Sello Malatji established Rothe Plantscapers during a time when the world’s economy was experiencing a slump. Sello seemed to be drinking his business wisdom from a different cup to normal convention which discourages new start-ups during recessional periods. This should explain why Rothe is today earning more than a million rand a year in revenue.
Rothe Plantscapers, a landscape platform provider, service corporates with personalised landscaping servicesThis service ranges from garden maintenance, landscaping installation, interior landscaping, irrigation installation and maintenance, tree-felling and weed control to horticultural training services. Sello worked for various landscaping companies before launching Rothe. The idea and knowledge to set up his own company was sharpened during this time of formal employment. However, various challenges were there from the beginning.
“The difficulty we’ve had with being a new company is when you approach potential clients they say you’re quite new to the market, let’s see how you do in the first six months and come back to us. So we’re now going back to those companies and telling them we’ve had a solid start and growing so now’s a good time to come on board,” says Sello.
Beside companies not having full confidence in startups, Sello had to contend with financial management issues. He approached Seda for assistance because the company was experiencing the same problems that most small businesses have, trying to do things on a shoestring budget. He also wanted to add new services to the business and learned how to fund these whilst keeping a tight rein on cash flow.
Another challenge was getting payment for service rendered on time, with delays always impacting cash flow and good financial management. Seda’s assessment was done and the advisor recommended a financial clean-up and the implementation of a new financial systems.
The results of these intervention increased the company’s turnover from R275 800 in 2010/11 to R904 200 a year later. Client numbers grew at the same time and the funds were found to establish a new training division which is accredited by Agric-seta. The business continues to be profitable today.
“With the intervention from Seda we have a good quality reporting and management system. Our business’ operations are more effective and services are delivered efficiently. We’re going to continue to add functionality to the company and try and improve market share,” says Sello.