Moving ahead with our interview series, I present to you Oyindamola of Stackers Gourmet Sandwiches (Stackers) based in Lagos, Nigeria. I met “Oyinda” (as I call her) ten years ago at a friend’s wedding and we became good friends and we've remained friends since then.
As an entrepreneur Oyinda is continuously innovating and introducing new products in unconventional ways. There’s always something new going on at Stackers which makes it so exciting. I've seen Oyinda grow as an entrepreneur in the last couple of months and her ideas for Stackers and other business ventures are just outstanding. As "friendpreneurs", we often have informal brainstorming sessions where we talk about our businesses, challenges and bounce ideas off each other. I am super excited to see what the future holds for my friendpreneur.
Can you please tell us about yourself, what your business is about and the products or services that you provide to your target market?
My name is Oyindamola Sheriff-Oluwo. I own Stackers Gourmet Sandwiches in Lagos, Nigeria. We have a range of different sandwiches with a protein base of Chicken and Tuna. We also make specialty sandwiches like Prawns, Turkey, Veggie, Pastrami to say the least. We also have mini burgers, mini sandwiches, Breakfast burritos and a variety of other items.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur and what was your defining moment?
I decided to become an entrepreneur because of the flexibility it allows me. The defining moment I have to admit was when I realized how little I was achieving in my life goals by sitting behind a desk whilst waiting for a promotion that may or may not come once in 3 years.
What’s one unique thing about your business and what makes you stand out from others in your niche?
We just love to make our customers know we bring more to a sandwich than what they are used to.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur? When did you launch your business?
That's a funny question, especially since I haven't really thought about it. I think it's only natural that if someone wants to do anything, they have to research it first, so yea, that's how I got started. I launched my business in September 2015.
What productivity tools or apps do you use to help with productivity on a daily basis?
I mainly use Freshbooks for my accounting and invoices. My main marketing tool is Instagram.
How do you balance being an entrepreneur, being a wife, a mum and everything else in between?
Well, I would like to tell you it’s a special skill, but no...it's knowing you have to get things done, so you have to prioritize and manage your time well. It's not something one gets down easily, and it can change at anytime i.e. you have a sick child home instead of at school.
Can you share your greatest accomplishment in your business so far and why you are proud of it?
My greatest accomplishment so far, I don't think I’ve accomplished it yet, but I think it was getting Stackers started in the first place. I kept telling myself that I was I'm not a business person, How can I do this? It's not so much pride for me, I think it's the driving force and the belief and support system I get from my husband, and my friends that have stayed up with me day and night brainstorming, they know themselves.
Can you share a challenge you faced during your journey, starting out as an entrepreneur and how you were able to overcome it?
My major challenge is logistics, getting the sandwiches delivered to the customers. My business model currently allows for delivery only, so it's ensuring the sandwiches get to the customers on time. Honestly, overcoming it is something that I look forward to as it is still a work in progress, but we are getting better at it.
Tell us about a mistake you made starting out as an entrepreneur and the lesson you learned from it?
Oh mistakes are a lot, I still make them, but the important thing is learning from them, and not having to repeat the same thing over again.
How have you been able to network and connect with other entrepreneurs, both new and established ones in the online space?
Mainly through Instagram as that is my main marketing tool. I recently participated in a 'food and drink' fair, which gave me the opportunity to network with entrepreneurs in my city. I look forward to meeting more entrepreneurs.
What’s the next step for your business?
Hahahaha, we don't like revealing that...but we are always looking to be better, do better, and so watch out!
Please share parting words for emerging entrepreneurs out there or those who are still trying to decide whether to launch into entrepreneurship
What I think is important is that you know what you want to do, and act on it. It doesn't have to be perfect, you can learn as you go along, just get started. The one thing my Dad says to me though...customer is king, which simply means your customers come first but don't forget your employees though, they matter a whole lot.
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