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Coressence: Monica Nkosi

A beautician gets funding from a client and starts her own business

Juliet Pitman

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Monica Nkosi of Coressence

It’s not often that a client is so impressed by your service that they offer to invest personally in your business. But that’s exactly what happened to Monica Nkosi, founder and MD of Coressence Beauty Salon. Nkosi was working as an employee in a beauty salon when a corporate client urged her to start up on her own.

But, being young and inexperienced in business, she put the idea down as something to do when she was older. “I looked at the market and realised there were so many overheads – rent, equipment, marketing. It just seemed out of reach,” she relates. And besides, it’s the kind of advice senior business people are often happy to give, but are seldom willing to put their money where their mouths are.

However, the idea planted a seed in Nkosi’s mind and when the opportunity arose for her to rent space in a Pilates studio in Sandton, she jumped at it. True to his professed belief in her abilities, her client turned financier, putting up enough capital for her to make the move.

When asked what she thinks inspired such confidence, Nkosi answers simply, “Later on his girlfriend told me that he felt that my personalised service had the making of a good business.”She’s retained personalised service as her key selling point. The spa and beauty market is one of the fastest growing sectors in South Africa, with franchises and outlets opening on almost every corner, and Nkosi believes that personalised service is what will help to retain and grow her existing client base.

“In spite of rapid expansion in the industry, this kind of business still works on word of mouth – one happy client will recommend you to another person and this is what grows your customer base. If your clients feel like they have a personal relationship with you and that you offer them something over and above what the normal mall salon can, they’ll keep coming back and they’ll tell their friends,” she says.

Coressence quickly outgrew its original premises and although it still has a branch in Sandton, its new home is in the upmarket exclusive suburb of Parkhurst. Unable to afford rent for such premises at this stage, Nkosi has taken an innovative approach to accessing the premises she wants, teaming up with a hair salon and eyebrow specialist, who split the rent with her.

She and her two therapists are now in the centre of an area that draws wealthy individuals and corporate clients alike. Because the three businesses are aligned, Nkosi leverages the synergy to cross-sell to clients who come in to see the other two companies. It’s clear that Nkosi has made the most of the original investment, and has since invested money back into the business, developing a brand identity, hiring staff and growing her customer base.

“We’ve created a good foundation and a brand and our next big step is to focus on a marketing campaign to increase our visibility and extend our client base,” shes ays.“I see Coressence growing into a chain of branches. That’s my vision for the future,” she continues, “But I never want to lose the advantage that we’ve gained through personalised service.

The clientele that we’re dealing with are all looking for something special that speaks to their individual needs and the experience they have at Coressence always needs to deliver on that. For this reason I remain hands-on – I’m a working therapist in addition to running and managing the business. It’s important that I keep close to clients and continue to respond to their needs.”

Contact: +27 11 447 2588; monicacoressence@telkomsa.net

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.

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25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton

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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.

CEOwise

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Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect

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It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.

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“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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