Centurion, South Africa
Today we’re excited to introduce you to Ronel Jooste – the co-owner of the PhysEQFiT Guesthouse, a 100% female-owned business.
From her career line, Ronel is a chartered accountant, but her entrepreneurial spirit led her to open a guesthouse in South Africa together with her sister Marli.
Founded in 2016, PhysEQFiT Guesthouse provides accommodation services to both business and leisure travelers in South Africa.
Starting out was not easy as none of the sisters had any prior knowledge of managing a business in the hospitality industry, but that did not stop them and in just 3 years they managed to grow their revenue by 178%. This would not have been possible without the support of their staff members. Joyce and Evah, who started as cleaners, upgraded their skills and are now managing the guesthouse themselves.
Read on for more of Ronel’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey!
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED?
Hi, my name is Ronel and I started PhysEQFiT Guesthouse together with my sister Marli. Our guesthouse is 100% female owned and managed. Both my sister and I run our own businesses.
I am a Chartered Accountant and spent more than a decade in the corporate financial services industry before pursuing my entrepreneurial aspirations in 2015. I am the owner of FinanciallyFit Group, a company specializing in financial consulting and training for businesses and individuals. We also offer employee financial wellness programmes.
I am also, a speaker and the author of the award-winning book, Financially Fit and Wealthy.
My sister Marli is a Psychometrist and she started her own private practice in 2011 after pursuing a corporate career for a number of years. She ever since built upon her practice to the extent of having a local and international footprint. She works across industries and sectors alike.
PhysEQFit Guesthouse offers accommodation in Centurion, South Africa to both business and leisure travelers. We are centrally situated in an up-market suburb of Centurion close to all the major highways, CBD, office parks, Gautrain station and SuperSport Park.
A boomed-off suburb with 24-hour patrolling security guards made our guests feel safe and secure. A tranquil and peaceful setting with a beautiful garden, fish pond and waterfall creates the illusion of being out-of-town, yet the beautiful view at night facing Centurion’s many lights make you realize you are in the city.
Our wholehearted hospitality makes our guests feel welcome and at home. We offer 7 guest rooms for single or double occupancy, all with private bathrooms and private entrances. Each room is equipped with a small fridge, microwave, coffee station, DSTV and free Wi-Fi.
Receiving an award – Global Woman of Purpose ‘Business Woman of the Year 2019’ Runner-up
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
PLEASE RECOMMEND ANY RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT YOU USE TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.
I use an excel financial model that I have developed myself for our bookkeeping and financial statements. It is easy to use, requires limited time and I don’t have to spend thousands on expensive accounting software. A credit card machine is a valuable tool in our business, but shop around for the most cost-effective options as this can become expensive.
For businesses in the hospitality industry, I would definitely recommend to list on the various booking sites and have an effective website that will convert people looking for accommodation into guests. Plenty of new guests contact us on our landline, while existing guests call us directly or e-mail us. We use NightsBridge as our booking system and Paybridge for our online payments.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BUSINESS BOOKS, PODCASTS OR BLOGS?
I am required to do a lot of research about business and finances as I am consulting for businesses, often get invited to speak about entrepreneurship at events and write financial blogs for my financial company. That certainly helps me a lot because I can also apply the knowledge in my own businesses.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Get out of your comfort zone and take that first step to start. If you don’t take action your dream will always remain a dream. If you are in a position to save up capital to carry you during the initial phase or start a business on the side until it is doing well enough financially for you to leave your job, it will certainly diminish the pressure.
Your business should make sense financially though. Keep a close eye on your business finances even if you outsource the accounting function or employ somebody else to do it. As a business owner, you should understand your financial results and know how to analyze your financial results to make more effective business decisions.
Ensure that there is a market for your business idea/product/service and that people are willing to pay for it. Also, understand how to reach your target market and which marketing channel works best for you. Not all marketing channels work for all businesses. Social media marketing might be great for one type of business but another business might have no success on social media.
Equip yourself with business knowledge. Read, attend seminars, enroll for online courses, get yourself a mentor. Spend equal focus on all the aspects of your business – strategy, branding, marketing and sales, financial management, human resources etc.
If you have a dream and are determined to succeed, you will be successful. Just go out and do it!
WHAT BUSINESS IDEA DO YOU HAVE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH OTHERS?
To offer a relief management service to guesthouses so that the owners, management and staff can go on holiday or take the week off and business continues as usual.
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!