He’s a noteworthy young entrepreneur who is not only evolving with the changes and challenges of the entrepreneurial space; but one who also takes in tow and continues a long legacy of great and outstanding achievers. Today’s Inspiration Africa interview shines the entrepreneurship spotlight on Kayode Adegbola, CEO and Founder, Legacy Serviced Offices.
Kayode Adegbola’s Legacy Serviced Offices is one of Nigeria’s fastest growing plug and play serviced offices; situated in the heart of Lagos and with a focus on helping small and medium size businesses maximise efficiency, while focusing on what they do best.
In this interview, he shares his experience so far since starting the Legacy Serviced Offices, evolving with the growing needs of entrepreneurship and what lies ahead in the journey to setting up more spaces to support even more start-ups
Below are excerpts from our interview with him
Kayode Adegbola, the individual, entrepreneur and Legacy Serviced Offices?
I am a lawyer by training, and an entrepreneur by nature. I studied Law at the Queen Mary University of London, after which I moved back to Nigeria to attend law school. I started my law career at Bola Ige & Co, later Ajumogobia & Okeke and now, I run Legacy Serviced Offices. Legacy Serviced Offices is a company designed to provide functional well designed serviced offices for both local and international companies. We understand the growing need for plug and play offices and our vision is to key into it while supporting businesses of all sizes with flexible working spaces. And it has been a good journey so far.
Legacy Serviced Offices? Our first location, Legacy Place had been in my family for years with a good part of it being vacant; I knew I wanted to do business, but I wasn’t sure what it would be at the time. We are at a prime location in Victoria Island and at first, I thought about opening a Café/Bar to service the large group of professionals in the area, but I later settled to have the space remain what it was originally designed for, and that was how Legacy Serviced Offices kicked off.
Passion! I am quite a passionate person, and I put my energy into everything that I do. I am thorough and I like to see things through and this is a part of why I am happy to wake up in the morning and come to Legacy Place to do what I do best. A lot of what you see when you walk into our centre has been me bringing my imagination to life. This is a place that I love and I hope other people who come in here love it as much as I do. From feedback on our user experience so far, our clients get the best service from being with us and this inspires me a lot.
Coming from a long line of achievers and successful people, especially with your grandfather being a renowned legal practitioner during his time and the organisations you started out with, how did your parents react to you leaving the law profession so early to start up the Legacy Serviced Offices?
My parents have been incredibly supportive, but I don’t think it’s far-fetched, I think they themselves got as much encouragement from their parents. My father is a successful publisher who had almost gotten to the pinnacle of his career before I was born, and my mum also started a secondary school when she was just 33, and that school today is one of the best private schools in the heart of Ibadan. The entrepreneurial spirit in the family was encouraged right from my grandparents, so it was easy for my parents to give me their full support when I decided to start Legacy Serviced Offices with both guiding me with their business experiences. I am super grateful for the support my parents have offered me since I started my journey into being a business owner. The name Legacy pays tribute to my grandparents and my parents.
Besides being in a sought-after location here in the heart of Victoria Island, if one were to ask you, why do I need to come to Legacy Serviced Offices? What do you offer that sets you apart?
The convenience of working from here is none to be compared; first and foremost is the access, this is one part of Victoria Island that is easily accessible even on days with gridlock traffic. It is also a well-designed and functional environment. There is adequate security, a front desk team for your convenience and those of your guest and an office manager who is dedicated to ensuring your meetings and work is hitch free. To sum things up, we reduce the capital spent by businesses on setting up an office, while helping save time and eliminating the stress of setting up office. In addition, as a business owner or professional, if you take out the cost of hiring some of the support and facilities staff which we already provide, you save a lot in capital expenditure in the long term while also focusing on the efficient running of your business.
How affordable is Legacy Serviced Offices?
We are priced competitively, and with the current state of the economy a lot of organisations are downsizing. Working from our centre means you don’t have to completely shut down your business operations. We also provide flexible terms and payment plans, which has seen more business owners and professionals turn to us especially at this time. A few of our clients have increased or reduced their manpower while with us and consequently upgraded or downgraded their space, which cannot be achieved in a traditional lease arrangement. One client in particular started with a single small office, and in less than one year increased their capacity five-fold. In a traditional office space, they would have had to rent a whole building, buy a generator and furniture, hire security men, cleaners, and more; regardless of whether their team consisted of only 4 or 30 people.
Business lessons from your entrepreneurship journey so far, looking back at the difference between the perspective of wanting to do business and being an active entrepreneur?
I have revised my business plan about 5 times between conception stage and now, which is something I never thought would be the case, but you realise as a businessperson you need to constantly evolve with the changes and challenges of entrepreneurship. The reality of when you are actively in business is quite different from when it was a just a plan. I will say that I have learnt to be dynamic and flexible, while not deviating from our core values which are all centered around client satisfaction.
How supportive has the entrepreneurship circle being to you?
A lot of people have been receptive and supportive within the business circle, I have gotten good help and great advice from a number of very good people who ordinarily are competitors but have now become collaborators. I also have a strong board of directors as well as a handful of mentors, advisors and friends that I do not hesitate to reach out to whenever such a need arises. I have been quite lucky and I pay it forward with every chance that I get.
What advice would you give to the young man or woman looking at Kayode Adegbola today as a businessperson?
My advice would be in two folds – the first one would be persistence, which is not an easy virtue to have, but you have to keep doing the things that you need to do even on days when you don’t feel like it. Entrepreneurship is like a marriage, you have to wake up every morning and remind yourself of your commitment to loving this person you are committed to, both on good and bad days and I really feel one has to translate that feeling into business to succeed.
Secondly, marketing, marketing, marketing. There is a popular quote about “winking in the dark”, no matter how good your business or product offerings are, if people don’t know it then you won’t go anywhere with it. You have to develop your marketing plan on how you plan to reach your market on a daily basis.
Who are those who inspire you in the business world and why?
In terms of business and entrepreneurship, two of the people I admire happen to both be lawyers while also do a host of other things. They are Mr Gbenga Oyebode and Mr Asue Ighodalo who are very successful in both the law and business, both started out early in business like me, and they are doing phenomenally well in their investments – both in ventures and in people. A lot of people have benefitted from their business experiences and their kindness.
The future of Legacy Serviced Offices?
We have both short and long terms goals. We plan to open more centres here in Lagos on the back of the success of our current establishment, and ultimately develop high rise commercial developments across the continent.
Many years from now what impact would you want to be mentioned and known for?
I’d like to be known for professionalism in everything I have done and continue to do. I would also like to have grown my art collection substantially. Lastly, I want to be blessed to be a blessing to others.
To work at: Legacy Service Offices
1619 Danmole Street,
Off Idejo street,
Victoria Island 101241, Lagos
+234 (0)814 150 0022