Atuonwu Olive is a 500 level law student of Babcock University who has turned her carvings to a business for her.
Introduce your business ma
My business name is Olive’s Shawarma and more… And I have been at this for almost 3 years now. I make shawarma, burgers, fries, chicken, hotdogs and doughnuts in several varieties according to customer preferences and I do deliveries as well.
What inspires you to turn your interest to a business.
My inspiration was drawn from several sources but primarily the Holyspirit? He gives the best ideas. My love for food too played a key part and also I found that I was very good with cooking and creating recipes.
What form of training did you go for?
I know this might surprise you but I had no training whatsoever on the things I know today.
Once I found that cooking was my forte, I did a lot of reading on the internet, watched YouTube videos, did a lot of personal practice plus I have the greatest teacher the Holyspirit and voilà ? here I am
How did you come about the funds for your business?
Ahh I can’t talk about funds without mentioning my ever supportive father. It was him, my mum and all the money I had in my account at that time. I also had help from an aunt in church that always encouraged me.
What is your primary motivation in all you do?
My primary motivation is God? because since the idea and the means to start this came from him I know that He is faithful to complete what He has started. I m also motivated by the fact that I know where I’m going and I can’t afford to ever give up ; and the satisfaction of knowing that because of something I created someone isn’t hungry anymore.
How do you thrive amongst the giant in this business?
Well I believe that there is room for every business to succeed you just need the ‘you’ element to make you stand out and that is simply what I have done. I must also add that I have learnt from these ‘giants in business’ because they ‘ve been doing this longer than I have and I have improved on that knowledge to make it work for me.
Did you experience any form of fear when you first started
Well I wouldn’t describe the feeling as fear but I was a little uncertain at first because starting this business was a very big step for me.
What is the strength of your staff?
I’m currently a sole proprietor but it is a temporary arrangement
How have you had to deal with customer’s non-satisfaction?
We learn everyday. I always give room to my customers for not just complaints but suggestions as well and I simply improve on whatever it is they are dissatisfied with.
What’s the toughest decision you’ve had to make concerning your business?
I had to temporarily suspend it at some point to go back to school
Where do you see your business in 5years from now?
Wow. That’s a big question. In 5 years I would definitely have moved from a sole proprietorship to a proper company with several branches in Lagos. I would also have a stable delivery service of my own; a much larger customer base; more varieties would have been added to my menu and so much more?
This doesn’t mean that this is all that ‘ll happen in 5 years because I know God can and will do so much more.
Who are the major people that has influenced your business
My father has been soo instrumental in everything I ‘ve been doing; financially and otherwise. He is the reason why I didn’t give up most days. My friends and family have also been amazing and I can’t but mention the 500 level law class of Babcock University; they are the most supportive people ever and nothing influences like support especially with new businesses.
Important lessons you have learnt in course of managing business?
They are too many but I think I ‘ll just mention 2. First is to always plan and strategize and never rush into any innovation you think you have without considering everything involved.
The second one is to not get carried away with making profit as a new business but focus on improving the quality of your product and ensuring customers are always satisfied.
Where do you get the most customers
My customers are mostly people within my estate and Adeniyi jones because these are the places where efforts towards publicity have been channeled and social media as well. I believe my niche is still growing
Finally I d say involve God. I know it may not sound practicable but involving God makes everything easier. There’s too much logistics in business to try to sort it all out on your own. How else would a 17 year old with N5,000 in her account have started a business by herself except for the grace of God. So don’t just involve God put him at the fore front of everything, run every decision by him and He ‘ll ease the process.
Follow: @oliveshawarmaandmore on IG