To ensure that Nigerian men and women transact their businesses without hitches, the Center for International Advanced Professional Studies (CIAPS) Lagos and Vita Foam Nigeria Plc have proffered various solutions and directions, as well as the guidance of experts.

A Chartered Financial Analyst and Faculty Member of CIAPS, Rotimi Olanrewaju, during the CIAPS Roundtable Franchise Management, organized in Lagos on Tuesday, lamented the current difficulty experienced in Nigeria’s business environment today.

Olanrewaju advised that “The most ideal situation right now is to partner with a known name or brand in business that has not failed over time, cannot fail in the nearest future,” as it stands the business person “in the best opportunity to make money.”

He advised Nigerian business men and women to ensure that they allow “experienced people, including lawyers and financial analysts or people with basic knowledge of finance,” to guide them.

The financial analyst also encouraged Nigerians to consider franchising in today’s economy, adding: “Franchising is something that Nigerians should be looking at in today’s economy. It is not only local franchising that we are talking about. You can reach foreign markets with this kind of brand – be it a local Nigerian brand or a foreign brand, reach far and wide with them.”

Saying that the possibilities of franchising are endless, Olanrewaju added: “I would advise that Nigerians really take a good look at franchising, but they should do it with guided advice.

“Do it with the guidance of professionals, ensure that people who know what they are doing guide you. Allow lawyers to read your agreements, and allow financial analysts or people with basic knowledge of finance to assist you,” the financial expert stated.

Product Group Manager, Vita Foam Nigeria Plc, Moses Mogbolu, said that the franchising roundtable is an eye-opener and an opportunity for various businesses to leverage franchising as a channel for business expansion.

For professionals and business men, Mogbolu said: “It is also an opportunity to key into the option of franchising as a franchisee rather than starting a business from the scratch.”

Citing research, Mogbolu said that “No matter how good a business idea is, it takes time to build a brand,” adding that business men should analyse already existing brands.

“You have to analyse it, look at the legal framework and ensure that the brand has the equity that will help you to reach out to your customers in the market. Once that is done, there is a minimal risk in franchising than starting a business from the scratch.

“We in Vita Foam are very happy to partner with CIAPS on business roundtable,” he added.

Also, Center Director, CIAPS, Prof Anthony Kila, noted that the business roundtable is created in line with the Centre’s practice and principle where theory and practice are combined.

“When we teach in theory in the classroom some items like franchising and business development, we bring the practical side of it to the learners, our professionals,” Prof. Kila said.

According to him, “The other reason is that as part of our efforts to contribute to knowledge, job and wealth creation, CIAPS is holding a series of roundtable where we bring together businesses – existing businesses, new businesses and people that hope to get into businesses, so that they can share their opportunities here to network and to create wealth and job together.”

He said that about 137 people participated virtually in the business roundtable, adding: “Some people who are participating in the roundtable virtually and physically are some graduates of CIAPS.

“Some are non-CIAPS graduates. So we often meet so that people can see where the opportunities are; either to start up their own businesses or to represent people or to see where they can get employment. That is what the roundtable is all about.”

He advised intending business men who intend to go into franchising

“to be informed,” adding that “In the middle of chaos, or lack of revenue, lack of items, there are always opportunities and business people need to learn to turn problems to opportunities.”

The CIAPS director advised that the only way to remain in business is by turning problems to opportunities.

“They need to be informed, look at the situation very well and see what is lacking and try to provide it; they should look at what is provided and not done well and try to improve on it,” he advised.

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