Thalepelo Tlhapane, is the owner of TT Holdings, a quantity surveying business based in Midrand. In two years, the business has grown to employ five full-time staff, and in 2015, it was accepted into Property Point, Growthpoint Properties Limited’s enterprise development initiative.
I grew up in Rustenburg, a mining town, with engineers all around me, but I also had commercial interests – I sold sweets from when I was very young. So I wanted to combine my interests into a profession, and quantity surveying made the most sense. When I graduated from Wits, I worked at a consulting company for three years until I had my professional registration, and then I opened my own business. But I realised that the clients wouldn’t just land in my lap, so I had to take another job in the Eastern Cape for six months to raise the capital to get my business off the ground. Six months later and wiser, in 2015 I started over, and this time I made a go of it.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
We had another office in Midrand first, but I was looking in this area because the rentals are affordable for small businesses. My landlord in particular is friendly to small businesses with reasonable rentals in a nice office park. It doesn’t matter where I am based because we mostly travel to clients, even as far away as Rustenburg.
How did you find your premises?
I do a lot of work with architects, and I came here to visit one of my clients, and fell in love with the place. When I started making enquiries, I found out the current occupant was moving on, so I was able to take over her very offices.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
They project a good image. I can invite my clients to my premises. And we have Gallagher Convention Centre over the road, so people know where we are.
Who are your neighbours?
There’s an electrical subcontractor, a lady who does painting, and electrical engineer, and a civil and structural engineer, so we’re in good company.
They are really affordable and their requirements are friendly to small businesses.
How many people go through your store each day?
I mostly go on site for big clients. Small private clients might come to us, but I’d say that’s only about twice a week.
Do you have any expansion plans?
I have five permanent staff and one outsourced. My plan for the future of the business is to grow it into a self-sustainable company beyond my existence.
Do you operate online as well?
We have a website.
What’s your most popular item?
We provide services across the mining, industrial and commercial industries. I believe that the thing that keeps our clients coming back is our youthful energy.
079 275 7644
Words: Georgina Guedes | Images: Ter Hollman