YES. Only the skillful can beat the hurdles in the entrepreneurship world. Coming on the podium today to kick-start this episode of entrepreneur spotlight is a serial entrepreneur, a man of timber and caliber whose vision is as sharp as the eagle. Without wasting much of our time, join me to welcome him.
I am super excited to have you here sir, can we meet you sir?
Thank you very much Honournaija-blog, I am very happy to be here today.
My name is Joshua Odeyemi. I am a graduate of Applied Geology from the Federal University of Technology, Akure. I am from Ilesha in Osun state. I like travelling and volunteering. I am a serial entrepreneur as I am the director and lead consultant at BAE Consulting – a business consulting firm in Ibadan & Lagos, COO/Co-founder of QUICKSEW NG – Nigeria’s foremost express service fashion designing outfit that make statement fashion pieces within 48hrs and CEO of BAE Logistics – a pickup and doorstep delivery company in Ibadan, Nigeria. I am also the convener of the biggest and largest gathering of young and aspiring student entrepreneurs in Nigeria tertiary institutions, popularly called BAE (Business And Entrepreneurship) summit. Since 2017 through the annual BAE summit, we have impacted 5,339+ students from 8 tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Woooow, I am trying to catch my breath, this is super great. How long have you been an entrepreneur?
Well, I have been an active entrepreneur since 2013 while as an undergraduate at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). So, that would be 8 years +
Amazing one there. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Honestly speaking, I would say ‘problem solving’. I think I started then with the ‘online registration’ thing while in school. I saw the need for freshers and returning students back then to complete their online registration early, fast and seamlessly but there were just a few hands handling that. I saw that an opportunity for me to help them get it done (solving their problems) while getting reward in form of cash from it.
Purpose is all about solving problems, great one sir. Being an entrepreneur, can you say it has brought fulfillment to you?
I would say YES 100%. Apart from the fact that I help people solve their problems, I find it fulfilling to see myself acting in my line of purpose.
I toast to this. So tell us sir, what problem are you solving with your skill?
As a business development consultant with over 4 years’ experience working with Small and Medium Enterprises, I use my deep understanding of analyzing business models and processes to help small and medium enterprises develop structures geared towards business sustainability and profitability and also help to fix failing structures.
Knowing the structure that works for several SMEs, I also help business owners boost their credibility by registering their businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission. I am currently using my business development skill in my several businesses too.
Nice. What has been the major challenges you have faced as an entrepreneur?
The major challenges I have faced as an entrepreneur is ‘Dealing with the unknown’ especially when starting a business in a market that looks like it is saturated already. One would need to take his time to come up with strategies and a business model that would make him penetrate the ‘already saturated’ market because there are a lot of brands that already have high market shares.
Imperative. What are the strategies did you employ to overcome the challenges?
The number 1 strategy I employ is Proper Business Planning. Like I always say, I do not jump into any business – I take my time to do my market research, that is, study the market and my competitors, do my SWOT and competitors analysis, design my Business Model Canvas as well as my marketing plan before I start. This is what I do to plan ahead because no one knows what will happen in the future. So, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
Another strategy I employ is to have positive mindset that the business would work. So, that keeps me going even in the face of challenges. I also ask questions from people who have gone ahead of me because I believe no one is an island of Knowledge.
Lovely strategies sir. Can you say your customers have derived maximum satisfaction thus far from your services?
I have worked with over 300 clients and I can say that they derived maximum satisfaction thus far from my services. How do I know that? It is obviously through their feedbacks and referrals. I seldom run ads for my businesses – so, when past customers keep on recommending me to their friends, I believe it’s because they are satisfied with my services.
Meanwhile, for a few customers who may not have derived maximum satisfaction from my services and have made it known through their feedback, I apologized and gave them incentives while promising to give them the best next time.
Quite Fascinating. Where do you see business in the next 10 years?
I see my business in the next 10 years as a business conglomerate with the name BAE GROUP OF COMPANIES as I would have included some more businesses and would be providing solutions to some Nigeria’s biggest problems. I also see the business as an employer of at least 300 employees with several CSRs.
What a vision. What are your advices for younger ones that would want to take up your line of business?
My advice is that they should not jump into any business because of what they hear but because they are willing to solve problems. While doing business, take time to study and pray. Ask questions from those that have gone before you! Business is tough in this country so be prepared!!
It has been an eventful day with you sir. I have learnt so much from your responses and I must say I am honoured to have you here and starting this program with you. Keep living sir.