Small businesses are significant parts that links, strengthen and enhance the development of a society. In this episode of Paritie Hangout, we focus on a business owner in Minna, Niger State who shares her experience with us on her journey so far, so good.
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Paritie Hangout is an avenue to discuss pressing issues in the spheres of the startup life-cycle, technology communities and self-development.
We had a chat with Yetunde Adeshina, the founder and CEO of Pink Taste Zobo Drinkery and YouTube content creator (Yetty Yarns). She talked to us about her journey of being a business owner especially in a State that is considered a “Civil Servant” State.
Here is an excerpt of our discussion on Paritie Hangout this week;
Question: Take us through the journey of how Pink Taste Zobo Drinkery began.
Response: OK. First of all I thank God for this opportunity and I also thank Paritie. Pink Taste began officially in 2018. I started initiating the plans during my service year and I started proper after I finished my NYSC same year.
Question: Why the name “Pink Taste Zobo Drinkery”?
Response: Well I chose drinkery because I deal majorly in drinks and I wanted a unique name – not the normal “eatery” and others. Why it is zobo is because at first it was majorly zobo before I added others and funny enough it wasn’t supposed to be Pink Taste cause I wanted it to be something related to my name but when I wanted to register the name with Corporate Affairs Commission almost all the suggested names were taken and out of frustration I asked a closed friend for suggestion and the person came up with “Pink Taste”.
Question: Aside Zobo, what Other things do you do?
Response: From tiger nut drinks (kunu aya), mocktails, smoothies, shawarma, popcorn, main courses like ofada rice, seafood rice, chicken pasta, noodles etc
Question: What made you choose this type of business?
Response: Cause I like food and drinks 😁. I love to feed people and I saw an opportunity in the food and drink industry.
Question: How long have you been in this kind of business and how many employees do you currently have?
Response: I have done other businesses before this but I’ve been in this one for about a year and a half. Currently I have 2 temporary staff that help me when there’s a lot of work, other times I do it alone.
Question: What is your unique selling point?
Response: My unique packaging and my quality products.
Question: What kind of marketing and advertising initiatives have worked for you? What haven’t?
Response: I majorly advertise through social media and word of mouth. Also, the signage at my shop and social media have been really good and could do better though. Well, I have not tried so many other mediums yet so I can’t say others that haven’t really worked.
Question: So, all the mediums that you have worked with so far have been favourable?
Response: To an extent the ones I’ve listed, yeah.
Question: What are some of your biggest failures and what did you learn from them?
Response: Well I won’t call them failures but challenges and I’ve not started it for so long. When I started, I bought lots of things so that when customers come I will have what they want available. But, because of power issue, I couldn’t preserve some of those things and I had to throw them out which was a great loss. Truth is, if the demand had met the supply that it wouldn’t have happened but you can’t really predict these things so I learnt that sometimes you have to take things at a time and be sure of your target market. Another thing is my first location wasn’t exactly the best but I chose it because that was what I could afford at that time (thats after I decided to get a shop after working from home for some time) also I learnt that if you’re not too sure of a decision you can still give it more time.
Question: How do you manage the influence of competition in this kind of business?
Response: When you add influence, it’s confusing but concerning competition, I try to see it as healthy competition, an avenue and not a do or die affair. I see it as an avenue to prove and improve my products and I wish everyone else the best and I even hope to collaborate with others doing similar things.
Question: Who do you look up to for guidance and mentorship in business? And to what do you attribute your success to?
Response: Not a particular person yet as I’m still learning from different people but I’ll say God, my Mother too, though a retired teacher but she’s a business woman so she has a huge influence in my business life, also my sister is into business and I’ve learnt a lot from her. But from the women selling in the market to the man hawking, to Aliko Dangote, Foluronsho Alakija even to Kylie Jenner, these are people I observe and try to learn from.
Question: What’s the hottest item selling at your place these days?
Response: All of them are hot but mostly Zobo and Shawarma
Question: How do you motivate yourself in an environment like Minna, Niger State?
Response: To be honest, sometimes the environment saps your zeal but God, the dreams,visions and goals for the business keeps me going and the will to succeed keeps me up at it.
Question: Finally, what is your view on Niger State being tagged a ‘Civil Servant’ state and the way forward?
Response: Well most states are known for one thing or the other, but I think at the same time we have a good number of entrepreneurs here. Take a look at the Ultra Modern Market, it keeps expanding in population day by day, more are going into business both literate and non-literate. But if we have more industries and other investments here, there’ll be more job opportunities and people won’t always rush for civil service jobs. Therefore, both the government and people of the state should be more welcoming to foreign investors and new initiatives which means we need to help change the mentality of many around here from the mediocre and primitive way of thinking.
Amidst these trying times, the notion that every individual has to unlearn and relearn cannot be overemphasized. As we ponder on some of Yetunde’s response, remember that it is normal to fail and move on quickly with a war chest of invaluable experience. Until we have another hangout, stay safe and out of trouble. You can reach out to Yetunde Adeshina via her Twitter account @YemisiAdeshina and Youtube Yetty Yarns