introduction

Business is always interesting when everything is going according to plans. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go according to plans. Entrepreneurs generally go through a lot before they become established in their chosen business. There are several lessons to be learned along the entrepreneurship journey. These lessons may knock some entrepreneurs out of the race, while others will finish strongly. 

Family and Friends may not patronize you 

Don’t make the mistake of ever believing that family and friends will be falling head over heels in a bid to patronize your new business. The fact remains that, more than 80% of people who will patronize your business will be strangers. People you’ve never met in your lifetime. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba puts it more succinctly: ” When doing sales, the first people who will trust you will be strangers. Friends will be shielding against you. Fair-weather Friends will distance themselves from you. The family will look down upon you”

A lady who is recently launched a Beauty spa shared her experience. She was shocked to realize that friends wanted to collect some of her beauty products free, but she refused. They went elsewhere to buy the same products at a higher price than what she was offering. It was a bitter lesson she was forced to learn. 

Theory is different from practical 

Don’t be carried away with the beautiful adverts you see on television. When it comes to launching a new business, entrepreneurs should be prepared for a bumpy ride.  On your business plan, everything looks perfect. You are expected to break even within the next 3 years. You are in your 4th year and the business is still shaky. That’s the difference between theory and practical. What you see on the field is quite different from what you see on papers and even on the advert. 

Business is not for the fainthearted.

It’s for those who are willing to brave the storm and get up when reality knocks them down. I once had a friend who was excited about the prospect of opening a new restaurant. In the first 3 months, the business was booming and it all seemed like his plans were becoming a reality. 

In the 4th month, his two gas cookers became faulty and he had to find a way to fix it. It cost him quite a lot to fix. In the 5th month, there was a lull in patronage as some of his customers were no longer coming to his restaurant due to job loss. In the 8th month, He was forced to drop 2 of the 4 staff he had working for him because he couldn’t afford to pay their salary anymore. The lessons he was learning was coming so fast, he was struggling to cope.

There is a clear difference between business and friendship. 

When it comes to business, there should be a demarcation between your business and your relationship with family and friends. You don’t mix both and expect to succeed as an entrepreneur. Treat friends and family as clients and avoid making the mistake of giving out your products to family and friends free of charge due to sentiments.