Luyanda Tshiqi founder of Liplanka Home and Liplanka Recreational chats to us about his business venture. By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
I work with timber to create custom made wooden items. This includes cars and space ships for kids, tables, picnic pallets and other items that my customers ask me to make. My inspiration to start this business came from observing and supervising refurbishment projects at home. It was frustrating to watch it unfold unsatisfactorily, and I decided to take matters into my own hands. My first attempt was installing new kitchen cupboards in my home, and to my surprise it turned out beautifully. I shared the images of it on social media, and from then on people asked for my services. This is how my business started, and so far the support I’ve been receiving continues to help my business grow.
As the founder of this business I wear many hats. I do customer consultations to make sure that I know exactly what they want. I then design, measure, source raw materials and calculate the overall costs. I also do marketing, price reviewing and customer relations.
Being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of challenges. Working capital is limited, and I spend a lot of time negotiating lower prices with suppliers which is often time consuming. I constantly work under pressure because I have to deliver on what the customer wants, and exceed their expectations. Competing with big business is also one of my biggest challenges, but I choose to work hard and remain focused.
I’m confident that my business will continue to grow. Thinking about the future is more exciting than thinking about my challenges. I believe that I’m on the right track and with dedication, my business will grow.