Are you sitting at home right now wondering when God would give you that dream job after graduating and earning your NYSC certificate?

I advise you read this and get to work with your hands and the wisdom in your head driven by your passion to succeed.

In the first edition of this series, Bounce News highlighted the importance of creating employment for yourself by observing your environment and providing services that people NEED desperately.

The first on our list was Washing, Ironing, Dry-Cleaning.

This week, we are exploring – COOKING.

Everyone must eat to stay alive - but not everyone gets to eat what they want when they want and there are a few factors responsible for this.

1. Location - distance between places of work to where the eateries are located.

2. Time - some people (like me) would be happy if daily hours could be increased from 24 to 28. But that won't happen! I am always too busy to even grab a bite.

3. Preferences - some people just want to eat what many others consider 'weird' and 'abnormal'.

This is HOW you come in as a money making hero.

Dorothy Onyeka holds a diploma in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Works and Administration from the University of Jos, Plateau state.

Her dream was to become a fashion designer. But the pull towards the stomach business was too strong to ignore.

Luckily, she had the requisite culinary skills to complement her passion. So, she decided to put aside her fashion interest and make a living for herself cooking for people.

But her approach was unique.

Instead of setting up a restaurant, she took a smarter approach – the kind of approach a fresh graduate looking to start a business should take a cue from.

She adopted a home-based business model that allows her to cook for people who run tight schedules.

Dorothy called it comfy food, and she targeted bachelors, busy professionals whose schedules or lack of culinary skills prevented from eating healthy meals.

Did it work? Well....

Bounce News had a chat with her in Surulere.

She said the business has grown over the past 5 years into what is now known as Dorothys' Place Nigeria Limited, a medium-sized catering outfit sharing smiles through the stomach.  

“Dorothys Place was birthed out of passion and a need to earn a livelihood from the comfort of my kitchen,” she started.

Where she got the money to start?

“The only thing I honestly needed was the passion for cooking. Enjoying what you do is the most important skill anyone needs to start a business; all others can be learnt as time goes on,” she explained when asked what were needed for any fresh graduate looking to replicate her success.

How did she land her first customer?

Dorothy said landing her first customer was “somewhat easy” because, “I believed in what I was doing and I always enjoyed cooking, so selling it wasn’t so difficult. I spoke to a few friends and they were willing to try me out and so that was how business started.”

A fresh graduate could easily start the business, she said. But whoever wants to venture into it “must have passion for the business; must know how to cook; must be determined to succeed in the business; must be able to identify your target audience - the kind of clientele you want to focus on and most importantly, learn how to be 'money-wise'”.

How do you fix prices?

“Before you can charge your client, you should figure out your cost price and getting your cost price, you have to source the best quality ingredients/food stuff at the best prices available.

“After putting together, the costs of all you have used in putting the meal, then you can figure out how much you want to charge for your workmanship because you want your meals as affordable as possible.”

According to her, “The catering business is like every other business. You get whatever you put in. As thriving as the food business is, so it is crowded. So, you need to be prepared to market your business and give people a reason to patronize you or choose you above the other caterers/chefs out there.”

“So far so good, the cooking business has been very well. Hence, it is the main arm of Dorothys Place Nig. Ltd. On an average, the clientele turn up is good and turn over has been comforting,” tactically parrying the questions on how much profit she now makes.

Tools you need?

1. Passion to stay focused

2. Two pots

3. One stove

4. A mentor (someone who runs the business with whom you can discuss issues as they arise)

Now you know; Get to work