The Employee Cum Entrepreneur

Autonomy is just a chunk of the pie. Many people crave the complete banquet. Some dream of working a agency of their very own, others dream of getting shops, and a few others need to discover their yearning for artwork and craft.

Typically we need to ditch the worker tag and typically we solely desire a aspect hustle. Both manner, or regardless of the area, there are some basic items that must not ever take as a right. These little bits of data make the distinction between success and failure in your entrepreneurial journey regardless of how improbable you’re as an worker.

The primary query often is: ‘Ought to I dare to do that within the first place?’ When you didn’t have a job many individuals would encourage you to present it a attempt, however the track adjustments if you find yourself employed. A enterprise enterprise may simply be seen as a waste of cash; when there are college charges to pay. So what’s the smart factor to do particularly on this financial local weather?

Koku Konu is an architect who builds excessive rise buildings throughout West Africa: banks, and skyscrapers. Then his father handed on leaving his accounting agency behind. Konu opted to take that up as nicely. This meant restructuring and constructing Island Nominees Ltd and for an architect that meant fairly a little bit of studying; from the scratch.

This made him the right particular person to ask: Must you actually trouble?

Konu’s response is: “If anyone has a want to pursue self-employment; invariably that want would not go away till you check it. So if anyone looks like going into self -employment, no matter what’s going on with the economic system, go forward. However after all that’s just the start; additionally, you will entry your dangers, calculate your publicity and your likelihood of success, but it surely’s your entrepreneurial spirit; the spirit that’s in these people who makes the distinction and they’re those that will battle in opposition to the chances. They’re those individuals look as much as; those who give you one thing.”

Wanting on the variety of failed companies round us might be very discouraging for somebody pondering of taking the plunge. Konu says: “Statistics are a weird factor, I do not know the place these ones come from however should you inform me that some individuals fail, I might say sure. And sure failure does discourage individuals. However once more the lure of success is at all times there. Failure can’t be discounted, it does put individuals off. However the true entrepreneurs do have a knack to beat seemingly inconceivable huddles. That’s the hallmark of an entrepreneur.” Then he provides: “Everyone knows entrepreneurs fail but it surely’s those that succeed that we are likely to look in direction of. So you probably have the entrepreneurial drive and need to go into self employment, no matter the economic system you end up in, you must go forward and take your dangers.”

Now everyone knows that being an worker requires you to use your self to your individual duties, however being an entrepreneur is a special kettle of fish. The problems of management and administration come to the fore. Management principally means climbing up the tallest Iroko tree together with your binoculars and guiding the troop: having the chook’s eye view and making certain you’re all in the appropriate jungle going through the appropriate horizon. Management is extra in regards to the imaginative and prescient and the general targets. Administration however brings it all the way down to the everyday planning and actions. Konu, talking from his personal expertise says: “In my function as the primary son of my father, I ‘administer’ the corporate. It is a small title however a large function as a result of it begins from the minute eye of the processes and techniques you set in place (administration) to the larger image and the way you develop the corporate (management) and the way you get to the audience, and so forth.

So that you begin from small issues like: ‘Do we now have sufficient pens?’ to the larger image like: ‘The place are we within the scheme of issues?’ that is what I do basically. I haven’t got any half within the technical dispensation or any engagements, nothing like that, however I do programme, I do plan, I do implement, I strategise, and I’m in contact with the highest stage of our shoppers on administrative foundation.”

In case you have listened to some administration specialists then you need to have heard at the least considered one of them discuss in regards to the mindset of a businessman vis a vis the mindset of a ‘skilled’/worker.

Konu says this “It’s all the way down to stereotypes. When you find yourself an worker, your focus is executing your duties and the financial efficiency of the corporate is at finest a secondary concern. However whenever you begin your enterprise; and you’re a enterprise the financial efficiency of the corporate is your major concern.”

Now, Konu was making all of it sound too straightforward; sitting on the convention desk of open workplace with a simple smile. We needed to ask about his private hurdles.

“Nicely, I wasn’t significantly outfitted to take care of the challenges of management and administration. I did not have any formal coaching for it. I did not do an MBA, I hadn’t studied enterprise formally, I had by no means taken any enterprise programs, however I had at all times had an acute curiosity on how issues work. I suppose that has to do with my architectural background. As an architect you’re taught to design issues. The best way you design one thing determines how it will work. The rules of design apply not solely to merchandise, buildings, hairstyles, and vogue, they apply to processes; the best way to obtain a course of. It’s important to design a course of to just remember to get the tip consequence. My problem was not being formally ready due to my background, however I used to be helped alongside.”

