Oluebube Akah is the Founder & CEO of Aga’s Wholesome Foods Limited, a food processing company that manufactures 100% natural beverage powders and seasoning powders, from nutrient dense crops grown in Africa.
An outstanding feature of Oluebube’s company is the ability to diversify and provide exclusive services for a variety of customer needs and demands such as allergen free beverage powders, low sodium seasoning powders, vegan and sugar free options, which serves as sustainable food options for children living with food allergies, adults on a low sodium diet, vegans and healthy living enthusiasts.
Here is Oluebube’s session with us:
Transitioning from 9 to 5 to full time entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneurship is hard work, ensure you are ready to put in the work
- Give your business time to grow
- Start with what you have and scale, you only get clarity as you move on
- Ensure you have a strong WHY that will keep you going regardless of what comes up
- Never compare yourself with others because your challenges are different from theirs. Go at your own pace, just be consistent and keep showing up everyday. When you get tired, take a break and come back.
Your Mindset Matter | Validate Your Product
- Get this book- The Girl Entrepreneurs by Ibukun Awosika , Start with what you have by Rev Sam Adeyemi
- Listen to podcasts e.g How I built this on Guy Raz
- Don’t spend all your day on Instablog, be intentional about feeding your mind – limit bad news and gossip
- Be clear of your target market
- Ensure that your product delivers on its promise , quality at all times
- Practice what you preach e.g if you are selling natural seasoning powders and teaching people how to cook without seasoning cubes, I should not see seasoning cubes in your house oo
Watch this live video by Triciabiz – she explained how to identify your target market very clearly here
Register Your Business | Standardization
- Get food certification once you validate your product.
- Labeling – always indicate your manufacture date, expiry date and batch number
- Improve on your branding as you grow
- Google and find out NAFDAC labeling guide and ensure all the relevant information are included in your labels
- Look for similar products on Amazon or Google , see how they write their descriptions and let it guide you on how to write yours
Food Safety Training | Pay Yourself A Salary | Keep Records
- Get food safety training or trainings relevant to your field. Quality control is key . Check out @foodsafetypractices on IG, there are also international food safety trainings you can take
- You can research recipes online and then tweak to formulate your product. You can also pay for relevant formulation classes or put ingredients together based on your cooking experience
- Keep your records. It helps you show growth especially for funding, attracting grants and investors
- Sign up for trainings relevant to your business and only pay coaches with results. Don’t be blown away by plenty of noise . Look for people who have done what you want to achieve before paying
- When you sign up for courses, watch it and ensure you implement
Document Your Business Processes
- Hire as soon as possible. When hiring, ensure you clearly outline the job description. If possible please use a recruiter for higher roles or an agent for School leaver roles.
- For higher roles we used @hrexpertlady on IG. She is good and will be patient with you till you get what you want
- Don’t hire someone you cannot fire. Very important
- When your staff is attending to customers, you notice you give less discounts, because as a business owner you are emotionally attached to your business and your customers
- Review your process monthly. Your staff can also work with you to document the processes
If you are still a one man business , this is the best time to start writing your processes so that it is easier when you are ready to hire. Also start writing job description for all the roles
Deliver Excellent Customer Service
- Always track customer complaints and review your processes to see what could have been done better.
- If your product has a default, be happy to work on it and replace it for the customer
- Customer is king. Treat them well and be a good example to your staff on how to treat customers . They will do what they see you do
- Have opening and closing time, and you can set up auto responders during out of office hours
- Listen to what your customers are asking for and use it as data to refine your products. We didn’t start out making beverages and seasoning powders. They were developed based on feedback from what customers and the market was asking for. Always listen and refine your products based on this
- A page you can follow to learn tips on pitching @thepitchcentre and get her book on pitching as well
- There is enough free money to go round. Please put your business in a good position to grab yours
Leverage Digital Tools
- Digital tools you can use
- Canva – graphics design
- Video editing- Inshot and Capcut
- Picture editing- Snapped
- Courses I have taken check @simbi_props courses for picture and video editing and reels class
- @lovemrskush course on video shooting
- @omeyispeaks course on apps and also many free tips on her page
- If you have enough money please feel free to pay a designer and get a professional to do a picture and video shoot for you
- Position your page as a thought leader.
Please ensure you have opening and closing time so you are not working endlessly. With all the work you have to do, ensure you create time for your family, and also do the things that make you happy
Please sleep well, at least 6 hours everyday if not your body will tell you
Support your fellow entrepreneurs as well. Be Happy to lend a helping hand to help others move up
Treat your staff right, care for them, with all the processes and quality products, if you don’t have a good team you are finished.
Ensure you manage your cash flow. Don’t let credit kill your business. Have credit limits and maintain it, If you have people that keep defaulting then stop supplying on credit
Questions & Answers
Q: what advice can you give for sourcing of raw materials for your food product
A: For raw materials sourcing it depends on the raw materials you are trying to source. We found some of our suppliers on Google, some by attending fairs, some on supermarket shelves.
Whatever raw material you are trying to source ensure you order a little quantity and try it out first to be sure it is of good quality and meets your standards before you order more.There are also people that offer trainings and programs where they give you supplier contacts