Having racked up almost ten years of experience in recruitment and training, Ntsoaki Phali left her job at SAB Miller to launch a business that specialises in the recruitment and placement of people with disabilities into formal employment, sensitises clients’ teams on how to relate to disabled people, and does environmental audits on the accessibility of a client’s environment.
“It was obvious to me that there was a major social need for a business that helped people with disabilities find employment,” says Phali. “The success of the business has proved me right. We have achieved 50% year-on-year growth, perhaps bolstered by the fact that there are few other suppliers in this space.”
She also has a client list that includes Discovery Health, the largest open medical aid in the country; and education, training and skills development company, Bytes People Solutions.
Several factors have propelled her business forward.
First, Phali is a firm believer in networking, and has a vast number of contacts. She says successful entrepreneurs know that the lifeblood of their business is found in making the right connections.
This means determining what groups, companies and people would be most beneficial to the business and then prioritising your networking activities accordingly, and to ensure that you make quality connections.
Developing quality relationships
Phali says that the ability to build trusting and lasting relationships with stakeholders is one of the key ingredients of the success of Beyond Ability.
“You have to listen and understand, demonstrate empathy, be honest and be proactive. Often, you have to help clients find workable solutions to their staff needs, and you have to work with them to create a workplace that can accommodate people with disabilities.
“The work environment in South Africa still has a way to go in this regard as many premises have to be redesigned to accommodate people in wheelchairs, for example. They also have to improve facilities and technologies that make life easier for disabled employees. To educate clients, you have to earn their trust.”
Making the most of marketing
Phali is not media shy, and her business has had a lot of media coverage as a result.
“The exposure has worked in my favour, particularly because we have few competitors. They are starting to appear on the horizon, but we have already established a strong reputation in this sector thanks to all the marketing opportunities we have taken advantage of.”
- Company: Beyond Ability Talent
- Player: Ntsoaki Phali
- Est: 2009
- Growth: 50% year-on-year
- Contact: +27 (0)11 026 9001
- Visit: www.beyondability.co.za