Eugenie Drakes, the owner of a small craft and jewellery shop, is passionate about her flourishing business but seeks to understand the practicalities of being financially savvy and drawing in more customers.
Seasoned entrepreneurs on television show It’s My Biz advised Drakes to promote her high-profile clientele, who include the singer Lira, Princess Charlene of Monaco and Graça Machel.
The show profiles entrepreneurs who are looking for that extra edge to take their business to the next level. Last week’s show featured Johannesburg-based Piece, which sells high-end handcrafts and jewellery. It sources items nationwide and up-skills its suppliers.
Dion Chang, the founder of Flux Trends, said Drakes had the opportunity to advertise using online platforms that were suited to the visual nature of her business, such as Instagram, the online photo and video-sharing service.
Chang said in addition to this, Drakes should collaborate with other online fashion websites to widen the reach of her brand.
Andrew Smith, the managing director of online kitchenware seller Yuppiechef.com, urged Drakes to enhance her online profile in order to appeal to a wider audience than just people who lived in Johannesburg.
He said Drakes should tell the story of her brand on her website and allow customers to connect with the brand.
David Bates, the chief executive of investment company Brookwood Capital, visited Piece in Rosebank and advised her to enhance the store’s customer experience by giving shoppers attention as soon as they walked in. He said government agencies and non-governmental organisations would be willing to invest in her expansion as she was creating jobs through up-skilling her suppliers.
Bates said Drakes should define a strategy and find partners to help her implement it. “I think you are a larger-than-life woman in a rowboat all by yourself, so you need to find crew to help you on the journey to pass the baton,” Bates said.
Sponsored by Nedbank, the show airs at 5.30pm on Thursdays on e.tv. It aims to impart valuable information to small business people so that other small business owners are better prepared to take their businesses to the next level.
n Business Report is the print media partner for the show.