On Business Ethics: BMPro’s Banke Meshida-Lawal says “I Have a Major Business Rule, ‘Friends and Family Must Pay for Our Services’”
My name is Banke Meshida-Lawal. I am the head make up artist, BMPro Make up. Back when I was University of Lagos, I used to wear so much make up, so much so I would wake up at 5.30am to start my make up for a 9am class. I was also fortunate to be have people that allowed me experiment on their faces. As time went by, I started getting bookings to make up for friends and friends’ sister’s wedding. From there, the business took off. When I graduated, I constantly had work so I saved diligently and opened a studio
On The BMPro Brand and Business Ethics
No matter how much our brand has grown, I cannot assume everyone wants to work with us, so even I still lobby to make up for people who may not have worked with us or know us. I love to do make-Up so I cannot recline on my chair and expect things to come to me. There is so much to do, and the passion I have for the job makes me see a face and go after it, practically pleading to make it up. People see this passion, and this I believe, is part of what makes them come back
The business has been able to sustain itself because of our strict business ethics: “Always plow back into the business”. I would rather have a fully stocked studio or warehouse than spend my money to purchase something ostentatious. Another of our business ethics that we have stuck by which has also facilitated our growth is that “friends and family must pay”. There is no exception to this rule. If I had offered my services for free for my many friends and families, I will not be where I am today. Support my business just as I have supported yours, This is how it should be. Read: Being A Nice Girl Doesn’t Get You Ahead
The BMpro Brand’s growth can also be attributed to the fact that we are different. Anyone can do Make-Up, But we strive to create exceptional looks that when anyone sees it, they’ll know this is BMPro. Because we are not afraid to be different, we stand out
There has been challenges and road blocks, there are still challenges and road blocks but I have realised that these days, most entreperenurs want to get rich quick but forget that there is real work that has to be invested, failures that you must face head on and stumbling blocks that you must surmount. These are the things that add up to a successful business. Our major challenge has been getting our make up product into the country. We manufacture abroad so usually when we run out products, the time we are able to restock is usually a bit of a stretch. Then Forex rates have not helped as well. We sometimes retail at a loss but the standard of the brand has to be maintained because we never want to disappoint our customers.
These challenges could get so tiring, I sometimes want to give up. In these times, I just go swimming, listen to hymns, cook and spend time with my family. Also knowing that I have people that look up to me, who believe and benefit from the brand…the feeling of being needed is enough to push me out of bed every morning. In addition to that, when I remember that I have not achieved anything, I abandon the thought of giving up and motivate myself to get up and go. No excuses.
The brand has also grown because of the fantastic BMPro team. We are committed to developing ourselves, which automatically translates to developing our skills. Make Up is the only thing I know how to do and really love to do. I am constantly reading, teaching and learning in the process. In Nigeria the make Up industry is on to a good thing and I intend to never lag behind.