Founder of Wale Adenuga Production, Mr Wale Adenuga, MFR has spoken about some of the business mistakes he made at the start of his thriving entertainment business advising entrepreneurs to watch out for steps that may be counterproductive for their business.
Speaking in an interview with eelive.ng, Adenuga, who studied Business Administration at the University of Lagos, is arguably the longest standing entertainment entrepreneur in Nigeria. He explained that the attempt to expand could sometimes back fire and ruin businesses.
The Chairman of Wale Adenuga Productions, WAP TV and PEFTI Film Institute amongst other gave examples of the mistakes he made early in his career as follows: “My publishing business was doing very well but I made a business mistake. Although I was able to recover from it. I decided to go into printing, and I acquired machines forgetting that printing is a different ball game. The machine operators started exploiting me. It started to affect my creativity because I could not concentrate. Most of the time they would say this machine has stopped working, we would call the maintenance people, they would come collude with them and take money from me. At a stage, I started spending more money on my own printing than what I would have paid a printer outside.”
He spoke about the importance of niche practise in business with another illustration, which also got him into trouble. According to him: “I wanted to save money for transportation, I bought lorries for transporting my magazine to the East and North. The drivers nearly killed me. I would send the driver to Kaduna and they would run Kaduna to Maiduguri two times before coming back to Lagos. That is why entrepreneurs must be very careful. Sometimes you kill yourself with expansion. If you are a publisher, remain a publisher, the job of changing machines every year to the latest one is the job of the printer not the publisher so that you can concentrate.”
Adenuga who topped the Business Administration class of 1974 at the University of Lagos explained that business people should also learn not to pull all their resources into one single business. He advised further that there is a difference between investment and business and that it was more advisable to take more risk investing than for business purposes.
In his words: “Whatever you have, or God has given you, invest it well, secure it with investment don’t put everything into the business because business can change any day. You could keep expanding your working capital to 2- 3-4 branches and everything would collapse one day. It is a stupid fly that gets buried with the coffin. Every business has its own life span like a human being. It’s born, it grows, matures, ages and dies.”
Adenuga’ whose latest film, KNOCKOUT topped the box office chat amongst Nigerian made films last week, explained that he started the publication of Ikebe Super and Super Stories in the 1970s while still working for his father out of the passion that grew from the exercise of his talent as a cartoonist while studying at the University of Lagos. He noted that he however had to diversify into television when it became obvious that the publishing business was becoming unsustainable.
Read the full interview HERE