Entrepreneur advises not to follow others but have a valid reason and desire to go into business.
ABSA has embarked on a campaign to support and empower SMEs across South Africa. We caught up with Max SpitBraai & Grill to get more insights and understanding of their business.
When did you start your business?
I started the business in 2015 and officially launched it in September of the same year.
What led you to pursue entrepreneurship?
I come from a business orientated family and working in a family business kept me busy all the time and then that suddenly stopped for some time. I started my business so I can go back to the way I was in terms of productivity and constantly working when we had the family business.
What are the challenges you experienced when you were starting your business and how did you overcome them?
The business started as a spit braai, but the intention was to grow it into something bigger. Around 2016, I acquired a factory in an industrial location with the intention of turning it into a restaurant. Refurbishing it imposed a financial challenge and even though the restaurant is up and running, it is still a project that is a work in progress.
What impact did the Covid-19 pandemic have on your business?
Before Covid-19 we had 20 employees, and challenges we faced during the hard lockdown resulted in us letting go of some of our staff members. We currently have 13 people working for us.
Your business is one of the businesses that are part of the ABSA SME programme, what does this mean to you and how do such initiatives from corporates like Absa help SMEs?
Programmes such as these are great for helping small businesses get noticed by potential customers. When I started my business, I had to do a lot of physical marketing myself and promoting the business on social media. Even though that helped, it was very time consuming. I would love to see more and be part of more initiatives such as these from corporates.
What is your advice for SMEs?
People shouldn’t get into business because they see others in business. They need to have valid reasons and a desire to venture into business because maintaining and growing one isn’t easy.
For more information about the Absa SME programme, please visit: https://www.absa.co.za/personal/bank/absa-rewards/sme-Friday/