C A ( S A ) & Financial Consultant
Ronel Jooste is a Chartered Accountant by profession and spent more than a decade in the corporate world as Head of Group Financial Reporting at the Momentum Metropolitan Group, where she gained extensive experience in the banking, investments and insurance industries. She completed a
Management Development Diploma (MDP) at GIBS Business School where she received the Top-Achiever award. Ronel left the corporate world in 2015 to pursue her entrepreneurial aspirations, for which she has received multiple awards ever since:
- Started PhysEQFiT Guesthouse, together with her sister in April 2016 – 100% female owned and managed. They had no experience within the hospitality industry or any database of clients but built it into a successful business with revenue growth exceeding 200% within 3 years; and
- Started FinanciallyFit Group, a company specializing in financial consulting, training and financial wellness programmes; and
- Started PhysEQFiT (Pty) Ltd, a company specializing in leadership development as well as physical, emotional and financial wellness.
What’s your advice on becoming a successful business owner?
Create a bigger vision for yourself and your business. Break that down into smaller goals and then take action to achieve those goals. Be prepared to put in the effort as it can take years to achieve success. There is no such thing as an overnight success story. If you really want it badly enough, you will find a way to make it happen.
Would you suggest working hard or working smart? and why?
Both depending on the stage of your business. During the start-up phase there is usually no money to outsource certain tasks and there is often no other choice for the business owner to work hard to get everything up and running. As the business grows and there is more money it becomes easier to outsource certain tasks. At that stage it is important to make a decision to start working smarter. Spend time on the things you as business owner are really good at and outsource the other functions / tasks. However be on the lookout for alternative ways of doing things to work smarter and not harder even during the start-up phase, because working smarter can also include things like streamlining processes, putting systems in place, utilize effective marketing channels etc. that doesn’t necessarily cost money, but relates to efficiency and productivity.
Being effective in business can have a huge impact in the success of the business, how would you compare being busy and effective. There is a big difference. Being busy has become a status symbol. There is a misconception that being busy implies being successful. You can be busy all day long without achieving anything. Critically evaluate the tasks you are keeping yourself busy with and ask the questions: “Am I busy with lots of activities that are actually wasting my time and not contributing to growing myself and my business?” or “Am I effective in what I am doing and that directly contributes to the success of my business and making more money?”. Focus on becoming more effective and less busy.
What’s the best way to manage finances in business?
Financial management is critical to any business and smaller businesses often neglect financial management. Educate yourself about finances. Remember accounting and financial management are vast different concepts. Even if you have an accountant, managing the finances of the business and making informed financial decisions are the responsibility of the business owner. Spend time on understanding and analysing your financial results on a monthly basis. Your financial results provide you with powerful information to make better financial decisions.
Managing expenses effectively in business is essential, please share how this can be achieved?
Have a detailed budget for the year ahead and measure your actual income and expenses against your budget. Classify your expenses into ‘cannot-survive-without’ and ‘nice-to-have’ expenses. Try to reduce the ‘nice-to-have” expenses or cut it out completely. Budget for unforeseen expenses. Also spend time on determining the costing and pricing of your product / service. Often business owners randomly select a selling price based on their competitors or what they believe customers will pay without realizing they actually selling the product / service at a loss.
COVID-19 has affected a lot of businesses, How is your Experience thus far?
It is exceptionally sad to see how many businesses are really struggling or even closing down. The Covid-19 lockdown period also taught us many lessons though i.e.
- It is crucial to have an emergency fund / cash reserves
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – diversify your business, business lines, products / services and sources of income
- Watch your cash flow like a hawk and implement effective cash flow strategies
- Focus on building a financially sound and strong cash-generating business
- Steer your business into a direction where it can operate independently from you. Remember if anything happens to you (i.e. sick, in an accident etc.) and your business cannot operate independently from you the impact will be similar to what we experience now
- Ensure you have business insurance, income protection and disability / dread disease cover in place
- Ensure you are compliant as a business – CIPC, tax, UIF registered etc. Multiple businesses were denied funding during this time because of non-compliance
Can multiple streams of income help with financial breakthrough? both personal and in business?
Absolutely multiple income sources are crucial. Nobody can rely on only one salary or business income. With a struggling economy, retrenchments, businesses closing down and living costs rapidly increasing the majority of South Africans will have to look towards creating an additional income stream. Always be on the lookout for ways to add additional income sources to both your personal financial situation and your business. Diversify your income sources to reduce your risk. Even if you start out small, it will grow over time and you will never regret the decision.
Any saving tips you can recommend to entrepreneurs?
Review your bank statements / budget on a monthly basis to identify potential savings. Add a savings category to your monthly budget and transfer that money into an investment account. Transfer any excess cash at the end of the month out of your operational bank account to an investment account, then you won’t be tempted to spend it. Be savvy with your marketing, IT systems, subscriptions, bank charges and entertainment expenses as these can quickly ruin your budget if you don’t keep an eye on it.