Posted: Fri 17th Jan 2014
Enterprise Nation member Ade Awokoya is a regular at our monthly meet-ups - and always adds a positive energy in the room! We asked Ade why he took his mum's advice (and early retirement) to start his business.
Hi Ade! Tell us a little bit about your business idea
Adescoy is set up as a digital mentor to support start-ups and entrepreneurs with their business growth plans and to keep them mobile and agile. We help them embrace a digital mindset to improve workflow and profit margin. A key service is strategic support on cross-border trading via e-commerce platforms and international trade support based on my experience with UK Export Finance.
What was your motivation to want to start your own business?
When I graduated I wanted to be an entrepreneur in order to be independent and to realise my creative ideas, but I was discouraged by family and stayed in corporate jobs. I found that I needed challenges and changed jobs every few years, and after 10 years of corporate life, I quit and set up a consulting firm and ran this into the ground after 2 years, because I was not well prepared (in terms of sales & marketing), so I had to do (my time) of more corporate jobs!
How long have you been running your business?
I have run and managed my firm, Business Projects Consults Ltd, the past three years and works on large projects with corporate clients, but my passion is in working with startups, so Adescoy was setup to fit that niche.
What were you doing before you started your business?
My previous job was working as a Business Underwriter with UK Export Finance and I took early retirement to start my business. Now I can tell my Mum that I followed her advice!
How did you fund your business?
I funded my business on savings only - and by using profits for expansion plans.
What's been your biggest business success to date?
Being recognised for my track record by being registered and approved as a Growth Coach by GrowthAccelerator.
I've been an Enterprise Nation member for a few years now and I simply love the community spirit both at meet ups and online. Also, after leaving the corporate jobs sector, it has given me a reality check on the situation and concerns of small and micro-businesses.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting their own business?
Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place, so get networking before starting your business to test your business plan and, most importantly, improve your sales & marketing skills. Also, look carefully at your expenses, prepare a cashflow forecast and, please, include your salary!
Where do you want your business to be in 5 years time? And how can the Enterprise Nation community help you get there?
Since I am in the business of growth, I would want my business to expand to more locations, take on employees and use partnerships to sustain the business. The community can help me with a reality check!
Find out more about Ade's business at www.adescoy.com