Finding a niche, critical to business success — Ogbonyomi

TOFARATI IGE

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Lagos.

Not at all. I had not had any corporate work experience prior to when I started my photography journey.

I got into UNILAG through the diploma programme in 2015, and it lasted for about a year, after which we were given a six month-break after the final exam. Prior to the six months break, I had a list of things I wanted to do in order not to be idle. Among the list of things I wanted to do, I chose photography, and that was how the journey started.

I officially started photography in 2016.

We offer a wide spectrum of services actually; from wedding pictures to portrait, corporate, real estate/architectural/interior, commercial photography and more.

My initial capital was about N350,000, with which I got an amateur camera, a lens and a speedlight. I was fortunate enough to get the money from my parents.

Every business/market is saturated, and the competition is high. However, I believe there are core areas that distinguish me from the crowd. For me, those areas are integrity, respect, honesty, trust and customer satisfaction without compromise.

There are a lot of challenges actually. They include financing, self doubt, heavy competition and rejection. Sometimes, the challenges even depend on what genre of photography one is into.

There is no doubt that business owners/entrepreneurs face challenges daily, regardless of the type of business they are into. This is in addition to the type of system we find ourselves in. It is difficult being a successful business owner but with dedication, hard work and God, success is guaranteed.

I do that mainly through proposals for corporate and commercial works, referrals, and recommendations on Instagram and other social media platforms.

I do a little bit of promotion on my Instagram page, but aside from that, I don’t do anything else. I let my work speak for me and those that have patronised before often refer other customers to me.

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(Laughs). The initial stage of every business is usually rough and bumpy, which could in turn bring about self doubt and make one question oneself and. However, I have always been an incurable optimist. Even when things were rough, I never stopped or thought about starting something else.

With checks and balances, it is evident that it has been profitable, and things keep getting better. Besides, it has been paying my bills.

I plan to dabble into more genres (of photography), and still be relevant in the field for many years to come. By God’s grace, I would also like to open the door for the young folks coming behind me.

My family gave me all the support I needed; from financial to emotional, mental and spiritual support. It has been God and my family from the beginning. I have also crossed paths with friends that helped, and are a part of my story.

My thirst for knowledge and constantly getting better have made my business to be where it is today. My portfolio with brands and companies is also a part of the influence.

They have to be passionate about being better, be hungry for knowledge, be dedicated and ambitious, don’t let money be your priority when you start, focus on building a brand, network a lot, and collaborate and work with teams.

They should also be patient, choose a niche to master, identify a mentor, join a photography group, and always pray for guidance and discernment.

My ‘terms and conditions’ help me with that.

The nature of any particular job/assignment determines how I work. If it’s a wedding or a large event, I work with my team. But if not, I work alone.

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