Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nkechi Esan, Founder of Ahia Studio, located in Fort Worth, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I provide Shopify & Email Marketing for product-based e-commerce brands. I help Shopify store owners grow their online sales through web strategy and design.

Tell us about yourself

I knew I loved working with computers when I was 18. I took a job at my mom's business center and fell in love with Windows 3.1! 🥰. I still remember taking the recipe tutorial and thinking this was the best thing ever. For those old enough to know, you know. I designed my first website using HTML and knew I had to learn to code and work in the IT world.

I've had different roles in IT since then, but I've been drawn most to helping e-commerce business owners sell more by building Shopify websites and Klaviyo email flows. And it's been a blast. What motivates me every day is seeing my clients happy with their newly designed websites and then hearing the Shopify dings as the sales come in.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of my biggest accomplishments as a business owner is helping clients boost their sales by creating killer online stores that really resonate with their customers. By tapping into the full potential of Shopify's e-commerce features and my own expertise in online marketing, I've been able to create stores that attract more visitors, convert more sales, and ultimately drive more revenue for my clients. It's been a blast to see their businesses grow and succeed online!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

I think isolation is one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner. As someone who has worked for a long time in the corporate world, with ten years working as an IT manager in the financial industry, I really missed being in a large company. I missed the daily interaction with my colleagues.

After a while, I realized I could still have some of that - I joined group programs to keep developing my skills and have fellow agency owners with whom I could bounce ideas off. I actively network and get to know people, and it's been really rewarding. I've met people all over the world through social media and conferences and have learned so much from reaching out to fellow business owners online.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Starting a business can be daunting, but there's no denying that this is a great time to do it. With so many opportunities and resources available, the possibilities are endless. Here are some lessons I learned along the way:

  1. Start simple and keep costs low: When you're just starting out, it's important to keep your costs low. You don't want to invest too much money into something that may not work out. Start with the essentials and gradually invest more as your business grows.
  2. Create systems and productize your services: Creating systems in your business can help you save time, increase efficiency, and, ultimately, grow your business. Productizing your services can help you streamline your offerings and make it easier for customers to understand what you do.
  3. Follow mentors and join a group of like-minded people: Following mentors online can help you gain valuable insights into what it takes to succeed in your industry. Joining a group of like-minded people can help you stay motivated, share ideas, and get feedback on your business. Joining slack groups of entrepreneurs and building relationships with business owners in the same field has been very helpful for me.
  4. Review your learnings and keep adapting: It's important to constantly review your learnings and adapt your business as needed. Don't be afraid to pivot if something isn't working. Keep experimenting, trying new things, and learning from your mistakes. And don't beat yourself up about mistakes. Every business owner makes them - it's part of the learning process.

Starting a business can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By starting simple, creating systems, following mentors, and constantly adapting, you can set yourself up for success. So if you're on the fence, I hope this encourages you to get started!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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