Margaret Sibanda, Managing Director Merrion Lodges

By February 18, 2015Testimonials

Merrion Lodge accorded me an opportunity to have experience as an entrepreneur and have an insight of the realities that business people face in running establishments. It is said, ‘Unless a man takes more than he can, he can never achieve all that he can.’ This quote is true in relation to the Business Women’s Training and Mentorship Programme in Entrepreneurship Skills I attended recently.

The business was established in 1996 focusing on placements, and has since grown and diversified it in 2002 into Merrion Caterers. The business started with only six rooms and then expanded into 15 rooms within a period of four years. I am now strategically focused on adding more rooms and even establishing a first class hotel. The business is owned and managed by professionals who are recognized for their capability and success in various business ventures, but the programme has increased the magnitude of our understanding in successfully running the business.

Merrion Lodges provides the following services as its courtesy to its clientele; – Concierge services, Parking, Medical (First Aid), Taxi services, Security for on-site parking, Laundry and 24 hour room service.
Merrion Lodges comprises of an establishment of eight employees and two senior managers. For administration, supervision and duty allocation, the Human Resources Manager will deploy personnel according to their caliber and capacity.

At the moment, my business is striving to expand in order to carter for the overwhelming accommodation demands and to be abreast with the constantly changing requirements of today’s market. Merrion Lodges meets any needs which may arise by offering specialized upmarket and customized services for local and international clients.
Business Women’s Training Appreciation.

After attending the Business Women’s Training and Mentorship Programme in Entrepreneurship Skills, I learnt valuable concepts on how to sustain our business and manage change. We are living in a world of change and have a customer driven economy, where there is need of aligning the business with the environment. We have added to our growth model resources to capacitate our strategic goals, periodic goals, special goals and routine goals to become market leaders.

Using the PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environment) concept which generally affects most businesses in one way or the other, I have had my eyes opened during the training, on its effects in our operations. Such information has enabled me to set up a strategic business transformation to counter negative effects of PESTLE.

Since the training, I also learnt how to tolerate, communicate, appreciate and accommodate our customers. I do not regret attending trainings with Branson Centre for Entrepreneurs because all things that I learnt are necessary and applicable to my organization. I realized that in the hotel industry there is need for marketing, business planning, setting of targets, communication, business finance, sales promotions and advertising, since they are very relevant to be applied daily. It is such a marvelous experience, seeing theory becoming reality and as students we appreciate the well thought lecture.

Before, my business used to be a social thing, money was being kept in a handbag and would be requested for various purchases and payment of bills without any record, but now it is a reformed business, all the money now finds its way to the bank. As for payments, they are now done through the bank and we will have a record for income and expenditure which assists us in ascertaining the flow of cash in the business.