That was the question on the application for The Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship, among other questions like state your journey as a start up and the obstacles you have faced, this was my answer, on why i think- and hope- i should win :)
Hope it inspires the ones thinking of starting their own business.
I had the idea for PlayWorks when i noticed how the parents of the kids, or young adults would sigh and say: I wish i can have a room like that! they were referring to the customized beautiful rooms i made to reflect the kid's personality. they wanted the same feeling, to be taken care of, to have their needs met, to solve their problems and to have a space they belonged to, not just beautiful decor.
That is when i decided to start my own company, it was a difficult journey since the first company was made for me through my partners. I had to do it all by myself this time around, with no capital, and no family support, this time i heard a new set of NO's for the pursuit of my dream, like: NO, this will not work, NO what if you fail? NO don't come to me asking for help.
So I decided to do it by myself, backed up with 7 years experience in designing, this time i thought: I will not do it the Bahraini way of starting Big and spending on fancy stationary and use up marketing funds, i will not take a loan, i will keep my coasts low, not inquire monthly costs like paying Salaries for now, i will approach any facility that can help me keep my costs very low, till i have a solid base and then can grow. so, I raised my own capital by working for a year unofficially, i needed 10,000 for the CR, I applied through Bahrain incubator center for a virtual office, cause i can work from anywhere, and kept the rent extremely low, i worked with freelancers and on commission base instead of Salaries, and i used social networking as a marketing tool, even made a one page website to cut costs. and then i worked, worked hard, its not easy being a ONE WOMAN company, especially if that woman is a mother of two kids and a toddler, but my clients were happy, and i was very happy, granted my growth is not as fast as it could be, pressure kills creativity, and for the first two years i needed to be more about quality not quantity. now its time to take it to the next level, the demand is growing and i have to start hiring and building my team, the one thing i had to spend on is the business planning, and i am grateful TAMKEEN helped with that, i also paid for accounting cause neglecting your numbers is neglecting your company.
I had to grow my self, take training courses through TAMKEEN, study more, I am self taught and i am proud of it alhamdlilah. I joined the business Woman Society to acquire knowledge and support to learn and grow.
I am so far only working with and my aim is to always work with Bahraini suppliers and hire bahraini talents as members of my design team. I have faced a lot of challenges with the suppliers I worked with, the level of production and finishing quality was my main concern, so I had to change my strategy from customizing mostly to personal shopping furniture to solve that for now, and it have been met with great satisfaction from my clients. I am currently studying the idea of opening my own workshop, I have international demand mostly from the USA, Saudia and Qatar. My current challenge is to find shipping companies that would ship door to door, I am interested in exporting as I believe that would take my business to the next level, decrease the amount of customized wok, and increase profitability, provide long term growth and sustainability. I aim to create other means of income for Bahraini talents, for now, they are happy to do what they love and get paid in commission, i aim to be a leading exporting company with made-in-Bahrain products, i believe in our abilities, and so do neighboring countries asking me to open branches there or let them franchise the business in their countries. I would like to study and redesign my pieces to meet the american standards as most of my international demands and orders come from there. I believe I should be granted this award because as a Bahraini Woman i have taught my self to stand on my own feet, learn and develop my skills and create a business that is the first of its kind in our region. Any designer can design a beautiful room, but no one takes into consideration the occupant's personality, their dreams and motivation, our space affects our lives, our intimacy, our energy level can change with the color of the walls, our stress level can decrease with the creation of convenience storage solution. I believe in my self, and i love my job, i am still learning, and believe this business can grow big, have dedicated staff, I am good at managing and leading, inspiring a team and getting projects done with a 100% client Satisfaction, i can and want and will take it to the next level. your award will give me the boost i need, to hold my head up and aim high, cause as a Bahraini Woman entrepreneur, with a startup business and a dream, I know I can.