Communication is key in running a business. As an entrepreneur, there are many people you will have to communicate with in the course of doing business. From customers to employees, vendors, suppliers, and so on, the list is endless.
Previously, we spoke with Nengi Marvy Dan-Jumbo on how she solves problems while building her Perfume oil retail brand. This week, we spoke with Adedoyin Adebayo on how she communicates effectively with clients and vendors while building her retail eyewear brand.
Work Role: Founder, Dazzle Collectibles.
Current Laptop: HP Laptop.
Current Phone: Huawei.
Favourite quotes: “Stay curious.”
First Thing You do Every Morning: I try to pray
Favourite Clothes to Wear: Comfortable clothing. I like dresses.
The Language You Speak When Angry: Hahaha, this is funny. I think the choice of language depends on who I’m talking to. It depends on the other person, I think my choice of language depends on the one that will best communicate how I feel in the way that the person will understand. 😂😂
Please tell us about yourself and your brand
My name is Adedoyin Adebayo. I am the founder of Dazzle Collectibles, an e-commerce business specialising in the retail of eyewear in Nigeria.
What inspired you to start Dazzle Collectibles? How long has it been in existence?
Hmm, that’s an interesting question. Dazzle Collectibles actually began as a side hustle or project in February 2019. Before that time, I didn’t plan to venture into the eyewear business or the industry.
I had a full-time job back then, and one day, a colleague of mine came to me to ask if I could help her pick up eyeglasses she had ordered somewhere. The place was quite far from where she lived at the time but wasn’t so far from my place. I said, “Sure, that’s not a problem, I will help you out”. So, I went to the place to pick them up on her behalf and on getting there, I saw all these glasses around me and I was wowed. I fell in love with them.
When I got to the office the next day, people saw the glasses, they liked them, and started asking me, where I got them from. At that moment, I could see that they were interested, I saw the demand and I saw an opportunity. So I said, guys, I sell glasses, and that was it. I began selling to my colleagues and then subsequently to others.
Note that before this event, I had been thinking of having another income stream aside from my full-time employment. I just wasn’t sure of what to before so when I saw this opportunity, I took it.
Our focus today is on communication. Over time, how have you been able to communicate with your target audience to get them to patronise your brand?
Communication with my target audience has been primarily through digital channels. We communicate with customers and potential customers through social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on, email marketing, search engine marketing and so on.
Since you don’t produce the eyewear yourself, how do you communicate with your suppliers to get your supply accurately and hassle-free?
I communicate with my supplies through various media. Sometimes, it is done in-person and other times via phone calls, messaging, and sharing docs. There is usually a lot of back and forth on images/catalogues, order sheets and so on to ensure that the right things are shipped.
Afterwards, I monitor the shipment. It can be a whole lot but it is definitely doable and worth it.
How do you communicate effectively with your employees?
Currently, I don’t have any employees. I use third-party services for logistics. I also have people I work with for photography and the likes but at the moment, I’m the only full-time employee lol.
Communication with them is via phone calls, chats or messaging, and in person. For the creative aspect, like the photography, I share my ideas with the people I’m working with. I tell them what I have in my mind and try to get them to see what I’m seeing in my mind to make it a reality. If there are ideas or ways they think it can be better, they share and we all agree and do it.
Please tell us about a time when there was a miscommunication either between you and your suppliers or customers and how you were able to fix it?
There was a time I wanted to procure some goods from a particular international manufacturer. We had discussed the items I wanted and I think I already sent an order sheet to the representative. She had drafted the contract of the goods on her end and all that was left was for me to make payment for the goods.
Though we had communicated and finalised everything, I had a nudge within me to go over the contract the rep prepared, so I did. On checking the contract I saw that several items drafted in the contract were wrong. They weren’t what I discussed with her.
If I had made payment and the contract had been processed, I would have ended up with items I didn’t bargain for. I called her attention to it, she apologised, and it was resolved.
Have you ever had problems with getting your eyewear supply from suppliers? If yes, how did you handle it?
Yes, I have. Quite a number of them. I have had situations where I ordered and paid for certain goods to be shipped, only for them to not be delivered for whatever reasons after months of making payment, and without a proper communication of why there was a delay. In some cases, I requested a refund.
What are the major challenges you have with communication as an entrepreneur?
Personally, I don’t think there’s a challenge. My goal however, is to find ways of making communication better.
What is the importance of communication in your business?
Well, I think it’s super important because we are in the line of international trade. We source for goods internationally so effective communication is very important. It is also important to invent a good and lasting relationship with manufacturers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
How do you get customers to do business with you?
To get customers to do business with my brand, I use various channels. Some of my most preferred ways are online marketing, referrals, word of mouth, through our presence on the web, search engine and so on.
All of these ways are powerful in their own way and reach people that need my products.
How do you get customers to trust you?
By selling quality. Customers love it when they know that anything they purchase from you is quality and will last long. I also testimonials and reviews from existing customers. There’s a certain assurance that new customers get when they see testimonials from existing customers. It builds trust in them.
What are the major communication tips you follow that guide how you do things?
Be honest and never exaggerate in product communication or description. Always say it as it is because no one wants to order something and get something else.
What are the major lessons you have learnt so far regarding communication as an entrepreneur?
I think the same as my last answer. Try not to exaggerate things. State exactly what a product does without exaggeration. Don’t put it up as something it’s not. Also, be honest.
What are the work ethics that guide your business?
Honestly and Integrity. This work ethic is very important. I always stick to honesty in doing business with my clients and vendors. I like to be truthful in my dealings and let my customers know exactly what they are getting. Also, my yes is my yes and my no, no.
Quality. Everyone wants quality products. As an eyewear retailer, I always sell quality products. I don’t want to sell items that won’t last because that will cause my customers away.
Innovation. There are many eyewear retailers out there so u have to be innovative in the way I market and sell my items. Innovation makes brands unique and draws customers in.
I believe you’ve sewn clothes with fashion designers before. What’s your opinion of the industry?
I think the fashion industry is needed and will continue to be needed by all.
What were your worst and best experiences with a fashion designer?
I’m not sure I remember any worst experience at the moment. But I think one of my best experiences with a fashion designer was with a fashion designer I had never met. I was the maid of honour for a bride-to-be and the location of the wedding ceremony was quite far from where I was.
I only sent my measurement and on arrival a day to the wedding, when I saw the dress she made for me, I loved it. She did such an amazing job with just a little adjustment. It was close to perfection.
What is the top advice you have for other entrepreneurs on Communication?
Be open to learning more about yourself and about your field.
Thank you for your time.