23 Aug Success Meets Hardwork: Naa Oyoo Kumordzi of AlreadySpiced Ltd.
After losing her job through a company lay-off, Naa Oyoo Kumordzi started her own business (AlreadySpiced and Social Media Marketing/ Training) to empower more people by providing jobs and influencing the younger generation to think of innovative ideas and disruptive solutions. Naa believes that lots of hardwork, commitment, willingness to learn, adapting to change and learning from mistakes are the best ways to grow, sustain and succeed in owning a business for yourself.
Please tell us about your business(es).
I am the founder and managing director at AlreadySpiced Ltd. – a meat processing company focused on providing a selection of seasoned and marinated meats to save time and provide convenience in cooking. Our meats are organically spiced with natural herbs and spices, there is no artificial flavourings or preservatives in any of our products.
I am also a social media educator and trainer, training corporate and small businesses in social media marketing to bolster their social media marketing efforts. Businesses in Ghana who are still new on the social media scene need to know how to boost their presence on the key social media platforms to reach their market with their brand message.
What made you decide to embark on producing this product and rendering these services?
Cooking the average Ghanaian meal is time-consuming with the average meal taking about 3 hours from start to finish whether it is a sauce or soup. We spend a lot of time in traffic on our way to work and returning back to the house after working hours. This creates a stress-filled environment which takes away the joy of preparing healthy and quick meals. We saw the time-consuming problem and also how difficult it is eating healthy in a stress filled working environment.
I decided to train businesses in social media marketing because of my 7 years’ experience in content creation and blogging which boosted my skills in using the major social media platforms to market client products.
What influenced your decision to become an entrepreneur?
I lost my 9-5 job through a company layoff and decided to start my own business. I believe that it is through the start of our own businesses that we can empower more people by providing jobs and influence the younger generation to think of innovative ideas and disruptive solutions.
To what do you attribute your success?
I am still learning everyday and every win during business operations is a success in itself. There is a lot of hardwork, commitment, willingness to learn, adapting to change and learning from mistakes involved in the business. So, I will not say we are successful yet until every Ghanaian locally and globally know of our brand, uses our products for the rest of the world to also become knowledgeable about what we do.
Lack of capital is often cited as one of the most challenging parts of being an African entrepreneur. How were you able to fund your business?
I used personal bootstrapping and partner investment. My partner and I committed our personal finances initially till the business was generating revenue to self-sustain itself. Lack of capital is often an excuse to not start at all on a dream. We should always be willing to start small with what little money we have, by doing this a potential investor or partner will recognise your commitment to your dream.
What piece of advice would you give to other Africans just starting out?
Push every single day. Believe in your dream, wake up every single day thinking of what you can do to bring you one step closer to a global scale. Having your own start-up can be overwhelming especially when it looks like nothing is moving in the direction you want, but do not give up in those moments. Create your personal brand early and show yourself as a young entrepreneur instead of spending precious time taking selfies. Be willing to learn and improve. Be willing to accept positive criticisms and learn from them. Be humble in your beginnings and stay humble throughout. Believe in your journey, it is yours to own.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made? How did you recover?
I would not call it biggest mistakes, rather disappointments and frustrations. There is a lot of frustration in starting out and establishing your food business. I faced lot disappointments in the initial stages of registration, food testing, supply chain etc because of poorly set up systems in the country. I usually overcome and recover these disappointments by consistently assessing the problem and what I can do to avert it the next time. I also maintain a patient attitude with the situation to avoid getting overly stressed. There was a time when I used a third-party delivery service who gave the wrong order to a customer and interestingly the delivery service blamed me for their mistake. That was a very stressful occurrence and after it was resolved, I just switched to another service provider.