How To Create A Business Empire From Scratch

Will you be interested in going into a business of your own? If you desire to be your own boss, then this article shall interest you. I will suggest that you set a goal to own a big business. You will need to think big. If you can, you will have to start small. If you believe a huge capital is required to build a big business, you need to change your mindset.

Always remember that every big tree grows from a tiny seed. The bigger your capital at the onset, the less you need your brain, and the less your ability to generate the required creativity and resourcefulness. I can assure you that you will need regular doses of the creative urge every step of the way.

Small capital alone grants you the necessity, which is said to be the mother of invention. And when you begin to engage the active service of your "neck-top computer" from the take-off day, it becomes activated all the way through.

Small capital makes you develop business experience, tenacity and invincible determination. It enables you to find a way around and through. You generate a substitute step where money is in nagging demand. You think! You are forced to think.

You "waste not, and want not". You practise frugality: You won't buy when you can lease; won't lease when you can rent; won't rent when you can borrow; won't borrow when you can beg; and won't beg when you can have it free. You crown cash as King. You pinchpenny until it screams. You search until you find new possibilities in every situation.

You start by thinking about what you want to accomplish. Next, you think about where you stand today, your present situation and circumstances. Then you construct a mental ladder that starts where you are and ends where you desire. You focus on the first rung of the ladder and keep the finish line in mind. You start where you are with what you have and begin to learn what you need to know and apply the knowledge to your situation. And as you learn more, you earn more. As you know more, you grow more.

You will profit from the companionship of great books. No man can be called friendless when he has God and the companionship of relevant books. You will need this article later on, and you will need to read it repeatedly.

Books are indispensable to long-lasting progress. Sydney Harris said: "Books are the broadest-spectrum pharmaceuticals in the world; they can stimulate us when we are young, tranquillize us when we are old, sedate us when we are restless, sterilize us when we are infected with [the] virus of prejudice, fortify our intellectual anaemia, and detoxify the emotional blood-stream by providing us with vicarious adventure and discovery". 

So long as I live, so long do I learn. You grow no other way. Peter Drucker claimed that "knowledge has to be improved, challenged and increased constantly, or it vanishes". The greatest fool is that man who is convinced that learning must end after school.

What did we learn at school? We have demonstrated that the school is designed to prepare us to face the world within its walls. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that: "We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years and come out at last with a bellyful of words, and we do not know a thing". In Buckminster Fuller words, "Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less obvious as soon as you begin to study the universe". I will never reiterate enough the value of wisdom and inspiration in those great books that taught the lessons we never touched at school.

As you begin your business, problems start to arrive, uninvited. Your job is to come up with solutions, not to curse the difficulties or flee from them. You begin by surmounting minor problems, pounding little barriers. Then you continue to jump big obstacles and employ the blocks on your path as stepping stones onto greater heights. And just as the tree that produces the hardest wood is always that which has overcome the severest of weather, you generate strength and confidence to the degree to which you find new solutions to your ever-increasing problems.

Frank A. Clark advised that: "If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere". The greater your obstacles, the more the glory in overcoming them; the greater the test, the more the testimony, and the higher the trial, the greater the triumph.

Here is a sermon from Dinah Maria Mulock Craik: "The only way to meet difficult times is to pass through it solemnly, slowly, with humility and faith, as the Israelites passed through the sea. Then its very waves of misery will divide, and become to us a wall, on the right side and on the left, until the gulf narrows before our eyes, and we land safely on the opposite shore".

Pray not for lighter burdens but for stronger backs. Problems are always guidelines, not stop signs. Albert Einstein had three work rules: "Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity". Success is not measured by the heights one attains but by the obstacles overcome in attainment. Always remember that blessedness comes not from problems but from victory.

One of my mentors started his medical centre back in the '90s as a small clinic of three rooms, a reception and a washroom. He depended on God that granted him the will to read motivational, inspirational and business books; the "how-to" books. Books on how to hire, how to fire, on marketing, sales, delegation, supervision, leadership, time management, people management, and so on.

