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How do I define entrepreneurship? I wanted to look at the technical meanings as introduction to this very valuable subject, but I said to myself, no – no, because, entrepreneurship isn’t a theoretical concept – it is what the eyes see, what the hands feel, and what the tongues taste. If you can’t behold it, embrace it, and relate with it in physicality, it is nothing but an ideology lost in arbitrary world. For this conclusion, I made up my mind that the best definitions of entrepreneurship are the ones that emanate, not from the classroom, but from those that are one hundred percent in the game. How does Ray Kroc, the Founder of MacDonald see entrepreneurship? He said, “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” Scott Belsky, Behance’s Co-Founder, in putting it straight said, “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas…

The importance of identifying a sustainable business idea, with a practical and realistic business plan to support it cannot be overemphasized, especially for a start-up company. Many government and private sector interventions aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses are predicated mainly on a good business idea and a well written business plan with sufficient experience to defend it before a panel of ‘experts.’  But what do we see?  Only few applicants meet the shortlisting requirements and eventually get supported, while many others are frustrated and sometimes even doubt the integrity of the selection process. Consequently, the number that benefit from support programmes are not enough to make the desired impact in the economy.  I can tell you that many business plans are written and submitted to banks and other funding agencies on a regular basis, solicited and unsolicited. These plans, according to their authors, are…

These days, competition is rife amongst a large number of brands. Many homemade brands find it difficult to withstand foreign ones for so many reasons, and for these legion of reasons, local brands are knocked off most of our shelves. As we rely on imports to service our insatiable needs, there is depletion of our currencies and probably, foreign reserves, because we spend the hard currencies filling our shops with what we can produce within, or already producing within. The hunger for foreign goods and the abandonment of local brands further damage our economies and put it in epileptic predicaments. As we tread on this ignorant route, we continuously blame the government for not performing magic in revamping our economies, when in reality; we are prisoners by our own device. There is a perception rumbling in the minds of the citizenries that local brands are inferior to foreign ones, and…

Whilst many businesses are going through challenges of survival and sustainability, others are growing, attracting more customers and making money.   It is interesting to note that difficult times such as we are in presently in Nigeria provide opportunities for new profitable businesses to come up because of new challenges. If you do not deliberately look for challenges and needs to meet, then you may not see opportunities, even the ones knocking at your door. Challenging business environment The business environment is changing and existing businesses that cannot adapt their operations and methods to take advantage of the changing business landscape may not be sustained. In the last few months, there have been several stories of businesses and enterprises closing shop because of lack of patronage and rising cost of input materials.Other reasons why many businesses are not doing well include inability to scale up the business and respond to changes…

Most times, a small-scale business starts with one person who later employs more people to be a part of the business, which could be at the planning stage or before the commencement of business. As an entrepreneur launching a small business, you are often a one-person show. In addition to the actual work of building your business, you are also the receptionist, accountant, marketer, general manager etc. For a small-scale business owner, the issues at the front burner are usually related to finance, marketing, processes and technology. This is understandable. However, the business cannot grow without employees, partners, and collaborators, in addition to clients or customers. If your business has grown to require at least one other person, then you need to understand what to look for in recruiting that person. In this edition I will highlight six tips that small business owners can consider to recruit employees who will…

I have a rucksack that has served me for years, but because it didn’t look attractive, I wanted something that I would carry on my back and everyone would admire. Whenever I went on the tube, I saw some guys with beautiful backpacks, and I felt like having one. One day, I went to a high street and saw a shop with some fantastic looking rucksacks, and I said to myself, “this is it!” Without wasting time, I jumped into the shop and was spoilt for choice. It was so difficult to decide the design I wanted because they were all looking fabulous. After a careful scrutiny, I went for one black colour. My wife so liked it that she asked if she could take it on holidays to Africa, but I vehemently refused as I was so much in love with my new rucksack. Without hesitation, I abandoned the…

Amongst the challenges of a small business owner are ability and discipline to keep proper records of the business. This is not very surprising as we have a culture of not keeping personal records and that is probably why it is difficult to keep business records. A few years ago, I struggled to write down all my monthly expenses for a proper analysis of how I was spending my money. I failed several times before I got it right. I did not have the consciousness to collect receipts or invoices for many of my purchases and expenses because nobody was going to ask me to account for what I spent. This attitude is not good for business.  Books to Keep Bookkeeping simply means writing down all the money that the business receives (receipts) and all the money that it pays out (payments). You need to keep business documents to be…

A team can be cohesive and still lose, in spite of the synergy and congruence that build a strong bond among them. Often, we have been told that teams that play together with one mind, one purpose, and one focus become outstanding, but I don’t believe that these qualities, despite being necessary, are the only factors that determine victory. Many teams have lost even if they played together. This is because there are other factors that determine the status of a team. There are dos and don’ts when it comes to team play. If you do what should be done and also spice it up with what shouldn’t, you might end up losing what you should have won. This is what happens when a sparkling white linen is soiled with just a single dot of oil. People wouldn’t focus on the major parts that are white but on the spot…

In my previous article, I told a brief story on what led me to discovering and working on my talent. Amongst the whole points I mentioned, dissatisfaction was my main reason for seeking change. I have always said, and will continue to say, that comfort is a killer. If you are satisfied where you are, nothing will challenge you to step out of that circle to pursue what lies in the bigger world. Beyond what you see, there is a bigger world. Until you step out from the circle of comfort and look further down the road, you may think where you are is the best in life. From the attitude of certain people, and their communication manner, you are justified to make a conclusion that they’ve reached their dreams, and that there’s nothing more left for them. But this shouldn’t be so, because beyond our limited visions are opportunities…