Simply Kayo is a boutique special events company specialising in the production of luxury events.
Headquartered in London, Simply Kayo creates and manages events for discerning clients.
Founded by Fikayo Giwa in 2010, the company recently expanded to West Africa and corporate events.
What inspired you to start a business and leave your previous career in insolvency and corporate recovery?
I have always been interested in events and was always the person planning family weddings and showers and also organised a number of events at University. I was finally inspired to take the plunge when I went to Nigeria for a number of functions. When I got back, a friend asked me to plan her wedding and the rest as they say is history.
I still work part-time as the Strategy and Business Development Lead in my family business, as this gives me the flexibility to pursue Simply Kayo.
What strategy did you take to launch your business?
I started planning my first event before the actual launch so using that event and social media I tried to create a buzz around Simply Kayo. I was blogging, vlogging, tweeting and posting on Facebook.
I exhibited at the Brides of Culture show, which I felt was my ideal target market. I wrote articles and features for websites and blogs and also relied on referrals and recommendations.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
I’d say the satisfaction you get from a job well done and happy clients, nothing beats that. I love events and planning and creating so I really enjoy the creative process involved with running Simply Kayo.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
Working two jobs used to be the hardest part. As I worked fulltime in my family business and worked on Simply Kayo during gaps in my day, in the evenings and on weekends I rarely had any free time. I recently took the plunge and went part-time which has helped immensely.
Another challenge of running your own business is learning to develop a thick skin and not taking everything so personally – that’s very hard!
What have you learned since launching your business in 2010?
I have learned that first impressions are extremely important. In the events industry, it is important to network and get to know other people in the business.
I have learned so much about event design, planning and coordination and I often don’t realise it until I am in certain situations. The last three years have made me an expert in my field.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
My parents are very entrepreneurial so they inspire me a great deal. I am motivated by the idea of being fully self-employed doing what I love.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting a special events company?
I’d say get some experience with an events company to learn how things are done first. It is very important to know your craft. Keep yourself updated on new trends and ideas within the events industry.
Get to know people in the industry because they could become your ambassadors to potential clients. Treat everyone with respect because you will usually meet again, somehow or somewhere. Finally, work hard because it is a very competitive market.
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For more information visit www.simplykayo.com
If you are hosting a special occasion and think Simply Kayo can be of assistance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org