#RebuildTogether. Telling the entrepreneurs’ story. Hans Mostert, Annemarie Mostert, Charlotte Khoza, Mila

Picture, Annemarie Mostert,

Interviewees: Hans Mostert, Annemarie Mostert and Charlotte Khoza

Executive Leadership: Mila

“We have been enormously blessed in that our business has not been adversely affected by COVID-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were stricken by panic like everybody else. We had to learn a lot and fast. We immediately started off with training – on mental health, the various difficulties in the workplace, the Covid-19 health and safety protocols, etc.

With the first hard lockdown, we were lucky in that we did not lose a single contract, and with the help of a bank soft loan, were able to keep all our employees on a rotational basis, ensuring that everyone could put food on the table. Because we are in the cleaning business, we were able to diversify and earn from extra services such as deep cleaning, fogging, providing consumable chemicals and masks.

The human element is critical in our business; that is why we could not neglect our staff’s mental health wellbeing. We even had sessions with the World Health Organisation to ensure our standards were on point and we wouldn’t put our staff and clients at risk.

The recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng was difficult to watch, especially how it affected small businesses already struggling from the effects of COVID-19. To see your work reduced to a structure and ashes is so disheartening…to build something, see it working and feeding so many people, and in just a couple of days, it’s gone. It’s absolutely horrible. Fortunately, many of these business owners have not allowed themselves to be down stricken by this and have worked to find the positive. That’s the true spirit of entrepreneurism.

Yes, money is something many of these companies need now to rebuild, but moving forward also means rethinking your business and methods. Collaboration is key – small businesses need to share resources, skills, and ideas; and not operate in silos and struggle alone.  Finally, entrepreneurs need to go to the clients instead of waiting for the clients to approach them. Make yourself and your business mobile and show initiative. That will go a long way in rebuilding not only your business but your client base as well.”

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