Our Entrepreneur for December is Busisiwe Ntanga, a 31 year old single mom, who says that her four year old daughter is her life!
This is her story…
Residing in Johannesburg, I am a concrete technologist by profession and had been working in the construction materials industry for 10 years before I decided to focus on my business full time at the end of 2014.
I own CRAZY PARTIES which specialises in the planning, management and décor of children, intimate social events as well as family events, fun activity zones and also offers professional balloon décor services. Because my business services are about fun and happy moments, I thought the name “Crazy Parties” was an appropriate, catchy name and so I decided to stick with it.
I’ve always known that I was destined to be my own boss but just never knew what business to start. While attending a relative’s birthday party one day, the idea to start my own party planning business just struck me. I did my research for more than a year and during the last month of my maternity leave I decided to finally start Crazy Parties, which was in August 2011. I did my first birthday party the following month, that first client is still my client up to this day.
My pursuit for well executed events is what constantly pushes me. I’m always researching the latest trends in event décor and believe in using my expertise and passion to produce events of a high standard.
This year Crazy Parties was an exhibitor at the annual MARKEX held at the Sandton Convention Centre in June. We were really proud to be exhibiting amongst some of the leading suppliers in the marketing and events industry. Another proud moment for us was being approached by the Vodacom foundation to work on a kid’s charity event which they will be hosting in December 2015.
Even though our corporate clientele base is growing, we appreciate the moms we interact with on a daily basis who allow us to create those magical memories for their little ones. That moment when the birthday girl or boy arrives and realises his/her dream party is actually a reality! Or when realising that we’ve exceeded our clients’ expectations after planning their child’s party. Those are the moment we live for and that’s what fulfils us the most – it’s really such a wonderful feeling!!
Even though we love what we do so much, the road hasn’t always been smooth. Working with limited resources while still maintaining high levels of service has always been challenging but has also taught us many valuable lessons about the use of time and money spent in the business. Employing staff members and training them has been quite challenging for us as they also represent the brand wherever they go. This is why when dealing with clients in our industry, it’s imperative to have a customer focussed attitude, to ensure that you listen and understand what the client requires and to make sure that all requests are delivered on time all the time!
In the near future I would really like to see the Crazy Parties brand grow across all the nine provinces. I intend to do so through a few ideas which I’m currently working on as well as possibly franchising the business.
In order to succeed in any business, you as the entrepreneur need to believe in yourself and your business idea and give it your all. Draw up a business plan before starting your business as this will allow you to realistically comprehend the business potential of your idea without being emotional. Document ALL your income and expenses from day one, this will help with your business forecasting and budgeting and allow you to assess your business performance based on facts – numbers are very important and they don’t lie. If I were to start my business all over again I would have definitely done this! Lastly, be aware that starting a business and building it to become profitable and successful takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Be prepared to make those sacrifices and understand that the road to success is a long one but in the end it will all pay off.
Although using social media is not one of my strongest abilities, I have realised that having an online presence is very important to my business as it is through this platform that I have connected with most of my clients. Apart from word of mouth and repeat business, social media and online advertising have been our best marketing tools. Most of our clients are modern, career & business moms who use the internet and social media a lot. It therefore makes sense for us to be accessible on these platforms in order to connect with our target market.
I’m inspired whenever I meet or see any successful career or business mom, but my mother comes top of the list. Growing up I observed how she obtained two degrees while being a wife, mother to two kids and working as well. She also juggled two jobs, one as a teacher and the other as an adult basic education facilitator, all of which eventually led to a corporate job in the mining industry. She managed to overcome many challenges and by just observing her and by being raised by her I understood the importance of a good work ethic, hard work and perseverance.
As a young female entrepreneur starting your own business can be challenging particularly if you have children. Managing your time can become difficult when trying to balance family commitments, work and business. This is why a good support structure from family and friends is so important.
Businesswomen are often not taken seriously especially those in male dominated industries. There are still misconceptions that women cannot maintain high work standards consistently. These misconceptions affect women negatively when dealing with stakeholders in their industry, banks and lending institutions. This means women often have to work harder than their male counterparts in order to get the same recognition. This is why organisations specifically targeted at supporting women are crucial as their programmes are designed with women in mind.
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