It was a defined and directed passion that led Dean van Zyl and Heman Mohanlal to grow Branding Design SA into a R20 million business.
Steve Jobs said, "You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out." It’s an approach to business that has driven the growth of Branding Design SA since it was launched in 2013.
While passion does not guarantee success, people who have the persistence that often accompanies passion also tend to be more creative, set higher goals, exhibit greater resilience, and ultimately record better company performance. Van Zyl tells us why passion has been the key to the success of their business.
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With up to nine out of ten new businesses failing, you simply cannot afford to take the chance of going into something that you are not committed to with your whole heart.
What does passion mean to you?
It’s everything we do, from the systems we have in place to the culture of the business. We started the business asking ‘why?’. Money is the result of going into business and doing it successfully, but it’s not the reason. It’s all about the passion for us. We love and care about what we do; it’s not work, it’s part of who we are.
Why is that level of determination and focus so important?
It’s critically important because if you go into business for the wrong reasons, it is so much harder to grow a profitable venture. With up to nine out of ten new businesses failing, you simply cannot afford to take the chance of going into something that you are not committed to with your whole heart.
How did you apply that passion in the business?
Passion alone doesn’t put food on the table. We looked at how we were going to run our business. There were already hundreds of people doing what we do, making what we make and selling what we sell, to the people we sell to. What would make us unique and different? We looked at every aspect of the business – equipment, products, suppliers, competition. We investigated which systems would give us the edge.
Most importantly, we looked at what the customers wanted and what our potential competition was doing right and wrong. So we planned, and then we implemented. Since then, we have continuously adapted, tweaked and redirected, always with the aim of making things better. That requires dedication and resilience.
How does that commitment impact customer service?
Our prices are competitive, but not the cheapest. So what makes customers choose Branding Design SA over other branding companies? Simply, it’s the level of quality and service. Because of our fundamental belief in what we do, we implemented sophisticated, expensive systems that enable us to manage quality and ensure consistency, something few of our competitors have done. In addition, we only make commitments we can keep, under-promising and over-delivering.
How do you put this attitude to work when things go wrong?
We live in the real word, so we do make mistakes. We tell the truth and keep our customer in the loop, so that they can make informed decisions. We try treat our customers like we would like to be treated.
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First, we fix the mistake, and only then do we go back to see where the failure happened, and how it can be avoided in the future. It’s an approach that enables us to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive experience for everyone.
Do you have any words of advice on keeping up levels of enthusiasm?
Don’t be scared to boast about what you have done and can do. Make people aware; everyone loves to be associated with success.