In an office cubicle, young people go about their work, their eyes focussed on computer screens, and assignments before them.
On a lone desk, adjacent to the main door, sits Darlington Nahumuza, founder and director of called Truth Inc, a digital creative startup that provides traditional and digital services to individuals, companies and agencies.
Nurtures a dream
In that, he, along with a team of three do creative design and branding, website development, User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX), video production, and social media marketing.
“We also have an academy that equips youth with graphics knowledge. Our target clients are businesses, individuals and youth that are in and out of school,” Nahumuza explains.
He adds, “My students are mostly from university and those in their study vacations. Having them join in meant so much for me. As a businessman, it meant more visibility. The more these students came in, the more word spread about what we do.”
Then, it also brought in some fulfilment to him because of the contribution Truth Inc was bringing to society by equipping youth with skills that would help them make a living.
To him, sharing knowledge is such a fulfilling thing because it is a way of passing on what he knows to someone else. “It makes me feel better about myself. Knowing that I am adding value to them, and that what I am teaching them is going to be useful to them now or tomorrow is amazing in itself,” he says.
Ultimately, his grand dream is growing the agency to become one of the biggest in Africa. His wish list also includes incorporating a design academy in there and with time, to be able to venture into technology business.
Not easy start
But his beginnings were not as rosy as his plans. “I must say the beginning was so tough at the start. I didn’t know how I was going to manage but I kept on pushing, making mistakes, learning from them and adjusting,” the technology savvy entrepreneur explains.
At the birth of the idea, he engaged friends and later talked to his sister and parents about it. However, many of the friends did not stay the course and as such, left.
“First, they lacked the patience to stay in the game, they wanted it all happening so fast which was not the case. They also failed to look at the bigger picture. None of them saw how words would become reality one day. Excuses; some of them started to come up with reasons as to why they would not be fully devoted. Others later got employed,” Nahumuza recollects.
He learnt that he had gotten off by building the wrong team. His other mistake was under-pricing the services they offered as an agency as well as ignoring accounts, spending less on marketing, and taking long to act in some instances.
To make a new start, he stepped back, reflected and re-planned a new beginning, one where patience, resilience, the power of networking, social media, and strategising were to be effectively exercised and practiced.
He had the skills. “I was well versed with the adobe software. That means that I was able to create work and also be able to pass on the skill to other people that needed it,” he adds.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Art and Design from Makerere University where he attained the knowledge and skills in design. “But of course that wasn’t enough to sustain me in the market which I was just fresh into,” he observes.
He was able to create and build relationships with people that had been out, in the field, already which helped him a great deal to stay afloat. He was always in touch with them for guidance, here and there.
The technology enthusiast also kept his eyes on the Internet to his advantage especially when it came to learning new things about web designing, and other programmes he had set out to offer as services to clients.
“I began investing in halves. I did not have a full chunk at my disposal to start off. I remember paying rent first to secure the office premises, and then the other things followed. Generally, it cost me about Shs6m altogether. The money was from my little university savings plus contribution from my parents on graduation because I asked for capital, not a party,” Nahumuza reveals.
Now that the business is on its feet, he has decided to revamp his marketing strategies and not only focus on his clients but himself too. His prospects are that 2021 is going to be much different.
He appreciates how essential financial handling is so he often has his accounts reviewed as well as checking his expenditures. “I did a market research and got better pricing for my services. I have also started over again building a team that is foresighted, ready to grow with me and give me their full potential. I also collect feedback from my clients and act as soon as possible in case something is not right,” he shares.
For now, he is utilising social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and word of mouth to reach out to and engage potential clients as a way of marketing his agency’s portfolio.
“I am taking this slowly. On a count of 0 to 1, to 2 onwards; small steps. For now, I want to first see the academy gain ground and be able to produce the quality I need to recruit in-house and distribute to different positions of the company at a later stage,” he discloses his part of his plan.
Once that is done, he envisages engaging efforts to get more clients for the agency, confident and knowing that as a team, they are fully sorted on the backup and then technological dominance after adding some more equipment and furniture at the office to facilitate his students, colleagues to work and represent the brand better.
“I also need to be able to hire more professionals to take on a few things so that I stop spending on outsourcing. If I really had to start afresh, I would first make a better market research,” he adds.
He cherishes integrity and consistency. “I have issues with a few people that lie about knowing how to execute something only to end up doing shoddy work for others. It is from such that I came to call my company Truth Inc. because that’s what I was bringing to the market, the truth. I still stand for that,” he argues.