Owner of Sasol Swartgoud in Johannesburg South, Letitia Visser didn’t always want to become an entrepreneur. “I started my career in the banking industry working with the stock exchange, later moved to HR, studied teaching, got married, and then moved to sales and marketing in the motor industry,” she recalls.
That was until her husband got the opportunity to invest in a fuel outlet. “This is when the world changed for me,” she says. This is how she built her Sasol outlet through a strong and long-standing partnership with Nedbank.
Getting into franchising
I chose to go into franchising as an entrepreneur because it’s investing in a formula that works – a ‘proven recipe’. However, it’s sometimes a challenge to keep every customer happy and to ensure they come back. Commitment is key in navigating the industry.
Work hard and be prepared to spend long hours on site if you’re an aspiring franchisee. Being a hands-on owner helps you build a good relationship with your staff, who are the face of your business. Be involved in your community and don’t forget to give so that you may receive.
Joining the Sasol brand
When I started my franchising journey, Sasol was new to the industry. Our franchise, Sasol Swartgoud, was the third site to be developed in 2004. This appealing local brand just did it for me, even though I was uncertain if they had the expertise to succeed in the retail industry.
Sasol is a good franchise investment because it’s a strong brand and is committed to its franchisees. I believe that together, with the knowledge and experience of franchisees that bought into the Sasol brand, we all contributed to the success of the franchisor to build “one happy family”.
Banking with the best
It’s important for successful franchises to have a strong relationship with their banking partners, because it benefits both the franchisor and the franchisee. The bank plays a very important role in the success of a franchise – franchising can be very expensive.
Nedbank was chosen as my preferred banker since the time I started my franchise with Sasol in 2004. Nedbank also assisted my husband, the developer of Sasol Swartgoud, with funds to obtain the land and development. Nedbank made our dream of owning a franchise possible.