Why are you in business? Have you ever thought about this? There are actually 3 reasons people go into business. We will look at these reasons shortly. You see, doing a business motive check will help truly evaluate how much progress your business is making. It would also help you understand what you SHOULD do to transition from small scale to medium scale and then large scale business.
The questions ( WHY AM IN BUSINESS? Or WHY AM I IN THIS BUSINESS? )are good questions for start-ups. Knowing why you want to venture into business is far more important than venturing at all. These questions will help people already in business to reevaluate, take stock, re-strategize and re-launch. People get into business for the following reasons:
- SURVIVAL: That is obvious, isn’t it? Just visit one of the markets in your area and you would understand what I mean. There are many so-called businesspeople in those crowded market places who are doing everything to make ends meet. They have no brand consciousness. They are no market strategy. They wait for customers rather than think of going to the customers. Their business scope limited to their geographical area. They have no business plan and have done no demographic studies. They are literally satisfied with their small corner business place or shop. Some might say that they make money but if you really do evaluation on the business you would realize that they can earn far more than they are earning if they put into consideration all the principles and factors that makes for business success. So here are questions you should ask yourself: Am I in business to survival? Do I want a global player in this business? How develop a local business with a global approach? What are the standard practices that can increase my competitive advantage in my business niche? Unfortunately, most Nigerians do business for survival. This so unfortunate. When I give business presentations around the country one of the things I say often is that we do not have many truly business men in Nigeria. What we have are contractors and lobbyists. These so called business people bid for contracts from the Government or multinationals, get them, and execute them. In other cases they lobby their way and get Government contracts and deals. The figures could be sometimes mouth watering. Yet that doesn’t make them business people. A business person is not registered with the CAC for contracts. A business person is not just one who runs a shop or an office. A business person is a person who has a workable system that can be transferred, franchised and duplicable.
- SUCCESS: There are a category of people who do business because they just want to succeed. Americans come to mind when you think of people who just want to succeed in business. A lot of them start businesses, grow them to a certain level and sell them. Recently, WASAP was sold for several billions of dollars. YOUTUBE was sold to Google some years ago. In 2006 YAHOO made effort to buy FACEBOOK at $1 billion but because Mark Zuckerberg thought the price was not right, he didn’t sell. Today, his business worth tens of billions .There are Nigerians who also try to build business for the purpose of selling it. There are still some who just have businesses that have very high consistent revenue but do not have the capacity to outlive the owner because the operational business system design is just for success.
- GENERATIONS: Japanese and Chinese come to mind when you think of these kind of businesses. Most Japanese businesses are designed with 100 years at the back of their minds. There are a few American businesses that have transcended one generation. Think of FORD MOTTORS and you will see three Henry Ford generations manning the chief operational offices. This is instructive. Some American businesses have gone past 50 years. AT &T, GENERAL ELECTRIC, WALT DISNEY, IBM etc. Unfortunately, we do not have Nigerian businesses that have gone past 50 years. The ones that exist are companies that were brought in by our colonial masters. Since these businesses were designed with systems, structure and generational transfer in mind, they have stayed thus long.
So here are my final thoughts: We need to change our paradigm if we are going to create strong, lasting and generational businesses. I think that unemployed people are proud people. The people who built great businesses rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty. They also got their minds involved and created business systems.