How I Solved Cross-Border Transactions With An Expanding Business
I have never been a big dreamer, however, I am a strong believer in the power of hard work and sheer grit. “If I could think it then I could do it’’. My personality has also made me realise that I loved being around smart people, especially those that inspire me to do more,
I have a friend who is a co-founder of an organization that has operations in four African countries. In December 2020, he visited me and I was so excited about my growth and all I had accomplished with Rugs and Floors (at this time it was just Rugs and Floors Lagos). I showed him my books, but his reply was shocking.
He asked me a barrage of questions. Can you produce your own rugs now? What would it take for you to supply outside Nigeria? Can you brand and customise rugs now? What makes you different from everyone else? How do you plan to expand? What’s your target for next year?
His question made me realize that although I had achieved a lot, there were still a myriad of opportunities to explore. I listed all the questions he had asked, and it gave me a clear version of what I could accomplish, so I started doing my market research, studying different markets and ways to expand my business.
A few months after the fateful conversation, I travelled to Kenya and then Turkey and I started exploring the international market and my supply chain.
As I started expanding my base, new problems started arising. By the time I expanded to a new market, I met my biggest challenge yet: cross-country payments.
I started off dealing with the local money changers in these countries, which meant I had to go through the strenuous process of changing Naira to Dollars and Dollars to the local currency.
Then, November 2021, I heard about Wise from a friend for the first time and I decided to try them out. However, due to restrictions on forex made by the Central Bank of Nigeria, I couldn’t even open the account until I was out of the country. But as soon as I was out of the country, I opened a Wise account and it was life-changing for me as well as Rugs and Floors Africa and Memo Africa.
Wise allowed me to open 10 local accounts in different countries and I could perform transactions in various currencies including, British pounds, Euro, US dollar, Australian dollar and Turkish lira.
Any business owner knows that handling finance is quite tasking, and conducting transactions across borders is hell. You can never predict the conversion rate. I have had times when once I converted what I had charged my client; it fell short. But it wasn’t their problem. It was mine, and I had to fix it, which is why Wise is a lifesaver.