Mentoring: Vivian Hlayisi

We are all trying to figure out this life and what I keep learning is that faith in God is never in vain. Sometimes you don't have to wait for the robots to turn green, all you need to do is take that leap of faith. And that is exactly what Vivian Hlayisi did. She went into business with no experience and all she had was faith in God. She knew she had something that worked. It was just a matter of finding her niche in the market and then making that connection with potential customers.  Here is our interview with her.

Inside Woman: How did you get to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?

Vivian Hlayisi: I was born and raised up in a family which knew and still knows Christ. So I have always been a Christian. However in 2006 I was born again.

Inside Woman: What inspired you to start Tlhari Travelling Agency?

Vivian Hlayisi: I always wanted to run my own business, but I didn’t think it will happen so soon. I when I was studying Tourism I thought to myself that I would like to have my own tour operation company. I also wanted to give opportunities to those who have no jobs.

Inside woman: In three words how would you describe Tlhari Travelling Agency & what makes it unique?

Vivian Hlayisi: I would say:
• Travel
• Smart
• Dream

Tlhari travel agency its unique because, it strives to give the best services and we make sure that our guests/clients get the best services we can possibly give one way or another.

Inside Woman: How long did it take you to go from conception to up-and-running?

Vivian Hlayisi: After my final exams in 2011 I just decided to register my agency and it took me a week. I started immediately on Facebook and I also used a free website (woza online) to have a website. I had no strategy on how I was going to run this business. I honestly thought it would just be a project to pass the time between “real jobs”, but I fell in love with the fact that I didn’t have to work within the limits of corporate structure, and decided to dedicate more of my time to make Tlhari viable business. I just took it one day a time and in the beginning of 2012 I finally had my first client.

Inside Woman: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how that helped your business?

Vivian Hlayisi: I was born in a big family. I am the fourth born of 5 kids. I still live with my parents and they are very supportive whenever I ask for help with my business. I am the first person in my family to have my own business. When I started I wasn’t that serious but now I am fully committed to it.

Inside Woman: Did you do a formal business plan when you started?

Vivian Hlayisi: Yes I did.

Inside Woman: How did you fund your business?

Vivian Hlayisi: I used my savings and my family helped me out too.

Inside Woman: Do you have a mentor or is there someone you use for inspiration?

Vivian Hlayisi: I have recently found myself two mentors and they both play different roles in my business.

Inside Woman: What has been the most difficult aspect of getting your brand off the ground and how did your faith help you to overcome them?

Vivian Hlayisi: As a person who does not have any background in running a business, I would say that the most difficult thing was getting the business off the ground, finding clients and having to convince people that they should trust me and that my business is legit. That was a very difficult period in my business and I had to learn to have faith in God. But now it’s finally paying off.

Inside Woman: What services do you offer and who are your clients?

Vivian Hlayisi: This is what we offer our clients:
• Accommodation
• Transportation (flights, cruises, train)
• Visa
• Bus hire
• Car rental/hire
• Tailored packages (group ,individual couples bookings)
• Transfers
• Advice with tourist information
• Tours
We cater for clients young and old; and all races. We believe that travelling is for everyone and anyone can travel. And those who think travelling is expensive should try us.


Inside Woman: How do you and your staff maintain a business relationship with clients?

Vivian Hlayisi: We make sure that we follow up with the clients after the holiday to make sure that all went well. We also keep our line of communication open with them and offer discounted packages and vouchers to keep them coming back.

Inside Woman: What are the biggest challenges of working in a travel agency?

Vivian Hlayisi: Having to help clients who want a holiday and even after advising them and giving them options, they still don’t know what they want. Also having clients who want a holiday they can’t afford.

Inside Woman: What methods do you use to grow/market your company?

Vivian Hlayisi: Generic and non generic marketing e.g:
• Business cards
• Flyers
• Word of mouth
• FaceBook
• Webpage
• Exhibitions

Inside Woman: What are your biggest everyday challenges and what continues to motivate you?

Vivian Hlayisi: Having to find the best deals for clients with limited budgets and finding the best holidays that best suits them. We want our clients to enjoy their holidays and off course come back to us. So we treat them the best way we possibly can.
What motivates me more is when our clients get the best packages and knowing that they have enjoyed their holidays. And yes when we get referrals from happy clients.

Inside Woman: How hard was it to start up your own business?

Vivian Hlayisi: At the beginning it seemed easy however the more you grow into the business the more you learn that it’s not as easy as it looks. Difficult as it is I am learning how to grow the business every day.

Inside Woman: If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Vivian Hlayisi: I would research how to run this kind of business and how to be the best travel agent.

Inside Woman: What’s the most valuable lesson you have learnt in building a business?

Vivian Hlayisi: I have learned that I should not focus on thing in business. Make your pot as big as possible to have better chances of winning.

Inside Woman: What are 2-3 pieces of advice you would give to someone who is stuck in their career and looking to take a step to the next level?

Vivian Hlayisi: I would say:
• Never give up on your dreams or careers
• Make God your advisor
• And get as much help as possible to grow your business /career . Enjoy what God has given you as other people don’t have what you take for granted.

Inside Woman: If you had to take your best advice or inspirational thought and put it into one sentence or phrase, what would that be?

Vivian Hlayisi: Travelling and meeting strangers who finally become your family is the best part of it all and never complain about how much you have to spend when it’s something that makes you happy.

Inside Woman: Which is the best place to visit for a holiday and why?

Vivian Hlayisi: South Africa is the best and travelling is fun anywhere in the world depending on your own dream holiday. I love the Maldives because it’s an island and the waters are blue and the sand is so white. These are the kind of places that you have to see and experience, after all God made them for our enjoyment.

Inside Woman: What is the one travel advice you can give?

Vivian Hlayisi: Travel while you are still you and when you can with the little you have. It’s fun!

Inside Woman: What are specials you have currently?

Vivian Hlayisi: We have these specials currently:

KZN South Coast Bush – Package includes
3 Days/ 2 Nights Bush Lodge
Dinner daily
Price: 1995.00 per person – min 2 adults
Plattenberg Chalets – 2 hours from Cape Town
Package includes:
Family room – self catering

For more specials you can visit our Facebook Pag. Our contact details are:

Tel: 011 029 6269
Cell: 074 442 5159