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Wicus Van Biljon

WICUS VAN BILJON  OF BUSINESS DOCTORS

What was your first job after leaving school/further education?

Financial  Manager

When did you start your business & what prompted you to do it?

We started our original business in South Africa in March 2007 mainly due to my daughter thinking I worked at the airport as I was away so often. We grew and scaled that business eventually exciting in March 2017 when we relocated to Scotland.

My current business was again a transition as I thought that employment would be my most likely option but I found that recognising attitude, capability, behaviour as well as  transferable skills ranked very low on Employers expectation especially where applicant tracking systems are involved as industry experience seemed to be the dominant factor in recruiting employees.

I remembered my own journey as an entrepreneur and thought it would be great if I could help other companies grow and scale by having someone to bounce ideas off and ensuring the basics of business is done well.

What did you find most challenging at the beginning?

Having no natural network in Scotland proved challenging as I had no track record here and had to build a new network. In addition, I think that generally there is a lot of skepticism surrounding the value I can deliver as I experienced that business remain skeptical until they start implementing the roadmap.

Who did you as for advice & why did you chose them?

I have a group of trusted friends and mentors that I surround myself with. I chose them as they share similar values and they have no vested interest so I can rely on a truthful assessment of circumstances and scenarios. 

How did you fund your business?

I funded my business with a combination of debt and own money as gearing does play a role especially when you start a business and it also helps with financial discipline. 

What would you do differently now looking back?

I know hindsight is a perfect science, but I also believe that if we want to learn we have to experience hardships, make mistakes and have some failures as this helps develop us but more importantly it teaches and prepares us for the future. In my own journey failures and mistakes has often been the catalyst to change and doing things differently so I would not do anything differently.

What or who has helped you to grow your business the most?

Applying the principles, I help business engrain in their organisations consistently in my own operations. Understanding the value my business delivers to other organisations and leveraging that. I understand my client’s needs and requirements, and these are constantly changing therefore I constantly must change as well.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?

Moving to another continent and starting another start-up in another continent where I had no natural network hard.

What are the future plans for your business?

A team of 4 or 5 Business Doctors across Scotland supporting businesses to grow and scale.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?

Have a plan not just something you write for the banks or funders but something that is concrete and measurable that you refer to regularly and that you change as you move along this journey. Plan your Cashflow using worse case as a basis to start and make sure you have enough. 

Tell us something about you that isn’t commonly known.

I used to be a Latin American and Ballroom dancer before it became popular on Strictly

And finally, why did you join WeDO?

The opportunity to join like-minded entrepreneurs on a business journey. I learn so much from the various people I meet, and it is just interesting getting to know different people.

 

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about WeDO Scotland membership, click HERE.