I am now building my brand so that I will have a legacy one day

Mpho Tshukudu | Registered Dietician

From a young age, I discovered my love for food and have always had a passion for cooking. Growing up, I wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but changed my mind at the last minute because I was more intrigued by food and the affects it had on the body. I wanted to be able to help people who were sick by showing them what food they should be eating so I researched becoming a dietician.

I qualified as a dietician and worked in the government and pharmaceutical sectors, but yearned for something that I could do on my own because I wanted to move back home to Rustenburg, and help the locals by providing health services to them in the private sector.

I first heard about the Raizcorp’s business growth programme that is sponsored by Impala Platinum, when I received an email from Sizile Makola from the Rustenburg Business Forum. This email couldn’t have arrived in my inbox at a better time! I contacted Raizcorp and was asked to come in for an interview and complete some tests. I passed the selection process and joined the business growth programme in 2013.

The real reason that I wanted to join the business growth programme, was because at university we learnt how to be dieticians, but were never taught how to run a business and be business savvy. They didn’t provide any education on how to run businesses and many of us students ignorantly thought that if we made R50 000, it would all be ours – but it wasn’t. We lacked the knowledge of knowing how to manage our money, pay bills, submit tax forms, and invest, etc.

When I started running the day-to-day aspects of my business, it was a huge eye-opener for me. I’ve never struggled to find and maintain clients, but I did struggle to manage the financial aspects associated with the practice. I’ve been on the business growth programme for two years now, and definitely have a much better understanding of how to run a successful business. The entrepreneurial classes that are facilitated by Raizcorp have all been extremely insightful, and have taught me how to market my business properly, differentiate myself from my competitors, and position myself.

I am now able to read my financial statements, understand my books, and evaluate whether I am going in the wrong direction or the right one.  By learning all of this, I’ve been able to reduce some the costs of running my business.

Each and every class that we have attended as part of the programme has really helped me with my business. I have learned to think as a business and not just as a health care provider, and am now building my brand so that I will have a legacy one day.

When I joined the programme, I was running my business on my own, but now I have two locums helping me out when I have a lot of patients and don’t have capacity to see them all. Over the last two years my turnover has improved and I’m hoping to employ one staff member permanently by the end of the year.

I’ve watched the trends with medical aid savings, and have seen how more and more people are depleting their savings in the beginning of the year. I want to help people lead healthier lifestyles and avoid lifestyle diseases.

I offer workshops that teach people about nutrition and wellness, and I’m opening a wellness clinic where I will host support groups to encourage people to live healthier lives, so that they can avoid having to be hospitalised. Different diets and exercises work for different people, and you need to listen to your body so that you don’t harm it with the incorrect exercises and nutrition.

I have benefited greatly from what I have learned on the programme, and look forward to building my business further and reaching my targets I have set myself.