The Fidelity SME Forum, a weekly radio programme organized by Fidelity Bank Plc, has unveiled the key to success for aspiring entrepreneurs.
The founder of Sweet Sensation, a confectionary chain, Lady Kehinde Kamson, disclosed that passion for any undertaking is a critical success factor for aspiring business people.
Kamson stated this while sharing her success secret in a highly competitive industry on the Fidelity Forum.
She said that she had always had the passion for cooking, baking and food service generally. “I like to try out recipes and I had a mother who taught me same and she was a good example. So, the business had to be food because that was what I had a passion for and that’s another point I would like to share with aspiring business people. It’s good to look out for money, but it’s also good to satisfy your passion.”
On why it took long to open an outlet of Sweet Sensation, she said that every good thing has to start with some degree of experience, stressing that one must necessarily struggle because if one does not struggle, then he or she can’t understand the business effectively and success may be short lived. “There is a learning process that you cannot compromise and it comes with every territory and if you then patiently struggle through the process, then you will come out victorious.”
Kamson maintained that there is no right time to go into business rather it depends on the type of maturity the business choice requires. Some business, she says, may require extreme maturity which one cannot really cope with except they are able to learn from a skill acquisition centre. “Businesses require different skills and temperament. While one is young, it’s true that making children comes in the way in the case of mothers, but with determination, you can truly succeed,” she added.
She said there are a lot of challenges confronting business owners, which people visioning out there don’t see. “We in the business and in the industry know what the challenges are. Like I said earlier, energy is the first challenge. Energy, because of its cost and because of the replacement constrains. The money spent on diesel is staggering and am sure you know that. “ It’s more so for a multi-location shop where it’s all repeated. The replacement of the generators themselves is tiring. Generators will work two years maximum and they are worn out because they’ve been working day and night. We have some locations that we don’t even have PHCN power supply. “You can imagine what operators like us face. I know it’s a national problem but you are restrained to price increment to cover your cost. And that is why you would notice that generally, some operators are already closing down branches, trying to adjust to the situation and keep only the thriving outlets going rather than let the slower outlet drag the ones that are doing well.”
On lessons people should take away from her beginning, Kamson said the start is always a struggle, which must necessarily be so because if one does not learn the intricacies of a business, then he cannot fully understand it. “We were lucky back then that the market was not particularly competitive as at the time I started. And I was young and full of ideas, I was also strong and passionate about whatever I did, and I had the support from my husband to do whatever I wanted to do.”
Fidelity SME Forum is a deliberate attempt by the bank to resuscitate the Small and Medium – scale Enterprises (SMEs) and create a new generation of entrepreneurs with the “I can do” spirit in Nigeria. This is not only seen as the bank’s believe in SMEs as a growth catalyst but also a clear commitment to efforts aimed at revamping the Nigerian economy. The weekly radio programme, essentially seeks to empower Nigerian entrepreneurs with knowledge, know-how and expertise that will help them build successful businesses. This it does by bringing renowned entrepreneurs to the show on weekly basis to share their experiences and encourage potential and existing entrepreneurs. This is aside the other financial, legal and business advisory services the Fidelity Managed SMEs Business renders to customers.