What date did you start trading as a Business Doctor? July 2016
What is your career background? I did my articles at PwC where I got exposure across different industries and to delivery of advisory and consulting services. There after I joined the Internal Audit department a listed company in the financial services sector, specialising in niche markets. I later moved across to one of the group’s subsidiaries where I was Head of Internal Audit across several African countries. My exposure has been across all aspects of business and understanding how the foundation of a business rolls up into the objectives and strategy setting, how to establish good governance, prevent fraud, limit risk exposure, create efficiencies and streamlining processes, closing control gaps, managing resources (people and financial) and how to best address shortcomings. I always describe myself as a risk, governance and control specialist by profession as that is the easiest way to summarise it.
Later in my career I was approached to formalise the Group Risk Management Function for the organisation, overseeing and establishing risk processes in 10 countries across Africa and Latin America.
What were you doing before? I was the Group Risk Manager for a financial services company (micro and payroll lending, asset backed lending, banking, insurance). My responsibilities included establishment and oversight of risk processes in 10 countries, reporting into board and other governance committees. I was also responsible for the roll-out of key IT project within the group. To ensure processes were in place to allow for timely delivery and in accordance with scope.
How did you discover the franchise and why did you choose this franchise over others that are available? I was looking for opportunities to start my own business since July 2015. I saw the advertisement on the internet and immediately felt that it was aligned with my skills and background. I also believe the tools used by Business Doctors are excellent to support SMEs.
How did you raise the finances required? I have always saved money and when I do spend money, I spend big amounts. This time I spent money on my future. It was all funded from personal savings.
How did you find the training material and support you received from your franchisor? Compared to my experience with other consulting firms I believe our on-boarding of franchisees could be improved to better support and induct new joiners. I believe Steve has a wealth of knowledge and have in the short period learned a great deal from him. The Webinars have also been great to provide more clarity as there is a massive amount of information and it sometimes gets lost in translation. I found sessions where I attended as an observer to be very valuable and would suggest all new franchisees make that investment and shadow as many established franchisees as possible to get comfortable with the service offerings.
What highs do you expect in your new business? Substantial growth and becoming part of a very well-known and established brand. I believe there is a massive gap in the South African market for SMEs to get access to consulting services that were previously only available to corporate. Considering the impact SMEs have on our economy the availability of these services will have a major impact on our country. I expect to grow my franchise to become one of the top franchises within the first 2 years, focussing on becoming a trusted advisor to all my clients.
What do you particularly love about your work? Seeing the value add to customers and knowing I have a positive impact on their business. Dealing with SMEs and sharing my knowledge has been extremely rewarding thus far. It is the unexpected phone call from a client on a late Friday afternoon to thank you or the appreciation and relief when I help clients solve their problems that really makes me want to help even more businesses. I know we all at Business Doctors live one very important value and that is that we are hands-on. We are not scared to get involved and I believe that will differentiate us in the market.
What are your plans for the future? To substantially grow the Business Doctors brand in Pretoria and to be a trusted advisor in the industry. I believe that the vision I have in business is clearly aligned with what Steve has from a Master Franchisee perspective. We can become leaders in SME consulting and I will use my experience and background to support this brand in growing towards that. If we can combine skills and support each other this brand will be unstoppable.