Top Insights from Bukky George MD/Founder Health Plus
I am so excited about sharing today’s Tycoon insights with you, especially because it is culled from the practical business stories of a true Ignited Tycoon. I met Bukky George at the recent WIMBIZ monthly roundtable held at Villa Medici on the 3rd of July. She sauntered in like a true Inspired Woman of Worth, a woman who clearly was not about to cower under the gaze of so many women, already seated and waiting to hear what this business owner had to share. It is to the credit of WIMBIZ that they chose such a current topic (one close to my heart) and one of the reasons they probably had a record turnout. Just tells you how eager Nigerian female entrepreneurs and professionals are looking to grow. Without further ado, Bukky settled in, and took a room of more than 70 high powered and energised women through what I can only refer to as an Ignited presentation that left many on the edge of their seats.
Everyone who knows me knows I love women, but I’m particularly partial to what I refer to as “Phenomenally Remarkable” women. These are the words I will use to describe Bukky George and I don’t use words lightly. Here are my ‘close to raw’ notes taken just for you. I have written them in short bursts, similar to how she presented them. My own thoughts are in bracket beside the points and I have crafted my titles independently. Enjoy. And apply them!
FACTS & FIGURES ON HEALTH PLUS
Current Workforce: 429 Associates and counting.
Target: to become the “Boots” of Nigeria
Current Locations: 30 branches and 11 in the pipeline for 2014
Description of Bukky George: Disciplined Executor, Lighthouse (Words by Tara Durotoye, House of Tara)
GOLDEN NUGGETS for all tycoons in the making. (In Bukky’s own words).
– I’m an Intense woman with an Intense brand. (Passion is a force- use it)
– Everything we do is off the pages of text books. I have an incredible library of books. (Me too. I was nodding my head here. Most tycoons devour books).
– The pharmacist in me makes me methodical. (Your training is not wasted in business)
– I read and I do! (Applied knowledge is power- all tycoons take action!).
– I didn’t want to follow the obvious career path. I’m allergic to poverty. (Lol)
– I don’t like manufacturing. Not good at technical things. (Recognises her weaknesses).
– I have 4 kids and 2 dogs. – (She has a life! – It is possible to strike a balance).
– I learnt marketing & business development. (Don’t let your course of study at the University limit you. You can expand your knowledge base to strengthen your natural strengths).
FINDING HER INTERNAL COMPASS. Mission and Vision statements are key.
– She wanted to find her call, and purposeful role.
– She heard in her heart “community pharmacy.” – (don’t copy what others “heard” – Position yourself to search for your own mission in life and business calling.)
– She was referred to read a Harvard review article about vision and mission. It helped her craft her unique business vision and mission.
– Your mission and vision statement should really energise you.
– Her BHAG is to be the Boots pharmacy of Nigeria. Not easy but she’s working on it.
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. (All Tycoons value this).
– Everyone needs exposure. She went away for four years to study in the UK after building the company for two years and half and left 7 staff behind. Business grew four times over in revenue. LBS decided to do a case on her business and work life balance.
GROWTH means taking Calculated Risks.
-Came back after being in the UK. Husband suggested multiple branches.
– The Palms Shopping Centre came into consideration. She didn’t worry about the rent. Focused on footfall and anchor tenants and the power of the law of supply and demand. (Understand basic business fundamentals and have faith in what you know).
– The location of the Palms Shopping Centre changed their trajectory. 2nd store brought cash flow which led to loans and growth. This is really where the business started.
Incorporated in 1996. 1999 started in GRA and environs.
Stayed in one branch for 6years and didn’t go to Abuja even though she got offers because it was her baby making years. (Recognise your seasons).
Growth didn’t happen overnight. (REMEMBER THIS!)
15 years later…now
NAVIGATING THE EDGE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
Your Value Proposition is important. Paint a clear picture as to why you are worth people’s time. It’s the Art of communicating here’s why you should buy from us.
HAVE GOOD REASONS TO GO INTO BUSINESS.
– Good Reasons to start a business are:
– Because you see a need.
– To solve a problem
– Make a difference
– Add value
– Raise standards
– I’m bored.
– I need money.
– I want to work for myself.
– I have some money to invest.
CASH IS KING.
Cash flow is the life line of a business.
Set credit limits if you must give it.
Follow up on credit very aggressively
Net profits at about 10-14%
Retail is hard and the margins are very narrow. So prudence is key.
MANAGING A BUSINESS:
You need a standard operating procedure.
“E myth revisited” is a good book to read.
Money will always follow a good idea so money is not the key. Good People are.
Hiring is a huge deal.
Hire Energetic, Enthusiastic people with the right attitude. EEA…Richard Branson
Your people don’t want to work for you because you are a one man business.
Put in place structures so that staff are happy. Learn how to find EEA across the interview table.
Networking is key to staying on the cutting edge.
The customer is the boss.
Next levels are key. Be Deliberate.
Your brand is critical. Pay attention.
Create awareness. Say something about your business. Publicity is very key.
Collect client data. Digital media is important.
There’s no better time to be an entrepreneur in Nigeria. (We agree!)
Take advantage of Opportunities
Have Courage, nerves of steel
Be a Rebel, stubborn
Have Work for long hours
Be the best in your industry.
Personal development is key
Share your vision by telling stories.
Network with purpose.
Learn to say No.
Learn to move on
Remember the power of your company’s credo or core values.
Put great teams together. Align and motivate them to move your company forward.
Seat and engage your top team.
Don’t be emotional in business, if not performing, ship them out.
Be very strict, and structured.
Read these books:
– How remarkable women lead
– Confidence Code
Here’s to your Tycoon Success!
There’s success in sight for you if you apply these principles.
P.S. Ultimately, a great vision is what moves you forward. Passion propels you to new heights.