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How should you look for your business meetings? Well this week Launch Magazine caught up with Disney Andreas who is an entrepreneur that co-owns Monochrome Magazine and she had this to say: 

Well, Dressing business casual is one of the ways you could go about it. Imagine switching up pieces of your suit by substituting your trousers to jeans or your court heels with sneakers just to feel a littlemore comfortable at work.

Let’s take it back to 1992 where Levi’s marketing team crafted “A Guide to Casual Business wear,” which was a pamphlet that showed professionals smartly dressed in Levi’s products, notably its Dockers khakis. The company sent the pamphlet to 25,000 HR departments across USA and it spread like fire.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a fine line between business casual and just plain casual. You still need to keep in mind your clients and potential customers’ attitudes to business attire and your sense of professionalism.

Here are some tips from http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/workplace-culture/dress-code-history-business-casual for wearing business casual:

1.Casual does not mean sloppy. You can dress casually and look professional.
2.Avoid ripped jeans and “distressed” clothes.
3.Sleeveless shirts and tank tops are inappropriate for most offices; cover bare shoulders with a blazer or cardigan if necessary.
4.Leave flashy, “loud” clothing (including T-shirts with printed messages) at home.
5.Avoid lingerie looks or too revealing outfits in the office. Be sure to check that garments are not too transparent.
6.Accessories can make or break a casual outfit; consider the style and tone of the outfit when choosing belts, scarves, ties and jewelry.
7.Save athletic clothing, workout wear, beachwear and sweats for after work.
8.Don’t forget to check footwear; open-toe sandals and sneakers may not be appropriate. Bare legs can also be considered too casual.

Unconventional way of dressing up are more comfortable. Not only does it save you a couple of Namibian dollar when buying clothes, it is also less restrictive and more fun. Just remember that what you put on does not define what you are capable of putting on the table.

Here are some of my ideas for dressing business casual:
Look 1: Monkey suit with sneakers.
Look 2: Blazer, shorts and heels.
Look 3: White crisp shirt, Jeans and heels.

By Disney Andreas

Launch Magazines caught up with Jazeera Suwani from Kenya, whose Vegan chocolates are stirring up likes amongst those that are lactose intolerant. Jazeera is a physiotherapist by profession but decided to take a leap of faith and venture in good quality chocolate production

Read more to find out about the feature

Q’s: Tell us about yourself and what your company entails?
The Name of my business is, “Say it with chocolate”, which is a company that make specially crafted chocolates for those that are vegan or lactose intolerant.

Q’: What Inspired you to start your business?
Well I realized that there was a gap in the chocolate market. A lot of people love chocolate however people’s bodies react differently especially to diary products. The reason for this is because some are lactose intolerant or vegan which results in them refraining from chocolate due to stomach problems. I have experienced this first hand, I myself am lactose intolerant however I love my chocolate. So, I decided to craft special chocolates for those vegans and lactose intolerant people out there such as myself. I started making chocolates and the demand went through the roof, and that is how “Say it with chocolate” was born.

Q’s: How did you know it was going to work?
Well I didn’t, I didn’t know much about chocolate production, I didn’t even know if this was going to work or not. So, I decided to take a training course. I really just wanted to do something new, and something different. I decided to go all in, after the training course I decided to make 10g chocolate boxes and sold them at a farmer’s market, I did get a few orders even form corporates, which was exciting. I later started to create chocolate bars, firstly I started with 4 different types but today I make over 50 different chocolate bars. Nothing was really perfect at the time, however I kept at it. Yes, there were times I felt like giving up, but my family and those around me kept motivating me. Now my motivation comes from the satisfaction of my clients, just saying them smile while having some of my chocolates is the most satisfying feeling.

Q’s: words for motivation to those looking to start a business?

If you keep trying, then there is hope that it will work.

