In 2020, Patty Sangmor decided to quit her 9am to 5pm job as a Marketing Strategist in one of Ghana’s leading marketing agencies to focus on building her fashion side hustle.
In the long term, she wanted to help SMEs build sustainable brands through relevant marketing strategies. Her work had exposed her to many marketing mistakes small businesses made, and she wanted to help but she didn’t know how to go about it. The idea was to put that on hold for some months until the fashion brand could sustain itself but fate had other plans.
In March 2020, the government imposed a lockdown due to rising COVID-19 cases. Social gatherings had been banned till further notice. People were not making clothes for events anymore, so Patty had to pivot. She decided to give her long-term goal a shot.
Armed with the insights she gained from a business growth workshop she attended which was facilitated by one of Nigeria’s top business coaches, previous work experience in the marketing agency, and lessons from a marketing course she took in university, Patty ventured into business coaching and consulting for SMEs.
On why she ventured into such a niche market, Patty explained that she discovered that many Ghanaian SMEs had great products and solutions but did not have the right and requisite blueprint in running their businesses and reaching consumers. So far, Patty has been able to help over 3000+ SMEs and brands reach the right consumers and scale their businesses.
Recounting the journey, Patty noted that it had been insightful and fulfilling being able to help business owners change their mindsets and perceptions about their brands and helping them scale. Despite the successes, Patty noted that there had been some challenges. Having started her entrepreneurial journey with zero savings, it was quite tough at first as she didn’t make any revenue during the first few months.
For Patty, there were no hesitations in pursuing her dream. “I had seen someone who was living comfortably from running such a business in an African country. I knew it was going to work, I just needed time.”
On some of the major lessons she learnt in her career and business, Patty had this to say: “Do not expect people to support or applaud you when you start, and do not get angry when the people you expect support from don’t show it – that can be hard. Majority of them do not understand your vision; keep building, the people who need you will support. Start right! If you see someone who has the expertise to help you start your business the right way, do everything you can to get access to that person. It will save you a lot of mistakes. You cannot do everything by yourself”.
Patty believes that brands and business owners need to constantly meet the needs of their customers, communicate the value they provide, and develop innovative ideas in order to stay relevant. On starting a business or side hustle, she advised that people shouldn’t venture into a business only because it is lucrative or profitable.
“People tend to get frustrated when they don’t start making money immediately. Start because the business solves a need for your target market and those solutions are in demand. Start small and trust the process.”
On the relevant skills needed to build a career in marketing, she explained: “Marketing is mostly about understanding consumer behaviour and being able use the insights you gather to influence their decision-making. You’d have to be observant and analytical to be a badass at marketing”.
For Patty, 2023 is full of big strides for herself and the brands she is working with. “We are taking our marketing and advertising game to another level. I also have a series of masterclasses coming up for business owners to take their businesses to a higher level.”
>>> Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa is a Writer and Publisher. Connect with Nana Akua via Instagram: @missamofa_ Twitter: @missamofa, LinkedIn: Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa, Email: [email protected]