“We are all getting online - it’s a phenomenal opportunity for business owners”
In this podcast, we’re joined by Judy van Niekerk, A serial business-owner across many sectors. Judy’s made sure she’s at the cutting-edge of technology all the way through and her two current businesses - working with entrepreneurs and retail traders on a global level - were fortunate to be online when 2020’s disruption hit. But she still needed to adapt and pivot them to respond to the pandemic.
Covid has changed many things, including business language and the way companies have to respond to real fears and changed mindsets. But in this great chat, Judy talks about the potential for this to change the paradigm, for people to reevaluate their lives, and change the work they work. As she says, the recurrent lockdowns provide an opportunity to build deeper relationships with clients, to expand areas of business and to review business processes.
While tech is vital to her businesses, Judy explains that banking has remained quite manual. Could it be time to see how automation can help?
Find out more about the Amaiz business app and its payments, bookkeeping and accounting features and how they support small business at https://amaiz.com/features/
Judy Van Niekerk
Jake Shaw, Judy Van Niekerk
Jake Shaw 00:01
Hello and welcome to the Amaiz podcast where we talk to businesses large and small experts in subjects across a spectrum of business, entrepreneurial ism tech, innovation, investment and finance. I'm Jake Shaw, your host. If you'd like to learn more about Amaiz, please go to www.amaiz.com.
Jake Shaw 00:23
I'm here with the Amaiz podcast and I'm joined by Judy van Niekerk. Judy runs an interesting business. So Judy, could you tell us in one paragraph what your business is all about what it's called, and what it's all about.
Judy Van Niekerk 00:36
Right? So I've got two that run pretty much simultaneously. One is the GTV, where I work with entrepreneurially minded people to become financially empowered, so that they can have the freedom that was brings. The other one is the tribe of traders, which we make traders, profitable retail traders profitable from all over the world, to using our unique approach to trading. So in a nutshell, that's what I do. And I'm very lucky that it's online as well.
Jake Shaw 01:03
Indeed, under these current circumstances, so give me a bit of a background on yourself. How did you arrive at what you're doing now?
Judy Van Niekerk 01:10
Well, it's quite hilarious, actually. Because I was fired from every job I ever had. So I had no choice but to do my own thing. That was like 25 years ago. And in those days, we didn't call it entrepreneurship, we just call it starting a business. Yeah, it was it was quite different. And the very first business I ever started was called company was a business. So called dialer, Teddy. And in those days, you didn't have internet, you didn't have internet banking. Yeah, when you wanted to get anything designed, it was massive, it was massive as massive expenditure. So what I used to do is I used to handle my posters, get partners on board like florists and liquor stores and stuff like that. And, yeah, that that was my first business ever. And those days, people would telephone your home. And or if you weren't there, leave a message on an answering machine. And I would give them bank details, and they would actually pay and then fax me the proof of payment. It was very different to what it is today. And anyway, since then, I've gone on to do to have hygiene businesses and wine businesses and property businesses. From all through I've been in agriculture, bricks and mortar, and all the way through now to having started these online businesses, two or three years ago. Yeah. So it's been quite an evolution. And technology has been incredible in helping me go because like when I started one of my many of my previous business, like the hygiene and the wine business, they required massive capital input. Whereas nowadays, you can create an online business getting back to six figures very quickly, with no capital input. So the opportunities today are just unbelievable.
Jake Shaw 02:50
I absolutely agree. I mean, it's in some ways, there's never been a better time to start a business has it? So maybe this Coronavirus, lockdown will be the birthing of many new businesses I really hope and pray that's the case,
Judy Van Niekerk 03:02
I really do believe it is I think it's going to change the paradigm and which we see work, right? I think it's going to put a dent in the whole nine to five construct, and people are going to become more aware of one what it is they actually want out of life because you've got more, this is an opportunity for people to reevaluate their life. Because they have time, what is the biggest thing that we crave at the moment, more than anything, normally, it's time, we have that time. And on top of that, we have the silence as well. So we've got no distraction, or very little distractions. So now's the time people are going to be really, really looking in the mirror and thinking, what is it that I want out of life is this drudgery? nine to five? Is that what I really want? Says be interesting to see what comes out of it. So people are having this line of inquiry. What is it I want start exploring different ways and we are all getting online. I mean, this whole thing, this social distancing, that's a it's dare I say it's a farce. It's physical distancing, not social, because we are social beings. And I will put it to you that people are being more social now than ever before. I mean, look at look at social media, look at the zoom meetups people are having people are more connected now. Socially, I think then the nerve, why one client who had a zoom with 16 of his mates all at once back from back home in Eastern Europe. So he's here in London, in I'm saying, when's the last time he did that last time you would have actually ever spoken to him is on a one to one basis when he was back home. You know, so we're more social now what business ideas are kind of birthed from that?
