@bubblevilleng / 08109415685
Please note that BubbleVille ownership has changed, as the original founder – Ronke, plans to keep growing her Training and Consulting Business; where presently, she has trained over 500 people.
Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your background –
My name is Aderonke Odumosu. I studied Business Economics and Law. My experience has been in finance; I worked as a Business analyst with Goldman Sachs in the UK before I decided to move back to Nigeria in 2015.
While I was in London, you know, one day while walking the street, I saw a crowd queued up somewhere and I was wondering what it was that pulled such crowd. I got closer and found out that it was a queue for people buying bubble tea. I bought mine, tried it and I loved it. So when I came down to Nigeria, I thought of starting a similar business and opened our first store in lekki.
Starting days for business including funding?
The initial concept was Bubble Tea and we launched this in Lekki in Oct, 2015. Shortly after launching i realized it was a wrong fit for the market so we switched the concept to parfait, pressed juice, yogurts and smoothies.
The business was funded with my personal savings. We grew the business to 4 locations and had a few corporate clients like Total and Grand Square supermarket. The business was successful but I decided to sell it in February, 2018, to pursue a passion in Training and Consulting for entrepreneurs in the Smoothies business.
When did your aha moment come that you thought ‘I can do this’
Well, the very moment I saw that great queue just for Bubble Tea.
Can you describe your typical work day?
With 4 locations and various revenue streams coming in, I had to be on top of everything. Some days I put in 13 hours because there were always lots of work; we were supplying grocery stores, offices, running retail outlets, including customized cleansing smoothies plan.
Because our products has a short life, we re-stocked the shelves of the Supermarkets daily and we made sure we disposed old and unsold ones.
What steps have you taken to make sure your brand remains relevant and competitive in market place?
My experience from Goldman Sachs definitely gave me an edge; I was aggressive with growth and managed my numbers very well. We are very active on social media, we ran promos for loyal customers and long time customers. We also established a well-organized customer service; we would call customers to get feedbacks, did surveys, offered discounted products, partnered with businesses with high foot traffic and strong prospective buyers. We engaged our customers and offered them excellent services. In addition, we ran the business with low overhead and operating cost, which gave us positive returns.
Where do you see the brand in 5 years- 10 years?
BubbleVille has been sold, but I plan to keep growing my Training and Consulting business. Presently, I have trained 500 people.
Can you give us the most challenging experiences you have had?
Staff theft, staff turnovers, and in some cases, staff becoming competitors.
What is the worst entrepreneurial moment you ever had and how did you recover?
We opened a location in Ikeja and in 3 months we had to shut it down because the numbers were not promising, and we had instances of buying products fresh from suppliers and having most of it go bad.
What piece of business advice would you give someone starting up?
Branding and low Overhead – Brand yourself and your product. I tell my students to up sell with social media. Also, I encourage them to partner and supply to supermarkets.
The Nigerian market is totally different and difficult to understand and master. It is really important to carry out a thorough research, perform due diligence and to make sure you are aware of what you are pursuing. Know your figures. For a starter, in this line of business, I would advise you start with partnership with supermarkets, and get a place when you have created the market.
I am presently designing an App that can help business owners – basically small businesses to handle their supplies, accounts, and inventory more appropriately.
A very high percentage of Nigerians are below the poverty line. Now if your customer base is the small single digit percentage above poverty line, the odds are stacked against you. But, believe in yourself, understand your business and numbers, and you have a better chance for success.
Why do you think most food entrepreneurs fail in their businesses?
Bad management and wrong costing of products. They consider mostly variable cost of production and overlook other costs.
What advice would you give your young self?
Start small. I spent so much setting up my Bubble Tea place in Lekki. That much would have gone into other things.
Book and Resource Recommend:
Jack ma – Alibaba,
Anthony Robbins Business books
- My past work experience definitely gave me an edge
- Be aggressive with growth and managed your numbers very well
- With 4 locations and various revenue streams coming in, I had to be on top of everything
- Staff theft, staff turnovers and staff becoming competitors could be challenges
- Bad management and wrong costing of products lead to business failure
- The Nigerian market is totally different and difficult to understand and manage
- Don’t consider mostly variable cost of production and overlook other costs.