A different way to be the boss | Fola Daniel Adelesi, ASM, ACL, Wcc
Entrepreneurial challenges in Africa and other continents have obviously gone beyond the physical challenges of not being able to start out on a big scale and has come down to the egotistic attitude of some business owners not willing to partner with others to get something meaningful started!
The Nigerian business mogul, Dangote, from information available borrowed N500,000 to start his business and today there is no household in Nigeria that does not eat what this mans company produces. When Facebook started, Mark did not have the money to run the idea so he went to a friend who invested 1000USD. There are stories of thousands of business owners who are now succeeding but did not start out with personal funds until they got partners.
One easy way to make things work for you and for the people whose needs you are trying to meet with your business service or product is to work out the details of partnering with someone to get your business started. You have the idea but someone else has the money then you can plan a profit sharing system that will pay off for both parties at the end of the day. In other cases you may have some money but you need more money so you really need to talk to someone in order for you to expand.
When you really need to get started or need to expand your business you really have to put your ego aside and face the real need of the business. Some people are just scared of losing their positions as CEOs and thats the only reason they will not consider any partnership with other people.
You need to school yourself some more and understand that partnering with someone is not necessarily about losing your position to someone else. The first thing you are looking at which has brought you to the point of looking for partners is that you need more resources. The next thing you have to look at is what you are going to offer whoever will be willing to give you the additional resources that you are looking for. Its not just for you to say that you will offer something in return and you dont consider it carefully before jumping at the resources the person is offering.
I honestly admit that there are dangers in partnering with people and thats where you have to look more at the bigger picture in order to trap the dangers. I always suggest that you do not go into partnership with anybody without written agreements duly signed by both parties coming together for a common business purpose. When you have the agreements written you must ensure that your own lawyers have read and have advised you regarding the agreement before signing in the case where the agreement was not prepared by your lawyer.
From the beginning of the business, everybodys input should be spelt out and everybodys expectation (profit) must be clearly stated. You should also ensure that the agreement states clearly that you are the owner of the business in a situation where you do not want to share ownership with anyone. You must also have your duration of partnerships spelt out so that you will not have troubles in future.
One thing that you will have to live with is the fact that when someone puts money into what you are doing, the person may have to keep an eye on you. I guess you will do the same if your money is in what another person does. It simply means that as the business owner you may lose some freedom that you used to have. When you take some business decisions the partners may question your decisions or may have differing opinions. You may want to put money into something new and your partners may think that it will not work so will disagree with you. In all of these, one thing that will remain clear is that if you have the right partners, business decisions will not be taken to hit you as an individual but to protect the business. As the end of the day you will still be the boss of the business and the business will keep growing based on the interest of the partners geared towards sustaining the business.
I guess you would rather be the boss in what works even if it has a lot of protocols to follow or limitations of your authority than be the CEO of what barely succeeds outside of your room or at best your community which just makes you a local champion! You may be the boss in whats barely working but theres a different way to be the boss!
Fola Daniel Adelesi, ASM, ACL, Wcc
+234 703 790 7851