Friday, March 10, 2017


I was thinking in the past few days and I notice that I've been very lazy. Look at the previous post, it was in 2015!!!!! The whole of 2016, I did not post anything, even in 2015, there were very few post. Why I did not post?

The answer will be that I did not have time. That's the easiest answer that most of us always say as an excuse of being lazy. All of us have 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. If you are full time employed, the normal working hours is only eight, which leaves you with a balance of 16 hours. Then the suggested sleeping time is another 8 hours. So this leaves you with 8 hours to have your time, be with your family or do those other domestic things.

But then if we have only 8 hours, where do we get the other time to do other constructive things? 8 hours is not enough, so how do I get the additional time? That's a difficult question to answer and that exactly what I was saying all this time. But another important question is how much time do you need. How long does it take to write this post? Is it too much to ask for 1-2 hours out of those 8 hours?

Those are the questions that we all need to ask ourselves because, we do have time to watch TV maybe from 18h00 to 23h00. We do have time to watch soapies from "days of our lives" to "the queen". That's about 5 hours that I have been wasting by watching TV. Did it help me or did I get anything from watching it? The honest answer is no, but if I want to make an excuse, I would say I was learning from watching TV. In addition to TV, we spend hours on social networks such as whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram or any other application.

Well I decided to change this year, I want to do things differently from what I was doing in the past 2 years. I've already started doing things since the beginning of this years. As my loyal reader, I urge you to do the same as you will learn or achieve something. The late Mandoza said "uzoyithola kanjani uhlezi ekhoneni". Those who speak Isizulu knows what does this mean, but in short it means get up and work.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I will share with you all my journey. I hope it will assist you as I will be talking about constructive things that will improve your knowledge as well as your pocket.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


In my previous post I wrote about the problems that business owners encounter when they start the businesses. As a follow-up to that post and a continuation, today I am writing about these problems that I personally experienced in the business. These are not just the generic topics but the actual problems that I encountered. Today I'll discuss the first four and the balance on my next posts.


What I notice is that the owner has the background of the business and he knows exactly why he started the business in the first place. As an owner, you did the research, plan this concept, market the concept and finally make it a reality. When you do all these things, unfortunately you are only and your prospective future staff members are not there. When you want execute and start the business then you had to employ people who will assist you in developing your business.

Thats when the problems start. Your staff were not there when you start and they do not have the background that you have. Even if you try to explain to them, sometimes they don't see the way you see. Unfortunately when you have staff that sometimes does not understand your business, they are bound to kill your business.

Another issue that I notice is that when you want to start a business, make sure that you differentiate the owner-business and labour business. For example, my business is a car wash, in order to wash cars I will need additional staff to assist me. In this case, I was not even part of the team that washes the cars since I am full-time employed. The worse part of all is that my car wash is not a normal car wash, but an advanced car wash which does not use water. So imagine, I am running a specialise business yet I am not hands on. The point is unlike a normal business where anyone can run like for an example a spaza shop, it's easy to appoint someone to run but a specialise business, you need to be personally hands on during the infant stage in order to make sure that it develops.


As I explained above, my car wash is not a traditional car wash which uses water and soap, but it's a waterless car wash. During my market reaserch, people I spoke to knew about the type of service I was talking about since it's a new concept but in big towns it is already there. When we introduce this business concept, there are very few people who knows about it which makes it difficult for us to penetrate the market. The knowledge of the market is a very big problem since it will take time for them to understand the concept. On top of that, the market have different preferences when it comes to new products and it's not an easy task to convince them to see the difference between your product and your competitors.


 During my preparation and planning, my car wash intended to be a mobile car wash with no fixed site. The intention was to go direct to the customers instead of the customers coming to the car wash and wasting hours for the car to be cleaned. But the customers who we were suppossed to go them, do not wash the cars daily and what about other customers who are not office-bound? Well the answer to that was the presence in the shopping parkings. So I thought I had it all planned, but I was wrong. The idea is not wrong but the problem is the understanding of the idea. The concept and the idea has not change but what if the other side change personnel? What happened here is that one of the parkings where we wash cars has changed the site manager and this personnel does not understand the idea and he is not willing to listen. The worse part is that this was the busiest parking. When you have a fixed site, that's when it comes in and it would have been easy to move your customers to your site. But this option of fixed site would mean we are no longer different to the traditional car wash where the customers need to you and wait for their cars spending hour doing nothing.


As the business owner, you start the business with the aim of making profit otherwise you will start a charity. So if you are not personally hands on and you rely on your staff to take care of the business, you are likely to experience cash or stock embelzment. Your staff there also work in order to earn salary which will feed them and their families. In my case, when I start the business, I make sure that I involve family members to help in the business. People are human beings and they think the same, so even if the member steal, they won't kill your business like an outsider. Then what happened if the family member is not availble or no longer available?

That's exactly what happened to my car wash. My brother who was running the car wash had to leave the town. I was then had to rely to other staff members who were not family members. Initially they were doing fine until they bring their own family members to the business.Then the sales started to slow down, yet the products didn't go down. On top of that the patterns changed, the car that used to use 1 full tank for the full month started to use the full tank within a week. The speedometer showed that the kilometers travelled per day were ridiculous compared to the radious and trips it's supposed to travel. 

