The face-beat business: Suzie Beauty's 4-step roadmap

Susan Kameme
YouTube University has graduated millions of students in various disciplines. Susan Kameme is one of them, and she graduated from the school of make-up.

Four years ago, Susan quit her job as a secretary to pursue her passion for make-up. A friend loaned her Sh20,000, which she used to kick-start her business. What initially looked like a big risk turned out to be the stuff make-up artistes dream of.

Susan has managed to work with not only local but also international celebrities, besides working on large TV productions. Her client base is massive, and she’s booked nearly every weekend for weddings, baby showers and pregnancy shoots.

The challenge for her, however, is how to scale her business. Yes, you may be super busy, but you may not have maximised on the potential of the business.

The Business Coach linked Susan to her namesake, Suzie Wokabi (pictured below), the founder of the Suzie Beauty brand. Suzie’s been in the business for close to two decades, starting out as a make-up artiste before launching her own brand of products a decade ago.

The Suzie Beauty brand experienced such growth that listed firm Flame Tree Group acquired it in 2016. Suzie now works under the brand as its chief creative officer. She shared insights from her entrepreneurial journey.

1. Identify a gap in the market that you can fill

A business exists only to fill a gap. I started Suzie Beauty because there were no accessible make-up products in the market at that time that matched the African woman’s skin.

2. Approach negotiations with caution

When I was negotiating the sale of the Suzie Beauty brand to Flame Tree Group, I was cautious throughout the whole period to ensure that I got full value. At the end of the deal, I not only sold the brand, but also got a position as its chief creative officer.

3. Apprentice under an experienced professional

You have to pay your dues before you reap your reward. In pursuit of honing your skills, it’s vital that you work as an apprentice to understand the dynamics of the industry and master your skills.

4. Stand your ground with clients

Price is a sensitive element in business. Your value and the value clients perceive will most likely not match. In such instances, because you’ll have acquired the skills and experience that back up your value, it’s vital that you stand your ground on pricing and with your clients.

[Ian Dennis is the host of The Business Coach, which airs on KTN Home every Friday at 7.30pm]

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