Entrepreneurs need inspiration. The best kind of inspiration is to network and interact with other like-minded entrepreneurs to see what they are up to in their respective industries, the challenges they’re are facing, how they manage to sail through them and turn them into successes. We, as your SME bank through #ChaseStories, aim to give you that platform where you share your story & encourage you to #ChaseYourDream.
On today’s Business Talk, meet @Rita_Oyier. A Chase Woman client and entrepreneur at heart, who believes that ‘No Brand’s an Island.’ You know you are one when others can see that unique quality in you, even more your employer. That’s a complement that Rita has received from her peers and former employers over the years. Catch her interview on AM Live here. She was also voted the most influential Facebook personality during the 2014 SOMA Award. She shares with us the story of her entrepreneurial journey as well as her lessons and thoughts on what drove her into the industry she’s in.
Q1. What kind of business do are you involved in?
I own Monar Strategic, a 360 degree marketing communication agency. We develop boutique solutions to deliver accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness in brand and consumer activations using a combination of below the line, Public Relations and above the line tactics.
Q2. What ignited the spark in you to start your business and make significant changes in your industry?
I saw a consistent gap over time in the way marketing budgets were accounted for in terms of deliverables. There was a level of detail that was so hard for so many agencies to achieve in delivering on the project results to impact business and reporting in a timely and accurate manner. There was a certain standard in the agencies that was really not efficient as a return on investment bottom line measure and impact assessment. This continuously kept nagging at the back of my mind week after week and with every interaction with agencies.
As a solution in the agency where I worked as my next employer, I started training the projects team on reporting with words and with accurate figures. We moved from weekly reporting to daily reporting just so that we had a higher probability of data integrity. With every project we learnt something new on the excel sheet and how to verify the data brought in.
As this was happening, I kept thinking there must be a way of making this easier and integrating results to budgets to project objectives as real time as possible. The hunt begun to get this solution together with my cousin, Marvin, we developed an online tool that would solve these problems. He took it further by registering the Monar Strategic and pushing me to actively solve the gaps I saw in the market.
Q3. Did you have enough finances to start the business? How did you manage to get the confidence to start out without enough finances?
No, I had no money but had a lot of people who saw potential and believed in me. For instance, one of my close friends offered to pay salary for my employees for the first year. And two former employers gave me my firsts jobs.
Q4. How would you define success in entrepreneurship? Do you feel like you have succeeded?
Success in business to me is constantly looking in the mirror for truths, reality, vision, failures and learnings. As long as one is learning and adjusting accordingly then they are successful.
Q5. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
Organization culture: it’s important to hire people whose personal culture is aligned to organization culture. Getting staff who align to organization culture is the biggest problem this results in churn due to the cost of hiring and training new staff.
Q6. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
When the clients business objectives are met. Nothing beats that.
Q7. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur? Do you ever regret getting into entrepreneurship?
No, I do not regret and my favorite part is working 24 hours as I remain fully motivated through it.
Q8. What advice would you give an upcoming or aspiring entrepreneur?
Step out. Conquer your fear. Learn.
Q9. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Yes. Open up to learning, failing, trying again and knowing when to quit.
Q10. How do you think running a business today is different from say 5 years ago? How do you foresee it 5 years to come?
I do not know what running a business 5 years ago looked like but predictably what will happen is businesses have to be highly responsive to consumer’s feedback and needs. The level and consumer collaboration will be heightened because of global access to standards and information. New products will also be developed around consumer needs because of constant feedback and proximity to consumers online.