THE MICRO-ENTERPRISE BRIEF
As a group we have been given the task of carefully selecting an informal micro-enterprise that operates in Cape Town. From this small business we need to ask a range of questions in order to investigate and identify the opportunities that are available to the business as well as where and how these opportunities could be improved. As a group the business we selected the flower stalls in Trafalgar Place on Adderley Street. This turned out to be a very interesting business to interview because although it seems that it is just one big stall selling flowers it’s actually comprised of several stalls. There are around 15 different stall owners who are actually all related. The family business has been running for over 150 years. We interviewed two ladies, Poppy who has been working there for over 50 years and Delia who has now been working there for 30 years. Delia has been working there since she was 15 years old and has seen many things in her time there. The way she came into this earth is almost as unique as she is, she was born in the days of the “horse and carriage” as she explained to us in and was born into a banana box. She shared with us her experience about nearly giving birth in the middle of Trafalgar Place because, she explained that she did not want to waste time and sit around in a hospital waiting to go into labour, so instead she continued her day to day job at the flower stall until the very last minute when she was rushed to hospital to have her second child. Poppy and Delia are cousins, Poppy lives in Kalk Bay and Delia lives in Grassy park, where she travels from every day in her Bakkie. The dynamics behind this family business are way more complicated than what meets the eye. Poppy tells us that the minimum price that all that the flowers should be sold for is R20 but Delia does not believe this should be the case so when a customer approaches the flower sellers and Poppy offers them a beautiful bunch of roses for R20 Delia will offer the same bunch for 10 if the customers buy in bulk. So there is no set price as to how much the flowers should be sold for because it is every man for himself out there, but if they see a customer willing to spend some money they are also not scared to raise their prices. They courier their flowers from Johannesburg whenever new stock is needed. Most of their flowers are old by Saturday through and so they need to get more in for the Monday. The flowers are also seasonal so their orders are dependent on the time of year due to the seasons of some of their flowers as well as occasions such as Valentine’s Day. So during the week of valentines they order a lot more roses than anything else. Over the Easter period the flower in demand is the Protea. During times such as mother’s day however there is no particular demand for a certain flower, everything sells. Overall though they stock a lot of roses and lilies because they are available throughout the year. When it comes to their customer segmentation they have several groups. They have their regular customers who come to the on a timely basis to purchase their flowers. These are the customers that they will never give old flowers to because of their loyalty. Their biggest clients at the moment are the black females who they said come all the time and are not shy to spend large amounts of money on their flowers, they explained to us that white people used to be their best customers but what they have noticed is their black customers are a lot more willing to spend money. They often receive bulk orders for occasions such as wedding and funerals. Their only form of advertising is Delia has made a few business cards which she sometimes gives out to new customers if they request it. This is because they don’t believe they need to advertise because everybody already knows about them and what they do. Delia explained that she has been interviewed on several occasions by radio stations and news presenters....
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