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Adaeze Ikeobodozie: How I turned a N100,000 Business into a Multi million Naira Business

BellaNaija.com

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The reality is that not everyone is destined to be a successful blogger like Linda. I believe each one of us has our own individual calling from God. Sometimes what we think might be our calling might be totally different from what God has in store for us. Hence, we waste years in depression, struggling and deluding ourselves that ‘e go better’ when all we simply need to do is to ask God for direction and wisdom to know and do what he has called us to do, then follow. The story you are about to read is to highlight the goodness of God and His will in our lives. Also, to encourage people to believe in themselves.

My name is Adaeze Ikeobodozie and this is my story (A true story)…

Sometime in 2013 after Law school, I was posted to Delta State to do the “compulsory” one year Youth Service. After the three weeks Orientation Camp, I was posted to a law firm in Warri, Delta State, for my primary assignment. Due to certain health issues, I applied for redeployment to Lagos State where my doctor and family live. After one month in Warri, I got a call from the office of the NYSC State Co- ordinator in Asaba, Delta State informing me to come over and pick up my redeployment letter which had been approved. I was elated and began telling everyone who cared to listen that I was leaving for Lagos, (though I hadn’t seen my redeployment letter ) I presumed I had been redeployed to Lagos, since my application precisely stated Lagos State.

On opening my redeployment letter, I saw boldly “You have been Redeployed to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I ? Why Abuja? Hadn’t they read my application stating that I had to be in Lagos where my doctor and family were? I personally had never seen nor heard of anyone who had applied for redeployment to a particular State and was redeployed somewhere else. Why was mine different? I was livid. I had no choice but to report to Abuja because I was told if I did not go, I would have to restart the youth service all over again. Mba o! I packed my things and left for Abuja with the mind-set that once I register there I would apply again for redeployment to Lagos.

The frustration and stress I experienced at the NYSC Secretariat, Abuja was on a whole new level. Everything went wrong. At that point, I gave up the thought of redeploying to Lagos State, as it was becoming clear that a higher force wanted me in Abuja. I immediately stopped the “I have to be in Lagos fight” and accepted Abuja. I was really sad. I remember praying to God for His will to be done. I told myself that once the service year was over I would run back to Lagos. The countdown began (if only I knew). I was posted to a law firm in Maitama around Aguiyi Ironsi Street for my primary assignment. People who are familiar with this area know there are over 20 corporate organizations in this vicinity. One fateful day, during the course of my service year, while working at the office I began craving ‘small chops’ (small chops is a small meal comprising of samosa, spring rolls, chicken, peppered gizzard, puff-puff etc, all packed together in a takeaway pack). I kept wondering where and how I could buy and get it delivered straight to my office without going far.

It was at that moment after failing to find any company in that vicinity that sold small chops, I thought to myself, “hmmm, this would be a good business to delve into considering there were over 20 Corporate Organizations in the area and no one was selling Small Chops and doing delivery”. I figured if the food was good, people would naturally patronize someone closer than go far. As a “confirm” Igbo Anambra girl, the idea stuck. I commenced my research and put up a business plan. This included the food preparation process, direct delivery to any customer and catering to small/medium/large events.

After roaming the streets of Maitama for several weeks, I was able to secure a small space in a Parking Lot off Aguiyi Ironsi, Maitama. It was more like a funky “mamaput ” setting. It was perfect for me, the rent was affordable. I guess I was very realistic about what I was looking for because I knew there was no way I could afford a proper shop in a place like Maitama at the time.

I put together my monthly stipend (allowee) and executed my business plan with the sum of N100, 000. A small Freezer was the biggest thing I purchased. With faith, I employed two staff and designed a “cheap” flyer. I went from office to office, distributing and talking about what we had to offer. Thankfully, most people I told bought into the idea. The orders started (via phone calls and people coming directly to our stand) and that was how my business took off. It came with a lot of challenges. Delivering on time was a major challenge and many other challenges. I thank God though, we are learning the ropes and curves.

As the business grew, I was able to buy a Motorcycle solely used for deliveries that couldn’t be delivered on foot. A lot of our customers requested we add garnished indomie noodles, rice and chips to the menu. I did a little survey and realized a lot of customers were asking for more on the menu. Sharply, we added them so long as it was making us money and people were buying.What started out as a ‘Small Chops’ business has gone up to become a full blown fast food restaurant today.

They demanded more, we gave more.

