Movers and Shakers | Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta | Olive Blue Business
How and when did you come up with your business idea?
I’d always been business inclined growing up, so if I had to be specific, I’d say I had the idea back in 1996 when I was choosing my a-level subjects. However, the idea only fully developed in March 2002.
Did you undertake any research?
Yes I did, I made use of the business library and the internet.
Once you’d decided to start a business, what did you do first?
I actually chose the name of the business, being in marketing, I knew the business name and branding was an important element.
What was the route to your business?
I have a BSc in Marketing & Business IT and I worked for several years as a Business Analyst with blue chip companies and top consultancies. All during that time. I was always helping one person or the other to start-up their business. So in 2002 I decided to transfer the skills, knowledge and business experience I had to the small business market at affordable rates.
Tell us a little about the business planning.
This was not difficult at all as it is one of the services I provide to clients. As soon as I had it written, I passed it by a colleague to appraise. The business planning was a major process I (or anybody) needed to go through in the development of my business.
Did you seek any business advice – eg: from Business Link or similar organizations?
Not much at all due to my experience, however I would advocate people without the experience to ensure they get the proper support and advice in starting up.
How much did it cost to start the business?
I’d say approx £1000 as I work mainly from home and client sites.
What’s your typical working day like?
The first thing I always aim to do is pray, without God I wouldn’t be where I am today. By committing my entire day to him, he gives me the wisdom, guidance, knowledge and insight required to get ahead. After praying my typical day would be working up to 12 or more hours at a stretch. Even at weekends I’m still working. However, I always ensure I bring in some balance and not overwork myself.
Do you think there are any particular skills and/or personal characteristics needed to start your own business?
Persistence, determination, organisation, open-mindedness, focus… I could go on and on. Some you have beforehand, some you will learn along the way.
Is your family supportive of your business endeavours?
Very supportive, especially by brother who helped me cut down on my initial costs be developing a wonderful website for me: www.oliveblue.com
What do you love most about what you do?
It is very fulfilling to help someone start or grow their business. It is all about changing lives & organisations positively.
How do you relax?
I just lie back and watch TV or read a book.
Where do you hope your business will be a year from now?
Increase in clients and turnover, but most importantly still a source of fulfilment.
Any advice to those wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Nothing ventured nothing gained! If you’ve got an idea, seek the appropriate and advise, and after the required legwork go for it.