@reds_and_greens / 0909 123 4560
Huge capital investment, Court case with landlord, ultimatum from Lagos State Govt, an almost devastating fire, rally from their communities and vendors, to expansion and testimonies of a thriving business . Listen to the podcast of how Reds and Greens Brand was built and how they persevered.
“I would say we spent about 80 – 100 millions and that’s the honest truth. So far, we are five (5) investors in the business. We are looking at adding more with expansion maybe having our own farm”
Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your background –
Hello… my name is Isioma… I’ve actually had a very diverse career life. I studied Information Technology in school. After leaving school I had my NYSC and first job in UBA. So, I had my first working experience in UBA; year 2000. Shortly after I left the banking sector then I worked in the I.T dept of British American Tobacco (BAT) and ended up in the facility/equipment management unit. Then in 2007, I left BAT and moved over to Guinness Nigeria where I worked in the facility management dept; shortly after I moved into HR general services where I managed employee engagement, recruitment, payroll, etc. In 2011, I moved to sales department and, I ended up my career in the sales functions. So, I could say that in all the experiences I had in my many years of working actually kind of help me set up the business I’m currently running.
So can you share what ignited the interest in opening a Butchery?
In terms of what triggered me to opening butchery; my work experience was actually a driving force. In my last job I managed the likes of Shoprite as clients and I saw butchery as an emerging market in Nigeria – then I said to myself, I don’t want to open a supermarket so which other part of retail do I need to go into to make a difference and I thought of what stresses me out when I go to the market… that was where the idea came from. In 2015, my company did a kind of redundancy exercise; they said they didn’t have no where else to put me, I said okay; at least they’ve given me a soft landing. So it was with the money they paid me off with I plugged into my idea and started running with it. We opened the first store in 2015. I started doing ground work, training myself; did some online courses, started business planning, looking for investors and partners… (Listen to her podcast to know how the transition happened)
So how did you get so much information and leads to begin?
I didn’t hire a consultant. I did every single thing myself. The thing is I did a lot of research on the internet; it is such a powerful tool that I think we underestimate the power of it. So, for some time, I got stubborn and wasn’t doing anything. I had a cousin I brought on board into the idea and he helped me draft a business plan. So that was how we just started researching, reading books.. you know and I did my first online course on “How to Handle Meat”; from there various avenues opened up and we visited butcheries when we traveled and my husband being his technical self helped in decision making. So with the business plan we realized what was required and we went out looking for other people who saw value in what we wanted to push out and some of them supported financially by investing in it.
What would say your typical workday is like?
I wake up in the morning, then I go out to our first outlet in Ikota; spend time with my team, look at their books, look at the issues they have, have like a short meeting with them then, mid day, I set out to our Lekki office which is a newer office. I try to build relationship with my customers at the new location; meet with my suppliers and like this week I’m working on operation manual. I work everyday. Before closing at 9:00 pm, my husband goes through the books, reports and all that. So after 9:00pm, I do my online duties and sometimes, I get home to -11:00 pm. We do a lot of data analyses and we have auditors who developed templates for inventory management. If your inventory is right, you can’ scale up.
What has been your worst entrepreneurial experience?
When your staff wants to run you down.. So, staff issues; because I deal a lot with unskilled labor.
Key Takeaway Point:
- Service a Niche market
- Solve your problems first
- Have a vision; and your ideal target market
- Start the business right, if it means investors, start it right
- Select a strong skilled team to help with building the business
- Partner with your customers, community and vendors they will support you through tough times
- Insure your business.
- Research online
- leverage on past work experiences or contacts