It had been a while since I paid a visit to Spetzo’s. I dropped by Ha Foso to enquire about having him for an interview. The staff had changed. Therefore, that was where I thought our interview should commence.
What can you tell an upcoming entrepreneur about staffing and working with people? What have you discovered? Learned?
People are a serious challenge because most people are ill equipped for available jobs. Unemployment is high, people are inexperienced. There are important things that cut across and describe a good employee regardless of skill. Those are simple things like adherence to work ethics, arriving early at work and good communication among employees and clients. Those are significant things people fail to appreciate.
People complain that employers are only interested in people with experience. Having worked with both inexperienced and experienced people, I can vouch for the latter. The reason being that inexperienced people are a gigantic challenge.
As much as inexperienced people deserve a shot at gaining experience, for businesses in early stages of growth, nurturing skills for employees becomes an extra burden. It is even more critical in our area of business where we are dealing with food and customer care is highly regarded. It leaves us awfully little room for error. It is among our major challenges.
In jobs that do not pay exceptionally well, having dedicated employees that outdo themselves constantly is another obstacle because rewards are low. Monitoring people full time at work is another story. Staffing is undeniably among the most principal components of a thriving business.
I remember reading somewhere that even the manner with which your call is picked when you order pizza counts.
Absolutely, we have to have people who brighten up your day by just picking your call. Even basic information such as an employee’s name goes a long way in resolving errors that may occur.
Yet employees sometimes have a hard time adhering to such codes of conduct, especially those without experience. There are various elements to consider, all I can say is that if you have intentions of getting into a business that will require the assistance of employees, cogitate or perhaps even read deeply about the considerations.
Employees can either make or break your business. That fact is not to be taken for granted.
To someone whom it’s their first time to hear about Spetzo’s Pizza through this interview, how can you describe your business?
We are no longer the new kid on the block. We have close to two years operating. Even if there are people who do not know us, we have tried by all means within our capacity to be known.
To someone who doesn’t know, who may have tasted pizza but not ours. It is time to upgrade. We make traditional Italian pizza with a Lesotho flair. You can find us within the Sefika shopping complex and at Ha Foso besides the junction to Sekamaneng and Naleli. We are also available on social media (Facebook). Ask around, I am positive that among three people you will ask or five at worst, they will know about us.
What I really loved about you guys is that you expanded, which is a major challenge to most SMEs. What other challenges did you face from expanding?
When you have one business, you develop a tendency to micromanage. Once they become two, the best thing to do is improve accountability processes that ensure that everything runs smoothly in both places during your absence.
Expanding from Ha Foso to Sefika came with its own challenges of finances related to rentals and fitting into the new location. A business can do well in one place. Unfortunately, that is no guarantee that it will be lucrative in the next.
That calls for a thorough research of the profitability of the new location. Expansion is paramount as it formalizes your business. According to me, that is where foreigners beat us.
Tell us about your experience with the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project.
It was an enriching experience from an initiative I highly favour. I made a lot of connections over there. There were over a 100 applicants. At a certain point there were just above 20 of us. The thrill was in meeting new people and exchanging ideas. We were offered transformational training in terms of formalizing things. Key things like drafting and creating a winning business plan, which most people disregard. Winning was exhilarating. We deserved it.