Women in business

Facts mixed with myths: Is catering a female led business sector?

I once attended a business conference that was organised for women. Most people shared their success stories and there was a great networking session. While women were encouraged to do any business; it seems some people wanted to encourage women to dominate new spaces of business such as construction. I was inspired but later I questioned the balance of our discussion that day.

From my own opinion; business is business. No man business. No female business. Just business. When people buy products especially the business to consumer; customers buy quality products and well-priced products. Rarely do customers care about the owner’s details. So why not encourage women to improve their company level performance so that their products are the most preferred in the market? Why not encourage women to open a business where they have knowledge on; be it science, art or commercial based?

At some point in time if a lady opens a catering company, it is not celebrated as a great achievement. Some owners do not even formalise their catering businesses because they think they are small. But what is on the ground? Food companies which have a high number of customers such as KFC and Nandos are mostly owned by men.

So just do business. As a lady boss, formalise your business asap. Within the first two years please

  • Register your company under CIPC. If you need help go to Nedbank or FNB, they partnered with DTI to help with company registration and bank accounts
  • Alternatively get a hawker’s license from local municipality that will allow you to trade formally in your area
  • Have a business card, email address, Facebook page and other social media pages. It communicates seriousness
  • Join e-commerce platforms and sell your products online. E.g. Uber eats, Daddy’s deals and Standard Bank- Simply blue platform, they have a good online following
  • Go for business to business. Go to big companies and register on their supplier’s database. Surely you want to be paid high sums of money at one go. It enhances company’s operations
  • Be a student. You must learn business angles and swings. Get on board and attend seminars that are organised for businesspeople. The sessions are great, they ignite mind.
  • Do not wait for funding. Be on the road and find customers. By the time funding is approved it will be used for business expansion. I know some businesses need money. Then start with the business line that needs less capital. You can always diversify later. For example, you can sell off your first business at good value and use it in bank to secure finance for the bigger dream.

Just remember this is your time to shine. Do business. Put good processes. Ensure that you offer high standard products or high-quality service. In addition, be patient with the process. Some processes take longer but they build resilience for a better tomorrow.

From me to you, All the best.

By More Siziba