In a world where age is often considered a barrier to success, stories of young entrepreneurs making their mark are truly inspiring. One such story is that of Nasuha Salamat, a 15-year-old dynamo with a passion for entrepreneurship. While many teenagers are engrossed in the latest trends, Nasuha decided to take a different path – one that would not only challenge her but also pave the way for a promising future.
Discovering the Entrepreneurial Spark
Nasuha's journey began with a simple yet powerful desire: to start her own business. She possessed the drive and determination, but like any aspiring entrepreneur, she faced the daunting question of where to begin. Her journey of self-discovery and exploration started within the four walls of her school, where her Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) introduced her to the basics of marketing.
Choosing a Path: Service or Product?
Amidst her contemplation of launching either a service or product-based business, Nasuha's interest eventually crystallised around bento cakes. This choice was influenced by her creative nature and her love for both baking and designing. However, the true turning point was when her friends shared their grievances about the expense and size of traditional cakes for celebrating birthdays. Nasuha saw an opportunity to create something unique – affordable yet high-quality bento cakes that could cater to this demand.
The Motive Beyond Profits
Setting the price at a base rate of $15 per bento cake, Nasuha clarified that her motivation extended beyond profits. “At such a young age, I don’t need the profit however what I'm trying to gain here is more of the experience,” says Nasuha.
She focused on gaining invaluable experience as an entrepreneur, proving that success isn't solely measured in monetary terms. This perspective is truly commendable, showcasing Nasuha's maturity and vision at such a young age.
Perfecting the Recipe: Dedication and Persistence
To develop her business further, Nasuha recognised the importance of refining her product and optimising her process. She understood that keeping costs low was vital to attract her target audience. This led her to experiment with various types of butter and flour, investing both time and money into perfecting her bento cake recipe. Through dedication and persistence, she honed her skills and achieved a level of quality that resonated with her customers.
She also added about her first cake. Her first cake was described as “ugly and hard, I could hit the table with it and it wouldn't break.”
Navigating Challenges and Turning Hurdles into Opportunities
However, Nasuha's journey wasn't without its challenges. The decision not to take deposits upfront, considering her teen clientele's limited access to payment platforms like Paylah or PayNow, sometimes resulted in cancellations.
Yet, Nasuha's resilience shone through as she adapted to these hurdles. She found innovative ways to manage surplus cakes, turning potential losses into opportunities for creative marketing and sales.
The Support System: Family and Mentorship
Nasuha's father played an instrumental role in her journey. His financial support provided the initial capital for her venture, and his willingness to drive her around for deliveries demonstrated the kind of unwavering support that can make all the difference in a young entrepreneur's life. This familial backing, combined with Nasuha's entrepreneurial spirit, laid the foundation for her success.
Mastering the Art of Marketing
Marketing, too, was an essential aspect of Nasuha's journey. Drawing from her experience in her CCA, she understood the significance of effective marketing and branding. She started by researching her own TikTok page, gradually adapting and standardising strategies that resonated with her audience. Her TikTok following of over 1,800 followers showcases her growing influence and engagement in the digital realm.
Nasuha's entrepreneurial journey is a testament to her determination, creativity, and adaptability. From experimenting with ingredients to learning from her CCA, from facing challenges head-on to embracing the power of social media, her path is a blueprint for aspiring young entrepreneurs. As she sets her sights on opening a physical shop after her O' levels, Nasuha's story serves as an inspiration to anyone who believes that age is not a barrier to turning dreams into reality.