Please tell us about yourself?
- My name is Taomu Oluwabukola, I am a student of the University of Lagos studying Political Science. I am the founder of The Grand Candy Bar
What does your business do?
- The grand candy bar basically does culinary arts focusing on desserts, sugar confectioneries, puff pastries, Danish pastries and macaroons. We also have a fit-fam agenda; we deal with 100 percent fruit with no preservatives and zero artificial sugar. Basically we try to infuse candies in every dessert. Apart from the fit-fam agenda, there are candies in everything we produce.
Why did you decide to be an entrepreneur?
- I really liked to have something doing. At first I wanted something different, that I could have a market for, something people want that will be different from what they already have. I like culinary arts basically. Baking and pastries is something I am good at, so I went for it.
What did you start your business with?
- I started very small, I am an event planner aside, I had a company launch, so the company launch brought me into the market. I planned the company launch in a way that I was advertising the brand at first even though I had not started anything. On that day I showcased all the services the company would provide and basically it was my family that sponsored it.
What entrepreneurship myths will you like to debunk?
- I think the part that people think as an entrepreneur you have the freedom to as you like because you own the business, you might run your own business, but the same way you will run your business as an entrepreneur, is the same way you will run a corporate business. Because there is a business plan for everything, and as an entrepreneur you don’t have time for yourself. People think entrepreneurs have time to do anything they want.
What is the greatest lesson you have learnt so far?
- The greatest lesson I have learnt is that you have to be persistent, you have to go to the right market, you have to build your clientele, you have to be professional, you have to know what you are doing, you have to have a plan
How would you know if you are cutout for the entrepreneurship life?
- I don’t think you can ever know, you might have been in business for five years and still not have gotten it right and might still not have learnt the ethics of business. I think you might need to get to a point where you have your clientele, money is coming, apart from money coming in, profit is coming in and you are investing the profit into your business and your business is growing, it is at that point that you can say you are cut out for the life of an entrepreneur. if you set up an enterprise and you fail then it means you aren’t cut out for the entrepreneur life yet because it means you have not learnt the ethics, because if your business doesn’t grow then, there is no point to doing business
Do you have a business plan?
- To be honest at first, it was a jotter thing, I always move around with my jotter, so the day I thought about it, I was really keen on starting a business, this was a year before I really started the business, and my business plan was not a proper business plan. When I say business plan, you should have a structure. In every business there should a functional structure, for every structure, there should be a substructure. So if am building a business, I should be looking at where am starting from and where am going to. You don’t just rush into things.
What advice would you give prospective entrepreneurs?
- Firstly, you have to have a business plan, short and long term, you have to know what you are doing, you have to create a blueprint of how you want to run your business, and you have to be professional. You have to be able to deliver in the sense that if you say this is what I want to do, you have to be able to do that. You have to be realistic, don’t say that when I start, I will have 100 customer at the beginning, of course that will happen but you should be realistic and have back up plans for everything. You have to learn how to work and think under pressure. Being professional means you should run your business like a brand not like a person. You should run your business in a way that it’s a not just a hustle , but a business. And my hustle I mean anything that fetches you money, but beyond that a business is something you are building that is bigger than you that is building it, you are building something national and international that people can look out
Thank you for your time.