Short Insight from The Book How To Start Small

  • Written by Isaac Kwasi Adusei
  • Category: News

In his latest book now available worldwide on Amazon titled, How To Start Small: Financial Skills For Business Success, I.K Adusei has this to share.

"In the many events, training programs, conferences and workshops hosted by my non–profit venture, Africa Business Network (ABN), I have had the rare privilege of being confronted by participants with mixed questions on starting and running a business. Here are a cross section of those questions, some of which may be of use to you.

 

1. Q: I want to setup a team for my business. What are the basic things you would look out for when hiring your staff?

IK:It is good to hire people who demonstrate commitment and dedication to work. But over the years I have come to learn that, to hire a committed and devoted person who is not trustworthy is a launch pad for failure in business. Trustworthiness stands out among all the basic things to look out for when hiring.

Unfortunately, no one comes to a job interview with trustworthiness boldly inscribed on their foreheads. So you have to hire the most disciplined people and monitor them closely to identify the traits of commitment, dedication and above all trustworthiness. Keep those who have the latter.

As an employer, the buck stops with you. You remain fully responsible for the team you choose to work with. So you need to put in place a robust system to check the conducts of your employees – even those you deem trustworthy.

 

2. Q: Why do you think it is important to think big?

IK: It doesn't cost a pesewa to think big. It is absolutely free. It takes the same energy to think big as to think small. True success always has a small beginning. To ever succeed you need to think big. It cost USD $ 0.00 to think like a billionaire. This is why it is important to think big! After all, if you succeed you win; if you don’t, you lose nothing.

3. Q: I have about USD $ 10,000 to invest in a business. Which business do you think will give me a good return on my investment?

IK: Like real estate, location is key to business success. While a business will do well in a certain location, it will perform poorly in another.

Carefully study the needs of your immediate community. Find a need that is related to your passion or interest and make sure people will be ready to pay for your product or service. Such a business should be scalable for you to achieve maximum financial rewards.

Design a creative way to make money delivering the product or service.  With the best business practices and principles – most of which are encased in this book, you will guarantee yourself a good return on your USD $ 10,000 investment.

 

4. Q: What keeps you going when the going gets tough?

IK: I have a plaque on my desk that reads:

BUSINESS IS ABOUT BUILDING THE FUTURE. DON’T LET TODAY’S CHALLENGES HOLD YOU BACK. – I.K Adusei

This keeps me going no matter what.

 5. Q: I believe in financial literacy. Do you think financial literacy should be made a core subject in our schools?

IK: This is a very good question. My answer is an absolute yes! Financial literacy should be thought in schools from first grade to the tertiary level. This is the only way we can create the enabling environment for private sector growth in our economy.

When people are financially literate, they can create surpluses (savings and investments) which the banks can use to support their liquidity situation. They can give out more loans to support businesses.

More financial surplus means more seed capital available for the creation of more businesses. ABN through its flagship program Commence is working hard to make this possible. Check our website now www.abnonline.org and search for ABN Unite for more updates!

 6. Q: I have a small business. I always find out that my workers steal from me. What can I do now since I do not have money to invest in high tech security systems?

IK: Walmart started as a Nickel and Dime Store in Arkansas, USA with no sophisticated security systems. Today it is the largest department store in the world.

If you don’t have high tech security systems keep your eyes and ears wide open and be your own security until you can afford one. Keep as little cash as possible at your work place. Keep only what your business would need for the day to day operations. Any excess cash should be kept in your corporate bank account. This will save you from the shock of losing all your business capital after you have entrusted all your money in the care of your subordinates (ie. your accountant, cashier, shop attendant or managers).

Employ a good accounting system which will help you keep track of your daily records to minimize or regulate theft. Big banks with high tech security systems have theft issues among their staff. So, be vigilant! If you sleep after your investments, you will always have nightmares.

 Related: Quick Read >>How to manage your finances wisely

7. Q: I am a Senior High School graduate. My parents have no money for my tertiary education. I want to setup a business to repair tech gadgets and build computer software. What can I do now?

IK: It is good to identify your passion and interest. However, you need to be on top of your game in order to get anywhere. In whatever you do, aim at being the best.

For now you need the skills and know-how to be able to ply your trade. In your case, you can apply to be an apprentice or intern with a firm or business which repairs tech gadgets. Whilst there, I am sure you will find people who can teach you Computer Programming. Such people may be customers of the company or some of your colleagues at work. Take the opportunity to learn all you can - both on your own and on the job. Plus, there are a lot of information on entrepreneurship skills development available on the home page of ABN’s website. With strong determination and pursuit of purpose, you will succeed!" Excerpt from the book, How To Start Small: Financial Skills For Business Success

The book How To Start Small is now available on Amazon .

