• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Yejide Omotayo: Pursue an idea until it creates value and impact

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SwiftMovers is an integrated one stop relocation aid company and as professional movers, their business entails packing, transporting, unpacking and rearranging of goods from one point to another. The company is an adaptation of international best practice to the local environment. Home and office movement is an art that has been perfected by them.

How it all started: My business idea was borne out of a personal experience; I had to move homes and didn’t know the first thing about it. I knew I needed the basic packing materials but didn’t have a clue as to where to get these from, I also knew I needed a truck but honestly didn’t like the look of the ones I came across at the parks I went to. I kept saying if only there was a company that could offer this service; I would pay and leave my maid to work with them, after packing my few personal valuables. I found a company reluctant to do it at an exorbitant price which told me they were not really interested in doing this but if I could pay, they would assist me. Not that I couldn’t afford it but I didn’t like their attitude so went ahead to do it myself. Need I say it was so stressful that I spent a month recovering from the experience; it was one thing to pack but an entirely different matter to unpack. Oh sure, I had people to help out but I can assure you they just couldn’t wait to leave me to my lot and as soon as we loaded the rickety hired truck I got, they took off, unpacking wasn’t on their agenda.

I worked in the banking industry where everything was on the fast lane, there was no time to plan, it was deposit chasing, work, strategy sessions, monthly profitability sessions, etc, I knew I was slowly reaching my peak in this industry and my prayer was that the good Lord should guide me, give me an idea that was unique, something that I would enjoy doing and at the same time add value to people. In my prayers I heard a voice asking me why I couldn’t be a moving company and help companies and individuals move, especially after my own personal moving experience. I dreamt about it and believe me; I knew no peace until the idea came into being.  I looked inwards and considered my strengths, which without doubt was customer service at the highest level. I was at all times able to step into my customers shoes during my career and I found out that they didn’t want anything out of the ordinary, they were just normal people, what differed was how they wanted their needs met, some wanted it very fast, some were particular about the pricing, and packaging, some didn’t know what they wanted, that was the only difference, nothing more. All I did was to Listen to the customer, really listen and understand where they were coming from and proffer solutions to address their needs, it worked all the time. I began to grow my clientele and have through this also made lifetime friends.

I knew banking was not my natural calling, so I decided to work my way out of it. I resigned from my high paying, high-flying job with all corporate welfare and comfort and took a less paying, less glamorous job to prepare me for the challenges of going on my own and this gave birth to SwiftMovers.

First Professional job: Our first job was given by the Managing Directors of one of the banks I worked in; it was very challenging as he was a thorough bred professional who paid a lot of attention to details. He demanded the best and it challenged us even as a new company but he gave us the pass mark and since then we have never looked back.  I learnt that paying attention to detail helps and to always put in your best. Though he did not pay much, it was a great start because we got a lot of referrals from him.

Modus Operandi: On our modus operandi, when we get a call, we conduct an inspection of the items to be moved, that will enable us determine the size of vehicle, materials and labour to deploy, we ask for the kind of package the client wants. SwiftMovers provide delivery of goods picked up on behalf of a customer to any location in Lagos metropolis. Receipt of delivery, time of delivery and state of goods at time of delivery is documented to show customers the efficiency and quality of their process. Goods are insured against damage, loss and theft whilst they are in the care of SwiftMovers. Also quality is guaranteed with our customized vehicles, trained employees and handlers as well as special packaging and compartments for all goods to be packaged and delivered. The duration of moving from one point to another is dependent on what we find out during the inspection and depending on what the client has. Some of our packing materials are locally sourced whilst few are imported.

Pricing: to arrive at a quote, SwiftMovers takes stock of the items to be moved, estimates labour and materials that would be required for the job. In addition, the company offers value added advisory services relating to logistics, journey plan, timing of movement amongst others.

Professionalism: Swiftmovers values begin with fair, open and ethical behavior. It strives to always put the interest of the customer first, making dependability and paying attention to detail its hallmark. We have four trucks of different sizes as well as two vans.

Our Achievements: SwiftMovers today by the special grace of God is fast becoming a relocation company of first choice. We have been able to create awareness about the professional moving service and offer clients relocation with ease mainly through the passionate drive of our Vision.

We have been able to break into the international community locally and also take our service outside Nigeria, offering export services to desiring clients.By being highly customer focused and by offering premium relocation services of high standards, we have been able to create a platform for SwiftMovers as a viable company for international investors. Employment opportunities for youths have been created to train and partner with them in becoming focused, hardworking, passionate and creative professionals. Over the years, the growth of SwiftMovers has encouraged other women that the most critical factors of being successful entrepreneurs is to have a vision, be prayerful, stay focused, be passionate about it and even when there seems to be a breakdown, a breakthrough is always just round the corner only if you believe. We have our head office in Lagos and branches in PH and Abuja.

Challenges:  In the early days of the business, one of our greatest challenges was that of trust but due to our professionalism in customer service loyalty and efficient delivery service, we have been able to win over skeptics. We have also been able to offer options through our various moving packages, which are tailor made to suit different client’s needs. These ranges from just buying of packing materials to the full package, where everything is moved and arranged for you and it’s like you never moved but just changed your address.

Mabel Dimma