Staying Power

Josephine runs a small procurement business & she’s scheduled to have a meeting with her mentor. It was a small breakfast meeting in one of the luxurious hotels in the city of Lagos.

After the pleasantries and as they began to eat, Her mentor asked, “How much longer do you think your business can hold on?” She was jolted by that question and didn’t really have a ready answer. The confusion was obvious on her face. Before she could respond, her mentor looked at her sternly and continued, “The fact that your business is doing well for now is no proof that the flow will continue. What guaranty do you have that your business will still be around in the next 5 years?”

Josephine took her time to respond, checking through all the options in her mind. “I am building this business to last me a life time, ma” she responded. With a smile, her mentor responded, “Nigerian businesses struggle to last 10 years without any serious financial issues. The business environment here is tough. Your options are few but they have to be accurate. There is practically no serious financial support from the financial institutions. This is because Nigerian banks were not really set up to support entrepreneurship. They won’t bail you out if you’re sinking, you’ll have to bail yourself out. You can’t hold your banks responsible for what you’re responsible for. Finance is not always the main issue in business. I think it’s the structure & system. That’s what really tells us how long you intend to be in business. It measures your staying power.

‎”But I want to be in business for as long as am alive ma” Josephine responded. The next hour was an intense chat on how Josephine could actualize her dream of a great business.

So how long do you think your business can last for? Will it outlive you? Evaluate and restructure your business system for posterity sake and it will definitely have STAYING POWER.


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