Business plan a strategic tool for entrepreneurs —Kenneth Mbeh
Kenneth Etta Mbeh, a career coach and digital/social media strategist, is the Creative Director of Intelligentdude Consult and Phronesis Digital Marketing Ltd. In this interview with NIYI OYEDEJI, he shares his experience in the entrepreneurship world and how he is empowering youths with relevant information and skills.
What is your business all about?
Intelligentdude Consult is a career consulting, job search support, recruiting, CV writing and business support organisation. We believe in the future of African youths and we also believe that timely information is needed to excel in this information age of the 21st century, more reason we have positioned ourselves to be the go-to organisation for students, job seekers, professionals, entrepreneurs, as it relates to career counsel, job search support, scholarship, business support and so on.
Our major services include professional career counselling, CV and cover letter writing, job search support, recruitment and outsourcing, business plan/business proposal writing, social media management, business support services, sales consulting, digital marketing, online branding and content writing.
I help individuals discover their potential and build a career path along that line. I also build radically different brands that matter using powerful inbound content marketing and lead generation strategies, from smart marketing and sales funnels, Google search, SEO and social media, to video and email marketing, we at Phronesis Digital Limited help clients get found online and move their best prospects through the funnel to converts. Our deep domain expertise means clients get C-level experience that drives leads, revenue and growth.
I am extremely passionate about career fulfilment and that is why I research and work hard to give my clients professional career counselling and also remain on top of cutting edge practices to ensure best-in-class innovative campaigns for all of the clients I work with.
I am an alumnus of Covenant University and I run a mentorship programme centred on helping youths discover their potentials while taking advantage of available opportunities to become financially Independent.
What inspired you to start the business?
Intelligentdude Consult was born out of my passion to make a difference in the lives of people, especially job seekers and those who want to make something meaningful out of their lives and career. While working for a foremost web design company in Lagos as a human resource/admin personnel, I discovered that a good number of graduates were confused about the career path they wanted to follow. This led me to create a thread in the year 2016 on Nairaland where I guided graduates on the best career path to follow, taking into cognisance their background, potential and course of study. More than 1,000 and counting individuals have contacted me seeking for career counselling, scholarship guidance, CV writing, LinkedIn profile optimisation, online business coaching, business support and so on.
I get comments from people especially my protégées, wondering how I tend to stay up my game despite my schedule. My response has always been, ‘If you love what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life.’ They see it as work while I see it as fun. I love what I am doing, I am passionate about what I am doing and my passion is what drives me to set goals for my business and continually strategise.
What was your startup capital?
Interestingly, I started with just my skills and zero naira. I was already coaching graduates and professionals and was reviewing their CVs before now, so I had already developed the basic skills such as career coaching, job search support, CV writing and content writing. Also, having worked with my uncle, who is the chairman, NCEF Technology, Netherland, I was able to hone my marketing and sales skills. I believe that information is the currency of the 21st century and skill is what you need to withdraw the currency to your account.
From my discussion with youths, I observed that a good number of them have great ideas which will improve lives. Unfortunately, most of them think they need a huge capital to float their ideas, which is not entirely correct. I believe that the first step should be making use of the resources available. Most investors prefer to invest in businesses with great prototype, roadmap and outstanding business plan. This, I learnt from my very good friend, Uka Eje, Chief Executive Officer of Thrive Agric.
How many employees do you have?
Our concept of having employees at Intelligentdude Consult is quite different. We believe more in the result rather than attendance hence, why we devised a way where most of our workers can work remotely under strict guidance and supervision. Our workers are called partners and not employees. However, we are gradually moving towards having a few employees in our office and a lot of partners. We presently have more than 10 partners which cut across different fields (writers, digital marketers, graphic designers, career counselors, strategists).
When was your business established?
I started in the year 2016 when I organised an online training on career and business opportunities for job seekers, professionals and entrepreneurs, but Intelligentdude Consult became a fully-fledged registered business in April 2019.
What are your expansion plans?
Our desire is to create a system where youths in Africa, especially Nigeria, will comfortably work for foreign clients remotely on per hour or per-job basis.
We also look forward to a time when Intelligentdude Consult will be the go-to organisation for all job seekers, professionals and business owners. We plan to achieve this by having ambassadors in the different states of the federation and most African countries.
We look forward to having a career coaching and online business school where participants will be coached on how to maximise their potentials and take advantage of online opportunities.
What are the major challenges you have faced since you started your business?
Firstly, as a startup, a good number of organisations are reluctant to outsource their recruiting process to us; they prefer companies with names (established companies).
Also, because of the perception of an average Nigerian, some prospects who want to rewrite their CVs, cover letter, LinkedIn profile are reluctant to make a payment due to the high rate of online scams in the country.
How do you think the government can address these challenges?
The government should conduct periodic seminars and adverts to enlighten Nigerian youths on the ills of scamming and start a sensitisation programme targeted towards the Nigerian youths.
The operational cost of running and maintaining businesses in Nigeria is on the high side and this can cripple a startup business. The government should create an enabling environment for businesses and give more grants to startups.
What advice do you have for other young people that are interested in what you do?
Entrepreneurship is never a smooth ride, one needs to go and learn under a mentor while acquiring relevant skills. Engage in professional self-development, join associations, attend conferences, take classes and workshops. Also, learn about HR, particularly recruiting process. Build a relationship with HR professionals both offline and online, especially on the LinkedIn platform, so you can tap from their expertise.