Are you looking for some business secrets? If there is anyone to learn business secrets from, it’s Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the owner of Dangote Group. He is the man with the wonder finger for business success. The richest man in Africa and the 24th world richest man according to Forbes, with a net work of $24.6 billion as of 14th of May, 2014. Any business Dangote touches, works-out excellently.
I will be sharing with you some entrepreneurial traits of Aliko Dangote. Whether you are start-up or already in the seeming open-ocean of business operations, the following traits from Dangote will point you in the right direction and also empower you to be more effective in running your own business.
Start Out Young in Business
His passion for business dates to when he was in primary school. He would buy and sell cartoons of candies, to make money. He knew what he wanted early. Studied business in the university. Start learning early in life the processes of entrepreneurship. He surrounded himself with family and friends who where in business. Attend that business seminar, buy that book, talk to that business consultant now.
No one becomes wealthy on a salary. Aliko Dangote started his business at the age of 21, with a loan of ₦500,000 from his uncle Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata. Start your business early in life. This generation is witnessing an explosion of younger billionaires on the rise. You too can make that list. Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin and Aliko Dankote started out young and are great today. Start now!
Leverage On Other People Assets
Maybe you were born broke or no member of your family member is rich. Don’t let that stop you. You can leverage on other people’ money. Dangote got a loan of ₦500,000 from his uncle Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata. Stop giving excuses. Someone out there is ready to part with some resources for that idea of yours. Go look for it. Talk to people. Go to the banks(Microfinance or Commercial), you will find one who will be ready to do business with you.
Start Local, Go Global.
Charity they say, begins at home. Dangote started his business locally with a global outlook. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Togo. You may not have the resources to start global. Start where you are, with what you have. Give that business all it takes, irrespective of your location. While starting where you are, don’t loose sight of where you are going.
Network With Greatness.
As an entrepreneur, you must connect with personalities in authority. Dangote had a strong tie with people in politics, he played a very prominent role in the funding of Olusegun Obasanjo’ re-election bid in 2003, to the tune of over N200 million (US$2M). With the support of the Nigerian Ports Authority in July 2012, he leased an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port where he built facilities for his flour company there. His network with the Central Bank of Nigeria in the 1990s paved way for his transport company to manage their fleet of staff buses.
Produce, Don’t Just Sell.
In his own words, he said “Manufacture, don’t just trade. There is money in manufacturing even though it is capital intensive. To achieve a big breakthrough, I had to start manufacturing the same product I was trading on; which is commodities.” Manufacturing gave his business greater profit margin. What can you produce? You can create something. Put your business brain to work. Be the king of the “food” chain in whatever you produce.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. As soon as your finances allows you, branch out into other sector. Dangote has diversified into other line of businesses like food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. His business dominates the sugar market in Nigeria. There is the Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement and the Dangote Flour. Don’t limit yourself, express your capacity in different fields.
Position For Growth.
I have noticed that not all business succeed in every location. There is an environment for business success, you must locate it and properly position yourself there for success. Aliko Dangote started his business in Kano in 1977. He moved to Lagos, June that same year, trading cements and commodities. There are soo many businesses that are wrongly positioned. Where do your business have higher customer base, position yourself there.
Utilize these information, transform the way you do business. Follow in the steps of Aliko Dangote and be an entrepreneur of distinction.