Here is a little of what we do. 4Every Refreshment Restaurant offers diverse food styles, offering street food with style, local and continental dishes. Our street food includes roasted plantain (bole), roasted yam and fish, roasted chicken, roasted corn with coconut and pear, garri soaking (Kokogarri 100grm sachet ), hot puffpuff, glazed puffpuff, Masa, Zobo, Kunu aya and more. Our Local and Continental dishes include: garnished noodles, chips and egg/chicken, jollof rice, fried rice, white rice, ofada, shrimps sauce, salad, everything swallow & soups, spaghetti in sausages, grilled chicken, chicken balls, beans, asun, ewagonyi, and more. We also have a juice and shawarma bar.

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Taking things further, we are also in partnership with a great company called EverythingbutCoffee Ltd that specializes in making the best coffee – latte, cappuccino including tea, hot chocolates with cream and delicious pastries.

Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the thought I think towards you, thoughts of good, to give you an expected end‘. I dreaded the thought of going to Abuja and fought hard to leave Abuja not knowing God had better plans for me in Abuja. Sometimes I wonder if I had redeployed to Lagos would I have gotten this far? I honestly doubt that.

I am grateful to Mr Omale aka Papi as we fondly call him who is in charge of the Parking Lot, who secured a place for me. I am so thankful. We have opened a branch of our Restaurant at 46 Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse ll, Abuja beside HMedix and Studio 24. It is bigger and wider. We still retain our Restaurant at 433 Zambezi crescent parking lot, Maitama beside Gtbank and Etf.

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Everyone is invited to our Official launch on Saturday, 7th of November 2015. FREE FOOD FOR EVERYONE!

My 2Cents:
In everything you do, always pray for the will of God to be done.
Never force what seems not to be yours, the sign is usually there. If it’s yours it will surely come to you.
You do not necessarily have to have a lot of money to start up a business.
Learn to grow like I did and be realistic about your goals.
Do not worry about what people would say.
Time waits for no one. Learn to seize every opportunity you have; I seized the opportunity. As a lawyer, I didn’t “mind” it was not my field. I learnt how to make it my field and became great at it.

For comments, questions on starting up a business especially on a shoestring budget, my challenges and progression. Feel free to drop me a word or two via:
Instagram: @4everyrefreshment | Twitter: @4everyrefresh | Facebook: facebook.com/4everyrefreshment/ | Website: www.4everyrefreshment.com

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55 Comments

  1. Ruby

    November 2, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Congrats girl! Thats the kind of success story I like reading on a Monday morning.

    • RIFF RAFF

      November 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      I agree! These are the kind of daughters every father will be proud to have instead of stressing oneself with “successor” whala.
      I just love to see girls stepping up and MAKING A NAME FOR THEMSELVES BY THEMSELVES.
      Enough of celebrity gf, billionaire wife, celebrity ex. Reduce those degrading and unproductive tags!!!! No more my boyfriend/baby daddy/aristo/ billionaire ancestor bought me this and showing off on social media . BUY YA OWN !!! See how all these girls are now keeping damn quiet????

      To all i say:
      Receive inspiration and God bless all hard-working women out there.
      Keep the hustling spirit alive.

  2. babygirl

    November 2, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Very inspiring! May God continue to bless your hustle.

  3. TEM TEM

    November 2, 2015 at 11:15 am

    WOW….. AM INSPIRED !!!!!!!

  4. Ada Nnewi

    November 2, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Well done!!!!!

  5. wARRI PIKIN

    November 2, 2015 at 11:18 am

    All I have to say to you sweetie, is more blessings. Thank you for this inspiring story I am convinced many who will read this piece will dive into meaningful small scale business and they shall all be blessed because of you , Adaeze (A.K.A Ada-Jesus ) I am deeply touched , I live in Abuja I will visit someday soon
    Thanks for sharing this Bellanaija

  6. Mrs DJ

    November 2, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Congrats, another beauty with brains. God bless ur hustle

  7. ATL's finest

    November 2, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Congrats dear!!!! Way to GO… Dear Lord I have said it before I don’t like tapping (personal reasons)☺ but listen through my HEARt & Let ur will be Done like she said!!!! Amen

  8. Glowing Sapphire

    November 2, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Very inspiring post. Thank you.

  9. ll

    November 2, 2015 at 11:27 am

    i love hearing stories like this.. it just shows that your stronger than you think you are and it also gives encourages, hope to the hopeless…. congratulations and i pray for more success….. congrats again!!!

  10. ll

    November 2, 2015 at 11:28 am

    oh and one more thing to those who think “just because everyone is hustling or doing the same thing as me… i won’t be successful” you will if your determined.

