Your Everyday People- Interview series
Tell us your name, what you do and how long you have been an entrepreneur.
My name is Gabriel Andika, I am an interior designer. The co-founder of Dekia Interiors which was registered in June 2018. I have been an entrepreneur for 2 years.
How did you get the idea to start this business? Take us to the beginning.
I studied interior design with a goal of starting my own company. On completion of my studies at Ell College of Design, I was placed on attachment at Ell interior designers- a sister company of the college.
Thereafter, I got employment with them for a year after which I left to another company. During my tenure as an employee, I did interior design and decor as a side hustle.
In 2018, Dekia Interiors was founded with my then fiancee -now my wife- who is also an interior designer.
Tell us more about your business. How does an ordinary day look like?
We improve and refurbish spaces for both commercial and residential.
I start off exceedingly early in the morning. I then go over my plan for the day. We have an annual strategy that we break down into smaller achievable daily and monthly targets. So, what I do, I plan on how to not only meet but exceed the daily targets. Meeting the daily targets is key as this adds up to our overall goal.
I engage my audience on a frequent basis in our social media pages through posts that explain more about what we do and the value we offer. There are pages like Builders & Co-creators, Builders Forum Kenya, Home Beautiful and others that have a huge following of people who are looking for services we provide, we capitalise on that.
In the course of the day, I follow up with my prospects and if I have a project at hand, I ensure I do project management.
How do you market your business and which tactics have been most successful?
We always ensure that we deliver our clients projects to their satisfaction as a result they refer new clients to us. Referrals have worked best in our favor.
Having a presence of our business in social media, has opened us to increasing business. Through this we have been able to market our business to the internet community and connect largely with new clients. Social media has given us an avenue where we have showcased interior design solutions.
What are some of the mistakes that you wish you could have avoided in your entrepreneurial journey?
For a long time before I started this business, I had allowed fear to hold me back. Sometimes, I wish I had started doing this earlier than I did, but everything happens at the right time.
We have spent a lot of money on sponsored ads on our social media pages. I feel we could have channeled this money elsewhere since the ads did not bring the results we had hoped they would.
When we first begun, we had not defined our target market and neither did we do intense market research of what people liked and how we could meet that need. We therefore spent a lot of time and resources trying to figure that out, which could have been avoided.
What challenges do you face in your business and how do you overcome them?
At the beginning, I did not have adequate financial management skills hence I did not separate my personal finances from the business. This saw me loose a lot of money. Overtime, I have educated myself on acceptable financial management practices which has been key in running our business and improved our financial status.
When we started out, we also did not have clearly developed business systems, this saw some operations affected, some resources lost and no proper coordination in the running of the business. Currently, we are working on streamlining the business systems and operations. We are seeing a lot of improvements in our operations.
How has the COVID Pandemic affected your business and what adjustments have you done to combat it?
Most of our prospects have postponed doing business with us because of lack of cash flow due to the pandemic hence slowing down the business.
However, we are frequently engaging with our clients and potential ones on social media, texts and phone calls. This helps us to stay relevant and maintain our brand awareness. It also builds a renewed sense of trust to people knowing that we are still open for business.
When it gets tough in your business, what motivates you to keep going?
I do a lot of personal affirmation. Daily, I encourage myself and I positively face the day with confidence that no matter what we must get things going.
We strive to learn from our mistakes, and our greatest support has been our Heavenly Father. My faith in God has seen us get business that we never expected and there are instances that we got clients that we never thought of. These clients ended up being our biggest supporters of our work.
What are your future plans?
We are working to expand our business and start an interior décor sister company and also add more services and products that we have seen are on demand in this industry.
What advise would you give someone who wants to start a business and they do not know where to start?
Start early. When you are thinking about doing business ,your greatest weapon should be to learn as much as you can about the business, know who your competitors are and narrow it down to the value you are bringing and the unique solutions you are offering. Do not expect instant results, keep doing what you do and clients will come.
Focus on perfecting your craft!
How can people get in touch with you for your services?
For further inquiries call us on 0703 547 610
“To become a master at any skill, it takes the total effort of your: heart, mind, and soul working together in tandem.”
― Maurice Young
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