All That Glitters Is Not Gold…

Collins is a very hard-working young man in his early thirties. He had a job which can be described as a good one in terms of the major parameters for assessing a job – good salary, prospects for growth, good welfare schemes among others. In search of greener pastures, he resigned from his job for another because of the mouth-watering offers that came with the new job – a car, better salary, foreign training and accommodation among others. Not too long after resumption, he gets to discover that there were some things about the new job which were not revealed to him – most of which would have made him turn down the job if he was told from the onset. But sadly, it was too late to go back to his former job. What followed can be described as a nightmare !

Jennifer is a very pretty lady. She has everything going for her – good job, a good family background and a good education. Then came John, an equally handsome young man with a good job too. John was a smooth talker who would make any girl to fall for him. John appeared like a saint. He had money to spend and give Jenifer a good time. His charming looks complimented his “good looking purse.” It was not too long that Jennifer realised that John was not just a married man, but had five children from three women. She also got to know that John was a drug Lord who was playing a hide and seek game with the cops !

Edwin, is a handsome and well-nurtured young man in his thirties.  With a good job and good looks, he had always believed that he could have any lady at his beck and call. He had a very humble and well-mannered lady for a fiancee. Even though she was not too pretty, she was the kind of lady a man would want to have as a life-time partner – humble, peaceful, respectful, hardworking, loving, caring, submissive and what have you. Two months to their wedding day, Edwin dropped a bomb – he could not go ahead with the planned wedding !!! Soon, it was discovered that the reason behind his action was because of a fair skinned beautiful lady that he had been dating for months. However, Edwin got the greatest shock of life when he got to know that the lady he had been having an affair with, and who was two months pregnant for him, was actually his step-sister whom his father abandoned from birth, together with her mother without the knowledge of Edwin’s mother !

McDonald, is a promising Nigerian Painter.  He is happily married with two kids. He gave his family a good life with  his business, with the support of his hard-working wife. Soon, his friend convinced him into taking taking part in a deal that would have fetched them a lot of money running into millions of Naira (Nigerian currency). McDonald fell for it. Things went messy. They were picked up by the police. McDonald and his friend are serving jail sentences. His family is in a very bad situation !

The United States of America is a beautiful country with the good things of life reasonably available for majority of her citizens and residents. This lured Tunde, a Nigerian, who was doing very well in his trading business – a good home, a car and a good bank account – to abandon his country with documents whose authenticity was in doubt. He was convinced by his friend that all his papers would be formalised when they get to the USA. With his eyes and mind on the USA, Tunde beat all the odds and got to America with his friend. Not too long after they arrived Tunde became a fugitive – always on the run from the cops for having fake travelling papers. After, two years of hiding in very odd places, Tunde was finally arrested and deported – to start life all over again in Nigeria !

Good things are good. They are desired by all, including my humble self.  But in desiring for them, wisdom, reasoning, and of course, prayers is needed. Collins, Jennifer, McDonald, Tunde and Edwin have one thing in common – they leaped before looking; or should I say they refused to look before leaping because they were convinced that all that glitters is gold !!!

A word is enough for the wise. Wishing you and me a regret-free weekend 🙂

 

 

 

Make Or Mar Ability Of business Locations : Looking Beyond The Consumers

Lagos, Nigeria

A beautiful environment with basic infrastructure is good for business (Lagos, Nigeria)

In my last post on business locations, I only focused on customer considerations in deciding on where to locate a business. Even as crucial as the consumer factor is, there are quite a number of other factors to put into consideration. It thus follows that even where an area is considered as a consumer hot spot, other equally important factors might make the choice of that particular location, a big error.

One very other very important factor to consider is the availability basic infrastructure such as power, roads, communication, transportation, water and much more. I do not see a business doing very well in a location where power supply is non-existent or very unreliable. Power supply, whether hydro, gas or solar, is like blood to a business. Its absence causes a lot of problems to businesses since most business equipment need power to function. You can imagine what businesses that actually need power to render their services or sell their products, would do where there is no public power supply, or where it is unreliable.  They would definitely need to generate their own power, usually at a higher cost. This would eventually have multiple chain consequences on the business – meeting up with other business expenses might be hampered, especially salaries, asking for a raise might be an “abomination,” re-stocking might be affected which can lead to stock-outs, stock-outs deals a bad blow on sales, low sales means low profits; dwindling profits, if it persists, leads to stagnation and eventually, collapse, in severe cases. A number of businesses have packed up because of this singular factor – power!!!

Good roads and transportation are essential to business (Lagos, Nigeria)

Good roads and transportation are essential to business (Lagos, Nigeria)

The state of transportation and roads and their networking, play very vital roles in the life of businesses. Businesses that are into manufacturing and buying and selling cannot but give serious thoughts about it. This is obviously because of their frequent movement of goods, in and out of the business premises. No doubt, roads also have impact on the life span of motor vehicles and their maintenance cost. Again, these also have chain consequences on the business.

