How a 9-Member Team Made ₦100M Selling Small Chops Online
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Lists - August 28, 2023

How a 9-Member Team Made ₦100M Selling Small Chops Online

What started as craving small chops on demand, Smallchopsng, turned into a company with a small market share in Nigeria’s Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry. Having recognized the lack of on-demand access to small chops which are only commonly available at social events. Small chops, usually consist of puff puff, chinchin, samosas, chicken, and spring rolls. Harnessing this insight, Uche Ukonu, the founder of Smallchopsng conceptualized the idea which is aimed at easing the access to buying smallchops at will. 

Ukonu identified this gap in 2015 and transformed it into an opportunity, seven years later, this visionary notion has translated into ₦100 million in revenue. Let’s look at the processes that made smallchopsng a ₦100 million in revenue.

Cultural fusion to gain competitive edge

Small chops, a unique blend of British, Indian, Chinese, and Nigerian culinary traditions, intertwined with Nigeria’s vibrant party culture. Having understood the complex nature of making small chops which has a culture to be only bound to only be served at parties and gatherings unlike how other foods like rice could be prepared at home and can be gotten anywhere. Smallchopsng seized this opportunity, allowing individuals to enjoy their favorite snacks anytime, rather than solely during gatherings.

Its self-built achievement

Smallchopsng’s journey began in 2016 in Lagos, where it operated on a bootstrap model. Leveraging on Ukonu’s multidimensional skills played a pivotal role. From coding as a website developer to being a business strategist, he balanced the roles efficiently. With a lean team of two core members and strategic collaborations, the company maintained cost-effectiveness, demonstrating that innovation can flourish without substantial capital investment.

From In-house to partnership

The business initially produced its small chops in-house and then went on to establish quality standards for the processes. This phase led to the development of the Rating Index, a tool to evaluate caterers’ skills, ensuring the maintenance of Smallchopsng’s quality. Eventually, the company evolved to onboard local production partners, creating a network of caterers within Lagos State. This shift allowed them to focus on technology, branding, marketing, and operations, while the caterers managed production.

Maintaining profitability through innovation

Smallchopsng achieved a 15% profit margin from its impressive ₦100 million revenue. The company’s profitability rested on three crucial pillars, automation, a lean workforce which consists of nine, and an impeccable customer experience. Automation streamlined operations, while a small but efficient team managed deliveries. The commitment to human-centric customer service proved invaluable, as technology augmented rather than replaced the human touch.

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