A few weeks ago, we spent some time with the CEO of Fifi’s Food House, Onimim Fifi Karibo, at her kitchen hub in the city of Port Harcourt where she treaded us to a three-course meal. While we sat in her office, we noticed her people were at work preparing the meal. At some point, a customer called to order a meal, Fifi was still with us all the while as her people brought the message that the meal was ready. Evidently, she had taught her people how to prepare the meals the same way she does.
About a year ago, Mapemond had multiple training jobs at the same time for various clients. We delegated different team members to each of the training and they all did a great job. One of the training had about a hundred and fifty participants and it was handled by a Staff, not our principal.
Even if you are a one-man business, for now, develop the consciousness of raising others to do what you do because you cannot keep doing it all by yourself and you cannot be everywhere at the same time. Yes, some people you train will disappear without first giving value to the system that raised them, but that is not a valid excuse to not raise others at all.
Some people you train will falter and make mistakes, especially if you have the traits of a perfectionist, but be patient with the grooming process and they will become well-primed. Instead of finding reasons and justification to do it all by yourself all the time, fight those excuses and raise your army unless you are fine with being a one-man business perpetually.
If your dream is to build an amazing brand, you cannot escape building people, against all odds.
Build your people. And trust them with the work.
What is the market craving?
What will make the market flow like rushing waters in your direction?
One day at a time.
It may be costing you money, but consider it as an investment in ‘research and development’. You will recover the money at the snap of your fingers when you hit that spot.
We came across a Facebook post suggesting that certain businesses perform better when they are unstructured compared to when they are structured. The person asserted that a renowned Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji, is struggling ever since she became structured, but that is quite a baseless assertion without specific indices or metrics to measure the performance of her business. The argument had so many holes in it, we didn’t even know which one to address or ignore, but our take away was that many people do not understand what structure means.
Here are some insights on structuring your business:
1. Structuring does not mean leaving your product-market fit. If you were doing very well by selling food to Tricycle Drivers and then you go build a gigantic edifice with air conditioners in the name of structuring, you are just burying your business alive. The drivers won’t follow you but will switch to another option.
2. Structuring does not mean leaving what is working and going to experiment with the unknown. If Linda Ikeji leaves what has been working for her to new terrain, she may struggle before getting it right again, if she does.
3. Structuring does not mean you stop innovating. If you become relaxed simply because you got structured, you will lose out. The more structured you become, the more you have to be on your toes innovating.
4. Structuring does not mean fancy offices and glam. It is not about “I have arrived”, you will be pushed over to the sideline.
5. Structuring is about becoming BETTER ORGANIZED as the business grows gradually. When a bukka woman teaches her daughter to cook the meals as well, it is structuring. When she teaches her Son how to go buy foodstuff from the market, it is structuring. When she keeps proper inventory of the foodstuff to check them against daily sales to ensure there is no theft or unrecorded debts to customers, it is structuring. When she can take a break and business is still ongoing, it is structuring. The list goes on.
6. Structuring is about creating systems and processes, no matter how basic. You cannot seek a serious business loan with your personal account, you need to open a business bank account and that requires BVN, a registered business, Tax identification, etc.
Our investor at Mapemond asked us, “what if I die, what will happen to my investment in your company?” our answer was all around systems, processes and ultimately, structuring.
You cannot desire to be another Dangote, Otedola, Elumelu, Jason Njoku, Ibukun Awosika, and all these people and not be thinking in terms of structure over time.
Davido and WizKid will direct you to their managers if you want to do business with them, even personal brands have their own approach to structuring. That is why they create DMW, Mavin Records, and the likes.
We have to break the fetters and manacles holding us spellbound to the hustle and survival mentality while thinking that we can build a big business by staying unstructured and evading FIRS and the rest perpetually.
Global Ventures that…
All the fancy desires will not happen by mere wishes, you have to build structures diligently and consistently for several years.
If your clients’ work will be on hold because you have malaria, your business is an endangered specie.
We don’t like to think about it, but what if you die? What happens to the monies you collected from people? Pending salaries? Etc?