Planning on starting a new business but don’t know where to start? Follow these tips to help you start a business tailored for you.
1. Ask yourself, what are you truly passionate about? Start by thinking about what you want to wake up doing every day.
2. Think outside the box, come up with a business idea and test it with the market. Ensure that there is a demand and establish your target market from the beginning.
3. When starting your business, know your strengths and weaknesses. Be the boss in the area that you’re good at and hire someone to help you in the area that you’re weak in.
4. Have faith in yourself; follow your dreams with all you’ve got. The world is a place of endless possibilities. You may not know where you’re headed, just give it all you’ve got.

Written by Launch Magazine

5 common phrases you must avoid in your business meetings, keep it simple, classy and most importantly professional.
Seal the deal by avoiding the following unprofessional phrases in your business conversations with partners.
1. “Stuff” or “Things”
You should never sound like you do not know what you are discussing. Be specific and remain focused on what you are addressing.
2. “I’ll keep it short”
It is never really short in business as deliberation is required.
3. “I want” rather use “we could” or “we can”
Do not use the phrase “I want” to much in business, it is a very selfish word. Rather use phrases such as “what we can do” which brings an image of working together. After all “we” need each other in business.
4. “To be honest” or “Honestly”
Is the rest of what you’re saying untrue?
5. “Kind of” or “Hopefully”
It weakens your message and sounds half-hearted.
Avoid phrases that make you sound “sketchy” and “unprofessional”. The trick to becoming successful is preparation, always be ready.
Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Owning a business comes with numerous perks, it is a liberating and vesting achievement. You are your own boss and have the final say over the affairs of your business. Sometimes as business owners we reach a new height of success and get comfortable. The sky is the limit, constantly challenge your business and aim for greater heights, question your business, make changes where necessary, see your customers as your lifeline.
Here are a few tips to help you move to GREATER heights:
• Your target market isn’t “everyone.” – No shop in the world has something for everyone. Find the people who will love what you do and what you have, treat them right and they will spread the word.
• What you do isn’t special. – There are roughly hundreds of other people in Namibia who do what you do. What you do isn’t the magic. The real magic comes from a combination of why you do it, for whom you do it, and how you do it.
• Your business bank account isn’t a piggy bank. – don’t use your business funds for personal expenses keep the two separate.
• Listening is the best business skill you’ll ever acquire – To your customers, To your employees, To your community and industry colleagues. If we listened half as much as we spoke, I can only imagine where each of our businesses would be.
• There are no overnight successes -If you hear otherwise, it’s a lie. Success comes from an artful combination of self-effacement, firmness, failure, and opportunity. None of those things happen overnight—despite what some may say.

Written by Launch Magazine

There are two types of people, people who take failure personally, see it as a permanent situation and give up, and there are people who use it as a lesson. Do not take it personally but see it as a temporary setback.

Are you familiar with the story of Thomas Edison? Thomas Edison failed a total of 1000 times with his light bulb invention before creating his first successful light bulb prototype. “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” a reporter asked. “I didn’t fail 1,000 times,” Edison responded. “The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps”.

Unlike Edison, many of us avoid the prospect of failure. When we do make mistakes, we try to forget them, leaving them out of our success stories. Here are some reasons why you should embrace failure:

1. Failure is life’s greatest teacher: It is from our failure and mistakes that we learn how to do things successfully.
2. Failure can be the push you needed to reaching your full potential
3. Failure brigs character and humbles you
4. Failure determines the type of person you are

Remember that it is important to maintain a positive mindset. Maintain a positive attitude so that, no matter what you encounter, you’ll be able to see the lessons from the experience and continue to push forward. Keep reading and listening to materials that bolster that attitude.

By Launch Namibia

Another exciting feature for Launch Magazine. This week we feature a dynamic lady, owner of Epupa Driving School, Johanna Ferreira.

Read below to find out about this week’s feature.

Q: What is the name of your business and what does it entail?

