I just survived another ordeal in the hand of my tailor. He had taken my measurements with the promise that I will get my suit in two weeks. Late last week, I walked out of his shop with my done clothes after two months with the tailor!I use the term craftsmen and artisans to encapsulate businesses that deal with an individual’s skill in the use and manipulation of raw materials to produce goods or services of economic importance. I’m talking about the carpenters, mechanics, tailors (YES!), electricians, food sellers, shoe making, confectionaries, baking (confectionaries), bead and hat making e.t.c. A large proportion of people in this class are skilled in the art but semi-educated. Most of these businesses can’t leave its start up level because of certain inconsistencies, and when they do they crumble under the pressure of overwhelming demand.
The businesses fail because they are centered on a particular individual’s skill, interests, and because most entered into the business to work for a living they end up being taken apart by the business. But there is a trend going on out here. Educated entrepreneurs are graduating with degrees and are taking over these once thought to be low-class vocations, and are turning them into world class businesses. I had once met a second class graduate who manages a business that produces flour for major eateries in Lagos. Another supplies those working with some banks in
1. Integrity: – This is one feature that characterizes most artisans. The inability to stay true to oneself and to the integrity of the product or service rendered will never make them succeed. Cutting costs and corners that will compromise the quality of their work or services rendered is one feature consistent with most of them. Supposing there is a tailoring business whose USP (unique selling point) is prompt delivery, can you imagine how many people love that? Most technicians are more associated with sound services but they cannot be trusted with the quality of their work. They deliver services and products that keep you coming back with complaints because they hope you become a living ATM. This makes them lose more than they gain, because nothing keeps a customer coming back than excellent service.
2. Poor financial management: – Many of their businesses fail because they lack financial responsibility. The inability to separate the individual from the business is one of the most important factors that will crumble the business. An electrician around my area believes that income he makes is his personal money. I also have a friend who deals in confectionaries and was complaining of managing finances without feeling you are the company. The truth is that an entrepreneur is in partnership with his business. Even when there is no profit yet, adequate records should be made to cater for paying yourself like an employee.
3.Managing through people: – At the time when the business begins to command the attention of the market, there is need to engage more hands, and to manage the quality of service that makes the business stand out. A technician believes he needs to put in more energy, as he goes to work more in his business so as to meet increasing demand. This causes loss of quality, lopsided services and uncoordinated staffing arrangement. The business eventually places him under undue mental and emotional pressure, and finally consumes him. An entrepreneur will rather work ON the business and use it to liberate himself; both emotionally and financially, increase business capacity, hires the best hands and redefines his work within the boundaries of managerial skills.
4. Managing change: – Several external factors affect businesses and the ability to anticipate and adapt to change is a necessary tool for succeeding especially in
wether you are an artisan, craftman or an entrepreneur. these skills are a must have. stay on top!