The term business tends to generate a particular idea of buying and selling in the minds of people, and to a tiny extent it is correct. However business, as we will soon discover entails so much more, buying and selling is just a tiny fragment of it.
The English Encarta dictionary defines it as the ‘commercial activity involving the exchange of money for goods or services’.
This, in my opinion does not proffer much solution, at least for the purpose of this write-up, so I’ll come out with it in my own terms, plain and simple. Now, business, as far as I’m concerned is simply an opportunity to make money…am I speaking your language?
At this point I either have your interest or I have succeeded in placing a frown of suspicion on your face, whichever the case is, I have some explaining to do.
Let’s start from the award winning concept of ‘money’.
No matter how religious, moral or principled you are, you can not deny the necessity and effectiveness of money in the life of a man and a nation at large. To live in ignorance of this fact at this stage of economic awareness is just plain foolishness ( forgive my language). Except you were delivered to your parents by storks which is actually an impossibility, you have been spending, rather living on the availability of money or the lack of it. For instance, you were not born for free, your parents had to pay the hospital bills or the mid wives bills and I mean this for most standard deliveries. I can also assure you that at the point of your death, quite an amount is going to be spent on your funeral rites.
Maybe a brief history of the origin of money will add more color to this picture.
Money is used primarily as consideration or exchange of a desired good or service. Money, as in physical cash hasn’t always existed though, the practice then was to exchange a good for a good, product for product and service for service. The rationale behind this is that nothing goes for free, at least in a commercial sense, a certain price is fixed for everything and payment of that price is what guarantees exclusive right of ownership.
If God, the creator of the universe structured the earth in such a way that the farmer has to sow before he reaps, what makes you think you will get anything from life without putting in something referred to consideration. Even your very existence is because you have a primary purpose and assignment here on earth, you were not created for free so don’t expect to anything on earth to be otherwise, this is where money comes in, money is one consideration that has been modified over the years to ensure universal acceptability. So, without being self righteous about it, the existence of money is justified, even by God.
Having looked at the concept of money howbeit insufficiently, I suggest we examine the other aspect of business, which is simply ‘the opportuniy’ to make money. Now, opportunity simply means a chance, and one that offers a kind of advantage( Encarta dictionary).
Imagine what we mean by a chance to make money?
Contrary to what most of us believe, chance or opportunity doesn’t go about parading itself to people, you actually have to go looking for it or in the least, walk in the consciousness of it. Nothing provides a better opportunity to make money than doing business.
I was once of the opinion that I wasn’t cut out for business, I couldn’t afford the running around it entailed, or the patience it required to source the customers for your funds, I have since learnt otherwise.
First, anyone who has ever bought anything in his or her life has actually acquired the skill of buying and selling.
Second, we established that it doesn’t have to be a tangible product, anyone who is teaching for money is as much in business as the one who is into supply of car parts. Now, by teaching I don’t mean someone who is in the employ of a school, the truth is that you are not into business if you are making the money for some other person for a token, fee or salary.
This business, in the real sense of it advocates entrepreneurship, and it’s not as hard as some of us think it is.
We can all be entrepreneurs, as long as we are not all selling the same product, you pay for my services and I pay for yours. This is where Innovation comes in.
We need money, an opportunity to make money and then more money, for ourselves, for our children and for our nation.
Nigerians are incredibly smart and innovative people, full of raw talent waiting to be exploited, I believe in the strength and riches of this nation embedded in its people, I just wish we could break out of the social structures and stereotypes of civil service, enough of unemployment, why look for a job when you can create an industry? People will pay for anything, even for you to laugh, if you do it differently.
The economy of this nation is dependent on you, set up that business TODAY!!!