Often in business, one of the biggest challenges is making the right brand connection with customers, but one entrepreneur is bringing some innovative solutions to the table. Buzz Events Ltd in Uganda is the brainchild of Tina Byaruhanga, a dynamic entrepreneur who breathes exciting life into brands and businesses through her company’s experiential marketing campaigns.
LoA spoke to founder, Tina Byaruhanga about what it takes to build a buzz around client brands, and her experience of building a successful company and brand for herself at the same time.
What does your company do?
Buzz Events is a youth, culture and experiential marketing agency. We develop strategies and concepts to bring clients' brands and businesses to life with the aim of building lasting connections with their customers through well-crafted executions in the market-place. Our roots are in youth marketing, as a sub-set of generic marketing audiences, although we are able to serve other audiences too. We produce a youth publication, Buzz magazine, and also have annual youth events.
"I am no stranger to failure or disappointment in business, but I have learned to keep it moving. You get up, dust yourself off and try again."
What inspired you to start your company?
I was inspired by the clarity and conviction that I had, at the time, to move into self-employment. Many of my peers were still in formal employment when I made the move to focus on Buzz, so there really wasn't anyone I could consult on the decision to leave employment for Buzz. However, a part of me knew it was a decision I had to make on my own, and I was comfortable making that decision because I had prayed about it.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Because we deliver on the mandates we are given. We take the time to understand what our clients want and then go out and ensure we deliver against or above expectations. We are available and accountable. My team is empowered to handle client assignments, but regardless I ensure I am always present for client meetings and activities so I always handle business first-hand. I believe at Buzz we have a good understanding of the market, so we are able to share sound advice with our clients. We have also built partnerships with stakeholders that support our industry, something that in turn benefits our clients through bonus services. Finally, we have established a good track record as an agency that delivers, having worked with other big brands and businesses that can attest to this.
"I love the dynamic energy that comes with the work that I do. I work with different brands and businesses, so there is constantly a different challenge or situation or activity every other day, that needs to be worked on and this is what has helped me grow, besides keeping me on the edge."
"We take the time to understand what our clients want and then go out and ensure we deliver against or above expectations. We are available and accountable."
Tell us a little about your team
My team is predominantly a young team and because of that, we always bring a youthful energy to what we do, something that our clients appreciate about us. The team is comprised of mainly operations and client service staff that are complimented by administration and support staff. We are a core team of about 15 permanently employed staff but when we have bigger events, we can expand our team to up to 200 temporary working staff. Besides that, my staff team comprises of mainly men in the operations department and women in the client service department. We have a comfortable rapport amongst ourselves, we play and joke a lot but also work hard.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My Father and Uncle started out as entrepreneurs, although they eventually settled into formal employment later in life. So I don't know if this really influenced my decisions to pursue self-employment as an entrepreneur. However, I find that I am often drawn to business situations. I have been involved in a number of business ventures, since I left formal employment in 2007. Not all of them have been successful, but I have no regrets about what worked and what didn't because I learned a lot from all those experiences. I have run a catering outfit, sold clothes and shoes, done tailoring and even sold sex toys!! I am no stranger to failure or disappointment in business, but I have learned to keep it moving. You get up, dust yourself off and try again. Despite all the ups and downs however, Buzz has been a constant. This is because above all else, I am passionate about marketing and as a result, most of the initiatives I venture into now, are all marketing related.
"I have been involved in a number of business ventures, since I left formal employment in 2007. Not all of them have been successful, but I have no regrets about what worked and what didn't because I learned a lot from all those experiences."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I am looking to grow our client base over the next couple of years. I also want to train my staff through exposure to other markets, build structures and systems internally and get the business international certification. Once this is achieved, we can then venture into other regions.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I love the dynamic energy that comes with the work that I do. I work with different brands and businesses, so there is constantly a different challenge or situation or activity every other day, that needs to be worked on and this is what has helped me grow, besides keeping me on the edge. I also interact with different people, especially in the marketing field, discussing concepts and ideas and how we can improve their brands' interaction in the market-place. It’s through this interaction that great marketing concepts are born. I have grown a lot as an individual, just interacting with different personalities. Above all, I love the fact that I am doing what I am most passionate about, and thatI’m able to generate a living from it.
"Each of us is good at something. Most times, you need to just find that thing that you're good at..."
- @TinaByaruhanga @BuzzMagazineUG
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
If you don't yet know what it is that you want to pursue, but think you want to start up a business, be yourself and it will come to you. Often times, we tend to want to "start up" what someone else is already doing. Don't just copy a business idea. It may have worked for someone else, but that doesn't mean it will automatically work for you. Each of us is good at something. Most times, you need to just find that thing that you're good at or passionate about, regardless of whether it’s big or small or different. And ask God to bless it and make it originally and uniquely yours.
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Why LoA loves it….
Africa needs women entrepreneurs who are dynamic, creative and can get things done in a way that is completely customer centric. Tina Byaruhanga is one such entrepreneur. Her indepth understanding of the youth and corporate markets means that she has a finger on the pulse of the latest trends, and can bring any campaign to life and make it resonate with a target audience. This is one company with a real buzz about it right now and one woman entrepreneur to watch over the coming months! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa