Making An Impact
Your Business|August/September 2021
Every year in August we take the time to celebrate women and reflect on the tremendous efforts they make to shape our society.
Margaret Hirsch, Marlene Powell

Women entrepreneurs possess extraordinary traits that not only contribute to their success in business, but also extends to the nurturing of others and society at large.

Two such women are Margaret Hirsch, Executive Director of the Hirsch’s Group, and ActionCOACH Business Coach, Marlene Powell. Together these two ladies have held over 160 virtual Entrepreneurs Workshops since the beginning of the pandemic and have helped countless SMME’s during these challenging times. We tap into their insights, advice and inspiration:

MARGARET HIRSCH - Executive Director of the Hirsch’s Group, mentor, champion of women’s empowerment and avid cook.

Forty-one years ago, Margaret Hirsch helped found the family’s mega appliance store from humble beginnings.

Today, Hirsch’s is the largest independently owned Appliance and Electronics retail outlet in Southern Africa with 19 branches and concept stores.

Margaret has received numerous international and local awards for her business, social and charitable work. She is passionate about women’s empowerment and is someone who firmly believes in giving back to the community.

Q In your opinion, what are some of the unique strengths that women bring to the business table?

The first is empathy. Women think from the positions of their staff more than from their own positions, and are concerned with their employees’ welfare. Also women have the most amazing intuition - they go with their gut feeling and they usually get it right. There is so much more!

One thing however that women should rather leave at home is their troubles, trials, tribulations and their stories with their husbands and children. Nobody wants to hear that at the business table.

Q What is your top advice for building a business a business from scratch?

• Start small and keep building. No matter what setbacks you have, just keep going in the direction of your dreams.

• You can’t do everything yourself. You have to learn to delegate. Perhaps nobody will do it as well as you can, but if they can do it 80% as well, you are fine.

• You can have anything in life that you want if you help others to get what they want. It’s great to help people along the way and help them to grow their businesses. Do not be envious of their success. Celebrate it with them, and they in turn will celebrate yours.

• You can’t be everything to everybody. You have to stick to your core business despite people trying to tell you what to do. Stick to that core role and be the best that you can be at it.

• It’s really important to be an expert at what you do. Becoming an expert at something means spending hours on a subject. So start from today, put in the time and the work to get you to where you need to be.

Q Your tenacious efforts to build the Hirsch's brand have now allowed you the space to live your other passions and fuel your own personal brand. How did you manage that?

I spent 35 years building my brand and it certainly didn’t happen overnight. But luckily since 2012, I have been able to delegate a lot of my work and live my passion, which is empowering women and showing them how to make money utilising the skills that they have.

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