Phiko Mkatshwa is not one to wait for opportunity to knock. Much of his success in building Mkatshwa Communications has been thanks to his willingness to hunt opportunities down. Where none exist, he creates them.
“Often it’s the little things you do that can deliver big rewards. And every bit you do helps,” he says. For example, at every event he runs, he gets permission from the client to showcase some of his own marketing material. “Sometimes it’s only a stack of business cards, but it gets our name out there and we’ve got work on the basis of it,” he adds.
Creative thinking and a head for solutions landed him the Competition Commission as a client. “I did some research and realised they hold commissions of enquiry all the time, which they need transcribed.
A quick turnaround time is critical so I put together a pool of transcribers who previously worked in the courts, and we email sound clips through to them so they can start typing up transcripts even while the proceedings are still in progress.” The Commission is now one of the business’s most significant clients.
An approach to Shanduka led to Mkatshwa being selected as one of the Shanduka Black Umbrellas entrepreneurs, and he makes a point of actively working the contacts this has given him. “As an entrepreneur I think it’s really important that you take every chance you can get,” he comments.
So when a fellow Black Umbrellas entrepreneur offered him some work at a small Durban event, he grabbed it. “Their budget was really small and wouldn’t cover the cost of my travel, so I jumped on an overnight bus, did the event, and returned home by bus that evening. If you want work you’ve got to show people how eager you are,” he says.
With a limited marketing budget of his own, he’s also proactively marketed the business to leverage any existing free exposure opportunities and has appeared on a number of television and radio programmes. “Every bit helps. My philosophy is to just keep chipping away,” he says.
Player: Phiko Mkatshwa
Company: Mkatshwa Communications
Contact:+27 (0)12 326 9196