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The Lazy Makoti – 5 key business lessons

Sep 17 2015 13:49
Buhle Ndweni

Johannesburg - The business concept of The Lazy Makoti, which means the lazy bride when translated, came to life last year when Mogau Seshoene (26) started getting requests to teach young brides-to-be how to cook traditional meals.

Spotting a gap, Seshoene registered the business and currently has three employees that assist with cooking classes and administration.

The business has also created employment opportunities for five female entrepreneurs who manufacture handmade Lazy Makoti kitchen accessories in Mamelodi, Pretoria. Seshoene shares her five lessons in business:

1. Passion is everything

Passion is what will sustain you when you are faced with business hurdles, she says. “It’s really is true that saying: ‘Do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life’, " says Seshoene “When you are truly passionate about something you will continue to research it and want to learn more so you can do better.” Taking pride in her trade, Seshoene is currently enrolled at a culinary school to further expand her culinary skills.

2. Money does matter

While she says being passionate about the business opportunity you choose to pursue, money does matter. She says she used some her own savings to start the business and was fortunate to receive an additional start-up capital when she won the grand prize of R150 000 through The Lean Jump Business Incubation powered by SABKickstart, Edge Growth and The Hook Up Dinner.

“It’s very hard to go to a meeting and be productive on an empty stomach. Learn about money, how it works and how your business can make more of it. Seek help from professionals but also read up on it. Don't just concentrate on the core of the business and ignore the finances because it's so daunting especially when you aren't doing well.”

3. Seek help and advice

There is no shame is asking for assistance from those who have walked the road ahead of you. Seshoene says find a key player in your industry and ask to be mentored. “The worst they could say is no, or they could say yes and help guide you and your business in a better direction. And you get to avoid all the mistakes they had to make by learning from them.”

She says entrepreneurs should stop being obsessed with their ideal and instead do things in light of the bigger picture. “Mentors and business incubation programmes help provide a third eye that can help you plan better,” she adds.

4. Efficiently manage your cash flow

She says in her experience, poor financial management often leads to access to cash flow becoming a challenge. “Simply not keeping track of what comes in and what goes out. I decided to hire a person is that field who would help me with that and I immediately saw a huge improvement,” says Seshoene.

She says finding alternative income streams relating to the business such as cooking classes, speaking engagements and manufacturing The Lazy Makoti recipe book and kitchen accessories has helped ensure the business has sufficient cash flow.

5. Find affordable and effective ways to build your brand

Social media has helped this entrepreneur successfully market her brand and get potential clients and investors to recognise the brand. “This incredible invention means that even the small guy, like myself, can afford to have conversations with potential customers just like the big guys who can afford the best advert spaces on TV and print media. And I am still able to do this more efficiently and effectively with maximum impact,” she says.

This story was first published in Fin24's sister publication, Finweek.

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