Going by that’s it secure to infer that the best way a banker would run a boutique can be totally different from the best way an auto mechanic would run it? We might allow you to draw your individual conclusions on that however in going through the problem of restructuring and constructing Island Nominees Ltd, Konu did say: “Due to my background in design, I noticed it as a ‘design’ difficulty and not likely a ‘administration or management’ difficulty.

Out of each 5 entrepreneurs you meet three would announce to you that their largest problem is the nation’s infrastructure or lack of it. Clara Okoro, CEO of Brandworld and Writer of Ice journal didn’t bat an eyelid when she introduced that her largest problem was “NEPA”. Bringing this up with Konu, he clearly took all of it in his stride. Nevertheless it was the best way these infrastructural ‘failings’ affected workers welfare and productiveness that was extra distinguished on his thoughts. “The primary infrastructure downside that impacts companies is sparse electrical energy after which the roads and visitors. It impacts the social wellbeing of your staff; in the event that they get harassed every single day coming in. If they can not get to work simply as a result of there are challenges every single day it could possibly be troublesome for them.”

Talking of staff, how do you construct the right crew? Donald Trump says he often hires individuals he already is aware of; like individuals on the opposite aspect of a deal who had impressed him. In a current interview Femi Aderibigbe (aka Kwame) CEO of Nigezie and a decide within the ‘Undertaking Fame’ actuality and expertise hunt TV present, identified the “mindset” of the individuals you must work with is the largest problem for him as an entrepreneur.

Konu for his personal half had this to say: “Getting the appropriate workers is an ongoing factor. I address the problem on a regular basis. You might have the appropriate individuals in 2010 however your wants, developments, and programme could change by 2012 so you’ll need to regulate your crew. The best way I address it; the best way I might recommendation anyone to deal with it’s to craft the job description first after which discover the people who match into the job description and never the opposite manner spherical. Some individuals create a place as a result of they know this particular person has some ability: ‘Oh! Let’s use him for that.’

That isn’t the best way to construction your organization. You should have your construction in place first. Do you want a finance director, or do you want a bookkeeper? These are two totally different expertise. So have your construction in place. Know precisely what it’s you want?

Have an thought of your job description, after which search individuals to fill that place. Strive to not do it the opposite manner spherical like all people does as a result of; often the particular person has ability ‘A’, which you’re choosing up on however would not have the commensurate expertise. That’s what I might say for employees choice.”

Imagine it or not ‘quantity’ is a weighty issue. It may possibly make the distinction between success and failure. Konu agrees with this: “Additionally I might say regardless of the way you begin, begin small. You do not need to construct an organization with over one million staff in a single day. When you examine all of the thriving corporations out, you’ll discover that all of them began small. Each firm begins with an thought, and folks getting collectively. When it grows to over 10million staff in a single day, it did not begin that manner. These are an important issues. Outline your job descriptions and begin small.”

In each populated metropolis the individuals get to spend hours in visitors. We work lengthy hours and we get house late. Time administration is already a significant difficulty with us, so how can we oversee a budding enterprise ‘on the aspect’?

Nicely listed here are Konu’s options: “Time administration challenges? In fact I face it. I face it on a regular basis. Now for individuals who have a job and are beginning up a enterprise on the aspect and are going through time administration points, I might let you know how I take care of my time administration points.

I take advantage of Outlook (MS Phrase Outlook).I are available and I schedule all the roles I’ve to do when I’m desk certain within the workplace. Then I get on with it. Outlook helps me order my day. It’s the modern-day filer-fax. I even have a really subtle methodology of recording my time utilization. I log within the variety of hours I spend on each process and I ascribe prices to them. On the finish of the month I see how a lot time I’ve spent and the way a lot it has value me. And if the consumer just isn’t value it and I’ve spent an excessive amount of time, then I’ve a crimson alert: I’m spending an excessive amount of time on this, and it isn’t paying.

That applies to all people within the agency. We collate that yearly and produce a report which exhibits the wasted time and the financial impact of that wasted time. Additionally there may be idle time. Coming to the workplace and doing nothing is idle time. The truth that you’re right here doesn’t imply that you’re productive. I’ve a classy system which I developed over time. However I do not anticipate newbie to start out off like that however I do anticipate you to order your day. I at all times instruct my staff that the very first thing you do within the morning after you might have communicated together with your maker, if that’s your want, is to attract up your to-do record. You may’t beat it. You are able to do it manually; scribble it down or you are able to do it electronically.

If you’re an worker and seeking to begin one thing on the aspect, you do take pleasure in social media, and web and cell phones. Twelve years in the past you needed to go in every single place and depend on land traces.”

And for the world’s ‘oldest downside’: The problem of cash administration. Biodun Caston Dada is the CEO of Maverick and writer of Acada journal; a publication credited as being one of many longest working soft-sells in addition to the widest distributed one – additionally reaching probably the most focused age group: 14yrs-30yrs. He has had fairly a bit of cash administration expertise and he has introduced that his watch phrase is “Minimize your coat based on your fabric, not your dimension.”

