11 Sep Victor Jibrin: I Ran Out of Money Quicker Than I Expected
34-year old Victor Jibrin is the founder of ArtisanOga, a one-stop solution for all Maintenance, Renovation Repair and Installation services for Offices and Homes, which was established last year. He graduated from the Federal University of Technology, Minna with a Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology and currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
In this interview, Victor shares the motivation behind the establishment of ArtisanOga.
The inspiration to start ArtisanOga began as a student in the university. I noticed a high demand for tradesmen and artisans, especially within the University community. I found some good plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and painters. Then, I began using fliers and stickers, to reach the target customers. I have a good practical knowledge of carpentry, wood work and technical management from my years in technical school. So, it was easy for me to manage the artisans within my network whenever I had jobs for them. I didn’t have a website, so people called my phone lines to request for artisans. Together with my team of artisans, we delivered good services with great customer experience to our clients. After graduation, I worked with Hotels.ng for 2 years. Through my experience there, we developed the online concept for ArtisanOga. Once the website was up and running with 200 verified artisans and a sizeable number of clients, I resigned my job to focus fully on ArtisanOga.
ArtisanOga is a One Stop Solution for all Maintenance, Renovation Repair and Installation services for Offices and Homes. We help people hire experienced, responsive and professional Plumbers, Electricians, Cleaners, Carpenters, Bricklayers, Painters, Tilers, Refrigerator Technicians, AC Technicians, Auto Mechanics, Welders, and more from the comfort of their homes, offices. Our technicians are professionally certified. There is always a need for technicians, but finding the right ones is often difficult. Even when you find them, there is always the uncertainty of whether or not they will do the jobs properly. There is a high possibility that they will try to cheat by asking for exorbitant amounts or do shoddy jobs. Sometimes, they take the money and disappear without any trace. This is where ArtisanOga comes in. We help customers hire and manage technicians the easy way. We also help technicians to improve their businesses through training, certification, and access to soft loans. We currently service Lagos market and are quickly expanding to other cities in Nigeria. Our target customers are homeowners, small and medium scale businesses, hotels, schools, etc.
Having products and services that improve people’s lives is a key driver of our passion. Successful entrepreneurs like Strive Masiyiwa and Folorunso Alakija motivate me a lot.
Getting the word out
At the onset, our main marketing strategy was leveraging our network to secure our first user base. We haven’t got external funding yet. We have been developing and fine-tuning our processes and working hard to gain critical mass in order to attract the right investors.
My biggest challenge was transitioning from my salary job to become an entrepreneur. I ran out of money quicker than I expected. No money to continue my business and no job to go back to.
On giving up
I felt like giving up. But knowing that I have passed the bridge and there is no going back. I persisted against all odds to get to where I am today.
My hope is for ArtisanOga to become a platform that transforms the businesses of artisans, improve the lives of customers and be one of the most profitable companies in the world.
Dear Business Toddler,
Decide what you want, be focused and ready to pay the price.
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