In The Spotlight: Bami Afolabi of Beaulah Care.
For episode 2 we sat down with Jeffrey Akrofi from Essex Supplements, one of London’s leading sports nutrition/supplement stores. This month, we bring you an intimate Q&A with Beaulah Care. Their finance director Bami Afolabi spoke to us about their journey, their challenges and his proudest moment as a entrepreneur. We met Beaulah Care when they wanted to refurbish one of their homes. Check out what Bami had to say when we put in him in the spotlight….
Lendoe: Hey Bami, lets get straight to it. Tell us about your business.
Bami: Beaulah Care is a specialist care home provider for individuals aged up to 55 who have mental health & social needs. We offer a full care home service offering accommodation and on-site care services such as personal care and supporting our patients with their medication.
Lendoe: Your family have been in the care home industry for decades, how did you get started?
Bami: It all started with my mother actually, she was working in a care home then managed to build a strong relationship with the owners. When they were planning on migrating back to Australia they gave her the opportunity to buy their business and property. That was how we secured our first care home. In regards to how I got involved, I began working in the homes from as young as 13/14. I remember going to the offices to help my mum whenever I could. From there, I grew into my role as a director, picking up the finances, leadership and much more.
Lendoe: A couple decades is a long time, I’m sure you’ve experienced loads of wins but tell us about the challenges you’ve encountered on your journey.
Bami: Things got really tough after the recession, local council funding got cut for adult services and have remained frozen till now. However the biggest challenge has to be when we failed a surprise inspection. A staff member made a critical error which resulted in us failing and losing half of our clients and one of our homes. The regulator placed an embargo on us and we couldn’t onboard any more customers. With no way to sign up new customers and a 45% drop in revenue, we had to cut spending drastically. Things went from very good to bleak in a matter of months.
Lendoe: Interesting tell us more, how did you get through this bleak period and what did you learn from it?
Bami: We learnt how to budget and how to quickly spot weaknesses in our staffing team. We learnt how to be persistence despite hard times. We had hope that we would get through the challenges and get the embargoes lifted and we did. Another lesson crucial lesson I learnt during this time was that there is no such thing as being too conservative, especially when you are a small business. The more conservative you are, the more leeway you have to address things as they arise.
Lendoe: I guess there’s some things you only learn with experience. Enough about the bad, tell us about the good times. What’s your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
Bami: In 2012 we signed up a service user who was in a very bad way. She came to us at 19 with a very serious issue with violence. Over the past 7 years our team have managed to work closely with her and I’ve literally seen overcome her illness and reduce her medication usage in a drastic way. She’s now on track to attend university, which is amazing. Knowing where she is coming from and how the organisation supported her to get to where she is now, instils an element of joy in me.
Lendoe: Thanks Bami, I’m sure our audience will learn a lot from this.
Quick Nudge: Bami, the finance director of Beaulah Care is open to providing free advice to aspiring care home entrepreneurs on budgeting and managing large teams. Contact us a firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get in touch with him.
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