Who are you?I am Busari Mobolaji Toheeb, a final year Physics Education student at the University of Lagos. I’m from Oyo State Ibadan to be precise, from a family of five with two brothers and two sisters, am a cobbler as well and a stylist with a styling brand ‘B-$TAR’.
Seven years back immediately I finished my secondary school from Global School of Science in Ibadan. I started immediately after my May/June WAEC examinations in 2011, I took the decision after staying at home alone after my WAEC. My dad told me to enrol for JAMB coaching but during the training, there was a particular building beside my coaching center which was a vocational training school for people regardless of your status, so I enrolled in cobbling together with a friend Paul. After my JAMB examination in 2012, I got admitted into the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta to Study Physics/Chemistry.While working on the admission process in November 2012, I couldn’t furthermore in the training due to stress and also my course didn’t permit me so I wasn’t given a certificate but I spent just 9 months on the training. I had learnt things like sandal making, leather slippers making and was about to proceed to shoemaking when I was hooked with stress in school so I couldn’t manage the two together and had to drop cobbling for school in the process.
Describe your barbing experience?I enrolled for barbing training in 2016. My barbing experience since 2016 has been fantastic.
Is B-$tar your cobbling company?No, I haven’t set up the cobbling company yet, because it requires time and money in getting some equipment, moreover, am in school but am planning towards that after school.
Why B-$tar?The B in the name stands for my surname and my own name and for the star you know the stars are bigger and brighter than the Sun so that’s how I want my brand to be by God grace. What makes B-$TAR stand out in a crowd of competitors is that I do provide a Legendary Customer Service and treat my customers like royalty, even when there’s no need to. The belief that customer service only matters in the service industry is a myth. Another thing is that I do admit my mistakes and also fix out the problems, I don’t argue with my customers and these really help me to build a stronger relationship with them.
Why did you establish B-$tarI established B-$TAR After my training to be self-dependent. I also wanted to train young people as well that are interested in barbing. Another thing is that the barbering industry is continuing to grow, with more and more barbershops popping up and it is definitely an exciting industry to be involved in! There is a saying that many people are familiar with and it goes something a little like this
if you love your job, you’ll never have to work another day in your life.We know that many barbers would agree with this statement and be able to list many reasons why they love their job and how it doesn’t feel like work. Choosing a barbing career presents many opportunities and perks that one may not have even considered. I know there can be doubts, concerns and worries when transitioning into a new career or even deciding what career path to take after finishing school. The main factors that normally arise when deciding on a career are the training options available, employability prospects and the challenges of the job. But to me, I can probably say there are many opportunities in choosing this career which includes:
- YOU WILL BE YOUR OWN BOSS: Bottom line, being a barber is a good life. The job offers flexible hours and rewarding work in a creative industry. Few trades offer as many opportunities to open your own successful business. There is a range of options in how you can be your own boss with a barber career. Some people opt to rent a chair in a salon and build up their client base, chose to work as a mobile barber or open up their own barbershop, where they can really bring in their passions and personality into their barbershop.
- BE A PEOPLE PERSON: Not many jobs offer the opportunity to meet and interact with people from all walks of life. Barbers meet clients who have interesting stories to tell and you get to chat with people daily, which is perfect if you love people. Plus, you play a big part in making people look their best. You have the power and skills to give confidence to men by giving them a haircut that suits them and makes them feel great. Many barbers make good friends and contacts from their clients; your confidence and popularity will grow if you are a good barber.
- GOOD INCOMES: Most barbers make a decent amount of money; not only do you get your salary at the end of the week, you get your tips too. If you master your barbering trade to a top-notch standard and can create sharp and modern barber haircuts, along with providing an outstanding service for your client, you will see your tips increase. The potential of earning a good barber salary is high due to the different areas of barbering that is available to work in, whether that is running your own barbershop, being a mobile barber, working for a high-end barbershop or even a renowned barber brand. There is also the option to work as a freelance barber to work on photo shoots for fashion brands, music bands or any type of brand that requires a professional and talented barber. Once you establish yourself and build a credible reputation in the barbering industry, you can earn a lot of money.
- BARBERING CAREER TAKE THE JOB WITH YOU: Barbers can get good work anywhere in the world, as getting a haircut is a basic need and not a luxury one, so there is always a demand for barbers worldwide. If you want to travel and widen your horizons, barbering is a great choice of trade as job prospects are good all over the world.
Obtaining the barbering qualification will also help you qualify as a skilled worker and increase chances of getting a work visa to enable you to work in your desired destination I think especially a country like Canada.
