“Winning the TECNO SPARK Your Hustle competition could not have come at a better time for me and I’m so thankful for that. Winning the competition gave me a lot of debt relief and gave me an option to run my business as a business, because previously I used to use my sales from the sauce for everyday expenses.”
These were the first sentiments expressed by Florah, owner of Flo’s Sauce, when TECNO caught up with her to get an update on how things are going. Florah was named as the winner of TECNO’s SPARK Your Hustle competition last year, walking away with the grand prize of R80,000 to help with her entrepreneurial endeavour, as well as a TECNO SPARK smartphone (click here to watch the full event).
Aligning with TECNO’s slogan of ‘Stop at Nothing’, Florah has been continuously pushing to keep growing her business. Her main dream that she is still pursuing is to get her sauces into supermarkets.
Here’s the full Q&A with Florah, giving an update on what’s been happening since she won the TECNO SPARK Your Hustle competition.
In the past year, what have been some highlights/outstanding moments regarding your sauce business?
Besides winning the TECNO SPARK Your Hustle competition, I have been able to enhance my product by making it more appealing with some branding and getting sauce covers for the sauce so that I am able to give more surety of safety. And I plan to keep improving my product.
Have you seen an increase in sales or have you been recognised by more people because of the coverage from the competition win?
Winning the competition provided validation and credibility to my product, making my customers more trustworthy of my product. I have increased my sales from 15 – 20 bottles a month to 40 – 50 bottles a month. This gave me a 70% increase in revenue from last year.
You are still running the business as a side business while having a full time 9 – 5 job, rather than as your sole business. Do you plan to make the sauce business your only work in the future?
If the sauce business shows significant potential for growth and profitability, I would like to pursue it as a full-time venture. I am planning to add a new variety of sauces and my goal is to get it in stores.
What are the next couple of steps for you in your business?
Firstly, develop new sauces and flavors. One way to keep customers interested in a sauce business is to continually develop new and exciting flavours of sauces and that is my next step. Next would be to expand my distribution channels. I would like to partner with new retailers, wholesalers or restaurants to get the sauce in front of a broader audience.
Thirdly, would be investing in new equipment or building a larger manufacturing facility. I currently make my sauce from home, in my kitchen, and I normally make it in the evenings or on weekends. Finally effective marketing is crucial to the success of any business and I feel my sauce needs more marketing.
What differentiates your sauce from other sauces? What is the secret to success?
The fact that my sauce has multiple uses. You can use it as a sauce, for basting and as a dip. It also has a unique flavour profile. It’s a hot sauce with a hint of sweetness, which places it between a sweet chilli sauce and chilli sauce.
How did you find out about the SPARK Your Hustle Competition and why did you decide to enter?
I saw details about the competition on Instagram on Mohale’s Motaung’s page and decided to join and literally forgot about it. Little did I know that I would go on to be the winner.
Did you ever think that you would be named as the competition winner?
Not at all, I was so nervous, when I walked into the competition venue and saw all the talented participants, but I thought to myself, if I can just get my sauce into the judges’ mouths, I know they will love it because I have had no negative comments about the sauce from anyone.
You had your daughter join you at the awards ceremony last year. What was her response to you winning? And do you plan to have her involved in the business?
Having her there gave her the confidence to know that nothing is impossible. Some of the prize money went to paying for her school fees. She has always been helping from the inception of the sauce during Covid and I would take her along to do deliveries. She has always said as we walk through a supermarket such as Pick n Pay, “Mommy when will your sauce be on the shelf?” and that always gave me hope. Having her there was a great feeling and she talks about it to this day, especially because she uses the TECNO SPARK phone that I won for her school apps etc. So she benefited as well.
Anything else you would like to add about the competition experience or anything that’s happened since then?
The competition allowed me to test my skills and knowledge against others, receive feedback, and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, participating in the competition can lead to recognition. Since then, I have had more confidence in the product and the fact that it will grow to a point where I will dedicate my time to it as a full time job.
Those interested in buying sauces can place orders through WhatsApp on 061 099 7154 or through the Flo’s Sauce Instagram page (flos_sauce).
Keep an eye out on TECNO’s Facebook page for more competitions, promotions and chances to win.
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