Please share this, let’s empower more entrepreneurs with the right knowledge.
If you think otherwise, then this post is not for you.
We wish you well in your endeavors.
Blessed are those whose business is approaching a time when sales will be made without personal posts on social media, for they shall know sustainable growth.
We read a post on Facebook that got our attention. It was written by the Co-Founder of Gidi Cakes, Daniel Adeniyi.
It is about Africa’s Top 100 Brands for 2020. The study done by Brand Africa showed that majority of the dominant brands in Africa are not local brands. In fact, in 27 countries that were surveyed, only 3 as shown below had a local brand in their number one spot:
1. Zimbabwe (Econet)
2. Zambia (Trade Kings)
3. Tanzania (Azam)
The leading brands in Nigeria are not Nigerian. Like the Gidi Cakes Co-Founder rightly submitted, most Nigerian businesses are not brand conscious. The study also showed that the leading media brands in Africa are not local – BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera. Only seven local media brands made the list of the 25 most dominant media brands in Africa.
Out of the 100 most dominant brands in Africa,
#1 to #6 are foreign brands.
#7 is the South African owned MTN.
#8 to #14 are foreign brands.
#15 is Nigerian owned Dangote (I did an unofficial corporate internship with them)
#16 to #27 are foreign brands.
#28 is Nigerian owned Globacom
#29 to #35 are foreign brands
#36 is South African owned DSTV
#37 to #45 are foreign brands
#46 is Nigerian owned Nasco (Mapemond shall be visiting them for a research project)
#47 to #49 are foreign brands
#50 is South African owned Shoprite
So 44 foreign brands and 6 African brands in the top 50 of the list. You may think that more African brands will feature in the second half of the list, but that is not the case. The second list of 50 also features 44 foreign brands and 6 African brands – Star, Tiger, Jumia (some persons argue that it is not African), Tusker, Clover, and Maltina. In conclusion, 88 foreign brands and 12 local brands in total!
You can see the list here: VIEW THE REPORT
Let’s bring it closer home. A related study of the top 25 African brands showed only 4 Nigerian brands – Dangote, Glo, Jumia, and Star.
These stats don’t surprise us one bit because in our branding and marketing work, we have loads of insights and experiences that support this survey even though there could be a variance.
There is the assertion that “Africans don’t like local”, but that is not exactly the case in our opinion. Branding is such a powerful aspect of business that is being underrated by most businesses both big and small. The businesses that take branding seriously will be at the top of the market regardless of where they originate from and as we can see, foreign brands don’t joke with branding at all.
For example, out of 100 restaurants in Nigeria, the ones that take branding in its true sense most seriously will emerge the most dominant.
If you are a fashion designer, baker, or whatever you are into, the more seriously you take branding (in its true sense beyond logo design down into strategy, culture, marketing communications, etc), the higher you will climb on the chart of leading businesses in your sector or industry. And you must not have billions to spend, it begins from being intentional and consistent.
If you would like to take a deep dive into the subject of branding, there are articles here for you: MAPEMOND BLOG
We are cooking a lot of webinars, Instagram live sessions, Facebook Room conversations, and more on the subject of branding. Leave a comment on this post if you would like to be notified when it is time.
Don’t downplay your business. At whatever level you are, consider your business as a brand and build it with that consciousness. It yields far more results than casual business and hustle.
Inspiration for you this August.
George Foreman is a legend in every sense of the word in the world of boxing. His records and history are so enormous that we don’t even know which one to write and which one to leave out. Let’s just give a summary we found on Wikipedia.
“Foreman is the oldest living world heavyweight boxing champion in history, and the second-oldest in any weight class after Bernard Hopkins (at light heavyweight). Foreman retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a final record of 76 wins (68 knockouts) and five losses.”
Foreman at some point had health concerns related to his weight, so he opted for a lifestyle of healthy eating that yielded results for his weight loss aspirations. When he first returned from retirement before the final retirement, he posited that his victories were due to his new lifestyle of healthy eating.
