Josfyn Uba; Christine Onwuachumba
Bamitale Alimi is an entrepreneur who has built and managed some business development and sales teams for about 15 years in technology, consulting and telecommunications.
Today, Alimi, CEO of Tale Alimi Global, is in the business of providing transformational knowledge through her business programmes, products and coaching to enable people start their own businesses too.
In this interview with Daily Sun, she provides an insight into how to start and run a venture, challenges of running it and why every woman should have a mentor.
You have been in telecoms, finance, fashion, and now you are a business coach. What has kept you going and evolving?
Self-discovery has been a major reason for my evolution. One of the things I have always focused on is fulfilling my purpose in life.
There was a season when I was focused on building a career and climbing the corporate ladder. I spent time working in the telecommunications industry and utilised my skills in finance and technology. My career pivoted after obtaining my master’s degree in business administration. I consulted for a couple of years and decided to try my hands on fashion and beauty, which I had always had interest in since I was a child.
But I found myself gravitating more towards teaching and empowering people when I was in those industries. That led me to create the business side of fashion advocacy platform at that time.
We pioneered business education for creative entrepreneurs and partnered with organisations. At that time, I also got investors to scale up my own business, but I fell out with my investors and decided it was an opportunity for me to step back and prayerfully evaluate what God would have me do in the new season.
I took time to evaluate the things I enjoyed in my career and business. I realised that I enjoyed helping people to take their dreams and businesses from small to scale. I decided this would align with my skills, having worked in consulting and, at the same time, I wanted to be better equipped to support my clients psychologically while they build their dreams. So, I went to the Coaching Academy in the United Kingdom, where I got a certificate in personal coaching.
What would you say are the factors that guaranteed your success?
God has guided how I live my life and my desires. At every point in time, I always find out what God wants me to do and be. I believe in one having a vision, staying focused and working hard and smart in accomplishing what you desire. I believe life offers what you believe in and are willing to accomplish.
Has it also been applied in the business of your clients?
One of the first things we do with our clients at Tale Alimi Global is strategic planning. We do this so that we can ensure they have clarity on how they can grow their business. We provide support, guidance and accountability so they can remain focused to accomplish the goals they have set for their business.
We also encourage them to have a strong sense of ‘why,’ which will keep them going when things get tough.
What is your definition of substantial and measurable results?
Results are substantial and measurable because you have accomplished the goal you set for yourself, which means, if you don’t have a clear goal, you can’t measure achievement. It is also substantial when it has significant effect on your expected outcome.
Talking of your book “Uplevel,” what is it all about and what distinguishes it from other business manuals?
“Uplevel” is a book that will guide people who want to take their passion and turn it into a profitable business. In it I shareed the process I went through to find my niche and turn it into what has become an 8-figure business. It is also very practical and actionable.
It is a book that you will read and take action immediately. I am happy that it has resonated with quite a number of people and I have heard several testimonials of people who say they have ‘up-levelled’ their business and are now living the life of their dreams.
How do you describe business coaching?
Business coaching is a guided process of working with business owners to get from where they are in their businesses to where they want to be. For example, if a business owner is currently doing an annual turnover of N10 million with two staff and wants to grow it to N30 million and increase her staff strength, a business coach can work with her to provide the right strategy, develop the right business structure and systems to enable them grow their business in a holistic and sustainable way.
What types of businesses have you coached?
I work more with progressive business owners and creative entrepreneurs who want to scale their businesses. My clients are in diverse sectors like retail, fashion, event management, real estate food, beauty, financial services, health and wellness. I have seen a lot of them double or triple their business revenues.
Apart from the coaching, do you provide practical help as well?
We introduce our clients to potential business partners and work with our business partners to provide human resources management, accounting, content marketing and digital marketing services.
We are also a strategy consulting boutique that works with medium-sized companies to develop growth and expansion strategies as well as facilitate their strategy session. We have also worked with financial institutions and other SME-focused organisations to provide capacity building for their stakeholders.
Are there enough women mentors and business coaches and why does mentorship matter so much for women?
There has been a rise of business coaches in general and most of them are female. A coach is a hands-on guide, while a mentor is typically someone you look up to who has gone some steps ahead of you. It is important to have a mentor because you can look over their shoulders and get advice from them to help avoid making similar mistakes.
It is, however, important to work with a business coach because you have someone who can guide you like a GPS to ensure you are making the right moves at the right time that will guarantee growth.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your career, what is the best advice you would give yourself?
I would say be ambitious, but don’t be in too much of a hurry. Enjoy the journey, learn as much as you can because everything good will come.
What was your biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?
I would say that it was being patient with the process. I always wanted things to happen as fast as I take action. However, as I got older, I learnt that life is a process and I am learning to enjoy the journey, embrace the process as well as to understand that everyone’s journey is different. Nobody’s career progression should be a yardstick for you.
From your experience, what is your advice to new entrepreneurs?
First, they should focus on creating a product or service that customers really want. Not a product or service you assume they want.
This will involve research, tests and probably several revisions before you get it right. Then, work on making sure that you have the right business model. If you have the right product, having the wrong business model might hamper sales.
When you get the above right, you can focus on things like marketing, business structure, systems and human resources. These are the things we help our clients achieve so they don’t make unnecessary mistakes and begin to struggle.
What are the five most important things one needs to know before building a business?
You would need to know what problem you want to solve, who you would solve it for, how you would fund the production or creation, how they would access your solution and, lastly, who would deliver the solution.