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Website development skills which Faruk Ahmed learnt during one of ASUU strikes made him a millionaire. You can read to know how…
My name is Faruk Ahmed, a descendent of Edo state, based in Kano state of Nigeria. I am writing this story from my home office. I work remotely not just because of the recent outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19). For the past three years, this has been the main routine of what bring the most passive income into my pocket, using the website development skills I learnt during one of the unending ASUU industrial strikes.
I created and run a website, Memorila, where you are probably reading this report from, develop websites and Youtube channels for clients and created a software which schools use to compile and print out their report sheets. All these, I do from home.
As I’m talking to you now, I’m about to launch an online business which I believe will disrupt the way people do things around here. It is going to positively change you. Watch out!
Growing up as a teenager in the late 90s, my father ran a business centre where we had easy access to computers. I created my first personal identity card using CorelDraw and taught myself Microsoft Excel using a textbook guide.
Even though I had this powerful tool at my fingertip, I didn’t know the extent of its potency and how it could give one immeasurable source of income.
Fast forward to 2006, when circumstances made me to sojourn to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, (unfortunately, which Boko Haram is ravaging today).
A friend of my dad enrolled me for a Diploma in Computer Science at the University of Maiduguri which I rounded up in 2008.
While undergoing that course, we were taught the basics of programming, operations management, website design and some aspects of law.
That course was the first to expose me to the rudimentary of programming. It showed me what more I can do with computer.
When I came back to Kano, I was enrolled for a degree course in Computer Science at the Bayero University, Kano. I dropped out in year three due to multiplicity of tasks in my hand and the boring nature in which lectures of the department were being impacted.
But ASUU strike saved the day.
What is ASUU strike?
ASUU is the acronym for Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria. It is a pressure group for academics in Nigerian tertiary institutions that clamours for their rights.
And industrial strike action has been become its second name.
A programme which a student is supposed to cover within four years could spiral into six because these strike actions could last for a week, months and at times years.
So what do you do as a student if ASUU strikes? Sit home and count ceilings?
What I did during ASUU strike
Many entrepreneurs have credited an ASUU strike as the time they ventured into the turbulent waters of entrepreneurship.
The trio of Olalekan Olude, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Opeyemi Awoyemi launched Jobberman.com from their dormitory during the ASUU strike of August 2009. According to a Nairaland report, Jobberman “is providing millions of people with the opportunity to find employment”.
Olaoluwa Awojoodu, on the other hand, used the 2002 ASUU strike to launch CashEnvoy, “a payment service that allows businesses receive payment online”.
In my own case, when ASUU struck in 2009, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and taught myself how to develop a website using content management systems, in particular Joomla.
In 2013, with the knowledge I had garnered and my prior encounter with web development in school, I launched my first website, OliveSMS.net, a site one can use to send bulk sms.
While running the above website I also did other side projects, like publishing of newsletters for the Kano state branch of National Bar Association (NBA), printing receipts and letterheads for Warawa Development Forum, rollups for Hali Dubu Mega Biz Services Ltd and incorporating a business name for BrothersPoint Multimedia.
In the same year, I also got my first web development project, when I was commissioned to design a website for National Review magazine (NationalReview.ng – not active) which was above N100,000.00.
How I became a millionaire
In September 2014, I incorporated my first company, Barkamart Global Services Ltd., which will carry out ICT services among other things.
It was one of the requirements for the award of a minimum of one million Naira (N1,000,000.00) or a maximum of ten million Naira (N10,000,000.00) just by pitching a bankable business plan to the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN) programme of the federal ministry of finance under the previous government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
My business plan which was to design, develop, launch and run Barkamart.ng, “an e-store for buying and selling from the comfort of one’s home or office”, scaled through the eye of the needle and was awarded more than five million naira to execute the plan.
As you must have realized, I became a virtual millionaire from the YouWiN fund. But nonetheless, I had already become a real one from my cashflow in the ICT and other services I rendered through Barkamart Global Services Ltd.
The businesses I have developed
Now, when the YouWiN cash came, I went into flight mode building the online store, www.barkamart.ng. I used OpenCart, an open source software, bought a template, got a hosting space and launched it in 2015.
But with bad business approach (offering what the market does not want), low awareness of online transaction from potential buyers and skepticism, Barkamart.ng did not fly.
