Many fashion brands in Nigeria are run by females. However, the sensational male duo, Segun and Emotu, founders of Traclist, are rising stars to watch in Nigeria’s fashion space.
Companies like Jumia, Konga and Olx have set the scene for e-commerce in Nigeria by selling products ranging from electronics to housewares. Their success in the e-commerce industry has open doors for many others, particularly Traclist. Within a year, Traclist has broken into the e-commerce space to become a big player in online fashion.
Traclist Founders, Segun Afolahan and Emotu Balogun started as part of the Co-Creation Hub‘s incubation programme and blossomed into one of Nigeria’s biggest fashion e-commerce marketplace, generating revenue exceeding N80 million naira (over $250,000) within a year. Their story is an inspiration to every entrepreneur struggling to make headway.
Reminiscing on his experience, Segun stated that “Our initial idea was to build a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that could do a number of different things. Along the line, it became obvious it wasn’t what the market wanted based on the feedback we got. We decided to trim it down, first to just an Inventory Management software, and finally into a Product Discovery platform. Traclist did not start out as an e-commerce platform.”
As entrepreneurs, there are several lessons to be learnt from the success story of Traclist:
Your idea maybe ahead of the market: It is important to pay more attention to market demand rather than to product design. When your prospective customers are leaning towards a part of your business more than others, it is an indication to develop that part of your business in response to market demand.
You must carve out a niche: If you are in a sector that is highly competitive, you need to identify your strengths and leverage on them. Don’t try to do everything. It is easier for customers to see value in what you are offering, when they identify you as an authority in a niche.
Offer excellent customer service: Customer service is key for any business to become successful. You must be able to meet customer demands, provide after-sales support and most importantly, treat customers with uttermost respect. Your customers are a pivotal source of marketing, especially if you are on a lean marketing budget.
Focus on your short term goals: Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing so much on the big picture that neglect their immediate tasks. It will be challenging to achieve your long term goals if you don’t make smart business decisions in the short term.
No matter the level of skills and education you have acquired, becoming an entrepreneur is a rigorous learning process. The market may reshape your ideas along the way, but you must never compromise on your values.