CAMPARI PART II – “A” is for ABILITY

If you just joined the series, click here to read the Introduction to the CAMPARI framework. Having the ability to run a business is the difference between success and failure, so it's important for the Bank to feel comfortable with your ability - the stronger the better. There are a number of areas he can assess you on.  

CAMPARI PART I – “C” is for CHARACTER

If you just joined the series, click here to read the Introduction to the CAMPARI framework. It's important for entrepreneurs to understand that the Bank is not lending to the business but to the individual behind it, which is you! This is not usually the case where big companies are concerned but it certainly rings true with small and medium sized enterprises:

  • You are the business
  • You make the decisions
  • You choose the direction
  • You make the money
Many entrepreneurs think there is a clear dividing line between them and their business but in reality you are inextricably linked. It's fitting therefore that the analysis framework starts with character, or the person(s) behind the business; the one who could lead the business down the road of success or failure! The Bank has to be happy that the owner(s) has the right background and commitment to make a success of the business and that ultimately he's a good risk and can be trusted with the Bank's money. So, what aspects about a person's character are considered?  

How to get your Bank Manager to say “YES” with CAMPARI

So you have submitted your loan request to the bank and the Bank Manager has requested a follow-up interview. You need to be prepared for that interview with not just your Business Plan but also a CAMPARI prepped up. Bankers take their CAMPARI seriously. CAMPARI, considered an apéritif, obtained from the infusion of herbs and fruit (including chinotto and cascarilla) in water and alcohol. It is a bitters characterised by its dark red colour. CAMPARI is often used in cocktails and is commonly served with soda water or citrus juice. It is produced by the Campari Group, a multi-national company based in Italy. Campari was invented in 1860 by Gaspare Campari. I love using CAMPARI in mixing snazzy cocktails, even for Nigeria's signature cocktail - the CHAPMAN. I must confess, my secret hobby is being a Mixologist (Take a sneak peak into my other business that lets me practice my hobby once a while).   What? CAMPARI? Please explain… OK. Back to the Bank Manager. To ease your anxiety, the CAMPARI mentioned here is not the drink (it will be hilarious if you appeared with CAMPARI for an interview with your Bank Manager).  

Everyday is Independence Day for Entrepreneurs

As Nigeria celebrates Independence Day, it’s a fitting time for entrepreneurs from all over the world to examine their own version of independence. Financial Independence. In my experience mentoring business owners, their number one motivation in building their business is not just to make money, but to have true financial freedom.

The unfortunate fact is that most don’t achieve it. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs struggle to build up their financial independence nest egg to the point where they can retire wealthy. In my view, the ones who do achieve financial independence all have the similar things operating in their business such as a clear point of difference, an effective marketing funnel,....however, the most important one for me especially in our terrain is:   A Team You Can Leave Alone   Most entrepreneurs haven’t a hope of gaining independence because they can’t trust the people who work under them to get the job done without supervision. As a result, the typical business owner is terrified of taking a vacation or stepping back from the business – lest it collapse when they do. That's not independence, that’s making you a slave to your staff and your business.  

5 Entrepreneurial Lessons from Nigeria’s Victory at AFCON 2013

I am the type of person who likes to believe there are entrepreneurial lessons to be found in all facets of life. I’m not really a great football fan. I watch football occasionally with my husband but it’s not a hobby for me. So when I was subjected to hear all the analysis and comments from football fans about Nigeria’s victory at AFCON 2013, I decided to fish out five great insights for the entrepreneur. The emphatic victory by the Nigerian Football team in the final of the 2013 African Cup of Nations was their third major tournament triumph in the history of the competition after triumphs in 1980 and 1994.  The Eagles scored 11 goals enroute to winning the trophy for the third time in their 16th visit to the Nations Cup. So they have now won it in West Africa – Nigeria in 1980; North Africa – Tunisia in 1994; and now in Southern Africa.  

The Concept of Failure – Robert Fulton’s steamboat Trivia

Question: In 1807, Robert Fulton's steamboat traveled the Hudson River from New York City to Albany. In what country was Fulton's steamboat previously launched? Answer: Fulton previously launched his steamboat in Paris, France, on the Seine River, four years earlier in 1803. But it sank. The lesson is this -- The number of entrepreneurs who failed in their initial ventures is staggering. The key is that they weren't afraid to either try or fail. And when they failed, they learned from their failures and were able to launch highly successful ventures thereafter.  

Tipping Point Concept – Ford Motor Company Trivia

Question: The Ford Motor Company manufactured 1 million cars for the first time in 1922. In what year did it hit the 2 million mark? Answer: 1923. This fact reminded me that in many cases, once a company hits a specific level of success, their success starts to skyrocket. This concept is similar to the "tipping point," a concept introduced by Malcolm Gladwell in his bestselling book "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference."