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Supporting a family through self-employment

by | Nov 10, 2023

Supporting a family through self-employmentWhen a Money Makeover candidate has a small enterprise, we always start with separating business finances from personal finances. This is the only way to understand whether the business is making money and where the weaknesses are.

Raymond’s situation is all too common in South Africa, where youth unemployment is at over 40%. Struggling to find work and not having funds to complete his tertiary education, Raymond is aiming to support his family through self-employment.

Raymond has a subsistence farm, and a small food enterprise called The Back Yard, in Ngwelezane township near Empangeni. He has a passion and flair for food, creating mouthwatering meals, and was recently nominated for 1KZN TV Prestige Awards in the category for most innovative business.

However, he has been struggling to make the restaurant financially viable as he faces various challenges, including a lack of electricity.

Raymond worked with his Absa financial adviser Jacoline de Villiers to complete a household budget for his personal expenses to understand what he was spending. This helped him identify what salary he needed to pay himself from the business.

The next step was getting to grips with the business finance. “Keeping track of my spending is the best thing I have ever done – I can now see all the money going out and money coming in,” said Raymond, who was struggling with the bookkeeping.

In recognising that his skill was in the kitchen, he employed someone to take care of financial records. He has also hired someone to help in the kitchen to prepare meals.

Raymond then needed to focus on pricing. Using a simple food costing template available online, Raymond could calculate what each plate of food was costing him to produce.

“I have improved on my costings and keeping my records. Separating my personal and business expenses was the hardest thing, but now it’s just music to my ears. I have gained so much business knowledge and skills – I realise that knowledge is more valuable than money. This business is my last hope; I must do it correctly.

“A lot has changed since I started the Money Makeover challenge. I see things differently – I now can take the right business decisions.”

Head over to the Money Makeover website to read more about the challenges Raymond faces in his self-employment journey, and how he is addressing them.


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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

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