Women Powering SA: Monique Pasqualle, HR Cartel

Women Powering SA: Monique Pasqualle, HR Cartel

Monique Pasqualle

Director of HR Cartel

The Business

HR Cartel is a 100% black-owned female business, established to provide specialist HR, management and project-based consulting services to entrepreneurs, start-ups, small to medium enterprises, NGO’s, NPO’s and the educational sector. Their clients fall within the above sectors, as well as within the government, corporate, automotive, retail, and restaurant industries. They encompass the entire HR function starting at sourcing suitable skilled candidates, ensuring healthy performance as well as employee engagement and growth in line with your business goals and without breaking your pocket. We also offer Project Management, Management Consulting, and Business Services Solutions. This ensures a 360-degree strategic overview for all businesses, where we ensure our clients’ needs are met from A to Z.

Related: Small Business Marketing Strategies: Google vs Facebook

Monique’s story

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?

Our biggest success was starting our Academy (Uluntu Academy) at the beginning of 2020. Uluntu Academy has 2 divisions, one is for new entrepreneurs and upcoming businesses teaching valuable business acumens, such as project skills, finance, marketing, and operational skills and the other academy is aimed at empowering the youth and young adults from underprivileged areas to encourage, empower, create, start and act on their ideas to create functional businesses that will eliminate youth unemployment and create sustainable futures and income for the economy.

HR Cartel has recently been featured in the Brand Alchemy RSA Women Support Women blog series as well as CITI – Cape Innovation Technology Initiative in partnership with the City of Cape Town article series for the Top Tech Tools Women in Business. They were also nominated for the Santam Women of The Future Award, as well as nominated for the Standard Bank Top Women Awards 2020 for Top Women Entrepreneur category.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST HURDLE?

The current pandemic has hit many sectors hard. Our biggest hurdle to date was to move our business functionalities over to virtual platforms for sustainability and to teach our clients and learners how best to thrive within the current situation they are faced with. It’s been a challenging 4 months for all parties involved as 80% of our business entails client contact and onsite assistance. It has also been especially trying over the last few years to run a business as a young black female in South Africa. Many big corporates do not feel you have what it takes to do the basic, despite years of education and corporate skills attained.

Related: COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot Listing

ADVICE FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS?

My advice to women regardless of colour is to keep going. Know your worth! As women in business, it’s easy to get steamrolled when it comes to the gender pay gap, ideas, or leadership. But confidence comes from within! Knowing your worth starts with positive self-talk and professional development. Give yourself the tools and training you need to be the best in your field, and never ever give up. Be relentless to change and take negativity as useful tools to help you grow. Once you have the cold hard skills and attitude to match, you’ll be able to carry yourself more confidently, pitch your business to others, and do better work for your clients.

Get in touch with them to enrich yourself or your team’s skills and take your business to the next level.

Contact Monique Pasqualle and the HR Cartel team at info@hrcartel.co.za

COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot – Get Access Home Decor

COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot – Get Access Home Decor

In this edition of the Business Brightspot blog, we’re covering an unconventional South African SME that has been affected by Covid-19 but has continued to push through to keep their doors open and service their clients.

Poppy Kabini, Get Access Home Decor

About your business

At Get Access, we believe that your space should reflect your own personal style. Each corner of your life should be eye-catching and unique. Get Access is a home decor store, dedicated to helping our customers discover their own design personality.

With an extensive selection of home goods and decor along with superior customer service, Get Access helps you find exactly what you need.

How has your business changed during COVID-19?

Sales have dropped drastically but with the consumer market slowly opening up once again, we are seeing a slight increase in some of our more essential products such as baby clothing and furniture. 

What motivates you as a businesswoman?

I’ve always loved being a business person and using my creativity to solve problems. I started my business in tertiary, but because I didn’t have any formal training in business, marketing, and finances; the business failed. That did not stop me, I began conducting gatherings with women in business, where we could all share our experiences and give each other advice on how to improve ourselves as businesswomen. Today I run a home decor manufacturing business which is doing fairly well. Despite all the challenges I have come across, I still persisted; I took it upon myself to research, learn, and train on how to be a good and disciplined businesswoman. The one mistake small business owners make is to not equip themselves with proper tools; having a business idea and running the actual business, are two different things.

Contact details:

Get Access Home Decor

 

Want to list your business? Submit your story here to be featured on our Business Brightspot campaign.

The Business Brightspot blog is part of our Open for Business campaign. This is an initiative to give South African SMEs the tools and information they need to re-open their businesses during COVID-19.

For on the campaign, read this blog post.

An Eye on the Metrics

An Eye on the Metrics

Over the past month, our digital marketing experts have talked through – Digital Marketing Tips and how to approach the two main digital channels for most businesses – Facebook and Google.

Today, we touch base with them to understand what and how to track your digital metrics for marketing success.

“Digital marketing is all about tracking what works, what doesn’t, and knowing how to improve this to make a channel work for your business,” says Stacey Vermaak, Growth Marketing Consultant at Lulalend.

Related: Small Business Marketing Strategies: Google vs Facebook

While each business is different, there are a core set of key performance indexes (KPIs) that you can start tracking in order to make sure that your marketing efforts are performing well for your business.

“As a fundamental rule of thumb, you want to make sure you are tracking through to your final goal – either a sale or a signed client or contract. Also be sure to track the monetary value of these.”

Michael Rampjapedi, Digital Marketing Manager at Lulalend says, “You should focus on implementing the conversion tracking tools available on the various marketing platforms, as well as in setting up Google Analytics to track any actions on your site that are important to you.”

