Here in Nigeria I noticed the situation of unlasting business, apart from a handful of small family businesses, it’s often not the norm to find Nigeria businesses or brands that have survived beyond their founders. For some strange reason, after the founder retires or dies, the business starts on a path of show or accelerated death. For instance now take a very close look at some of this hotel business here in town; it will be well furnished for a period of some years by the owners, and after the owner of the hotel is dead the hotel business will automatically be dead too, why because of mismanagement by the managers or relatives.
If we want to look at most of these private owned companies that is still in existence, we will realize that the real owners are still alive and maintaining sustainability process of that business.
In this article I will broadly point out 5 reasons why Nigerian businesses don’t last for more than a century.
- Lack of Planning: Many businesses run out of money many times and this is as a result of poor planning. Many a business man don’t plan very well to know how much money you have to run a business with for a period time. While starting a business, most of us don’t reserve some money in our account to support the business. Most Nigerian business men and women will be complaining that it is not good for money to be in the bank. It does not depend on money only, you need to plan for a good environment that will suite the kind of business you want to establish.
- Lack of Customer Relations: Several businesses in Nigeria do not relate very well with their customers. You don’t give your customers the best treatments they deserve. Hire a good sales person that can convince a customer. Thanks to the Igbo’s because it is impossible for anybody to enter an Igbo man’s shop without buying what you didn’t plan to buy, because they have that customer relations in them, they will tease you, play with you, at the end they will compel you to patronise them.
Always smile at customers and don’t raise your voice on customer no matter how bad the situation may be, i.e. if u wants to maintain your business.
- Lack of Consultation: Many business men and women don’t do proper consultation before running into any business of their choice. That’s one of the reason they fold up their business within a short period of time. You need to make adequate consultations and know what to do and how to do it, ask for more knowledge; if possible you can do a window shopping so that you will not run at lost when starting your business.
- Lack of Book-Keeping and Accounting: In every business, if there is no book-keeping you are done for it. Nigerian business men are very sentimental when it comes to transacting business with family and friends without charging fees or may not even charge them accurately nor have a record, this threatens the growing concern of the business. They sell on credit to friends without mounting any credit control policy.
- Lack of Structure and Business System: Here business men and women in Nigeria lack essentials to run their businesses very well. They don’t provide essential structure that will help in assigning responsibilities for key activities and improve accountability.
Many Nigerian businesses cannot function independent of the founder. For instance, if they’re out of town for any reason, or unavailable to sign cheque, suppliers and employees may not get paid on time which will affect the nature of the business, because a hungry man is an angry man. With this kind of situation, it’s impossible to carry on a business when the almighty founder is unavailable.
In conclusion, if we see a business as an asset, we should be to able nurtured and expand it beyond our lifetime, let see it as tools that will serve our lifestyle interests. I will say finance is the life hold of any business.