We are happy to introduce to you today Chelsea Evans, the founder of Plan My Wedding, an event planning startup from Cape Town, South Africa.
1. First of all, can you introduce yourself to our readers, who you are, where you come from and what’s your background.
My name is Chelsea Evans Founder and CVO of Plan My Wedding and Director of Yomilk (Family Business) I come from Zimbabwe, grew up in Mozambique and started my business in South Africa. I am a software developer by trade as well as digital marketing and project management.
2. What is your startup and where is it located?
Our startup is Africa’s first online wedding planning platform available to couples all over the world, we’re based in Southern Africa and we have a base in Zimbabwe Mozambique. In addition, Yomilk is one of Zimbabwe’s original first dairy farm and processor.
3. What is the problem you are addressing and what is your solution?
The problem were currently addressing is cashflow with expansions taking place and analysing where to best spend profits to go into the right development for growth.
I would say learning to manage cashflow along with growth and development, there is a very fine line between growing and growing too quickly. You have to find that fine margin by keeping your overheads tight as a small business to remain under control of your finances as well as invest your profits into the biggest growth drives. You will only get this information from your analytics in sales seeing what areas of your business are worth growing, whats worth spending more time on and outsourcing certain things. Every element of working capital needs to be carefully controlled to maximise your cash flow, effective credit management and controlling your debts are just as essential. I was once given a very good analogy by one of my mentors. ”The fuel in your car is like your money in your business, you could be driving a bashed VW beetle for hours and or you could be driving a Ferrari and run out of fuel in your first kilometre!” Keeping this in the back of your mind at all times as a business owner is VERY IMPORTANT! Plan ahead with realistic forecasts so you know where you heading and what you’re aiming for.
4. What is your target market? And the market size?
We have 2 target markets because of our business model they are codependent on one another. Newly engaged couples all over the world planning their wedding in Africa as well as wedding suppliers in Africa.
5. How has the traction been so far on the customer side?
We’ve had excellent feedback and traction, we were on the shark tank and won 2 investors on board during this which helped a huge amount with our traction and visibility, we have recently done a complete renovation of our UI and moving the database over was a rather big challenge so were working on getting this back up to speed.
6. From the investment perspective, where are you at now?
Since the shark tank we decided not to move forward with the sharks and I was offered an investment opportunity from a silent investor who had faith in our startup as well as asking for the right amount of shares from me and the relationship has really worked well. Were in our 1st phase of investment and were on track to completing this round of investment by the end of 2019
7. What is your view about the startup scene in your countries and more regionally in Africa?
It’s a very exciting space to be in Africa, definitely the most exciting as well as challenging but challenges are good! I was recently in Kenya for Africa Innovation Week and it definitely puts us in Sub Saharan Africa up against a league of their own it was completely mind blowing to see where they are headed as a country as well as just how much we still have to do! Definitely, no laurels to be sitting on anytime soon! Which I would say is super exciting.
8. Can you share with us 3 other startups in your country, that you find interesting, either from a product perspective, vision one or their founders?
Munch Zimbabwe – Their founders and vision – they are going up against a monopoly company and it’s absolutely amazing what they have achieved as a small company with the limited resources they have up against the giants in their game.
Mozambique Horse Safaris – The amazing founders starting from absolutely nothing in Mozambique and building what they have today absolutely blows my mind what they have managed to do with VERY limited resources as well as challenges of a developing country. They are one of our suppliers on Plan My Wedding.
Numberwise South Africa – I think this is an absolutely amazing initiative especially tackling education in developing countries. I believe education and knowledge is a huge part of moving forward in life and the saying KAIZEN continuous improvement. And they are tackling this problem head on (they were also on our season of the SharkTank).
Thanks again for your time and let’s catchup in a few months to follow up on your milestones and development!