My caption to this post was PUN intended. I stalled writing this, and maybe it was God’s will because I came across this book that I highly recommend “32 ways to be a champion in business”. In the first chapter, Magic Johnson quotes J. Bruce Llewellyn (one of the most successful men in America) as saying “if money is all you want, there will never be enough of it”.
The last phrase of the previous paragraph is a great start to begin today’s write-up. Over the past three years of me having my own business (Two of those years physically present), one constant question I get is how I’ve kept my ball rolling and in recent times, how I do that from a far place and how can they start up their own business. When I get questions like this, I can sift through those with genuine business interest and others who are in it for the quick gain.
Let us backtrack a little, In his book Business as a calling, Michael Novak posited that running a business (Inherited or built from the ground up) is a moral calling, brought about by the need to improve the well being of people. Novak’s point of business as a moral calling is what has kept gafasandals afloat, by seeing Millennials like myself feel alive when their sole hits the ground. There are long months of no profits, and a few months with more, but I have a dedicated team aiming at the same purpose, which is to satisfy the customer at all cost.
There are a few things I’m still lagging on when it comes to having a successful brand, but gafasandals has come a long way from where it started. I need to read more books that align with my business model and the two recommended in this text has been mine to go. Also here are a few tips to help you as a startup especially in Nigeria.
1) Let your brand and name be synonymous to trust: Nigeria is a unique case and except that strong trust is built between your brand and the customer then it will be hard to succeed.
2) Excellence should be second nature: At the initial stage of building a strong brand, there will be hitches and loopholes that would need continuous improvement, but it is important to settle for nothing less than the best. The best for your brand and the customers who are entrusting their money to you.
3) Change Lives: I knew very early that sending kids to school was a priority, so I started early. Once the brand had enough, we got people to work for us. Their education path was a priority and I believe this is my calling, inspiring and changing people’s narrative the best way I can.
4) Let the brands Lifestyle fit into your vision narrative: The work ethic and kindness your brand aims to pursue, should also be at the core of the brand’s operation. That is kindness from the top all the way to the bottom
5) A strong Social media Presence: We cannot deny how social media changed how products are perceived and the role of visual and design communication in charting the course of brand’s success in the 21’st century. Also a website is an easy way to explaining to people in detail what you do
6: Good Customer Service: Customers want to be treated like royalty when purchasing an item. Meaning, whether they are in the right or wrong in any given situation their words should be what takes precedence.
7: Patience: All you need in this life of sin to follow through and make your brand sustainable. Success takes time, don’t rush it. However, know when to make that next big move that would take your business to the next level
In my absence, gafasandals have survived a year because of the loyalty of the people involved. They want to serve people, and that is what matters at this point. If you are buying more than a pair today, there will be a 10 per cent discount on your order, and know each design is intentionally designed to make your sole happy.