If you’ve ever been on the hunt for a new job, you’ll know that job specs are laced with requirements like, ‘must have good interpersonal skills’, ‘must be a good communicator’ or ‘must work well as part of a team’…
Enjoying the company of others and having the capacity to interact well with people is not a prerequisite in all careers but there are a few jobs where it is definitely an advantage.
Bridgit Evans, SAB Foundation Director, believes that, for those who are interested in starting their own business, being a people’s person is definitely a plus.
“Being comfortable with people is important for entrepreneurs. They need to understand the needs of their target market, cultivate good relationships with customers and nurture a driven and loyal team of employees. Furthermore, in a number of client facing businesses, being a charming ambassador of the brand is critical to your success,” she explains.
Therefore, if you are truly passionate about people, Evans suggests a few business ventures that will allow social butterflies to spread their wings and turn their passion for people into success.
The beauty industry
Relationships are important for service providers in the beauty industry. Whether it be a spa, a hairdresser or a beautician, clientele in this sector tend to form long-term relationships with their favorite local guy or gal. An appointment at the salon is about more than getting your hair done, it’s an opportunity to get pampered while sharing stories and laughter. In this kind of business, being a people’s person pays.
Entrepreneurs interested in this vocation can start small. Afika Mbandazayo, a participant of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme, started her hair salon from a friend’s flat. However, by ensuring that she always provides a friendly, high quality service, Afrika was able to expand. She now has her own salon in East London where she provides hair and beauty treatments to a loyal client-base who keep coming back for more.
The health and wellness industry
Whether it’s your local yoga studio, health shop or smoothie bar, businesses is booming in the wellness sector as people increasingly seek out healthy bodies and healthy minds. Businesses in this industry need to be welcoming spaces where people can come to indulge and feel good about themselves. Having a little charm and making patrons feel well looked after is essential. If you have a knack for making people feel special as well as a passion for any of the fundamental aspects of wellness, such as nutrition, mindfulness and meditation, then this might be industry for you.
Bontle Tshole, the owner and founder of Johannesburg health bar, Baaa Smoothie, started her business to provide fast food alternatives to health-conscious consumers in order to address lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. Since launch, her business has gone from strength to strength, winning her a place on the SAB Foundation’s Tholoana Enterprise Programme. She now provides services to markets, corporate events and private functions. With a rapidly growing businesses, that now employs six members of staff, Bontle has ambitious plans to open outlets across South Africa which will serve a variety of nutritious health foods.
The child care industry
If you prefer to spend your time surrounded by high pitched little voices while fielding questions from young, enthusiastic minds, a career in child care could suit you. A child care business can be started at home with a modest amount of start-up cash. You’ll need to make sure you adhere to some health and safety regulations and apply to your local council for a health permit but if you’re patient, can deal with a little chaos and be a positive influence, a career in child care could be worth your while.
If running a child care facility doesn’t appeal to you, the industry provides a number of alternative opportunities for you to contribute to young lives. For example, after Mbuzeni Musie noticed that there was a lack of early childhood development at daycares in her local area, she decided to start Vhutambo Edu-Play, which specialises in the provision of educational toys. In 2016, Mbuzeni joined the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme. Her business acumen and passion for early childhood education helped her grow her business and now she has four branches in Limpopo and Gauteng.