- EACH DAY IS DIFFERENT: It will be hard to find two days alike in barbering; each day is different and most importantly, each day is enjoyable. You’ll find most barbering jobs are so varied. You will have a range of clients asking for different hairstyles, which makes the job less repetitive and each day exciting.
- YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A JOB: The lifespan of a profession is going to cross your mind when you’re considering a new career. There is no lifespan of a barber, once you work hard and continue to master your craft, you can work as long you want. Regardless of the economic situation, men will always need to get their hair cut, so there will always be a need for barbers.
Where are you located? Can you travel to other states to provide VIP service?For the location, I’m working on a particular place in Oshogbo Osun state in which after my school I’m going to open it. Yes, my services aare open for all.
Services rendered at B-$tar?We barb the hairstyles
- AFRO + FADE
- CLEAN SHAVE
- LOW CUT + FADE
- WAVE + FADE
- BALD FADE
- Home Services (Plus Extra charges) e.t.c
- After Shave
- Bumps/ Rashes Creams
- Sporting wave /Pomade,Shampoos e.t.c
Has B-$tar affected your academics negatively?No, as I said earlier you have to be dedicated and determined though it is not easy in life nothing good comes easy. You have to manage your time wisely anytime you are planning.
Tell us your experience so far in 3yearsI can probably say I’ve learned a lot. Firstly, you have to humanize your business in the sense that while working with your customers. They tell you their struggles in life or lend you their ears on understanding your story. He not only listens but also records your stories. No matter how bad the day is going, the barber should smile, greet and thank customers when they are leaving in a way he creates a lasting impression. What better way to retain an existing client than to know their story and connect with them. The more you know about your customers, the better the connection. This not only leads to a long-term business relationship but also more referral or word-of-mouth opportunities. You have to build a system to deliver experience and not just service because I’ve learnt that people will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but will never forget how you made them feel most especially the adult customers. This is because the way you treats them will determine whether they will patronize you again or not, you deliver beyond a simple haircut, you’ve to make it livelier by discussing trends in the society or playing of music or movies. You also have to be patient with this job in particular because sometimes u might be busy throughout and sometimes, you might find it difficult to see a single customer… Just pray about it and trust me your journey believe me.
How were you able to raise capital to start B-$tar?I started raising money with the help of an App called Cowrywise for like a year and also my parent supported me as well. The capital was not enough to start the business. I just had to make use of what I had then to set up the business. You know you’ve to start from somewhere.
What are the milestones you have have achieved at B-$tarFor the milestone I’ve had in my company to start with, for a business to grow, I had to set up an effective business model. A business model represents the methods you use to make a profit. Parts of a business model include operating procedures, marketing strategies, and cost structures.
In addition to this, another milestone is how to like Gain repeat customers because we’ll know that customers are key to keeping your business operating. To set customer milestones, I’ve to like to pay attention to both prospective and existing customers. This kind of customers helps my business to thrive as well.
What advice do you have for people who want to start their entrepreneurship journey?My advice for people who wants to start their entrepreneurship is that they should Seek out a mentor, they shouldn’t be discouraged by slow growth, and also they should have a plan. In addition, they should pray often and work with a mentor. Surrounding themselves with others who can support them on their journey to entrepreneurship. Get clear about how to manage their money when they are not getting a weekly paycheck. Also, they should value themselves more highly. Charge what they know they’re worth. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask for the fair value of their services because no one is ever going to offer them more than what they ask, so they might as well go for it. Lastly, they should surround themselves with people who are going to elevate them to the next level. They should also start programming their mind. Like meditation, affirmations, and watching motivational videos about how to manage their time and business. They should never stop learning, Keep investing in themselves not only that also keep their mind, body and soul in tip-top shape.
Do you think the education system in Nigeria makes a student better prepared for entrepreneurship?No, because we all know that Entrepreneurship is regarded as the engine room for every country’s economic development because it is a sure way of generating employment opportunities, providing the needed manpower for industrial development, marketing and market factor growth, capacity building on the citizenry and resource distribution which are necessary paraphernalia for sustainable development. The importance of entrepreneurship education in any developing country such as Nigeria needs not to be over-emphasized and this is because Nigeria like other developing countries is faced with a high rate of graduate unemployment or underemployment as a result of poor trade liberalization and graduates inept ability for the global competitive labour market.
How can we contact you?
You can contact me on twitter handle @wilsonbeejay, on Facebook page Busari Mobolaji Wilson
For my brand on Facebook B_STAR HAIR CLINIC, ON INSTAGRAM: INVESTOR_BEEJAY_, FOR MY BRAND ON IG: bstar_hairclinic Email: firstname.lastname@example.org