How you should treat your business and what to expect from it all depends on your perception of what it is to you. In practice, owner-managers perceive their business in two major ways; offspring or livestock. Seeing your business as your offspring and treating it as such will go a long way in determining it survival and how successful it will become. Unfortunately, most small businesses are being managed or treated as livestock rearing rather than child-rearing.
For instance, 8 out of 10 small business owners in Nigeria are raring to invest, expand, grow and make profit in a very unrealistic manner without allowing sufficient time for the business to grow. Livestock rearing is short term and the focus is on the gain rather than a long term enduring love relationship a parent has for his child. Someone says “Your business has to be in your heart and your heart in your business.” And also remember that the secret of success is in the constancy of purpose and not in maximising immediate gains.
There are 5 basic things that are expected of you as a good parent:
- Have a plan for your child;
- Provide your child’s needs;
- Invest sacrificially in your child;
- Give necessary care and attention to your child; and
- Ultimately, love your child and make allowances for shortcomings with time.
When you fail to plan, then there is no direction! So as they say, you are planning to fail. You would not expect significant return from your investment in your child until after a reasonable age at a stage when the child is expected to have become fully independent. So also should you not expect from your business. Do not be raring to reap so fast from the business at its teething age. There is time for everything.
Make provision for the health needs of your business as you would for your child. Self-medication is not the best; a medical professional is not a luxury but essential for your child’s health, so also is a business consultant to your business. Make provision for professional fees!
As your child needs food to grow, so also does your business need a ‘balanced diet’ of 5 classes of ‘food’ which are:
- Business awareness and promotions to constantly attract the customers that matter;
- Staffing to recruit talents to remain productive and relevant in the market;
- Working capital to take care of operational expenses;
- Good management of resources, competences and capabilities; and
- Constant monitoring and maintenance of company’s infrastructure.