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Friday, 10 June 2016 08:50

Incubation programme takes small business to new heights

Perseverance is what helped Makasela Air, a small heat ventilation and air-conditioning contracting company, to not only successfully complete Property Point’s two-year enterprise development incubation programme, but in the process also grow in leaps and bounds and win a prize of R25 000.

A Growthpoint initiative, the incubation programme focuses on empowering both the entrepreneur and their business with the skills and knowledge they need to ensure long term sustainability.

Tiyani Khoza, owner of Makasela Air, heard about the incubation programme on the radio, but his first application to enter the programme was unsuccessful. Not giving up, he approached Property Point and was advised to expand his business to target commercial business opportunities and given some pointers on how to go about it.

“So I followed Property Point’s advice and within six to eight months, started growing the business without actually being part of the programme. I applied again and got accepted the second time round,” Khoza says.

Exceptional growth
Since then, Makasela Air has grown from three staff members working from Khoza’s home, to 17 people operating out of two established offices – one in Johannesburg that serves Gauteng and some parts of the North West province and another in Limpopo that also covers Mpumalanga.

Through the programme, Masakela Air was mentored by business savvy people who looked at his business and advised on how to streamline strategies going forward. Khoza also had the opportunity to attend talks by industry experts who specialise in different areas of business such as sales, marketing, human resources and more.

“Today, our business is much more structured and we have proper business processes in place,” Khoza comments.

“Before, if clients called they would speak to me directly and I would see to it that whatever they required gets done, which meant that in my absence not much would happen. Now I can actually take leave for a week and the business would still run.

“Secondly, the type of clients that we deal with has changed. Initially, we mainly worked with residential, small air conditioners, but now we are doing business with major companies. We currently look after 70 Nedbank branches and do work for PPC Lime in the Northern Cape and Phalaborwa Copper in Limpopo” he states.

Masakela Air has recently also been appointed a Samsung-accredited service centre, one of only three in the country. “This is huge for us because it enables us to drastically reduce the turnaround time and prices when dealing with Samsung devices. We also have access to Samsung technical teams outside of the country, so we don’t have to depend on distributors but can contact the head office in Korea directly,” Khoza explains.

Where to next?
Looking to further grow the business and create even more job opportunities, Khoza realises the importance of applying everything learnt from being part of the incubation programme, to the day-to-day operations of the business.

“There are a lot of opportunities opening up for us, but we need to make sure that we keep our clients happy and do each job to the best of our ability,” Khosa says.

In addition, the company is planning to start manufacturing its own ducts to use for big installations and to sell to other air conditioning contractors.