It was about that time that Salton Inc. approached him to be the pitchman for their fat-reducing grill. As of 2009, the grill which was named ‘George Foreman Grill’ had sold over 100 million units.
Salton paid him $138 million in 1999, for the right to use his name. Prior to that, he was paid about 40% of the profits on each grill sold (earning him $4.5 million a month in payouts at its peak), so he has made an estimated total of over $200 million from the endorsement, substantially more than he earned as a boxer.
One of the most critical elements of branding is association; with the right associations, your brand (whether personal or business brand) will attain greater results. Whether you stand in the place of Foreman or Salton, you need the right associations to accomplish more.
You may not be a celebrity like Foreman and you may not even be interested in brand endorsements, but the point is beyond all of that. The point is that at your place of work, in your career or business aspirations, on social media, and life generally, look out for the right people and organizations and align with them.
May you succeed.
Mapemond Academy Team.
Letters from our Captain.
My Wife deals in jewelry and needed me to help her fix one of the silver neckpieces, three rings holding parts of the piece together had expanded and caused the piece to separate into two pieces.
So I went to an area in town where I fix my wristwatches to see if they could help me fix the rings to hold the pieces back into one. I had initially tried to fix it myself but the tools I have at home weren’t suitable for such work. In fact, it was in my attempt to fix just one ring originally that two more pulled out, so I had to humbly seek help.
When I got to the first wristwatch repairer, he started working on it before mentioning that I will pay him NGN400, I offered NGN200, he agreed and continued. After 20minutes of struggling, he returned it to me that he couldn’t fix it, he recommended that I meet a blacksmith (he meant a goldsmith).
Anyway, I thought to try a second wristwatch guy who helped me reduce my wristwatch chain some time ago. He looked at the piece of jewelry and told me to go see a blacksmith (again, he meant a goldsmith), I was happy he didn’t try to waste my time.
I left for another area of town where goldsmiths are clustered. A young man seated in front of the very first shop I got to beckoned on me, I heeded and met his Boss.
As we sat, he started working on it. In one minute, the first ring was in. In another minute, the second ring was fixed. And then within the next 3mins, the third and last ring was in place. Jewelry piece back together, perfectly!
And I reflected, both groups of workmen had exactly the same tools, but the skills set differed. I wanted to pay the wristwatch guy NGN200, but I paid the goldsmith NGN1000. The first wristwatch guy apparently wanted to try his luck, but the second refused to waste his time on what he didn’t have the skill for.
A lesson I picked was to focus on your skill, hone it very well, it will bring money and also announce you to the market.
What’s your skill?
Are you becoming a master at it?
If you want to earn higher consistently, keep improving your skill level.
You are valued according to your skill level.
Whether you think the Covid19 situation is political or you believe the virus exists and the stats are valid, one thing we all have to agree on is that the crisis caused by the pandemic has affected everyone one way or the other.
There are so many lessons to take away from the Covid19 experience and one of them is the need for leaders at both the organizational and personal level to be better equipped in facing and getting through times of crisis, beyond Covid19. We are all bound to face crises in the course of work, business, or personal life, even without a general crisis situation.
How should leaders respond in a time of crisis?
How should organizations respond?
How should individuals respond?
In this mini-book that will take you a maximum of ten minutes to read, we have shared quick insights on how you can better manage the situation caused by Covid19 in your business, work, or personal life and also to equip you on dealing with crisis generally. It is written primarily for business owners but is recommended for career people, professionals, and individuals generally.
The book draws insights from the fall of a little boy in a Nigerian Island called Bakana, and other stories that will interest you. You shall glean insights on situational analysis, emotional intelligence, crisis management, crisis communication, resource management, and more.
As leadership is being tested on all fronts across the world, we hope that you will be among those to emerge stronger and more focused post-Covid19 and onward.
Click DOWNLOAD THE BOOK to get your copy now.
IF YOU MISSED ANY OF OUR OTHER BOOKS OR WOULD LIKE TO CHECK OUT OUR DEEPLY INSIGHTFUL SHORT COURSES ON BUSINESS, CAREER, AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, VISIT MAPEMOND ACADEMY