By Oke Peter
Director-General of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Joyce Akpata has advised entrepreneurs in the country to build business that will outlive them, nothing that creating a gap between business and personal interest will make the business sustainable.
Akpata gave the charge in her lecture entitled: ‘Creating the right structure in building a global brand’ at the 5th edition of ‘The Roundtable,’ a monthly meeting organised by GoldRank Consulting for CEOs of startups and entrepreneurs to tap into the minds of renowned business executives as panelists as well as a platform for business networking.
The event, held at the Bunker, Lekki, Lagos on Friday featured four panelists with focus on ‘Building a Sustainable Business System and Structure; Creating the Right Funding Structure; Understanding Systems and Structure for Growth Acceleration; Building a Trans-generational Enterprise.
In his opening remark, the Strategy Consultant, GoldRank Consulting, Sam Igwe, said: “The Roundtable is the most engaging and educative platform for Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in Lagos, aimed at offering professional insights that can help businesses in Nigeria, increase profitability, market share, and brand awareness. It pays attention to the detail that makes for a successful business empire. If you run a business or intend to start one in Nigeria, you need to master the system and structures. You need to know how the internal mechanism of business runs. You cannot afford trial and error, and keep wasting money building a baseless structure.”
“Growth in business starts from the inside and manifests outside in increased market share, profitability and increased brand value. These cannot be achieved without an understanding on how to build sustainable business systems and structures especially in Nigeria,” he said.
Mrs. Akpata stressed further that, “Entrepreneurs should have business plan and strategy documents, they should build capacity and get skills needed to run a viable business. Strive to build a team and delegate duties so that you won’t be all in all. Most businesses die when the owner dies because the owner has not been able to separate business from personal interest.
Also, in her lecture entitled: ‘Understanding business funding system’, the Chief Executive Officer, Olive Microfinance Bank, Mrs. Ngozi Stanley-Obi spoke extensively on how to access funding for business purposes.
She said: “A business without funding is like a vehicle without an engine. Business lives and dies based on funding. Resource management is a requisite for business sustainability. You can access the loan, equity as well as grants, but you must be very careful and have a proper understanding of the terms and conditions before venturing into any borrowing.”
Also, the Chief Executive Officer, Solarwox Renewable Energy Limited, Mr. Uche Iheakanwa, while speaking on ‘How to build a sustainable model that works in Nigeria’ encouraged entrepreneurs to read great books that can enrich their knowledge. He said: “Entrepreneurs should connect with people and must have a sustainable plan. Many businesses had failed because there is no clear-cut sustainable plan by the founder.”
Also, the Chief Executive Officer, Outbox Consulting, Mr. Olufemi Ajayi, spoke on ‘Building a strong business system structure’, he encouraged entrepreneurs to have better strategy and ideas before launching a company.
While sharing personal experience, he said: “Most entrepreneurs have mistaken passion for business, your passion will bring you happiness but the business must be profit-oriented. Have you ever asked yourself why am I in business? Am I creating or selling something people wanted or needed? Is anybody paying for what I’m offering? Are my products delivering on promise? Am I making a profit? If your business cannot answer these questions, there is no need for you to be in business,” he said.
At the end of three hours brainstorming session, the meeting was followed by a Group Syndicate Session that brought questions on the topic to bear and fosters the exchange of ideas, insight, and networking, among attendees.
Participants, however, expressed satisfaction on the lectures and the organiser for the meeting which has afforded them the opportunity to learn from experts.