Swimming pools are a haven under Botswana’s hot temperatures and while to the rich and famous they are a symbol of status, to Sabelo Kgokgothwane they mean business.
The 33-year old Kgokgothwane ended his unemployment days six years ago when he came across a swimming-pool cleaning business that was up for sale as the owners were relocating to South Africa.
Owning a business was a good feeling for him but he had no idea that someday the humble enterprise would grow big enough to take care of him and put food on the tables of his employees.
“I did not have any experience about running a business let alone a swimming pool cleaning one.
I had to do my own market research and find ideas of selling it to people and eventually it paid off,” he says with pride.
The youthful entrepreneur invested in pool skimmers, hoses, poles, pool testing chemicals, PH test kits, leaf rakes and other equipment as well as, of course, a receipt book!
Kgokgothwane’s determination to grow his business together with his desire to live comfortably off his hard work drove him to knock on several closed gates in Gaborone’s low density areas.
Eventually gate after gate opened for him as satisfied customers welcomed and trusted him with their property enough to even give him referrals.
Today he is the proud owner of Earthtouch Pools, a growing company that not only specialises in the cleaning, but also the construction and maintenance of swimming pools.
“Considering the fact that I did not even have to get any funding to start the business and that I already have three fulltime employees and I manage to pay a host of other casual workers, I can say business is not bad at all.
We take care of more than 28 pools in Gaborone and we travel to other areas across the country once in a while after getting referrals,” he says.
Kgokgothwane says his customers range from individual households to companies.
“We have contracts with our different customers. Our services are very affordable and some customers demand that we clean their pools twice a month for around P650.
It’s not bad at all because we can afford to buy detergents and replace some of our cleaning equipment,” he says.
At the moment he is working on expanding his business to incorporate fountain or waterfall construction and maintenance.
He also intends to start selling cleaning chemicals to complement the business.
For his services, Kgokgothwane can be contacted at 76247122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.