In this interview we find out more about Sandra Kathleen Venter (Owner/Founder of Smart Fogging Solutions), her business journey and why she believes South Africa should support small business.
Sandra explains that her company is the only ISO certified (9001:2015) 22000:2018) company registered to do microbial fogging to disinfect and sanitise. They have recently expanded to do the following services for their clients: microbial fogging service, pest control services, cleaning services, hygiene services, deep cleaning services, packaging products, and specialised disinfecting products.
During COVID, Sandra developed a specialised range to disinfect with her manufacturer. One of these products is called SFS4. It is a disinfectant that can be used as a spray or as a fogger. It has it’s NRCS certification and has been validated by the University of Pretoria for its efficacy. The other product is called SFS3. It is safe to use in aeroplanes. It can be used as a spray application to wipe down or as a fogger as well.
Why did you start your business?
I started the business in 2018, focusing on nursery schools and food manufacturing sites. Nursery schools were important to me because I was having a baby and didn’t want to go through the same as with my first born; being sick every other week and taking off work etc. The method of disinfecting I developed helped reduce airborne viruses and bacteria in the classrooms, which reduced the absenteeism of the teachers and children infecting one another with viruses. With the food manufacturing sites we focused mostly on getting rid of the Listeria and Mould on their premises thereby increasing the shelf life of their products and achieving higher standards or awards with their clients in return.
To ensure that we remain the market leaders, I certified the company with ISO standards 9001:2015 & 22000:2018. Currently we are the only company in South Africa and the world certified under these standards for microbial fogging to sanitize and disinfect.
What do you love the most about running your business?
I love the fact that as a group we can make a difference in companies and businesses, and add value. I also love that I can spend time with my children if the need arises.
Although I know the benefit we can add to a business, it has been rewarding to educate and prove to my clients that this new method of disinfecting is saving them time and money. Re-entry is possible after one hour, which helps immensely, especially in the retail industry (which we also service).
I have also been able to adapt my service offerings to ensure the best possible solution for each client’s needs. This has given me great satisfaction as I am a decision maker and am therefore able to ensure that I provide the best service to my clients.
For instance, to save clients time and money, they can use my fogging cannisters on-site as well as my app and still get a certificate to validate the disinfecting.
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learnt on your business journey?
You must always keep your finger on the pulse. Providing excellent service, whether for a small or big client, ensures client loyalty and that they continue to do business with you. I’ve also learnt the importance of paying it forward and trying to improve other peoples’ lives.
What is your why? Why do you do what you do and what do you focus on to help you persevere and get through tough times?
My biggest why would be my children. I want to show them through my business practice that through perseverance you can achieve anything you set your mind to. As a single mom it is also very important to me to provide for my family. I would love for my kids to take over the business one day.
I also hope to continue to be the market leader of the industry, after having been established in 2018 and having based my business model on international standards.
Why should South Africa support small businesses now and beyond?
Small businesses in South Africa ensure that we keep employing locally and growing our own economy. By empowering ordinary South Africans to reach their potential, the market share increases and great services can then be offered at affordable prices.