How many of you have taken it upon yourselves to pursue a passion you found so much pleasure in during your university days. Have you ever thought of challenging yourself to start a business where your passion lies without thinking of how the venture will work? It is obvious that the major goal of graduates in Ghana is to secure a white collar job that pays very well to cover their financial expenses and spare some for little needs. Here is a lady who turned her passion into a unique business which is emerging in Ghana.
Sherry Akpalu is a young female entrepreneur who began rendering ushering services during her days at Valley View University. As a student, there was always demand for ladies to usher events. Being bold, intelligent and articulate were the qualities needed to be an usher, qualities she found herself to posses and registered herself for ushering services for corporate events. Graduating with a degree in Human Resource, Sherry got a 9 to 5 job that paid well and came with good incentives but she could not keep up with it, to her the task was mundane. On the other hand, she was receiving lots of calls to usher events but kept resisting the offers since she did not have the time to go out ushering and work as well. Later, she realised ushering was a good business opportunity being thrown at her. Taking up that task she recruited extra ladies to assist her in ushering. After ushering a couple of events, she became conscious of how intensely she desired to perform that role of ushering.
The idea came about in 2014 for Sherry but it was sole-proprietorship starting with 14 girls from tertiary schools rendering ushering services at events and products launches. The patronage was good which led her to officially register her company as a limited liability firm in February 2016. Going by the name Platinum Xquisite Ushering Agency, she believes it best suits the quality and class of services she provides. Now she has 45 girls under her management and seeks to make her unique business a fully blown company in the future with extra facilities in advertising, organizing and managing events.
Sherry does not deny the fact that beginning such a business is not as simple as ABC yet she is ready to face all obstacles to promote her business and get more contracts to sustain it.
There was a need for girls to usher for corporate events but there is no ‘go to’ company to get girls for ushering services just the ‘call a friend’ and ‘i know a friend’ type of getting ushers.
Sherry therefore took it upon herself to recruit ladies through social media, audition and interview them to select the suitable ladies to usher. The recruitment of her work force are basically through social media and it has been effective in staffing a lot of ladies to cater for as many events as possible.
She had these tips on how to manage ushering service to share with you
Undergo series of training with the girls on mannerism and etiquette to enhance the performance of girls in ushering and selling of products.
In order to ensure that the services you provide for your clients during events are of the finest quality, you must undertake series of training for the ladies to address them on how to be polite when talking, patience to tolerate people, stand for long hours on heels, how to walk and a lot of gestures to avoid when in public. Also they must be fluent in English that is the reason why I employ students mostly because they are educated.
Host a platform for the ladies to share their grievances and suggestions and address all their issues.
I organise my ladies in terms of recruitment mostly through social media and that has been one of the chanels i use to address the complains and grievances of the ladies i work with. After providing services for an event, i request for feedback from the ladies on how they performed in ushering the event and selling clients products, so if there is any complain lodged by the ladies, i follow up on the company to request an apology and if to the extreme compensation for any damage. My advice to my ladies is to never talk back to a customer or complain to the company during a misunderstanding, such issues must be directed to me for further actions. And this motive helps to promote good communication between the ladies and I and the company we offer services to.
Provide all the necessary materials in terms of outfit and transportation to venue.
As part of the package of making ushering an attractive service to the ladies, i foot the transportation to events and cater for the wardrobe of the ladies when the outfit to be worn is prescribed by the company pertaining to the kind of event. Sometimes there is cost incurred in that aspect but to provide unique services and get your business to flourish, you must go the extra mile to provide all these materials to achieve good services.
Be on time to events.
Time is of essence and i respect that in my professional duty. I always make sure my ladies are at least an hour early to the said location before the event begins. Since there are a lot of preparations to be done before the show begins, it is advisable to be on time and have your ushers ready before the guests arrive.
Keep it professional.
One rule i have for my ladies is to never take a client’s card or contact whenever they go out to usher in my company’s name. I believe in professionalism and since the task is to usher or market products, there is no need to do anything aside from that. This rule will help me create a good brand for my company and earn the respect of being professional.
Give the rules of engagement to the ladies before they attend any event.
When a company calls for ushering services, they give the rules of engagement and i relay that information to my ladies so they abide by it during the event. It is unethical if i should go against it. This will spell out a bad reputation for my company.
If you think managing an ushering business will not fetch you much, here are some amazing contracts Sherry through her entrepreneurial skills has landed for her company. She ushered the launch and main Girl Talk event, ushered corporate companies such as Kew-Deg financial company, and launch of Nespresso, ushering at Spanish embassy, and series of activation across Osu mall, Marina and West Hills mall.
Sherry’s most fulfilling moment in her business is the fact that she feels accomplished when she receives gratitude from clients on how exceptional she executes her work in marketing products. She intends to extend her business to other regions and have ladies available to usher for all occassions.
Reach out to Sherry for ushering of all your events on +233555013939.
visit her instagram page @platinum_ushers