Jake Shaw 04:42
I went to the pub with a group of colleagues from London via Google Hangouts on our drinks delivered so I got a local brewery, very good because it called the Frome Brewing Company and had a big barrel of beer with me. And I sat there for an hour just drinking with them. And it was kind of great because I didn't have to get a taxi.
Judy Van Niekerk 05:09
And you know what is rewarding, isn't it, having these meetups online is rewarding is one of the things I'm actually doing. The opportunity this has created for me is to get really my deeper level of connection with my clients is we're having informal huddles virtual huddle. So we get together and we're on the zoom and we like just talk about stuff, nothing to do money about wealth building or trading. We're talking about life, the universe and everything, you know, sort of, I think it's a phenomenal opportunity for business owners as well, to are online to create multiple touchpoints to create that sense of connection. That is, somewhat historically, and I'm going to talk historically, last because there's that when you as soon as you think about online, you think it's cold, it's non-personal. But it doesn't have to be like that you can actually create multiple touchpoints with your clients build a really strong connection without ever actually physically meeting them.
Jake Shaw 06:10
I completely agree. And I think it's going to unlock a load of opportunities. But tell me about business banking, how are you using those tools?
Judy Van Niekerk 06:18
To be honest with you, our business is cutting edge in terms of technology, my banking is not my banking is online, obviously, as little as possible, do I have direct debits or standing orders only when it's absolutely essential. So that means that one day out of my month, for sure, is spent on making payments, checking, checking my invoices paid and my payments out. And checking the direct debits came off. So I'm very manual, even though my business is I tech, my actual bookkeeping side is quite manual. We have an accountant and he does they do the quarterly management accounts. So I send all our receipts and invoices to them. And data because all our payments received are either with stripe or PayPal. So those details go to them. And they're trying to get us to use an app to capture the receipts,
Jake Shaw 07:15
Amaiz can solve that one for you. Their app has an AI element that will even categorise the receipts. And it's very easy to use, because it's actually taking time out of your week, isn't it?
Judy Van Niekerk 07:27
Jake Shaw 07:28
And I'm assuming you're actually issuing invoices through the business software, not through the banking anyway.
Judy Van Niekerk 07:35
Correct? Yes, yes. Yes. So a lot of our because we are online, a lot of our in, in invoicing, a lot of our payments are automated. So through our CRM system and the payment gateway, how
Jake Shaw 07:50
do you people usually pay you
Judy Van Niekerk 07:51
so normally they pay us through online through our website, or our online pages, we use two different payment gateways. And so that's how normally people pay occasionally we will have we will invoice them. And when I do invoice them, I invoice them through PayPal.
Jake Shaw 08:07
So have you ever forgotten to invoice somebody?
Judy Van Niekerk 08:10
Yes, I have. Yeah. So very specifically, if it's online, and they click on a link, and it goes to that sort of process, then the system looks after that. But what you need to do there is to keep on top of ensuring that the actual payments came in, because we don't get notification that the payment failed. So it's a manual process to go and check the
Jake Shaw 08:31
Amaiz will notify you when a payment has been made
Judy Van Niekerk 08:34
When I do sort of the more bespoke ones, and it might be a payment plan. It'll be more of an admin side error on my side.
Jake Shaw 08:41
I'm assuming you don't take contactless payments.
Judy Van Niekerk 08:44
Not yet. Actually, I actually paid somebody yesterday last night using complex contactless I thought was interesting. I've never come up I'd heard of it. But I've never come across it before. So it's something I definitely want to investigate. I think it's I think there's a lot of benefits in it.
