Home » General » Using My Gift to Serve Has Made a Name for Me, Says Petronillah Sianyuka

I increasingly come across people who claim to be in business and yet turn out only to be interested in making money and not giving a valuable service in return.

It may seem easy to take a customer for granted and assume that if they don’t come back other new customers will.

Indeed new customer will come but once they’ve experienced that same bad treatment they will also not come back and the cycle will eventually come to completion at some point regarding your reputation.

So in the short term it may look like you are succeeding but once your bad reputation has come full circle, your business will naturally suffer. I believe that service provision is a key component to making money and growing a successful business.

The biggest challenge we seem to be facing at the moment is the need to uphold the principle of offering a service that will not only add value to a customer but also give them so much satisfaction that they will choose to come back and in that way help to grow the business.

For people like Petronillah Sianyuka, applying this principle is continuing to strengthen their name in the business world.

From the time that Petronillah Sianyuka was a little girl, it was evident that she would go into the hair business.

Each time she went out to play and came across long grass for example, she would immediately be drawn to braid it. Any time she received a doll as a present, it would be braided immediately as long as it had some hair. It wasn’t a surprise therefore when, after her “O” levels she decided to go into hair braiding.

The first person she braided using artificial braids was her niece. The braids came out so well that on her way to school the next day, her niece was stopped by a lot of people inquiring where they could go to get their hair braided the same way. What was really outstanding about the braiding was the twisting of the braids which was very tight and came out neatly.

Before she had given thought to turning her God given gift into a business, Petronillah found herself braiding an increasing number of people who turned up at her homestead wanting to be braided. Without any costing structure and under pressure to serve her customers, she decided to charge $5 per head.

As time went on, her clients aised her to charge slightly more as they felt what they were paying was too little compared to the effort she was putting.

When asked what it is that makes her braiding unique, Petronillah said that it is the way she uses her gift to selflessly offer an uncompromised service to her customers. “The tension that I use when I am braiding requires patience from both myself and my clients. In addition, there are many things that one has to consider when braiding hair.

For example, the posture of the client when they are seated is important to ensure that the braids are of equal length. In addition it is also important to measure each braid as you plant it onto the hair to ensure that all the braids will be of the same length as required by the client. Once you have planted a braid you trim and neaten the edges immediately one braid at a time,” she added.

Petronillah said that issues of personal hygiene are important as one is working very close to the client and cannot afford to have an odour or smell in a way that makes a client uncomfortable.

In 2003, Petronillah invented a new hairstyle called the “short fish tail braid” which she believes is an idea that was given to her by God. The hairstyle has been very popular and she sees it as her God given signature. She braids one client a day and is very strict when it comes to bookings.

When she is very busy, one can wait for two to three months to get a booking. Her policy to braid one person a day is to allow her to give each client maximum attention.

“Many people are amazed at how much attention I give to hair,” she said. “I could decide to braid more people a day in order to make more money. However, I think this would be like taking a short cut and would compromise the service that I give to my clients. The braiding would definitely not come out as it should and I believe I would lose my clients in the long term and short change myself,” she added.

Petronillah believes that there is a price to pay if one desires to attain real success that guarantees satisfaction and happiness in the long term. Louis Binstock summed up this thinking well when he said “Too often the short cut, the line of least resistance is responsible for evanescent and unsatisfactory success”.

Patricia Mabviko Musanhu is a Company Directorroducer at Black and White Media Productions. She can be contacted at pmabviko@gmail.com

Source : Zimbabwe Standard