Uma Nnenna

Uma Nnenna: Herbusiness entrepreneur of the week

This week we feature Uma Nnenna. She’s a Nigerian lady with her hands full. Read on for what she had to say about business.

1. Tell us a bit about your business?

I actually run three different businesses; Pyrex Outsourcing which was the first and started from me being a business writer and market research field agent. It is an outsourcing firm that supplies professional and experienced business content to small and medium scaled businesses at a more affordable rate.

We offer varying packages that includes but not limited to feasibility studies, market research, business plans, proposals, marketing content, product development and much more.

The second is Rezellane Investments; our goal is to build a marketplace for the buying and selling of businesses, franchise, shares, partnerships and related, but for now we accept clients who seek to sell their businesses and link them with interested parties as well provide lawyers and other technical help needed to give both parties a fair deal.

The last, for now, is a digital pulishing company ‘Influence World Publishing (IWP)’ and its also the parent to ReadABookNigeria Initiative; a social enterprise that seeks to build independent learners.

2. How do/did you raise funds for your business?

My businesses are borne from what I do, a part of my everyday life. I’m a business writer, I am sort of the generalist and for people like me we need a place to access business for sale and sell ours and I am also an author, in essence there’s a little bit of me in all of them and that’s why I could start each without much funds.

At first, being the only writer under Pyrex Outsourcing I could handle almost all the jobs and I outsourced a lot. For Rezellane, I have a network of business owners and paid my closers after each deal ends and on it goes.

I didn’t need to raise money to start any of them, I just monetized every skill, experience and network I have. For every expansion we take on in terms of services or product offering I have a rule that the business must provide what it needs. I think serviced based business have less need for physical cash, it mostly requires some head knowledge and lots of wisdom.

3. What do you think is the most important thing a start-up needs to be a success?

Value. Value cannot be overemphasized, infact get everything else wrong but get value and marketing right and you will suceed, but you’ll still other things like Management skills to be sustainable. And value shouldn’t be measured by you because you own it and objectivity can be difficult even if you don’t admit it. That’s were product testing comes in. Measure the value you offer based on customer feedback.

4. What do you know now that you wish you knew before you started your business.

Start now. If I had known the value of starting and understanding that when the winds blows on us an idea, great is the multitude that hears it, and it is the doers not the hearers who can boast I would have started certain ideas earlier. Start now, or loose the benefits  of being among the first.

5. What advice would you give a young woman who wants to venture into business?

Hmmm lots of advice actually. First, you will have to work twice as hard for the same thing than you male counterpart would. You will need to be tough and willing to walk away from opportunities to maintain professionalism because the men will see your face and body first and a good number of them aren’t decent.

You will need friends, who think like you because trust me that you will crave someone to talk to about your next big step and most of your friends won’t be able to offer the support you need so don’t blame them. Attend business events and make new friends.

Be willing to offer your service or product for free to gain the credibility you need for bigger deals. No matter how good your product or service is no one will pay so much till they prove it. Don’t rush for a fat account, entrepreneurs rarely have that till much much later except you hit a jackpot.

Don’t get an office unless you ‘need’ it. Don’t get a car unless you ‘need’ it. Be your biggest fan and boldly call your business a business. Remember everything takes on the importance you give it. I could go on and on but I’ll stop here and wish you all the best!