Aisha Yaman is a graduate of Geology from Federal University of Technology, Minna and currently an M.Tech student from same institution. The CEO of cbsupplystore and Co-founder of Cravings and Bites is also a blogger.
Tell us about yourself> I was born on 12th February and the 3rd out of four children. I’m from Bida, Niger state but based in Abuja.
My businesses are located in Abuja and Minna. I’m also blogger.
TMG> What made you start your business?
Aisha> My passion for baking. My elder sister has been in the baking business for about 7 years now and I can always recall her advice: “Aisha, the world isn’t a promiseland; you are your own means of survival”. It made me realise cakes are a major part of every celebration. I’m also in the fashion line because looking good is always good business.
TMG> Tell us a little about everything your company is into.
Aisha> My elder sister and I co-founded Cravings and Bites which is into cakes, assorted finger foods and everything in between.
I sell cake utensils and tools and everything about fashion in my shop called cbsupplystore.
I’m also an inspirational blogger, where I write based on realities of life to inspire people. My blog site is hayeeshasblog
TMG> Which areas do you need to improve on in your company?
Aisha> I would like to improve on making edible flowers and artistic decorations on cakes.
TMG> What do you feel is the next step in developing your sales skills?
Aisha> The next step, I believe, is having a standby delivery. For now all deliveries are based on orders
TMG> What are some of the challenges you have faced in starting your company?
Aisha> The fact that I’m a student at the moment and can’t give full concentration to my business is a challenge but it shall be overcome soon.
TMG> What style of management do you think works in becoming successful at your kind of business?
Aisha> Timing is everything; to be successful in any business is to be able to deliver on demand.
TMG> Tell us about a successful sales pitch you used for a difficult client. How were you able to sell the good(s) to him/her?
Aisha> Some customers can be very difficult and in such situations I give them a free trial on my products or refer them to other customers to ask about my services. Most times, Alhamdullilah, we end up having a customer for life.
TMG> Tell us how you manage other responsibilities of your businesses?
Aisha> I always design my schedule, outlining what I want to achieve and the time frame it needs to be done. It has been very useful in helping me manage things properly.
TMG> Have you ever lost during sales and what did you learn?
Aisha> Yes, I have lost a couple of times and what I learnt the most is if a client hasn’t paid or dropped a certain percentage as commitment, don’t rush into production.
TMG> How do you keep up to date on your target market?
Aisha> The only way to keep up to date is through constant learning during my leisure time. I surf the net for new ideas, I read books, watch YouTube and mingle with anyone in my line of business. That way, we may definitely learn something which we are lacking.
TMG> When do you stop pursuing a client?
Aisha> We are at a point where our products sell themselves. We have a legacy; we don’t need to convince a client why he should do business with us because the results speak volumes.
TMG> Who are you comfortable selling to and why?
Aisha> We are comfortable doing business with anyone who needs our services. We give our clients a reasonable price that befits whatever they need.
TMG> What motivates you?
Aisha> The fact that a client smiles or is overwelmed at the sight of their delievry motivates me to do more. I can remember I once wrote an article titled ‘Forgiveness’ on my blog and the next day, a friend told me how it helped saved her marriage. That gave me so much joy and willingness to write more.
TMG> What is your ultimate career aspiration?
Aisha> Hmm… some people will say, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ but I refuse to believe in that. God made women to be able to multitask and I have passion for 3 things in life. To become a successful career woman, a baker and and inspirational writer. So far, I’m working on these. In the future, I plan on opening a store for cakes and fashion accessories, and have an NGO where I could help the less privileged and, of course, continue my blog.
TMG> How do you keep a smile on your face during a hard day to make sure your clients feel good?
Aisha> The fact that the client could have chosen somoene else but still picked me to patronise keeps a constant smile on my face and reminds me I owe them the utmost satisfaction.
TMG> What way do you think your organization could do better?
Aisha> For now, Alhamdullilah, the organization is doing okay but if we could have a standby delivery service and a bakery, I believe we will do much better.
TMG> What’s your approach to handling customer objections?
Aisha> I master how to remain calm and understanding. The market is big enough. The fact that one customer didn’t patronise you doesn’t mean others will not, so you don’t stop selling.
TMG> Tell us about the greatest goal that you’ve ever accomplished professionally?
Aisha> The fact that my clients are happy with my delivery and they refer others to me is a big credit to me.
TMG> What kind of sacrifices have you had to make to be successful?
Aisha> Giving up my sleep is a major sacrifice. In order to meet up with clients as a student, I have to always balance my career and business making sure I deliver in both aspects. If a client tells me they need a delivery by 7am, be rest assured that it will be delivered on time.
TMG> How do you manage risks, in terms of damages or loss?
Aisha> We have all lost in one way or another but I don’t let it break me. I try to figure out what went wrong and find ways to improve on them.
TMG> What’s your advice to young people who want to be into business like yours?
Aisha> My advise for those who want to go into my business line is you do not need much money to start but the most important is passion and your willingness to sacrifice your time and attention into it.
TMG> How do you socialise and when?
Aisha> Some friends will say I keep to myself a lot, as I give more of my time to myself and that ‘me time’ gives me an insight of life and it’s meaning; a lot of times my inspiration to write comes during those moments.