Money does not necessarily build business, people do

image the peak of his success, Henry Ford was known to be the richest man on earth. According to Napoleon Hill in his book Laws of Success, Mr. Ford’s biggest asset was unquestionably his brain and that of the people in his employment. In this book Mr. Hill says, “Destroy every plant the Ford Motor Company owns: every piece of machinery; every atom of raw or finished material, every finished automobile, and every dollar on deposit in any bank, and Ford would still be the most powerful man, economically, on earth.” He goes on to point out that, “The brains which have built the Ford business could duplicate it again in short order. Capital is always available, in unlimited quantities to such brains as Ford’s”. You should consider re-reading this paragraph a couple of times and lay emphasis on the very last line quoted.

One of the biggest challenges facing business persons as well as career people in Uganda, is their misplaced and unguided need to always start out in a big way. That a person who has never handled let alone successfully run a five million shillings enterprise will pitch you a business idea worth a hundred million and expect you to easily advance them the required capital should be appalling. Speak to a few people around Kampala with business aspirations and you will soon see that the majority have something in common, big talk. They all want to do business but they want to start it in a big way. Many will tell you that the only thing standing in their way is the luck of capital. This is not necessarily true.

Last week I visited old friend and someone had come to him with a business idea. One of his ideas was to start an online TV station. After breaking it down, his initial calculated start-up cost was anywhere between thirty to fifty million shillings. The biggest cost would go towards the purchase of at least two professional cinematography cameras that would be used in filming shows. The rest of the money would go towards purchasing other equipment such as lighting kit, computers, audio recorders and mixers, initial office rent and setting up the TV studio, personnel, and to aggressively building an online presence. If you ask me, I think the actual startup figure given all the above items is anywhere between 100 to 150 million shillings.

In his mind there was no doubt the business will succeed and it would make money through Ad revenue from companies that would inevitably seek to reach out to his two hundred thousand plus intended online followers throughout East Africa. His plan is as ambitious as they get and so are his intentions. For now his idea is on hold until he can find the fifty plus million shillings required to kick-start the venture.

The world’s most widely distributed blended scotch sold in almost every country on earth is Jonnie Walker with annual sales of the equivalent of over 220 million 700ml bottles in 2016 according to Wikipedia. It is so big a brand that you could easily be tempted to think it started out big. John as he was called started this brand in a grocers shop blending single malts together in 1819 in Kilmarnock, a thriving local town at the time. His venture was as small as they get in that line of business but look where the brand stands today.

I am a great believer in starting small which does not necessarily mean staying small.
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When I was at campus. I used to sell perfumes. Sometimes a semester started when I had nothing so when I got a customer, I would ask them to pay first. I would shop for them and also get my profit, which I would use to buy more. By the time a semester ended, I would be able to buy my necessities for I knew not alot would come from my parents to keep me in a way I wanted, eat some thing nice when I want etc.

Please start small as long as you grow

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I completely agree: there is a wonderful (old - but still relevant) post by Seth Godin on why 'small is the new big' - you can read it here:
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2005/06/small_is_the_ne.html

This is a wonderful post @easydimes.

Please start small as long as you grow

Growth is the trick...growth in every sector our lives.
I wish most people took this seriously.

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