Smiso Investment is a 100% black woman owned and managed catering company which has made headways in the hospitality industry and gained the respect of corporate and public sector clients alike. The company was founded by Samiza Makhathini in 2002 and today employs about 90 staff with turnover of about R15 million in 2013.
One of the challenges with catering businesses is the cyclical nature of the business which has impacted the company from time to time. Also, at times a huge chunk of revenue often comes from a single source, putting the business at risk incase the client decided to end the relationship. Smiso has experienced this in the past and the impact on the bottom line was about R5 million.
The company started working with Seda in 2010 and one of the first interventions implemented was the development of marketing and promotions material to help prop up the business after losing a major contract. This improved the chances of the business winning business with SAPPI, Foskor and Richards Bay Coal Terminal.
In 2012, the company was expected to work in line with HACCP and ISO 22000 standards by its clients. The company’s CEO was invited to attend HACCP and ISO training. After that, Seda recommended that the company implement ISO 22000.
In 2013, Seda implemented new signage and a website for the business to help drive branding and their new market position in an effort to increase business. The rebranding improved the image of the business. At the end of 2013, the business’ turn over was R14 million and 83 staff members were on the payroll.