Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bianca Carlino, Co-Founder of Alba Services, located in Ariana, Tunisia.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Alba Services is an international consulting company based in North Africa. My partner Sebastiano Giordano and I founded it in Tunisia in 2017. We are committed to finding strategies to enhance businesses' performances. Our customers are business managers that want to take their companies to the next level by outsourcing, finding new suppliers, starting a new branch abroad, or entering the African market by participating in tenders. Which is pretty ambitious, we know, but we want people to dream big.
We're accomplishing those goals by offering our customers a wide range of services. Sebastiano and I are both managers of different areas. I mostly deal with marketing and educational services. Sebastiano keeps in touch with clients and the other professionals that collaborate with us. He also keeps track of the international tenders that might interest our contacts.
I especially like the educational part. Among the various tasks, I teach business English to managers and professionals. The language center Asei school is an important Italian institution we have the honor to collaborate with.
Tell us about yourself
As a multipotential person, when they ask me to tell about myself, I think... Where do I start? I'm 38. I went to university and got a degree in languages. I'm a polyglot. However, I've been interested in and studying several other subjects that have little or no connection at all: Arabic literature, socially conscious cosmetics, exotic recipes, chemistry, math, Montessori education, abstract painting, boxing, teaching, translating, and interpreting. Needless to say, I'd end up burning out in monotonous jobs as an employee, and the world is not currently designed for multipotential people. But we are not afraid to learn new things and get out of our comfort zone. That's what got me to start working on my business: the chance to apply things I already knew in the sector of business consulting that I had just entered.
What motivates me each day is that same chance to get rid of the mental burden that I have wasted years of my life doing and learning things that have served no purpose. Let me give you some examples: I can proofread or translate my associate's emails in 4 different languages. I have the skills and knowledge to understand most of the specific requests listed in the international tenders that our customers want to apply for. I can focus on multiple projects simultaneously. I couldn't think of myself doing something other than what I do every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, the biggest accomplishment I'd like to achieve is a high level of productivity. That goes without saying; it's not just a matter of money and profit. Honestly, I'd like to see myself as the servant leader of a big business that empowers people. In the meantime, our passion will certainly inspire our customers to carry out successful projects.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The flexibility you need to have if you're also a parent. It's really hard to find the right work-life balance as a parent of a two-year-old volcanic girl. You have to accommodate the demands of being a mother as well as a manager.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- No rush. I was 33 when I started AS. Your business idea will naturally ripen at the proper time and be ready to brighten.
- Never give up. Two years after we started, the world was taken over by the pandemic. We were afraid that our global idea of business would fall apart. But we pulled ourselves together and decided to invest even more energy and resources in AS by rebranding it. Our minimalistic logo and beautiful website were released in the middle of the pandemic.
- Be kind. Karma rules the world. Be a servant leader with your employees and collaborators, and be as empathic as possible with your customers and especially potential customers. You won't regret it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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