  11. Adaeze Writes

    November 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Awwww…my namesake is doing big things! May God bless your hustle dear, may everything you do in life be a success! This is soooooo inspiring and hopefully soon, I’ll start mine though not ‘food’.
    ‘For I know the thought I think towards you, thoughts of good, to give you an expected end’-amazing words from the bible.
    Congrats. This is big!

  12. Angel

    November 2, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Impressive! I wish you more success dear. An Indian man once told me after he visited Nigeria that you can literally pick gold on the streets in Nigeria, you just need your eyes quiet open to see it, i totally agree with him. I need to show this article to one or two relatives, I just realized one can actually set up a business with 100,000 naira, I was made to believe that naira has such low value that even with 500k it’s difficult to set up something tangible.

  13. Foxtrot

    November 2, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Well done dear! and Congratulations on the launch!

  14. Candy

    November 2, 2015 at 11:46 am

    This is so inspiring. Lemme start thinking of a good business to start.

  15. olamide

    November 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Wao! i so much love this, so inspiring. God will continue to bless us and give us the divine wisdom we need to move our life forward.

  16. Gistyinka Blog

    November 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

    very inspiring and life is not about what you want , but what God want for you is the best..

  17. mrs chidukane

    November 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Fantastic!

  18. chymomoti

    November 2, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Quite inspiring..

  19. determination is key!!!

    November 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I was down and literally felt like running as far as my legs can carry me from my fledgling business,i want to lay off a not so productive staff but I have this deep seated fear. Thnx for sharing adaeze,i’ll face my fears and fight as hard as I can!!! Ain’t going no where,instead she leaves and I battle it out!!!

  20. determination is key!!!

    November 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I pray for direction oh father.

  21. kadbella

    November 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Amazing and inspiring story

  22. Uzo

    November 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I run Cupcake Couture Lagos as well as Uzo’s Food Labs and The Garden – From Uzo’s Food Labs. I started my first business Cupcake Couture Lagos with about N20,000 while working full time. Supplied my first orders in trays as I had no boxes. If you believe, just start. Its amazing what faith and focus can do..

    • DD

      November 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Yes, I can testify to this!

    • Layo

      November 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      I can testify that Cupcakes Couture has very nice cakes but are ridiculously expensive and not for the faint at heart or faint at wallet.
      However the good thing is that there are lots of rich people willing to spend the unjustifiable amount you charge. So everybody stays happy 🙂

    • Nne

      November 2, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Hello Uzo
      I am a stay at home mom with a plan to start a cupcakes business, I know I cannot afford your training fee, but I will love to learn from the best (you). If it is not too much, my email is [email protected]. God bless.

  23. Tunrayo

    November 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    This is a very inspiring story. You made something out of where they posted you. Reading this made me want to eat small chops o.

  24. DD

    November 2, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Well done, Adaeze! And thanks for sharing your inspiring story to start the week off right.

  25. luvnaija

    November 2, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    @ Uzo biko send your start up story to bellnaija we need more of you guys! I have junior ones with entitlement mentality and they need to read this!
    More power and success to your hustle!

  26. Ayorotipha

    November 2, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Am touched and inspired to do more. …… this is what i love to hear from girls. God Bless Your Hustle we expect branch in Lagos soon.

  27. David I. Adeleke

    November 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Exactly the kind of story one would like to read on a Monday. I’m really happy for you.

  28. the sad one

    November 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Lord, for so long all i ever wanted was to have just enough to get by, and for so long i have been struggling, been fending for myself since i turned 16, everything since then has been HARD! i am hardworking and i know my story will change, it just seems impossible right now, i mean, i cant even afford to go and do my clearance after graduation, its been a year now, but i am hopeful and i will not compromise, for i know it can only get better. Adaeze keep shining!

    • MiddyO

      November 2, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      Will really like to help you out. Pls put up your email address so I can reach you.

    • nnenne

      November 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      the sad one… Don’t be discouraged. Keep your eyes on the price. It can only get better.

    • the sad one

      November 2, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      thanks MiddyO and Nnenne, heres my email addy: [email protected].

    • Timi

      November 11, 2015 at 12:02 am

      Trust God. He is faithful. Do you attend a good church? Please don’t just stay alone o and don’t compromise. I pray that God also leads you even to the right relationships in church.

  29. the sad one

    November 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Lord, for so long all i ever wanted was to have just enough to get by, and for so long i have been struggling, been fending for myself since i turned 16, everything since then has been HARD! i am hardworking and i know my story will change, it just seems impossible right now, i mean, i cant even afford to go and do my clearance after graduation, its been a year now, but i am hopeful and i will not compromise, for i know it can only get better. Adaeze keep shining! mehn with a 100k, i can do so much, Lord change your pikin story o!

