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Mokgadi Mabela found herself in the honey trade by accident. Find out how family knowledge, her own hard work and key pieces of tech helped her build a small business that is buzzing with potential.
My name is a Mokgadi Mabela, the founder of Native Nosi (NN). A company that specialises in the production of pure, raw, South African honey.
My father is and always was a beekeeper, he learnt it from his father. Growing up, we always had honey in the house. However, I had no plans of being a beekeeper myself. I graduated from the University of Pretoria with an International Relations Degree and got a job at the Department of Human Settlements.
During tea times and meetings I started to realise that people were using inferior honey that tasted bland and was extremely thin. This was very different from what I grew up eating. When I told my colleagues they challenged me to bring in my Dads honey which I spoke of highly, and when I did, they couldn’t get enough! Orders started coming in and when my father realised how much honey I was selling he suggested I get a beehive to make my own. Fast forward to today and Native Nosi is almost 4 years old with just under 400 beehives.
My advice to those thinking about starting a small business? Just start. Sure it’s scary, but you won’t know if you don’t try. The key is not to get caught up in the potential of what your business may become. I just started selling a few pots of honey to co-workers which grew into what my business is today. If I imagined managing hundreds of beehives right at the start it would have scared me off for sure!
Every day is different at Native Nosi depending on the season, geographical location and the needs of the company at the time. This means my business is on the move constantly and I need to be able to work online from anywhere.
Dealing with honey orders, inquiries and coordinating courier deliveries all depend on 5 key pieces of tech to keep our daily operations running smoothly.
Mokgadi’s top 5 tech picks:
We use our Yoco machine as a payment option at markets or for walk in clients. Yoco has created a really easy and affordable device to use that is reliable and effective. If you give your clients the option to pay with a card, I have found they will usually spend more.
Being able to access emails from anywhere means there is always a constant flow of productive work. From incoming orders to responding to client queries to planning meetings and managing calendars, I would be lost without my laptop.
A reliable internet connection is a non-negotiable when you’re running a from home operation that often requires you to be on the road. I use a router that isn’t linked to a network so I can choose the best rates for me and save on costs.
A decent smartphone is a must for managing your own business. From phone calls to managing social media accounts, I rely heavily on my phone to keep things going. A big part of Native Nosi is visiting farms in unfamiliar locations, so using the GPS on my smartphone to navigate saves on time and fuel.
Running your own business means you’re always on, so a power bank is a lifesaver! We use ours as an on the go charging device for smartphones and the Yoco card machine. I can’t tell you how many times this device has come through for us!
Want to learn more about Native Nosi, a thriving South African business? Click here