When grace and her husband got married, they had an understanding not to have children until after three years. As young career woman working in one of the sought-after industries, grace believed that the three years would help her career a great deal. Her husband quite understood what she was asking for and therefore could reason with her. On the fifth year as a married woman, grace gave birth to her firstborn. After the maternity leave period, she was confronted by another challenge of a nursing mother. She needed a good nursing centre for her child from morning till she returned from office in the evening. Since she and her husband got married, she had never taken it to heart to think about the day she would need this services. She and her husband, just like other families living in the area rush out in the wee hour of the day and return back late in the evening. Upon searching the environment she discovered there was no single children nursing centre in the upscale estate mostly populated by upwardly-mobile career men and women whose women are 99% in the child-bearing age.
The inability of Grace to find a good children care service providers within her estate opened her eyes.
She saw an opportunity for a good business and she didn’t let the opportunity pass her bye. She needed to resign from her employment, discussed it with her husband and they agreed to start the care centre. It would be an opportunity to give their own child a good care while making money from fellow residents who may love to keep their children within the estate instead of taking them out early in the morning. They moved from one house to the other on a weekend to tell fellow residents about the child care centre that is opening within the estate. To their amazement, not a few fell in love with the idea. This is an opportunity to allow their children rest very well at home and the house-helps would take them to the new centre within the estate, instead of forcing the toddlers up in the wee hours of the day to take them along on their way to their respective offices. That was how ‘Grace Centre’ was started and within few months, the child care service centre became a huge success.
There was once a time when you could just bring any product or service into the market and with less hassles, the products and services would start selling. That was then. Today’s business is about bringing to the market what sufficient number of customers and clients are searching for. Good business concept has changed from ‘this is my product’, it is now ‘this is what you are looking for’.
Tony, one of my numerous and regular readers, was in a dilemma on what business he could do with the money he had managed to save after a lot of self-denials and years of delayed-gratifications. His main concern was not on profit making but how to ensure that he did not lose his savings. There are several businesses operating within the environment Tony lives and he can decide to pick any out of the numerous if he chose to, but he doesn’t want to make mistake. He doesn’t want to lose the lifetime savings he had denied himself so much of in order to get. Therefore what business will be good and profitable for Tony to start?
In life, people are searching for two things. They are looking for how to satisfy their needs; and how what they pick to satisfy the needs can give good value and best satisfaction for their cravings. These two areas are the reasons for all human endeavours: people want to satisfy needs and people are providing what is needed to satisfy these needs. If Tony is to enjoy a good and sustainable business, his business must meet the criteria identified here.
A man or woman that discovers the needs of others and is willing to help satisfy the needs in exchange for money is known as a business man or business woman. The activity involved in helping others to get their needs satisfied is what is known as entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is therefore the ability to identify and see what other people cannot see. It however goes beyond this, what is identified and seen should be capable of adding value to lives and bringing money to the pocket of the person who sees what others could not see.
In the next piece, I will further break down this discussion for the sake of clarity.
Emmanuel is a business planning and cooperative consultant. He works with a team of international consultants to conceptualise and plan agribusiness and housing projects. As a certified trainer authorised to use the International Labour Organisation’s enterprise development modules, he trains entrepreneurs and organises workshops and seminars for potential and practising entrepreneurs as well as business managers and cooperatives. He also speaks and facilitates at leadership and management workshops on invitation. His book, Business Planning Made Easy: Step by Step Guide On How To Turn Your Idea To Profitable Business’ is the latest of the books authored by him. Tel: +234(0)9068602954 (call and sms), +234(0)8023257707 (WhatsApp only).