Every day you come across people who inspire and bring out the best in you. Maame Abena Asiedua is a Ghanaian entrepreneur who is changing the dynamics of business in Ghana. Abena is an enthusiastic, hardworking and a devoted superwoman who made her fears succumb to her strengths. She is passionate about setting up and promoting change platforms, bringing people together to share ideas on how to make the world a better place.
Tell us about your business.
Pheb Collections is a trendy fashion brand that crafts authentic, handmade accessories designed with African print. Our accessories ranges from bags, shoes, necklaces, bow ties , throw/couch pillows, ottomans, home/office furniture and many more.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Every time I travelled people loved my clothes, they loved what I wore and wanted me to sell it to them. Some people actually bought cloths for me to change into and then buy what I was wearing. I never returned home with any of my African printed clothes or shoes I had on,and that inspired me to start Pheb Collections.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
No, no promos yet. But the summer collections coming out soon.
Where is your business based?
We are a Ghanaian owned company located in Tema, Community 6 , obestebi Lampety Street, close to IPMC. Accra, Ghana.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
- I did a personal evaluation myself and the situation. What skills did I had that was transferable and which industries I knew best.
- I had to determine what I was offering and what the market demanded. Entrepreneurship is not about hitting a home run; it’s about trying to create the next “big thing” that has a very low risk and a return on investment.
- Location! Location! Location! Now finding the right location to start a bussines is very important. Remember location equals money! .i.e I started from the trunk of my car, because it was a bit tough finding the right location at first.
- I had to determine what differentiates my products from my competitors,besides prices. My unique selling point.
- Then I had to find my first customers. Your first customers are key and not just because they’re turning on the revenue spigot, they also legitimize your idea, demonstrating that there actually is a market for your products and services.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Using the Internet,it’s the cheapest way to learn anything and everything without travelling all over. It’s the fastest way to communicate with people or sell any product;social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp offer companies a great free-of-charge platform to promote themselves, build their brand and their audience.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Dealing with the unknown and loneliness. How long will the business exist? How profitable will the business be? Will customers like my products? I kept asking if I will be able to give myself a steady paycheck. None of these questions had a solid, reliable answer. That unknown factor means my job’s stability is going to plummet, and many of my long-term plans will remain in flux as new developments emerge. Dealing with this volatility is one of the hardest parts of emerging as a new entrepreneur.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I do a lot of reading in my free time. So I read a few articles & stories online,spoke to a few close relations who have been there. But one thing is for certain, taking a problem, creating a plan that fixes it and then using it to your benefit can only make you stronger!
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
The passion I have for what I do motivates me even through the difficult times and I start every day with a great morning routine which helps my mind and body to stay alert, focused and prepared to create new habits; but most of all I stay positive ,I pray, practice & improve.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Customers care only about themselves. You must reach into their world and look at things through their lens. I allow my customers to see solutions they didn’t think were possible. I see what I sell as an investment the customer is making rather than a purchase.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just living in it, versus embrace it, change it (be agile), improve it, and make your mark upon it.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Love what you do and do it with a passion, because there comes a time where money will not be a motivation in doing what you’re doing. Entrepreneurship is leadership and most of the time people don’t realize that it’s a calling, a calling to be the solution to a problem in their community. We learn, improve and move forward.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Quick sprout; great marketing help. Then again, my favorite business tool is “Yet to be Launched” because I haven’t really found the tool that help me 100%. Funny reply, but that’s the fact based on my experience in business world.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
A book, “Screw It, Let’s Do It” by Richard Branson
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Marketing, all forms of marketing, this opens many doors I believe.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Currently, I am working on setting up a factory. This factory will be the manufacturing centre for all products that I produce i.e. accessories, furniture and a few other designs. With the factory, I seek to employ about 30 young graduates which will consist of creative and development, production, sales and marketing, customer relationship and delivery teams. The factory will have an office, production floor and a warehouse. This is my goal for the next few months but I intend on expanding on it as the business grows. I am driven by the quote from famed management guru, Peter Drucker which is “the best way to predict the future is to create it” and this is exactly what I am doing.
Instagram – @phebcollections
Phone – +233245446338