 

Related:

I.K Adusei Writes: Why Africa's Economy Needs Change

5 Powerful Quotes From I.K Adusei's New Book How To Start Small || Special Feature

 

I.K Adusei Writes: Why Africa's Economy Needs Change

  • Written by Super User
  • Category: News

   Written by I.K Adusei

  

It is a shocking fact that, 30 of the world’s 48 least developed countries are in Africa. Worse still, though more than 200 million Africans are between the ages of 15-24 years, Sub-Saharan Africa has about 60% of the unemployed being youth, and an average of 72% of the youth living on less than US$ 2 a day.

 

The  monster of unemployment among young Africans especially those in the rural areas, has led a huge number of them migrate to look for better opportunities in urban areas, but too often find themselves stuck in slums with little or no means of survival. Many of them end up being paid as thugs by political parties or joining militias – not because of an ideological compatibility but because they need to eat. Criminal enterprises also recruit from this pool of the unemployed hopeless youth. This unemployed and desperate youth pose untold danger to the African society.

 

There are veritable armies of unemployed youth eager to make a living doing whatever they deem fit for the sake of survival. Some leave for greener pastures oversees while a countless number of them either engage in illegal immigration to Europe and the Americas or add up to the pile of unemployed youth who usually live on less than US$ 2 a day.

Most African leaders parade themselves as the breadwinners and the sole providers for their people.  They therefore stifle private sector growth while they remain excessively incapacitated in providing sustainable jobs for their people. They have no viable policies to support group and individual initiatives. There are no genuine efforts to harness and develop talents, intellects, scientist, inventors and innovators. These talents, initiatives and projects go fallow, unattended to and unsupported. This invariably has been the major bane of  industrialization and job creation on the African continent.

 

As our leaders were dogmatically taught in the classrooms of their colonial masters, their focus have perpetually been on the production and exportation of raw materials to gain revenue to feed the large masses of the people. To keep doing the old things and expecting different results has been tagged as the definition of madness.

 

Enough is enough Africa! History makes us know and understand that no single country has ever become rich by being a chief exporter of foodstuffs and raw materials without further development of its industrial sector and presently, advanced service sector.

 

It is a disturbing fact that, the more a country specializes in the production of raw materials, the poorer it becomes. This is a medicine which African leaders find so difficult to push down their throats. In the 19th century, the saying in America was: “Don’t do as the English tell you to do, do as the English did.” In this 21st century a good advice to African leaders and that of other developing countries is that: “Don’t do as the Americans and British tell you to do, do as the Americans and the British did.”

 

It is about time African leaders learn from history. The Roman politician and philosopher, Cicero ones said, “Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infantry of knowledge.”

History teaches us that all the nations that went from poverty to wealth used the same toolbox which was first developed by the city-states of Florence and Venice in Italy, and the Dutch Republic in today’s Netherlands, borrowed and enhanced by Britain, and imitated by the United Sates and the late comers in Asia thus: Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China and India.

 

Until African leaders see the need to adopt the  import substitution industrialization which the Venetians and Genoese adopted in the 13th century, the English in the 16th century, the Americans in the 19th century and so on, sustainable economic development, independence and progress will elude us like a mirage while unemployment tears our social and economic fabric apart like a canker, leading us into eternal dependency, vulnerability, poverty and misery.

 

Now the toolbox; what then is the toolbox?  Two most conspicuous writers have succeeded in assembling all the various parts of this toolbox in their writings. Erick S. Reinert, a Norwegian Economic Historian as well as Ha-Joon Chang, a South Korean Economist have elaborated this toolbox in their books: How Rich Countries Got Rich...and Why Poor Countries Stay poor as well as Bad Samaritans – The Guilt Secrets of Rich Nations & the Threat to Global Prosperity respectively.

 

These rich countries are driven on the wheels of industrialization, division of labor and private sector development. Invariably, the youth have been at the heart of this massive evolution in these rich and enviable countries.

It is evident that, the power of every successful nation is the youth power and thus, the strength of a nation’s youth determines the nation’s strength. Youth development therefore equals national development.

 

Singapore for instance (a third world country which has succeeded in evolving to first world between 1965 -2000) has over the years relied on the power of the youth for their economic fortunes. Today, the National Youth Council of Singapore continues to supports youth organizations strongly in terms of funding for projects, and has implemented various schemes to enhance youth organizations’ capacity. It has also developed a policy to facilitate the support of local youth organizations to benefit from foreign funds and grants, international partnerships as well as linking local youth organizations to foreign youth sectors and agencies. This is with the ultimate aim of nurturing a world-ready youth to provide quality human resource for national development at the long run.

