For your business to get to the next level, would you prefer funding or a high value mentor? Which one would you choose and why?
This is an excellent question and I would say both. Without funding, I wouldn’t have been able to start this business. Funding is an essential part of the food business. You need it for capital and you need it for future cash injections that your business will need to grow and expand. There are so many aspects of the food business that require constant change and maintenance; that it is crucial to have the funds needed to make all of that happen.I want the world to eat and enjoy the African cuisine - Habiba Wushishi Click To Tweet
My aim is to turn Sydney’s Cuisine into an African franchise. And as far as the pinnacles I want to reach, into a worldwide franchise. I want the world to eat and enjoy the African cuisine. There are people that have never tasted the Nigerian/African cuisine before and I want to create worldwide awareness about African food. There are Africans living outside of Africa and I would love my food to reach them and the rest of the world. To do this I will need funding that will pretty much guarantee this.
Having a high value mentor has been a key ingredient in everything that I have been able to achieve so far. In my case, I have 8 high value mentors including my mother. I am the last of 8 children and been blessed to have 7 older siblings that have guided my footsteps every step of the way.
Without their words of wisdom and encouragement I wouldn’t be where I am today. Starting a new business is no cake walk. You need help in every aspect and over time you learn to fly. A mentor is someone that prepares you for life in general and/or teaches you how to start and run a business.
My siblings are not in the hospitality industry and yet, they had so much knowledge on it. You will be surprised by where and who can provide you with valuable knowledge and advice. Being surrounded by so many mentors I have no doubt that Sydney’s Cuisine will continue to grow to new and exciting heights.I have 8 high value mentors, my 7 siblings and my mother - Habiba Wushishi Click To Tweet
I would like to publicly thank Mrs. Aisha Tinubu for teaching me how to structure Sydney’s Cuisine and for teaching me that mistakes are a part of any learning curve.
What’s next for Sydney’s Cuisine and what can we expect to see in the next 6 months?
At the moment Sydney’s Cuisine offers catering and delivery services to homes and offices. The popularity of the brand is growing, I now feel it is time to build an outlet here in Lagos. I would love for people to be able to come to an outlet and experience a great ambience whilst they eat.
We currently deliver to only a few parts of Lagos. Within the next 6 months we will endeavour to deliver to more areas of Lagos.
I don’t want my catering services to be restricted to just Lagos. Nigeria is a massive country and is very populous which means that there is always a high demand for food and catering services. Over the next 12 months, we will begin to offer catering services in Abuja and gradually scale up across the country over the next few years.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned on your journey towards building your business that you want to share with other young African women entrepreneurs?
I have learned a lot since I started Sydney’s Cuisine. But the most important thing that I have learned is how not to give up. A lot of the time, you see people give up on their dreams because of doubt, fear and anxiety.
To my fellow young African women entrepreneurs, I say this: Every time you have even a shred of doubt, or have fear of the unknown, give yourself a quick pep talk. It happens to the best of us so no need to worry. Fill your mind with positive thoughts.Every time you have a shred of doubt or fear of the unknown, give yourself a quick pep talk Click To Tweet
It is only with a positive mindset that your business can thrive. You will make a lot of mistakes and bad decisions especially in the beginning. But you learn as you go along. It may seem scary at times but that will pass eventually. If you let fear, doubt and anxiety consume you, you’ve already lost.
Before you start any business, you have to have a vision. You have to be able to have that picture in your head of what you want to achieve in the long term. Longevity is everything in a business. I have a vision and I am leveraging on that vision to assure success. I will not stop until I reach my ultimate goal and neither should you.
As an entrepreneur, you have to respect time. When you become an entrepreneur, time becomes just as important as money. If you want to run a successful business you have to time everything you do. In my opinion there aren’t enough hours in the day to reach my daily goals so I have to create daily schedules to go by. This helps me keep things in order and meet my targets. I encourage all other young entrepreneurs to do the same.Self-preservation is key when you are running a business. Do not let anyone mess with your head. Click To Tweet
I have seen so many people fall prey to people that have told them they couldn’t achieve something. Self-preservation is key when you are running a business. Do not let anyone mess with your head. You are responsible for your own business model and nobody else knows your end goal but YOU. You can surprise yourself. I surprise myself every day. Sometimes your own advice is the best advice.
Finally, develop your own business culture. This culture will help you structure and shape your business in more ways than you could have imagined. So have no fear and start living your dream.
I look forward to supporting all present and future African entrepreneurs and hope they can do the same for me.
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.