About Nicholas Gard
I started off my career working whilst at school and then throughout my varsity learning at various different restaurants throughout Johannesburg, South Africa. After completing my BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) through UNISA (The University of South Africa), I was offered employment as a risk analyser for one of South Africa’s major banks at the time.
So, at the age of 23 I bought my first business. It was great, a little coffee shop that was doing ok, but not good enough for my liking. So in a 12 month period my team and I had more than doubled turnover, doubled monthly profit and were riding on the success of having bought and then re-built a business into a little cash cow.
To cut a long story short, after a 9 year stint of owning my own businesses outright I had built all the businesses, bar one from scratch, had 2 very successful establishments – both award winning, and in the process also managed to loose everything twice and build it up again.
Most importantly during this I learnt:
- The Customer pays the rent and the salaries, and everything else – so listen carefully to them, learn from them, adapt to their needs and remember – they pay your bills.
- Money comes easily, you just have to earn it. But money flows out even more easily if you’re not paying attention to your business – so STOP WASTING IT.
- Honesty – being honest and true to yourself as a business owner is key. If you can’t do this you’ll never be able to do it for your customers and your staff. So your business will then have a small shelf life.
- Service is paramount – service is often lacking in business today. At the end of the day it’s a simple matter of manners, efficiency and business etiquette.
During time with my last business adventure my wife fell pregnant, with our now 3 year old beautiful daughter, Isabelle. It was when Isabelle was about 6 months that I started to see my passion for cooking wanning a tad. After searching on the internet and further exhaustive researching I came across a not so well know franchise in South Africa, but one that was very well known over the Atlantic. WSI had won the best Internet Marketing Consultancy award by “The Entrepreneur” magazine in the US for 8 years running. It was the largest of its kind in the world, with almost 1500 offices spread throughout 87 countries.
After playing on the internet for years before this and being fairly computer literate my wife and I sold our business. We began our training with WSI whilst still owning the last restaurant and managed to do both quite adequately.
My wife and I decided to try and educate ourselves and do as much training as we could; so that we could offer our clients a well knowledgeable level of expertise. After being with WSI for over 2 years both my wife and I are now certified Google Analytics Experts, we average about 8 hours a week of extensive online training and are two of about 230 certified Advanced Internet Marketing specialists with WSI around the world. It’s not only important for us that our clients are on top of their games when it comes to marketing via digital media, but we as their consultants have to make sure that we are far ahead of the rest of the pack as well. This is what we strive for, and what we aim to achieve on a daily basis. This is what makes us different.
As we have entered 2012 my family and I have a new challenge in front of us – we’re expecting a miracle baby boy at the end of April. So, out come the baby gear, the cot, the monitors and most importantly the baby naming websites!
Oh man, again – really?