Related: 5 Digital Marketing Strategy Tips: COVID-19 SME Support

Vermaak continues, “One mistake many businesses have made is tracking to a point too early in their funnel and then judging their marketing based on the number of leads, or cost per lead, without understanding how many of those leads convert into sales for that specific channel or campaign. This often leads to over investment in a channel and under investment in others. It’s important to understand that not all leads are created equal.”

“It is important to assess marketing performance based on return on ad spend and profitability rather than on metrics such as cost per lead,” said Vermaak.

They agreed that, for most businesses, the below metrics are a good starting point:

  • Traffic split by channel (users) – get this in Google Analytics
  • Cost per user by channel or CPC (cost per click)
  • Conversion rate by goal and by channel/ campaign/ ad message
  • Customer repeat rate – how many purchases each month are from repeat customers vs new customers
  • Lifetime value
  • Retention rates (for long term clients, or subscription services)
  • Cost to acquire a customer by channel
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROI) – while you can simply divide revenue by costs, we prefer to divide profit by cost in order to benchmark based on profitability.

While some of these may seem foreign now, if you can get started with tracking these on a monthly basis you will start to understand how the different levers involved in your marketing are working. Once you understand which ones you can affect, you are able to develop a plan to get you where you need to go.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Generate PR for Your Small Business

Women Powering SA: Sheila Visser & Cheryl Chapman, Wolf Printing

Women Powering SA: Sheila Visser & Cheryl Chapman, Wolf Printing

A Story of Resilience

Some of the greatest business legends have shared their stories of resilience, about never giving up and about how winning is just getting up one more time than you were knocked down.

Beautiful, thought-provoking quotes that can be much harder to live through and by.

Sheila’s story below reminds us of the grit and determination that is required to get up again and again. We felt privileged when she shared it with us, and we hope you do too.

 

The Business

Wolf Printing offers a whole host of products and services for the corporate sector as well as the man in the street. No order is too small or too big for Wolf Printing to handle.

Their aim is to offer each customer individual attention and build a strong and lasting relationship with them.

Their range of products for the corporate sector is extensive and their range of personalised items spans everything from custom printed wall decals to custom printed children’s aprons. Their range can be viewed on Facebook and we challenge you to take a look and not find something you want to order.

If you are looking for something in particular, they encourage customers to send them an email with their requirements.

 

Sheila’s story

“I have been in sales all my life and 8 years ago I decided to start my own business – corporate and personalised gifts and clothing. I have never been in this trade before and decided to give it a try. It has been an uphill battle as I did not have much capital – only enough to buy the basic machines. I am 62 and my partner is 57 and Sheila learned all her designing on google as we did not have funds to go for courses. 3 years ago our vehicle was stolen, which left us in a terrible situation as we could not get to suppliers or customers.

Related: Women in business part 2: Real women, real challenges, real engagement

Sheila got a small pension payout and we eventually bought a 2nd hand vehicle. Then last year we were held up in our home by 6 armed men and they stole our computers, cell phones, camera, and other items. As we were not insured, this set us back again. And as you know, this year the dreaded COVID-19 struck and we are now 3 months behind on rent with a landlord threatening eviction at the end of lockdown.

These last 5 years have been an absolute nightmare, but this is all we have, so will fight to the bitter end.”

Cheryl and Sheila demonstrate the beauty of resilience in their ability to pivot and view each change and challenge as an opportunity to grow and further build a business that serves their customers better.

Related: Women Powering SA: Ann Clark, Options in Training

 

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter.

 

Download the Wolf Printing catalogue here.

Contact Sheila at info@wolfprinting.co.za

 

Business Details:

Wolf Printing

Windham Ave, Hillary, Durban, 4024

Phone: 031 – 463 3801

Cell: 071 006 3100

www.wolfprinting.co.za

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Women Powering SA: Ann Clarke, options in training

Women Powering SA: Ann Clarke, options in training

Ann Clarke

MD of options in training

The Business

options in training offers training that covers everything from an introduction to computing in business to intermediate and specialised Microsoft office courses, often tailored to meet an exact business or personal requirement.

They make keeping up-to-date and improving your skills fun by ensuring that it’s relaxed, interactive, and supportive in small, facilitator-led, computer, and business skills classes.

They have been around for over 30 years, have full MICT SETA accreditation with courses mapped to unit standards, are part of the Microsoft channel, and a testing center, but have never lost that personal touch or the flexibility to schedule courses where and when it suits you. They thrive on the challenge of developing new courses, to your needs.

Over and above Microsoft training they also offer:

Project Management, Visio, CorelDRAW, Publisher, and Internet courses.

Business Skills Training: developing your communication and people skills – whether you are looking at interaction with colleagues, bosses, employees, or clients.

They believe that when writing, presenting, training, leading, supervising, or talking, a depth of knowledge and understanding of both yourself and best practices predicts success.

Ann’s story

It was in the ’80s when Ann created a solid business plan that secured the finance she needed to start options in training. She credits this and the youthful positivity which gave her the confidence in getting started. At the time she entered the professional services industry, it already welcomed female entrepreneurs.

“A couple of lessons I’ve learned, which have so often stood me in good stead, are that saving in the good times eases the stultifying financial stress of the not-so-good, and cherish your reputation, it keeps you in business. But you wouldn’t have a business without a dedicated team who care as much as you do, look after them, “ says Ann.

“Today, our computer and business skills training has moved from our beautiful thatched premises to the small screen of our computers, in our home offices.”

“To my surprise, this hasn’t diminished our trademark personalised attention and has opened new opportunities for distance training. So hold on to perseverance and belief – they are your path to continued success.”

Get in touch with them to enrich yourself or your team’s skills and take your business to the next level.

Contact Ann at ann@optionsit.co.za