Experience they say, happens to be the best teacher. Hearing from people that had trodden the path you are taking, makes you mistakes-free, but that is if you retain the knowledge got.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote is the most successful businessman in Africa with a net worth of several billions of United States Dollars.
His business is heavily present in Nigeria, Africa and other countries in the world. He left the whole world stunned when he increased his personal net worth by a million in less than 24 hours in February 2015 and according to Forbes, he is the 53rd richest man in the world.
In spite of all the giant strides attained by Aliko Dangote, here are some of his financial secrets that are worth emulating by individuals and business organizations:
1. He once worked for someone.
Dangote worked for his uncle, Sani Dangote. He served his master diligently. He acted in accordance to the statement which says if you must lead, you must serve. It was while working for his uncle that he gathered experience, skills and confidence.
2. He took a loan to start his business
Aliko Dangote started his business with the NGN 500,000 loan he took from his uncle/master. He approached his uncle in 1977 and told him about his plan to establish a business outfit and his uncle gave him the loan to start the business. However, he was given a three-month-deadline and he repaid the loan in three months.
3. He kicked off his business by trading in commodities
Sugar, rice, pasta, salt, cotton, millet, cocoa, textile and vegetable oil were the commodities he started his business with. He was importing these commodities into Nigeria.
4. He developed a strong distribution network
Since production is not complete until the goods reach the final consumer, Dangote developed a strong distribution channel that made his goods deliver faster than his competitors.
5. He leaped from importation to manufacturing
After some years in his importation business, Aliko Dangote transformed into a producer of products he was importing. In one of his statements, he revealed that changing from an importer to a manufacturer has so far been his best move. The move produced Dangote Group, an organization that controls over 13 companies.
6. He built a brand
Dangote built a vibrant brand for his business. He corroborated this during an interview by saying “to succeed in business, you must build a brand and never destroy it. One competitive advantage I had when I ventured into manufacturing was my brand (Dangote), which I diligently built in the course of my trading.”
7. He sells cheap quality products
In his mission to gain the loyalty of his customers, Dangote started selling his competitive products at cheaper rates compared to his competitors’ rates.
8. He had a big break
Dangote’s networking skills and ability to make unprecedented connections made him record the major breakthrough he needed for the prosperity of his business. His break through emerged when he acquired the license to import cement.
9. He works pretty hard
As an astute businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote spends most of his time strategizing and brainstorming on how to grow his business. Reports have it that he sleeps by 2:00 am and wakes up by 5:00 am everyday. Can you beat that?
10. He obeys the laws of the land
Unlike other cunning businessmen, Dangote is an upright man as far as abiding by the rules and regulations governing the ethics of business are concerned. He keeps his credit records as well as his tax records tidy and he preaches that business should be done as stipulated by the regulatory bodies.