Grace Montsho, pictured, is a BEE partner in Quality Dimension Services (QDS), a courier company based in Robertsham, Johannesburg. And she takes client service seriously.
The company was started in 2002 by Jaques de Beer and Joseph Simpson. She joined in 2005 after receiving a payout from the provident fund at her previous employer.
"It was a good investment and it gave me a good start."
She decided to get into the courier industry when she identified a gap and thought she should fill it.
"There are few black people in this market and business can be good."
A friend, the managing director of QDS, saw how she handled herself and her professionalism.
"He used to ask me why I did not start my own venture. I used to say I would tell him when I was ready.
"When he heard that I was contemplating resigning and starting my own company, he invited me to join them as a partner.
"I knew nothing about the industry and had to learn everything from the start. I was the only woman and the only black person in a company run by white males. Fortunately my partner taught me everything I needed to know and that's how I made it."
She says clients received her well because she went into business with partners who had already made their mark. Now clients recommend her business to their friends.
The company has grown well since 2005.
"We have maintained a 32percent yearly growth since then."
Her own share of the business has also grown.
"When I joined the company I owned 15percent of the shares, but now I own 30percent."
The company employs 18 permanent staff and 12 non-permanent drivers.
Montsho uses cold calling to find new business.
"I browse through corporate magazines to search for prospects.
"Once I have identified those I am interested in, I pick up the phone and call them to arrange for a presentation.
"But word of mouth is the best marketing tool for us. We don't have a big budget to embark on an advertising campaign. We have a dedicated sales team - the directors of the company."
Her management philosophy is to keep staff happy.
"We pay our staff decently. I also practise an open-door policy. It is aimed at open communication, feedback and discussion on matters of concern to an employee."
Her day begins with reviewing the previous day's deliveries, administration and checking e-mails.
"I then check the diary for appointments. Once all this is done, I go out to hunt for more business."
She advises aspiring entrepreneurs to concentrate on client service.
"It does not matter what industry you want to get into, the important thing to bear in mind is improving your client service.
"That's the only way you are going to manage.
"Many big companies in South Africa prefer using big-name brands and it takes too long for them to open doors to smaller businesses."