The death of a business dream is painful. It can destroy your self-esteem, create doubt, fear that it will happen again, and in some cases, it can cause depression. But Mbulelo Nquru proved that the death of one dream can make way for the birth of something new, something stronger, and something that will last.
Mbulelo was forced to close Courierzone in 2012 because it was not financially viable. Real life intruded and he needed to pay the bills. So, he found a job in construction, but even this could not quench his entrepreneurial flame. He took this time to learn more about the courier industry – he studied successful business models and considered the options available to him. “This period of assessment was invaluable,” Mbulelo said. It revitalised him and gave him the impetus to try again.
A year after closing his business and going back to the drawing board Mbulelo’s wife, Nwabisa Nquru, resigned from her full-time job in HR and came on board to manage the admin. This reignited the flame and energised Mbulelo to relaunch Courierzone in Aliwal North in the Free State and later, the Eastern Cape. He partnered with other courier companies in these areas to broaden his reach and deliver a more effective service to his clients. Six years later, he is able to offer six people employment. His strategy paid off.
Last year, Courierzone caught the attention of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme, a business development initiative. It provides small business owners with essential skills and tools that will empower them and help them grow their businesses. The two-year programme provides each entrepreneur with a mentor, the chance to attend business workshops, and business support from a passionate team. Mbulelo’s mentor, Clifford Mokhuane, is a professional accountant and tax practitioner who has over 20 years’ experience in enterprise development.
Clifford praised the turnaround strategy: “Mbulelo is driven and very passionate about the courier industry. This, together with his reliability, ability to spot opportunities and position himself correctly, have been the key drivers in him delivering a quality service that has seen growth in the number of enquiries and referrals.
“The area of the Eastern Cape that he services is vast and has proved to be tricky for the big players in the industry, this built a very strong case for collaboration with wholesale couriers. Mbulelo’s strategy remains his ability to persuade these courier companies to improve their efficiencies and cut costs if they utilise Courierzone for local collections and deliveries.
“Many companies now want to deal with him because of the good reviews his company is receiving from satisfied customers. FedEx is one of the companies who are considering working directly with Courierzone.”
Part of running a successful business requires constant evaluation of processes and systems. Last year Mbulelo was robbed twice. “Rather than see this as a setback, I used it as an opportunity to beef up security at my warehouse and install CCTV cameras,” he said.
Then he turned his attention to customer service and installed Freightfocus, a parcel tracking software. “My clients are now able to track their parcel from the moment it’s collected until it is delivered safely and in one piece to their door.”
But he is not done yet. Mbulelo carries his hopes, dreams and aspirations with him every day. They help him put one foot in front of the other until he has achieved his ultimate goal to be one of the best courier companies in the world.
About the company:
Courierzone provides courier services in the Eastern Cape and Free State. They collect freight daily from different cities and redistribute it from their Aliwal North depot. To find out more, you can call them on 051 633 4358, email them or visit their Facebook page.