Meet the lady who combines a very demanding job, studies with managing her own business and striving to give off the best of service and product to her customers.
Short description of yourself.
I’m Shary-Han Naadaa Mustapha. Muslim, 27 and a first child. Graduated from the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) with a Bsc in Banking and Finance. So I guess it’s natural I went into the Banking sector erh?
I’m quite ambitious. A dreamer. I’m quite obstinate; you can hardly change my mind when it’s been made.
Love to read and write; I have a blog. I love music, movies and cooking (when I can😣). I’m a social media freak; the opportunities are limitless you know.
What motivated you to start your business?
Well, I think it was only a matter of time before I started one. Business is a generational thing for the women from my maternal side of the family. Grandma and Grandaunt did it, Mum is doing it, and I grew up watching them do their thing.
But what really pushed me into finally starting mine was the financial freedom I knew will accompany it. Today, with high levels of unemployment, the number of people working in organizations and earning less than the minimum wage has sky rocketed. And we have a whole lot of people under recruitment agencies and we know what all that is about.
With my ambitions, there needed to be a heat to fuel them. And a salary wasn’t going to be enough. I love that it gives options.
Tell us about your business.
So I have two businesses; an online fabric retail and a natural juice retail.
I started with a small amount for my fabric retail and couldn’t have been able to afford a shop immediately. I set up accounts on both IG and Facebook (my love for social media) and it’s been great so far. Plans are in order for expansion into an actual selling space among others. In sha Allah.
I started the natural juice business with bissap drinks, popularly referred to as sobolo. Advertised online and sold to friends. Expanding to other natural fruit juices is in the works.
And speaking of, you can follow us on our Facebook page and on Instagram; . Or you can search for us, Habrics, on either platforms. And Han’s Juices on Facebook. Also reach us on our WhatsApp business on 0552473495 for all inquiries.
What were the first and few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Kind of answered a bit of that in the last question.
For most small businesses, family and friends play an important part in it picking up. And with both businesses, I started with friends and then I set up the pages and moved from there. Run a few ads on Facebook and IG.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Given that it’s solely online for both businesses, the best way to get exposure for either businesses is by advertising online. And mostly word of mouth. Though relatively new, word of mouth have helped too.
What has been your biggest challenge so far running your business?
Phewww! I have an extremely demanding job and to top that, I’m studying for professional exams. Having to combine all these can be pretty exhausting. It’s hard combining everything, especially quickly responding to customer enquiries.
Owning a business isn’t as easy as it looks from the sidelines.
How did u overcome these challenges?
Honestly. I’m still finding my way around it all. I try to stick to deadlines and time lines. Hopefully, with time, it will get better.
What do you love about running your own business?
The extra income isn’t bad😛. But as mentioned earlier, I love that it gives you options. To meet new financial heights, meet new people (network) and helps you pursue other passions outside your work. And that one day, I’ll be able to help others earn a living too. Hehe, I hope am a better boss😕.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Rethinking of why I started in the first place. Read more about my favorite entrepreneurs and what they’ve been up to in terms of achievements. I get rejuvenated and it’s like nothing can stop me but myself! And I’ll be damned if I kill my own vibe.
Do you have a business philosophy?
Not exactly but I strive to give off the best of service and product to my customers. Their monies worth and I live for that.
I think of Failure! It’s the most natural. Not really afraid of failure on its own. But that I fail to learn the lessons that come with it. It’ll be devastating to keep getting it wrong. Very devastating.
What do u believe?
A bit vague but I do believe in Allah mostly. That everything is written. Our actions and inaction are all penned down. And ultimately you’re not as in charge as you think. And yet you still are accountable for your deeds.
In good and evil.
What are some lessons learnt so far?
Don’t worry too much about things you can hardly change or control. Focus your energy on the ones that you actually can. Work hard at your goals and don’t trust too many people (keep a small circle). And never forget what Allah can do for you. He’s much greater than any other powers you might look up to.
And never to quit, no matter what.
Any business quote?
Believe in your dreams as much as you admire other’s dreams. Even more so. (A personal quote)
“If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther king Jr.
Advice to other entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship and owning a business isn’t easy like people make it look. It takes a whole lot of determination and commitment, hard work to finally say Yes, I made it! Work hard and work smart!