  30. chick

    November 2, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    I hardly ever drop comments but dis touched me soo much n moved me to tears.I know how hard it is starting a business n sustaining it cos I have a bridal store I opened last year n its not bin easy,sometimes I ask myself if I can continue holding on but stories like this gives me reasons to hold on n not give up.tank u for sharing n may more blessings locate u.

  31. Lizzie

    November 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Way to go girl, its only heart breaking that such an inspirational content came to us being paid for (sponsored content) while no-value adding gossip is posted free of charge.

  32. Mymind

    November 2, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Bellanaija, here is one suggestion. You know that “A peek into the life of….” segment you recently created, Adaeze’s story is an example of what it should be about, not just a run-through of a day in the career-life of blah-di-blah person. It could simply become another opportunity for elites to brag about their daily life, how cool their job is and whatnot. Trust me people get tired of that after a while especially when it fails to inspire – BN weddings is enough for that biko. Stories that describe the realities of a person’s experiences in their journey as an entrepreneur or in their career – the bad, the struggle and of course the success – provides your readers a more rounded view of the individual’s success story, and totally makes it more relatable especially for folks who don’t have you know *ahem* “connections in high places”. To me ehn, that segment definitely has potential, please make it shine.

  33. lols

    November 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Adaeze……your story just gave me extra confidence in my business. Honestly the uncertainties of running a business can give you constant sleepless nights. I havent slept well in one week cuz im already worrying about november salaries. Please share your story to all corp members you come across. All the best dear…

  34. Felinda

    November 2, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Whao, I am so proud of you girl
    This is such an inspiring story. Whao, God is Good ohh.

  35. Omoeko Ipaye

    November 2, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Reading this on a Monday morning. …… This is encouraging and Inspiring, May God continually enlarge your coast and territory in Jesus name Amen.

  36. Yemmy

    November 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Lovely inspiring story

  37. nnenne

    November 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Congratulations Adaeze.
    Never ever ever lose your focus.

  38. kemi

    November 2, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Bella naija, please refund this girl’s money to her!! I dont want to believe that this content was paid for! I will read stories like this 100 times before i watch toke makinwa’s vlog on how to catch a rich nigerian man.. inspiring content like this should be featured often, yall be choking us with irrelevant stories 80% of the time!!!

  39. ANNY

    November 3, 2015 at 10:32 am

    REALLY GREAT WAY TO START MY WEEK….CONGRATULATIONS ADA. AM REALLY INSPIRED…SO THIS IS HOW YOU STARTED, AM A CUSTOMER.I HAVE HAD MEALS AT YOUR FLAGSHIP LOCATION BESIDE GT BANK MAITAMA….LOVLY MEALS…..WAY TO GO GIRL! THIS IS JUST THE BEGINING OF GREATER THINGS FOR YOU…CONGRATS ONCE AGAIN..

  40. treasure

    November 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Great inspiration! Sometimes God “forces” or “pushes” us into His will which will bless us richly. Congrats Adaeze cuz you’re meeting needs and making cool cash in the process. I sell quality cotton beddings and I have been trying to get out of the level of petty trading to something more fulfilling. Lord help me!

  41. Idomagirl

    November 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Very inspiring! I love stories like this!

  42. Tara

    November 10, 2015 at 1:22 am

    It is good for everyone to know that God has made deposits in them whether man or woman but we must all find our path. Someone else will read this and never collect money from those who genuinely want to help them. My aunty started a business with over 200,000 borrowed from her husband. She has saved over 20million now from the same business. Yes work hard and God will bless your work, don’t depend on anyone but if anyone wants to help you since you cannot choose who God will use, better not use strong head. I am not saying that you should go sleep around, not at all but just like the case of Walmart’s husband who left an inheritance for her, if someone wants to help you genuinely and you sense that he or she is God sent please don’t read this article the wrong way and reject God’s help. Please don’t get me wrong because that is typical of some people. Don’t depend on anyone but if God sends help to you in disguise, don’t reject it. God’s help cannot be aristo or anything unholy.

  43. Tunde Sanusi (Tuham)

    November 11, 2015 at 7:16 am

    This is really really very interesting. Its all about grabbing ideas and converting it into action without procrastination.
    Good for you girl

  44. Goodluck G

    July 18, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Inspiring piece,it have alot of success juice that can awake a week veins, bless you Adaeze

  45. Esther

    March 13, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Just read this and am inspired

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