Ever have those busy days where you just can’t get to school to fetch the children or manage their busy schedules? Soccermom started as a service to provide safe and reliable transport for children – as a recruitment agent connecting drivers and clients.
Prior to lockdown, Soccermom did about 200 trips a day.
They are a market leader in terms of tech and safety and have a zero-incident record over 18 years in operation.
Evette Barnard, who originally joined the company as a driver when the company still operated manually – bought Soccermom in 2006 and, describing herself as a “tech junkie”, quickly looked for easier ways to ensure that those using the services could link up with its host of approved, safe drivers currently operating in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.
Today she runs a service where parents can book one of their reliable drivers online, in advance or on the go, to lift children. After a number of online developments, the team also launched an app last year.
Why did you decide to go with Peach Payments?
Soccermom uses Peach’s recurring payments feature via Wordpress and WooCommerce, allowing parents to pay a monthly fee for service.
We find their technology fresh and up to date internationally.
South Africans have access to sites that can self-build and ecommerce platforms but then get cut back when it comes to payments because SA doesn’t have all the payment integrations that are available internationally. But Peach really goes a long way to offering those services and making it easy to integrate with South African service providers.
The ability to tokenize and not have to store credit card details is a huge bonus.
How has business been over lockdown?
While COVID-19 had a definite impact - business took a serious knock over the last five months - we’re ready for what’s to come and we are ready for business to pick up.
What’s in store for Black Friday?
Clients signing up for a 12-month subscription to start in January next year, will be able to do so at this year’s rate. That gives clients about one free month as the rate for next year goes up.
What advice would you give to other business owners wanting to go into ecommerce?
Do your homework – fees and costs can quickly add up. Use what is within your understanding and go with a provider that will work with your level of understanding. Some are more user friendly than others. Be honest with what you know, stick to what you understand and be professional. Be transparent. Your intention should be clear – with Soccermom it is to offer a safe and reliable service. Apologise if you make a mistake and own it if something is not running as smoothly as you had hoped.
Are you planning to offer your services beyond SA borders?
We have dreamed about it. The US market is full but have had talks with people in France and the UK. It’s always on the table. I am an entrepreneur by heart so will always look at opportunities when they come up. Timing is always as important as the opportunity and you need to know you can cope with what you are taking on.
What are your long-term plans?
COVID has made us review what we were doing. It forced us to look further than what we had been. We will improve what we have and I don’t think we will offer new services. Our focus for now is on getting the name out there and improving the app. We are very particular about who we employ as drivers so we have to get the balance between client growth and driver growth.