The survival of a small business post-gestation period hugely depends on the entrepreneur’s approach to overcoming the market realities, which must include overcoming cravings for instant gratification, says Olumide Adewoye, founder of Versacorp Global Concept Ltd.
Also, intending business owners must understand to focus efforts on developing quality product and critically assess the market to attract customers and engender growth, advised Adewoye, Generation Next Youth Empowerment Summit’s WhatsApp (Live) Chat on: “When What You Love Isn’t Paying Your Bills Yet…What To Do”, coordinated by Elbativeni Impressions and Consult.
Adewoye, a Chemical Engineering graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and a Mobil Oil Producing Undergraduate Scholar coordinates efforts of other professionals in the company, said he saved 70% of his salary as a staff of a bank as seed capital to establish the Versacorp Global Concept Ltd.
His professional experience started ‘with a vision of what was possible’, and today cuts across both the manufacturing and financial sectors.
“I wanted to be a career person like everyone else when I was in school. However, while on an Industrial Training, I met a man that gave me a new perspective. I was in my 400 level. So when I came back I began to ask questions about all the equations we were taught in the classroom”, he told over 70 SME owners drawn from across the globe.
Adewoye said he had a product in mind but subjected it to market reality before scaling up.
“So I was producing manually with limited investment in equipment. I had little or nothing to lose. Again, I didn't resign from my employment before starting out. If there was no real demand, I could stay on a little longer. After deciding on the product, I then invested a lot in how to produce cheaper than competitive products and still come up with something better.
“Whenever I saw an empty drum on the street, in my mind, I was thinking how it could be converted to a reactor. I had no money, but I had a very big vision. After graduation, I got a job in the banking sector. By then I knew I was going to be a business person. I already drew the plan of my proposed business with dates. My long term vision determined my interests.
“After working in the bank for four years, I voluntarily resigned my appointment to start my business full time. Every month I was saving at least 70% of my salary; using it to buy equipment little by little over the period of four years that I worked”, he disclosed.
During the chat coordinated by Destiny Ruth Obiakoeze; Chief Executive Officer of Elbativeni Impressions and Consult and Founder of Elbativeni Foundation Parent companies of the Youth Summit; the Entrepreneur agreed alongside over 70 participants who joined from across the world that 'Excellent' academic qualification is no longer a guarantee for suitable jobs or businesses, as 'Excellence' is not a strategy in today's world anymore. It’s a minimum requirement. One, competition is keen. The truth is that we are all competing every day.”
Accordingly, working with a company prior to starting yours has a lot of advantages. A strategy list would be: Know what your purpose is. Know it early enough. Determine the requirements needed to actualize your purpose. Invest in personal development and resolve to pay any sacrifice needed to bring your vision to reality.
Adewoye also advised young people to shun sacrificing learning enduring life lessons on the altar of instant gratification. “The lessons and skills can make you more than the salary,” he said, I know of a man that was employed as one and today he's a multi-millionaire. He later established his own farm using the knowledge and skills acquired and owns lots of properties around. I have employed a few farm workers in my farm 99.99% of them discuss things like food, phone, clothes, etc with me.
“They don't see it as an opportunity for them to learn something they can later set up. They want to save enough to buy an android phone from their current Nokia phone. They want to buy new shoes. Unfortunately, most of today's youth are suffering from the same thing. People who are unemployed possibly use better gadgets than some of us in business. If they are passionate enough, they should deny themselves of those things and channel the money to fund their future. As a bank employee, I wore a suit for 3 years!”
In a contribution, one of the participants Daniel Okpechi said, among other things, “we have authenticated the impression that success is a moving target, the more you aim, the further it advances. Let your last aim not be your final aim. Even if you had failed previously, don't be discouraged by the pain of failure, because your capacity has inadvertently improved. Try again, and again, because Thomas Edison rightly observed that ‘Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up”. A wise man said that 'knowledge is power', but I beg to slightly differ from that popular belief. The truth is; knowledge is just potential power!
“Just as the energy in your power bank is useless unless you plug it to your phone, the same way the knowledge we have gained from Mr. Olumide today will lie fallow unless we apply it to solve problems. For it is only then that the potential power can be converted to kinetic power to produce results.
“For those who are waiting for the perfect time, the time might never be perfect because even life itself is not perfect. A Chinese adage says "the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, another best time is now".
“Let that fear of uncertainty not cripple us from adventure because, over 90% of our fears never happen and everything that you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear. Remember: Action cures fear! If you do the things you fear, fear will die naturally”.
This Live Chat is one of many expected virtual series leading up to 'The Generation Next Youth Empowerment Summit' (a youth Summit that serves as incubation to growth in life and business with a vision to identify that latent power – passion, inborn in youths, building Leaders) which will hold its 3rd Edition later in October this year in Abuja, Nigeria.