How an Entrepreneur Pivoted Under the Tough 2020 Lockdown Restrictions, From Weddings to Gifting, to Keep Her Business Flourishing

How an Entrepreneur Pivoted Under the Tough 2020 Lockdown Restrictions, From Weddings to Gifting, to Keep Her Business Flourishing

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Innovation is key when it comes to business success, especially when your business is operating right in the middle of a global pandemic! With hard lockdowns and uncertainty, the willingness to change the way things are done in your business becomes paramount. This is exactly what 28-year-old Cape Town-based full-time Professional Property Valuer and Businesswoman Nomahlubi Hewu had to do when she expanded her wedding planning business to gifting in order to keep her business thriving.

We spoke to her about how her business came about, self-care tips, and the importance of setting boundaries:

  • How did Planned come about and how did it evolve into a viable business?

Planned was founded in 2019 and encompasses Planned Gifts and Planned Weddings. I’m inspired by the endless possibilities that come with entrepreneurship and business in general.

Starting a business feels like giving a blank canvas to a painter.

During the start of the national lockdown, I realized I wouldn’t be able to plan any weddings or events as some clients postponed or canceled. I needed to diversify my income stream and at the same time, I still wanted to do something I love. That’s when I started Planned Gifts and the growth thus far has been phenomenal.

  • What is fulfilling about the work that you do?

I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart, even from high school. I always have a new venture up my sleeve. It’s become who I am, I love the thrill that comes with building something from the ground up and coming up with fresh ideas and strategies to take your business to the next level. It adds purpose to my life; knowing that I created something that puts a smile on someone’s face is fulfilling.

  • What are the key marketing strategies that have helped your business?

My initial marketing strategy was to create brand awareness, so we started out on social media and later a pop-up store. As the business grew, we collaborated with influencers from different backgrounds to leverage on their following and reach a wider audience.

I’ve learned the importance of having a unique selling point; know what makes your business different to the next.

I made sure I invest in packaging and branding because I understand that although there are other options for people to get flowers, we add a personal touch which is what makes our product really special from what you’d get at a regular gift shop. Lastly, giving exceptional customer and client experience. Prompt responses, quick turn-around times, high quality products – that’s what will win the client’s heart.

  • What business lessons have you learnt?

I have learned to respect myself in business. This means being able to treat my customers and clients with respect, being able to set boundaries on terms of engagement and on my products and services. This allows me to have a working model that I can confidently implement and practice. Also, consistency and great service go hand-in-hand.

  • What are your self-care tips for the IGC community? What routines help you refill your love tank?

I practice self-care by maintaining a fair work-life balance, I constantly review the amount of work I take on, the company I keep, places I visit and the content I consume.

I always try choose happiness and maintain a certain level of peace in my life.

  • How can people get a hold of your products / services?

Planned Gifts is an online-based gifting service, so we don’t have an actual store yet. We specialize in roses, gift boxes, balloons and other optional extras; all available for delivery in Cape Town.

We’re available on Instagram where we post our products, services and promotions regularly. We take orders and enquiries on WhatsApp, where you can also see our product catalogue and add items to your cart.

Instagram: @planned_gifts @planned_weddings
Planned Contact: +27 63 629 4552

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