5 Secrets of My Business Success – Funke Soyibo, CEO/Founder HNK Interiors Ltd

Tenacity. Persistence. Determination. Perseverance. Doggedness. Single-mindedness. Strength of will. The firmness of purpose. Strength of purpose. Fixity of purpose. Patience. Staunchness. Steadfastness. Diligence. Hard work. Grace. Favour. Mercy.

All the words above simply describe my secret to success in my 14 years, Journey, as an Entrepreneur in Nigeria.

HNK Interiors Ltd was established in the year 2007 out of my passion for transforming ordinary spaces into extraordinary ones. My passion for the business has kept me over the years even amid failures, setbacks and disappointment. Thirteen years ago, I opened my very first interior design/furniture showroom. The size of the store was just about 20m2. It was a very tiny space like the size of a standard bedroom. I remember clearly how I had gone round to meet friends and families for loans to set up this showroom. Eighteen months after the store was opened not one single sale was recorded at the store!!

The location was bad for business, but I was inexperienced at the time and I had no idea how important the location of the business was. This was a huge setback for me and I was utterly disappointed and devastated wondering if I was on the right part. Still yet, giving up was not an option for me and so I decided to give it another try. I started looking for another space for my showroom. This time around I was very determined not to get a space in a location that was not right or that would not give me the right exposure.

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So I got a space on a high street in the Ikoyi area of Lagos. It was another tiny store that was formerly being used as a meat shop. That was all I could afford at the time. Effortlessly, I was able to transform a former meat shop to an interior design/furniture showroom. This move turned out to be the beginning of the several breakthroughs that I have recorded on this journey so far.

The tiny showroom grew in leaps and bounds and became a huge success.

Our Clientele base started to grow and within 6 months of moving into that location, I had sold off practically all the goods that I couldn’t sell at the previous location. Jobs started coming in, a lot of people that knew the space as a former meat shop were astonished as to how I was able to transform the space.

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This helped the business also, as we did not have to do too much convincing before clients gave us their spaces to transform.

After about two years, space became way too small for us and we had to move to a bigger place.

Today we have three Big Showrooms with a total space size of about 600m2, all on the different highstreet and eyebrow areas of Lagos. HNK interiors Ltd as at today has a staff strength of 17 people. Yes, it has been challenging, yes we failed at some points, we made some bad decisions, but we have had some very good wins too. Through it all, I can boldly say that the 14years of running my business has been very fulfilling and also very rewarding all thanks to God!

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To anyone out there who is contemplating on taking such a bold step of starting a new business, I say YES to you and I leave you with these 5 life lessons:

1. Find your Purpose… Your purpose is simply what you have been created to do!

In finding your purpose you will discover your passion, then think of how to monetise that passion and your journey to greatness can begin.

2. Start Small and allow the business to grow and fund itself… I started from my home, my living room was my first showroom. When I decided to own a business place, it was also a very small space. I did not start in a huge space.

3. Location is Key!

Be sure your business location is right for the type of business you intend to do.

4. Work hard, work very hard and yes, work harder!

5. Lastly, have a relationship with your maker, love him, honour him with your substance and your increase and seek him always!

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