Running a business requires serious problem-solving skills. As an entrepreneur, this skill is non-negotiable. Since there is no business that is without its share of problems, you need to know how to solve these problems so your business can grow.
Previously, we spoke with Mathias Omoragbon on managing his time between his printing business and his 9-5 job. This week, we spoke with Nengi Marvy Dan-Jumbo on how she solves problems while building her Perfume oil retail brand.
Work Role: Customer service.
Current Laptop: HP.
Current Phone: Tecno camon 15 air
Best Work Quote: “Don’t let the fear of failing stop you”.
First Thing You do Every Morning: Pray.
Favourite Owanbe Outfit: Gowns.
The Language You Speak When Angry: English.
Please tell us about yourself and your brand
My name is Nengi Marvy Dan-Jumbo. I started Marvy’s Scent simply because I was interested in perfumes and perfume related products. Before I started it, I’ve tried my hands on soap production, so, in general, I love to start up businesses and see them grow.
What inspired you to start Marvy’s Scent? How long has it been in existence?
A church member inspired me to start the perfume business and I wanted to learn from her. Before our meeting, I had been very particular about the fragrance I used. Yes, very particular. That spurred me on to want to venture into the business and gain knowledge from her.
Marvy’s Scent has existed for just over 8 months now and still counting.
Our focus today is on problem-solving. When you come across a problem in the course of your business, how do you generally solve it?
Anytime I come across a problem in the course of doing my business, the first thing I do is research. No man is an island and we all need to learn daily. I go out and seek the best ways to handle the situation.
That research is important, especially for entrepreneurs. When I find the answers I am looking for, I go ahead and implement it.
True. Please tell us about a time when you had a serious problem when doing business and how you handled it?
Okay, I had a problem with pricing my products. My competitors were selling their products at a lower price than me and this gave them an edge over me. I couldn’t reduce my price because I was buying my perfume ouls at almost the same retail price, but I knew had to reduce it.
The people I learnt from weren’t willing to introduce me to their source. To help myself, I went online, searched, prayed, and got an online tutor that showed me a better option. Even with that, I still researched and got more options. So I was finally able to cut cost.
Have you ever had problems with getting your perfume supply from suppliers? If yes, how did you handle it?
Yes, I had an issue with delays in supply. You know that when customers order a product for you, they want to get it as soon as possible. A delay is not something anyone likes.
To solve this problem with my customers, I just had to keep them happy. I started by calling and apologising for the delay. Sometimes, I gifted small bottles of perfume oil to keep them happy.
What are the major challenges you have with problem-solving as an entrepreneur?
Making sales is my major challenge as a fashion entrepreneur. To be a good entrepreneur, you must be a good salesman.
Sales is a talent you have to learn and cultivate. Truth be told, I’ve never been a salesperson but gradually, I am learning, both on my current job and in my business. Sales cannot be overly emphasised
How do you get customers to do business with you?
Getting customers to do business with me stems from sales. I try to sell to everyone I come across anywhere. Every entrepreneur is their own biggest marketer. I always make it a point to let people know that I sell perfume oils just in case they need it.
How do you get customers to trust you?
Through integrity. I don’t sell fake products in general. There was this time I got fake, low-quality oils, when I realised it, I didn’t sell them. I made a huge loss and it was painful; to an economist, this might be a wrong action in business, but I had to stick to my values.
“No one will trust you if you sell fake products to them.”Nengi Marvy Dan Jumbo
What are the work ethics that guide your business?
It is still honesty and integrity. No mixing or making fake or adulterated oils to increase profit. This is very tempting for many entrepreneurs but it hurts the business in the long run. I don’t sell anything that is not of the best quality.
Another work ethic I hold dear is centred around customer satisfaction. I always try my best to make sure that my customers are satisfied. Customers make the business, so I need to make sure they enjoy their experience with my brand.
I believe you’ve sewn clothes with fashion designers before. What’s your opinion of the industry?
The truth is I hardly sew clothes because it is difficult to get someone to satisfy my taste in clothes. I don’t trust tailors so, I just buy ready-made clothes. I just go to the market and buy what I like because I hardly see people that satisfy my yearning and desires for clothes.
There is only one person in Port Harcourt that sews for me, but since I got to Lagos, I don’t believe anyone can sew for me. That’s my opinion.
What was your worst experience with a fashion designer? What about your best?
I hardly give people a chance t sew nonsense for me. My worst experience, however, was when my parents tried to sew an outfit for me with a tailor. Because they know I won’t take anything to a tailor myself, they will just take the material and give it to them. It usually ends up bad.
My best experience was with the person my tailor in Port Harcourt trained. I went looking for my tailor one day and she had moved so I gave her former student my material.
She sewed a gown for me for my cousin’s wedding. Oh my God, when I got to the wedding at Abeokuta, everybody was just hailing my tailor. My outfit was the best at the wedding, everyone told me it so. I was so happy.
I just know my tailor is good and I don’t trust anyone else to sew for me. It’s not that I haven’t gotten a tailor that sewed something that is okay for me, but I’m not satisfied with just okay, it must be great. I have to look extraordinary.
What is the top advice you have for other entrepreneurs on problem-solving?
First of all, listen to your customers. I think people don’t actually listen. Listen to them. Apart from Marvy’s Scents, I started a liquid soap business in school and listened to my customers. I always made corrections to my soap based on their input. It is people that use my products that tell me what works and what doesn’t.
Based on what my customers tell me, I try to get better vendors and products for them. I listen to my customers. No matter what, find a way to solve your customers’ problems. I don’t produce my oils but when I get complaints, I take them back to my vendors for fixing. Even when I used to produce my soap, I listened to my customers if they said it was soapy enough or was too thick.
From listening to my customers, I can give them products that satisfy them.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you very much.