Raymond started out simply: on his own with a rented vehicle. But his company has already grown to a small business servicing over 2,000 clients from as far as Maputo and the Botswana border.
YN: How did your business start?
Raymond: After working in Nelspruit for many years as a piano tuner I took a bold step and moved to Pretoria to join another piano tuner who wanted to expand his business, which did not work out. I then stepped out on my own with very little awareness of the market and area. Within a few months I could not cope on my own and started to employ another staff member. I now have a complement of 14 staff.
YN: Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Raymond: I chose the Menlo Park area as pianos are directed towards the higher end or more affluent people, who happen to stay in the eastern part of Pretoria. The wholesalers are also in Pretoria East.
YN: How did you find your premises?
Raymond: We approached several estate agents.
YN: Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
Raymond: The location is ideal. However, the premises (a house with rooms) can make it awkward to move pianos. It’s also not an industrial area, which makes it attractive for prospective customers to view pianos.
YN: Who are your neighbours?
Raymond: Hazelwood road is known for its good food and coffee. We are opposite the Boston Bistro as well as being in close proximity to 23 on Hazelwood, Pride of India and Salt.
YN: What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Raymond: Rental is fairly expensive, but cheaper than retail space. The prices of properties are fairly up-market.
YN: What is your shop footprint?
Raymond: We are not a retail shop and have maybe one or two customers a day. We are more a destination shop and rely on word of mouth. We also do most of our work in customers’ homes and premises.
YN: Do you have any expansion plans?
Raymond: Yes, we would like to purchase our own premises and also establish a college to train prospective piano tuners/technicians.
YN: Do you operate online as well?
Raymond: Yes, we do through our website and social media.
YN: What’s your most popular service?
Raymond: Piano tuning.
See for yourself:
0861 (PIANOS) 742667/ 012 346 1650/ 074 114 2399
Words: Zena le Roux | Images: Supplied