Maybe you’ve recently made the leap from employee to a business owner. Or perhaps it’s a decision you’re pondering, but you’re unsure how to proceed or what it implies.
First and foremost, congrats, whichever category you fall into! You’ve gotten this far. That’s a lot more than most people go.
Many people fantasize about starting a business, expanding internationally, scaling up, and so on. They never fully leave the stage of dreaming, though. Yes, you should fantasize. Dream big, in fact.
You must, however, ponder deeply before proceeding to begin. It doesn’t matter how ‘humiliating’ your start is as long as you get started. There are few lessons of becoming a business owner that you must learn once you’ve made the decision to begin;
These lesson teachings of how you can improve yourself as a business owner should form the “Holy Book” with which you function as an entrepreneur/executive once you’ve mastered them.
Zealousness (Motivation, Dreams, and Plans)
Entrepreneurship is extremely difficult. Choosing between the difficult and the impossible is a common occurrence. However, as previously stated, you must begin. You’re wasting your time if you’re still hesitating, waiting for elements like “perfect” data, for example.
You might not be able to get concrete facts to base your business on in Sub-Saharan Africa. You can, however, look for hints. If you seek hard enough, you’ll find them. The data source, the Reference Project, is where you should begin. The question is, where do you go from there?
Thoughts, Strategy, And Decisions Are The Answers
This road you’ve chosen will never be ‘easy.’ Especially if it’s a genuine article. It’s possible that you’ll have an unexpected breakthrough, but don’t count on it.
Years of expertise and growth are required to reach a place where you can better handle your firm. So, no matter how difficult it is, you must find a way to appreciate every single day of it.
Furthermore, as a business owner, you must practically learn everything, both big and tiny. As a Nigerian entrepreneur, this is much more critical.
Nigeria is one of the world’s most distinctive entrepreneurial environments. It’s more difficult since you have to work out everything for Nigeria. Even then, it could turn out to be the polar opposite of traditional and accepted ‘wisdom,’ owing to difficulties such as our society.
In this scenario, you might want to examine different solutions that are still based on the same platform. But first, answer the following question: What size do you intend to be?
In the retail industry, for example, the answer is relatively simple. It could be as basic as deciding on the number of outlets you want.
A word of advice: don’t worry about money while you’re first starting off. Even if and when you earn money, you might not have everything figured out. Prior to focusing on money, you must have the desire and plan to work out.
Money is always a problem, but it isn’t the most important one. To summarize this principle, “Dream Big.” Consider your options carefully. Begin small. BUT, GET STARTED!!!
“What are you going to do differently, and how are you going to do it?” is the simple question. We’ll leave you to look at your drawing board for a long time and come up with the solutions. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require book recommendations.
You’ve suddenly been promoted to Executive. You are the most significant person in many people’s lives. Scary? Probably a smidgeon.
In addition to everything else you’ll be doing as a business owner, you’ll need to improve your executive skills. It’s more than just obtaining an MBA out here, but that’s a good start.
Right now, you can become a self-taught MBA holder. You merely need to consume and study the same subjects as you would at a business school, but at your own time and speed. Perhaps you can receive the proper certificate later.
Topics like Bookkeeping/Basic Accounting, Organization Design, Production Systems, Business Modelling utilizing spreadsheets, Cash Flow Planning, Business Strategies, and [success?] tales should help if you’re not sure where to start. Quite a bit.
You may also lose yourself in a book by Peter Drucker. His body of work may appear to be enormous, abstract-sounding, and a little out-of-date.
However, you would come to appreciate his wisdom over time. It’s a good idea to start with The Effective Executive. It’s a short book, but it’s a fantastic read.
There are three more points to consider when it comes to being an executive:
- To begin, you are the organization’s custodian.
- Second, you have to make choices.
- Third, you establish a course of action.
Finally, you may wish to pray. Not necessarily in a religious sense, though this isn’t forbidden. However, in a decision-making sense. Because business success is the most difficult of all efforts – no one knows until you try.
