Guest Blog by: Comfort Badaru, Graduate Architect and Editor/Acting Editorial Director, ANZA Magazine, Tanzania
For many aspirant women entrepreneurs in Africa who have a particular specialist expertise or depth of experience in an industry sector, the key to getting going in business is having a great idea and finding a niche that you can slot into in order to achieve success. LoA guest blogger, Comfort Badaru, shares her personal thoughts on the importance of finding your niche.
The Architectural industry is one of the most critical parts of a city, town and even country as a whole. To be able to design a space and transform it from nothing into something is the most rewarding feeling for an architect. Unfortunately, with the increasing populations versus the number of available jobs, many graduates don’t get the chance to practice and be a part of this process. However, this industry just like all other industries and business sectors today, has so much more to offer besides simply office based design and consultancy.
With architecture, when one is done with studying the course, it is expected that he/she has to automatically enrol into an architectural firm. As we have already established, in the current economic climate, this is not really the case anymore. So the question is, what next, what are the options? The truth is that architecture as a profession has so many other business and entrepreneurial opportunities that are still required and important in the same specialist field. It is simply a matter of having the courage to break out of the comfort zone and find that niche within your desired profession. This is what I like to refer to as “thinking with the box”.
"It is simply a matter of having the courage to break out of the comfort zone and find that niche within your desired profession."
A niche is what I like to say is the loophole in the system. One that many people often overlook, and yet it is also very important. As women, we are always aware that the small details make the big differences. So it is with finding your niche. It could be a small service you are offering in the beginning, but once you become a pioneer and master of your craft in that industry, then you will see the big picture and its impact.
"As women, we are always aware that the small details make the big differences. So it is with finding your niche."
When you find that niche, you don’t even need to have millions of dollars to be able to get started. 90% of the time, our clients are our known friends, family and colleagues. The resources we already have are within our reach; our minds being the biggest one of all. As you start to build confidence and trust within that clientele network of the service you are offering, they will begin to refer you to others, and so it goes on. Once we can do that, then we will have a generation that is constantly involved in the creating of new entrepreneurial and business opportunities.
Comfort Badaru is a founder of leading African architectural magazine, ANZA Magazine, published in Tanzania. She has been at the helm of the ANZA editorial team from the beginning and has created a publication which embraces the best traditions of global architectural publishing with a uniquely African style and appeal. Comfort is a graduate architect from Ardhi University in Dar es salaam. You can follow Comfort on Website | Twitter | Facebook