The advent of Technology and the breakdown of barriers such as geographical, language etc has made competition within business even more fierce in our times.
You no longer have any chance of survival if you don’t aim to stand out and be world class at what you’re doing.
Your competition is not just the company next door, but includes companies offering similar services in America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
This was how George Ofosuhene, Founder and MD of Bond Financial Services, opened his talk at ServLed Friday where he spoke to a group of enthusiastic young entrepreneurs who gather every Friday to learn from accomplished entrepreneurs about building sustainable African businesses.
In a country where tertiary institutions continue to churn out over 200,000 graduates each year many of whom do not find jobs, he was excited when asked to share his story to inspire the youth into going into business to enable them become economically empowered and also become good corporate citizens by contributing to the State.
He challenged the young entrepreneurs to think and grow rich.
Sharing the story of how Bond Financial Services started in 2008 — in a market where a giant had already been created — he said they had to approach the business with the ‘blue ocean strategy’ thereby making the competition irrelevant.
Blue ocean strategy suggests that companies would be better off looking for ways in which they are competing against no one but themselves.
Although starting small, the years of banking experience and capabilities of the team at Bond Financial Services enabled it to do even what universal banks could do.
Attracting the confidence of the market was key in Bond’s entry strategy and that, according to Mr Ofosuhene, was even more important than having the money to run the business.
He mentioned some of the key things that the executives spent their most valuable resource on: having a challenging vision, clear mission and thorough planning, the lack of which is often named for the early demise of businesses.
Realising early on how the choice of their first business location, although being guided by reason of being closer to the culmination point of all trading activities could also hamper their growth, they quickly innovated putting the customer first.
They reorganised the way they do business by offering their clients the convenience of transacting business without ever needing to visit a Bond office.
Touching on how Bond has managed to stay focused on their vision of becoming a Universal Bank he shared how they have recently been given a provisional Savings and Loans license by the Bank of Ghana.
The leader of Bond Financial was full of praise for his team and used the opportunity to talk about how entrepreneurs should themselves utilize every available resource to learn to lead with integrity, transparency and spending part of their budget on developing their team.
Today, Bond receives applications from far off countries such as Romania when advertisements are placed for any job openings – a testimony to the fact that when entrepreneurs dedicate resources and encourage their staff to develop themselves, they make their organizations attract the best candidates from all over the world.
Mr. Ofosuhene couldn’t hide his excitement and praise to the team at ServLed for starting the business class which seeks to help entrepreneurs and managers of businesses develop and implement the necessary structures that make their businesses attract capital and to become profitable and sustainable.
ServLed Africa through its accelerator program invests in Africa’s young and bright minds to develop viable and sustainable business models that are scalable, reproducible and repeatable – businesses that have the right legal and operational structures to outlive the founders into future generations. More information about ServLed can be found at www.servled.com.