Entrepreneurs are coming up with new plans in lockdown - including drive-by portraits

Business Insider SA
Daniela Zondagh takes drive-by portraits from her Vespa.
  • South Africa's national lockdown to fight the novel coronavirus has hit many small businesses hard.
  • Many have had to find new ways of doing business altogether.
  • Business Insider took a look at what some entrepreneurs have come up with - from drive-by family portraits, drive-through liquor stores and mobile strip clubs.
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Many businesses in South Africa have had to rethink how they do things since the start of the country’s unprecedented nationwide lockdown to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As we go beyond more than 100 days of lockdown, Business Insider took a look at some of the businesses that have changed how they do things – from lockdown portraits to mobile strip clubs and a dinosaur delivering face masks.

Here are a few we found:

Drive-by family portraits

The national lockdown brought business to a grinding halt for Cape Town-based photographer, Daniela Zondagh. "It was a shock to the system," she says.

While trying to come up with new ways to innovate, a friend asked her to take a family portrait for her son's seventh birthday. The arrangement was that it would be a “drive by” shoot – the family would be ready by the time she arrived, and she would take the pictures from a safe distance.

"I drove to their place, rang the doorbell and they were ready." She then proceeded to snap away from across the road. She realised she could start a business by doing the same thing for others, and to date, Zondagh has snapped over 100 portraits via her drive-thru portraits service.

Arrangements for the portraits are made with Zondagh via Whatsapp. She arrives on her Vespa, rings the doorbell and once the subjects are ready, she positions herself at a safe distance and takes the pictures.

Part of the income from the photos goes to the feeding scheme Phillisa Abafazi Bethu.

One of Zondagh's driveway portraits.

Computicket's virtual vouchers and live streams

Computicket word deur die Shoprite-groep besit.

Ticket seller Computicket had to do a quick about turn when the national lockdown started in March. Instead of their usual tickets-based revenue stream, the company started selling virtual food vouchers.

Computicket sold almost 200 000 virtual vouchers, valued at over R50 million which could be redeemed for groceries at various Shoprite, Checkers and Usave stores.

It has also upped its live streaming events offering. "In many instances, shows are being streamed over YouTube, for example, just via a private link," says general manager, Kurt Drennan.

When buying a ticket for any of the Urban Sessions live stream events, Computicket customers have access to that content indefinitely, so they can start to build up a nice content library over time.

Face cloth masks...

Face cloth masks became mandatory for all South Africans when they are out in public as of 1 May, setting in motion a flurry of new businesses. South African designers also started making high-end versions of their own.

Inga Atelier
Inga Atelier

While some were modest with their pricing, designers such as Gert-John Coetzee and MaXhosa pushed the boundaries a bit. 

Inga Atelier
Inga Atelier

Rich Mnisi, who sold one his masks for R2,000, raised some eyebrows.

... and a Coronasaurus that delivers masks

Cape Town-based business, Egrave Slave, put their engraving business on hold and started making masks too - but it had a twist.

Your mask will be hand-delivered by a Coronasauraus.

The Engrave Slave

Speaking to Business Insider, co-founder Michelle Roodman, says the idea for the Coronasaurus came when she was looking for ways to protect herself while delivering masks.

"I literally got the suit the day before, and I thought why not wear it. I didn't even tell people that I was rocking up in it.” After the day’s deliveries were done, Michelle decided to pop off to her local Pick n Pay, rather than going home and changing.

Coronasaurus was born after the humorous attempts at collecting groceries exploded on social media groups. 

From alcohol to full-time grocery deliveries...

Alcohol app, Bottles, was forced to expand after the sale of alcohol was strictly prohibited under Alert Levels 5 and 4 of the lockdown.

Bottles app, Useful Apps

Using their partnership with retail giant, Pick and Pay, Bottles started to deliver groceries full time. They will continue to provide the grocery delivery service.

... to online sales and drive-thru liquor

Dry Dock

Online liquor stores scrambled to deliver to customers once the sale of alcohol was once again allowed under Alert Level 3.

Dry Dock Liquor, a boutique liquor store in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, only did very limited trading on its online platform. As a result of the lockdown, they started seeing over 100,000 visits on their site.

In preparation for Alert Level 3, they started implementing various ways of getting alcohol to their customers faster, including a drive-through service.

Customers would order their alcohol via Whatsapp and have the alcohol brought to their vehicles parked outside the store. Their biggest sale since the unbanning of alcohol sales was R30,000 worth of alcohol to one customer.

Strip-thru's to mobile strip clubs

A Port Elizabeth Strip club reinvented itself by becoming a 'strip-thru'. With the lifting of the alcohol ban,  Candy’s Revue Bar offered drive-through alcohol sales and a show. 

Chivalry Gentlemen’s Lounge in Germiston, took their party on the road, with their mobile strip club. For R2,000, you can get an hour long show. The price includes two passengers. Only six people (and a discreet bouncer) are allowed inside the bus at any one time.

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