Entrepreneurs should build sustainable business that ‘ll outlive them — Akpata

Director-General of the  Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Joyce Akpata has advised
entrepreneurs in the country to build business that will outlive them, noting that creating a gap between business and personal interest will make the business sustainable.
Akpata gave this advice while delivering her lecture titled, “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 at the Bunker, Lekki, Lagos on Friday
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 of how to build a sustainable business system and structure especially in Nigeria,” he said.
Mrs Akpata stressed further that, “Entrepreneurs should have a business plan and strategy documents, they should build capacity and get skill 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 the Chief Executive Officer, Olive Microfinance Bank, Mrs Ngozi Stanley-Obi spoke extensively on how to access funding for business purposes.
She said: “An entrepreneur 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.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Solarwox Renewable Energy Limited, Mr Uche Iheakanwa 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, encouraged entrepreneurs to have better strategy and ideas before launching a company.
While sharing personal experience, he said: “Most startups 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,”
At the end of three hours brainstorming session, the panel discussion session 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 a meeting which has afforded them the opportunity to learn from experts.
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