Palesa Hlabahlaba

RPH Consulting (Pty) Ltd

What does your company do?

RPH Consulting is a professional services company founded in 2022 by me, Palesa Hlabahlaba, a qualified chartered accountant with over 7 years’ experience in the banking industry. I founded the company in response to the growing need for more SMME partners that foster growth and minimise the failure rate of South African businesses, particularly African businesses that have been stagnant or not growing and achieving scale. I have managed to combine my passion for the success of Africa with my professional expertise to build a company that brings solutions to the SMME industry. Our main objective is to partner up with business owners to achieve growth and scalability. We do this by providing accounting, taxation and business services tailored to meet each business’ unique needs. We understand that while every owner’s main objective is to build a business that is profitable and sustainable in the long term, no two businesses are the same. What might be simple to some, might be the greatest challenge to others. Our solutions are therefore based on each business’ key needs considering where they are in the entrepreneurship cycle. We see ourselves as partners as we aim to add value and not merely assist in maintaining statutory compliance. Our services include financial and business coaching where we support and equip business owners with the necessary tools to help them move to the next level of success. We focus on strategy enablement and execution as we have often found that while the vision is clear for most entrepreneurs, execution tends to become the stumbling block, the real enemy of progress. One of our other focus areas is educating businesses and individuals about accounting, tax, financial and compliance matters. We conduct training sessions for clients as well as offer live webinars to the public to impart knowledge and demystify the complexities of these areas. It goes beyond just keeping you compliant, we are committed to helping you grow your business, this continent and to leave a legacy to be proud of. In addition, we partner with key industry players such as Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) Programme providers, cloud accounting and payroll system suppliers with the shared objective of providing SMMEs with the support required to grow SMME industry, create sustainable jobs and grow the South African economy. We are confident about the future of our beautiful continent and its people. Partnering with SMMEs enables us to positively contribute to the economic growth of Africa, building legacy businesses and creating generational wealth.

What is your biggest success?

• Biggest personal success has been creating employment and consistently paying myself a salary for the past 12 months. • Team growth from 1 to 4 individuals that share in the business’ vision. • Securing an ESD contract in 2023 resulting in us providing accounting, tax and business coaching services to 13 SMME’s that are 100% black owned with a combined annual revenue of R64m and Net Assets of R20m. • Recently awarded a supplier contract for similar services for an ESD partnership with a large energy and chemical corporate company, a 12-month contract with option to renew for a further 2 years. • Featured in the African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA) 2023 Passion Magazine. • Being a speaker at the 2023 Entrepreneurship Week hosted by Young African Entrepreneurs Institute and ABSA at Wits University with over 500 young entrepreneurs in attendance. • Serviced clients across 10+ industries and 4 provinces in less than 2 years.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

The biggest hurdle has been the ability to service clients (other than ESD program) on a retainer model to maintain consistent cashflows to enable us to hire all staff on a permanent basis. This is largely due to financial constraints experienced by SMMEs. Even though they see the value of services, they are unable to commit to monthly service charges due cashflow constraints. SMMEs therefore benefit the most when they are part of an ESD program as the related costs are covered by the sponsoring company. Personally, I have yet to match my last corporate salary, but we are certainly well on our way.