How did you start this business venture?
The idea came immediately after my marriage in 2015, when I was a 200 level student at the University of Maiduguri, in biological sciences, and I was only 19 years old. It all started by asking permission from store owners with unique and quality items. I then uploaded these items to my social media to display to interested buyers. Thanks to this, I managed to make a small profit. I started by selling five packages. I go to Lagos to collect my packaging and bring it to Kano State to sell. It took me a long time to earn the trust of customers. But after realizing that the items I display are unique and affordable for my clients, many people leaned on me and through their reviews and referrals I got many more clients.
What was your financial situation at the time?
My husband first gave me N80,000 as capital and later my older brother gave me N300,000 for support. The capital and help from social media, coupled with referrals from my friends, family members, and some clients, has also made it very easy for me to succeed in my business.
What is the hardest part of doing this job?
The hardest part of being successful in this business is the endurance of it all. The complaints, the criticisms, the harsh approach and sometimes the degrading and insulting remarks of certain customers.
Customers always want to see positive results and fast delivery; anything else will be met with fierce complaints. So for me to succeed, I developed a very thick skin for such complaints. I have done this by focusing on the difficulties of my clients and I do not hesitate to apologize when I cause them problems. And if it’s a reason that’s beyond me, I’ll fully explain it to them and apologize anyway.
Another challenge beyond my control concerns government regulatory bodies, such as port authorities, and the herculean protocols and procedures of our ports. Despite this, we manage everything with optimism and dedication.
What do you need to do to be successful in this job?
For me, the procedure has always remained three methods which are: Knowing the things your customers need and making them available for them to buy. Don’t be greedy; once you are not, you will not suffer a loss; be satisfied with the little you can get as profit.
So, for anyone to be successful in business, he or she must know the business he or she is about to engage in, not be too eager and desperate to be rich or successful, and above all, be a patient being. .
How are you growing your business?
Social media is my biggest tool, especially WhatsApp and Instagram. These have played a big role in the growth of my business.
I write very captivating and engaging captions for customers on my status and attach very unique images to my products and then follow them at a very affordable price. In doing so, my customers not only buy for the affordability or the beauty of the attached images, but also for the persuasiveness of the words I use in advertising my items.
How do you pay your staff?
I have five logistics employees who deliver goods and services and are target based. I target them 10 deliveries every day and each delivery is N500, and they earn N150 on each one that is still registered, and at the end of the month I will multiply that by 30 and pay them in salary. I also have my manager who goes to the airport to collect the goods and so on and I also pay for his service.
Any advice for people who want to get into this business?
I advise people who want to venture into any business never to listen to anyone. There is nothing in life that they cannot legally do to earn an income. They must have courage, be good, truthful and never deceive their customers.