20 Jun “Everyone should be an investor.” – Stephen Folahanmi Badejo. Founder, The Removalist Logistics
Stephen Folahanmi Badejo is a graduate of Human Physiology from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Oyo state. He is currently the founder of The Removalist Logistics, a logistics startup company. This week, Stephen shares exclusive details about the motivation to start his brand.
Startup Story of the week
I learned how to manage a business while at a very young age. As a child, I started with managing my late dad’s poultry farm, selling eggs, and doing some petty businesses while I was in the university. During my final year, there was a nationwide conference for the Students Physiological Association of Nigeria which was going to be held in my school. It meant that several students from the country will be around and I wanted to take advantage of the situation. After reading several books about business, finances, money etc, I decided that I need to use that situation as a sampling strategy to make money for myself. I wasn’t bothered about failure at that time. I shared the vision with my friends and they showed a significant interest. We contributed a sum of money and developed a plan for a fast food service at the conference location. It was named “forever together” food stand. The plan worked out well. We made great sales, shared it amongst ourselves and we were happy.
After that situation, I felt motivated to do something bigger than that. One morning during my devotion, I prayed to God for a groundbreaking business idea and the idea to start a logistics company came to my mind. I started The Removalist Logistics in 2015 before I began my National Youth Service Corps program. I got my first job three months after I started the brand and ever since then the vision has been getting brighter and clearer.
The Removalist logistics is Nigeria’s one time and all round logistics company. We are poised at delivering professional and affordable logistics services to our clients. We offer relocations services (home moving and office moving), pickups and delivery services, agro and general logistics services, warehousing, supply of construction materials and equipment, and cake logistics services with foreign best standards and practices. We connect upcoming entrepreneurs and start-ups to their clients by offering them affordable dispatch delivery services. Our target audience cuts across all types and grades of people in the population and also the economy. So far, we have been getting great feedback from all our clients which give us hope that we are on the right path. We are currently working on our “Logitech Project” to make it easy for our clients monitor the movement of their goods or items.
I started the brand with word of mouth marketing. Then I leveraged on technology by using social media platforms. I also did a bit of disguise by visiting entrepreneurs, pretending not to be the owner of the brand and informing them of the benefit of the brand’s services. Although I sometimes received insults, I saw this strategy as a fun option. Sometimes, we wrote out proposals to companies that we felt might need our services. While some got back to us with kind words, some didn’t even get back at all. We have not received any external funding yet but that has not stopped us yet. Most of our funding has generally been from savings and reinvesting in profits that have been made. However, we are mostly tending to the smaller businesses at the moment. Gradually, we will penetrate into the bigger markets.
One of the challenges we faced when we entered the market was acceptability. Although, we haven’t really solved that thoroughly, we are much better now. Most of our daily strategies involve wisdom and this helps us to eliminate stress. One challenge we are facing now is funding and market penetration. Once we get the right investors, we will be able to invest more on advertisements. Other challenges are government policies, inflation, power & energy. However, we are tackling them on a daily basis. My team has been very wonderful. They come up with various solutions to solve different issues.
My hope is to turn the brand into a huge conglomerate to be reckoned with in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the world a few years from now. We are currently using technology to improve our services. We hope to make all our clients satisfied and happy with all our services. Our aim is to be able to give back to others through future funding for other start-ups, investment in education and also the less privileged.
To the upcoming entrepreneurs, do not go into a business because people are doing it. Unless you have a better approach to that business, there are other problems around that require business solutions. Try to generate your own ideas. Also, not everyone should start a business too. But everyone should be an investor. If you have ideas, try to build partnerships. This can help you achieve more success. Don’t be lazy. Be daring and face your fears. Do not be discouraged. If something is not working well, pause and create another strategy and ask for wisdom. Also, start where you are because funding and investors will come at the right time. Always be prepared because success happens when preparation meets opportunities.
Stephen Folahanmi Badejo
Founder, The Removalist Logistics