 

 

Africa has come of age, and it is about time our leaders became dyed-in-the-wool students and artisans of world economic history. If Africa will see the radiant light of day, the youth must bear the light. Youth neglect in the development process has over the years been the major bane of Africa’s development. Africa's economy needs fundamental change NOW! 

 

 

            

Related:

 

How to manage a small business

 

Africa Free Trade Agreement: Is Ghana positioned well to benefit?

 

 

Excerpt: How To Start Small by I.K Adusei || Special Feature

  • Written by Isaac Kwasi Adusei
  • Category: News

 

From his ground breaking book soon to be launched, How To Start Small: Financial Skills For Business Success, I.K Adusei shares an exclusive excerpt.

Know that as an entrepreneur you only have yourself to impress.

Entrepreneurship is not a popularity contest. It is not an arena for the display of wealth, neither a competition for who is who in the world of business. It is far from it.

Jeff Bezos is the richest individual in the world today. His real time net worth as I write today stands at USD $ 163.3 billion, checking from Forbes real time rankings. As of June 2018, his net worth was $112 billion, checking from the same sources. His closest ally Bill Gates has a real time net worth of USD $ 95 billion.

It is likely you may not have heard of this till now. Jeff Bezos is the Founder of the e-commerce leviathan, Amazon. He foundered Amazon from his garage in Seattle, USA on July 5, 1994.

Over the years Amazon has been engaged in a massive recapitalization exercise mainly using retained earnings from the company. This meant that, the company was reinvesting its profits to create more cash flow and develop its systems. Shareholders were therefore not making profits for years since the company was unable to declare profits.

Jeff Bezos was missing out from Forbes list of top 5 richest men in the world for several decades till the year 2016 and 2017.

In 2018 he emerged as Forbes Richest Man overthrowing Bill Gates whose net worth stands at $USD 90 billion as at June 2018. Jeff Bezos is the first person ever to exceed the net worth of USD 150 billion in the 3 decades of Forbes operations.

Keep a low profile just to be able to increase your assets and create more cash flow which will create more cash flow. Many people who are expectant of you keeping up with the Joneses will decide to ridicule you, but always bear in mind that, entrepreneurship is not a popularity contest. You have but yourself alone to impress. Keep this in mind and go for gold. There is no time to impress people whose predisposition have always been that of hatred and envy. The world is yours if you are able to do this! Go out there and make yourself proud. To be continued...

 

Related: 

 I.K Adusei To Publish Second Book II Special Feature

Do you know that the richest man to ever live was an African?

  • Written by Super User
  • Category: News

Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, according to the 2019 Forbes billionaires' list released this week. With an estimated fortune of $131bn (£99bn) he is the wealthiest man in modern history. But he is by no means the richest man of all time.

That title belongs to Mansa Musa, the 14th Century Malian ruler who was so rich his generous handouts wrecked an entire country's economy.

In 2012, US website Celebrity Net Worth estimated his wealth at $400bn, but economic historians agree that his wealth is impossible to pin down to a number.

Mansa Musa was born in 1280 into a family of rulers. His brother, Mansa Abu-Bakr, ruled the empire until 1312, when he abdicated to go on an expedition.

According to 14th Century Syrian historian Shibab al-Umari, Abu-Bakr was obsessed with the Atlantic Ocean and what lay beyond it. He reportedly embarked on an expedition with a fleet of 2,000 ships and thousands of men, women and slaves. They sailed off, never to return.

Mansa Musa inherited the kingdom he left behind, and under his rule, the kingdom of Mali grew significantly. He annexed 24 cities, including Timbuktu.

The kingdom stretched for about 2,000 miles, from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to modern-day Niger, taking in parts of what are now Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Ivory Coast.

With such a large land mass came great resources such as gold and salt.

During the reign of Mansa Musa, the empire of Mali accounted for almost half of the Old World's gold, according to the British Museum. And all of it belonged to the king!

Though the empire of Mali was home to so much gold, the kingdom itself was not well known.

This changed when Mansa Musa, a devout Muslim, decided to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, passing through the Sahara Desert and Egypt.

The king reportedly left Mali with a caravan of 60,000 men.

He took his entire royal court and officials, soldiers, griots (entertainers), merchants, camel drivers and 12,000 slaves, as well as a long train of goats and sheep for food.

It was a city moving through the desert.

A city whose inhabitants, all the way down to the slaves, were clad in gold brocade and finest Persian silk. A hundred camels were in tow, each camel carrying hundreds of pounds of pure gold.

It was a sight to behold.

And the sight got even more opulent once the caravan reached Cairo, where they could really show off their wealth.

Mansa Musa left such a memorable impression on Cairo that al-Umari, who visited the city 12 years after the Malian king, recounted how highly the people of Cairo were speaking of him.

