I have been privileged to run my current business/ministry for about six years now aside other things I started long before that so I can say confidently that it takes more effort to sustain than to start.Let me use child birth to explain what I mean..

Anybody can give birth to a child. It is very easy for a lady to fall pregnant but when it comes to paying school fees and baby foods, that is where the issue is.. The same applies to business too.

Excerpt:

Now it is said that most Nigerian businesses never live beyond five years
I was not the one that said it, It is popular scientific statistics that came up with that and I am wondering why this is so. Part of the reason is because the business owners do not know how to sustain their business

 

See it is very easy to start a business. Anybody can borrow 5000 naira, go to Corporate Affair Commission CAC and register a name and guess what, you are already a businessman. You may check www.cac.gov.ng for more details on registering a business name.
So starting the business is not the main thing, but sustaining it.

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I have been privileged to run my current business/ministry for about six years now aside other things I started long before that so I can say confidently that it takes more effort to sustain than to start.Let me use child birth to explain what I mean..

Anybody can give birth to a child. It is very easy for a lady to fall pregnant but when it comes to paying school fees and baby foods, that is where the issue is.. The same applies to business too.

So the goal is not just to start a business but to sustain the business. Now one of the things that can help you sustain your business are the business etiquettes you imbibe. And these etiquettes must be adopted early enough in your business life cycle. They are not things that you think would just happen but they must be imbibed.

 

So let's look at a few of these etiquettes and see how far we can go with them
first is integrity.

 

Integrity


Integrity is one thing that many business people lack these days. But it is one of the things that is needed for our business to remain sustainable over the years. Now I know that the primary purpose of business is to make profit. And because a lot of business people want to make a lot of profit, they think of cutting corners.


Now this would work for some time, but such a business would not last long
Why? You can deceive some of the people some of the time but you cannot deceive all of the people all of the time.

Integrity means keep to your word. I know there might be some people here who have not yet started their own business, now is the time to develop the habit of integrity.

Let me share a personal experience with us...

About three years ago, I got into real estate for the first time. So I needed capital to buy some plots of land which I was going to resell and make profit on it but I had zero naira with me
Then I prayed about it and asked God what to do, and God laid three specific people on my heart. Then I sent them a similar WhatsApp message telling them I wanted them to borrow me some amount of money and I would refund it by so and so date.

Within thirty minutes, I got three responses. One of them said I would come to WiGRadio tomorrow, we would talk and I would give you the money.

The second person said, it is almost 4pm already so first thing tomorrow morning, I would go to the bank and send the money to you.

And the third person said send your account number to me right now and I would send it to you
So I got confused. I did not know which one I should accept.

So I asked them all one question... Why did you decide to part with you money without even asking me what I wanted to use it for?

This is a time when people are so skeptical. Well, I asked why they were ready to part with their money. And the three of them said something similar, “We know you and we trust your integrity”

Those words broke me down. That was the day that I realized that integrity is serious capital. I know you have not expanded your business yet o... But one day you might need maybe a million naira or maybe ten million to expand.

Do you remember that day you borrowed 1000 naira from your friend and you did not return it?

Okay... That friend might have that ten million ... But he would just be like this guy does not have integrity, so I cannot trust him with my money.

Start your integrity with little things. Don't wait to become big to have integrity.. Start now. When you give people your word, stick to it

Integrity would cost you sometimes. You might even end up losing some profit because you chose integrity.. But on the long run, it would sustain your business

So back to my story ...
I told the three of them that I am confused o... That I sent that message to three of you.

And I now have three offers. One of them advised me to go for the guy who wanted to send the money immediately so I opted for that.  Before the date I promised, I repaid his money.

If I need money today, I can still go back to these people and they would gladly give me except they don't have.


Have you been able to build trust in people's heart?


Can people say that this man or Lady has integrity and they don't even need to be doing any confirmation?
You can start now!

The second is  Value people


Value people
Never take people for granted. There is no business without people, so you need people.
Now a Pastor can pour gallons of anointing oil on your head and tell you that your business would move on to the next level but see, if you don't value people, those prayers would just be hanging.
There are three key people you should pay attention to
1. Your clients
2. Your staff/employee or team mates
3. Your contemporaries in business

Please treat your clients well... You need them. They are the ones that pay the bills
Please give me some few minutes... I would be right back. Need to quickly sort out something. So please don't look down on any of your clients.

Even if what they are paying is just N100, treat them well. I had an experience one time of going to buy something in a supermarket. And the person selling was rude.

Initially I just looked over it, then it happened again. So I just skipped going there and started going elsewhere. People buy products and services based on sentiments and emotions.

If I feel happy when you sell to me, I would come back again and again. But if you don't treat me well, I would just carry my money to another place.

Now, you may think you have lost nothing after all it is only N200 goods I buy from you, but the same person buying N200 things from you today might be the one to come and buy N200,000 worth of goods tomorrow because they feel happy with you.

Maybe I should give a practical example now. When WiGRadio started, there was this Pastor who used to run broadcast with us. After some time he could no longer pay and I knew he was a sincere man. So I told him he can continue at no cost.

 

Something registered in his mind. Now he has not paid the money he owe till today... But guess what. He introduced me to another ministry one time and I did media coverage for them and they paid heavily.
That ministry later asked me to consult for them to set up their online radio and online TV platform and we are not talking about small money here.

This same man introduced me to one pastor one time who supported what we are doing with some good amount of money.
Now this was a man who could not afford to pay the money we billed him but see what we benefited from him.

I could have fought with him for not paying... But I was practicing the etiquette of valuing people. Treat your staff and team well. Even though I own a radio station, I cannot remember the last time I actively spoke on the radio. It is our people that do the job.

And they are happy doing what they do. And I always remind them that they are the best. Now for your business to expand, you need other people who would carry the vision as theirs.

Recently I traveled to Ife and I told our team that they were in charge of everything and they should not disturb me.

I came back and activities were still running fine? Why? They know I value them
So what am I trying to say? Value the people that work with you. Even if they are volunteers, value them and never take them for granted.

If you don't treat them well, your business cannot grow because they are the ones your clients would meet Then relate well with your contemporaries.

Learn from them and help them too. Think beyond competition. Practice the blue ocean strategy.

I have to stop now but I would love to wrap up with a word of prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank you for what we have learnt tonight.. We ask that you would imbibe in us grace for integrity and to value people in our business. Help our business to make progress in Jesus name. Amen!

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