A first hand perspective from President of Abu Dhabi based Nexus Business Services, Ms. Souad Al Hosani on starting her own business, being an Emirati woman and what it takes to be a true entrepreneur.
Souad is currently president and owner of Nexus Business Services and Nexus Agencies based in Abu Dhabi with regional offices supporting company formation and business services to the greater MENA region. The vision of the company was to assist foreign companies and individuals from A to Z on all the needs to establish a presence and relocating the UAE. Currently Nexus has approximately 35 multinational companies under its umbrella, including a handful of well-known fortune 500 companies. Nexus has evolved by partnering and creating representative offices around the globe including: South East Asia, Russia, Ukraine, Europe, South America and the whole GCC.
The challenges I have faced as an entrepreneur have been scattered during the years but the way to handle and face them, is a challenge by itself. In the first year, I had to get a loan from my father along with my savings to start the company. The cost involved in setting up the company is a fortune therefore, as a student, my savings were not sufficient. The first thing I learned about starting a business was to make sure the business is financially ‘cashed up’ for the road ahead or know where the company can draw on those much needed funds, that the first few months of establishment seem to eat up.
Whilst the first few months are focused on the challenge of setting up a company, the next challenge is to promote the services and engage with potential clients. It takes you few meetings and sometimes you end up providing services at cost price to sign to get clients. This is a phase each business has to face in order to promote it services and help find more clients. As long as you are keeping your head above water, not losing money and drawing in new business that you can handle, you will be fine. Few years later, it all comes down to having efficient employees, who can handle the work and a database of clientele whom have come to know and love your work. Patience, ability to listen and commitment is a huge part of success.
Networking and meeting people is important for promoting a business along with the ability to prioritise. Nowadays, the biggest challenge is financing, which hopefully venture capitalists might be able to sort. The ones, who face their challenges and still go on to achieve their dreams, are the real entrepreneurs. My biggest challenge was my self, being a young female individual. I never thought I would be able to fight against other big companies and names and still be competitive however clearly, I can.
The biggest piece of advice I can offer anyone starting out on their own is to never give up on yourself and don’t be afraid to fail because failure will only brighten up your knowledge and allow you develop yourself by experience.