Fortunately when I started this car wash, I spoke to my colleage who had a car wash before but it closed down because staff were stealing and the business was running at big losses because of stealing and high fixed rent. So I had already planned for this problem well in advance even though my staff was not aware. As a result when this happened I just told my staff that I can see that the sales are down and product usage its not down. I then showed him that the output from these product is supposed to be how much.  


Sunday, August 30, 2015


As you are aware that this year or last year I started a new business, I have learned a lot of lessons. Like I said before I am not an expert or a genius who start the business against all the stats pointing that most start-ups fail within 5 years after they started.

The Journey........
Well like everyone who started business, I assume when we start these businesses, we thought we have done all the backgrounds such as market research, identifying the gaps, planning, business plan, etc. So I did everything that I thought was required before I embark on this journey of being the business owner. This is some of the things I did and thought were the most important:
  •  I did a business plan for my cash wash which included monthly projections, market research, identifying customers and competitors, SWOT analysis as well as other things such prices and promotions.
  • Compare various available options to wash a car as well as getting various quotations to get the most affordable business.
  • I also did Internet search to understand the products available 
  • I discussed and spoke to family and friends to get their opinions as well as advise on the business idea.
Surprise Surprise!!!!
 Unfortunately what I just listed above is just a basic which is not enough in order to run the business perfectly. This is a basic list which we usually read about it and sometimes from the people who have never their own businesses. What I learned in life is that what you are told is just a guideline and it is totally different to what you will experience in real life situation. This is exactly the same as what you learn at school is just a fraction on what you will experience in real life. This is a problem, in my opinion, which is difficult to solve. 

In my journey of this business, there is a lot that I learned. This has showed me that my planning, research and business plan was not adequate or complete. It also proves that plan, budget or expectation will never be the same as the actual. Below is a list of what I practically learned from my car wash business which I think is applicable to any type of business:
  1. Difference between the owner and the labour
  2. market preferences and market knowledge
  3. Importance of owning a site
  4. Integrity and trustworthy
  5. Implication of addition costs
  6. Business dependant
  7. Needs vs Wants
  8. Importance of support
  9. Importance of Marketing & Promotions
  10. Demand vs Capacity
 This is what I observed and learned during my first year owning a business. In my next post I will be explaining the above lessons in detail so whoever is interest in any type of business can learn from these mistakes.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


As I promised in my previous post, today I am talking about my new business. Actually my business did not start this year but late last year. Well my new business is a mobile car wash.

Well, the answer is very easy........... The idea came from that gap that I saw in my small town where I work. You see in this small town called Ixopo where I work, there are number of "traditional car wash" that are operating  but there is still a gap for the car owner who needs to clean his/her car during working hours.

 It all started from my previous experience, where there are couple number of incidents where I realized that there is a gap. The car washes that are operating in the area are far from my workplace and if I need to clean my car during the week especially if I had to attend a meeting either in Pmb or Dbn the following day and I need to wash my car, in order to do that, I need to request one of my colleagues to take my car to the car wash or I take it myself to the car wash.

On top of that, either me or that person who is taking the car on my behalf, we have to spend hours there waiting for it to be cleaned. Everybody knows that time is money, so by waiting there I am obviously wasting that time because I am just sitting there either reading something or just doing nothing. What a waste!!!

How can I avoid this wastage or how can I use this time usefully? Well after looking at various options and solutions, then I said to myself "am I the only one having this problem? The answer was no because my colleagues were experiencing the same problem. There were times where some of my colleagues were forced to leave their cars in one of these car wash. I also did that, unfortunately I paid a big price for doing that, the CD's that were in my car were stolen.

........ Let me continue with this story in my next post because I think said enough on this one and I don't want to waste your time reading long post.......

Friday, January 9, 2015


Welcome to 2015!!!

Its a beginning of the new year, most people are making  resolutions and wish list of what they wish to achieve during the year. Many people do this almost every year but they fail to achieve those objectives because of various reasons. Some of the reasons why people fail to achieve their goals its because they fail to plan and they fail to act or take a step towards achieving their goals.

Like many people, I also have resolutions for the new year. After reading many information from various media, I manage to start my own business. Many years ago, I have been watching people starting business left and right, others became successful and unfortunately others failed. Even the stats shows that most new businesses are failing, some of them are failing within a year and others are failing within 5 years.

These stats are not good especially if you are planning to start your own business. In order to overcome this barrier and don't become the statistics and your business fail, you need to do a thorough research, learn from other peoples mistake. You also need to understand why they failed and avoid those pitfalls. To start a business is not difficult, but to run and grow the business is very difficult and it requires dedication, hard work, perseverance and a lot of learning, sacrificing and compromising. Well by saying all of these words, I am not saying or implying that my business won't fail or that I am clever than those people whose businesses have failed.

For today I will end  here, but make sure that you read my next post where I will continue with this......