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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Land Is Green - Kehinde Olagbenjo(co-founder) #inthespiritofenterprise

Our entrepreneur today is more like a "Multi-preneur". You'll understand why I call him this when you read his interview. Kehinde is an octopus. Lol. He also has a lot of experience working with entrepreneurs and so I took the liberty of picking his brain to get some tips for us! So get your notepad and pen and take notes! Hehe.

Enjoy.....

http://www.lifewithoutpants.com/ - Another cool site for entrepreneurs and I love this picture!

Tell us about yourself

I am kehinde Olagbenjo co- founder The land is green limited. Associate consultant SME Business Platform and the CEO of 3m Global Resources Limited, an IT and media services firm set up to offer IT and Media services to businesses and individuals with the goal of helping them increase their customer base and sales through cost effective Bulk SMS messaging (www.smsmak.com), Website Design and development ,e-Commerce business www.alaba-intl.com and (www.madeinnaija.com.ng)

We also train SMEs (small, medium enterprise) and We have organised several seminars that have changed businesses positively and published over 20,000 business bulletins.

As a writer I have co-authored the best selling Book -The Land is green for Entrepreneurs. And finally we run a weekly radio program for SMEs (SME Business Platform) on inspiration 92.3Fm every wednesday by 3.30pm.

Last year I won 2 awards by Nigerian Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards As the most outstanding website designer of the year for alabaonline www.alaba-intl.com) and 2012 S.D.E.A (Success Digest Enterprise Award) young entrepreneur of the year.

How did you get into business?

I have been nurturing the dream of owning a business since when I was young. My mother ran a couple of businesses and I also I sold one or two things when I was young and when I got into school to study mass communication I fell in love with a course,  Entrepreneurship development program. Today I am on my own and I have been helping people to run their businesses also.

How did you finance your businesses?

Apart from having my own businesses I am a multi-talented person, I play and direct music productions and from this I was able to raise about N60k for my first book. In 2008 and I raised another N150k through my savings as well as a loan from a friend to register my first business name and start my sms business in 2010

Starting a business is not expensive if you have the right knowledge and relationship.

Having worked with a lot of entrepreneurs, what would you say is their greatest challenge doing business in Nigeria?

From my experience over the years as an SME consultant I have come to understand that money is not the reason many have not launched their business idea, but the lack of determination and skill.
For you to succeed in life you have to start with what you have not with what you don't have. To get anywhere in life, you have to start from somewhere or else you will get to nowhere.

There is always something you can start with in life. The issue with SMEs is that we tend to focus on what we don't have and neglect what we have.

There are many free things around you that you can use to start your business but the question is, how have you been able to identify what you have? Can you use what you have to the advantage of your business? People are afraid to invest in new business ideas so there is a level you have to push your business to before you can begin to attract investors.

Another thing is, lack of quality information and wrong mindset. The way an entrepreneur thinks is different from the way an employee thinks. It will be impossible for you to become an entrepreneur with your employee mindset. You have to think like an entrepreneur. Being a successful banker, manager does not guarantee you that you will succeed as an entrepreneur because most employee think about salary increment, security, strike, public holiday, thank God is Friday and you can’t control a successful business with such mentality.

You have to start thinking as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs think about ideas, risk, opportunity, freedom, expansion and so on. For you to succeed as an entrepreneur you need to get information on entrepreneurship. 

What will advise would you give to anyone looking to start a business

They need the following;

1. Business idea- and you must understand that there is difference between business idea and business opportunity. It is not every business idea that will lead to business opportunity.
For you to call your business idea a business opportunity you must ask yourself the following questions

A. Will my business idea solve a problem for people?

B. Are people desperate or willing to have my business idea or is my business idea relevant to their needs?

C. Is there a market for my business idea or people willing to buy my solution?

D. Do my target audience have the resources to pay for my business idea?
You need to answer these questions correctly to know if your business idea can be translated into business opportunity.

2. Develop a business plan for your business idea. Organise it in a way that it will be attractive to investors. Nobody will invest in you without a business plan.

3. Start with what you have. Before you will convince people to invest in you they want to see that you have put in something yourself. Use free resources around to promote your business.

4. Develop strong relationship. I have achieved many things in life and business due to quality relationships. There are lot of things you will get for free or at a reduced price if you build strong relationships.

As an entrepreneur you must not only discover, recognise or perceive business ideas, it goes beyond that. As an entrepreneur you are a leader and you must be able to manage what I called six Ms of management in order to run a successful business.

1.Man - (e.g staff, customers, partners etc)
People are key to the success of your business and you must learn how to manage people if you must succeed in life. Even if you have few resources and you know how to manage people you will succeed

2.Machine - depending on your line of business as an entrepreneur you must learn how to manage your equipment very well for you business success.

3.Money- capital for investment. As an entrepreneur you must learn how to manage your fund very well. Lack of money management is one major reason many entrepreneurs fail.

4.Market- this refers to your potential customers, your target audience, your niche market. Your product/service is not for everybody, identify your market and draw a plan on how to get to them.

5.Management –leadership- no business will grow beyond the owner. Show me your leader and I can predict the future of your business. When you grow as a leader your business will grow as well.

6.Method your style of leadership and your method of running your business.

Kehinde John Olagbenjo
@KOlagbenjo @smebizplatform
www.smebusinessplatformng.com
www.thelandisgreen.com