- Player: Tracy Kruger
- Company: Legwear Safari
- Established: 2013
- About: Legwear Safari is a South African company that sells superior quality legwear online.
- Visit: legwearsafari.co.za
Starting a business is all about solving problems. There is the main problem, of course, the one that you’re trying to solve for the customer, but then there are also a host of other challenges that crop up as you grow your business. Launching her online business, Legwear Safari, Tracy Kruger faced many challenges. Here is how she solved them.
How do you find a concept that hasn’t been done to death already?
For Tracy, it was all about solving a problem that she was experiencing herself as a consumer. The idea first came about when her husband Marius was looking for legwear to buy for her as a gift. There was nothing available that really suited her taste and style. “Everything was either very cheap or super-expensive. There was nothing for the average person. Also, there weren’t enough designs and colours to choose from. I’ve never been a black or beige person.”
How do you create a sophisticated e-commerce site if you’re not a developer?
These days, you can design some impressive websites yourself with the help of services like Squarespace. If you have time, patience and some solid computer and design knowledge, you could do it yourself. However Tracy opted for a professional design company. “With an e-commerce site, your website is everything, so it needs to look slick and professional. You can get a great site for around R20 000, and it’ll be a worthwhile investment. If you don’t want to pull the trigger too early, start by selling on Facebook, which is what I did.”
With so many websites online, how do you prevent your store from disappearing?
“You need to spend money,” says Tracy. “I underestimated just how hard it can be to get traffic to your site. Google and Facebook ads are crucial. You need a decent budget for this. You also need to be active on social media. When it comes to a fashion brand like Legwear Safari, Facebook and Instagram work really well.”
With so many products available on the market, how do you know what to stock?
Thanks to social media, customer discovery and market research is easier than ever. All you need is a poll on Facebook or Twitter. “People are very honest online. Face-to-face, people tend to be diplomatic. Ask a question on social media, though, and you’ll get a very honest answer.”
How do you go about finding suppliers?
“When I first started, I tried to find local suppliers, but I was too small. No one was interested, so I ended up importing product from overseas suppliers. This is tricky, since you need to deal with customs and exchange rates. Controlling stock is also hard, since lead times are long. If possible, find a local supplier. I did eventually develop relationships with some great local suppliers. Be tenacious and keep at it until you get a foot in the door. If using an international supplier, find someone with experience who can help you deal with customs.”
How do I grow my business and keep customers coming back?
Asking customers to pay money through a website and simply trust you to deliver the goods isn’t easy. Many people are understandably reluctant, but the solution, says Tracy, is great customer service.
“Customer service is everything. You need to respond to queries quickly and efficiently. Also, find a dependable courier company, since they become an extension of your business. If they drop the ball, customers will blame you. Also, with solutions such as Sage Pay, I am able to access all payment information in one place and easily prevent and detect fraudulent activity.”
Kulula Work Brings You The Cheapest Flights Of The Day For Your Business Travel
Time spent on the road for business can be a nightmare when you don’t have an efficient travel partner. But of course, you’re on a budget, so compromising comfort for cost is your best bet in a tight economic climate. Not necessarily.
Does the thought of a conference or out of town meeting conjure up images of dodgy motels, delayed flights and unexpected Uber trips, because your rental car booking was mixed up — again?
There’s an affordable solution to ensure you’re on time, every time, comfortable, refreshed, organized and stress-free when you seal that deal you travelled a few hundred kilometers to clinch.
Enter kulula work.“kulula.com was built on a culture of entrepreneurship and we know how important entrepreneurs are to economic growth,” says Dawn Weir, head of kulula work. “So, we want to be sure that there are as few obstacles as possible to building a business, especially as most new jobs in coming years will be in small businesses.”
Low-cost benefits for entrepreneurs and business executives
Growing your business means networking, meetings and time consuming periods away from your business. This is where efficiency and resourcefulness are key. A specialised corporate travel service, kulula work ensures that business people can travel to close deals, meet business partners or network without incurring excessive costs.
“Face-to-face meetings are proven to be far more beneficial than email conversations or teleconferences. While technology has a role, personalised face-time still beats other means of contact for business,” says Weir.
Travelling with kulula work guarantees the best fares of the day on kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair), and you don’t pay booking or flight change fees — only for the difference in fare and the airport taxes.
All-in-one services for business on the move
With kulula work, you’re also offered competitive car hire and accommodation options, assisting you with all your business travel requirements. The cost of convenience? Great savings and a reliable travel service, around the clock.
