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NSBC Member Success Story – Konsortium Solutions

The NSBC approached some of their Premier Members to learn more about how they approached entrepreneurship and becoming a successful small business. Today we will feature Konsortium Solutions.

Konsortium Solutions was founded on a passion to help SMEs adapt and prosper in their marketing efforts.

Shelley Kotze was introduced to the wonderful world of all things digital while studying copywriting and marketing communication at the AAA School of Advertising (Johannesburg) between 2008 and 2009. After that she started working for Et Al Group which was then known as Faction Media. In 2011, the urge to start her own business got the better of her and she did a certified course in social media strategy and has been providing her clients with marketing solutions since then. She is a very hands-on person and has been involved in several areas of digital from copywriting to doing mail blasts, content marketing, PPC, SEO, social media, web development and whatever else you can think of.

At Konsortium Solutions, Shelley works as a marketing broker and manages each account for better quality assurance for all involved parties.

Here is what Shelley Kotze from Konsortium Solutions had to say about success and overcoming tough times in business.

When did you consider yourself a success?

I think success is a very relative term. For me, surviving the first 18 months of my new business without any investors or overdrafts based on the relationships that I have with clients and suppliers is a huge success.

To what do you attribute your success?

The lessons I’ve learned from past experiences, the Grace of God and the ability to know when to adapt and when to hold on a little longer. You must be resilient as a business owner and willing to work harder than anyone else out there.

What failure taught you the most about your business and what was the lesson? 

I am a bit of a control freak and as such tried to do everything myself at first – admin, client management, supplier management, finances, marketing, etc. However, after 12 months of working non-stop I realised that I was slipping and that I can only expand through the hands of others. Most entrepreneurs are forced to do everything themselves due to cash flow constraints and tight budgets, but I’ve seen it time and again – as soon as you start to expand a little bit, more work will come to enable you to pay for the expansion. Just don’t try and do it too quickly. Someone once said that a business owner must work themselves out of the day to day stuff within six months if they want to grow the business.

What was your best moment in business to date?

I faced a very difficult situation with a client, caused by one of my suppliers at that time, but it turned around to the point that they gave me flowers and chocolates to thank me once the project was over. It took me by complete surprise and I realised that a relationship with your client will carry you where promises and negotiations often fail.

What drives you to keep going when it gets tough?

At first, I was driven by pure survival. Now that I have more of a structure in place it’s doing what I love mixed with the satisfaction of seeing this little tree that I’ve been nurturing for such a long time, grow.

Lastly, what are your success habits?

What you do today is the result of what you’ve gone through, experienced, changed and adapted to your whole life. I try to be as open minded about change as possible. Change isn’t easy – it’s uncomfortable, scary and intimidating but if you are open to it the transition from one phase to another is a little bit easier.

I try to never burn bridges. You never know how life is going to turn out and Murphy loves a good comeback.

Don’t be too quick to chase new business when you can’t take care of the clients that you already have. Rather nurture what you have and sell more to them – they already trust you.

Well done, Shelley from Konsortium Solutions. We hope you will grow from strength to strength.