Since he was a teenager, Richard Oosthuizen has dreamed about starting his own company and exploring the exciting world of entrepreneurship.
At the tender age of 16, he launched his first business venture and since then, has not stopped looking for ways to meet the needs of others by providing quality services and products.
Based in South Africa, Richard currently owns two companies and is always on the lookout for new tools that can help him raise awareness of his brands and create better marketing materials.
Just recently, he was researching for better ways to create professional slide decks when he came across Visme.
He found that as all-in-one visual content creation tool, Visme allows him to create both infographics and presentations without having having to subscribe to several different services or install any software.
We had a chance to interview Richard and find out a bit more about his experience with Visme. Here is what he had to say in his own words:
I have two companies: WSS Gardening and Explore Boldly.
Water Saving Solutions Gardening is a local company that is sourcing international products and services to fight against drought and water scarcity. Our services don't consist of the typical garden maintenance and care, but are geared more toward helping homes have a perfect garden while still helping the community save water.
I actually started this company when I was 16, for extra pocket money, but after tweaking our signature product a bit, the business grew 10-fold. We plan on franchising soon to other cities of South Africa and, hopefully, internationally soon.
Explore Boldly is a travel-based company that’s developing a platform to support travel research and bring our end-user experience to the forefront of our developing world. We want to unite the growing community of travelers with organizations through our collaborative platform to help fund campaigns and promote research and products in different niches to better understand how end users are adapting to the fast-paced growth of technology.
Any company these days needs to be plugged in and must be online in some way. And a lot of people say you don't need money to make money, which in a sense is true, but it helps makes things happen faster.
In my second year with WSS Gardening, which was known as GardenGrow, we didn’t have the resources to market effectively and build up a client base. This made us question the quality of our product because people weren’t recommending by word of mouth as much as we hoped. We broke even that year, but our main product had to get remade from scratch.
We tested the product, and our clients couldn’t be happier. But because we weren't doing much in terms of marketing at all, I started to teach myself. I created a Facebook page for GardenGrow and paid a mere $70 toward marketing in our geographic area. That year we finished with close to 300 clients and almost 1,400 products sold. The figures doubled last year.
With Explore Boldly, it's been a challenge to bootstrap it, as I did with WSS Gardening, but I believe after the platform is finished, it will have the same growth curve. There are always some things you sacrifice to chase an idea or dream. Like they say: “You only fail when you give up.”
I think it would be the ability to adapt to change and figure things out. I’m always thinking about ways to innovate and listening to clients, learning and trying to figure things out.
I also know that our service is the most important aspect. I get a bit edgy when we deliver late, get a follow-up call because an order wasn’t taken properly or a simple thing like forgetting a client's name. If it’s 1 bag or 50, that client must still feel that they got more value for their money than just an end product.
We are also highly focused on cost saving; shopping around for the best tools at a good price and keeping networking at the forefront so that our staff is always ready to do business at any time during the day. I had barbecues that ended up generating 3 to 5 clients. So don’t be afraid to share what you do passionately--a lot.
One day I was looking for royalty-free images when I saw two ads: one for Visme and another for NoteGraphy on Facebook. I checked out NoteGraphy to help with my creativity, and then I took a look at Visme.
I didn’t have any idea that tools like Visme existed and ideas started sparking in my brain like the 4th of July. I checked out similar tools, but their pricing plans were too convoluted and it felt like a job to use them. Visme seemed simple and clean, and I could feel that they were obsessed with their platform as much as I was about my businesses.
I used the platform to create two presentations and finished both in a week, whereas my previous one took me a month to complete. I also know how to use Photoshop and Illustrator but the simple-to-use features saved me so much time.
I like the easily customizable canvas size and the ability to use hundreds of assets and tools. I also enjoy the simple ability to edit fonts, add color and edit layers, as in Photoshop.
I also like how structured everything is; finding your projects and downloading is easy. Everything has its place and the interface is very intuitive.
It took me half a day to figure it all out and a week to familiarize myself with all the assets and elements. It just makes life a lot easier when you don't have to spend hours rotating a simple line or shape or editing opacity and correcting color backgrounds. It just works.
Definitely. I am currently trying to get my friend to pitch the idea to his company leaders. He is a district manager, and his superiors and coworkers constantly need to create presentations. I mentioned the team aspect to him, and after he saw how easily I was creating presentations, he was hooked.
Also, my close friends in similar industry work are all aware of this platform, and even my parents, who are not very familiar with the online world, love the projects I am creating with Visme. They also gave it a thumbs up.
I think it would be a huge leap in the right direction to have 3-D items that can be dragged and dropped onto the canvas areas. This would make it a lot easier to build all types of infographics.
All in all, it still has my 10/10 rating, and it's been my pleasure using your system.
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