as HR executives shoulder up closer to the CEO," explains Rogatschnig.
He says it is basically a simple idea, but what makes his business different is that it operates off a very low fixed-cost base and offers its consultants well above market rates for their work.
"This builds ownership and accountability that we rely on for their work and delivery and ultimately for growth. Clients enjoy the peace of mind that whether they are looking for a strategy facilitator, executive coach or specialist in women’s leadership (and more), we are a one-stop collective for them," says Rogatschnig.
Asked about the hurdles he encountered, he says the desire to keep a low-cost base is continually being challenged, but they strive to remain highly competitive and yet also offer opportunities to grow employment and work.
The business has grown over 60% year-on-year for three years running and the offering has been expanded globally.
His advice to entrepreneurs is to be patient and deliberate, but flexible enough to experiment and fail in small measures all the time as that seems to push the best learning.
"Businesses take time to build, reputations must be carefully protected and managed. Above all, understand the critical role that your network of colleagues has on creating positive sentiment around your offering," he says.
"Be clear on what you believe in and judge all your decisions against them. The future of economic success is likely to be in small businesses. They can also become a tangible asset of legacy, so even if you currently have a job, start dabbling in a passion project that could become a small business."