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How SMEs can leverage digital media for growth – Edache Obe

‘In the next 10 years, the digital space would be more relevant’

Edache Obe is a digital media strategist and the CEO of Dacheo. Media and Branding which provides practical solutions and implements multiple social media and branding strategies for SMEs,MMEs and Large Enterprises.

In an interview with BusinessDay, he discusses about his business and how entrepreneurs can stay ahead in their various businesses.

Tell us about your entrepreneurship story: How you started and the journey so far?

Having worked in the banking industry for eight years, I never thought I would become an entrepreneur. My entrepreneurial story started as an unintentional trial with some brands that were owned by friends and family, I was able to use digital media to help grow their sales and revenue using self-thought methods and formulas. And for each time they called me or sent a message to inform me about a sale, I felt happy and deeply satisfied and I had achieved a purpose, I realized they were so many other businesses out there who would need guidance, direction and support using digital media to grow their businesses and it would bring me more inner satisfaction. My passion to see businesses grow and succeed led to my resignation from the banking industry and incorporating a digital company, Dacheo Media and branding Limited to satisfy my desire, which is seeing brands grow.

What really inspired you to set up this business?

I naturally had a flare for going on social media with an interest in keeping up to date with the media world, so I was active on most social media platforms. My friend had just launched a business; Brittanys’s Place Limited, it’s a grab and go breakfast hub and she was struggling with sales. She had made multiple hard copies of fliers to share around to drive sales, but sales were still low. One day while at work, I ordered a meal from her hub and shared a picture of it on my page with no particular intentions, and her phone started buzzing, people were texting to find out how they could place an order for the meal, that was the start of my media journey as a business, it was exciting to see her sales grow, so I did more research on using social media as a tool to grow a business and tried it on other brands of my friends and family, such as Mowees juice bar and Aurelia’s Basket, the results were remarkable. And I decided to channel my knowledge and resources to growing brands, the success stories and exceptional results from the brands I did a test on growing their sales with digital media inspired me to start my business.

The journey has been exciting so far, even though it hasn’t been the smoothest, sometimes we encounter challenges with some SMEs who want instant results, sometimes we encounter challenges with SMEs and large firms who have zero advertising budgets, some organizations do not believe in the use of new media, so we have to convince them of the importance, but that’s why we are here, to direct and help them and their businesses grow. I have been privileged to work with a lot of brands, both big and small and I have built amazing relationships along the line with so many people, we are still on the journey and it gets better every day as we understand what brands require with every new client.

How much did you start with and how big have you become since starting?

I started with an estimated N350,000 which was solely for the procurement of a laptop, I got the funds from my personal savings and I did most of my work from home. We have grown to have an office space and I have recruited additional team members who currently work and consult with multiple SMEs and large organizations. My brand has also grown to have an academic sector, Dacheo Media Academy, with the sole purpose of training media managers, entrepreneurs, and SMEs on social media, current media trends and useful business lessons. We also work with Facebook to host trainings and also with private and government institutions to train various groups. I have also grown as an individual to become an influencer for several local and multinational brands

You are a Digital Media Strategist who provides innovative digital and media solutions for SME’s and large enterprises through digital media, how lucrative is the business so far been?

For me, when I initially started, it wasn’t very lucrative for the first eight months, as most of the jobs I was doing were for my friends and family and a few other companies. My work with them didn’t pay much, most wanted to see results and growth of their brands first. After the brands had seen growth in their businesses, I was referred to by them to other businesses. I was able to charge more and renegotiate my terms with some existing clients.

How do you make your money?

I make my money from social media consultation and advisory, social media management for companies, social media trainings, social media advertising via our social media platforms and social media influencing for brands

What challenges do you face?

Having a functional system and processes to run my business was a challenge we encountered for over a year, we had to seek expert advice and had several business consultation meetings, before we were able to fix this. Some clients want instant results and with most processes, success requires some time. When working with SMEs also, most of them don’t have advertising budgets, so it’s challenging to promote the businesses or run sponsored adverts for them.

Finding the right team members or human resource was also a challenge, initially when I recruited, I was faced with high staff turnover as some of the staff just learn a few things and want to start their own company, but things are more stable now with our staff and team in general.

The digital media space seems to be getting saturated, owing to the number of young people shifting towards it. What future do you see for this space in the next ten years?

We live in a digital world now, and more businesses are being created every day, while most of the existing ones need guidance and direction when it comes to digital media, like most occupations. And I think there is room for all, but what would differentiate any one or brand in the media space is to keep up to date with what is happening in the digital world, conveying the-same skill in a unique way, continuous learning and staying innovative. I believe in the next 10 years, the digital space would be more relevant, things would probably change for the better with new ways and channels of doing things, we just need to stay updated.

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