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@Subomiplumptre: Building Successful Businesses

Open House is a program where people who are willing to improve the quality of their lives gather to learn. This knowledge helps their businesses grow and they themselves too. Really, Open House is for everyone who is ready to improve through knowledge. The first edition of the event held last Saturday at the iBridge Hub.
Alder Consulting is one of the leading Communications agency in Nigeria. They handle communications and branding for GTBank, First Bank Plc and many notable businesses. The head of Corporate and Social Media Practices for Alder Consulting was the guest speaker at Open House 1.0. Her name is Subomi Plumptre, but she asked us to call her Subomi.
She was around to discuss how to use the social media to grow our businesses and to promote our brands. We got more than just use of social media for branding, we got life changing tips about doing business in Nigeria.
I like business and so I have decided to share 7 lessons that changed my life.
If you were not at Open House 1.0, here are a few cogent lessons learned –
1. No matter the knowledge of social media you have, you can only sell what exists. If your product is bad, then there is really nothing to sell. Know your products and the services you’re rendering like the back of your hands and understand the industry in which you’re operating in.
2. Don’t be afraid of failing. Don’t behave like the business idea you have right now is the only business idea you will ever have. The truth is, you will have to go through a cycle of failing before you finally become successful in business. You learn through your failures.
3. If you can’t show how your business will generate profit, then you should not be looking for an investor. Investors are looking for profit, not just a business idea. Don’t go about looking for investors without proper figures, don’t knock on doors with an ego and a sense of entitlement. No one owes you anything.
4. Businesses in Nigeria thrive on relationships. We are a relationship-oriented people. Build relationships!
5. There are THREE competences required in the smooth running of a business.
I. Business development. This involves cooking up the idea of the business or manufacturing the product that is to be sold. This is where the mental processing and intellectual work lays.
II. Marketing. This is the means/person through whom the products get to the intended consumers. Not everyone is a marketer but every business definitely needs a marketer.
III. Rain-making. This competence is what is called the politics of business. A product developer isn’t necessarily a rainmaker. The rainmaker is the one who has the skills to enter a room, scan potential buyers or business associates and goes on to build relationships that are strategic to the business with.
The question to you is – what is your strength?
6. You need to know your competition. Sometimes you think you have come up with a business idea – a solution to a need of the people but you don’t know that someone else already solved it. Also important is the fact that your competition is just local competitors, look outside the country and see how people are running same/similar businesses all over the world. It will shock you how much you will learn and how quickly your business will grow.
7. Be a business that has the future in mind. Successful organisations plan for the future from today. This future planning is what most businesses in Nigeria today lack. People are planning their businesses for 2016 when indeed they should also be looking ahead into 2026.
Decide what kind of business you want to be.
*You can be a part of the next Open House. There’s so much to learn. There’s so much you can be*

A writer working with creatives for the good of the city.

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