Sometime in the year 2011… I was 2 years into my new job as a Medical Sales Representative with one of Nigeria’s fastest growing pharmaceutical companies.
was about to get married and needed to set up a side hustle to make extra bucks to keep my family happy.
I had saved up some money so I decided to dabble into business…what business would I go into I kept asking myself? I had over half a million naira [N500,000] in my savings account…every day I kept wondering how to invest this money before I squashed it all!
With no clear business in mind…I looked around and figured I could equally set up any of the flourishing businesses I found around town:
Soft drinks distributorship…you name it! …Boy! was I confused?
I finally settled for the boutique business… not quite sure whether to sell male or female clothing… boutique it was nonetheless.
I called a cousin that lives in Lagos [one of the States in western Nigeria and the commercial hub of the country] and told him I was coming to Lagos to buy some clothes and would need his help […I didn’t know anywhere in Lagos, so needed guidance].
I took a trip to Lagos…undecided on what kind of boutique to run [males or females],it was in the bus to Lagos that I finally decided that I’d set up a females boutique!…I had no single idea how that would work…I literarily had no inkling what ladies liked to wear let alone being in a position to stock clothes for them to buy…I wanted to own a business…to hell with experience and all that!
I arrived Lagos, hooked up with my cousin…we found ourselves in Balagun Market [biggest market for clothes] and began shopping…I shopped for the young, the older women and for girls…anything for any female was Ok by me…in my mind “I wanted every female that walked into my boutique to find something that they liked” […how exciting!].
I came back to my base in Awka the capital of Anambra State [a State in the south eastern parts of Nigeria and the commercial hub of the region]…set up my boutique with clothes that I’d bought in Lagos and was ready for business!
Oh! I didn’t tell you my boutique was situated very close to a public market, that housed established cloth dealers who usually bought their clothes from Onitsha […Onitsha is the economic hub of Anambra State and was 45 minutes from Awka] and I could easily have sourced the clothes that I had travelled to Lagos to buy at Onitsha and saved the extra cost of travelling over 500 km to Lagos.
I finally set up shop…you can’t imagine my shock when I could not make any significant sales after 3 months of setting up my business and had invested over N700,000 in shop rents and goods.
I eventually threw in the towel…auctioned the remaining unsold clothes and gave away some of the mannequins I used to display clothes…another dead business.
Many business owners are still repeating my mistakes…or worse still making costly ones.
But these approaches don’t work…here’s why…the business landscape will continue to be competitive as bigger and smarter businesses crowd the marketplace.
There surely is…To everything there is a process…business is not an exemption.
There’s a process to get admission into school…drive a car…there’s definitely a process to prepare you to succeed in business.
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You have a choice to make: Do what you’ve been doing (or worse,do nothing at all).
You know where that will lead.Is that really where you want to go?
Take a new action,and get a new result,finally get the business solutions that’ll create new uncontested markets for you,make more money and make you the competition!
Which do you really want for yourself?