Briefly introduce yourself, what is the nature of your business?
My name is Hennie Ferreira and CEO of the world’s first online digital accountant, Osidon.
What inspired the launch of your business?
My wife Melissa and I realised there was a lack of support for small businesses and entrepreneurs in terms of accounting/tax/payroll/compliance and company registration services. We realised that our accounting systems in South Africa are outdated and didn’t embrace technology. This led to services being too expensive and inefficient. So we came up with unique software to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in an efficient and affordable way.
How did you know there was a market for it?
There are about 1.5 million formal businesses in South Africa, using outdated accounting systems. The industry didn’t adapt to new technologies and we knew we had to do something about it.
How did you raise startup capital?
I don’t believe in startup capital. What entrepreneurs have to do is build businesses, get traction and then attract investment. We worked on our business for two years until we got proof of concept and then we managed to obtain investment capital.
Describe your business model and how you make money?
We are the world’s first online digital accountant. We offer accounting/tax/payroll/compliance and company registration services to clients in an affordable, efficient and transparent manner.
What challenges has the business faced and how did it overcome them?
For entrepreneurs, there are daily challenges. Being an entrepreneur is challenging in nature. The only way to overcome these challenges is to persist and to keep pushing for what you believe in. If you do this consistently, you will eventually come out on top.
What was the business’s first big breakthrough?
I don’t believe in breakthroughs. Making a success of your business takes years of hard work. You need to focus on achieving small victories through consistent dedication and persistence. Entrepreneurs’ success comes from doing what others cannot or will not do. If you consistently work hard, your small victories will lead to bigger things. One of my favourite quotes on success is:
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time”Steve Jobs.
What online tools/apps is business using daily?
We created our own tools and apps because we are a software development company. We build our own unique system, from custom-built CRM systems to task management systems. This is what makes our business unique. We are the only company in the world with this system. Furthermore, we have integrated with other tech companies with the aim to enhance both their systems and ours.
What marketing strategy has proven profitable for your business?
Digital marketing is cost-effective and you can actively measure results. Google ads and Facebook marketing are the two biggest platforms to use in South Africa.
What remains a challenge for your business today?
Businesses will always face challenges. When you overcome one, you can be sure bigger ones are coming. Entrepreneurs shouldn’t focus on avoiding challenges, they should embrace them because they can learn to use those challenges to your advantage.
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