#BounceExclusive: 5 Businesses Fresh Graduates Can Start (3)
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 editions 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 was followed by COOKING.
In this edition, we are exploring BAKING
Iwa Airiohuodion's dream is to build an empire – a donut empire – and she sees her way to achieving this dream.
Airiohuodion is a graduate of International Studies and Diplomacy from Benson Idahosa University.
Also Read: 5 Businesses Fresh Graduates Can Start (2)
Since leaving university in 2004, she had embraced a career in sales, applying her skills in several industries including telecommunications and hospitality.
But in 2015, she quit her job to answer the entrepreneurship call.
That call led her to the baking business.
But Iwa did not bake cake for other popular confectioneries, instead, she baked donuts, and in the process, started a company, she now calls Donuts N Crumbs in Lagos.
Bounce News paid a visit to Donut N Crumbs’ bakery in Lekki Lagos and had a chat with her on starting and running her business and how fresh graduates can successfully start such a baking business.
Iwa told Bounce News she started the business in 2015 in her kitchen.
“I started this out of the need to do something different with pastry,” Iwa started.
“I and my friend decided to try our hands one day with something and decided to try out donuts.
“So, we basically started to mix flour with some ingredients. We mixed so many and they were all a flop,” she recalled brimming with smiles as she glazed layers of donuts on a fire grill.
“But I tried again and again and again, until I got it right making a product that I decided to settle for,” she said.
Business started in earnest and with patronage growing rapidly, she entered into partnership with another prolific entrepreneur, Idemudia Dima-Okojie in 2016 in order to scale.
“We have grown rapidly over the last one year. We are more than a year old now. What we have found is that our volume of order has increased rapidly and we have also grown in terms of internal capacity – from just myself to a team of 5 presently,” she said.
According to Iwa, the start of Donuts N Crumbs was as humble as any beginning.
“We started from a point where what we just had to do was mix in small batches in a small container with our hands. We had no machines (nor was it necessary at that initial period).
“But we have been able to grow to the point we have acquired some machines that helps us make more products for more people,” she said.
What you Need To Start Donut Business
Capital: Like every other business, you need some money to get started. But according to Iwa, one practically needs little or no cash at all to even get started.
On her part, she needed no money because she had virtually everything she needed in her kitchen. But if you are a fresh graduate and you don’t have a kitchen equipped with all that you need, “a thousand naira can get you started or 2,000 naira if you are so adventurous”.
Ingredients Needed: “The ingredients needed to start your baking business include: Flour, eggs, salt, yeast, sugar, vegetable oil, frying pan, bowl, butter and a spatula for mixing,” said Iwa.
She added: “And in case you are just starting and you do not have these things already in the kitchen, you can easily get these items in any market around your area.”
Entry To The Market: After making your donuts, the next thing is to take your product to the market. And this is where the real work is.
This is because no matter how uniquely tasty your donut may be, if it does not get to the final consumer who pays for it, it is useless.
“Entry to the market was not easy because people were not easily ready to accept donuts as confectionery. You know, people are already used to cakes,” Iwa recalls.
But to land her first set of customers, she started from the people she already knew - friends, former colleagues, acquaintances, etc.
Iwa explained: “I started with former colleagues, bosses in the places I worked before. I told them, now that I am no longer here with you, it is time to support your own and they were very encouraging.
“Most of them bought into the business and continued to place orders and even told their friends about us.
“Right now, we make a lot of sales from those initial customers but most of our sales come from our online platforms, such as Donuts N Crumbs website, Jumia Food and our social media platforms especially Instagram.”
So, as a beginner, starting from people you know is key and there is no better option than leveraging online platforms to market your product.
Donuts N Crumbs’ sales, have seen over a 100% growth in the past one year alone and in terms of actual number of deliveries, they average 10 to 15 orders daily and that is from about 4 to 5 orders a week when they started.
This translates to about 40 to 60,000 naira a day and an average of 360,000 naira a week.
That would not be bad for a person just leaving school.
Donuts N Crumbs hopes to be the darling of snacks in Nigeria and across Africa in the next five years, said Iwa.
“We are hoping that in 5 years, Donuts N Crumbs will be a leading donuts company in Nigeria. We should be a household name not only in Lagos but across Nigeria. We should even have one or two outlets in several cities across Africa,” she said.