“Mehn I am tired of this job I go to everyday. Ah ahn!
Waking up at 4.30am isn’t cool at all and doing this Magodo-Vi route everyday is not for me. I really need to become my own boss!”
These are the words Funmi told herself consistently for a period of 6 months until the day she finally decided to ‘Fire her boss’ and start her own business.
Funmi’s Background: Funmi is a talented, beautiful, brilliant girl who really has all that it takes to succeed in Lagos but one thing she lacks is patience and consistency.
She is 27, single and lives in her own apartment and is very fashion conscious. She has an eye for the latest trends and does know how to piece them together.
She has always wanted to be her own boss because it does look good on her profile and she would have to time to go for lunch, do more snaps and “slay” on the gram.
She finally started the business, and this is her review.
First three months in business: “Mehn this is the life!” Funmi thought to herself. She doesn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to go to one nonsense office. “I can dress up, drive around, set up my business and slay all day long!”.
In the beginning it seems good especially when you change your routine, you experience freedom and most especially you have money to spend on yourself.
Funmi rented an office space at this stage, got tailors, invested in fabrics, equipment, marketing and staff and started the business fully. It felt good running her own thing.
Six months in business: The going is still kind of good at this point, she has been able to convince her family and friends to patronize her so she is busy sewing, mending, delivering etc. She loves it and suddenly begins to feel like a superstar as she is making money and getting to feel important. “This is the life” She thought to herself everyday.
The Wake Up Call: It was a bright Monday morning when Funmi woke up a year into her business and realized she had made a mistake. “Ahhhhh I am finished!” She thought to herself. “How am I going to pay my staff, pay my rent, re-stock, market and even keep alive for the next year?”. What an important question Funmi is asking herself at this dire point in time.
She has crashed the business, truth be told there was never really a business, there was a girl who wanted to live her dream without making a plan, following steps or seeking counsel.
At the end of one year, Funmi started applying for jobs again because she had gotten it all wrong the entrepreneurial way and vowed to do things right the next time she decides to pick up the business.
Lessons from Funmi:
1. Never start a business out of frustration: Businesses should be built out of passion, need and value adding not just to get out of a job.
2. Plan your exit: If you want to become an entrepreneur and you are currently employed, plan it. You have to start out as a side hustle, put some savings aside and test the waters with one foot not the two at once.
3. Don’t get carried away: Funmi got carried away with the “idea of being self- employed” that she just started buying, renting and hiring not drawing up the costs, determining the return on investments or operating costs etc.
4. Do not rely on family and friends for business: In the beginning, those that know you might patronize you but when they do remember they don’t owe you anything. You cannot expect them to keep buying just to keep you in business. Identify your market and monetize them.
5. Accept Failure: Funmi failed, and she accepted it and started looking for a way out of it. She could have continued running the business, gotten into more debt, started selling things and then gotten further broke but she took intelligent steps. She decided to start from the beginning. Ego doesn’t pay in business do what needs to be done to get the proper results.
See you next week!
Share your comments!