So lavishly did he hand out gold in Cairo that his three-month stay caused the price of gold to plummet in the region for 10 years, wrecking the economy.

US-based technology company SmartAsset dot com estimates that due to the depreciation of gold, Mansa Musa's pilgrimage led to about $1.5bn (£1.1bn) of economic losses across the Middle East.

On his way back home, Mansa Musa passed through Egypt again, and according to some, tried to help the country's economy by removing some of the gold from circulation by borrowing it back at extortionate interest rates from Egyptian lenders. Others say he spent so much that he ran out of gold.

Mansa Musa returned from Mecca with several Islamic scholars, including direct descendants of the prophet Muhammad and an Andalusian poet and architect by the name of Abu Es Haq es Saheli, who is widely credited with designing the famous Djinguereber mosque.

The king reportedly paid the poet 200 kg (440lb) in gold, which in today's money would be $8.2m (£6.3m).

In addition to encouraging the arts and architecture, he also funded literature and built schools, libraries and mosques. Timbuktu soon became a centre of education and people travelled from around the world to study at what would become the Sankore University.

The rich king is often credited with starting the tradition of education in West Africa, although the story of his empire largely remains little known outside West Africa.

Timbuktu became an African El Dorado and people came from near and far to have a glimpse.

Mansa Musa had put Mali and himself on the map, quite literally. In a Catalan Atlas map from 1375, a drawing of an African king sits on a golden throne atop Timbuktu, holding a piece of gold in his hand.

In the 19th Century, it still had a mythical status as a lost city of gold at the edge of the world, a beacon for both European fortune hunters and explorers, and this was largely down to the exploits of Mansa Musa 500 years earlier.

After Mansa Musa died in 1337, aged 57, the empire was inherited by his sons who could not hold the empire together. The smaller states broke off and the empire crumbled.

The later arrival of Europeans in the region was the final nail in the empire's coffin.

"The history of the medieval period is still largely seen only as a Western history," says Lisa Corrin Graziose, director of the Block Museum of Art, explaining why the story of Mansa Musa is not widely known.

"Had Europeans arrived in significant numbers in Musa's time, with Mali at the height of its military and economic power instead of a couple hundred years later, things almost certainly would have been different," says Mr Ware. Source: BBC

 

Related: 

 

Jay-Z on Why You Aren't Getting Paid Right

  • Written by Isaac Kwasi Adusei
  • Category: News

Credit: Getty Images

Mogul rapper Jay-Z is worth a half billion. In a classic Power 105.1 The Breakfast Club interview, he gives why most artists don't get paid their worth.

In my new book Bring Your Worth, I share the ways we undervalue what we bring to the world.  The problem is never other people, though. People can say what they want. It is up to us to decide to believe them.

The challenge is even harder when you are a creator.

 

Rapper turned business mogul Jay-Z articulated the issue in a classic Power 105.1 The Breakfast Club interviewI included the Instagram clip, but here's the juicy quote:

They are like, "You're an artist. You shouldn't have money!" [and you're like] "I'm an artist. I don't want any money. I want to be a pure artist!"

Why we get confused

 

The fundamental flaw in our thinking is we believe we have to suffer to truly bring our best. The entrepreneur who sacrifices their family life to build a unicorn? The businessperson burning bridges to succeed? The guy who almost died for his startup? They get the attention, and on goes the mythology.

We don't talk about the person who stayed balanced and made an impact in the world.

At least, until now.

We're realizing comfort does not equal laziness and contribution does not equal sacrifice. It directly links to money, too, as, for most of us, having a livable salary affects our ability to produce.

When a business partner (and, as I say in Bring Your Worth, all your contracts are partnerships) undervalues your service, then they are not respecting your ability to produce, as they are not giving you what you need to create. It's like neighborhood kids stealing from the local supermarket, then feeling angry when it closes up shop. You aren't holding up your end of the partnership when you aren't helping the partner function.

Give something, get something

Your business may not be able to give a partner what they are worth, or another business may not have the capability to give you what you truly need. There are many reasons, from budget limitations to conflicts of interest. That's OK.

What matters is how you or the other partner making up the difference by:

  • Bartering services
  • Actively expanding their network
 

Or, just wait until you have the resources to actually give what one is worth. I consciously stopped partnerships last year because I couldn't give them what they were worth. I even explained it to them, and was thankful that they understood. I was even more thankful that they didn't try to negotiate down their own worth just to sustain the connection.

If someone is trying to convince you to take less than your value, then be honest about your own worth. And if you still feel shortchanged, then make peace with either taking a short-term gain for a potentially trendsetting decision or taking a brief loss for a potentially long-term gain. Don't judge yourself over your decision. The important part is to recognize that it is a decision.

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