A: The name of my business is EPUPA Driving School cc registered in 2015 and offers learners license and driving license lessons at affordable rates. I named my business EPUPA after the waterfall that is 180km from the north western town OPUWO and its one of the best tourists attraction place in Namibia because of the unique culture of the Ovahimba people living in that area. As an Accounting and Entrepreneurship teacher by profession in Opuwo, and having to walk my talk and encourage my learners as I was their role model, I spotted an opportunity for driving school need in Opuwo after having to struggle with getting lessons for my driver’s license in 2014. My Target market was the people from Opuwo and business became even better when EPUPA was one of the invited guests at the Inauguration of the Road Authority NATIS One-Stop Centre in Opuwo as this meant more customers flocking in from other towns in search for driver’s license.

Q: What challenges did you face when starting up this business?
A: Lack of Capital was the main challenge. I needed a proper car for the driving school and was using my old 2nd hand Car which later started giving me mechanical problems so i had to sell it. I approached my bank for a business loan and instead they asked for a collateral. Oops! That was a slap in my face, luckily my personal banker advised me rather to take a Car Loan and with that I bought the much wanted Chevrolet spark used for that for driving school purposes. Another challenge was finding an area to do the training for driving lessons as the Opuwo Town Council doesn’t have available serviced land to offer for businesses and so we used the air strip which is sometimes a challenge in rainy seasons as one can’t do parking’s lessons on a wet land.
Last but not least; a driving instructor. This job requires a patient person and it’s not easy to find one.

Q: The industry that you are in, do you find it competitive?
A: I had to move back to my home town in Windhoek to pursue my master’s degree and yes Windhoek’s market is HOT, competition is tough. You have to be marketing your business in order to stay alive on the market otherwise clients forget you. I advertise on my Facebook page Epupa Driving School and mostly in the Namibian Newspaper on Fridays.

Q: Any final words of motivation for people looking to start a business?
A: What I want to tell my fellow Namibians especially women in business and those wanting to start business, it’s not an easy thing. It’s tough especially with economic status of being sometimes good and sometime down, one has to be really patient.

“Rome was not build in one day”. Entrepreneurship requires perseverance, commitment to your dream, patience. Keep on pursuing. Never give up!

Launch Magazine Namibia features Thomas-Philosophié Shuuya, Co-founder of a local courier company known as EasiPost Couriers Namibia.

Q: Give us a brief background about yourself. What does your business entail? What challenges did you face when starting up your business? What makes your business unique?

A: EasiPost Couriers was founded by three young and ambitious professionals from an engineering background, but with an outstanding hunger for entrepreneurship and improving the economic wellbeing of our fellow Namibians. It stemmed from a frustration of not being able to send out documents to Windhoek in a simple and quick manner at our convenience. We were tired of having to go through hell and high water to get someone to collect something from our hands to give it into the hand of whoever we want it to go to. We were also frustrated about the other courier services not being flexible enough to allow other payment methods besides accepting cash only, even though they knew one does not carry around bundles of cash in this day and age anymore. This all led to a threshold that just struck a lightbulb in our minds- to start our own courier company, that we will grow into a world beater. That was the birth of EasiPost Couriers.

A: The name of our business is EasiPost Couriers and we want to be the biggest courier and postal service provider in Africa- with our goal to be the UPS of Africa and provide thousands of jobs. Our business is simple: we collect packages (be it an envelope, loose documents, flowers, DVDs, books, large boxes, vehicle parts, furniture, computer equipment etc.) from one doorstep and deliver it to another. We do it for the cheapest price and we do it best. You simply make a call, we find you, collect your item and deliver it to its destination. We try to make the process of getting your item from point A to point B as seamless as possible. For a few extra dollars (Namibian), you can purchase your large item at a store, call us, and give us the destination you want it to go to. We will get there, pick it up, and have it at your doorstep on that same day or the next. We purchase books for people out of town and deliver it to their doorstep (and get the book price refunded there plus the delivery cost of course). If you need something, you can bet we will collect it and deliver it.

