We live in a world where resources naturally move around. The laws and necessities of demand and supply drives the course of the flow of resources especially money. Without needs, there won’t be supplies, without supplies there won’t be revenue, without revenue, no profit, without profit, there will be no growth. Wealth is created through this commercial cycle, everyone, the rich, the poor, the average are all participants in the cycle, there are no restrictions, barriers or artificial separation or selection of who can participate. It’s a free run.
However, there are many people who are actively involved in the art of buying and selling every day and they are mostly broke. And there are some also, participants in this art and they are super rich.
The difference between these two categories of persons is the value and frequency of their exchange. People who carry out frequent or high-value exchange are mostly rich, people who carry out occasional and low-value exchange are mostly broke, and this is irrespective of the hard work involved in the process of this exchange.
To a lot of people who truly want to go into business or want to grow their business significantly, it has been tough and their main reason for non-achievement of this goal is lack of necessary financial capital. They do not have the financial capacity to start or expand their existing business.
When you do not have enough money to start or grow your business, you will become somewhat discouraged or frustrated, all your lofty and fancy business dreams will remain what it is – just a dream.
Money is very important in the life of any business, with enough money, many things can be done, without money, very little can be achieved.
For those who daily fend for themselves and pay their own bills through their businesses, if they do not have enough cash to operate the business, they may begin to use part of the business funds to run their personal lives and the business will subsequently be starved of cash and would begin to die.
Ladies and gentlemen, are you in business, or you want to start your own business and you do not have the money?
Believe me, there are a number of people who do not have this money to start their own businesses and they are not really thinking hard about how to get the money. They’ve resigned to fate, and instead, they commit their time to complaining, lamenting, criticising people they think can help them but have refused to help them.
They keep looking for helpers and benefactors among friends and relatives and they keep meeting with disappointments.
Some have perhaps tried the bank and the bank has refused them, some considering how much they’ll need to pay back to the banks gave up on the idea as they know it is impossible to pay back. Many have subsequently settled for prayers and hope that one day, a miracle will happen.
Ladies and gentlemen, one of the ways to live a life without much achievement is when you give up easily on the need to solve a problem or overcome a limitation. Life will always challenge your ambition, your dreams and your possibilities, it is then left for you to give up or rise up to the occasion and succeed.
You need money to start a business or grow your business right? Where will it come from? Start thinking, keep thinking and don’t stop thinking until you find the answers. That, dear friend, is the way of successful business people.
They are not laid back in their attempt to achieve their dreams, they do not give up and wait on favour, charity or a miracle, they do all they need to find this needed answers to their challenges. So, this morning, I want you to begin to channel your thoughts more productively and more progressively, how do you intend to raise the capital or extra cash you need for business growth?
As a management consultant and business coach, I’ve been put in a position where different people reach out to me with different needs and search for advice and solutions. One of the most amusing questions I get from some certain quarters is on investment. I promise you, there are a number of people with money out there, and they want to invest it in a good business, as they do not have the time and ability to run a business by themselves, they keep looking for people who can, and they would just invest in the business of these people.
On the other hand, I also come across many people who want to run a business; they have the idea, the plan, the strategy, capacity and time, but they lack the cash and they hope I can invest or find investors for them.
This situation should appear pretty simple, right? I should just link up the investors with the fund seekers and that does it, right? But guess what, it’s one of the most difficult things for me to do.
Yes I know investors, and of course I know fund seekers, the investors are willing to invest and the fund seekers are in dire need of these cash investments, so what is missing, why can’t I just link them up? Character, the character is what is missing.
Some time ago, there was this young brilliant chap who started a tech company, he ventured into building websites among other things and started well, but as the business began to grow, he wanted investors in order to up the profile of the business so as to gain high profile clients. He needed an up class office premises, register as a limited liability firm, top of the range equipment and devices, register with professional bodies and recruit smart people who will create and deliver exceptional jobs.
I found his business fascinating and of course I felt confident investing in it, but just about a week before making the payments, he visited my office for final discussions and incidentally met an old colleague of mine whom he knew way back. They greeted each other but I noticed some discomfort in the young guy and a funny look on the face of my colleague.
After the young man left, my colleague asked if I was about to invest in the guy’s business based on the line of our conversation and I said, yes, and immediately, he said I shouldn’t try it. I asked why, and he said 2 years earlier, his wife gave this guy about 250 thousand to help her build a website, the website took forever and after six months, his wife had to give the job to someone else. His wife subsequently asked for a refund since he didn’t do the job and he refused to refund. It led to a nasty argument and this young guy was very rude and disrespectful and eventually, he, my colleague asked his wife to let go of the matter and the money. My colleague told me this young man cannot be trusted, he has integrity issues and should I invest, I may eventually regret it.
Based on this new information, I changed my mind about putting my money in the hands of this smart guy, hardworking, passionate, ambitious but lacking in character. He lost out.
Ladies and gentlemen, this young man may have changed, become more matured and may not have any intentions of being dishonest with me, but in life, your reputation is what people judge you by. It is more important than your intention and sincere purpose.
The reason many of us can’t find investors for our businesses is perhaps not because the idea or strategy is a bad one, but because potential investors can’t trust that their investment will return.
No matter how exciting, interesting and great your business idea is, no matter how lucrative it seems and no matter the amount at stake, if I know or assume my money is not safe with you, I would not give it to you.
What is the point of investing in a good business if my money will not return much less good profit?
Ladies and gentlemen, many of us today do not understand or care about our reputation when it comes to dealing with others. We are more interested in the immediate financial gain than a sustained relationship of trust and reward.
Many don’t mind cheating, defrauding and taking advantage of partners and customers to gain a little more extra in a single deal. They do not look at a future when they may need this same person, or his friend, or his connection or network to go higher or get something bigger in business. The world, I tell you is a very small place.
Many of us don’t understand that a business needs continuous growth and sustenance and those very customers, clients, suppliers and employees you cheat, deceive, lie to and take advantage of are the ones with the power to grow you through continuous patronage and support.
Many of us wrongly assume, if a customer leaves, we shall simply gain another as replacement, this is not the reality. Truth is, no matter what you sell, people are already buying the same product or something similar from elsewhere. Hence it is not just your product, but your relationship of honesty and integrity with buyers that will make people stay, or leave their present suppliers and migrate to you. Word of mouth and recommendation is more powerful than any advert or publicity. People buy from you most times based on a recommendation from someone they trust. If the popular opinion about you out there is negative, your business is perhaps dying slowly and you wouldn’t even know it.
Cheating, lying, exploiting and taking advantage of others in business can only work for a while. If you want your business to grow steady and healthy for a very long time, you must be honest, trustworthy and reliable in the things you say, sell and do.
Honesty is truly the best policy in business. Most small businesses die especially indigenous businesses due to lack of integrity or honesty, not really based on the environment of harsh policies.
In a nation with so many people as potential buyers, no business dealing honestly with buyers should die when many foreign-owned ones are thriving. Yes, you may go through hard and tough times as a business, but your loyal customers will sustain you and keep you going if you’ve been fair, honest and good to them.
Ladies and gentlemen, prayer is good, but character is also needed. You can’t keep cheating people and exploiting people and praying for growth and business prosperity. It won’t work.
Dear friend, perhaps you can ask yourself this morning about your business dealings and decide for honesty and integrity for the sake of the business and its future. Any extra gain made through dishonesty will still be spent and it will finish, but a repeat purchase and a good customer is what you stand to lose, is it then worth it?
Dear friend, hard work is good, knowledge is good, ability and capacity all good, but character- good character and integrity is the core of a business with a great future. Don’t toy with it.