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Nomsa Dlamini describes herself as an eternal optimist who passionately believes she can do anything if she sets her mind to it. With her highly energetic, sociable personality as well as being an actionable woman she believes that once she sets her mind on something, she would definitely do it and do it extremely well.

She is a go-getter and does not live with regrets and avoids the ‘what if’ mindset.
“Someone once said I’m a maverick, and with that I passionately believe that everyone should have the tools to give them the best chance of success in finding a rewarding purpose in life, she says.  “That is why I always share skills, knowledge and advice with my team so they can be better people and avoid poverty.
If you help one person succeed in life you are helping 10 more people and some background,” she adds.


Nomsa says she started her entrepreneurial journey after her academic studies in Business Management and a stint of computer science, where she also enhanced herself with a Prince 2 Project Management wanting to deepen her understanding of business and learn to apply it for the benefit of creating jobs for others. Her exposure to multiple work environments has helped her deeply to relate to people, economics and the markets.
“I’m very proud of my numerous business endeavours, I have tried business, failed, started again and I’m still at it, better this time and still learning and growing. STYLE got an opportunity to sit down with this business maverick to find out what has kept her dream alive for this long.

What aspirations do you have about life and entrepreneurship?
My life motto is everything is possible, my destiny is in my hands. As an entrepreneur, I don’t see problems instead I see solutions. My life is very colourful and never boring. I am always looking at the next project . There is just so much to do, so much to be achieved and so much change I can bring. Venturing into business was the best decision I made.
However, I have experienced great loneliness as an entrepreneur it is certainly not easy but the reward is so satisfying. I have set goals in life that I have achieved and always looking for the next big thing. I’m an eternal optimist even in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic I am confident I will come out stronger, wiser from the lessons learnt and still make it in business. It is simply your mindset will determine your outcome

Your level headedness about business has made your business center to be more than just a stationery shop and coffee shop, how do you do that?

When I started Café Dot Com I wanted to create an environment that provides all services that one could possible need in one space.  Café Dot Com is basically a one-stop business centre where you come in and leave fully assisted with all business services you might need. A lover of finer things in life, I created a business that I would also like to go to. A comfortable environment where I can work online, print documents, buy stationery or hold a meeting over a cup of coffee or just browse the internet at an affordable rate and not move around because everything is under one roof. My travels have exposed me to such environments which I wanted to bring to my country as well. I am passionate about technology, it is the future and I want to encourage my clients to realise that technology and bring solutions to their lives. Initially I thought this would not be easy especially when I opened the office in Nhlangano but I was pleasantly surprised by the response.

Did you see yourself come this far when your business was still a dream?

Yes of course I did and I am not even there yet. I dream big and I work hard to make my dreams come true. What I have achieved so far I can say is about 70 per cent of my dream for this business, the rest is still in the pipeline and will be fulfilled. I have faced challenges that have hindered the progress but I’m still pushing.
What encourages me is to getting request for partnerships with reputable organisations, this shows me that what I’m doing is recognised and attractive to others.
More often than not, women in business burn out after a few months stinting in business, what would you say is the most important aspect of running business?

By best advice to women in business is setting principles as a first step towards achieving success. I am who I am because I have learnt the principles of business and what I have accomplished is based on principles passed on by my parents. I try not to build life based on facts and techniques because those usually do not apply to every situation. Also the reality is that it can be very difficult to enter the market alone, I accepted the reality of a partnership with seasoned players in the market who have mentored me and support my business decisions. This is can be very helpful as I do not carry the burden alone because if I were on my own I’d easily burn out, resulting in business collapse.

Yeah, being a woman in business is quite a challenge. I’ve had to sacrifice some personal things and work extra hard too. Those who know me have observed the change in lifestyle and conduct. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, make time for professional networking, and continuous skill building. I am always learning new skills; I have to keep up with technology as it is ever evolving.

What gap did you identify in the industry that prompted you to do your kind of business?

I travel a lot; I like fine things and don’t like stress. I don’t see why we have to struggle to get what we want. I noticed there was not place in Eswatini that offered this kind of service so I started a business that would offer all services under one room. A business that also has a feel-good and look-good vibe. I know coffee goes well with working online, meeting place and some light snack. So I opened the first branch n Manzini. I then opened in Nhlangano after realizing there was no proper internet café’ yet there’s a huge demand for this service in the small town.

How has your business grown since you started it?

This is a tricky question to answer right now because we just made some changes that will affect future growth. We are at a stage where we had two branches which is Manzini and Nhlangano . Due to the ongoing lockdown and the effect of accumulating overhead expenses such as rent, utilities and salaries, while not making any income we have decided to downscale and shut one branch, Manzini.

Going forward we will operate from Nhlangano and hopefully reopen in Manzini once the economy improves.
This pandemic has forced me to make that call and make it quick before we drown in debt. It is unfortunate that we are affected at a time when the business was breaking even, I had acquired account customers and also partnerships with other organisations. Downscaling to me is not a hindrance, it will simply enable the business to grow and focus on areas that are raking in the money. Post-lockdown the focus will be to grow partnerships with the institutions we had started working with, revamp and offer better product to our clients.

What are some of the pitfalls that you have encountered along the way and how have you overcome them?

The lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest pitfall so far! As a person who keeps abreast with the world news I had to make a call to downscale because there’s no income we are making during this period, in fact since end of March and business has taken a serious knock. Café Dot Com is classified as non-essential which means we had to close doors and not operate. I have learnt that as an entrepreneurs I should not rely on Government but do expect our government to to create and environment for SMEs to develop. Right now I have to refine my expertise, ideas and service. Basically now is the time to reinvent the business in my industry to become more valuable.

What lessons have you learnt along the way?

Firstly I’ve learnt to make quick decisions. I’m braver and more able to make tough decision in the face of adversity. Secondly, I’ve learnt flexibility. Situations arise that require one to bend the rules a little, and this is necessary in order to avoid losing business and it has worked to both me and my clients’ advantage.

Any words of wisdom that you may give to people who may want to venture into a business?

Be brave and just start that business you want to start. Identify and refine your talent, skills and ideas, the world is evolving and transforming you need to keep up. Be keen and take advantage of changes brought about by technology and globalisation.

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