1. Can you please tell us more about your business?
A. Suzette is the founder and owner of RedMatchstick.com, a platform from which to ignite small businesses. Today, Suzette Bouwer is proud to describe herself as a ‘Southern African Small Business Marketing Enabler’. She identified the need to empower like-minded women and men, take them by the hand to show how to embrace the power of modern technology, guiding them to step up and build their own legacies.
2. When, how and why did you start your business?
A. In 2004 at the height of my career in the hotel industry, working for the Saudi Arabian owned Rani Resorts we were opening luxury lodges in Mozambique and travelling the world to travel trade shows. It came to an abrupt halt when we were on our way to lunch one day and a lady turned in front of us, t-boned her car and I fractured my spine. I suddenly found myself unable to keep up with my colleagues and decided to work for myself. After a couple of failed attempts at various ideas, I decided I needed to upskill and went back to “school” at a mature age.
3. What is your role in the business?
A. I am the owner and creator.
4. Where did you study and what did you study?
A. I studied Social Science (Psychology) at the University of Capet Town and 10 years later completed a Marketing Certificate at WITS Business School.
5. How did you finance your business?
A. Self-financed with hard work and tech-savvy scruples.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
A. I am NOT an early bird and take at least 30 mins in the morning to connect with the Universe, meditate, do my prayers and work with Angel Messages. Once I am ready to tackle the world I get dressed up and take my 2-minute commute to my office.
My days vary but a few ground rules apply. Coffee and a few minutes with my four-legged children. Once at my desk, I “Eat the Frog” first and get the 1 or 2 grungy tasks of my TO DO LIST. I create and schedule social media content one day a week so that it is done and does not distract me on other days. I coach clients online or at their offices a few days a week.
Appointments are reserved for afternoons so I get work done when I am at my peak. I present marketing workshops on Wednesdays. I attend networking meetings at least once a month. 4 pm is walkies – not negotiable according to the youngest! Close the day with a sundowner and catch up with hubby before dinner. Colouring-in is my favourite ‘waste of time’ while he watches TV and way to disconnect! I have to note that too much routine kills my creativity!
7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?
A. I make time for hubby, dogs, and friends at the end of my workday. I try to take weekends off. If the one-week day gets take-up by visitors or personal occasions, I forgo a Saturday or Sunday to catch up.
I make sure I spend a few minutes every day walking around my garden and sitting grounded, flat on the lawn to catch my breath.
8. What drives you and inspires you?
A. Empowering clients and watching the light bulbs ignite as I show my “How” to do marketing and embrace the necessary technology avoiding overwhelm and feeling ‘stupid’ (their word almost every single time we start out working together!).
9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
A. After meditation in my morning shower!
10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?
A. I practice what I preach. Social media helps people get to KNOW-LIKE-TRUST you; then nurture prospects with email marketing, offering huge value. I build my reputation with Testimonials and, Networking is a critical offline marketing tactic. I offer to give talks to inspire start-ups and small business owners whenever I get the opportunity.
11. What is next for your business?
A. A plug and play marketing coaching program to help small business get their gift out to the world without delay or painful waste.
12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
A. Set yourself up for a win! Start as a side-hustle and have fun but work hard testing your business idea thoroughly. The extra effort and hours will pay off handsomely. This reduces pressure and cuts the learning curve when you have to fund yourself.
Suzette Bouwer is the owner and creator of RedMatchstick. Following a marketing career with hotel groups across southern Africa, Suze studied digital marketing to avoid becoming extinct. As she became a modern marketing expert, she realised her passion lies in giving others a road map to navigate their way to marketing success, avoiding the delays and pitfalls she experienced. Suze is a small business coach, marketing enabler and content creator. Suze has been nominated for a Women of the Year Award, she is a finalist among young, lovely techies.
HOW TO FIND SUZE
Cell: 073 274 1120