The childhood dream of Felika Mahama was to become a well respected Lawyer but after her undergraduate studies at the University of Development studies, an idea she birthed changed the course of her life. Against all odds, she went on an interesting journey to start a mobile car wash business, the first of its kind.
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Like many children, Felika Mahama had several career paths she wanted to follow in the near future. Interesting however, one of such careers was a counselor and the others included Air Hostess and an Artist.
As she grew up, the dream switched to the law space and this time round, she was very sure of it.
Just like that, Felika set out to become a Lawyer and every decision she took from that point was geared towards fulfilling that dream.
Gaining admission to study at the University of Development Studies
Felika made an interesting decision concerning the path to becoming a lawyer; she read a different program first.
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"I decided to get my first degree in Languages and Integrated Development Studies first before I further to do law. I wanted to have a good hold of various languages because as a Lawyer, being fluent in a number of languages is very vital", she told YEN.com.gh in an interview.
After her first degree, she had her mandatory national service with the National Commission for Civic education and took up a number of roles after.
"I worked at Jogobu Company Limited for a year, Dacoph Shipping Company for another one year, moved to Wekplace also for a year and then I joined the youth in afforestation (Forestry Commission) for about four years"
Birthing the idea to start a mobile car washing business
Just after national service, Felika developed an interest in owning a washing bay but just like many businesses, she needed enough capital to do that.
Being well aware that she had not achieved the right financial standing yet, the young lady brainstormed ways to start on a small scale and she got just the right idea.
"I thought about the fact that a lot of businesses nowadays use delivery services to run their businesses and that was when the idea to start a mobile car washing business was birthed", she told YEN.com.gh.
Finding support systems in family and strangers
Although Felika was about to do something completely different from the Law she had set out to do, she was lucky enough to get all the support she needed from her family, especially her father.
"My dad has been very supportive and he keeps pushing me to keep moving and never to give up. He believes in the business"
She shared that one of her driving forces is the support and encouragement she receives from her clients.
"Most of the people I have worked with are always amazed by what I do. A lot of people have prayed for me and encouraged me to keep pushing so I believe I’m on the right path although it’s not easy at times", she added
A typical day in the life of the mobile car washer
Most days, Felika starts her day by receiving calls from clients to come to their houses and wash their cars. She however has a place around East Legon where customers either come for a car wash or she waits to get a call for a job.
"I have stationed myself at Livingroom (East Legon), when you go to Livingroom in the morning, the place is always empty so I normally go there around 12 pm, but before noon I normally have people call me to come wash their cars for them"
Her day usually ends around 6pm and she works seven days a work. According to her, she rests on Saturdays but sometimes goes to work when she gets requests that day.
Challenges Felika's new venture comes with
As with any business, the young lady shared that the challenges she faces in her new business has got to do with the character of some clients and inadequate logistics.
"I sometimes meet mean and hostile people and it hurts to feel talked down on. I also have logistic challenges sometimes; breaking-down of vehicle, and washing machine. I have no stand-by vehicle nor machine hence when there is a break down, I’m not able to deliver when a customer calls"
Proudest moments as an entrepreneur
For Felika, her customers are everything hence giving them value for their money makes her day. Another thing that makes her proud of her decision is the positive reactions she receives due to the fact that she's doing something different
"When customers express their kind sentiments and appreciation for what I am doing. Most of them are vicariously excited about the concept and especially in a male dominated job"
Advice for all potential business owners
Felika stands by three key values as a business owner; passion, determination and focus. She explained that posing those values help yield positive outcomes.
"My advice for anyone who intends to start their own business is that, they should be passionate, determined and focus. You should note that, people will be mean and talk down on you sometimes but you need to be patient and focus on your ultimate goal because when you let everything they say get to you, you might end up giving up.
University of Education Student Becomes Porridge Seller After Pursuing Business Administration in School
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh earlier reported that a recent post by Miriam Adu Asantewaa on LinkedIn shared that her sister Rebecca Adu Konadu resorted to selling porridge after completing University of Education, Winneba where she pursued a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
In the post, Miriam revealed that her sister was unemployed for two years after completing her national service.
After going on various job hunts to no avail, Rebecca realized how hard it was getting breakfast in her area.