Konu says: “What we advise people who find themselves beginning their very own enterprise is: Do not spend a penny till you know the way a lot you’ll spend on the finish of the day. It would not value you a kobo should you took a day to consider it. It is vitally essential. Entrepreneurs naturally don’t observe that instruction as a result of the spirit of entrepreneurship itself takes you to the purpose the place you’ll not take heed to recommendation. Refusing to take heed to recommendation has led individuals to realize feats that they have been as soon as instructed have been inconceivable. They defied the chances. Now you must have that doggedness in you as an entrepreneur. However the hot button is to know which recommendation to not take heed to. Deciding which recommendation to take and which recommendation to discard could possibly be very complicated but it surely may result in your success.

However there are some basic items all people would let you know. One in every of which is that monetary administration is vital: You will need to merely document what you spend and what you earn. That’s the easiest way. You do not have to have any fancy accounting system. You arrange in your laptop computer on a regular basis what you spend and what you earn; log in your revenue and bills. It might offer you an thought of how sensible your enterprise is.

When you spent N400, 000 and solely acquired N50, 000, which suggests you might have a shortfall of N350, 000 and you realize it. Your thoughts is already keyed into that truth. You do not have to do something fancy like money flows or funds forecast or revenue & loss. It’s a easy document of what I spend and what I get in. On the finish of the month, I have a look at my books and say: I haven’t got sufficient cash. That instils monetary self-discipline from the beginning.”

Fact be instructed; that’s simpler stated than achieved. That is Lagos: we’re at all times shopping for gas. Our ‘miscellaneous bills’ are greater than the fastened bills. In reality the ‘fastened’ bills stopped being fastened a very long time in the past. In addition to, beginning a enterprise is like setting sail within the open sea. Konu agrees having been there himself and admits this: “Entrepreneurs by their very nature are adventurous and so it’s a good suggestion to get somebody extra pedantic to deal with your accounts. In giant organisations they’re known as the account division; accountants however for a small enterprise you would need to discover any person to do it for you. You need to have somebody to ginger you up, and demand for all of your receipts; maybe a pal, an affiliate or an assistant. You would need to instil monetary administration from the very starting. Report what you spend and what you earn.”

Steady studying is giving nice emphasis after we are on the job. Ought to that very same emphasis come to play after we are on the PP (personal apply) beat? Konu says sure: “When you find yourself beginning up, the very first thing is the preliminary testing and analysis of the concept. Know your topic earlier than you get into it. However you need to proceed. You can’t say you realize all of it and even should you did know all of it in 2010, by 2012 issues have modified. It’s the similar cause medical doctors get re-certified. It’s doubtless essential.”

So the truth that you probably did a three-month course in catering whilst you awaited your JAMB consequence 25 years in the past doesn’t imply you’re prepared to start out a PP on small chops. One other three week brush-up course this month wouldn’t harm and it will not absolve you of the necessity to do a three-day course earlier than the Christmas rush.

One other query arises after we check out the competitors; principally people who find themselves already doing the issues we’re pondering of doing. Is it being overly shrewd to snoop out the competitors? We are saying ‘no’. You can’t know an excessive amount of in regards to the different gamers. You study from their accolades in addition to their errors. You study their strengths and challenges and their plans for the close to and distant future. The extra you realize, the higher outfitted you’re to make knowledgeable selections. Nonetheless, we don’t advocate that you simply ship a spy to steal their personal paperwork; should you attempt that, you’re by yourself.

Konu for his personal half has this to say: “Why would you purchase a automobile with out testing it? The extra info you might have in regards to the market and its gamers, the higher your resolution making can be. You will need to take cognisance of the competitors. I at all times inform individuals one factor; ‘respect however not worry’. Respect the people who have been there earlier than you, however don’t worry them.”

In conclusion let’s get a little bit ‘dreamy’. We requested Konu that if needs have been horses what’s the one factor (apart from ‘NEPA’) that if the federal government made out there would assist budding entrepreneurs and he stated: “Statistics.”

You’d most likely have your individual reply to that query, however Konu explains additional saying: “If statistics have been out there, it will assist in the choice making. Each time, an individual has a enterprise proposal she or he must conduct his or her personal survey. I feel the era of statistics would assist entrepreneurs lots. The seek for statistics is commonly defeatist. Folks typically don’t have the sources to conduct their very own statistics. It’s the authorities that will conduct surveys on how a lot energy or gas the nation consumes in a day. That informs my resolution on whether or not I need to open a petroleum station or a grocery store. Statistics is what I’ve discovered to be a significant problem from my private expertise.”

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