Omolani Wunmi, The Founder of Nanny Affairs, told Mobola Sadiq how she started her business and got clients on social media
What are your educational qualifications?
For my elementary education, I attended Deborah Nursery and Primary School, Ogudu, Lagos. I then proceeded to St. Helens Unity Secondary School, for my secondary education. After a year there, I moved to Allen High School, Lagos. I went on to study Quantity Surveying at the Federal University of Technology, Akure.
What services does your company offer?
Nanny Affairs is a placement/recruitment agency that specialises in the recruitment of nannies, housekeepers, chefs, drivers, gardeners, security men, baby nurses, adult care, front desk officers and office assistants.
The business idea was borne out of the need to help people keep their most valued assets safe; create long-term relationships with clients through the provision of the highest quality of professionals; consistent and reliable staffing in Nigeria; help parents find trustworthy nannies and make it sustainable in the long run; and increase childcare awareness.
What informed your decision to go into this line of business?
Back in the days, most mothers used to stay at home to take care of the children while fathers were the breadwinners. Today, the era of the full-time housewives is almost gone. To increase household income and provide additional financial support for the family, more urban African women are now gainfully employed or self-employed. Hiring nannies take the stress off their shoulders and enable them to concentrate on their jobs. I also started this business to curb robbery, child labour, domestic theft, and abuse of children, among others.
How much capital did you start with?
I started the business alone and with zero capital. I interviewed nannies and got their details right in my living room. I used the first money I made to register the business with the Corporate Affairs Commission and used the second to get an office space.
What were the major challenges you encountered when you started?
The major challenge bordered on customer service. In a world of instant gratification, customers expect instant service and can go to social media to share their displeasure at less-than-satisfactory service just as quickly. Today, customers can voice any displeasure much more publicly and loudly than ever before.
How are you tackling the risks associated with your business?
In order to mitigate the activities of dubious and fraudulent employees, I run physical background checks on prospective nannies and their guarantors. I even go as far as obtaining the addresses and other contact details of family members. Guarantors’ details are updated every three months to ensure the addresses submitted are still the same, and update the addresses if they have changed. Frankly speaking, any person who is subjected to the rigorous screening and verification process would not think of executing any criminal activity whatsoever. Cameras are also deployed to monitor the safety of children under the care of our nannies.
How has been the journey so far?
It has been challenging but I thank God we are assisting parents in focusing on their careers and also reducing mental and physical stress in society.
What are the major lessons you have learnt in business?
Business is not always about money. Obviously, making money is a major part of business success but what is more important is the vision and passion I have for my business. I’ve learnt that a business can’t grow overnight; consistency and hard work are critical elements in growing a business. Resilience and relationship building are also very important.
What do you think the government should do to help young entrepreneurs?
A major challenge that young entrepreneurs face is access to capital. Government can assist in this area by encouraging banks to offer loans to start-ups. The government can also offer loans that target small businesses.
There is a need for increased investment in education. Development experts agree that government has a big role to play in developing the education sector. Many American universities now partner with small business incubators to generate new businesses. In addition, the government should promote proper entrepreneurship education in universities.
What plans do you have for the future?
We are working towards increasing childcare awareness, especially in rural areas, by promoting exclusive breastfeeding, adequate complementary feeding, and the need for immunisation, among others. We aim to create a skill acquisition centre for young ladies in order to reduce unemployment and crime rates in the country. We will also expose pupils in primary schools to the use of first aid and also teach them how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.