Those books kept him focused and kept him going in those lean years. They permitted him to operate the business methodically and scientifically, rather than the rash, gambling or trial and error approach that would have otherwise galvanized into a total collapse or into a respectable mediocrity.

He started back then with a total cash capital of ten thousand Naira (₦10,000), buying only such drugs and materials that would serve for a few days. An average doctor earned five thousand Naira monthly at the time.

Everything was wooden, the examination couch, the consulting room table and chair, the nurses' chairs and reception benches. He started with a team of four nurses and one cashier, plus his humble self, and stayed within the clinic premises for twenty-four calendar months. He was always available.

He was to face formidable competition within the environment in a hospital which was inaugurated one year earlier. They took off with two giant hospital buildings, fifty exotic beds, X-ray facilities, laboratory and blood banking units. They had two resident doctors plus an army of staffers and a standard hospital ambulance.

They had the physical presence of the honourable commissioner for health, Lagos State, to cut the tape on their founding day, and spent two hundred thousand Naira to procure drugs. No sooner than he started did problems he never anticipated begin to arrive: the law enforcement agents, the private hospital registration authority and their standards, bills, taxes, discordant staffers, plus the urgent need for facilities that were not available. Many nights, he would lie awake brooding over the possible way out of some crippling situations. He would kneel down and pray.

He made me understand today that problems are indispensable and pre-requisite for growth. I can now confirm that obstacles are the rungs on the ladder to success. With each solution, you grow in wisdom, stature and experience. Samuel Johnson said that: "Difficulties are God's training camps. We should esteem them as proof that God has confidence in us to overcome them. Life affords no higher pleasures than that of surmounting difficulties". 

In praying, Phillip Brooks advised: "Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle." A problem is there to keep you on your toes, to keep you thinking. You are never permitted to be complacent.

My mentor had no bed on day one of his medical centre's operations. And within three years, he had more patients, so much that the mighty rival hospital began to run at a loss. They could no longer settle their bills or pay their staff salaries. In the end, they made a public advertisement for someone to take over their hospital on a lease arrangement. He put offers and won. "David and Goliath", you would say!

He ran this big hospital and his for five years when he put together a bigger hospital of seventy beds in a five-floor building. In 1995, eight years after he started, he relocated his entire patients and staff from the two hospitals into a larger one. He has since built three other hospitals in two separate states and now owns a thriving company in London, England. All from his humble beginning.

One of the greatest lessons I derived from his story during his last twenty-three years in business is that our competitors must be seen as our greatest benefactors. "They sharpen our skills and strengthen our muscles that wrestle with us". How best can you compete? The answer is straightforward and painless. It is very comforting and profoundly rewarding to compete with one's self.

Regard what you have achieved up until today as a record you must break. Learn a little every day and improve your administration, sales, marketing, and customer service; a little improvement in every area of your business life. If you improve every day, beat every record you set at the end of the year, the summation of all these will astonish you. This is called 'Kaizen in Japan: A relentless pursuit of excellence or tireless incremental improvements.

Running a business is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep riding or risk being swallowed. The competitors are willing and waiting, at all times, to eat you alive. Never compete with them. Simply be better today than you were yesterday. Have a to-do list in every area of your business. In addition, engage your staff members in sourcing ideas for improvement.

My mentor calls this "Idea bank" in each of his hospitals. Every member is encouraged to invest or deposit into the bank regularly. His administrative office sends papers demanding visionary, simple, practical ideas on how to get better to them. 

Competition is good; a certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind. Learn from your competitors but improve on what they do. Never copy precisely what they do, do it a little bit better. We are all learning every day. Orison Swett Marden wrote that: "The world is a great university. From the cradle to the grave, we are always in God's great kindergarten, where everything is trying to teach us a lesson".

You need new ideas every day. Progress springs from them. Many foolish or innocent-looking ideas that come from humble minds may require some polish or even a deeper look, a new eye, to recognize the potentials they carry. Cultivate fresh ideas regularly. Never get attached to ideas because of their source but always because of their worth.