A: The main challenge we faced was obtaining the resources required to carry out our operations. Obtaining assets such as vehicles, office equipment and the books/documents required for the day to day running of the business. Obtaining capital to start a business can be very tough but one needs to be able to tighten their belts, avoid being too proud to beg for loans and have faith that God will create a way.

A: Our business is unique in numerous ways. We offer the “unconventional” payment method of using Ewallet, Blue Wallet or Easy Wallet to pay for a courier. We also allow clients to place orders/request for goods at stores, which we pay for upon collection and get refunded by the clients when we deliver it- for this we need an ID number and full name for security purposes. We offer book purchases through us which essentially occurs in the same way as described above- we emphasize this because we are avid readers but usually do not find many of the titles we desire in our beloved Swakopmund. We also offer significantly cheaper rates than our competitors. Way cheaper rates- while giving world class customer service. To get items delivered from a store, you don’t need to go through many callous hassles, you just call us and we collect and deliver it. This we created to make life easy for all those people who prefer to use public transport to minimize their carbon footprint or are simply saving up for something they find more valuable than owning a car.

A: If you have an idea that gets you excited, don’t dwell on the things that might go right or wrong or try to get it perfect before you start. JUST DO IT!- to quote Richard Branson, who is one of my biggest role models.

 

As promised! Launch Magazine Namibia caught up with Helena Negonga, our very first feature for this dynamic magazine. Here is a sneak peek introduction of Helena Negonga owner of D’Helen Investments CC.

Q: Tell us about yourself?

A: My name is Helena Negonga I’m a 28 year old mother of two, currently working at MMI Holdings. My company D’Helen Investments CC was registered in 2011 but I started doing nails while I was still at the Polytechnic of Namibia (Namibia University of Science and technology) in 2008, at that time I was just using nail polish and only did pedicures.

I used to charge N$20 per person, and every time I made some money I would give my mother a share, even if it was just a N$40, she was always thankful. In mid-2009, I started working at Standard bank and stopped doing nails because I had to attend classes after work.

November 2013 I then ventured into renting out chairs and tables and when I realised that business was growing, I decided to add more equipment and doing events management.

In 2014 I opened up a Nail Salon and later started offering nail training. Over the past 4 years I have ventured into so many other things including catering services, cleaning services, marketing services, kiddies’ parties, Educational Tutorials and so forth.

Last year I realised that it was best for me to concentrate on something I loved most which is Nail Technician training instead of doing too many things at the same time. I still do events coordination and catering when time permits.

Growing up with a single mother of 4 motivated me to start a business because I wanted to give my children everything that my mom gave us and more.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
A: In the next 5 years I see myself running and mentoring a beauty school and having one of the leading events management companies that Namibia has seen thus far.

Q: What challenges did you face when starting up your business?
A: The biggest challenge I faced when I started my business was start-up capital. I had just resigned from Standard Bank in 2014 and used my pension money as working capital to purchase stock items, and as much as I wanted to buy more equipment that same time, I couldn’t because of a lack of sufficient funds and I didn’t want to take out a loan or ask anybody for funds just yet. To date I have bankrolled all my businesses from my pocket. It really helps to remain financially disciplined until such a time that you are confident and ready for expansion, and then you’d also have learned the prudential skills needed to take on debt obligations and manage cash flow. As an entrepreneur, one needs to be well-rounded in planning, budgeting, marketing and executing various cost control measures that will keep your business afloat especially during economic downturns. It’s also equally important to closely monitor the micro and macro business environment within which you operate and remain cognizant of economic trends and changes (it can save you and your business).

Q: Who motivates you? 
A: My daughters motivate me to keep doing what I do, and they respect my hustle, If I simply say ‘’Mama is training’’, they know they shouldn’t bother mommy until the trainees have left and no matter what I’m going through in life, I try to make sure that every week I make an extra income so I can take care of my babies. Life in Windhoek is expensive, and two kids are not a joke, but I thank God for my kids, because when I got my first born that’s when i realised I needed an additional income.

