“How would one make money without money at hand, especially when one is not financially handsome while assaying to start off a venture of high income and high interest in such a declining economy?” has been a thronging thought incumbent on my mind since the tenure of a life after graduation began with me.
The question came, “how can I start a career without borrowing money from anybody”?
Night and day, I did cudgel my brains to see where the pasture will be greener, the scorching economic climate notwithstanding.
Shrugging off the regrets of unpreparedness for the Nigerian labor market wasn’t easy until I attended a business workshop that gave me a paradigm shift on my mental scope to my career.
My name is Favor Ike, a 25-year-old HND graduate of a renown Nigerian Polytechnic in Architecture, born second among five sisters, from the Eastern Nigeria.
My natal background gave me a little edge in business, owing to the fact, that my hands were trained in the art of hair braiding and hairdressing whenever my sisters needed a hair retouch.
After washing and drying, they would have me try out braids which our now late mom braided previously.
After years of such continuum, I had a ripe skill on hair braiding.
I shall be condensing my ample business adventure into simple tips on how I started my hairdressing business.
Tips For Starting A Career Without Borrowing To Start, When You Have Little Or No Money
The following tips helped me maximize my profit and can help you start a hairdressing business without borrowing.
Tip #1.Leverage Your Skill.
We’re in a economy whose survival and the survival of the people living therein will be salvaged by the refinery of human capital, which our government had taken negligible cognizance of.
You must not but take painstaking responsibility of honing and harnessing your skill.
Now, taking a cue from my preamble, I unknowingly matured my hair braiding and hairdressing skill to a ripened stage, while I helped my sisters, to have been harvested on my hairdressing business.
To my story, after the paradigm shift, I thought of utilizing what I have, to achieve what I wanted, then I had to make my manifesto open to all, consequentially.
I took to my religious assembly and solicited for assistance with an application, and with their aid, my identity and expertise was disclosed to many, by putting up an ad for my hair braiding services on the notice board, integrating it into announcement from the podium on every service day, and with in-person meeting with people of my religious circle, I closed my sales pitch with excitement at most of the time.
I never had a shop at that time, I offered a home delivery service, which most of my prospective clients obliged to.
I started making money. Did I tell you tell that hair braiding was the only major skill I could deliver neatly on? It was that serious.
I held painstakingly onto my new found hairdressing business for 10 months, during which I took to a big salon in my city metropolis, which plunged my adventure to a phase.
Tip #2. Give And Take Strategy
I had a liaison agreement with the admin of the salon, which profiteered from the customer traffic from several quarters of the city.
We agreed that she give me chance to offer free braiding services for a period of one month, so as to vet my expertise to the end that I will prove my employability.
But I had ulterior objectives, which includes affording fresh hairdressing skills, washing, styling and more, as well as having a hairdressing business outlet where I could be found easily; the attempt paid off, whilst I offered free service I continued my ‘freelance’ hair braiding for my sustenance.
At the beginning of the third week probation, I was called to receive my appointment letter to resume work as a staff.
Prior to this, I had intentionally initiated a customer relationship order with the patronizing clients and within 2 weeks of probation, I started an aesthetic network of beauty professionals who were actively employed there, I took them as friends and ‘co-sharpeners’. Remember I wanted to get new skills, and “hunted” for it.
After employment, it was possible for my aesthetic team to teach me new skills on the platform of relationship.
I didn’t need to pay to learn. All this wasn’t as easy as they may seem, the mega salon was quite distant from my residence, I had to trek atimes.
I had to take time to build credible relationships. I had challenges though.
Tip #3. Stay With The Process
One of the challenges that dogged my path on this adventure was due to my relationship building flair, which endeared me to the heart of the salon admin.
I was soon promoted to the office of the chief customer care, which was a threat to my aim and drive.
The convenience, cash and control was very warming and mouth-watering but then distracting, because my aim was career building, not an executive office management.
I didn’t know how to say no, of course, to avoid an unfavorable consequence.
I adopted the skill of multitasking with customer care, styling, braiding, washing and freelancing.
And over a period of three months, I learnt entrepreneurial skills of multitasking, time management, team building and people control without knowing.
After three months, I had perfected skills washing, styling, cutting and coloring.
Tip #4. Discover New Grounds
Two months later, I brought up an initiative to run a scheme geared towards training interested students within the community, using hairdressing skills.
Our salon administration adopted the idea, we decided on holidays with two schools per season. All hands were on the spindle.
The interested students were made to pay for the training with a price, not too expensive though, the students that attain our benchmark were awarded certificates, taken into further training after the scheme.
Our salon made much gains during these seasons while it lasted for over a year.
During these times, I was buying materials, equipments and assets for starting up my private hairdressing business venture.
I was making income with the multiple responsibilities at our salon. I also received remuneration for being the brain behind this money-making initiative.
Tip #5. Create Affiliates
During one of our schools holiday outreaches, my path crossed with a mogul in the entertainment industry, whom I discussed my expertise with, I told him I could improve the aesthetics of the stage performers, hair, makeup and more even selling of cosmetics products.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that I made a personal prospectus with a photo gallery of achievements, work styles, business plan, financial statements and mission statement, peradventure I encounter investors, which had nothing to do with our salon. Now, I met another client instead, which paid off as well.
Tip #6. Build Excellence
I stayed with our salon to build credibility, capacity, competence and companionship.
But I had to keep serving our administration till a reasonable phase in time for two reasons – to give back to them and to build myself to stable capacity.
My premium for quality brand made me serve them before I had enough to erect mine.
I resolved to stop at nothing in my quest for excellence, with new concepts, trends, upgrades, and discoveries that betides the vogue of the aesthetic industry, one may lose relevance and influence when fettered to average standard.
In the spirit of this pure quest, I participated in a model ambassadors’ competition which took place at the nation’s capital for three months, featuring renown experts in the industry, whereas activities like beauty pageants, traditional festivities, stage performances of many sorts, stand exhibitions were given plenary sessions.
It was quite a strenuous tussle, from the audition, on boarding to the main event.
I saw variations of expertise within every performance and exhibition. I was greatly challenged.
I swam against the billows to the third position. Oh yes! It was a news breaker.
I was excited because it was a success obtained amongst great sharks in the industry. But I was yet, longing for more.
The goal was obtaining excellence in my brand as a person. I attended practical workshops for professional aesthetics to build my capacity and competence.
Indeed, you can start a business without money or with little money at hand, but wisdom is profitable to direct.
Anywhere you are is a good place to start, you can do something.
Use what you have to create the capital you need, then use the capital to build an imperial city.
Any lasting value takes time to build, so stay with the process.
Discipline is capacity to keep focus admidst the fun.
There is always a step to take ahead, discover new grounds.
Relationship is a currency only few can manage.
Excellence is a brand you can have for life.