TOPIC: Staying Relevant in a Changing World
SPEAKER: Funke Bucknor-Obruthe
FEEDBACK FROM: Kemi Olajide
My businesses are House of Care and Research Hub Africa. House of Care will be five in August and Research Hub will be one year at about the same time. House of Care started from NYSC in Ibadan and has taught many students, male and female teens and fresh graduates over the years. The business started with Ankara bags and shoes when the market was not flooded. Unfortunately, House of Care isn’t known as one of the leading brands in the industry and is barely staying afloat. With goods that customers confess are of great quality compared to what they buy in the market, we are still not known. The roundtable dealt with crucial issues like staying relevant in business, dealing with customers, growing your network and dealing with competition. To stay relevant in business, you must keep innovating, don’t rest on your oars at the top. We are going to innovate more products in House of Care(H.O.C.) and more services in Research Hub Africa(RHA). She also said we must understand our markets, the trends and changes. I think we haven’t been doing that and we will. More than ever, we will watch other brands, study customers’ choices and preferences and everything in between. We are following the trend on social media marketing of selling stories. The speaker referred to this new trend but cautioned that we should watch the trends, adapt to changes but stick to our journeys and values.
Team management, to manage your team you must lead by example and carry them along. Work with your team, get involved. It encourages and boosts team-spirit. Train, teach your team and understand their abilities it will help to properly assign duties. Empowering your team and carrying them along, makes them feel relevant to the business which will make them put in more effort asides from other incentives we give. Immediately, I called my team for Research Hub Africa(RHA), we held a meeting to sort out our plaguing problems and proffer solutions. It was a good meeting, problems were tackled using these tips and since then the zeal for work has increased greatly. I hope to see it play out from this new week.
Networking, “your network is your net worth” -Funke Bucknor-Obruthe. To grow my businesses and be relevant in my market spaces, I need to network. I concede that I don’t do that at all, in fact I’m poor at networking. This showed in my appearing at the event without as much as a business card! I realised my mistake there when I was constantly asked for it and saw others giving theirs out. I need to get one quickly. I’ve contacted someone to do that and I hope to get it this week. If I am going to do any business successfully, I must be willing to meet people and network. It’s not only about having the idea or intellect but to build a business, networking is key. After flopping with the first person, I quickly braced up and started meeting people from the first section of introducing ourselves and what we do to three people. I met seven people, a student, two lawyers; the owner of a boutique for African prints and made in Nigeria products, baker, a Librarian, an events planner. To avoid procrastination and before the spirit of shyness overcomes me during my delay, in the vehicle on my way home I started following all of them on social media and sending messages, some followed back and responded to my messages.
In all, the roundtable dealt with the nagging problems my two businesses have been facing and by applying the lessons learned aside from these stated here, I believe we are going to come out of the waters, be known and stay relevant in our different places.