Cindy Nell-Roberts might be best known for being crowned Miss South Africa in 2002, and placing as second runner-up at the Miss Universe pageant a year later, but many don’t know that she’s also a successful businesswoman.
Together with her husband, Clive Roberts, and a brilliant team, she runs a successful beauty-product company, Cosmetix. If you love Essence, Catrice and Caribbean Tan products (to name a few) as much as we do, you have Cindy and her team to thank for making them readily available in the country!
We asked Cindy to share some of her business insights with us. Watch the video and find out what she has to say about starting a business and being a woman in business.
5 business tips from Cindy Nell-Roberts
1. Do your homework. A great idea is nothing without an understanding of how other people will react to it. You don’t want to spend money on an idea just to discover the market isn’t ready for it, or there’s simply no demand.
2. Start small. Don’t spend all your savings setting up an office and building an expensive website, and then sit back and wait for your customers to come. Work from home and tap into your immediate circle first to see if your idea sells. If they don’t support it, go back to the drawing board.
3. Keep overheads low. Be everything from the deliveryman to the CEO. Poor cash flow is often what kills start-ups.
4. Innovate, innovate, innovate! The world is hungry for new ideas, so there’s no reason to mimic anyone else’s concept. By all means, research all of your competitors and what works for them, but do it to identify what you can improve on.
5. Put in the hours. If you’re a great designer but can’t manage admin, you won’t go far. The admin — accounts, sales, marketing, research and so on — has to be done to make your designs sell. In the end it’s hard work that leads to success; you have to put in the hours and make sacrifices.
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