Q: Can you give training costs and details for those interested in taking part?
A: I mostly train every Monday to Wednesday in Windhoek and the first two weekends of each month I try to travel to other towns to offer the nail training. I currently charge N$1400 in Windhoek and N$1600 outside Windhoek (to cater for transport, venue and accommodation fees). All my trainees receive a kit with 28 items, certificate of attendance plus I also guide them on how to run their businesses and survive the industry.

Q: Any final words of motivation for people looking to start a business?
A: I constantly tell people to try and make money from what they are good at and what they love the most, even if it’s in the smallest way possible, always dream big but start small and if things don’t go well, at least you haven’t spent too much that you can’t get back on your feet again. If you try something and it doesn’t work out for you, try something else until you find your calling. One needs to love what they do so you can enjoy it; it’s not always about the money. No matter the situation, keep pushing.

I have been offering nail training for over 2 years now and have trained over 400 young and old women, when I started offering the training, we were just a handful in the market but now the market has grown but that won’t stop me. Service excellence and efficiency is the very pulse of my business and that’s important to me on a personal level too. The moment you provide good service to one person, 5 more people will hear about you and that’s how your business grows. Most SMEs and start-up businesses actually really thrive on word of mouth and direct referrals especially for the first 12 months of the financial year. Hence one really needs to take advantage of and capitalize on every single opportunity you get to shape a customer’s 1st hand experience because that’s what determines your CCR: Client Come-back Rate…

 

Anya Koen, owner of a printing and designing company named Ctrl-P Graphics, shares her inspiring story. Learn more about her printing business.

Read below to find out more about this exciting young entrepreneur.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia. Finished school in 2011 in WHS, after that I studied photography and graphic design in Stellenbosch. I came back to my homeland (Namibia) in 2013 and started my photography career but it ended soon, because my dad came up with a “great” idea to start a printing and designing company. So I started my own printing and designing company named Ctrl-P Graphics, actually in “partnership” with my dad. From 2013 we have created a very successful business and we are running full steam.

Q: What is the name of your company and what does it entail?

Ctrl-P Graphics, that means Control Print on the keyboard. We are located in the Southern Industrial Area, Windhoek, and Marconi Street 44 – 46 in the same building as Dolls Paradise & Gift Shop. What we do: Designing, business cards, magnetic name tags, posters, flyers / brochure, canvas, PVC, one-way vision, banners, pull-up banners, teardrops, vinyl prints, vinyl cut-outs, sandblasting, vehicle branding, magnetic stickers, t-shirt branding, Vista Signs, laser engraving – wood, Perspex, glass, leather, stainless steel, etc…,laser cuts – wood, Perspex, leather, etc…,customized gifts & trophies. So basically we do all kinds of printing, just a little bit more. We are three designers (including me), three applicators and one receptionist. We are a great team, just saying!

Q: What motivated you to venture into this business?

Actually my dad. I would have never even imagined owning a business; my dad helped me through it all. Even though we argue and have different opinions we will at the end of the day make a success with this business

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Probably with a bigger and more successful business, I’m hoping for that, and somewhere around the world traveling.

Q: What challenges did you face when starting up this business?

There is so much competition in this industry; we struggled to get clients in the beginning, and also comparing our prices in the market. I think after a few years this business is now a success.

Q: What or who motivates you?

My parents and boyfriend are always on standby to help me lift my spirit. They are always here to make sure that I reach my goals no matter what. My friends and family are also behind me to support me no matter what.

Q: Do you plan to compete in the global market place? If yes, how? If no, why not?

No, because we are local and “Local is Lekker”.

Q: Final words of motivation for people looking to start a business?

You must always give 110% into the business, 100% isn’t’ enough. Be proud of the business and never doubt yourself.