The most successful man in business is he who holds onto the old as long as it is good and grabs the new just as soon as it is better. It is being child-like rather than being childish. It is that ability to drop the good in favour of the great, or, in other words, flexibility. Your goals and visions may be rigid, but your path should be flexible. You will need to serve your customers well. Who are your customers? What do they want? What are they saying? Problems would lessen if we listened. If you're going to become the greatest in your field, no matter what it may be, equip yourself to render greater service than anyone else. Life is a lot like tennis. The player who serves well seldom loses.

I started this article by suggesting that you think big and start small. Bobb Biehl has this for you: “Think so big that you can't do it alone, so big that you can't do it this year, this decade or even in your lifetime. Have a dream worth dreaming, a challenge so big that even credit isn't necessary". I believe that you must conceive and undertake something so great that you cannot accomplish it unaided.

At the back of your mind, you must know that you will learn what you need to know to run a business of that magnitude, an empire that will outlive you. William James wrote that "the greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it".

You will have nothing to do with a small business that will demand your physical presence and sole energy and attention all the days of your life. You will never need a little prison created all by yourself for yourself. Instead, you will learn and grow people and business environments to support and perpetuate credible and durable administration while you still have physical strength and alertness. Everyone will be free to go on vacation, on rotation, including yourself. 

If you desire to have your children into the business, you will coach them on your organization's values as they grow. They must be taught not so much the value of the cents as a sense of the values. They should not enter your business at the top. The people you have helped to grow must then be available to grow them.

In all my mentor's hospitals, he has been privileged to see and treat every staff member, from the youngest janitor to the eldest doctor, as a member of his family. He educates and forces them to read at least a book every month. They must come up with jottings on areas of the books that touch their hearts or are relevant to their jobs or lives. Such notes must reach his table by the last week of every month. You read or resign is his rule.

He sees the business environment essentially as an academic one. Learning must be ongoing, so he upgrades all the libraries in his hospitals regularly. He is not so much concerned about the negative effect of the staff members gaining wisdom and confidence and then leaving. He entertains no fear of losing a well developed and competent staff. Learning is institutionalized; we simply need to bring another person on board and begin their training afresh. This way, he has raised many successful doctors in Nigeria in the past twenty years. I hold the firm belief that a business system of this nature is a virile ground to grow any child, including your own children.

As they enter your organization, your children must be allowed to climb up, through the ranks, like all other employees. They must be submissive, must follow the rules, must read and learn like all other people. You should never focus on preparing the business for them; you must be seen to prepare them for the business.

You will need them to continue from where you stopped, even when you still have tremendous physical strength and vitality! Walter Lippman wrote that: "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind, in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on". You need a credible successor. You must generate one long before the eve of your departure. You watch as they demonstrate their competencies and correct them. You use the business to grow them.

You need a big business, not a small business. What is the chief difference between a small business and a big one in this respect? You need to know the significant dissimilarities so that you capture the entire essence. You will then make the necessary choice as well as the required commitment. But be assured that the smallness or bigness suggested here has nothing to do with size but structure and operation.

If the owner is always needed to pay salaries, do bank reconciliations, stock inventories, conduct meetings, do interviews, discipline staff members and so on, it is a small business, regardless of the size.

On the other hand, it is a big business if the owner can travel for six months or one year without the whole system grinding to a halt. A big company has a system of operation that does not make anyone, including the owner, indispensable.

It shall be foolish to assume that a business of this nature can be put together without a thorough knowledge of the know-how. Neither will it be wise to conclude that you have enough years during this existence to figure it out all by yourself. It remains prudent to establish that this approach, like every worthwhile one, can be learnt. It was never a part of the regular university curriculum. Your job is to sink deeply into and seep vigorously from the rich pool of knowledge contained in those books.

Many people have started from very humble beginnings, have conceptualized the idea of building a big business and have read themselves into one, into two and into great business empires. The simple fact that others have made it should be sufficient proof that you too can. When you conceive it, believe it, learn it, practise it, you will achieve it. Say "Amen" to that.
Alade Habeeb

I am a writer with a sense of creativity to write on multiple topics. I create engaging, thrilling and entertaining contents and I always take the time to edit my work well before publishing. I follow all the latest trends and read about recent happenings in the entertainment industry to always update my readers.

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