I recently attended a career fair and the highlight of the event for me was the entrepreneurship talk delivered by Mr Abiodun Toki, CEO of the very successful ‘Tom associates training’. The talk titled “starting and managing entrepreneurial endeavours” was quite insightful.
Some of the finer tips that stuck were;
1. Establish a business you can control.
2. You have to know how to market to run a business or you will fail.
3. Businesses die from poor execution of ideas.
4. To grow your business, expand on the techniques /ideas that have been working for you and ditch the unproductive ones.
More than half the people I know working for other people in corporate organizations grumble endlessly about their jobs, the workload, the hours, the salary, their colleagues, the list is endless. There’s a sense of overall dissatisfaction. On the other hand I know an entrepreneur working in the fashion industry now clamouring for a job in a corporate organization “just for a feel of it” in her own words.
I recently read an article in the March 2015 edition of Forbes (Africa) magazine about a South African entrepreneur Rowan Leibbrandt who abandoned careers in marketing and science (trained as a scientist and got an MBA from Warwick business school, England) to sell beer and whisky in Africa.
In his own words ” I started to get the sense that I wanted to do my own thing. Each time I got promoted in the business, I started to realize that It doesn’t matter how high you get you are still going to be answerable to somebody.”
Rowan is currently living his dream of selling beer, sparkling wine and whiskies in South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana, Congo and Kenya.
On the other side of the divide is a close family friend for whom entrepreneurship hasn’t worked out so great. The bright young man who was working with the foremost real estate company in Nigeria decides to branch out on his own, he resigns and starts his own business, things do not go so well and he runs back to lick his wounds in the real estate department of a very reputable bank where he works to this day.
His entrepreneurship dreams have not died, they are just sitting on the back burner while he restrategizes.
So on one hand there’s the glowing success story and on the other you have the shelved dreams. What factors determine the outcome of a new business venture? To what extent does poor power supply, high taxes and other forms of interference affect the struggling Nigerian business owner? Why is the survival rate of SMEs so low in Nigeria?
Business owners, please share some tips with some of us who are aspiring entrepreneurs. We are all