Bamboo Business of the Week – sharing the financial culture and business of the average Bamboo user.
This week we are highlighting Bafem Solar – a solar and inverter company run by Babafemi, who has a passion for physics and providing solutions. He shared how it took him 18 months to get his first client and now his after-sales service his is USP.
What’s your name? Tell us about yourself
Babafemi: My name is Isaac Babafemi, I’m an engineer from Osun state, 29 years old, and a left-handed engineer. I loved science in secondary school and developed a great interest in physics. You can say I loved physics so much that I studied physics with electronics though I wanted something different.
Wow! That’s a great love… What has been your financial culture like?
I got serious with money when I became an entrepreneur. Growing up, I was spending however I wanted, but as adulthood crept in and I became an entrepreneur/becoming an adult and entrepreneur, I had no choice but to become conscious of my wealth and it’s so serious now that every month at Bafem Solar, I invest 25% of profits in stocks and crypto.
Niceee, tell us about your business? What is it about? Why did you start your business?
In my 300 level, I was seeing the potential of solar power as a problem of the epileptic power supply in the country. So, I decided to go for an apprenticeship for a year, to learn about it. After Nysc and getting the needed experience, in 2017, I decided to start my own company – Bafem Solar.
At Bafem Solar, we import Solar panels and install them for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Asides from installations, we sell inverters and batteries. We also do after-sales services.
That’s good! What has been one of the hardest times in your business and how did you manage it?
Hmmm, it has to be when I started. In fact, for the first 1year 6 months, I didn’t make any revenue not to talk of profit. The solar panel industry is very complex, if you do not know people, it will be difficult to get clients, as people have a hard time trusting a newbie with a huge amount of money and also their skill. I got my first job during the pandemic, in March 2020, via Twitter. It was very random for me, the client contacted me because he had been following my tweets, saw how I was consistent with talking about solar panels, and my work and he decided to give me a try. I was overjoyed about it because it has been difficult getting a client. After him, it became easy getting clients because now I had a work reference. The business hasn’t been very smooth but it’s been worth it.
Wow! 18 months! That must have been a depressing time.
Yes, it was. I can’t even deny it. I’m glad it’s all over.
Glad! How did you manage your finances before & after Bamboo?
Like I said earlier, I wasn’t really serious about my finances, but when I became serious about it, I discovered Bamboo. Initially, in my business journey, it was difficult to separate my personal finances from the business. After that was settled, I was looking for ways to increase revenue for Bafem solar, that’s when Bamboo came along. Though I didn’t immediately start buying stocks, I just used Bamboo to protect my money from Naira devaluation since the money was going to be in dollars. Then, I started doing research on stocks and the stock market. Ford was the first stock I bought. From there, I started being more intentional about my finances. before Bamboo but on discovering Bamboo, I was more intentional about it.
What are some of the best things about your business that separates you from the competition?
To be honest, I think it is the way I explain everything in detail, from inquiry to installation and after-sales. It has become so normal that my clients always say, “thank you for your honesty, and time to explain in detail.” Also, my After-sales support. I always make sure to help my clients with support after installing, regardless of whose fault it is. So real-life example, I was in Lagos and a customer in Abuja had an issue, in the next few hours, I sent someone to help resolve the issue. I like to go the extra mile for my customers.
That’s really good! Wishing Bafem Solar all the very best!
Thank you very much for your time, we enjoyed this.