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Questions for woman in business

 

  • Why did you start your own business?

I like that fact that I am my own boss, I put the effort in and reap the rewards. Working for a corporate – especially in this industry too easily becomes a numbers game rather than being client centric

  • What are the hours that you work?

We have no set hours, sometimes you see your individual clients after hours or weekends. My office is open from 8h30 to 4h00 but my clients know they can contact me on my mobile if they need me

  • How many people work in your business?

There are three of us and then we have numerous brokers that only do one or the other product that send business our way. In other words although I have only 3 employment contracts, I have a huge network of referral clients and business partners. A small company within a huge ball of unlimited business

  • What are the goals for your business?

To never lose track of taking care of our clients. To ensure that both my individual clients and corporate clients – whom we manage their Pension or Provident funds as well as medical aids – always know us by name

To grow our business with like-minded employees and partners

  • How do you handle pressure?

As a single parent, the pressure of being a Mom, that is always able to be there for my daughters school events and a business owner who generates her own income – can be very taxing at times. We handle pressure by getting things done, by communicating to our clients and each other. If those around you know what to expect or when to expect it, you are able to manage your stress and pressures accordingly

  • How would a man run your business differently?

He would want to grow the business faster with more staff, seeing the numbers rather than the result. I have dealt with many men in this industry and they generally still do business on the golf course or because of a contact they have. Men are more aggressive with cultivating this aspect and woman are more cautious in ‘just asking for the business’

However the men often lose the client a lot faster than the women do.

  • Would you ever go and work for a boss again?

I have many bosses – my clients and the companies we do business with. The pleasure of having those bosses, is that I can resign if it is not good for me or my business, whilst still keeping my job! J

  • Do you ever take work home with you?

I do on occasion as we have a lot of courses we have to do in a given year and often I don’t have the time to do this during the day

  • What does a typical working day look like for you?

Appointments with clients, sorting out a problem or sadly, more often now, a claim for a client that has had cancer or a heart attack, corresponding via e-mail and meeting new clients and potential partners. This is a daily process and not something one does now and again

  • What do you do to relax?

OH boy, I enjoy my daughter, spend time with friends, read and sometimes I do the parkrun. I have to say though, what I do, I love it. It is not a job I need to escape from or don’t want to go to on a Monday. So included in what I do to relax, is catching up with old clients. Meeting new and exciting new clients

  • What would you like to know more about to run your business better?

How to market to businesses to make use of our exceptional services. My corporate clients really know us and their staff truly know who to contact for anything, whether this is with regards to their Pension or Provident fund or the medical aid. I would really love to know how to best market Tutela to more companies

  • If you had to start again what would you do better knowing what you know now?

I would do all the qualifications – my experience has often proven to be far more valuable than the qualifications some advisors have but I have realised that some people like to see letter of the alphabet behind your name.

I would not be as shy as I was, especially when I was younger and SO many clients would assume I am not capable – because I am a woman. I recall clearly one of my first visits to a client, with a partner I used to have (male) Even though it was my client – the client asked my partner if I am there to take minutes of the meeting! If I could start again, I would be a lot more confident and clear on both my ability and my knowledge irrelevant that I am a women in a man’s game

  • Did you have to borrow money and if yes what route did you follow?

No I didn’t. I paid my ex-partner out with a monthly agreement and as long as you can stand surety (normally by means of your property or investment) you do not need to have a huge cash flow

  • What satisfaction do you get from running your own business?

The flexibility with time, the amazing people I get to meet and the freedom to be able to decide who I let into my business. Working for a boss you are mostly forced to work within that person’s constraints and hope you get along with co-workers. In my business, no one is the boss. We work together because we want to succeed. I have the most amazing support and I know my co-workers are there because they want to be there. Because they have the same passion as me for our company and our clients.

  • What makes your business successful?

Our true love for our industry and my amazing co-workers. Our clients are as loyal to us as we are to them. I deal with many brokers who trust us to do the right thing for their clients. So not only do we have a great work ethic with clients but we are also known by our peers for this same reaons

  • What form of marketing do you use?

In my profession most of my business is acquired by word of mouth. Being referred to us by either a client or a broker. We do also make use of most of the online social media tools like Linked In and Facebook though

  • What is your favourite mantra when things get tough to help you through difficult times.

Knuckle down and find the solution. There are no victims – put in the effort and the result with follow

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