1. Can you please tell us more about your business?
A. Websterbiz Consulting (PTY) Ltd is a 100% female-owned business consultancy that carries a level one BEE status, founded by Kim Webster and Ruth Webster. After working as independent consultants, the pair (who are also sister-in-law’s) joined forces to register Websterbiz Consulting.
Based in Cape Town South Africa, Websterbiz Consulting brings their collective skills spanning 40 years; ranging from private, public and NGO sectors to offer Strategy Consulting, PR & Communications, Training & Development, Leadership Coaching, Transformation and Governance advisory services. With client footprints both locally and internationally, the business is centered around the values to which we hold dear: Passion, Efficiency, Commitment, Service to others, Lead with courage.
2. When, how and why did you start your business?
A. WebsterBiz Consulting started in September 2020 at a time when economies were really in a state of flux. This fuelled our desire to provide a consultancy that takes on projects that truly matter. We wanted it to be one that supports companies that may need to make changes to their business models or business offerings as a result of Covid-19, to help explore options and solutions that could enable these companies to remain afloat.
Equally close to our hearts was to become involved in social impact projects and grassroots initiatives that are highly developmental in nature; that shift people along to living better lives. To date we achieve this through our strong collaborations and partnerships developed over the years.
3. What is your role in the business?
A. My role is focused on providing Training and Coaching solutions that support the clients that we serve; by ensuring that the content is current and relevant and carries a future readiness dimension. I am also responsible for the administrative aspects of the business and together we all make ongoing daily efforts to promote new business opportunities.
4. Where did you study and what did you study?
A. My passion for people development led me to pursue the studies I did. I completed a degree in HR, with a specialisation in Training and Development at the North West University. I then enrolled for a Postgraduate diploma in leadership studies and then went on to enroll for a Masters’s in Coaching, also at Stellenbosch University.
5. How did you finance your business?
A. Working remotely, we found, supported a low cost business model right from the outset. As a smaller, service driven business, we have managed to steer clear of needing to seek funds. We also both had physical resources that provided the platform we needed to start and could sustain incremental growth in the short to medium term.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
A. We are deliberate in connecting every morning and discussing plans and tasks for the day that lies ahead. What we have found is that this consolidates our efforts and enables everyone to have a good idea of what is taking place amongst all the moving parts. We also do get out from time to time for in-person engagements.
7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?
A. It needs to be a conscious activity on my behalf as working from home has blurred the lines somewhat, so I need to remain aware of this all the time. As a family, we do try and make use of weekends to catch up and spend quality time together. The plus side is that working from home allows me to see my kids and connect when they come home from school.
8. What drives you and inspires you?
A. I am driven by my personal motto which states: “I want to be where I am needed to make a difference.” Both Kim and I place a high value on people development in all its forms, so we seek out opportunities and projects that uplift and deliver tangible impact.
9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
A. They generally happen at any time. Sometimes one thought gives rise to another, or, if something feels like a pain point I try to think through solutions to these. I tend also to be a dreamer, so often I have to curb the direction my dreams sometimes tend to steer me towards, particularly in terms of weighing up what is practical and what is not. Working as a partnership, this strengthens the ability to provide ideas and solutions that are more robust and are well thought through.
10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?
A. We make use of social media platforms extensively. We also market ourselves on active business directory platforms both locally and abroad, where potential leads would be able to locate our company details. We have also tapped into utilising marketing tools that are available via Google. As part of our daily targets, we conduct online and in-person business introductions and continuously tap into our existing and extended business networks.
11. What is next for your business?
A. We certainly want to become a trusted, thought partner of choice, the “go to consultancy” where clients obtain a level of value that exceeds their expectations. We ourselves want to be sustainable, practice good business sense that allows us to grow and in so doing support the growth and sustainably of our clients long into the future.
12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
A. I think find your niche product or service and ensure that there is a constant and growing demand for it. Research extensively, face the facts honestly, seek wisdom from mentors and seasoned industry experts (especially women entrepreneurs) that can guide you. For me, my faith in God carries and strengthens me, so I pray all the time.
Obtain the support of your immediate loved ones and ensure that this is what they too are ready for. Try to avoid debt at all costs. There are moments you may stumble at times, but it does not mean you have fallen, keep going forward. Get a coach to support you as this is definitely a journey of growth. Practice daily gratitude for every accomplishment made, no matter how small – celebrate everything. Ask for advice, there are many programs women entrepreneurs can enroll in and initiatives that support women-owned businesses. Finally, make time to relax and recharge.
Ruth is a curious life-long learner, passionate about people development, eager to see the success and prosperity of future generations. Her peers call her a collaborative thinking partner as she continually seeks opportunities to contribute toward innovative future-readiness practices in the public, private, and community sectors that will deliver on social good and human progression.
Her 23 years’ experience has been gained in Local government, the Parliament of South Africa, Datacentrix, and accounting firm Ernst & Young. Her 13 years spent in Parliament included a career progression out of the ICT sector into HR and organizational transformation and workforce future-readiness.