The Chief Executive Officer of Kadi Beautycraft Salon, Kadija Asante-Ajulo has narrated her inspiring story of how she started her business with N40,000.
In an interview with The Punch’s Sunday Scoop, Asante-Ajulo revealed that she never thought of quitting despite the hardship faced during the journey.
What is your educational background?
I trained as a caterer and I also have an Advanced Diploma certificate in Cosmetology from the Oprah Benson Training Institute, Lagos.
Do you have any corporate work experience?
I had some work experiences in Ghana, where I worked as a caterer at the New Timers Hotel and Restaurant, and Papaye Restaurant.
What services does your business offer?
We offer hairstyling services such as braiding, hair colouring, treatment and sales of human hair. We also provide make-up, pedicure and manicure services. We sell different hair products as well.
When and how did you begin hairstyling?
I started hairstyling at a young age while assisting my late mother in her business. She was a hairdresser, so I joined her in the business. After completing my training at the Oprah Benson Training Institute in 2014, I started trading in make-up products and human hair online. In September 2016, I opened Kadi Beautycraft Salon in Ketu, Lagos. Now, I have a branch at Ikeja, also in Lagos.
What motivated you to start your own business?
I am driven by the passion I have for hairstyling. Back then, I found it difficult going to the salon to make my hair. I found the way some hairstylists handled people’s hair quite disturbing. So, I took it up as a challenge. In order to do that professionally, I had to improve my knowledge and develop my skills to be able to provide solutions to people who are having challenges with their hair.
How much was your initial capital and how did you raise it?
I started the business with N40,000. It was a saving from the online sales I had done before opening my salon. In the beginning, I had only a table and chair. There was no equipment in the salon. But gradually, I began to have furniture and other tools. Though we don’t have everything yet, we are making progress by Gods grace.
What are the major challenges you have faced?
The major challenges that I have faced are lack of quality staff. Most people who seek employment are actually unemployable. They don’t have the right skills to function. Even when one employs them, they find it difficult to learn.
Secondly, poor electricity supply is a challenge. Power supply is an issue for small business owners.
How do you get customers?
My first set of customers were my family members and friends. Also, we promote our services on social media platforms. As we started getting customers online, they referred us to other people.
How do you advertise the business?
Apart from social media, we also advertise at business fairs.
Have you ever thought of quitting?
There has been no time I ever thought of quitting. However, it could be frustrating being an entrepreneur sometimes. There are no basic infrastructures to support one’s business, so one has to create them by oneself.
How profitable is the business?
The beauty industry is profitable if one knows what one is doing. However, it is also challenging because one has to be creative and innovative. It is profitable when customers enjoy one’s products and services.
What other skills do you possess?
Other skill I possess are cooking and dancing.
Where do you see yourself and your business in the next five years?
In the next five years, I see the business being among the top 10 beauty brands in Nigeria. We focus on continuous improvement of our products and services to meet the expectations of our esteemed customers, so I believe we are on the right track.
Considering the fact that most parents want their children to concentrate fully on education, what hope do you see for entrepreneurship?
Yes, I think there is hope in entrepreneurship if children are given early support by their parents. In today’s world, skills are highly rated. Education is a good foundation but should be well laced with entrepreneurship skills. Entrepreneurship should be included in the school curriculum to impact relevant skills and creativity.
How many employees do you have?
I currently have four employees.
What would you say is the most influential factor in your business’ success?
That would be dedication, passion and commitment.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
They should be focused, resilient and determined. Many things would be thrown at you but stand firm on your conviction. Believe in God, believe in yourself and you would be limitless.
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