In my quest to understand more about life and growth cycles of business, I have been told more than once that every business operates either on a local, national or global level and that every entrepreneur has to decide very early in business which level he can comfortably operate on.
I was made to believe that business often start as small or medium enterprises and then grow into being large local or multinational companies. Armed with this knowledge, i found that i naturally began to categorize businesses into these three tiers with absolute size as my only criteria.
Global operations were the exclusive preserve of multinational companies while small businesses were left to offer the same services on a local and smaller scale.
While this theory sounds logical and possibly realistic, the operations of small and mono-national businesses in China and India over the past few years have changed the landscape of business as we know it in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
How else would you explain the fact that the capacity to manufacture ‘cheap’ Marquee tents in China or India totally annihilated the highly lucrative canopy business in Nigeria?. This means that the activities of small businesses in China or India can provide growth opportunities or wipe out an equally small business in any country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
So much for local, national or global business, every business is playing on a global level!
Advancement in technology and the ever increasing availability of information has made it easier to carry out cross-border business relationships over the past few years.
In fact, many businesses thrive on trans-continental exchange of products, ideas and technical expertise. globalization has literally transformed the landscape of business all over the world.
Globalization goes far beyond a Harvey Nichols outlet in the middle of a city-centre in Dubai or the ease with which you can receive technical help on a malfunctioning product manufactured in Indonesia.
It means that access to the capacity and savings of advanced countries has improved drastically and for someone like me who lives in a country with an import dependent, consumer economy, the opportunities are boundless.
As a strategist, i know very well that the difference between people who harness exceptional business opportunities is often the availability of information and the ability to take advantage of opportunities within and far away from their operating environment.
Every business is playing on a global level! so my advice to entrepreneurs is simple; travel extensively. Do not restrict your travel to popular vacation spots. Be determined to see the world and discover new business opportunities everywhere you go or else, Ignorance will sooner or later see you out of business entirely. It is not a tenable excuse for failure.
Uncharted territories are reserved for the bold. Do not be afraid to test your findings and apply them into your business operations and environment.
The fear of failure is often worse than failure itself. Besides, failure is just a negative result. It does not define you as an entrepreneur.
by Oneal Lajuwomi.
Oneal is the MD/CEO & Founder at Wavelength Integrated Power Services