Udobizness of the week - Donna's Chin-Chin
This week, we will be taking a look at Donna's Chin-Chin; a snack-based venture specializing in the popular delicious Nigerian snack “chin-chin”. It is run by Taiwo Folashade, an Abuja resident who enjoys cooking baking and reading. Donna’s chin-chin deals with bulk demands and can also meet smaller needs. In the past, it has delivered to homes, corporate gatherings, parties and other large events.
The birth of Donna’s chin-chin stemmed from the fact that Taiwo noticed that her “hobby” (as it was back then) was actually in high demand; enough so that people were willing to pay to have a taste of her snacks. In fact, she made quite a bit of chin-chin for an event in 2019 and got so many people asking about her goods and where they could purchase some or get it supplied for their own events. Right after this, she decided to turn the hobby into a full-fledged business. She obviously has a good eye for opportunity.
Taiwo told us that running her business has been an awesome journey but obviously, there is no journey that comes without challenges. In her case, she initially faced the challenge of growth. Taiwo said that for a while, she was stuck in that spot where there was evidence of a loyal customer base, but not enough new customers were engaging. She noticed it was more about trust and the skepticism of the average Nigerian when it comes to trying something new. Fast-forward to now and even though she is currently seeing the evidence of growth, Taiwo says she is not satisfied with the level of her business right now, especially in the aspect of branding. She, like most successful entrepreneurs; is part of the school of thought that believes proper branding is one of the major ways to become a household name which more often that not, guarantees huge success and market control. Her aim is to get Donna’s chin-chin to become the bestselling chin-chin in Nigeria. She knows that constant improvement is important in achieving this dream and she makes sure to study her growth journey and learn from past triumphs and mistakes. Being someone that went through customer service training, Taiwo is extremely competent when it comes to dealing with clients. This explains her loyal fan-base because she treats them with full respect. Even when encountered with difficult customers, she always apologizes and sees any improvement opportunity that could stem from such interaction. This is one thing that sets her apart from her competition. Funny thing is, Taiwo does not pay too much attention to competition because she believes that the food industry only has room for growth, and everyone can occupy the space.
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Contrary to popular belief, Taiwo thinks Nigeria is a good place for small businesses because of easy access to customers. She believes that even though the struggle is never easy, it gets better with consistency. She has also adapted a method of contracting employees when needed to keep costs down during periods of less engagement from customers. Being a woman, Taiwo mentions that the patriarchal default in the Nigerian society where gender roles are assigned have played to her advantage because of the industry she is a part of. She does acknowledge the fact that this is an issue and advices women to get extremely knowledgeable about their craft so that they can stand up to anyone trying to “mansplain”. Our take on this remains the same, men must do better. As a nation, we need to educate our sons on what is appropriate behaviour towards women.
Being the review driven enthusiasts that we are, we asked the question of what she thinks of myudo.biz as well as what advice she could give us.
"It is really a great thing to have small business showcase their work. I'm happy to be part of this family." She replied.
Thanks for the compliments, Taiwo! Like you, we have made huge strides between our launch date and this point and we are constantly making improvements to get ahead. You can find Donna’s Chin-Chin on UdobizNG at http://www.myudo.biz/donnaschinchin. Find more of this business creativity on Instagram: donnas_chinchin or twitter at LadonnaTaiwo.