‘I love protocol a lot, getting things done for people and making their life easy’
Bisola Lawal is the founder of NattyLaw Concierge, event management and luxury lifestyle company focused on ensuring that life and errands for individuals, family, and organizations is done swiftly. The budding entrepreneur who is passionate about serving people and putting smiles on their faces with her deliverable speaks to IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA in this interview about her passion for service.
How did you venture into being an entrepreneur?
We started a few years ago when I was living in Abuja. I noticed that a lot of people were going out to eat more fast food. I did a feasibility study to know why people rushed out to eat than at their homes. I found out a lot were working-class, executives and business owners who don’t have their families with them; most don’t have the time to go to the market nor have the time to cook at home because of their busy work life. So I came up with an idea and named it the Errand Girl. I started the Errand Girl when I did my National Youth Corp. The Errand Girl is like a unique grocery shopper when the client begins to trust you; they ask you to get housekeepers and other things for them. Also, 99 per cent of my friends live in the Diaspora, then I just love running errands for their wedding and I didn’t charge. When they saw how good I organise these things, they advised me to earn from it and started recommending their friends to me.
What do you do at your company, NattyLaw Concierge?
NattyLaw Concierge is an Event Management and Luxury Lifestyle organization. We offer different services to help people reach their major targets as we take care of their needs. We take care of things for you while you focus on your main business or job, so at the end of the day, you end up exceeding your target. We do that for your home, business to personal things. We also take care of travelling arrangements, tours, moving house, interiors, wardrobe arrangements, etiquette or you want us to handle events. We noticed that Nigerians are more about sending their domestic staff to handle things professionals should handle but people are becoming more aware of their insurance, safety of their family, especially with all the happenings we hear of the house helps and how they collude with others to cause problems in the home. So I believe people should be more concerned about whom they allow into their homes by engaging professionals who will be held responsible and accountable for whatever happens.
How do you source for caregivers and ensure they are effectively serving?
We do background security checks on all our caregivers and we handpick them. Those that take care of the elderly ones usually have a nursing background, they know the importance of the right dosage and time of taking medications. We train our staff and ensure they know how to give care. We also test their skills to ensure they deal rightly with clients. We frown at negligence because it can cause great havoc.
Which of these services do you hold dear and which of them gets you the most patronage?
I love shopping, protocol, and organizing and managing events a lot, I love and enjoy getting things done for people and making their lives easy, beautiful and enjoyable. I believe anything is possible and achievable and we ensure excellent deliveries.
For the most patronage, let’s say protocol, event and moving homes
Tell us about some of your challenges as a female entrepreneur in Nigeria?
Women are often not taken seriously, they are generally seen as the weaker ones, so it is the ability to manage that and still get what you want. The experiences train you to be firmer and determined. Running this business has been challenging because people would not readily engage you
Since inception what has been your sustaining factor?
The passion for the job and the desire to change the norm of how things are done has sustained me and have a good support system in my friends like Tamilore Jatto, Uzzor Areh, ifeyinwa Metu etc.my mum and siblings. The Church I attend plays a significant role and has been of tremendous help because as an usher, they train us consistently in the job and it has helped the business grow.
How lucrative is the lifestyle and luxury business in general?
These services are really getting on the rise in recent times unlike some years back. I guess people are becoming very busy and need the services we proffer to save time and more especially for security reasons. People now see the need to engage professional organisations that are efficient and effective in their handlings and dealings so the demand is getting on the rise but still needs more awareness and exposure given the right platforms.
As a woman in business, what is your take on women, running businesses and how would you encourage more women to take on their passion?
I think women are energetic, result and success-oriented. When a woman is interested in a thing, she ensures it is done effectively, doesn’t rest until it comes to fruition. Sometimes especially for the married, their concern would be in combining all activities and some men may restrict their wives in taking some steps feeling they may get too exposed, but I am excited that more women are coming to the awareness that they are needed. We all can’t be entrepreneurs but we must develop our places of work like we would our house. I believe in women empowerment a lot, Am an advocate.
Where do you see your business in the nearest future?
We are disrupting the concierge world in Africa, We want to bring class and innovation into it..
We pioneering something never seen or experienced in the luxury concierge and hospitality industries and we look at the global stage.
We are taking hospitality and luxury concierge business in Africa to a whole new level, starting with our great nation, Nigeria. We are here to promote everything Nigerian and African; I’m a proud Nigerian, thus proudly African.
Describe your own fashion style?
I’m your simple girl with class. I love looking good and presentable. I believe it is a personal thing. However personal it is, something good should come out of it.
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