Lessons From the Frontline

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Do you ever get the feeling that there is world of strategic business intelligence from which you are being excluded? Do you

ever wonder how much further you could go as an entrepreneur and investor if only you were familiar with the tactics and tools used by front line market players and business moguls?

In this series I will share knowledge and insights I have derived from years of providing legal services to high net worth companies and individuals; years that have placed me in the front line and given me a deep understanding of the inner workings of the Nigerian and international business environment. During this time I have been privileged to interview top businessmen and managers, listened to their war stories and observed them in action. I have knocked together the lessons I have learned from these people, as well as personal lessons I have learned as an entrepreneur and collaborator in numerous projects into a series of lessons which I will share with you. Lessons you will not find anywhere else.

These lessons will show you how the professionals develop market intelligence, forecast and exploit market trends, patterns and cycles, how they manage risk and how they handle crises. My aim is to arm you with the professional tools you need to dramatically increase your profit, performance and prosperity.

Any lawyer that knows his onions will state that Africans, particularly Nigerians, live in the best possible time and country for generating wealth that has ever existed. We have a relatively liberal regulatory environment where you can establish and conduct almost any legal business you wish to undertake with little bother from regulators, except in specific statutorily regulated fields like law, medicine, security, petroleum, architecture and banking. Nigerian limited liability companies are by law bestowed with an 18 month tax holiday, and tax liabilities are ineffectively enforced in most areas of endeavour (manufacturing seems to be an exception).

Contrast this with other countries where tax is payable from the first year of business and tax liabilities are strictly enforced against a business and its managers, to the extent that the state may confiscate the personal property of a business owner in satisfaction of business debts. Nigeria, despite its myriad systemic flaws furnishes the entrepreneurial individual with cheap labour and easy access to raw materials and a liberal business environment. The challenge is to turn the problematic Nigerian environment from a bane to a boon.

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