Woman’s Franchise Allows Her to Lead
Location: Diepkloof, Soweto
Franchise: The Daily Sun Pilot
It’s not every day a young woman quits a stable job to start her own business. With a plan in her head that she later jotted down in her notebook, Franchisee (33) from Pimville, Soweto, quit her job as a bank teller in 2009 to focus her energies on her business.
“I quit my job because I came to the realisation that I was making other people rich instead of making my own riches. “I am the type of person who does not like being managed. I like my own freedom more … and running my own business allows me to lead. The independence that comes from running my own business gives me satisfaction.”
The mother of two made the transition from the office to the field and started off as an informal trader at the Rand Show selling children’s toys. She says it was not easy, but she had to persevere and keep to her own vision, even during trying times. Her entrepreneurial spirit saw her enrol for the Raymond Ackerman Academy entrepreneurial course at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus in 2012.
She now runs a Daily Sun franchise from a bright-red container in Diepkloof, Soweto. Her container is the pilot project in Media24’s container franchise, with another one in Tembisa opening its doors at the end of the month. She is responsible for a small team of three employees who help her supply the Daily Sun newspaper to spaza shops in and around Diepkloof and Orlando East. On Sundays she is on hand to sell Sunday Sun and City Press in the same way. Selling more than 2 500 copies of Daily Sun every day, this young entrepreneur is possibly the top vendor of Media24’s biggest-selling publication.
Three bicycles and a tuk-tuk van help her move around the two townships, servicing the spaza shops, as well as street corners and door-to-door sales. She says it must have been fate that directed her to buy a Daily Sun newspaper because, on the day she bought it, she stumbled on the advert calling for Soweto residents to take up the opportunity of being franchisees of Media24’s newspaper titles. The container also sells airtime and allows DStv subscribers to pay their subscriptions through her. Soon there will be the possibility of magazine titles also being made available through her and other franchisees.
It has not been an easy journey for her, but she says some of the challenges she faces daily make her stronger. She has remained determined to see them as challenges and not problems. Being a businesswoman selling newspaper titles means she has to work a six-day week. She says the rush she gets from some of her daily trials makes her business exciting and never monotonous. She has had to find a way of dealing with street vendors disappearing with her daily takings, which she says is less of a difficulty now that she has found a way around this.
“The trick is to have a relationship with your workers. You need to know personal things, like their family situations. You find that they are poor and that fighting the temptation to just up and leave requires a certain level of loyalty. Only solid and strong relationships make it difficult for them to drink the money away. If they drink, I now know where to look.”
She has the same message for other women who would like to start their own businesses: “Rome was not built in one day. Start small and, with time, patience and discipline, you can reach your goals and become independent. “Though the business world is male dominated, it does not mean that women cannot be excellent businesspeople.” She advised other women who would like to enter into business to write their plans on paper as this helps to “map out your vision”. “You can never go wrong if you put your plans on paper.”