“Because running a competitive and efficient business is about managing your costs, kulula work offers support on invoicing and monthly reporting, as well as account management and access to a Corporate Reservations team,” adds Weir.“They’re also available after-hours if needed.”
Dedicated to you so you can focus on work (and play)
kulula work’s team of professionals features an agent dedicated to your account who assesses your business travel needs and sets up a corporate travel deal to meet your specific requirements.
For that work-life balance you’re after, kulula work offers an extra 20kg free baggage allowance for travellers with musical instruments and sporting equipment. Because entrepreneurs need a healthy combination of work and play, on the road to success.
The following is exclusively available when your next business trip is booked via kulula work:
- Best fares of the day on kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair)
- Flexible flight changes (only the difference in fare & taxes will apply)
- No booking fees
- Competitive car hire rates with Europcar and Avis
- Great hotel rates with Protea Hotels and City Lodge Hotel Group
- Invoicing and reporting
- Account management
- Access to our qualified Corporate Reservations team. *
* Legal stuff applies
Contact kulula work on:
- Tel: +27 (0)11 285 3050
- Email: email@example.com
- Visit: www.kulula.com/work
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Enter The 2018 Entrepreneur Of The Year® Competition To Win Prizes Over R2 Million
The Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS aims to honour, benefit and uplift South African SMEs. Now in its 30th year, the competition celebrates excellence in entrepreneurship, serving as an inspiration to others to succeed in the world of business.
Amid the current political optimism, entrepreneurs should be especially inspired by the continued commitment to SME support which emerged as a consistent theme in both the 2018 State of the Nation Address and the National Budget Speech.
This is according to Christo Botes, spokesperson for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, who believes that this continued focus evidences Government’s recognition of the vital role played by entrepreneurs in enabling economic growth.
Continued celebration of excellence in entrepreneurship
Speaking in light of the launch of the 2018 competition in Johannesburg today, Botes says that this long-deserved recognition of the SME sector only further validates the competition’s unwavering commitment to celebrating excellence in entrepreneurship and fostering future economic growth.
“Now in our 30th year, this renowned competition continues to pay homage to the fearless South African entrepreneurs who dedicate themselves to their enterprises and businesses: driving growth, combatting unemployment and contributing towards the country’s economic development.”
“It is therefore wonderful to see the public sector taking the required steps to improving the environment in which these entrepreneurs operate in order to promote further growth in the sector.”
Botes, who is also executive director at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) has been involved in the competition since its inception in 1988, “Looking back over the last 30 years, this competition has evolved from an internal competition that recognized BUSINESS/PARTNERS’ clients only, to a nation-wide search for outstanding South African-based entrepreneurs, with Sanlam as our valued partner.”
Rewards for successful local business owners
He says that the competition continues to reward successful local business owners for the valuable contributions they make to grow their local communities and economies, and aims to inspire others to do the same. “As our 30th- anniversary year, we’re hoping to see even more entrepreneurs enter.
The competition is open to all South African-based businesses and prizes are awarded for the following categories: Overall Entrepreneur of the Year®, Emerging Business Entrepreneur of the Year®, Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year®, Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year®, Job Creator of the Year and Innovator of the Year,” says Botes.
Botes adds that this year, the 2018 competition will also recognize a South African entrepreneur for a Lifetime Achievement award.
“The purpose of this specially nominated award is to recognize an entrepreneur who has made a significant contribution to the South Africa economy and has grown their business from start-up to large-scale, perhaps even multi-national corporation. We want to reward the individuals who have dedicated their lives to building our economy and inspiring others to do the same.”
What the winners can expect
The 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, offers prizes valued at over R 2 million, which includes cash prizes of R 70 000 for each main category winner, and R200 000 for the overall winner.
Competition winners will also receive valuable mentorship support, networking opportunities and national media exposure.
Botes says that in celebrating 30 years of searching for entrepreneurial talent in all sectors of the economy, the competition remains fiercely committed to its cause in 2018.
What the judges are looking for?
“The judges are looking for entrepreneurs that have succeeded against the odds, either by carving out a niche market for their product or service offering, or by succeeding in a very competitive environment. Perseverance and endurance, innovation and agility are some of the qualities we look for in the entrepreneur.”
Botes adds that there are also a number of quantitative competition measures, such as turnover growth, profitability, owners’ equity growth, positive cash flows and job creation that play a part in the competition’s judging process.
Entrepreneurs are encouraged to enter the competition and can do so by downloading the entry form online at www.eoy.co.za. They can also interact with fellow entrepreneurs, past winners and entrants on the competition’s social media platforms www.twitter.com/@EOY_SA and www.facebook.com/EOY.SA. The closing date for the competition is 31 May 2018.
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