Chapter 2

WORKING WITH PEOPLE

As an entrepreneur, working with others is an essential skill to master. Whether you’re a partnership, family business or a sole proprietor, growing your company means learning to respect, rely on, and trust employees and colleagues. In Chapter 2, Nelisiwe Masango from Bear Run Investments and Mariam Jakoet Harris from Cooked Inc. share a bit more about their personal plans for working with people and offer advice for start-ups who are on the path to building a bigger work force. 

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BEAR RUN INVESTMENTS: CHAPTER 2

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NELISIWE FROM BEAR RUN INVESTMENTS

In Chapter 2, Nelisiwe Masango from Bear Run Investments shares her plans to build her start-up and chats about the sacrifices she’s made in order to set a solid foundation for the future of her financial advisory/training business.

Nelisiwe wants any future employees to share her passion and commitment. This means finding people with a like-minded approach and a skillset to compliment her business (and even teach her a thing or two). She knows that if her start-up is going to grow, she’ll need to stop wearing all the “business hats” and get comfortable with the idea of taking a back seat and trusting employees to take on different roles.

A personal highlight from the past month was knowing that the training she’s provided has inspired and empowered someone else to begin his own venture. It’s not always easy, especially during the first 1000 days in business but Nelisiwe stays optimistic and believes in celebrating every positive thing that happens; big or small.

It’s about partnering up with people who can do what you do, but much better.

– Nelisiwe Masango, Bear Run Investments

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COOKED INC.: CHAPTER 1

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MARIAM FROM COOKED INC.

Mariam Jakoet Harris is back to share some small business tips and advice in Chapter 2. She’s added even more corporates to her client base, which means a growing demand for more orders and the need to grow her team.

Mariam weighs up the pros and cons of being a sole proprietor versus working at a corporate. Working for herself, by herself, gives her the freedom to dictate her own schedule. Mariam knows that she’ll need to grow Cooked Inc. and her biggest consideration is finding people who are as passionate and thorough as she strives to be. She says that letting go and learning to delegate will be a key step on her journey.

Mariam shares her short-term goals of getting more equipment and manpower so she can take Cooked Inc. to the next level. Her advice this month? Grow your business at a safe pace that allows you to stay true to your values and service quality. If you go too big too soon, it could harm everything you’ve worked toward.

If you want to grow and get people in, you’re going to have to let go and delegate.

– Mariam Jakoet Harris, Cooked Inc.

WORKING WITH PEOPLE

52.4%

of respondents in our start-up survey were sole proprietors

79.4%

of the entrepreneurs said they employed 1-4 people while in their first 3 years of business



Like Nelisiwe and Mariam, most of the respondents we surveyed were sole proprietors but many others said they worked closely with a partner or within a family-owned franchise.

For deeper insights into the South African small business landscape, take a look at the Santam start-up survey results.

Survey results

EXPERT BUSINESS ADVICE

HOW TO BUILD A PASSIONATE TEAM

Our latest blog post offers advice for entrepreneurs who want to hire people who share their passion and vision for success. A lot of it comes down to a shared motivation, authentic leadership and mastering the art of delegation. Take a look.

TAKE THE INSTANT POLL

How many people are in your start-up’s growing workforce? Take the poll to reveal what others said:

It’s just me!

1 - 4 employees

5 - 9 employees

10+ employees



In our survey, we found that most business owners who’d made it beyond 1001 days employed more people than 4 people but none employed more than 100.

PREVIOUS: CHAPTER 1

CAN ANYONE BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?

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Next: Chapter 3

COMING SOON

1001 DAYS OF BUSINESS

Ensure your business makes it to 1001 days and beyond with commercial cover from Santam.

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THE SANTAM START-UP SURVEY

Take a look at the comprehensive survey we conducted on 606 small to medium enterprises in South Africa.

Survey results