The current era represents the age of the church, where God is raising remarkable individuals in various fields to demonstrate His excellence. Today, Henotacemedia has the exclusive privilege of conversing with James Udeme, the Chief Executive Officer of James Janitorial Services. James Janitorial Services has been nominated as the Indigenous Brand of the Year by The Iconic Brands Award, and he will be receiving this prestigious accolade on November 4, 2023. In addition to this honor, he has recently become an esteemed member of the ForbesBLK community, a distinguished collective of global leaders, entrepreneurs, creators, and professionals who are actively making a positive impact on society.
HENOTACE: CONGRATULATIONS ON BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE FORBES BLACK COMMUNITY! CAN YOU SHARE YOUR JOURNEY LEADING UP TO THIS POINT?
JAMES: Thank you. It has been by the grace of God all the way. Without God, I wouldn’t have reached this stage. I was just a regular young person on the streets of Lagos, searching for my purpose. I decided to start something, not just for my benefit but to help others make money. That’s how it all began, and God has been faithful.
HENOTACE: WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND YOUR SUCCESS?
JAMES: The primary force behind my success is God, and I owe Him a great deal of gratitude. Another key factor is knowledge. When I first started my business, I was making money, but it wasn’t until I encountered knowledge, which happened during Shiloh 2020. Initially, I had reservations about Bishop Oyedepo, but when I sat down and listened to him, I realized that a man with such knowledge would inevitably become wealthy. So, I delved into acquiring knowledge, reading books, and expanding my horizons. I started learning things I hadn’t known before, things that could elevate my business, and I began applying them effectively.
HENOTACE: COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS SPECIALIZATION?
JAMES: Certainly. We specialize in sewage cleaning, commercial cleaning, fumigation, and janitorial services.
HENOTACE: HOW HAVE YOU IMPLEMENTED THE KNOWLEDGE YOU’VE GAINED INTO YOUR BUSINESS?
JAMES: I read somewhere that if you can’t do big things, you should do small things in a big way. I view my business as a significant organization and emulate what large organizations do. I study the practices of these big organizations and incorporate them into my own. For instance, I read a book by Brian Tracy, “No Excuses,” and I implemented its principles in my business, witnessing positive results.
HENOTACE: COULD YOU SHARE SOME SPECIFIC PRACTICES YOU’VE PUT INTO ACTION?
JAMES: Initially, I didn’t realize the importance of maintaining customer data, including their phone numbers and email addresses, for follow-ups. However, after reading a book, I started keeping my customers’ data to provide them with excellent service and maintain our relationship.
HENOTACE: HOW DO YOU MANAGE THIS CUSTOMER DATA? DO YOU USE SOFTWARE OR MANUAL METHODS?
JAMES: I use Excel and some other software tools to keep track of customer data, including their emails.
HENOTACE: WHAT SOFTWARE DO YOU USE TO SEND EMAILS TO YOUR CLIENTS?
JAMES: I use a paid software called MailChimp.
HENOTACE: WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR INDIVIDUALS LOOKING TO INVEST THEIR FAITH IN A BUSINESS, ESPECIALLY FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS?
JAMES: For anyone venturing into business, my first advice is to establish a strong connection with God before seeking support from anyone else. I personally find inspiration in reading and listening to Pastor David Oyedepo. He once mentioned that if you are looking up to God, you shouldn’t rely on others. Your primary focus should be on God.
HENOTACE: COULD YOU TELL US HOW YOU BECAME A PART OF FORBES AND YOUR ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY?
JAMES: I applied for Forbes and they reviewed my profile and past records. Forbes Black is a community for African and Black American entrepreneurs.
HENOTACE: HOW HAS BEING A PART OF FORBES IMPACTED YOUR BUSINESS AND PERSONAL LIFE?
JAMES: Forbes is a well-known name, so it has helped me establish valuable connections. People respect you more when they know you are part of such a prestigious community. Forbes wouldn’t accept someone who isn’t doing well, so it has boosted my image and business.
HENOTACE: CAN YOU SHARE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW FORBES HAS HELPED YOU EXPAND YOUR NETWORK?
JAMES: I once went for an inspection, and the property owner recognized me as the Forbes member. This immediately garnered respect, and I didn’t need to say much before getting the job.
HENOTACE: WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES FACING YOUNG AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS?
JAMES: One of the most significant challenges facing young African entrepreneurs is the negative image created by some youths in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. This has made potential foreign investors hesitant to invest in our businesses due to the fear of scams and fraudulent activities. I once had a foreign investor from Australia express concerns about being scammed, which ultimately led to the deal falling through.
HENOTACE: HOW DO YOU ATTRACT INVESTORS TO YOUR BUSINESS, AND HOW DO YOU CONVINCE THEM?
JAMES: To attract investors, you identify individuals with the financial capability to invest and who believe in your business. You then draft agreements for their investment. To convince them, we rely on our track record of excellent service and customer testimonials. Our aim is to provide a service that our customers can fully endorse, as reflected in our outstanding online reviews.
HENOTACE: WHERE DO YOU ENVISION YOUR BUSINESS IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?
JAMES: In the next decade, we aim to expand to various regions in Nigeria, making our company even larger. We want to create more job opportunities and make cleaning services affordable and easily accessible.
The interview was edited for better understanding, listen to the full version on here
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