Jake Shaw 09:01
Are you using this lockdown as a method or a time to review your business processes?
Judy Van Niekerk 09:08
Oh my gosh, 100%. Yes, hundred percent from many different angles. Okay, one of them is an opportunity to build a deeper relationship with my clients. That's an absolute given. And I'm already seeing the results of that. So that's the one massive opportunity. The other side of it is an opportunity to look at capitalizing areas of where I'm working that I've always wanted to go to, to expand into but haven't. And now I'm actually getting the opportunity to do that. So for example, I have a book that was written for entrepreneurship. And now I'm tweaking it now for specifically to deal with getting through this time period this time, but also it will have as much value as we come out. Have it as during it. Having tweeted, so, so yeah, the opportunities are just an unbelievable, you know, go for shower, when I get out of the shower, I'm exhausted, because the thoughts going racing through my head is is just something else. There's just so many opportunities right now.
Jake Shaw 10:18
Do you expect to be eligible for the government self-employment, small business allowances?
Judy Van Niekerk 10:23
Not at all No, no, I, we fall through the cracks there. But there's two things to that one. We are we have a limited company, and we pay pa ye. So we're directors of elemental company and we pay to So no, we're not covered? If we if the government were to turn around and say, Well, actually, yes, you are covered. And that's okay. You may follow and claim, I don't want to do that. I wouldn't want to do that. I want to work. I want to continue growing my business. I want to continue helping and serving my clients. I've absolutely no intention of contracting, I have every intention of expanding.
Jake Shaw 11:03
That's excellent. Right now, what are the challenges that you're facing because of this lockdown, because of COVID-19?
Judy Van Niekerk 11:10
Right, there's two-fold, actually, is people is fears real. And obviously, people are not going to be wanting to spend money as easily as or as freely as they were before. And that's going to have an impact on sales, right for us. But then for us as well. It's the challenge is using language that's appropriate. Because the language that you use during your normal course of events, is very different when you're in scary times. So and it's and it's making that transition, being sensitive to people's mindset and the reality of what people are experiencing and understanding that not everybody is as lucky as I am. You know, there are real there are real victims to this scenario. So, but the opportunity in that case is that I am online a lot more than I would I do a lot more Facebook Lives, I do a lot more huddle virtual handles and stuff with people who are not my clients. And if I'm helping them, that's great. It's wonderful. It's a fantastic opportunity for people to get to know me, because they may welcome clients when this is over, because it will be over. But so I think this is there's challenges but there's opportunities as well. And I'm certainly navigating that territory is learning to use the language of scary times, whilst at the same time being a support and offering a service. The typical sort of like copywriting or salesy type online salesy language is quite, is quite scarcity. It's like buy now buy now or us whatever, I think that is not appropriate for now, you need to be able to connect with your prospects on a level where they are able to comfortably decide if they want to work with you at that point in time or not. So, right now, ourselves might take a dip, so far not but they might. But one of the things that we will certainly get is built up rapport with a lot more people who may well become clients, you know, in time to come.
Jake Shaw 13:23
So do you feel you've had to pivot the business at all? Because of this situation?
Judy Van Niekerk 13:27
Oh, completely. Yes, because I have one. So challenge that I do five day challenge, which is a wealth breakthrough challenge. So which is extremely popular and very, very transformational. But who wants to know about wealth breakthrough right now. So what I'm actually doing is I've pivoted that whole thing to something quite different to using it as an opportunity, having a process where I work with people as an opportunity to reevaluate where they are at wherever they love to go to, and how to make that transition and how to actually start putting steps in right now today and tomorrow in lockdown. As to bring that in closer.
Jake Shaw 14:10
Judy, where do people find you?
Judy Van Niekerk 14:13
Two websites the one with Judyvee.com, That's where my various challenges and there's wealth, thermometer quizzes and all that is very interactive website. And then the other one is tribe of traders.com. Judy van Niekerk.
Jake Shaw 14:33
Thank you very much.
Judy Van Niekerk 14:34
Absolute pleasure. Thank you.
Jake Shaw 14:36
Thank you for listening. If you'd like to hear more podcasts like this, please go to www.amaiz.com and don't forget to like and share this podcast.