Business advice
    01 October 2021


    Creating an online presence to rebuild a business

    Pre-pandemic, many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were trading exclusively in the physical world, with little to no online presence

    Sadly, once lockdowns came into effect, these SMEs were forced to shut their doors; many for good. The inability to pivot to online trading proved devastating.

    This is especially true for micro-business owners. According to a survey conducted by market research firm IPSOS, 61% of SMEs felt the pinch of customers reducing spending during the pandemic. In this survey, 17% of SMEs also highlighted the importance of learning to use platforms that enabled online selling, with 9% having already digitised their businesses to remain competitive.

    The importance of getting online was not lost on micro-business owner Zelda Els of Muzette. When her offline-only business faced impending closure, she sought Vodacom’s help to turn things around with an online presence.

    The near demise of a micro business

    Bloemfontein-based Muzette, run by solopreneur Zelda, is a micro business offering students piano lessons. Before March 2020, Muzette had been in business for around five years, and had seven permanent students who attended classes in person. When lockdowns came into effect, Zelda’s client base fell to two students, and she was struggling to make ends meet. If she remained on this path, she would soon need to shut her business down permanently. Understanding that she needed to pivot to offer lessons online, with marketing needing to be digitised to reach a new group of students, Zelda sought Vodacom’s help.

    Back on track with a digital partner

    Zelda initially signed up for a month-to-month contract for Vodacom Fibre perfectly suited to her needs at the time, as she had the flexibility to cancel if the business didn’t pick up. By investing in Vodacom’s online presence using the Vodacom Business DIY website builder as a guide, she was easily able to register a unique domain name, muzette.co.za without needing any website expertise to do so.

    Under this service, Vodacom also set up a business email address for Zelda and takes care of her website hosting. She now has access to digital-traffic statistics, showing her all website click-through activity from her Facebook and Instagram pages so she can finesse her marketing strategy. Added to this, Vodacom is also helping her create a Google My Business profile, with registration currently in progress. This will boost her online presence, getting her noticed in search to draw in more customers.

    By enlisting Vodacom as the SME partner for her digitalisation journey, Zelda has ramped up her client base over the past 16 months. Currently, she has 21 students registered for lessons, 15 of which are online-only. While her client base is small, Zelda’s success as a micro-business owner cannot be disputed, with her move to digital boosting student registrations by an amazing 200%.

    No matter the size of the business, Vodacom strives to support business growth by helping entrepreneurs future-proof their operations with critical digitalisation services and products. With Vodacom, SMEs can go further together on the path to success.

    For more information on our Smart Marketing Solutions visit the Vodacom Business website or call 082 1960 


    - Header image by Maranda Vandergriff on Unsplash