The way businesses are being run today, communication is almost as important as money in business. Technology has changed the way communication is being carried out. The level of development is not the same everywhere. In some areas, communication services, in particular, the internet is far from being developed or reliable. This kind of situation will not speed up business growth. This kind of situation would also prevent the business from meeting up with global trends.

Security is another crucial issue. Insecurity is a very is a big enemy to anybody, let alone a businesses that needs people to come around for deals to be struck. Insecurity restricts movement, creates a general feeling of fear and anxiety; and in extreme cases, reduces the number of current and potential customers through deaths, particularly in areas experiencing wars and terrorist attacks.

Another vital factor to consider is the cost of labour. Labour costs seems to take a huge chunk of running expenses. A smart way out of this is to consider areas where labour cost is cheaper. Apart from having access to more eligible workers, running cost is greatly checked.

Government policies also affect businesses. Ignoring them might make the business to be at the mercies of the government later. Policies on taxes and fees, what is legal and what are not, personnel issues, business records, business hours and much more, have effects on business. Experience has shown that the “friendliness “of these policies defers from place to place. So, if you want to start up a business or you want to relocate, you might want to find out which location would have greater friendly government policies.

A business whose daily turnover is usually on a very high side would have to be security-conscious. One smart way of doing this is to look for a location that is close to banking facilities. This enables frequent movement of cash away from the office to the banks, which is considered safer.

In addition to these, businesses that see their employees as key to the success of the businesses, would be see it very necessary to consider easy access to health facilities when making location decisions. Employees give in their best when they have a feeling of care and concern coming from their employees.

Another important factor to consider is the cleanliness of the chosen location. A dirty location poses health hazards to everyone that has something to do with the business. If the business is into food processing, a clean environment would be their best best. A dirty environment therefore keeps people away. Such businesses also run the risk of constantly having problems with government health officials.

Finally, it might also be very important to consider competitors in making location decisions. The world of business, as we have it today, is a very competitive one. Some businesses merely exist. Some have intimidating profiles and stature. Some will attract customers which eventually strike deals with rival businesses. Some are serious threats to competing businesses that make the mistake of coming so close to locate their businesses next to it. A serious appraisal must be made of these realities.

In all, together with the first part of this post, it is obvious that businesses that are very successful today have actually done their homework very well.

I sure hope this post was worth your time.

Thanks for your time.

Related posts :

Make or mar ability of business locations : The consumer factor

Small businesses’ practices and the issues stagnation and growth

Decision making : The sensitive and far-reaching function of a manager

Decision Making : The Most Sensitive And Far-Reaching Function Of A Manager

courage-compu.jpgAs a student of Business Administration and Management, I had had to do a project on the most sensitive and far-reaching function of a Manager. Then, I had thought that providing good leadership was the most challenging, as every organisation was made up of all sorts of people- permit me to say , the good, the bad and the ugly – which makes leadership very complicated and in some cases, very frustrating.

Much later, the following questions stared me in the face: What could make a very successful business go down the drain like a small road side one-man business? What could make a business that falls within the first five in the world collapse like a pack of cards? What could make the CEO of a company which used to be of a house hold name, suddenly become a reference point for business failure? What could make a world class business with the best of the best world class hands collapse like a business with a Board made up of a bunch of illiterates?

A critical look at the collapse of ENRON, which used to be one of the foremost energy companies in the world and their auditors, revealed one thing – these businesses collapsed because of the wrong decisions taken by some persons. One fact is indisputable – if the right decisions were taken, the damage done to the image of these businesses would not have taken place.

My graduation from school and years of working has further buttressed what I have now discovered – that decision making is actually the most sensitive and far-reaching of all the functions of a manager.

2009 provided me with further evidence of my conviction of how far-reaching decision making can be. This was the year the current Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido ordered an audit of banks in Nigeria. The result was very ‘’interesting.’’ It was because some of the banks that failed the CBN audit were actually banks which I (and I am sure most Nigerians too had) had a l lot of respect for, as well as their CEOs. Today, some of  those banks have either been taken over by government or ‘’swallowed’’ by other banks – all because WRONG DECISIONS, like in the case of Enron and Arthur Andersen, were taken.  by some  managers.

There are so many businesses out there that have suffered or are suffering similar fate. There are some that are have not closed down, but are  going through harsh times or stagnated progress simply because the managers do not know the A-B-C of decision making and have therefore taken wrong decisions in the business.

For a business owner, the worst decision is to employ managers who will continue with the trend of wrong decisions. Managers who take decisions before thinking. Managers who do not know the difference between a plan and a decision. Managers who give priority to self-fulfillment rather than business interests. Managers who lack foresight and cannot decipher the immediate consequences of their decisions, how much more the long term consequences. Managers who take decisions like complete illiterates. Managers who live and work in the past and are guided by the past, in a fast moving world.

Show me a very successful business and I will dig up a catalogue of beautiful decisions they took. Show me a stagnant, troubled or collapsing business and I will dig up many terrible, misguided, not-well-thought-out and destructive decisions that they took.

My last line ? For every business (irrespective of the size) failure is traceable to a decision(s). Equally true, is that every business success is traceable to a decision(s).

Read between the lines.

 

Thanks for your time.