I started my business by leveraging social media —Tolulope – NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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Olawoyin Kolade Tolulope, the Chief Executive Officer of Procare Multimedia is a graduate of Urban and Regional Planning from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). When he graduated in 2014, he decided to be an entrepreneur, and this has been his driving force. In this interview with FEMI OGUNTAYO, he speaks about how he built his branding and printing business from the scratch.
 
How did you start your entrepreneurship journey?
I started my business – General printing and branding about five years ago and I started with zero Naira and I thank God for how far we have gone. I started Procare Multimedia in Mokola, Ibadan and we do anything printing and branding. Of course, every business was learnt, we learnt in a small way and we started on our own. To God be the glory, it has been going on well.
 
Why did you decide that you will never settle for a white-collar job after national youth service?
I have always loved to work on my own since when I was in school, I go around hustling all around. I have actually experienced working under people and I can say it was hell. It is not easy before they pay salaries, the way they treat their staff, even with the little amount they are paying you. Also, there are no jobs waiting in the country, then I asked why not just add value to the country? So, I chose and decided strongly that I was going to work on my own and that was what brought the drive to work on my own.
 
You said you started your business with Zero Naira, can you tell us how?
I was actually living on social media. When I started, I was sending direct messages to business owners, telling them I can brand their companies for them, some replied, others ignored and gradually those that responded trusted me, I was building my brand and that was how I was promoting myself and that was how we stepped up.
 
How lucrative would you say branding and printing is?
Branding is very lucrative, it is not like the regular job that people think it is. Also, most people don’t take branding serious, except now that branding is taking over and everybody now knows they need to brand their businesses. Without branding, businesses will not look attractive to people out there, but when you brand your business very well, people will like to patronise you. For example, if you are selling a product and it is well branded and printed, people will be attracted to it and would like to buy your product. Let’s say you have a product worth billions of Naira inside a store and the outside of the store is not well branded, nobody would see it. So, branding is lucrative, it is actually a point of contact between the seller and the buyer.
 
How do you get your client?
It is social media. We are strong on social media and 70 per cent of all our clients are from social media.
 
Many young Nigerians believe the economic situation in the country is not business-friendly, how do you think a business like yours can thrive without stress?
Yes, they are right actually, but I believe by leveraging on social media, any business can thrive. The problem is just that many people don’t believe in sponsored adverts and that is the only way to get enough customers via social media, which means you need to spend to get money back.
 
Tell us about your project, the one you started last year?
We started a seminar in 2021called Business & Branding, and we had the maiden edition September 11. We had about five speakers and it was a huge success. It is an avenue to inspire young business owners or those that want to start business; they got foresight on the things to do to get their business better. It was really great; we will be having the second edition very soon – sometime in July 2022.
 
How do you plan to improve on the success of the last edition?
We are actually looking at bringing in three popular speakers, who are successful in their businesses. They will be teaching us ways to make our businesses better.
 
There is no business without challenges, what would you say are your challenges?
Yes, truly there is no business without challenges. The challenges with Printing and Branding are the stress in printing and the rise in the cost of printing materials. In our own case we like to give out quality and giving out quality requires money. The rate at which the cost of printing materials goes up is crazy, it goes up almost every week.
 
Where do you see your business in the next five years?
For me, I see myself being better than I am right now. For the brand, I see us becoming a multi-billion naira company.
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