Afraid not sit on a huge amount of money and deplete it, I thought of businesses that will guarantee cash flow.
Before now, I and a group of three people had been nursing an idea of floating a school, which we incorporated in 2015 as Barkalheri Global Academy.
So towards the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, I was able to build a structure that I rented out to the school to start operation in September 18, 2017. With God’s help and dedication, for the past three years, this business has had a steady cash flow of more three million naira.
In order not to leave my main constituency, I created and launched Memorila with WordPress, where I post stories of any interest on August 28, 2015. I also created subsites, MemorilaSMS, Memorila Market, and even MemorilaJobs.
But one after the other, I pulled down these subsites, in order to concentrate on Memorila. But even Memorila had undergone metamorphoses several times to its present state where only ICT related stories will be shared.
The software I developed
In 2017, I came up with an idea of creating a software that will compute and print out report sheets for my school. Right from day one, Barkalheri Global Academy had used and issued digitally generated report sheets.
Initially, I created the software using Microsoft Access. But when I decided to market it to other schools, I realized the Access version is limited.
Hence, starting from June 1, 2018 to October 1, 2018, I worked tirelessly to create Barkasas, a school automation system, using php, mysql, html and css.
As I am writing this report, Barkasas has been adopted by Laly Learning School, a school of repute in Kano state, while other schools showed willingness to switch to it.
I had to lay my hands off marketing Barkasas in order to see Barkalheri Global Academy off the sustainability line.
Why am I telling you all these stories?
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, a novel virus which has led to more than 20,000 deaths all over the world was detected in Wuhan in December 2019 and had locked down many countries including Italy, France, India and Germany.
If Coronavirus has not locked you down, an ASUU strike might have done that. Or perhaps, you have been having a burning desire to learn website development.
Right now, world leaders and businesses are being forced to conduct their affairs online. And teaching and learning are being moved online too.
What does this signify? A booming business for website developers!
It could be that you have this interest to go down the website development lane but you do not have the prerequisite knowledge.
Here is an opportunity for you. The new business that I mentioned I am excited about is about training you on how to design and host websites.
In this course, I will coach you on the following:
- How to choose a befitting domain name and register it. And where to get good registrars.
- Where to find good hosting companies and how to host your website.
- How to design and launch websites using WordPress, the most popular content management system.
- Website development basics: html, php, mysql and css.
- Graphics basic: CorelDraw and Adobe Photoshop.
- Where to get beautiful logos for yourself and clients.
- Top 20 directories I use when developing sites.
- Top 50 plugins you must install on your WordPress site to secure and improve its functionality.
- What subject line should your website take?
- How to make money from your website?
- How do you make money from website development?
- How do you charge for a website project?
Why am I qualified to train you?
I have been in the ICT world for the past 20 years and active in the internet sphere for more than 10 years. I have erred, made mistakes and triumphed.
You don’t need to make the same mistakes as I did. There are things that worked when I was treading into the blogosphere. And there are those things that didn’t clicked. They were hogwash.
There are certain businesses that are just wastes of time.
Take an example of the bulksms business I went into. If you make a sale of N20,000 for example, your profit margin is just about N1,500, which is a little bit fair. But mind you, these sales come in trickles. You might make a sale of just N1,500 a day where your profit is not more than N135.
Is it with N135 you will support body and soul? Remove data money and you will be left with spittle.
But there are businesses you will do which might not take you more than three days to accomplish and you rake home clean N30,000, no sweat.
These are the kind of businesses and skills I want to teach you.
There is a cliché that says “Experience is the best teacher.” I have a badge of more than 20 years experience in the ICT world.
In addition, starting from 2012, my dad’s company, InfoSource Technologies, was commissioned by the Kano State Secondary Schools Management Board (KSSSMB) to train its teachers and students on computer appreciation. We worked assiduously to train more than 2000 teachers and students up to the year 2015.
Moreover, like you have read already, I run a school which at least qualifies me to be a teacher.
What do you need to do?
My ICT College where I will coach you on how to develop websites will launch soon. Asides website developments, I can also coach you on software development, mobile apps development and YouTube channel creations.
Most importantly, I will coach you on how to make money from your ICT knowledge. As we are all aware we live in the Information Age.
If you want to become one of the people making a living from their ICT knowledge, fill in the form below to let me know how to help you move to the next level.
Talk to you soon!
Memorila – My ICT College