## When was the business founded and by whom?
Dough Man Foods was founded in June 2016 by Francis Kofigah.
## How many people does the business employ?
Currently, Dough Man employs about 30 people directly and has indirectly created over 50 jobs. We’re also currently hiring and expect the number of direct employees to double by year’s end.
## What are the biggest challenges facing the business today, if any?
Here at Dough Man we do not look at the obstacles we face as problems. Instead, they are opportunities for us to improve the customer experience. Some opportunities we are working on are:
- Reaching more customers in other parts of Ghana. How do we get doughnuts to customers all across Ghana in under 45 minutes?
- Digitizing the ordering experience. As of now, orders are placed via Whatsapp and it creates bottlenecks in the process. However, we’re currently building a proprietary ordering tool that should solve these problems and help us get to our ultimate goal of delivery in 45 minutes.
## How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
At Dough Man we try to be as nimble as possible. If we try a new marketing initiative and it doesn’t work, we want to quickly learn from it and pivot. That’s the approach that we’ve taken and hope to continue to take as our brand grows.
Additionally, we want the same quality that we put towards making our products to come out in all of our marketing efforts. As of now, we’ve adopted a few different marketing tactics. We’ve gone through traditional channels like radio and tv advertising. We’ve been very aggressive through our digital social media channel. We’ve offered promotions and introduced a series of campaigns. For example on Father’s Day we ran a Lessons from Dad campaign. Our customers shared stories about different lessons they’d received growing up from their dads and people voted on the best ones. We then delivered free doughnuts for Father’s Day to the top 10 stories.
Through marketing we want to connect with our consumers at a deeper level. We want Dough Man to be a part of your families, and like family we want to be able to be there for our consumers when they need us most. We infuse this mindset into all of our marketing efforts.
## How do you use social media?
Social media is an incredible channel for us to execute on the ultimate goal of building a Pan African Brand. We tell our story via social media and constantly use it echo the sentiment that the brand represents: celebrating life’s moments. We want our brand to be synonymous with celebration and appreciation of life’s moments and experiences, irrespective of how big or small. Each day is a blessing, and we want Dough Man Foods to be a part of that. Start your day with Dough Man, say thank you with Dough Man, celebrate your birthday with Dough Man and even propose with Dough Man. We will always be ready to bring you that “kneaded” taste for all life’s moments.
## How do you build a successful customer base?
Quality and accountability. We’re currently on an aggressive campaign to acquire new customers, and more importantly, retain existing ones. To do this we’ve done things like introduce a customer loyalty program, to ensure that each of our brand enthusiasts is rewarded for their commitment to the Dough Man brand.
We’re also constantly trying to find ways to improve the customer experience. Do we surprise and delight with doughnuts when an old customer hasn’t ordered in a while? Do we merely just call after a successful delivery to thank the customer for ordering? Do we share content on our website that our customers will find interesting? Do we leverage data to better understand our customers needs and preferences? These are all things that we do to connect with the customer.
I think the most important thing for us is that our customers look at us as part of their family. And to be welcomed into the family, we have to ensure that we hold ourselves to the highest standards, and most importantly, deliver when our customers expect us to.
## Why will people buy your product (and not something else)?
First and foremost, I think people buy our products because they’re really good! Our doughnuts are excellent and we’re currently experimenting with our innovation department on new products that we can introduce. I think secondly, our customers know that they will receive a premium level of service and if or when we make a mistake, we will own it. Lastly, our customers recognize that we want to connect with our customers at a deeper level and this helps drive up continued sales.
## What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Having an idea, and working with my team to see it come to life. When it works it is a phenomenal feeling, but even when it does not it’s still pretty cool to learn from it and pivot. I think the other thing that really gets me excited is when people come up to me and say how special their birthday, anniversary, business meeting, you name it, was because they chose to celebrate their special occasion with our products. We love seeing happy customers!
## What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
The frequency at which people either want to show or be shown appreciation. I am so proud to see how Ghanaians are so quick to say thank you in their own ways using Dough Man products. It reminds me that no matter how far we go, to always be grateful for how far we have come.
## What do you love most about doing business in Africa?
In today’s world, the positive African story often goes untold. We want to be a part of changing this. By working on building a Pan African brand, someday the conversation about our business environment may be different. I want young people to see that Africans too can build a successful brand and I hope that Dough Man’s success will inspire the next generation of Africans.
In addition to that, it’s just amazing to be able to develop local talent right here at home. To train young, ambitious high school and college graduates on working hard to create the Dough Man we want to see, and the Africa we want to see. While there is no shortage of challenges, we come into work each day inspired to do more because quite frankly, the dream is bigger than us.
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