by Fred Roed on 12/07/11 at 11:47 am
This morning we’re chatting to Jody Aufrichtig, serial entrepreneur behind Grand Daddy Hotel, Old Biscuit Mill and the Old Mac Daddy Trailer Park. Now, together with Kulula.com, Jody’s parenting another start-up in the entrepreneurial mix: Daddy’s Deals, a site that offers ridonkulous deals with a (slight) difference.
Jody, from hotels to daily deals – how did this come about?
My main business is actually property and private equity – Hotels is just one of the investments we have made. The idea for Daddy’s Deals was introduced by my brother Daniel – the business model was sound – the partnership with Kulula fantastic and we have a loyal customer base who enjoy the products and services we offer.
It seems that SA is experiencing a deluge of deal sites – from AllDeals to Zappon – where does Daddy’s Deals fit into this mix, and more importantly, how does it differentiate?
We are not a group buying site – quite simply we offer great value services and products for sale (on- line) to our customer base. We don’t require deals to tip. We don’t bombard our customers with daily e-mails ( we offer 2 promotions per week with 3 deals per promotion) so it’s highly likely you will find a deal that appeals to you on each promotion. We are local (in partnership with Kulula.com) and we also spend a lot of time doing a thorough due diligence with our merchants before taking a deal on board.
Old Biscuit Mill is a great success – where did the idea come from?
We purchased the Old Pyatts Biscuit Factory in Woodstock – it was really run down and in a bad state. We believed in the area and believed we could restore the beautiful buildings to create The Old Biscuit Mill.
Where are SA entrepreneurs placed on a global scale? Are we in the same league as UK or US entrepreneurs – or do we have a long way to go?
A long way to go – we need to think more global and be more confident but we have the skills and ability in South Africa to become major players in our niche markets( specifically Africa)
From being in the hotel business, what are your thoughts on the lag in tourism to SA? Do you feel that we’re coming out of it or should we prepare for tough times ahead?
I’m amazed that other operators did not see this coming an plan accordingly – look for new markets, be more dynamic in their service offerings. I believe we are still in for 2 tough years in hospitality.
Give us your one golden piece of advice to young SA entrepreneurs?
I have more than one. Here are 12 pieces of advice I gave at a talk 2 month ago:
1. If you are passionate about an idea or concept – believe in it and don’t give up – regardless of how many times you are told it won’t work or how much red tape is in the way – I had 17 rejections from Cutoms when importing the caravans but got no 18 right.
2. Another one the Accountants might not like is, Forget P & L’s and Income Statements – Watch Cash – do cash flow forecasts – look at the bank balance
3. Rainy day account – keep a 32 days rainy day account and save every week by transferring cash into that account
4. Don’t sign monthly commitment contracts – rather save up and pay
5. Don’t take anything personally – this is easy to say and more difficult to implement but if you can get this right it will go a long way
6. Empower staff – my belief is if a staff member does something wrong – it’s my fault – they either haven’t been guided properly or trained – so we always empower our staff to make decisions and support their decision even if it’s wrong.
7. No Hierarchies – always be available and have an open door policy
8. Something I learnt that’s so important that so many get wrong is – Don’t be greedy – let someone else make a profit – there’s enough for everyone – otherwise you will always end up owning 100 % of nothing or be known as a greedy old person
9. Have fun – must enjoy what you do
10. Take a chance or you’ll never know
11. Brochures / Web Sites – be Visual – great graphics –need to remember not everyone speaks English but nearly everyone understand a picture.
12. You need to surround yourself with people that are uplifting, positive and the best at what they do in their field. You can’t do all the work yourself.
13. Do things properly – Don’t jippo or shmoggel cash -if you do it will become endemic in your company – you will lose in the long run
14. Lastly – Think GLOBAL
Wow, talk about good value! That’s above and beyond, thanks Jody. There are some great nuggets in that list. Ideate readers, go and check out the Daddy’s Deals website and let us know what you think.
Fred Roed is the marketing guy in the Ideate crew. Fred is the CEO of web marketing company World Wide Creative and the co-founder of online learning portal Heavy Chef. Fred loves writing about people out there doing marketing right. Follow Fred on Twitter here. View more articles by Fred Roed.