Joy Dickens | HBS Technologies
Programme sponsor: ECN, Comair, PNET, UmAfrika, iScrip
“Make sure your product meets a need, know it well and work to sell it”
Joy Dickens and her husband started HBS Technologies to leave a legacy for their children. “We had future generations in mind, but we also wanted to contribute to the economy,” Joy explains. Founded in 2013, their company develops custom software for the education sector for use in schools.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. “We went into partnership with the wrong people which almost cost us our business,” she says, “In addition, we found it difficult to access opportunities and funding in order to grow our business.” In 2019, their luck changed. HBS Technologies was selected for a Raizcorp business-development programme sponsored by ECN, Comair, PNET, UmAfrika Gaming, iScrip.
“The programme was very practical. When we joined, we were running at a loss and we had a long way to go to return to profitability,” she says. While on the programme, they learned that it was important to know what they were selling and why they were selling it. “Sales and marketing are critical to success. The most significant change we made was to our pricing model as we came to understand our worth. Shortly afterwards, we became profitable again,” she says. “The most significant thing we learned was from Allon Raiz himself which is to never become comfortable with where you are – always be on the edge of your industry, pre-emt the future and look for opportunities.”
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our sponsors. Your sponsorship of our programme quite literally saved our business. Thank you for seeing the potential in us. Our guides (mentors) at Raizcorp were with us every step of the way,” Joy says.
To aspiring entrepreneurs she has this advice, “Make sure your product meets a need, know it well and work to sell it. You need to be willing to do the hard work!”