By Frank Tagarira
I had a very inspirational interview with a Walvis Bay-based entrepreneur, Trevor Visage of Tevlin Engineering. If you are thinking of or have already started your own business, this interview will help you get inspired. Visage started his own business without a bank loan and had to sit for two months without generating an inome after opening doors to the public. You too can start and build your business even if all odds are against you. It takes a certain determination and a real hunger for business as Visage puts it in the interview. Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Excited. Enjoy.
Frank: In what business are you in?
Trevor: Tevlin Engineering is a skills service provider to the engineering industry, in particular the Mining, Construction and Petrochemical sectors.
Telvin engineering is not a labour broker but a service provider. Telvlin Engineering provides human skills that our clients require. Tevlin Engineering also does onsite engineering and has experience in HDP systems especially for the mining sector.
Frank: When did the vision start? What inspired you to get into this type of business?
Trevor: The vision for Tevlin Engineering started 16 years ago. I was working in the same trade as an employee but I had a passion to do business on my own and be a successful entrepreneur. I also used to work part time from home doing the same business.
Frank: What were the major challenges when you were starting out?
Trevor: I could not get a loan from the banks because at that time I had no collateral. I started out the business from my own finance which I had saved up during the course of my employment. I was already planning my business while I was working. I even purchased the company’s vehicles while I was still working. When we opened our doors to the public we had no income for about two months. During this time I learned that one must be emotionally strong if you want to make it in business. You must be prepared to take your chances and work hard at the same time.
Frank: How did you cope with competition during your start-up?
Trevor: Competition to me is not a problem. The question you must ask yourself when you get into business is how can I do it better in order to satisfy my clients’ needs. You have to do your research on the needs of the market and focus on satisfying those needs.
Frank: Would you say the business playground is fair in Namibia?
Trevor: I won’t say it’s unfair, it’s how you look at it in your mind and how your hunger for business is. You have to put your plans into action and work hard because business won’t just come to you.
Frank: What does business mean to you?
Trevor: Business is to provide a value-adding service/product to meet your client’s needs and to be successful while you provide your services/products.
In business you must know how to use money and constantly educate yourself to create the right mindset. I read a lot of motivational material and listen to motivational CDs in order to feed my mind and create the right mindset.
Frank: What is your view of money?
Trevor: Money is good but it’s how you use and handle it. If you have money you can help the underprivileged and invest in community development to create a better society.
Frank: I see you are involved in a lot of charity projects to help the underprivileged. What is your view on charity?
Trevor: Charity is a responsibility of everyone. It is our philosophy to invest back into the community by assisting the underprivileged. We will continue to assist wherever we can in order to create a better community. It’s sad that some of the big corporate companies and even small and medium enterprises do not invest back into the community.
Frank: So what is Tevlin Engineering’s vision for the future?
Trevor: Our vision is to grow and open offices across the country near our clients.
Frank: What advice do you want to give to upcoming entrepreneurs?
Trevor: Well you must certainly have a real hunger for business. If you don’t have a hunger for business then go and work for a boss. You must have the right mindset in order to overcome the hurdles that come along with entrepreneurship. If you fall you must get up and carry on. Lastly, feed your mindset every day, read motivational books, listen to inspirational CDs, talk to inspired people. Create and maintain the right mindset.