A decision, by definition, isn’t about making the correct or wrong choice. It’s not really a decision if you know what you’re going to do is the right thing to do. “This is what I/we am going to do,” is all it takes to make a decision. And I’m totally liable if it goes wrong. “I’m to blame.”
Also, a choice between alternative courses of action, not the “correct” course of action, is what a decision is. There is no such choice. As a result, you’ll have to argue with your teammates. It’s not a decision if you’re all in agreement.
This is a concept that many Nigerian entrepreneurs appear to be unfamiliar with. The science of scaling up a corporation, a stadium, a World Cup, a huge concert, a procedure, a production line, an activity, or a factory is known as operations.
As the creator and CEO of your company, you must be aware of this topic and, if possible, build some talents in this field. Even if it’s rudimentary. You won’t be able to scale otherwise.
How We Aim To Spread Our Operational Learnings:
The most important duty is to define an enterprise’s aim. The primary aims are to create a client and a market, but after both are accomplished, the goal becomes increasingly granular (i.e., increase revenue, net profit etc).
To the best of one’s abilities, all sequential steps or activities leading to that aim must be stated and understood. Consider the inner workings of a clock, with its various elements ticking to assure precision.
Determine the resources needed to attain the goal. Time, Human Capital, Social Capital, Real Assets, and Financial Capital are all examples of resources. This must be done in order to comprehend one’s limitations.
Create a continuous improvement program based on overall system efficiency rather than the efficiency of a single component. The notions of bottlenecks and throughput play a big role here.
To discover bottlenecks, work must be arranged. You must solve the problem as soon as possible when it has been recognized. You’ll need to stage this depending on your resources.
Human capital is the most valuable resource.
It must become a habit for humans to continue the process of continual improvement. You can either hire people who have a natural talent for it or you can train them…
Consonance is concerned about Africa’s well-being. Whatever we do must contribute to the overall development of the country. It’s difficult to build a fantastic sub-system within a broken larger system, thus the natural conclusion is that you should work to improve the broader system.
Gall’s law explains why we concentrate on the early stages. It’s best to lay the proper foundation. Increases the likelihood that a business can scale profitably. However, because we learn by doing, prior experience is essential.
We can only know if enhancements work by putting them to the test. This is why large and ancient businesses are operations behemoths, yet there is still an undefined region where newcomers can innovate.
It is the last item on our list, but it is the most important. Assets, resources, products, technology, machines, and equipment do not constitute a corporation.
A company is a group of people who work together to achieve a common goal under a defined organizational structure. As a result, you must first construct a human organization. Everything else is just a set of tools and resources for individuals to use.
Make it your primary priority to get to know everyone, from the cleaner to the gatekeeper. Assume the role of ‘HR Manager.’ You’ll have to hire and interview everyone. It’s not a big deal to accomplish this, especially because this is where the majority of problems come from.
Simply divide personnel activities, i.e., day-to-day employee difficulties, from HC – Human Capital.
The term “human capital” refers to the process of developing people. Assume that Nigeria has no ‘human resources,’ but just human resource potential. As a result, your search for them and then develop.
That is the process of transforming human resource potential into organizational human resources. This applies to all businesses, large and small, new and existing.
If at all possible, avoid hiring friends and family. Give them money, send them on their way, and wish them well. Except in exceptional circumstances, such as when you have a nuclear power plant and a family member is the only nuclear engineer accessible.
To cut a long story short, never recruit someone you won’t be able to terminate in an instant. Employ strangers. Everyone, including you and your team, are a stranger.
If you’re unsure, leave them out or send them! A sifting process produces good people. Choose, test, choose, and keep. Hire in bunches wherever possible.
If you only need three people, start with five or seven (choose), then pick three rapidly. The only way to find out is to put yourself to the test on the job.
So, as part of your hiring process, including testing and getting to know people. Look for good, average people with character rather than geniuses or remarkable ones. The goal of human organizations is to get extraordinary results from ordinary people.
In conclusion, learn to tell the difference between people seeking work and people looking for work. Have fun on your journey (Africa is one of the most compelling multi-decade opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors globally).
Prioritize your family, bodily, and mental wellness above all else. Although we concentrate on Nigeria, the lessons are applicable to all entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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